Lagier Meredith Vineyard2003 Syrah
(Mount Veeder ~ Napa Valley)
This is the eighth Syrah from the husband and wife team of Carole Merideth and Steve Lagier. She was a longtime, and noted faculty member of the viticulture and enology department at UC Davis, while Lagier spent 14 years at Mondavi.
For this small, estate winery they say of themselves, “We do all the vineyard work and winemaking. We have no employees or consultants or partners or investors.” Additionally they say, “We won’t attempt to give you detailed tasting notes because, as Sean Thackrey says, that would be like reviewing your own movie. And besides, we find it agonizingly difficult to describe our own wine. We’ll gladly leave that to others.”
So, that would be me. The wine comes from Lagier and Merideth’s four-acre vineyard at the 1,300-foot elevation on Mount Veeder. It’s one of the few Syrah vineyards in the region. It’s very dark and very young. One of the first descriptors is of white pepper with warm, fuzzy, delicious, dense jammy raspberry and licorice. Hold onto it for a couple of years and then drink it over the ensuing 15 years.
The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent, the pH is 3.80, the TA is 0.59, and there were only 770 cases produced. The fruit is sourced from vines that were first planted in 1994. The wine spent 18 months in 4-year-old Francois Freres barrels and the price is 50 bucks.
Reviewed December 2, 2005 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.