Lagier Meredith Vertical (1999 thru 2010) +

Loren's Home
Tasted Friday, May 3, 2013 by Loren Sonkin with 334 views

Introduction

Last night a group of us gathered to sample a vertical of Lagier Meredith Syrah that I had been accumulating for a while. First, kudos to Mel H. who, when he found out about me, filled in the 99, 01, and 03 from his cellar at his cost so that we could have a almost complete vertical. Thank you. I remember speaking with Carol at a party at Carrie and Randy's in Napa and she said that 98 was their first vintage commercially released although their third vintage overall. I was going to slip a Mondeuse in there, but there was hardly enough room for the glasses as it was.

The wines all showed well. We were all impressed at how little vintage variation there was as the style seemed to show in all years. That said, the crowd clearly liked the oldest wines. These are one of those wines that never seem to be fully mature. The ones with 10 years or more since vintage are getting close though and cellaring these wines is rewarded. Although I don't believe they use new oak, there were certainly signs of oak on many of these wines. Not in a bad way IMO, but spice, vanilla and smoke that enhanced some of these wines. Also, starting with the 05 vintage the wines seemed larger and more tannic. That may just be the demarcation in the ageing process, but it is also when there is a jump in Parker scores. Curious if anything changed or maybe the vineyard hit a higher gear. Whatever, these wine really will need more time to come together but should be beautiful.

The wines were consumed non-blind in vintage order and in one flight over 3 hours. Breads and cheeses (and chocolate chip cookies) were served.

Flight 2 (13 Notes)

  • 2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé 89 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley

    Pale pink in color. Very light. The nose is nice with watermelons and Faygo Red Pop. Nice tart acidity. Really zings which I like. Some juicy cherries on the palate. No bitterness. Some commented that it lacked the color of 11. Perhaps, but I thought there was a much better expression of fruit here and liked it better. Long finish.

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  • 1999 Lagier Meredith Syrah 94 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    A wine in the pole position has a bit of a handicap in tastings I think. Yet, this managed to be the groups WOTN (my #2). It was a runaway winner for the group as only 2 ballots did not have this in the top 3. Purple in color. The nose is very nice. Dusty, clay, black raspberries and blueberries. With air, it just develops layers. On the palate, bright boysenberry fruit. Layered complexity. Probably close to peak but still on the young side. Didn't improve with air, but stayed at that level. Superb wine.

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  • 2000 Lagier Meredith Syrah 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    The groups #2 WOTN, but middle of the pack for me. Another Beautiful wine just getting to peak. Dusty clay nose with solid black raspberry fruit. not as complex at the 99, but very nice. Great mouth feel. Juicy acidity. Black raspberry fruit. This was a recent purchase from the winery so perhaps it is more backward and will develop more, but this was not as developed as the 99. Still an outstanding wine.

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  • 2001 Lagier Meredith Syrah 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    As it turned out the groups #3 wine. I liked it less I guess. Still another great wine. Dusty with a spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) nose. Black raspberry fruit. maybe the nicest nose on the table. Complex on the palate, but noticeably thinner in mouth feel. Black raspberry fruit. A bit harsher on the finish. That is nit picking as this was outstanding.

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  • 2002 Lagier Meredith Syrah 91 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Another bottle recently purchased from the winery. The nose is quite tight. Eventually opening to show black raspberries and some coffee notes. Delicious, hedonistic wine. Perhaps not the complexity but it drinks so young. Some tannins still present. did not develop much over the evening.

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  • 2003 Lagier Meredith Syrah 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Purple in color. The nose shows some spice and black raspberries. Luxurious texture. Very rich. Lots of fruit. For some reason I was thinking this should be hot, but it is not and right in line. Lots of fruit although perhaps not as juicy as some vintages. Really enjoyable.

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  • 2004 Lagier Meredith Syrah 93 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    I liked this a lot more than the group seemed to. The nose is tight at first but eventually opens up. Black raspberries, spice and a bit of vanilla. This was bought locally a few years ago, but of all the wines, probably sat on a store shelf the longest. It is soft and smooth to drink. Seems to be at maturity. Showing some layers. If not a pristine bottle, that is not so bad with a wine that takes a long time to develop.

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  • 2005 Lagier Meredith Syrah 90 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Purple in color. The largest nose on the table. Lots of blue berries and blackberries with spice and pepper. On the palate, coffee, black raspberries, some heat, especially on the finish. Starting with this wine and for the rest of them, it seemed a wall of tannins rose up and really dominate the palate. I think this wine has a bright future. This got a huge Parker score. Glad to have some but wont check in for a while.

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  • 2006 Lagier Meredith Syrah 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Purple in color. The nose started off odd, a bit mildewy. With air it develops nicely with some floral notes and black raspberries. On the palate, this is juicy with black raspberries and whole bunch of tannins. Never really opened up, but it seemed liked tightly packed layers waiting to unwind. I really found the acidity in this nice, especially at this point in the tasting.

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  • 2007 Lagier Meredith Syrah 95 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    My WOTN although the group had it middle of the pack. This is a monster wine and stood out from the rest. The inkiest in color. The nose has so much fruit but also some vanilla. I am told they use no new oak, but this seemed to have it, although I found it judicious if in need of time. Rich and complex on the palate. Young but big enough to allow the layers to separate a bit with air. Some anise notes as well. This needs at least another 5 years or more, but it is fun if not compelling right now. I loved it, but will wait on my others.

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  • 2008 Lagier Meredith Syrah 95 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Another one I liked more than the group. I didn't mind the tannins, loved the fruit and am excited about the potential here. Great nose. Very deep. fruit, leather, black pepper, floral notes. Huge tannins. Lots of fruit on the palate. Black raspberries, some blueberries. Good acidity. Perhaps a bit blueberry milk shakeish right now, but give it 8 years.

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  • 2009 Lagier Meredith Syrah 90 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    Mine and the groups last place wine. Not too shabby when your last place wine is still outstanding. But one of them had to be last, and this was it. Why? It think we all found it a bit less of everything. Less mouth feel, tannins and fruit. It is still quite good, but either it is shut down tight right now (a possibility) or just not the wine as other vintages. Time will tell, but as I said, still an outstanding wine.

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  • 2010 Lagier Meredith Syrah 94 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    This was a bit controversial. Those who liked it (including me) liked what it offered and where it is going. It is a monster today with a lot of fruit and tannins. The nose has dried burnt wood, black raspberries, blue berries and floral notes. The palate has jammy black raspberries, good acidity and a long finish. Needs a decade but could be the best of them. Others found it too hard to deal with at the moment.

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Flight 3 (1 Note)

  • 2010 Lagier Meredith Precious Bane 93 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder

    My first time trying this sweet Syrah wine. 18.5% Alc. This was really nice. Sweet but not even close to cloying. This was lighter on the palate than the Syrahs. Delicious with Mike's homemade Chocolate chip cookies. The nose is similar to the dry wines. Black raspberries, floral notes maybe lacking the pepper. On the palate though, this is more black cherry and raspberries with some black raspberries. A little goes a long way, but it was well received.

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Closing

Wow. What a really good tasting. I am glad to have many of these still in the cellar. A great way to really get to know this winery. Despite the names and lofty scores, it often does fly around the radar of many. This is a Syrah that belongs in the upper echelons of Syrahs.

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