A contribution from John Clerides from Marquis Wine Cellars in Vancouver (www.marquis-wines.com)
Bruce Neyers has been the national sales manger for Kermit Lynch for around ten years, now. His travel schedule makes mine look like a family holiday; he is always on the road, if not in France somewhere in the United States. I remember him telling me one of the ways he keeps his wines reasonable, at least by Napa standards, is he is not solely dependent on the winery for income. The wines were initially made by Ehren Jordan long time wine maker at Turley. Ehren has slowly backed away from the day to day task of being Neyers’ head wine maker and now consults at critical times of the year. Both Bruce and Ehren have worked for Kermit Lynch and spent a lot of time in France. The Neyers wines are California in body, but French in spirit and soul.
2006 Tofanelli Vineyard Zinfandel
Explosive aromatics of bright fruit and cedar shavings. A full bodied wine, but not thick and over extracted. This wine does an amazing job of hiding it’s ripeness, and displays an elegance that is not generally seen from this grape variety.
2006 High Valley Vineyard Zinfandel
This is in Chiles valley and is farmed by Jay and Pam Hemingway who also own the Green and Red winery. The vineyard is located between1800 and 2000 feet in elevation, and this makes a dramatic difference in the wine produced from this vineyards grapes. This wine has a more restrained style to it, with dark fruit and spicy notes being the predominant features.
2006 Pato Zinfandel
The Pato vineyard is in Contra Costa County, just outside the city of San Francisco itself. There are some great old vineyards around here, some of them being 80+ years old. Unfortunately these beautiful old vineyards have a knack for being ripped up due to urbanization, although this has slowed down thanks to the economy. Let’s hope that when things get back to normal down here they at least slow down ripping out these great relics, and living pieces of history. Back to the wine though. This is a stylish Zin, packed with dense Saskatoon berry flavours, backed-up by pie spice and anise notes.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
The vineyards is in Conn Valley, and was planted by famous viticulturalist David Abreu (Wines from his own winery sell for $500 a bottle). This wine reminded me of a very European styled cabernet sauvignon, subtle and elegant with tight fruit, cedar and currant overtones. I quite liked this wine but if you are expecting a Napa power house this wine is not for you.
2006 'AME' Cabernet Sauvignon
From the same home ranch vineyard that Bruce and his wife own in Conn Valley, these grapes are from the highest part of their vineyards. The grapes from this section always seemed to have a darker, richer colour so they decided to make a separate bottling for it. It does not disappoint, while most definitely bigger than the regular cabernet bottling it is done so in a thoughtful manner. A cool climate styled Cabernet, with savoury notes and just the right amount of fruit and acidity. Lovely stuff – I love mountain wines from Napa valley. Only 550 or so cases are made of this gem.