Pierson Meyer — from a mountain grows pinot
Peirson Meyer Wines were born from a friendship that was formed in early 2001, when Lesley Warner-Peirson, her husband Alan Peirson, and Robbie & Shannon Meyer met at Peter Michael Winery. With a shared passion, their first wine, the L’Angevin Russian River Chardonnay, was produced in 2001.
Today, Peirson Meyer crafts small lot wines sourced from Sonoma and Napa, and made to reflect the land.
Starting with the 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir, with only 50 cases (2 barrels) produced, winemaker Robbie Meyer really enjoys the use of native yeast. In this wine, Pinot Noir clones 777 and 828 from two Sonoma County vineyards create this pale pink princess with rose petals, ripe peaches and berry coulis. An elegant and restrained rosé that deserves to be the centerpiece of a summer day. $32
While Peirson Meyer is known for Pinot Noir, the 2013 Ritchie Sauvignon Blanc comes from a cooler site where the grapes ripen more slowly. Using the native yeast and a gente pressing of whole clusters, this wine is aged in neutral oak. Bursting with tropical melon and juicy pears, the minerality shines through with a chalky, floral finish. $30
In contrast, the 2013 Ryan’s Sauvignon Blanc comes from a much warmer site in Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll district, and produces a bolder, more tropical style of wine. Native yeast fermentation reveals dense apricots and honey, with slight banana notes. $30
One of the highlights of our tasting experience was the ability to taste three chardonnays side by side. Doing so allows us to really see the differences each site makes, as well as the nuances of wine making such as barrel selection or yeast selection.
First, the 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Aged in 45% new French Oak, and fermented with native yeast (are you starting to see the pattern here?), it is a blend of three vineyards. Robbie allows malolactic to complete naturally, and uses the native yeast to his advantage, creating a natural, and rich wine. Viscous and replete with baked apples and nutmeg. $38
The 2012 Sophia’s Chardonnay comes from a site in the Russian River formerly known as the Sullivan Vineyard. With 40 year old vines located near Graton, in the west of Sonoma County, this wine is nutty and cirrus driven, with preserved lemons, caramel, vanilla and fresh cream. $44
The 2012 Heinz Vineyard Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast appellation is physically near the Sullivan Vineyard, yet worlds apart. Restrained and clean, with Asian pears and graphite. This wine is clean and focused. $55
Finally ,we were treated to a trio of Pinot Noirs, each one unique, but with some wonderful similarities.