Meyer Family Cellars Port
A 1987 modified solera of zinfandel port wine. This is the ninth bottling of Meyer Family Pork and displays aromas of baked fruit and cooking spice, along with warm notes of alembic Zinfandel brandy. Although rich and round on the palate, an earlier harvest retains suffiecient acid to balance its lush flavors of sweet cassis and brandied cherries. Five-years in neutral oak has created a long, concentrated finish allowing this port to pair beautifully with artisanal blue chees, intense chocolate desserts, fresh fruit or a good cigar.
The Meyer Family Port was originally sourced from Zinfandel vineyards in Lodi and more recently from different parts of Mendocino. The fruit from Lodi was able to get extremely ripe, and the pronounced fruit helped balance out the intensity of the brandy. After we bought the winery in Mendocino we started working with two distinct areas, both exciting for their unique aspects. Zinfandel from the hot Ukiah Valley provides similar grapes to the Lodi region with great fruit intensity, again a complement to the alcohol. Zinfandel from the much cooler Yorkville Highlands provides acidity and intense color to balance the sugar level of the Port. The result is the smooth carefully aged Meyer Family Port we have come to know and love.
The modified solera is our modern take on an old blending system. Each year since 1987, we rack a blend of over 20 vintages of Pork from barrel to tank. The newest vintage is then added to the blend, the barrels are washed, and the Port is racked back into the barrel to wait another year. This creates and extremely consistent product, although slightly older and more complex with each passing year.
Old- vine Zinfandel was hand-picked into half-ton bins at about 24 brix. Fruit was destemmed and crushed into half-ton open top fermentors. The must was cold soaked and punched down twice a day for 3-5 days. Fifteen to twenty gallons of brandy, dependent on proof, was added once ferments were at 11 brix and ferments were immediately pressed and chilled and later racked to barrel.
Meyer Family Cellars is a small, family-owned winery situated in the picturesque Yorkville Highlands of Mendocino County. At once a leading artisanal winery in one of California’s emerging viticultural areas, Meyer Family Cellars blends establishing this new Appellation with the legacy of Silver Oak Cellars. One of the state’s iconic wine brands, Meyer Family Cellars occupies a unique place in the story of California wine. It was established in 1987 by Silver Oak founders and former owners Justin and Bonny Meyer, who dreamt of a family wine brand that drew upon their extensive experience in the Napa and Alexander Valleys. Incorporated in the plan too was their son, Matt, a well-traveled student of wine and graduate of the enology and viticulture program at the University of California Davis. Today Today Meyer Family Cellars is in the capable hands of co-winemakers Matt and Karen Meyer. Their approach to winemaking mirror the unique position of their product. While their wine incorporates “old world” balanced acidity and minerality with “new world” ripeness and forward fruit, similarly, Matt and Karen apply the wisdom gleaned from family history while welcoming new ideas into the process.