At the High Museum Auction trade wine tasting in Atlanta I had the opportunity to meet Robbie Meyer, winemaker for L’Angevin and Peirson Meyer wines. Robbie is part owner and winemaker for L’Angevin and Peirson Meyer Wines, his passion for wine began as a teenager while working with food and wine in his native city of Marietta, Georgia. At eighteen he already was a restaurant wine steward. At the University of Georgia he received a B.S. degree in Biology. His love for wine and food lead him to pursue graduate studies in winemaking in California where he received a Master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis.
Robbie spent five vintages working at Peter Michael Winery as well as two vintages as winemaker for Lewis Cellars. He is currently consulting winemaker for Jericho Canyon and Versant Vineyards both in the Napa Valley, and Vogelzang Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Peirson Meyer / L’ Angevin wines are made with fruit from Charles Heintz vineyard and Sonoma Stage Vineyard in Sonoma Coast and Versant Vineyard in Napa Valley.
Q: Robbie, when did your passion for wine started?
A: “My passion for wine started quite early on. While working at the old Planter’s Restaurant in Marietta, GA I began exploring wines with the wait staff. My curiosity was piqued by the vast differences between grape varieties as well as between the regions of the world. I was 16 years old at the time and I’ve never lost that fascination. The more I experience, the truer it becomes.”
Q: Why did you decide to study Enology?
A: “Studying Enology and Viticulture was such an easy fit for my academic interests. One way or another I was going to be working in the fields of biology and chemistry. Fortunately, those go hand in hand with grape growing and winemaking. After receiving my undergraduate degree from U.G.A, I must admit, it was a big step to go all the way to U.C. Davis for graduate school in an entirely new environment. But the program and people were great and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Q: Robbie, which is been your mayor challenge as a winemaker?
A: “The biggest challenge many winemaker’s face is trying to produce the exact wine that they would like to produce. It’s a craft or even an artistic endeavor. And like most artists and craftsmen, we are rarely satisfied.”
Peirson Meyer’s winemaking philosophy is first seeking out for unique vineyards that have the potential to capture and express all the variables on the terroir to produce wines of exceptional character. Through traditional artisan techniques they guide the fruit through the vinification process making an effort to allow the wine to fully express its character. Whether it is fermentation temperature, skin contact, press selection, or barrel aging, they are dedicated to preserve the inherent attributes of the vineyard and varietal.
It was an enjoyable experience to try Robbie’s wines. From the Peirson Meyer label I tasted:
- 2007 Chardonnay, Charles Heintz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast: (This wine is pale straw in color; shows aromas of dried peach, pineapple and pear rounded up with caramel. This is an elegant well crafted wine with great acidity that shows flavors of apricot, pineapple, fig, cantaloupe and spice. Full-bodied wine with a complex long finish, retails for $55. This wine will pair good with pasta and a creamy sauce, seafood, chicken with simple sauces and sautéed vegetables.)
- 2007 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Stage Vineyard, Sonoma Coast: (This wine offers an intense layered bouquet of strawberry, raspberry, orange blossom with notes of vanilla and spice. On the palate you experience nice acidity, silky tannins and red fruit flavors that makes for a well balanced medium-bodied wine with a moderate finish and smooth texture. This Pinot will pair with a great range of foods like pork, chicken, pasta, rice, cheeses and will stand up to some red meat dishes too. This wine retails for $58)
- 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: (This Cabernet is beautifully crafted and complex, shows very dark red hues and Intense blackberry aroma with notes of tobacco, coffee bean, tar and spice. This wine has bold tannins and nice acidity; balanced out with ripe black fruit on the palate with hints of black pepper and spice. It is ready to be enjoy now but it has the structure to be cellared and be experience for years to come. This big Cabernet will pair great with roasted, BBQ or smoked red meats, lamb and pasta with red sauce. This wine retails for $80)
From the L’ Angevin label I tried:
- 2007 Chardonnay Russian River Valley: (This wine shows intense aromas of pear, pineapple, orange blossom and toast. In the palate you can taste tropical fruits, apple pie crust and honey notes. This wine shows great balance of acid and fruit and nice minerality. This Chardonnay is a crisp medium to full bodied-wine. This wine will pair well with shellfish, fish and chicken with white sauce. It retails for $38.)
- 2007 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: (This Pinot is intense garnet in color and filled with aromas of blueberry, raspberry and cherry complemented with nice notes of oak, cocoa and spice. On the palate it shows a great earthy characteristic balanced with great red fruit flavors and a hint of chocolate. This is a medium-bodied complex wine with nice fruit friendly acidity an a little sweetness. This well crafted Pinot is a crowd pleaser, it will pair well with many dishes like roasted pork or chicken, pasta with red sauces, mild cheeses, cold cuts and rice dishes. This wine retails for $45.)
L’Angevin and Peirson Meyer wines are available in many wine retail outlets in Atlanta, The Wine Cellars-Smyrna, Tower Wines and Total Wine.