Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meyer Family Port


So my friend Tony Poer has been the regional rep for Meyer Family Vineyards for awhile now and as he doesn't have any representation in So Cal right now I mentioned to him that I wouldn't mind showing the wines around and seeing if anyone would bite. Not for cash, but maybe for some goodwill down the way.

Tony and I go way back. Actually, he is one of the first guys I called on when I became a sales rep lo' those many years ago now, like 15 years ago, in the Bay Area. We were about the same age and he was buying for a really hip place in the Mission called The Flying Saucer (?) with some crazy french chef and when that closed he moved over to Bruno's in the Mission that had transformed itself from the place that my Dad used to go in the late 60's and early 70's for spaghetti and meatballs, 3 martini lunches with his downtown insurance buddies into a 1/2 jazz/funk speakeasy and 1/2 temple of decadent French inflected market fresh cuisine with a great and eclectic wine list.

Of course they didn't pay their bills on time and most of the wait staff was stoned or on some other drug, but Tony bought wines that no one else would buy and would run them by the glass and go through like 5 cs a week of some organic Bourgueil when no one even knew what Cabernet Franc actually was in California.

But I do remember fondly making a sales call once in my car on the backside of the restaurant that was probably the sketchiest stretch of avenue in the whole of the Mission and of having a woman of the evening proposition me through the passenger side window by lifting up her skirt and sticking her bare asset, a very large bare asset at that, into the car to try to entice me. Needless to say I decided never to make my sales calls from my car in the back alley behind Bruno's.

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Meyer Family Vineyards. So anyway, I got some samples of the Port and had never actually opened a bottle and boy, was I surprised. It tasted exactly like what they used to call a Special Reserve Porto from Portugal, but not just any Special Reserve, but it tasted like the Dona Antonio Special Reserve from Ferreira. (They don't use the term Special Reserve anymore for Porto as it never had any legal definition of what "Special" or "Reserve" actually meant for the style and substance in the bottle.)

The Ferreira Dona Antonia was what I liked to call an eight year old Tawny combining a little overt fruitiness of a Vintage Character with the nuttiness and lighter color of a Tawny and the Meyer Family tastes just like it.

Lots of dried berry aromas and some cedar and tobacco leaf and a touch of menthol in the nose and in the mouth, just this burst of flavor followed by a honeyed, sappy, molasses character. The alcohol was balanced and the finish really smooth and lasting in the mouth. Excellent.

So if I ever say to you, "Hey! Wanna taste some California Port with me?", don't turn up your nose at the best one that I have ever had.

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