2010 Yates Family Vineyards Fleur de Veeder


Every time I drink a wine from the Mount Veeder AVA I am pleased.  I find the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and red blends are exceptional.  During our last trip to Napa gathering auction items from various people for a charity, we decided to make an appointment and visit an estate on Mount Veeder.

So how about a little geography.  Mount Veeder AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA among the Mayacamas Mountains. The boundaries of this appellation include 25 square miles with approximately 1,000 acres planted on thin volcanic soil. Many vineyards are found on the steep mountain face some as steep as 30°. The steepness of the angle gives the vineyards benefits of more direct sunlight and better drainage.


The Napa valley resides between two mount regions.  Rutherford to the north.  Mount Veeder is circled in red.

The unique sense of place or terroir of Mount Veeder AVA produces wines that are typically powerful in structure – depending on how they are made and how the vines are tended.  For example, Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the mountain commonly shows “briary” flavors (Briary wines are typically aggressive and peppery with an earthy or wild berry character, moderate to bold tannins and herbal, floral aromatics).

A friend recommended that we visit the Yates Family Vineyard so we called them for a tasting.  We loved the drive to the vineyard as the road up the mountain was windy and with the rain falling, the experience was even better!  They do not have a public tasting room, but they hosted us because of the referral from Steve who is also in the industry.  Our tasting was with Whitney Yates.  She was very personal and we felt very welcomed.  I see another trip to the estate this year.  After our tasting concluded we decided to join the wine club and purchased a few bottles for our cellar and a bottle for the upcoming Hope Gala.

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One of the wines we now have in our cellar is the 2010 Fleur de Veeder.  The Fleur de Veeder  is a handcrafted Merlot and is a culmination of generations of family winemaking.

The Merlot color depth was medium, the hue was ruby and was very clear.

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The Fleur de Veeder is very aromatic and fruity.  I could smell raspberry and cherry jam, oak, caramel.

This Merlot was not dry and was full-bodied.  The acidity was balanced with medium soft tannins.  It had a soft silky start with a smooth velvet finish.

Winemakers note:  179 cases made.  Aged for 18 months in French Oak.  100% Estate grown Merlot.

Another nice touch is each bottle is numbered.  You do not see this very often.

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ABV: 14.8%

How much: $40 per bottle.

I rated the 2010 Fleur de Veeder four glasses.  I am pleased to say we have a few bottles in my cellar.  I look forward to comparing notes after another year in the bottle.

In Vino Veritas!

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