Monday, January 14, 2013
I feel remiss that there are at least ten wineries in the state I haven't visited yet, mostly because they're only open on certain weekends or are so far away that I would have to set out on a workday to get there in time. Also a little disheartening is learning of the closing of some very earnest and fine wineries in Missouri in the past couple of years; among one of my favorites was located outside of Warrenton, Rolling Meadows Winery, now up for sale (for a very reasonable price). Nevertheless, despite all of this, I've met some incredible winemakers and collected some terrific wines for my rack. Mixed within the 07-08 Oregon pinot noirs, I still have some 06 Nortons, but mostly 08-09s, and of late I have been drinking a lot of the 09 Chambourcins, since that varietal tends to fall apart after three years. In the mix are a few 04s and 05s from Oregon and Missouri both, and random French Cotes du Rhones that just sort of hang out there, waiting for company or a dinner party.
Robller Vineyards Winery in New Haven.After several visits to Hermann, we launched out towards New Haven in hopes of finding good, earnest, noble wineries in the area. Robller Vineyards fit the bill in every way--great dry reds, personable staff, grounds for a picnic, a staff wanting to understand what the customer is looking for. I'm pretty easy to please at most Missouri wineries that are making dry reds: don't serve the sweet stuff you give to the folks who aren't really *into* wine, but let me linger over your dry wines, especially your Nortons. Robller is run by a father and son team, and they've been making wine for over twenty years. April 21, 2013 marks the 21st anniversary of the winery! They're hosting a big party in celebration of this momentous occasion.
As an inveterate pinot noir collector, I was intrigued by Robller's Le Trompier Noir, a blend that resembles pinot noir and ages well. I have a few 09s sitting still waiting for late 2013 or much later to see what happens to this complex and intriguing wine. I especially appreciated the attention Jerry gave to us when we mentioned that dry reds were our specialty, a history of his Norton production, a laundry list of the issues he's had making good dry reds, his successes, his challenges. This family winery exemplifies everything that a great Ozark winery should be-- earnest, hard working, producing great product. Robller's Norton is among the finest in the Ozarks, for aging and for drinking now.
Posted by Allison Vaughn at 9:17 PM