Tom's blog

Geyser Peak's finer wine

More than a decade ago I wrote about Geyser Peak’s comeback under the guidance of Australian winemaker Nick Goldschmidt. I had met with him during a wine country tour and he was more than happy to accept the title. I remember him acknowledging the work that went into restoring this historic property founded in 1880.

Alas, Goldschmidt left in 2008 after Geyser Peak was sold by Beam to Constellation. The winery has had multiple owners since then, including Ascentia and now Accolade. Ownership changes mean changes in philosophy and in this case the role Geyser Peak should play in the marketplace.

Over time I watched the wines return to their plonk status: cheap, pedestrian and uninspiring. They were made for grocery stores sales and I’m sure they made money if they didn’t make fans.

But I was recently encouraged after tasting the 2013 Geyser Peak Devil’s Inkstand reserve cabernet sauvignon ($55). It reminded me what Geyser Peak was — and perhaps what it can be. It’s a very nice wine.

Using grapes from mountain top vineyards in Alexander Valley, this cabernet was aged 21 months in French oak barrels. The aging provides complexity and depth to this tannic yet approachable wine.

Although the technical notes lists only cabernet sauvignon as the wine’s composition, clearly it has some petite sirah to give the wine its dark color.

Randy Meyer has been the property’s winemaker since 2018.