Since my days of shopping and enjoying my local wine shop and club, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, I think that Roger Louer and his wines have had the most visits and tastings. Roger Louer was holding court at The Fine Wine Source talking about his wines and his winery, as well as regaling the customers. I would describe him as a “Gentleman Farmer” and one of the benefits that he enjoys when he visits Detroit, is that he also meets his children and families at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
To give a brief summary of this winery that is based in St. Helena, so that I won’t have to mention as much background information in the next couple of articles about the wine. St. Helena s subregion of Napa Valley that received its AVA in 1995, is historic for its red wines, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, but also some excellent Merlot. The town and the district are named after Mount Saint Helena and there are nine-thousand acres of densely packed vineyards including Berringer (one of the oldest continuously operating California winery) and Charles Krug (who is often credited as the “father of Napa Valley.” It is one of the warmest appellations in Napa and it has also produced some excellent Zinfandel and some very interesting Sauvignon Blanc. Longtime friends Roger Louer and Robert Young decided in 1999 to create a “first-class” Cabernet Sauvignon wine brand with fruit from Howell Mountain from a vineyard jointly developed by the two men. The first vintage was in 2004, and released in 2007 was for three-hundred cases. The original and still current winemaker Barry Gnekow described the first vintage as “this wine is so big it will be coming into its own in about thirty years, but is drinkable now.” In 2009, Roger Louer produced the Louer Family Reserve Cabernet from his personal estate and sourced from the areas of his thirty-four-acre estate. It was released for the first vintage under the Roberts + Rogers Winery label in 2012.
We started off the tasting with a Roberts + Rogers Reserve Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2019. A great way to start as this wine was aged for almost twelve months. Sixty percent of the juice was aged in French Oak and forty percent was aged in Stainless Steel and then the two juices were blended and then finally bottled. It was a stellar example of a California Chardonnay, that would probably fool people in a blind taste test. A nice golden color with notes of citrous and flowers. On the palate, tones of yellow apples and citrous, vanilla, crisp and buttery with great acidity that cries out for another taste, and finishes with more fruit and some terroir.