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Neyers Vineyards Bruce's Journal

Jim Gordon Reviews the Neyers 2020 Left Bank Red

By Bruce Neyers

Tuesday 11th July, 2023


The 2020 Left Bank Red – A hefty score from The Wine Enthusiast


We were delighted to read Jim Gordon’s review of our 2020 Left Bank Red in the July 2023 issue of The Wine Enthusiast. Here’s what he had to say:


Neyers 2020 Left Bank Red

“Classically structured and packed with flavor, this full-bodied blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon shows the whole gamut of Bordeaux grape flavors from black olive and graphite, to deep black currant and tobacco notes. Hearty, grippy tannins add an appetizing touch to the texture. Best 2026–2032.”


93 POINTS — Jim Gordon


The 2020 Left Bank Red is among the most successful examples of this Médoc-styled blend we’ve made since we began producing it in 2014. The fruit comes largely from the two parcels on our Conn Valley Ranch that sit on the left bank of the creek as it flows through the southern-most part of our property from Howell Mountain to the Napa River. The gravel deposit – 50 feet deep in places — has built up for centuries, and has a profound effect on the grapes grown there. The parcels share excellent drainage, with the low-nutrient character of loamy, basalt soil. The gravel adds an attractive mineral component. A good vintage like the 2020 reminds me of the lovely red blends from Saint Julien, wines that I grew attracted to in my early days in the wine business. The company I worked for then imported famous red Bordeaux, along with what were little-known bottlings from Saint-Julian, like Château Gloria, a wine I still seek out – and enjoy – today. I can’t help making a favorable comparison.

Looking northeast across the the Cabernet Sauvignon vines in our Left Bank parcel. These vines are now 25 years-old, planted to 3309 rootstock, then budded with wood from the Abreu Thorvilas vineyard. This was taken a week ago, just as the vines began to flower. The top of the hill in the far distance is the ÂME Vineyard. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Neyers.

The cover crop in the Left Bank parcel this past winter was a mix of 40% wild peas, with the balance containing purple vetch, common vetch, and Cayuse oats. This was taken the day before mowing. Two weeks later, the mulch was disked back into the soil.

The spring flowers of the wild peas are so attractive that Barbara made a small bouquet of them for our dinner table. Appropriately enough, we enjoyed a bottle of the 2015 Left Bank Red with dinner that night, her fabulous French Onion Soup.