There has been a lot of hype around the guys at Arnot-Roberts. Along with several other producers, they are one of the leaders in trailblazing this "not overripe" California way of winemaking. Arnot-Roberts is a joint venture between two friends, Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. The winery was founded in 2001 and the welcoming recognition they are receiving has been growing like crazy.
Having been a big fan of their wines, I had to make an appointment at the winery before things got out of hand with them being too busy to personally see visitors. After making the drive to Healdsburg from Napa I entered the "wine ghetto" which is basically a bunch of warehouses that various wine makers rent and make wine inside. Big garage doors and lots of concrete. Not exactly the romantic winery next to the vineyard setting. We were greeted by Duncan and the winery dog, Bowie. I briefly met Nathan who was working the forklift like a seasoned veteran. The first thing I noticed was how it was such a small operation. Barrels on the ground and fermenting tanks nearby.
We discussed how they picked their fruit earlier than their neighbors and some of the pushback they've received from some people. We also discussed their major inspiration being the French style of winemaking from the likes of Jamet, Dauvissat, Allemand, etc. You can clearly taste the influence in their wines. Bright fresh fruit flavors as you would expect out of California, but lots of acid and earthy notes which you get from wines that aren't from overripe fruit. We tasted through several of their wines including the North Coast Syrah, Watson Ranch Chardonnay, Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir, and a several tank samples already in fermentation. Their wines truly are incredible. They make you really think about how wines can and should be out of California.