I just received my latest wine club shipment and it is like an early Christmas present, except that it is not really a gift from them. I am always like a little kid though, when the carton arrives as I cannot wait to open up the package and see what new treasures are enclosed. The wines are limited by this club to products from the Monterey area, and then we belong to the “private reserve club” which entails three better wines each shipment, my thinking when we signed up, was it was better to get some wines that I may not be able to find here in Michigan, because the more popular price wines may be produced in larger volumes and they may actually find their way here through the normal channels of distributing.
The first wine is from Galante Vineyards of Carmel Valley. Galante “Ace High” Malbec 2010 and I have already written about and am a fan of this wine from the 2009 vintage, so I am a happy camper. In this newsletter there was a little history of Jack Galante and it states that his great-grandfather was the founder of the town of Carmel, and built the Pine Inn and the Highlands Inn. The family started a cattle ranch in the valley in 1969, and started planting Cabernet Sauvignon in 1983. There were 214 cases of this wine produced and the estimated aging potential is for eight to nine years. I am sure that it will not stay in my cellar that long.
The next wine is from a new producer to me. Silvestri Vineyards “Bella Sandra” Chardonnay 2011 is also from Carmel Valley. The fruit is pressed and put into stainless steel tanks, then is racked to French Oak for primary fermentation. After the primary fermentation the wine is inoculated to begin the malolactic fermentation, which produces a buttery, creamy character. The wine is stirred approximately every ten days for several months, then barrel aged for about ten months. The “Bella Sandra” Chardonnay is all fruit from a specific block in the vineyard that contains the Robert Young clone; it is barrel selected and fermented in half new and half in one year old French oak barrels. This is one of the largest productions of wines that I have received, as there was 1,310 cases produced of this wine, and even with this large production the estimated aging potential for this Chardonnay is five to seven years.
The third bottle is one that I may have to tempt my Brother-in-Law with as it is a Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Cima Collina Private Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 is from a very new winemaker as there first harvest was in 2005. The harvesting was done by hand and aged in French oak, 40% new, for eleven months. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, and the winery claims that it will benefit from bottle aging and decanting to aerate the wine. One of the things I found interesting about the winery, is that their tasting room was once the post office for Carmel Valley. There were 233 cases of this wine produced, and the estimated aging potential for this wine is six to ten years. I think I have another winner here.