A Ray of Sunshine

Thank you A Taste of Monterey for raising me out of the doldrums from the “joys” of the last week. I was at home getting a chance to start putting away the mess from the last week and now that we have power, I was helping out with the seven loads of laundry that we had accumulated for the last two weeks. I could only start that, after I replaced the cracked gas line to the dryer. Things were starting to look up and a delivery of wine from my wine club will always do that. As I always state, we get the “Private Reserve Club” offerings, because I really wanted to get some exotic and perhaps rarer wines from the Monterey area, instead of popular priced wines, as there is always the chance that I can find some of them locally, because of the larger quantities produced. Of the three wines in this shipment, the largest production was of two-hundred-eight cases, so the odds were that I would never find them here in Michigan.


The first bottle of the shipment was Pianetta Bilancio 2014. Pianetta Winery and Vineyard is located fifteen miles north of Paso Robles, so it carries a Monterey AVA. Planted in 1997 by John Pianetta, their estate is home to sixty-five acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The Bilancio is a blend of fifty-two percent Syrah and the balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery used for this wine a mix of half new and half used barrels, with twelve percent being Russian Oak. The wine was aged for twenty-two months and was produced without filtering or fining the end product, and they suggest decanting the wine before serving. There were one-hundred-ninety cases made and the aging potential is six to eight years.


The next bottle was Joyce Antle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 with a Chalone AVA. Chalone has long been recognized for their unique terroir, as the soil is granite and limestone that has been churned up over the centuries as it is in the San Andreas Fault region and some liken the soil to the Burgundy region of France. This is one of the reasons that the finicky Pinot Noir grows so well in the Monterey area. The wine was aged for thirteen months Sur Lie in a mix of new and old French Oak barrels. There were one-hundred-eighty-seven cases made of this wine and the aging potential indicated was for six to seven years. I would venture to say after having some other wines from Joyce, that it may age even longer, if I can hold myself back, as I can be impetuous at times.


The last bottle surprisingly was also a red wine, and normally they send two reds and one white. Travieso Amaranta Syrah 2011 is from Santa Lucia Highlands, which is becoming one of my favorite AVA areas in California. The fruit all came from Kirk William’s Vineyard that may also be known as Fairview Ranch. This wine is also aged Sur Lie for twenty-four months in French Oak, where thirty-three percent is new. Among the tasting notes is the description that this is a “no-holds-barred Syrah. There were two-hundred-eight cases made of this wine, and the aging potential was suggested for eight to ten years. So, with these three new bottles of wine, the future looks much better.

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About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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