The latest delivery from our wine club A Taste of Monterey arrived and as always, I am like a little kid opening up presents from under the tree. It has been one of the best investments that we have made and I really can’t tell you how long we have been a member. We wondered into the shop the club maintains in Monterey, as we were going to dine at the legendary Sardine Factory in Cannery Row, not only did we dine, but we also bought our favorite piece of art, that is featured in our living room, we also bought wine at a satellite winery tasting room and then discovered our club. They offered at the time two options, one was for two wines monthly that were more popular priced, or three wines once every quarter of the year and these were better wines. Since, we were going to get twelve bottles of wine each year, we decided to get the better grouping and get some wines that the odds were, that we would not be able to find at home.
The first bottle that was in the case was Bernardus Sierra Mar Chardonnay 2014. This wine immediately brought a smile to me, as we had actually visited Bernardus Winery on one of our trips to Carmel-by-the-Sea. The winery is located in the Carmel Valley and besides the winery, there is also Bernardus Lodge and Spa, and a spectacular restaurant on the grounds called Marinus; where we dined there after a tour of the grounds and a wine tasting. Sierra Mar Vineyard is a new vineyard on a hilltop location in the southern end of Santa Lucia Highlands, and so far, I have not experienced a bad bottle of wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands. This particular wine is made from three clones of Chardonnay and the grapes are all hand-picked and sorted at harvest. There were three-hundred-fifty cases made of this wine and the aging potential is five to six years, though most Chardonnays don’t last that long in this house.
The next bottle is Blair Estate Delfina’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012, and Delfina’s Vineyard is the heart and soul of the winery, as it was the original homestead and farm for the family since the 1920’s. In 2007 Jeffrey Blair began growing Pinot Noir on this site, after seeing the accolades that this varietal has received from Santa Lucia Highlands and the Arroyo Seco, where this wine is from. The wine was aged for ten months in French oak. There were four-hundred-eighty-one cases of wine produced from this harvest, and it has been suggested that there will be six to seven years aging potential. With all of the great Pinot Noir wines that I have received over the years from this club, I am looking forward to enjoying this wine as well.
The last bottle is a bit of a bittersweet moment, as the owners have retired and sold the winery. Marilyn Remark Winery had been producing Rhone style wines since 2003, after they returned from a trip to the Rhone Valley and decided that was their goal. The Marilyn Remark Los Ositos Vineyard Grenache 2012 will probably be the last wine we receive from A Taste of Monterey, but they did buy the entire inventory from the winery, so there is a potential that I may see another offering, though I know that I still have some other wines from the winery in my cellar. Los Ositos Vineyard is the Salinas Valley, just south of Arroyo Seco, so this wine carries the AVA of Monterey. Most of the Grenache wines that I have had from Monterey have been full bodied and jammy, and I am sure that this wine will be no different. As I have said earlier, I always enjoy the wine selection that I have received over the years and I will report on these wines, as they are opened.