As some of you may have noticed, I am a pack rat of sorts; of course, to a degree I am happy that I am, because it has allowed me to “show and tell” wines and the events where the wines were enjoyed. While I was packing away the Christmas decorations, I also decided to grab a storage box of odds and ends and go through them to see if there were items that no longer needed to be saved. There were several big manila envelopes containing wine labels in this box, which caused everything to come to a screaming halt for a couple of days, until I could sort through and see what I have written about and what I haven’t written about. In these manila envelopes, I found a couple of pristine labels and it dawned on me that they were from tastings that we did of wines that we had not purchased.
There were two labels from Garland Ranch from California. At first I, did not recognize the label and then I found my notes about these wines. Garland Ranch is a value driven wine from Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley in the Monterey region of California. My Bride and I have visited Chateau Julien a couple of times and we have always enjoyed and purchased wines each time we were there. The wines from the Garland Ranch were fine, but it was not what we were looking for, during our trips, as the wines carry the California appellation and not a designation from the Monterey area, and buying popular priced wines to send home, is never our plan when we are tasting wines at a winery. The first wine, I am sure that we tasted only out of being nice, as neither of us were really interested in the Garland Ranch California White Zinfandel 1999 though we do know friends and family that would. The other wine Garland Ranch California Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 was fine, but we were in the Monterey area and we were looking for wines that remind us of the trip.
The other wine label that I had, that had stumped me originally was also from Chateau Julien and must have been from our second trip there. Emerald Bay Coastal California Merlot 2000 was also another entry level wine and while good, was not what we were looking for. When we are at a winery we are looking for wines that I think are indicative of the area and of course we will try their popular priced wine offerings as well, but we really are not seeking out generic wines on the trips, and I think that is why I originally did not recognize either of these labels, while marveling at other labels that will eventually be formal remembrances.