Some days the Gods look down at you and smile when you run into a wine shop for a moment, or so you think. I had to run into The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and with the wonders of the Coravin system my visit was a little longer than expected. The Coravin system is a God-send to the wine trade, I am not as sure for personal use, but with this system they can pour a glass of wine without removing the cork and the wine will keep for some time and the wine will stay fresh. It is a perfect tool for doing impromptu wine tastings. The wine I got to taste was Ehler’s Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from St. Helena in Napa Valley.
Bernard Ehler bought a dying vineyard in the late 1800’s in what is now St. Helena and he replanted the ten-acre vineyard and included an olive grove as well. In 1886 he completed the construction of his stone barn that today is the winery building even on his original Bale Mill Winery. About a century later and the winery changing hands a few times until Jean and Sylvaine LeDucq slowly but surely bought parcel by parcel and recreated the original Bale Mill Winery but renamed the property Ehler’s Estate in his honor. The winery has been rated 100% Certified Organic and I am sure that is how Bernard Ehler did his work back then.
The Ehler’s Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was a big wine fresh from the bottle even without the aid of breathing. The wine is eighty-five percent Cabernet Sauvignon with an additional blending of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The wine was aged entirely in French Oak, of which seventy percent was new and it was aged for at least twenty months. This was a big wine in the classic style that I learned to appreciate back when I was a kid. It reminded me a Claret with the big nose, strong color and a big chewy taste with a very long count on the finish. This wine hit all the important points in my quick tasting and in fact it was so delicious I had a little bit more. Another interesting item about this wine is that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their wines are returned to the LeDucq Foundation to support International Cardio-vascular Research.