We just signed on for the monthly wine club at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. You may have noticed that I mention them if I go to a promotional wine tasting or sometimes I just go in to try some of the new wines that they are featuring. Once a month they will automatically charge our credit card a set price and will send us out notices that the two wines are ready to be picked up. I think the best feature of the club, is that one can pay the discount case price per bottle on all featured wines, even if you don’t buy a case at a time, and to be candid, there is not much room left to allow us to buy cases of wine, unless we go on some real benders and that would defeat the purpose of having good wines.
The first wine for July 2018 is Bodegas Piqueras Black Label 2015. The winery is in their fourth generation and is found in Almansa, a newer DO (1966) located in the much larger Castilla La Mancha of Spain. They have been growing wines there since the Sixteenth Century in an area that is known for their lack of rain, but the gravelly limestone soil seems to hold the necessary water for the season. Almansa “prefers” red wines, but the DO does “authorize” some white varietals as well. The most famed grape for Almansa is Monastrell, or Mourvedre as it is known in the rest of the world, and this particular bottle is half Monastrell and the other half is Syrah, another grape that does exceedingly well in Spain. The wine is aged four to six months in a mix of French and American Oak barrels. The owner of the shop describes this wine as “a spice box…big intensity and flavor…best served with lamb or beef.”
The second wine is Ray’s Station Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 from Mendocino and part of the larger Vintage Wine Estates family wineries. The wine is named after former Army Captain and Bear Flag Republic Leader John Ray who established successful vineyards in the regions, especially in Mendocino County. The area is known for it’s Redwoods, wines and now Cannabis crops. This wine is eighty percent Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance is evenly split between Merlot and Malbec, with a suggest cellaring life of ten years. The owner’s notes are “rich and complex Cab that is loaded with black fruit…best served with grilled meats…and flavorful cheeses.”