I had mentioned that Ms. Yoga had been in town and one of the places that we took her was to The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. When she had been living in Venice, Florida we had gone a couple of times to her wine shop/wine bar for tastings. Though in reality her place was more a wine bar that had tastings as well. Most of the regulars that frequented the shop actually had their own engraved wine glass on a wall, waiting for the next time to be used. For the time and money that we spent there, we should have had a set of engraved glasses as well. I knew that we were going to have fun tasting the wines with her.
The first wine that we had was from FEL Wines Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard 2015 from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County part of the huge North Coast AVA of California. FEL stands for Florence Elsie Lede, the Mother of Cliff Lede Vineyards in Napa Valley. Anderson Valley is at the north end of Mendocino County and is known for its cooler temperatures and favors grapes like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The Savoy Vineyards had an initial planting in 1991 and they continued planting through the decade and it now has forty-four acres of assorted varietals planted. This wine was aged for fifteen months in French Oak, of which forty-seven percent was new. It was a delightful Pinot Noir with black cherry and soft tannins and a nice long finish. There were four-hundred-two cases of this wine produced and my first thoughts after tasting it, was it will be awesome in eight to ten years, but then I enjoy aged wines, and that is what a cellar is for.
Right afterwards we were tasting a second Pinot Noir, this time from the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County and this area has been called the Premier Cru Burgundy region of California, because the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines are just stellar. The Lucia Vineyards Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highland 2016 was wonderful straight from the bottle and with aeration time it would have been even greater. Lucia Vineyards had their first commercial vintage in 2000 and is owned by the Pisoni family of Pisoni Vineyards and a winery that I have enjoyed in the past and probably still have a couple resting. Gary’s Vineyard is one of those vineyards that everyone in that region would like to claim having grapes grown there. The first plantings were done in 1982 and eight years later groundwater was finally found hundreds of feet beneath a bed of granite, and then they planted seventeen more acres. This particular wine was aged for eleven months in French Oak, of which forty-one percent was new. Black cherry and spice and a granite terroir was noticed immediately and this wine also had a nice long finish, and to me, that is one of the greatest attributes a wine can have. There were six hundred cases of wine produced and I think maybe a good fifteen years in the cellar, and I know that some people have argued with me that they don’t think California Pinot Noir will age that long, but from this region eight to ten have been easy.