I recently received my wine club delivery from A Taste of Monterey and we look forward to it four times a year. The odds are that we will receive some wines that may not get out of California otherwise, and most of the time the wineries have such small production that they are under the radar for the three-tier antiquated system that has supplied the shops with wines since Prohibition. Thankfully a former governor here in Michigan lost an historic case which allowed wines to be shipped here, and I could stop claiming olive oil on all of the packing slips and invoices. I am rambling again, and I lost the thrust of the article.
In 2003, Bob and Daphne Balentine, the founders and winemakers began Line Shack Winery in the southern part of Monterey County in the new San Antonio Valley AVA. There were twenty-one missions begun by the Spaniards and the second one that was founded was Mission San Antonio and it was also where some of the first grapes were planted in California, long before statehood. This is a mountain vineyard and winery on the southern portion of the Santa Lucia mountain range and west of Paso Robles, which allows the vines to enjoy warm days and cool evenings. In 1989 when the property was first purchased, the only building standing was a line shack that populated the old ranches as a haven for unforgiving weather. This line shack was eventually remodeled and repurposed and became the winery, storage and tasting room that is still being used today. The goal was to produce affordable, world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, and a lofty goal it is indeed.
This is the first wine and the first time that I have learned of the winery, so I had to do some research, even though I am hardly a wine scholar. The winery offers seven wines, actually six wines, as this wine is bottled separately as I will explain. The Line Shack Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is made from a blend of four different clones and also eight percent Petite Sirah. Aged for over nine months in French Oak, of which twenty-five percent is new. From over four-hundred barrels tasted, thirty were selected to be chosen Reserve, and the rest became Line Shack Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. The tasting notes supplied were full, balanced body, medium tannins and a smooth lingering finish. Flavors of back cherry, currants and plum complement aromas of mocha, vanilla and leather; and anyone who knows me, knows that I do not write descriptors like that, but it will be interesting to compare my notes later when the wine is opened. The aging potential for this wine is suggested for eight to ten years.