It is that time of the year again, when I get to be like a little kid and open up the carton from my wine club “A Taste of Monterey.” I was upstairs doing some Raconteur work, when I heard a pounding on the front door, and I guess United Parcel Service feels that knocking is better than using the doorbell, either way I went down to see who was at the door. After signing for the parcel, since there wasn’t an adult around to sign for it, I hastily went and got a razor knife to open the package to see what treasures awaited me. There on top of the engineered pressed cardboard to keep the bottles from bouncing and breaking was the pamphlet and the lead article was “Zinfandel – the Survivor Varietal.” There was also a recipe for making steak sandwiches, a discussion on the varietal Pinot Blanc and an article on Camembert cheese.
The first wine that I picked up was Mission Trail Vineyards Zinfandel Carmel Valley 2017. This is now the third wine from the club that I have received from this winery and the first red wine from them. Mission Trail Vineyards takes their name from the Mustard plants that can still be found, as the seeds were spread out by the Franciscan Friars around two-hundred-thirty years ago as they planted the original vineyards in the area. Those original vineyards are long gone, but there are plenty of vineyards in Monterey, so those Friars recognized good land back then. In Monterey County there are about forty different varieties of grapes being grown. Ken and Robyn Rauh created Mission Trail Vineyards on the premise of featuring small lots of hand-crafted wines, from different locations throughout the county. There goal is to produce robust and fruit forward wines featuring Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel and a Meritage.
There was very little information about the winemaking procedure for this wine. They stated that extended barrel aging and cellar time has transformed this medium-to full bodied wine that is “elegant and silky.” The wine is promised to have aromas of black cherry, rhubarb, leather and both black and white pepper, while delivering black cherry, dark plum, cloves and cocoa. The tannins are said to be refined, making for a well-balance wine with aging potential of eight to ten years. With a high proof rating, I have a couple of people that I think would be potential guests with us to try it.