It is fun to open up the carton of wine from “A Taste of Monterey” and then to try to do some research beyond what the brochure that they send with the wines. This wine club that we discovered has not yet disappointed us and we have been with them for around twenty years. I think what originally sold us on the club, was that they could legitimately ship us wines to Michigan, back when we were considered a “felony state” and our governor at the time was sued and the state lost, and that former governor left the state, hopefully for good.
The second bottle that I pulled out of the carton was Mesa Del Sol Prima Rosso Arroyo Seco 2013. Mesa Del Sol is located on an upland promontory at the junction of three major watersheds. A couple of the buildings on the property date back to the 1800’s when it was believed to be a stage stop to Carmel Valley. It became a health center, because of the hot dry air of the Arroyo Seco Highlands, and was a haven for patients suffering from tuberculosis and other similar diseases, and Teddy Roosevelt stayed there at one time. After a cure for tuberculosis was discovered, most sanitoriums and spas suffered, and this location was purchased by a California Senator for his family and the family stayed there until 1945. It has changed hands a few times and has now been fully restored as well as the fourteen-acre vineyard. The estate also grows Provence Lavender that is now used for lotions, oils and sachets.
The estate practices organic farming techniques and the land is irrigated by an onsite thriving trout pond. This wine is made for the resort by Chualar Canyon Winery in Salinas, California. The wine is a blend of fifty percent Zinfandel, twenty-five percent Syrah and the balance are twenty-five percent Sangiovese and all are estate grown. There is no winemaking information given, nor production quantities, though the wine is also distributed through a tasting room in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. The wine is described as having “an intricate structure, full-bodied, fun nose; with notes of pepper earthiness, anise, pomegranate and chocolate. Great with barbecued meats and spicy Asian food.” There is a suggested aging potential for this wine of eight to ten years.