A little while ago, I had the good fortune to do a tasting with Korbin Ming of Korbin Kameron Vineyard at The Fine Wine Source of Livonia, my go-to wine shop. Mitchell Ming first started drinking California wines in the Seventies and fell in love with the area after his first trip to Napa Valley. Unlike others, that only dream, he took his family out there and settled on a homestead high up on Mount Veeder and now has one-hundred-eighty-six acres for his family endeavor. His home over looks acres and acres of rolling hills and so high that it is sometimes above the clouds. Out of this, he created Moonridge Vineyards and the winery is named after his two twin children Korbin and Kameron. The third child Kristin, who is the Director of Design has also been remembered at the winery as well.
Korbin Ming is the Wine Club Manager, and the tasting was conducted by Korbin Ming who wears many hats, when he isn’t wearing a knit ski cap to brave the weather of Michigan. Korbin is the General Manager, the Vineyard Manager and the Assistant Winemaker; just in case he was hoping to have some time for himself. He received his B.S. from Boston University in Hospitality Management and established the brand’s e-commerce and distribution markets. He slowly became more of a hands-on guy at the winery in the vineyard and the cellar, which eventually let to a Master’s Degree in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis. He worked harvests in Bordeaux, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills and then Napa, before returning to Korbin Kameron and Moonridge Vineyards.
Well during that afternoon, there were fourteen wines being poured and sampled, but I maintained my resolve to make sure that I reported the wines to you. I will start out with the first wine, which is a good place to begin, but it was also the only one like it being offered. We had the Korbin Kameron Rosé 2018 from the Moon Mountain District AVA and part of the much larger Sonoma Valley. Moon Mountain has volcanic origins and the iron rich soil is quite distinct from the other soils in the valley, it also has a longer growing season because of the elevation and the additional warmth; and the AVA status was awarded in 2013, which is quite new, so very few wines have taken advantage of it, and it may take some time for the public as well. The wine is pure Merlot and was aged for five months in neutral oak to keep the fruit fresh. There were only one-hundred-twenty-five cases of this wine produced. With it being Merlot, the fruit was bigger and more enjoyable immediately to me, as I have always been partial to that grape from my teens, and I guess some things never change. It was very well balanced, big with red fruit and a nice finish. A great harbinger for the wines to follow.