There was a Celani Family Vineyards tasting that I was going to at The Fine Wine Source and I even wanted my Bride to come, even though it could be a dangerous trip. I think everyone puts up with me, when I show up anywhere, but it is my Bride that gets all the cheers, especially in a wine shop. I may be more cautious and conservative, but when she discovers something that she enjoys, she can be gung-ho and she may have buyer’s remorse the next day, but then it is over. When we first met, she only drank Chardonnay and usually domestic, and there is nothing wrong with that, since she only ate fish when we first met. I was a bad influence and introduced her to red meat and red wine, while she enjoys a good steak, she is crazy for a great red wine.
I have to admit, that ever since I had a real job, I stopped listening to music on the radio during drive time, because I had to know what was going on in the world, so that I, as a clothier could speak rather intelligently with the customers, a trait that has been lost, I have noticed among the clerks that I now encounter. I lead in with this introduction, because for years I had heard Tom Celani and all the philanthropic work he has done in the Detroit area, long before he had a winery. Tom Celani is lauded in the Detroit area for his largesse for charitable organizations that he helps in a grand manner. He and his father ended up creating one of the largest Miller distribution companies in the United States along with other beers and wines. Tom Celani fell in love with wines, first as a drinker and a collector and finally acquiring a Tuscan-style estate with seventeen acres of grapes and one-hundred-twenty olive trees in the foot hills of the Vaca Mountain range in Napa Valley. As the proprietor of the Celani Family Vineyards he has chosen to bottle wine without costs becoming a consideration, to him wine is about quality and not quantity. In fact, he was joking that he is not sure if the winery, will ever truly show a profit, because of his concern about getting the best wine each and every time.
After the introductions to Mr. Celani, we had a rather personal wine tasting with the owner of the winery, and it really doesn’t get much better than that. The first wine that we had was the Celani Family Vineyards Robusto Napa Valley 2018, and I had told him that I had just recently had and wrote about the Robusto 2017. The 2017 vintage was labeled Proprietary Red Wine and so was the 2018, but Mr. Celani informed me that the 2018 was entirely Merlot and I often espouse about how much I love Merlot. What a spectacular way to start off the tasting. Here was a beautiful inky dark glass of Merlot that promised red fruits and spices, and delivered in spades along with a nice finish of terroir with balance tannins. I already knew the person next to me was in love, and not just with me.
The next wine that we tasted was the Celani Family Vineyards Tenacious Estate Napa Valley Red Wine Unfiltered 2016. I had tasted and wrote about the Tenacious 2012 and we may have a bottle or two left of it in the cellar. When I first had the wine, I was told that it was created in the image of Le Pin and Chateau Petrus, and quite a lofty goal. The wine is a blend of seventy percent Merlot and thirty percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in new French Oak for twenty-two months and has become their affordable signature wine. This had a big nose of black fruit and strawberries, with a taste that was dominated originally by the black cherry, and finishing with some rich terroir and some great acidity for cellaring. If I was crazy about the pure Merlot, the addition of the Cabernet Franc put it over the edge and created a Grand Slam and somebody was really smiling.