I was standing next to Tom Celani and tasting his wines at The Fine Wine Source and God must have been smiling upon at that moment. The heavens were aligned and it was a delightful moment. The wine tastings at The Fine Wine Source are not the potentially stuffy affairs that turned me off, in my youth, where someone was lecturing to you and being condescending. These are more one on one, even when there is a crowd around the wine barrel that is holding the honored wines of the day. It was two raconteurs bringing up people, events and places and the bond of all the conversations was wine. A jovial and philanthropic man, who rather than just pledging money will match the funds raised by an event, and he is pushing other like-minded people to reach in and donate.
Celani Family Vineyards is a small, family owned vineyard and they produce about four-thousand cases of wine annually. The estate has twenty acres, with seventeen used for wine, as they also have an olive orchard. The winery produces eight different wines, we were tasting four and I have had the good fortune to have tried seven of their wines. The penultimate wine for the afternoon was the Celani Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. This wine is made using fruit from two respected Napa Valley AVA districts; Mt. Veeder and Coombsville. Here is a wine that was aged for twenty months in French Oak, of which ninety percent was new. That wonderful nose of black fruit, especially black cherry and blueberries. There were several spices that were mingling in the taste along with supple tannins that made this wine great fresh from the bottle and will be stellar ten to fifteen years from now.
The final wine for the tasting was one that I have heard about was the Celani Family Wines Ardore 2016. There is a meticulous selection process to secure the finest ten barrels of the Coombsville AVA juice. These ten barrels are then aged in one-hundred percent new French Oak barrels for twenty-two months with no fining or filtering. The nose was even more concentrated compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon and there were floral tinges as well. This was a very big, bold wine that was chewy, balanced, with tannins that all contributed to a wine that will probably become a cult wine, since they only make two-hundred-fifty cases and this wine will be great for at least twenty years, if not longer. My Bride and I figured out what we were going to order and we had to wait for Tom Celani to sign all of the bottles.