I really enjoy belonging to a wine club, actually we belong to three and the Fine Wine Source of Livonia offers the biggest selection of surprises. I say that because the wines that we receive are probably not wines that I would readily grab off of the shelve. I think that there is a bit of snobbery in anyone that starts collecting wines, they look for certain areas and grapes that they are comfortable with, as well as certain price points which is very important, unless you happen to be an athlete, celebrity, or politician. If it wasn’t for a wine club, I would probably miss out on a lot of wines, and one of the perks of this particular club is that you get case price, even if you only buy one bottle of wine. Also, there are the chances to discover a great wine for the house, that is still so good, you can offer it to guests as well, and don’t have to hoard it for yourself. And I am really looking forward to when we can start having wine tastings again, which is a major part of this wine shop’s allure and enticement. How many times, have we ended up adding to the cellar, because there was a wine that was just a knockout, even during a quick tasting. As I have been going through the wine cellar, rearranging and doing an inventory, I will kind of smile when I get to some wines resting and remind myself of the time when these were bought.
Horse Heaven Hills in Washington State is from what I understand, is one of those regions that evokes the old John Wayne and Randolph Scott westerns of the Thirties, in regard to the landscape and scenery. The land and terrain and the Columbia River Gorge offer a dramatic Wild West that was romantically recorded for years in the oaters. The early pioneers found great ranching in the early 1900’s and then it all came to a screeching halt when fierce winds and scorching temperatures wiped out even the grazing areas for decades afterwards. After the population left for greener pastures, and that is basically the impetus for naming the estate the Dead Canyon Ranch. Back in the Seventies a farmer got the idea that since wine grapes only produce great juice, if they suffer, this was one of the harshest tracts of land. If grapes are grown in rich soils, the grapes become flabby with no character and they become table grapes, because if you ever taste wine grapes at the time of harvest, you will never want to taste an ordinary grape again, I liken it to plucking sugar cubes off of the vine.
Dead Canyon Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills 2017 is one of the labels by Mercer Estates of Washington State. Mercer Estates planted their first wine grapes in Horse Heave Hills in 1972. They have taken advantage of the soil and the desert climate to produce some elegant tannin Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as some other wines. Their first vintage was in 2005 at Prosser, Washington. They have a state-of-the-art winery giving the winemakers the luxury of temperature control and the ideal settings for fermentation. Their barrel rooms allow for long and varied aging, so they can do things their way, and as they see fit. This wine is described as offering a nose of black currants, blackberry and blueberry fruit, and secondary notes of graphite and roasted black truffles. A gutsy wine, with integrated tannins and very affordable. This wine has been touted as being perfect to pair with grilled lamb chops or steaks.