Even with the lockdown appearing to calm down, though we are still potentially at the whim of one individual that can tighten everything again. I have been in the same unofficial club as a lot of other wine bloggers that have been raiding their cellars. It is always interesting to read what they have discovered hidden away, so it is just not me, that has made some new finds. Everyone has the best intentions, but a new wine, or a new shipment or even a new restaurant can make us forget what we have laid away, and it is just human nature. I have found that I have drank more wine at home for what was supposed to be for fifteen days or was it a month to flatten the curve? For the most part we drank wine at home during parties or special occasions. I think that I am drinking more wine then I can ever remember, though we may only have one or perhaps two glasses a day, and it is with a meal. We don’t sit at home drinking the night away. For the most part, I really haven’t been too concerned about the red wines, as I expect a well-made wine to last longer than most of the authorities give the wines credit for, as I think that most wines are drank too young, in the first place. It is the white wines that we have really taken a second look at.
I have discovered that I cannot just look at the color of the wine in the bottle, that I actually have to chill the whites and then actually open up the bottle, and not using the Coravin system. If the bottle is bad, it is just unceremoniously poured down the drain, and then we try another bottle, hence one of the refrigerators have an abundance of white wines chilling. One wine that we recently had at home with a meal and then later with leftovers, as that is the life of living with the lockdown was a bottle of Jekel Vineyards Riesling Monterey 2001, and everything is worth taking a gamble on. Jekel Vineyards was founded in 1972 by Bill Jekel, and one of the first to see the wine potential for Monterey. In 1978, he had his first vintage of a Johannesburg Riesling, and he was one of the most vocal and insistent growers that finally saw Monterey AVA in 1984. Now the county is well recognized for Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and some other varietals that have done remarkably well in the region. I wasn’t expecting much from the wine as it is a popular price wine and not a premium wine. We were both surprised at how mellow this wine was, no fruit per se, but just an easy drinking wine.
The other wine that we tried another night was a Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru La Grande Roche 1997 and I have no idea if there are that many bottles left of this wine and vintage. Montagny refers to classified vineyards in the Cote Chalonnaise region of Burgundy and all the wines must be made from Chardonnay. Years ago, if the wine reached a certain proof level, it was automatically awarded Premier Cru status, but that has changed and now vineyard sites have been recognized for the status, originally over fifty sites were declared, but this has been culled down to twenty-one Premier Cru vineyards. There are only a few of these vineyards that ever even get mentioned on labels, another mystery to me about Burgundy, which I find has the most surprises. Maison Louis Latour is a major negocient producer of red and white wines of Burgundy and was founded in 1797 and is still family owned and operated. Not only are they a negocient, they also own seventy-two acres of Grand Cru vineyards, and also the largest holder of land in Burgundy and produce wines in all price ranges; and one of the most widely recognized names world wide for the region. This is a wine that started out in Stainless Steel and ended up in oak, and while it sounds expensive, it is one of the most affordable Chardonnay wines of Burgundy. This wine also survived in the cellar and gave us a very mellow wine with some dinners. Neither of us could find appropriate descriptors for the wine, but we were very happy that it made the cut, so I strongly urge everyone not to presume without trying the wine, nothing ventured, nothing gained.