The month is almost over and I am just getting to discuss the wines from my local club, the Fine Wine Source of Livonia, Michigan. I am happy to say, that I was concerned that with the lockdowns and everything else, that I thought I would have to stop writing about wines. Some businesses had to cease operations, while others struggled and a few were allowed to exist. My wine club, I am happy to say has survived so far, and that is because of his reputation and his work ethic, two principals that seem almost quaint and antiquated especially in my state capital. The Fine Wine Source does not sell food, or bulk wines, liquor or lottery tickets and he survived by offering curbside pickup or delivery to his customer either by personal delivery or using world-wide agencies. He has dismantled part of the custom wine rack in the store, in anticipation that wine shops will once again be allowed to do tastings, allowing for “social distancing” and he needed more floor space.
Each month there are two wines to be picked up, if one belongs to the club, the first wine is from the Old World and is Chateau L’Eglise Saget Bordeaux 2016. Bordeaux is one of the legendary areas of France for wine and probably the first region one thinks of for this country. This chateau is located in Mourens village and was built in 1885 by former generations and is owned by Gaec Bouffard et Fils and son Eric is overseeing the estate. There are seven hectares for vineyards and though it is not located in one of the famed communes, the vintage is recognized as potentially being a very strong year, and it is the winery more than the vintage that determines a fine wine. The wine is a blend of sixty percent Merlot and the balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting notes suggest the fruit and velvety finish of the Merlot and structure and tender tannins from the Cabernet Sauvignon with layers of complexity and flavors of tobacco and cedar with a smooth finish.
The New World offering is Tortoise Creek “The Revivalist” Merlot Clarksburg AVA 2018. Tortoise Creek is part of the much larger Masterwines group which currently has six labels. Masterwines was started by Mel and Janie Master in 1990 sourcing wines from the Languedoc. Masterwines now produces wine in France, Italy, California, Washington and Oregon. Tortoise Creek is a line of single variety wines and they were originally in the Lodi region of California and the majority of the wines are certified sustainable. Starting with the 2009 vintage Tortoise Creek has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation and they donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit and the conservation of turtles and tortoises, and the Foundation was founded in 1992 to support worldwide turtle and tortoise research. Clarksburg AVA is located east of San Francisco on fertile flat lands and well known for their Chenin Blanc wines, while there is plenty of fruit harvested there, most are transported to other locations for blending purposes, so Clarksburg AVA is not that common of a designation to be found on labels. This wine is eighty percent Merlot, five percent Cabernet Franc, five percent Cabernet Sauvignon and ten percent Petite Syrah. The wine is described as having a deep color and aromas of black cherries and plums with the addition of herbs and spices with soft tannins and a silky finish. A toast to two more wines to add to the cellar and prayers that all will be over soon and more businesses can get back to doing what they do best.