“Where is my Surete-Scotland-Yard-type mackintosh?” as I ponder the last bottle from my shipment from A Taste of Monterey. This bottle has perhaps driven me to drink as there were plenty of MacGuffins along the way. In case you haven’t noticed, I try to go beyond the advertising blurbs to find interesting tidbits, at least they are interesting to me. Back in the dark ages I took a course in Journalism, which I do not adhere to, because back then, one was taught to telegraph the important points immediately and follow with probes and answers to the probes. I don’t feel too bad that I don’t write that way, but then again, I think that the “journalists” of today wouldn’t go beyond whatever information that they are given, they don’t even check for accuracy or truth.
There was plenty of discoveries along the way, as I began my search about Saber Brut Rosé Single Vineyard NV. I have always understood that wineries prefer making sparkling wine that is non-vintage, as a way to maintain a consistent taste year after year. Here was a sparkling wine made from the Mesa del Rio Vineyard and I do believe that this is the first sparkling wine that I have had from Monterey, as one doesn’t think of bubbles from that region, right, wrong or indifferent. What was interesting is that the wine was produced by Saber in Lodi, California. I finally found their “website” which was more puff and not full of wine information. The wine is produced using “Metodo Italiano” which is a fancy way of saying that it is made like a Prosecco, and the bulk of them are made by the Charmat Method, as the better ones say that they are made like French Champagne. I finally discovered that the wine is one of the brands of Al Scheid that I have written about in the past, and a couple of his brands. The story of Al Scheid is interesting. He first purchased property in Monterey County in early 1972, and the area was in its infancy for wine, and it was originally known as Monterey Farming Corporation and was a limited partnership that was originally conceived to take advantage of the tax shelter laws. For the first fifteen years he sold his grapes to other concerns for their winemaking. As he slowly brought in his family the farm became an estate vineyard and winery and he also bought more in the Salinas Valley to expand the winemaking. In the Monterey estate he bought out his partners and even bought another vineyard of Pinot Noir. They built a state-of-the-art crusher for the bulk jobs and created a small winery in Monterey for their craft production.
There was more discussion about the use of a saber for opening, which they try to downplay, perhaps for insurance purposes. I have never done it, as I think it is a bit pretentious, though there is plenty in the wine world that I find that is, and doesn’t make me happy, but that is me. The wine is ninety-eight percent Chardonnay and two percent Dolcetto. The wine was aged for six months in Stainless Steel using the Charmat Method. The wine is described as a light salmon/orange color with larger bubbles, with a nose of tropical fruits. A medium mousse on the palate and a short finish. I have read that the wine is rather “brut” in finish straight from the refrigerator, but then tends to sweeten a bit after it warms up. A rather unique description of the wine and when I actually have the wine, I will give my opinion. The other curious fact about the wine is that it had no foil around the bottle and wire and cap seal. I shall finish with another quote by the famed Inspector of the Surete, and I will understand if you are too young. After stepping on and breaking a violin “Oh well, if you’ve seen one Stradivarius, you’ve seen them all.”