I should really pay attention to my emails, and then I would probably know that I should be anticipating a wine shipment, but I am rather negligent. I am a rather strange duck, I guess, in that I don’t have the ring tone set on my phone, and I normally have the volume muted, as I have no desire to hear advertisements when I am on Social Media, I also have the volume muted on my computer for the same reason. I guess these are all reasons that I am usually surprised as I was the other day when we had a delivery from A Taste of Monterey. The odd thing is that nowadays, as the world is totally crazy, the driver rings the bell, because an adult has to sign for the package, because it contains alcohol, and outside of trying to find an adult, the drivers to maintain “social distance” ask if it is alright, if they mechanically sign for the delivery on their computer pad, which is fine by me, as he had no mask, and I always forget to grab a mask, because the door bell is ringing. I am definitely from another era.
Joyce Vineyards “Gabilan” Pinot Noir Monterey 2018 was the first wine that I unpacked from the carton, and I have two other wines from this winery. The winery works with thirteen other vineyards in Monterey, as well as their own vineyard. Joyce Vineyards began when Francis Joyce planted a vineyard on a steep hillside on his property in Carmel Valley, and was the start of the original six-acre estate. Joyce Wine Company is now under the supervision of second-generation winemaker Russel Joyce. They are basically focused on Burgundian style wines and they produce about ten-thousand cases each year. This particular wine has the fruit from “Danny’s Vineyard” which is a special site the Franscioni brothers named after their late father in their Salinas vineyard and the land is basically decomposed granite and limestone. The vines are about twenty-five-years-old and they benefit from the strong marine influences of the Monterey Bay. The wine begins by whole cluster fermentation in open top vats with cold soaking for about five days and primary fermentation lasts for about seventeen days. The wine is aged sur lie for ten months in neutral French Oak barrels and it is unfined and unfiltered. There were four-hundred-twenty cases of this wine produced. The winery says that the wine offers the nose of cherry, plums, tea and spices. They say that the taste is layers of cherry, pomegranate, plum and blueberry with an under layer of pepper notes and a finish offering chalk terroir.
Mesa Del Sol Vineyards Syrah Arroyo Seco 2013 and I think that this is the fourth wine I have received from this winery. Mesa Del Sol Estate Retreat & Winery is located on an upland promontory at the junction of three major watersheds, and has been a favorite place for travelers for over a century. There is a small stone water house and a portion of one of the cabins that date back to the 1800’s and it is believed to be a stop for the overland conveyance from the Mission San Antonio to the Carmel Valley. The hot dry air of the Arroyo Seco Highlands became a health center for those suffering from tuberculosis and other similar ailments. One of the more prominent visitors back then was Teddy Roosevelt. In 1927, a California Senator Fred Weybret purchased the property for his family and the new main home was built in 1936, and the family resided there until his death in 1945. The property then was purchased by a noted lettuce baron from Salinas, who named the property Mesa Del Sol, adding more buildings, gardens and a pool for his family. In 1998 another Salinas agricultural family purchased the property, they planted the vineyards and a trout pond was reinstalled. Since the gentleman’s death his widow has continued to restore the fourteen-acre vineyard estate, won awards for the wines and also has crops of fragrant Provence Lavender that is used in sachets, lotions and oils. There is not much of any notes for this wine, other than the soil is limestone and granite and that the vineyard borders the Ventana Wilderness and the wine was released in 2019, which calls for quite a bit of aging on their part. The notes suggest elderberry, currants, lavender, black pepper and sweet tobacco, and a finish of soft and lovely tannins. Definitely could be a crowd pleaser.