It seems like I spend a lot of time at the Fine Wine Source in Livonia and the home of my local wine club. The matter of fact, it is true, especially for the last year. Gymnasiums, pools, spas, theaters and off and on restaurants and other public galleries were closed to the public. I have no interest in burning down Federal and State buildings, and supporting a local wine shop, seemed the best place to devote my attention. Liquor, beer, wine and tobacco were allowed to be sold, because they are all heavily taxed, I imagine that if brothels were legal, they may have been open, depending on the amount of taxable income that they could generate. The newest high tax item Marijuana was also allowed to be sold in commerce, as an essential business. Wine is the best solution for me, it allows me to continue learning, plus it makes surviving the lockdown more palatable.
Guado al Melo “Bacco in Toscana” Rosso Toscana IGT 2017 is the selection for the Old World. Guado al Melo, is a family-owned winery of Annalisa and Michele Scienza whose goal is to create great terroir driven wines, making it artisanal and based on sustainability. They are located in the Bolgheri DOC in the hills facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. Under the vineyards, is the heart of the winery, with a library of several thousand books about wine and a small museum of the history of the land. The Scienza family has generations of winemakers in Trentino and Michele’s father worked with the local wineries following the changes in the DOC and became rather an authority on the Bolgheri region. When he found out that the small estate, which had been a dedicated vineyard for almost two-hundred years was for sale, he couldn’t resist and in 1998, he owned property in the Bolgheri DOC. They attempted to create a name that honored the varied owners of the property, but in the end decided on Guado al Melo (Ford at the Apple Tree). It is from the Fossa di Bolgheri creek, that the vineyard has alluvial soils. “Bacco in Toscana” is taken from a poem “Bacchus in Tuscan” from the 17th Century and that Bacchus chose Tuscany as his new home, because the best wines were already being made there. The Bombababa was a Tuscan dance in vogue at the time and evokes images of Bacchus, Ariadne and their entourage of satyrs and nymphs frolicking after enjoying the local wine. There is very little information on the production other than the underground also houses Stainless Steel, and oak barrels in assorted sizes for the aging of the different wines produced on the property. The winery gets ten percent new oak for each vintage, and after maceration, the barrel style is determined as well as the aging, and then the wine is also stored in bottle after, before release. The wine is half Cabernet Sauvignon and the other half is a mix of Sangiovese and Petit Verdot which is why the wine carries the Toscana IGT, which is a major appellation of the area now, for all the wines produced that do not abide to the traditional appellations already based in the region. The wine is described as being deep purple with an intense bouquet of black fruit, complimented by spices and balsamic notes. It is said to have a pleasant acidity, balanced tannins and a medium length finish.
Kenwood Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016 was the New World selection. Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 in Sonoma. It was founded by the Lee family when they purchased the estate and winery of the Pagani Brothers that began in 1906 and were successful until Prohibition. In 1999 the winery was bought by F. Korbel and Bros. and in 2014 Kenwood was bought by the international beverage concern of Pernod Ricard. Kenwood Vineyards has twenty-two acres of estate vineyards and also sources fruit from dozens of other growers in Sonoma. The winery has been known for years for some of their Single-Vineyard wines, as well as some of their other collections. The first time that I ever had a wine from Kenwood Vineyards was their famed Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery has been totally refurbished and they maintain one-hundred-twenty-five Stainless Steel fermenting tanks and large oak uprights, as well as about twenty-thousand small French and American Oak barrels for their “small lot” style of winemaking. The “small lot” or “cuvee” style means that every barrel is of one grape and from one vineyard and that it will be blended if and when the winemaker is ready. This particular wine is ninety-nine percent Pinot Noir and one percent Syrah. The wine notes say that this wine is offering aromas of cherry and blackberries with notes of nutmeg, vanilla and cloves. The wine is full bodied with smooth tannins and an elegant finish.