It was a beautiful day in April as I walked in to the Fine Wine Source to pick up the April Wine Club selections. The weather was totally agreeable, the perfect weather for just a sport coat to go out in the world. Earlier that morning as the sun was just showing her face during our walk, it was just as enjoyable. The perfect time to pamper one’s self with a haircut, and a manicure and of course some new wine. Once a month I go there to pick up the selections, and I know that it sometimes seems that I am living there, but that is really not true. By being a member of their wine club, one gets case discount price, even if you are just running in to get a couple of bottles. Each month they offer a wine from the Old World and one from the New World.
From the Old World is a bottle of Chateau Haut Tornezy Bordeaux 2019. Olivier Bannier, is a fifth-generation winemaker and his family has been there for over one-hundred-twenty years. The vineyard is located in Juliac, a village of 259 people, in the heart of Entre-Deux-Mers. The land around Juliac is known for their rolling hills, excellent drainage, a mix of different sun exposures and some of the best terroir in the area. The terrain is a mixed soil of sandy-clay. The wine is a blend of sixty-five percent Merlot, fifteen percent Cabernet Sauvignon, fifteen percent Cabernet Franc and five percent Malbec. The tasting notes for the wine offer note of red current, green olive, licorice and truffle. A classic Bordeaux with full red fruit, soft tannins, balanced and finishing with a spicy cherry finish. It sounds great to me, as I am partial to Merlot based Bordeaux wines.
The New World offering is Tortoise Creek “The Chelonian” Zinfandel Lodi 2018. This wine is from the people that started Master Wines. The principals were originally from England and grew up as friend since their early teens. They married at the end of their teens, moved to France and started Master Wines, selling lesser-known French wines to America. Back in the Seventies he was a big promoter of Georges Duboeuf in America. In 1992, he introduced a line of varietals from the Languedoc to the American market under the label of Les Jamelles and sold the label in 1996. He started Tortoise Creek in 1996. Tortoise Creek Wines is part of Master Wines and hence you will see the Tortoise Creek label some from California and some from France. Tortoise Creek has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation for turtle and tortoise research, and starting with the 2009 vintage they donate a portion of the proceeds to this non-profit foundation. This wine is made abiding to the Lodi Rules that I tend to believe everyone there now agrees to, and the rules may grow in to other areas as well. The wine is a blend of eighty-five percent Zinfandel, ten percent Petit Syrah and five percent Tannat from vineyards in the Clement Hills region of Lodi AVA. By using a gravity flow system, the fruit is destemmed, and then crushed and the initial fermentation takes place in Stainless Steel for ten days, with an additional week soaking on the skins. The malolactic fermentation takes place during six months in American Oak. The wine has notes that blackberries are noticed from the nose, right through to the finish, a complex wine of savory spices intermingled. A perfect wine for the up-coming barbecue dinners.