People ask me constantly, if I ever get tired of tasting wines or if it gets boring. When I am doing my often times, impromptu tastings at The Fine Wine Source, it never gets boring. The comradery that is encountered, makes the moment special, no matter what they are offering to pour, as they know that eventually I will write about the wines that I encounter. Sometimes, the wines will be repeated, which is fine, as I get to rethink about the wine, and sometimes I can observe changes as it ages. Most of the time, if it is a repeat, it is another vintage of a wine that I had at an earlier time, and that is also very interesting as one can see, if a vintage can alter the wine. Though the old adage that a quality winemaker can work around even a bad vintage. Of course, at my local wine shop, I never worry, because they taste every wine, before they stock the shelves with an order.
I lead in with this introduction, because for years I had heard Tom Celani and all the philanthropic work he has done in the Detroit area, long before he had a winery. Tom Celani is lauded in the Detroit area for his largesse for charitable organizations that he helps in a grand manner. He and his father ended up creating one of the largest Miller distribution companies in the United States along with other beers and wines. Tom Celani fell in love with wines, first as a drinker and a collector and finally acquiring a Tuscan-style estate with seventeen acres of grapes and one-hundred-twenty olive trees in the foot hills of the Vaca Mountain range in Napa Valley. As the proprietor of the Celani Family Vineyards he has chosen to bottle wine without costs becoming a consideration, to him wine is about quality and not quantity. In fact, he was joking that he is not sure if the winery, will ever truly show a profit, because of his concern about getting the best wine each and every time. I have had the good fortune to have gone to a couple of Celani Family Vineyards tasting events, including once where I actually got to meet him. Needless to say, we have an excellent representation of his wines over several different vintages resting in our cellar.
The Celani Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 had just arrived. I have had the good fortune to have enjoyed the 2013 and the 2017 vintages of this wine. This estate is a small family-owned winery that has seventeen acres of vineyards planted on a twenty-acre lot. The winery was originally planted with Merlot and Chardonnay. This wine is pure Cabernet Sauvignon and had been aged for twenty months with ninety percent new French Oak barrels and it was bottled without fining or filtration. The nose on this fresh vintage was full of black cherries and blackberries and violets. It offered the fruit on the palate along with notes of cardamom and dark chocolate. The tannins were rich and seductive and there was a nice long finish of terroir, that complemented the already formed complexity, that will just get bigger in the next ten years.