“Let’s go to John’s store” was the rallying cry, Ms. Yoga was calling out. Now in the old days, that meant that they wanted to go to the store where I was the manager, so they could get some quality clothes to add to their wardrobe or to buy as gifts. That day, Ms. Yoga wanted to do some wine tasting. So, off we went to The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and Ms. Yoga was quite animated, and she had been to the shop before. This time I had introduced her to the owner of the shop, and she called the establishment “John’s Store” and without missing a beat, he looked at her and said that if I signed a blank check, he would fill in the amount and then it would be “John’s Store.”
We started out with a couple of white wines and the first was Domaine Louis Michel & Fils Petit Chablis 2019. Domaine Louis Michel & Fils is a Burgundian wine producer located in Chablis. They produce three Chablis Grand Cru wines, eight Chablis Premier Cru wines, several village-level and Petit Chablis wines. The Michel family has had the Domaine since 1850 and it is a twenty-five-hectare estate on slopes that were originally cultivated by Cistercian monks in the Eleventh Century. They produce about thirteen thousand bottles just in their Grand Crus alone. Back some forty years ago, they switched over completely from the fermentation and aging of their wines from wooden barrels to Stainless Steel. Petit Chablis is an appellation created in 1944 for dry white wines made from Chardonnay in Chablis and surrounding communes. The major difference between Petit Chablis and Chablis is in the soil, and topographically the soils of Petit Chablis are on a higher plateau to Chablis. The vineyards are on shallow limestone soil with full sun exposure. The wine was matured on the lees for around eight months and only using indigenous yeasts. The wine offered citrus and floral notes, and was a rather fruit-forward wine with a nice terroir finish. People that are used to popular priced California Chardonnay wines, might not even recognize this wine as a Chardonnay and it would be a great wine to pour for the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd.
We then went with a Favia Winery “Carbone” Chardonnay Coombsville, Napa Valley 2018. The Carbone family, one of the earliest Italian immigrants in Napa Valley purchased one-hundred-twenty-five acres in Coombsville and eventually formed the Antonio Carbone Wine Cellar and Italian Garden. They were very successful right up to the time of the Prohibition, as they were averaging three to four carloads of wine each month. In 1886 they built an Italianate stone cellar and residence which is still standing today and the residence is being prepared to be used again by the new owners, Annie Favia and Andy Erikson, who bought the property in 2003. Their Italianate stone cellar and residence, constructed in 1886, continues to stand today – prepared again to be a family home and winery. It is here that Annie Favia and Andy Erickson have chosen to set up shop. The “Carbone” Chardonnay is made from thirty-two-year-old vines, that are organically farmed and hand harvested. The wine is produced by whole cluster pressing, and the juice is barrel fermented, with a small percentage of new French Oak and aged on the lees for ten months. A pale colored wine with notes of citrus and almonds, with a rich mouthful of flavors including lemongrass, vanilla and other spices with a nice finish of terroir (slate). A very rich and understated California Chardonnay, that could also fool the ABC crowd.