I do enjoy tasting wines at my local wine shop The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and it is a bonus when they have a guest host, such as having Tom Celani of Celani Family Wines. We have had the good fortune to have some of the 2017 and 2018 Robusto wines in our cellar, as well as knowing that it is a great wine to have at a restaurant. Not only did we get to taste the new wine, I had a great Robusto story to share with him, that he may be able to use at another tasting.
Celani Family Vineyards was established in 2005 at the foot of the Vaca Mountains. Seventeen acres of vineyards planted on twenty acres of land, originally planted in the Nineties with Merlot and Chardonnay. The original Robusto was a Proprietary Red Wine, but it now is pure Merlot and aged for nine months in a mix of French Oak barrels. I have never denied that Merlot is one of my first loves, back in the Sixties and Seventies when I first started learning about wine. This estate wine is just a deep inky wine with notes of red and purple fruits, strawberries, cherries and some pepper. A nice wine with balanced tannins and a nice medium finish. I drink Robusto before meals, as well as during meals, it is great with appetizers and conversations, and I like it with pizza, as well as fancy elaborate meals.
Being the Raconteur that I am, I had to relate a story during a slight lull, while we were tasting the Robusto ’19, I had a story about the Robusto ’17. During one of my dinner club meetings, one of the men, that I usually share a bottle of wine with dinner, instead of ordering “well” wines, and he is a Pinot Noir man. The wine he wanted to order was sold out that evening and I knew that he would enjoy this wine, if I could get him to relent about the Pinot Noir. He said he was not partial to blends, and I finally told him, that if he didn’t like the wine, I would pay for the bottle; and that won him over. He wasl very impressed and gushing over the Celani Family Vineyards Robusto Proprietary Red Bend Napa Valley 2017, At this time, I think that the wine was a Proprietary Red, as their website did not go beyond that description, and some of the wineries treat their Proprietary Blends, as if they are part of the Manhattan Project. Oh, by the way, he agreed to split the price of the bottle with me, and he was very happy; he is also a mutual friend of the owner of The Fine Wine Source. I know that this story made Tom Celani smile.