It is that time of the year, as we have received more wines from another club, this time from “A Taste of Monterey.” We discovered the club by accident as we were wandering around the waterfront of Monterey, as we were going to have lunch at the famous Sardine Factory, not only was that a spectacular meal, we ended up buying some art at an art gallery and we joined the wine club at A Taste of Monterey as well. That was probably around twenty-five years ago and we joined their Private Reserve Club as a way of receiving some wines that are made in too small of batches to end up in Michigan.
The first wine out of the carton was from McIntyre Estate Vineyards. The vineyard lies in the “sweet spot” of Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands, a twelve-mile stretch of benchland famed for the wines produced there. Their vineyard was originally planted in 1973 on an eighty-acre site and boasts some of the oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. The McIntyre family purchased the vineyard in 1987 and they are among the first properties in the Santa Lucia Highlands to be SIP (Sustainability In Practice) Certified. It is said that Steve McIntyre has planted about twenty percent of the Santa Lucia Highlands.
The McIntyre Estate Vineyards Per Ardua Arroyo Seco Santa Lucia Highlands Kimberly Vineyard 2015. Per Ardua is the ancient Gallic motto for clan McIntyre, and “thru difficulty.” For three decades they have endeavored to produce a “Bordeaux Red” and this is their inaugural bottling. The Kimberly Vineyard in Arroyo Seco is an eighty-one-acre vineyard named after Steve’s wife Kimberly, near the confluence of the Arroyo Seco and Salina Rivers at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The wine is a blend of seventy percent Merlot and thirty percent Malbec. Primary and Malolactic fermentations were carried out with wild, indigenous yeast. I wish there was more in the production notes. The 2016 vintage produced less than two-hundred cases, so I will presume that the 2015 was similar in number and with an aging potential of eight to ten years. The wine is described as an amazing red Bordeaux blend; deep and ripe with leather, licorice and plums. Time will tell, as I will write about it when we have given it a bit more cellar time.