When I spend some time tasting wines at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, I am tasting wines that I think will be of interest to myself, as well as for this blog. I am also looking for wines that I think will make my Bride happy, and I think they also realize that; and so far, I have only mis-judged her palate once, so I guess that is pretty good odds. She will remind me that I am more open to different wines, while she is much more open to different cuisines, and that is a given.
The first wine was Jean-Claude Berrouet (Famille Berrouet) “Herri Mina” Blanc Irouleguy 2020. This winery is the most south-western part of France, in the Basque country and adjacent to the Basque in Spain. Jean-Claude Berrouet is an Irouleguy native, who left home and worked for three decades as a winemaker at Chateau Petrus. He went back home and purchased a four-and-a-half-hectare property in 1992, and named the estate “Herri Mina” which in Basque; herri means country and mina means homesick. The estate is on rather a steep slope on the Pyrenees, and is planted with Gros Manseng, Petit Corbu, Petit Manseng and a small plot of Cabernet Franc. The region has been planted with vineyards for the last couple of thousand years. There are about sixty growers within a hundred-hectares of vineyards. The soil of the region is sandstone and limestone. There is a rosé wine made in the region, but it is basically just for local consumption. This was a beautiful dry wine, that was probably produced in tanks. The soft-straw colored wine had notes of tropical fruits, along with pears and green apples. On the palate, a big full-bodied white wine with tones of mango and pears and tangy and bold acidity, that was very fresh and a good medium count finish of terroir. I can’t wait for my Bride to try this wine that came home with me.
The other wine that I was excited about Roberts + Rogers Mendocino County Red Wine Blend NV. Longtime friends Roger Louer and Robert Young decided in 1999 to create a “first-class” Cabernet Sauvignon wine brand with fruit from Howell Mountain from a vineyard jointly developed by the two men. The first vintage was in 2004, and released in 2007 was for three-hundred cases. The original and still current winemaker Barry Gnekow described the first vintage as “this wine is so big it will be coming into its own in about thirty years, but is drinkable now.” In 2009, Roger Louer produced the Louer Family Reserve Cabernet from his personal estate and sourced from the areas of his thirty-four-acre estate. It was released for the first vintage under the Roberts + Rogers Winery label in 2012. This is a very special proprietary wine that was blended by Roger Louer, Jim Lufty and Remy Lufty of The Fine Wine Source and Vertical Detroit. The juice is a blend of two different years, hence the NV status and a blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Merlot. A very pretty garnet color with notes of red fruit and spices. On the palate a big fruit forward wine of black and red cherries, good tannins, well balanced with a finish of terroir. My kind of red, and I am sure that my Bride will agree, and this was a very limited production of two-hundred-cases.