There we were, my Bride was with me, for a wine tasting at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, but we were tempted with a couple of other wines as well. As I have stated, I think my Bride is truly the star when she enters the shop. The hardest thing is to get her to try new wines, sometimes she gets settled with a wine and this has happened over and over, when she finds a new “go-to” wine and I usually have to try to find a wine that is affordable, as she thinks that I am too capricious. I mean, have you ever heard of a wine lover as being capricious? Then there are other times that I just enjoy looking at her when she tastes something stellar. She was tempted with two stellar wines back-to-back, and it was fun watching her response.
The first wine was interesting as Rioja is a wine region that my Bride will tend to look for on a wine carte, especially is she is with her girlfriends as she enjoys the wines from this region. It was great to watch her enjoy R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja DOCa 2010. This winery is considered by many to be one of the world’s great wine estates. It was founded in 1877 and the Tondonia Vineyard is so famed, that it is now part of the winery’s name. The vineyard is over one-hundred hectares and provides the fruit for the winery’s top red and white wines. The vineyard is along the Ebro River and the soil is a mix of alluvial clay with a high limestone content. The winery is in La Rioja Alta and near Haro, and is one of the oldest in the entire region. The winery only uses fruit from their own vineyards and they have acquired a respected special guaranty. The wine is seventy-five percent Tempranillo, fifteen percent Grenache and ten percent Mazuelo. Since this wine is a Reserva, it is aged for six years in oak, and the wine is racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites, then it is bottled and stored for another six months minimum before being released. This was a pretty red color and offered noted of dried berries and vanilla. On the palate a very rich wine of red and black fruit mellowed with firm tannins, good balance with a nice long finish of terroir.
The other wine made my Bride gush enthusiastically the entire time while were tasting San Giovenale Agricola “Habemus” Red Wine Cabernet Franc Lazio IGT 2018. The estate was established in 2006 in Alto Lazio near the village of Blera. Lazio IGT is the most widely used of the six IGT designations for the region and encompasses all types of wines. The vineyard is clay with stones, one hectare in size and all twelve-year-old Cabernet Franc vines and organic certified. The fruit is hand-harvested in small boxes, destemmed and soft pressed within an hour of harvest. The wine is fermented for fifteen days in Stainless Steel using indigenous yeast. Then aged for thirty months in new French Oak, followed by six months in bottle, before release; there were one-thousand bottles produced. This beautiful garnet red wine offered notes of cherry and dried plum, vanilla and other spices. The wine was just full of fruit, vibrant, elegant, balanced and structured. The finish just went on and on, very long, and I have always felt that Cabernet Franc displays great offerings of terroir. My Bride was over the top, she was totally gushing about the wine, but she looked at me, and said don’t even think about it, as she was retired. Though I did hear about this wine during the rest of the tastings and even on the way home and into the evening.