We just flew back home, and I had to stop at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan to get the October Selections of the Wine Club. It happens to be the best bargain I have found and I have enjoyed some wonderful selections that I probably would have walked by on, just because sometimes I can be aloof, a common ailment, I think for most wine drinkers and collectors. Not to mention that I ran into a local wine celebrity, who may even be a better raconteur than yours truly. More to come about that afternoon, it is too good not to mention.
The first wine representing The Old World is Domaine J. Boulon Beaujolais Supereiur Vielles Vignes 2020. Domaine J. Boulon is now in its sixth generation since about 1850. In the beginning Joseph Gachot started with a few hectares of vines, as it became part of the Boulon family, the estate began to grow; and by 1973 they began bottling their own wines, and then they built a new winery and now have twenty-seven hectares including land in two Crus. Beaujolais is a huge area, just south of the Maconnais, but the area is part of the Rhone, instead of Burgundy. The region is basically entirely devoted to the Gamay grape and just a few varieties are permitted in small quantities. There are ten Crus, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais Supereiur. Beaujolais Supereiur has more stringent requirements. Like a higher alcohol level when picked, and a smaller yield. The grapes are hand-picked, and pressed whole then fermentation and aging. The wine is described as ruby red with notes of bright red fruits. On the palate tones of cherries and dried cranberries, and with a year or two potentially some interesting tannins and structure.
The second Fine Wine Source club selection was Buena Vista Winery Vinicultural Society North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2020. The self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista” was Agoston Haraszthy de Mokesa and by all accounts he was as vivacious as he was eccentric. As a metallurgist, he went to California for the “Gold Rush,” but in the end, after doing quite well settled on the “Purple Gold.” In 1856 he acquired eight-hundred acres in Sonoma after seeing an old dry-farmed vineyard there. The winery was established in 1857 and produced 6,500 gallons the first year. It is considered the oldest winery in northern California. One of his friends from San Francisco, Charles Krug, purchased some land and even borrowed a press from the “Count” for his first vintage. In 1869 the Count died tragically in Nicaragua and the winery was forgotten until 1943 when it was purchased by Frank and Antonia Bartholomew. They brought in Andre Tchelistcheff and replanted, and had their first vintage in 1949. In 2011, Buena Vista Winery became part of Boisset Family Estates. The fruit is sourced from Lake County and Sonoma County. The wine is described as having “notes of black cherry, vanilla and pipe tobacco. On the palate plum and black currant with traces of hazelnuts and mocha. This wine is full-bodied, providing a delicious and lingering finish.”