I am constantly asked to join wine clubs, I guess there must be a reason, but I am still ecstatic about my local wine shop and club at the Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. I may sound like a broken record, but this club, is more like a club and when I walk in the door, I am greeted with a barrage of hellos. And it isn’t just me, because I see this occur to almost everyone that I see who enters, and that includes vendors. It is just a comfortable shop, akin to describing your favorite pair of slippers that are just perfect and that you always reach for. Two curated wines every month for under thirty dollars, and it also allows you to get case discounted pricing, even if you just stop in to get a bottle, and even with our cellar, that still happens. I always enjoy my visits there, and I always look forward to the special event wine tastings as well, as some of the impromptu tastings. Sometimes there is just something new that they think a customer should try, especially if it is not the usual suspect.
The wine representing the Old World this month is Franco Serra Dolcetto D’Alba 2022. Franco Serra is produced by the Sperone family who have been making affordable premium wines for four generations. In 1911, Antonio Sperone opened a small wine cellar in Torino where he crafted vermouth and other fortified wines. He then bought a winery in Puglia and eventually built a bottling facility in Torino. They grew wisely and slowly and in 1983 they purchased seventy-five acres in Piedmont and built a new winery and they expanded into more markets not only in Italy, but abroad as well. The winery is named Serra for the region where the vineyards are and Franco for Antonio’s uncle. The wine is pure Dolcetto and named for the district (Alba). The grapes are hand harvested. Three weeks of maceration and then four weeks of fermentation in Stainless Steel; followed with three months of aging in the bottle, before release. The wine is described as having note of violets, red currants and smoke. A medium bodied and dry red wine with moderate acidity with tones of plum and blackberry and finishes with a touch of almond.
The wine representing the New World is Three Wine Company Faux Pas Contra Costa County 2021 and their sentiments are “the dirt, the micro-climate and don’t screw it up.” Actually, winemaker Matt Cline’s philosophy is that; the dirt, the micro-climate, and sustainable winegrowing form the cornerstone of good winemaking, and he places them in every bottle of wine he produces. He has a passion for preserving and educating on the historic varietals to California, such as Zinfandel, Mataro and Carignane. He and a like-minded group stood up to the State and saved an historic vineyard. This wine is blend in two ways, first the wine is a blend of forty-seven percent Carignane, thirty-nine percent Zinfandel and fourteen percent Petite Sirah. The Carignane is from the Joaquin Jose Vineyard which was planted in the mid-1880’s with an average age of over one-hundred-thirty years. The Zinfandel came from the Vineyard Lane and Oakley Road Vineyards. The Petite Sirah is from the Mazzoni-Live Oak Vineyard planted also in the mid-1880’s of which only 1.9 acres remain, but is part of the seven-acre portion of the vineyard that is planted to the same varietal. The other part of the blend of this wine is that it is a blend of rosé and red wine lots fermented in Stainless Steel tanks. The rosé portion is a blend of mostly Zinfandel with some Carignane with about twenty-two hours of skin contact and fermented for forty-two days. The red wine portion had the Carignane fermented on its skins for thirty-one days, while the Petite Sirah was fermented for fifteen days. All the lots were unfined, and once the blending was complete, the wine was aged for four months in Stainless Steel. This wine is suggested to be lightly chilled before serving. According to the notes, the wine begins with notes of pomegranate, berries and candied peaches and ending with a dominate finish of cherries. Strongly touted for fish and fowl.