Well, I did stop at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, to pick up the wine selections for the month of December. As you have noticed, I spend some time at this shop, as they have a great selection of wines not normally encountered, as each is curated by the owner and his staff, and they have a great wine club to boot. It is not uncommon to keep seeing the same faces, stopping by to taste some wines and take some home; some days it is like a family reunion. While I was getting my wine club selections, they asked me if I wanted to try some wine, it must have been rhetorical, but those wines are for another time.
The first club selection was representing the Old World was Lini 910 “Labrusca” Bianco NV from Lini Winery of Correggio, in the heart of Emilia-Romagna and minutes away from Carpi, which is considered the Lambrusco Capital. Founded in 1910 by Oreste Lini, this family-owned and operated winery is now in its fourth generation. The current generation has maintained the family tradition of creating a benchmark for artisanal Lambrusco and their trademark of a dry Lambrusco. For some of their wines they use the Metodo Classico, which is the approved name in the EEC for making a sparkling wine similar to Champagne. The Lini Winery was also the first Lambrusco to get listed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of Italy. Labrusca is the ancient Roman name for Lambrusco and is considered by many to be the first grapes used to produce wine in the region; and Bianco means white. Labrusca originally was meant for the “wild vine” grape varieties and their clones and one of these is Salamino, and this wine is pure Lambrusco Salamino vinified white in a sparkling wine. The wine is from Emilia and was processed using the Charmat Method, which is the bulk production system used for Prosecco and many other sparkling wines world-wide. The wine spends about three quarters of a month in large pressurized tanks (the Charmat Method). The wine is said offer a savory and salinity experience with tones of red fruit and berries and juicy minerality with a clean and lingering finish.
The wine representing the New World is Three Wine Company Gather Red Blend Contra Costa County 2019 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. The grapes sourced for this wine are from plantings in and around the Bay Area town of Oakley in the north-east corner of Contra Costa County. All of the grapes come from vineyard blocks with extremely sandy-loam soils called Delhi Loam. The wine is a blend of sixty-four percent Carignane, twenty-six percent Petite Sirah, four percent Mataro, four percent Black Malvoisie and two percent Alicante Bouschet. With Carignane as the basis of this wine this deep-dark wine offers notes of black fruits and spices. On the palate black cherry and pepper (Petite Sirah), balanced with a lingering finish of pepper. Described as a showstopper.