I guess that with all wine clubs, it is fun to see what you eventually get for later enjoyment. With “A Taste of Monterey” as well as our other clubs, it may be years, before I open the bottle, sometimes by design and sometimes because one forgets. I know that the smart person will try the wine immediately, because if it is a winner, you can get more. Of course, maybe bragging a little bit, we have plenty of wines, some that should be opened sooner than others. And we never know, what we may end up drinking with dinner, when we are home.
The second bottle of wine that was pulled out of the carton was Pianetta Vineyards Sangiovese San Antonio Valley AVA 2019. Pianetta Vineyards was started in 1995, when John Pianetta bought a ninety-five-acre ranch and developed it into seventy-acre vineyard. His family’s background was in the fresh market produce in California going back to the 1920’s. At one time they even had a small family vineyard in Lodi. The vineyard is in the Southern part of Monterey County in a small valley called “Indian Valley.” The vineyard was basically planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and fifteen acres for Syrah. Originally, they sold their crops to other wineries and in 2002 they had their first vintage of three-hundred-seventy cases of estate wine. It is now a family business as his daughter Caitlin has joined her father and they now produce about 2500 to 3500 cases of wine annually and only in red wines. They have started sourcing wines from other vineyards and doing single variety wines. They also produce a “JUG” wine each year as an homage to their Italian heritage. This Sangiovese wine is from fruit sourced from the Lockwood Valley Vineyards in the San Antonio Valley. The wine was aged for twenty months in what I will presume was oak barrels, which would be the classic treatment for this famed Italian variety. According to the notes, the wine is offering bright cherry on the nose, with notes of roasted nuts and red fruit for taste, with strong acidity on the finish which means that it should be laid down for at least six years to mellow the wine out. I can wait it out.
The last bottle out of the carton was Mission Trail Vineyard “Friars’ Reserve” Meritage Monterey 2018. Mission Trail Vineyards takes their name from the Mustard plants that can still be found, as the seeds were spread out by the Franciscan Friars around two-hundred-thirty years ago as they planted the original vineyards in the area. Those original vineyards are long gone, but there are plenty of vineyards in Monterey, so those Friars recognized good land back then. In Monterey County there are about forty different varieties of grapes being grown. Ken and Robyn Rauh created Mission Trail Vineyards on the premise of featuring small lots of hand-crafted wines, from different locations throughout the county. Their goal is to produce robust and fruit forward wines featuring Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel and a Meritage. This wine is seventy-three percent Cabernet Sauvignon and twenty-seven percent Merlot. There were no other production notes available. The wine is described as deep Garnet with a nose of blackberry, cassis and oak. The palate will appreciate first flavors of plum and blackberry that layer into chocolate and cassis, with a finish of terroir and cedar.