A Time to Remember
The last time we celebrated a specific vintage for wine club was in May of 2020 (2015 vintage). We were in the thick of the pandemic and it seemed as if making memories became incredibly important to so many. I wondered how we would remember that time 5 years into the future so I could not help but look 5 years into the past. That is the beauty of wine, you can make memories with loved ones while enjoying a bottle, all the while thinking about the vintage and what was happening that year.
2016 holds a lot of memories for our nation. It was a presidential election year and we had some strong personalities running. It felt like we may have been experiencing an identity crisis as a country. We lost some great artists such as David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. We celebrated Broadway with the musical sensation Hamilton. We got lost in our phones while trying to find Pokémon-Go. US athletes made an impact (good and bad) at the Olympics in Rio and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
This all seems like it was a lifetime ago, yet it happened just yesterday. The next time you open a bottle of wine, pause and remember the sweet moments from of the vintage in which it came from. I promise, it will make your life more delicious.
David Bruce Chardonnay, Russian River 2016
You won’t hear many complaints from winemakers and growers about the 2016 vintage in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma. There were a few hiccups like early budbreak and a little rain but uneventful for the most part. Winemakers love uneventful vintages!
Dr. David Bruce was a crusader of Burgundian varietals in California. As a med student he read about Burgundy and headed to the local wine shop, purchased a life changing bottle of wine, 1954 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for $7.50. This was one of my life changing bottles, but it was a 1990 and it was $750.00. Anyway, he enjoyed the wine with duck that night and envisioned himself walking among hillside vineyards.
David made his first batch of Chardonnay as a med student and was hooked. He then went on to open his dermatology practice and David Bruce Winery simultaneously. This is a man that followed his dreams and lived both passions to the fullest. Dr. Bruce passed away last year so I wanted to pay homage to his contribution to the wine industry somehow. Well I got the very last of his 2016 Chardonnay and thought we should enjoy it together!
Pair with Santa Ana winds, shrimp scampi and a fond memory of something that changed your life.
Founder – Dr. David Bruce Winemaker – Dr. David Bruce
Retail - $22
Vicente Faria “Gloria”, Douro 2016
The 2016 vintage in Portugal is one that I love, and vintners hate. It was difficult with rain in the spring and extreme heat in the summer. The reason I love difficult vintages is the fact that the growers and winemakers must struggle as much as the vines. They are pushed by mother nature to their limits and constantly pivot to ensure quality wines. Heat spikes usually mean that grapes are picked a little early therefore producing a dryer wine. The grapes may not get the long hangtime on the vine to promote higher sugar levels and the outcome is typically a lower alcohol wine with a bone-dry finish. Totally my style!
The Faria family settled in the Douro and became wine producing pioneers of Portugal. Seven generations have proudly run this winery and it continues to be family owned and operated to this day. Portugal is best known for their fortified dessert wine simply called Port. What most people don’t know is they make great table wines that are food friendly and a great value.
Perfect with grilled meat, strong aged cheese and the memory of Portugal almost making world cup finals.
Founder – Vicente Faria Winemaker – Lots of Faria family members.
Melée Grenache, California 2016
Many years ago, owner Tuck Beckstoffer was in Southern France and fell in love with Grenache. Tuck writes:
“Big, dark, elegant wines oozing with intensity and varietal flavor. Unmistakable. I began collecting these wines and opening them for friends. A few years ago, I discovered a small Grenache vineyard in Central California that reminded me of the vineyards I had visited in France. The soils are comprised of huge amounts of broken shale and a touch of limestone, which is very unusual for California. The climate is ideal for Grenache — warm, if not hot, days that are countered by the cooling breezes of the Pacific at night. I tried to purchase the fruit but found that it was under contract. I waited, and I waited...Finally, I got the opportunity to purchase the fruit and now have a wine that is in bottle and ready to share with you.”
I featured this wine for wine club a few years back (2014 vintage) and got a great response. I recently learned that the 2016 vintage was the last time Tuck made Melée, so I snagged all of it. Lucky us!
Enjoy with your Super Bowl BBQ and memories of Bruno Mars killing it at Super Bowl 50 with Uptown Funk.
Founder – Tuck Beckstoffer Winemaker – Tuck Beckstoffer
Retail - $35
Summers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016
Napa Valley experienced a near perfect growing season in 2016. The ideal weather lead to a series of warm days just before picking that promoted perfectly ripe grapes. Mother Nature left winemakers pinching themselves. The perfection continues, we are now seeing this vintage blossom as the wines are developing beautifully in the cellar.
In 1987 Jim Summers purchased 28 acres on Knights Valley that was planted to Merlot by Dan Duckhorn. In 1996 he purchased 25 acres of Cabernet in the Napa Valley and spent years brining it to it’s full potential. Summers signature style is an expression of the vineyard which lends a delicate richness to the wine. This wine is not new to Colony but when I was thinking of a great wine at a great price from the 2016 vintage this one came to mind first. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Great with a New York steak and the memory of how you overcame difficulty and you are a survivor.
Founder – Jim Summers Winemaker – Ignacio Blancas
Retail - $40