Yes, church camp allows wine – from wine made by a congregant’s nephew, to members that love the selection at World Market, in a disposable box sent to me for review and even one gifted to me by my favorite Lil Bastard – a nice way to get to know each other better in the evening after a day of feeling very blessed, indeed.
Greeted by a beautiful shade of pale peach to golden strawberries that was crystal clear and moved to sparkling when swirled. The interesting aromas of velvety rose petal, peach and strawberry swiftly took over my attention, followed by flavors of cantaloupe, strawberry ice, somewhat dry and perfectly blended with a medium length. This was a favorite among many of the guests the first night of church camp and was brought by the member that brings wine every year to share with friends, Dave Margerum. (Dave’s nephew, Douglas Margerum made this rosé. And Dave’s son is Kris Margerum, the wine director at Auberge de Soleil Resorts in Napa.)
Brought by new pals, Orlando and Debbie Rice, that chose several wines to bring from the selection at World Market in Stevenson Ranch, the label got a lot of attention. I noted that the color to be a magenta-purple, with a wonderful floral aroma followed by black pepper and plum. The taste, some referred to it as “smooth like velvet” and “similar to a Pinot Noir in that it was palate-drying”, as well as deep fruit, tannins and nice spice coming away from the back palate and finish.
Orlando, a home chef, told me that he had never been able to cook with bad wine; and, upon learning that, he only cooks with, and drinks, the good stuff. Something to consider…
Given to me by wine enthusiast Doug Gould, his Short Lil’ Bastard wine is a take on himself, though I don’t agree with the latter part. Anyway, working with the winemakers at Leona Valley Winery, Doug selected his first label to be a Bordeaux blend: 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 2% Merlot. A nose full of black cherry, black pepper, vegetal and stewed fruit followed the color, the blackest of purples. Now, I know that doesn’t sound great, but let me tell you this Lil’ Bastard – in my wine-sogged memory – was the hit of the second night of tastings. It was tannic, dry, dusty but jammy and thick sweet plums, cinnamon and more black pepper pushed that out. The lengthy finish ended with a sweet smile.
Jack Tone Vineyards (3 liter Bag in a Box by McManis Family Vineyards)
After noting a color so clear, the palest of hay with a glassy edge, I found aromas of lemon-lime, honeysuckle, orange and an almost late-harvest sweetness. The taste was of lemon zest, white peach, tart orange, honeydew melon, green apple with a nice acidity and mouthfeel with a short finish that made me crave more.
The color was a dark purple – straight through to the edge and completely opaque. Aromas of a great spice cabinet with lots of nutmeg, dark plum, black cherry, some dustiness and eucalyptus. The taste was both dry and tannic, and though the color indicated dark fruit I got more raspberry and tart cherry, followed by pepper. The finish was short to medium.
Ron and Jamie McManis, owners of McManis Family Vineyards, announced the release of Jack Tone Vineyards Red and White wines, the first non-vintage wine offering produced by the winery and the first to be available in a 3-liter bag-in-box. With a nod to the rich agricultural history of the Northern Interior of California, the name is a tribute to Pioneer Jack Tone and refers to Jack Tone Road, the main thoroughfare that connects McManis Family Vineyards in Ripon and Lodi to the west.
The premium grapes for the red and white wine blends were carefully chosen by the McManis Family and reflect their ongoing commitment to producing wines from the highest quality fruit in California’s Northern Interior. In addition, the wines are non-vintage and the varietal blends may change from year to year. As Ron McManis explained, “We’re excited about this opportunity to offer wines of superior quality in this popular and convenient container. Non-vintage blending allows our winemakers to choose from different harvests, selecting grape varieties and optimum flavors to consistently produce wines of good taste vintage to vintage.”
The Jack Tone Vineyards Red and White wines are in national distribution in most major markets, including: California, Texas, New York/New Jersey, Colorado, and Florida.