Tony Sniffs Cabernet aroma at Steve Kent Winery

Steve Kent Wine Club – Who knew? Cabernet Heaven in Livermore


Relax — this isn’t a “I got it and you can’t have it” message.  Consider it a recommendation for wine clubs and for the Steven Kent wine club in particular if you like big cabs.

Over the hills in the Livermore Valley lies the Steven Kent Winery.  The owner is Steven Kent Mirassou — yes, that Mirassou family — so he has good winemaking genes.  Actually, “genius” is closer to the truth.  The wines this guy is producing out in the Livermore Valley are incredible.

It happens that the winery has several wine clubs.  One is the “future release” club.  I belong to it.  I get two bottles of a wine about four times a year.  A couple of days ago two bottles of merlot arrived.  “Who should we foist these off on?” I asked Norma.  We made no decisions, but last night (June 25 for those who care) we decided to open a bottle based solely on our faith in Mr. Mirassou.  It was the single most amazing merlot we have ever tasted.  Forthwith, details.

Steven Kent Winery, 2005 Merlot, “Central Coast.”  304 cases produced and distributed exclusively to members of the future release program.  It helps that the wine is 15.4% cabernet sauvignon.  In the tasting notes Steve describes cleaning out his grandfather’s cellar and discovering a “jar of cherries he had soaked in brandy.”  He equates the aroma of this merlot with the taste of those cherries.  We can’t disagree.  Steve’s tasting notes include the words “sweet oak, truffle, black raspberry, subtle olive, and loamy earth.”  He adds the wine has “substantial tannin and acid backing…”  We actually would disagree — the tannins are very soft and incorporated very nicely into the wine.

So here’s the point.  When you find a small winery you like, join their wine club.  Not only does it help keep them in business, it guarantees you access.  Some wineries have converted to the “wine club only” model.  More will do so in the future.  If you find a winery you like and they seem to consistently produce wine you like, join their club.  That way you’ll be able to buy the Best Wine You Can’t Buy.

Share if you feel like it