The incredible variety of wine makes it an impossible subject to truly master. There are some great wines that are made in too small of numbers for more than a few people to enjoy. Domaine Romanée-Conti, which is pictured above, is an example, but rarity does not always mean that the wine will be $5,000 per bottle.
For those of us in the St. Louis market, our boutique winery is called Nicholson-Jones out of California. The wines are made by Julien Fayre, who will be in The Wine Merchant this Saturday, along with the owner Cal Nicholson. Cal is from St. Louis, which is the only market where the wines are available.
My common complaint about a wine from California is the overripe fruit, the excessive alcohol content and the dominance of oak masquerading as complexity. This is not the case with the wines of Nicholson-Jones which are very well balanced and nuanced.
The winery’s second label is called Cellar Arts. These wines are all below $50 and they make many of the more expensive wines from California look silly. The Cellar Arts Cuvée at $40 is the best example. This Cabernet-based blend is soft and complex, with dark-skinned berry and tree-fruits like cassis and plum.
On Saturday we will also feature the Cellar Arts Rutherford Reserve. The fruit is from a famous vineyard in the Rutherford AVA, but Cal is not allowed to release the name of the source. He brought a bottle by for us to preview last night. It is rich, but not syrupy. The quality is shocking for $50.
The powerful Nicholson-Jones Cabernet will also be on display. The structure of the wine tells me that it will be able to keep in bottle for many years. I’ve already got my bottle laying down.