Maker: Mari Vineyards, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Place of origin: Jamieson Vineyard, Mari Estate, Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Style: Red field blend
Purchased for $60 (winery, -media discount)
Appearance: Dark red.
Nose: Subtle. Toasted oak, black currant jam, blueberry, sweet cherry.
Palate: Well-balanced and elegant. White mulberry, blackberry, leather, clove, nutmeg, white pepper.
Finish: Fruity and a little chewy with a pinch of spice.
Parting words: Row 7 comes from a mishap when Jamieson vineyard was being planted. An unknown assortment of red wine vines were planted in Row 7. Instead of figuring out what they were and moving them accordingly, the vines were left in place and used to create this wonderful field blend, one of Mari’s most popular wines.
I’m not going to try and guess what varietals are in this wine, but it tastes like a Rhone or a lighter Bordeaux blend. It has a firm tannic backbone, but shows a lot of acid, fruit and a little baking spice. Row 7 is expensive for a Michigan red, but I think the quality justifies the price. Maybe it goes without saying in Mari’s price range, but this wine is one that you should cellar for a few years after purchasing. It tastes good right out of the box, don’t get me wrong, but when you’re spending this much on one bottle of wine, it’s wise to get the most out of your investment. This one could probably go another year or two even! Mari Vineyards Row 7, 2013 is recommended.
Maker: Old Westminster, New Windsor, Carroll Co, Maryland, USA
Grapes: Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot.
Place of origin: Maryland, USA (Northern Maryland according to back label)
Purchased for $32 (Glen’s Market, Washington, DC)
Note: 50 cases produced
Appearance: Brick red.
Nose: Blackberry, cut green pepper, allspice, a drop of vanilla.
Palate: Dry, medium-bodied. White cherry, blueberry wine, roasted red pepper, nutmeg, oak.
Finish: Chewy with a little fruit.
Parting words: New Windsor is a historic small town in Maryland, about 25 miles northwest of Owings Mills. It’s known for its hot springs and the presence of a Church of the Brethren mission center.
Andrew Stover, the sommelier behind the Somm Cuvée is based in DC currently but is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also the founder of Vino50 selections, a wine wholesaler that specializes in “regional” American wines.
I enjoyed this wine, but it was a little high in pyrazine (bell pepper aroma) for my taste when drinking solo. I don’t mind little bit of that aroma, but I expected something a little more refined in a wine this expensive and this rare. That said, it did pair very nicely with quinoa and lamb chops and homemade pork and beans. Maybe it just needed more time in the bottle. That might mean less fruit, unfortunately. So, I don’t know what exactly to tell you to do with this wine. Anyway, due to the relatively high price, I’m going to give this vintage at this time a mild recommendation.