“Hello, friends” (in my best Jim Nantz voice) Such an iconic sports figure and such a charming personality. The legendary CBS Sports broadcaster is joining forces with a legendary Cleveland chef, Zack Bruell, for an excellent summer pour…courtesy of The Calling.
I had the honor and privilege to attend a luxurious event this week, a multi-stop wine tasting featuring the wine label from CBS Sports Commentator, Jim Nantz, and his partner, Peter Deutsch.
The free, public event, offered pours from The Calling, with a side car of back story from Nantz, Deutsch and Bruell, three pretty excellent story tellers. We were first offered their Chardonnay, a beautifully balanced 100% Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Tasting notes include stone fruit, citrus, melon, toasted nuts and vanilla bean. It was creamy, which to me, is rare with this variety.
Next we were poured an incredible Pinot Noir. Probably the best I’ve had in memory. 100% Pinot grapes from the same region mentioned above. I could taste cherry, and cranberry. What a velvety wine! Price point around $35.
And finally, we were offered a spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. It’s 89% Cab, 5% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 100% DELISH! It presented blackberry and plum tasting notes, with a hint of coffee and a lingering finish.
Fans of wine, Nantz, and Bruell could meet up with the trio at L’Albatros Brasserie, Table 45, Parallax or Alley Cat Oyster Bar, and hear about the goal of this new vintage: become the new great American premium wine brand. The big name broadcaster chose not to put his name on the bottle. Instead he wanted the wine to stand on it’s own. He and Deutsch got together after a chance meeting at a restaurant in Connecticut right after Deutsch had just finished reading Nantz’s book about his father, Always By My Side. Nantz had long wanted to get involved in the wine industry. Both wanted to start an endeavor to honor their fathers. Several years later, they have a brand their fathers would be proud of.
Nantz said he is competing to win. In fact, he said he wasn’t even going to enter the arena unless he was going to win. Sip for yourself and be the judge. The Calling is the official wine of this year’s Tour de Bruell. (I got my first stamp this week!) You can get it at all Zack Bruell’s restaurants and Heinens grocery stores.