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April Wine Club 2016

Oconee Wine Club Selections

alamos

Both wines this month come from the Alamos winery located in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The renowned Catena family began making Alamos in 1993. Its name is derived from the poplar trees that line the high altitude vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina (Alamos means “poplar” in Spanish) and protect the vineyards from the mountain winds. Alamos notes that it is among “The Wines of Catena.” This is significant, because the Catena family is considered the “first family” of vintners in Argentina. The vineyards of Mendoza, where this wine comes from, are among the highest elevations in the world planted with vines, as they stretch up the foothills of the Andes Mountains and enjoy the temperate climate that comes along with this location.

There are many levels of vineyards in the vast Mendoza region, which happens to be the world’s largest wine region. This wine comes from some of the highest planted vineyards, above 3,000 feet, giving the wine a dry, exotic touch, whereas malbec from the valley floor can be more fruity and less complex.

This is an interesting wine that, based on its concentration and flavor profile, is an excellent alternative to more traditional cabernets and merlots normally found in the area. It might need about an hour out of the bottle before consumption, but should then provide immense drinking pleasure and will be good for the next five years or so.

Alamos Torrontes 2015   $10.99    90 Rated by Robert Parker!

A delightful expression of the high elevation Salta region, our Alamos Torrontés has bright floral aromas of orange and jasmine blossom. On the palate, this wine offers citrus and peach flavors that lead to a crisp finish.

Although Malbec and Mendoza are the best known names in Argentine winemaking, Torrontés is taking center stage a few hundred miles to the northwest, in the Cafayate region of Salta. It is believed that Argentina’s flagship white varietal was brought to the country by Spanish Jesuits in the 18th century. Torrontés is found in the world’s highest vineyards, resting at 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level in Argentina. The high altitude growing conditions translate beautifully to bright floral aromas and delightfully crisp acidity in our Alamos Torrontés wine.

In 2013, the Salta region had an excellent vintage. Cooler temperatures allowed for steady ripening and maturation, creating a great balance between acidity and sugar with great aromatic complexity. These conditions enhanced the fruity and floral aromas in our Torrontes, offering an ideal complement to the crisp acidity.

2014 was a good vintage for Torrontés in Salta, and the 2014 Torrontés from Alamos feels a little like a dry Riesling from Germany as it offers that mixture of lime and white flowers with subtle minerality and pungent, fresh flavors plus spiciness in the palate (curry). This would be ideal for Asian food that is not too hot. It would be interesting to see how this wine behaves with a couple of years in bottle as this has very good stuffing and acidity. Very good value for this quality Torrontés. Some 250,000 bottles produced.–Robert Parker 90 Rating!

 

Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2014

The pinnacle of our portfolio, the Alamos Selección Malbec has enticing ripe black fruit characteristics of plum and blackberry. Intense aromas of violet and dark berry jump right out of the glass and extend to the palate, where they are complemented by hints of brown spice and pepper from oak aging. This full-bodied Malbec culminates in a deep, luscious finish.

Tucked under the massive shoulders of the Andes Mountains in west central Argentina, the province of Mendoza is renowned for housing some of the best winegrowing regions of Argentina. The character of Mendoza wines is forged in high altitude desert vineyards irrigated by mineral-rich snowmelt from glaciers and snowfields. Altitudes range from 1,000 feet to around 5,000 feet, where the foothills rise steeply toward the Andes’ peaks. High altitude means cool temperatures and clear air, and clear air means more sunlight for building flavor in the grapes, helping to make Mendoza the source of Argentina’s well-earned reputation for top quality, unique wines.

Connoisseur Club

With encyclopedic knowledge of the wines and terroirs of the Rhône as well as his native Costieres de Nîmes, Michel Gassier is a restless and innovative vigneron. Usually inquisitive personalities like Michel start as outsiders. Such is not the case with Michel, whose family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Costieres de Nîmes for four generations. Together with his wife Tina, they are helping to establish a new level of quality for Costieres de Nîmes without forsaking the uniqueness of their terroir.

They have achieved this through nurturing their land, farming organically, promoting biodiversity, and respecting their employees as much as their vines. They are proponents of indigenous varieties and taking advantage of the diversity of climates to make wines that are dense and pure but elegantly balanced. Cercius is made in partnership with Eric Solomon and Philippe Cambie from several sites throughout the Rhône valley. Nostre Païs is the epitome of the terroir of the Costieres de Nîmes while Lou Coucardié represents the aspirations of Michel and Tina through conversation with the land and its history.

Mostre Pais 2013 $ 32.99

nostre pais
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Bourboulenc planted in red clay, gravel, & sand.  The vines are hand harvested organically and the wine is aged in 50% stainless steel tanks and 50% French Oak barrels for 6 months before released.  The past two vintages have been rated 92 and 93 respectively by Robert Parker.

 

 

Lou Coucardie 2011  $21.99

It’s dark color, almost black, announces a wine of great concentration. Powerful and extremely complex, the nose displays a wide array of aromas such as dark berries, spices, eucalyptus and vanilla welded in great harmony. Rich and velvety, without being heavy, this wine pulls its finish in a aerial display of fresh fruits and ripe tannins.

Blend: 48% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache and 22% Syrah

The Wine Advocate – “The richest and most concentrated cuvee, the 2011 Costieres De Nimes Lou Coucardie, which was bottled earlier in the year, offers up aromas and flavors of ripe black fruits, chocolate, graphite, licorice and hints of smoked herbs. A blend of 48% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache and 22% Syrah that spent 12-18 months in French oak, it is a serious, layered and textured effort that was hard to spit. While hard to resist now, it should have a broad drink window as well. “

Drawing for Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year set for December 21, 2015!

A drawing will be held on Monday December 21, 2015 for a chance to purchase a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old for $150.   This bottle is being sold on the internet anywhere from $300 to $600 a bottle!  Two lucky participants will be given the opportunity to purchase one of the most coveted, highly sought after bourbons of all time!

You may put your name “In The Hat” by filling out a drawing form at The Oconee Cellar.  You may only enter one time per person and there is not purchase necessary to enter.  Winners will be notified by email and by phone and have one day to respond.  Another name will be drawn if we do not here from the lucky winner.

Good luck and we hope you have a Pappy Holiday!

 

Pappy Drawing for Website

Menu and Wine Pairing for January Wine Dinner at Corrado’s

Menu & Wine Pairing

 

                                                                                                       Reception                    Price             # of bottles ordered

                        Scharffenberger Brut Rose                               $ 28.99

1st Course   Fresh Apalachicola Oysters w/ black lump caviar     

Wine A           2013 Kruger-Rumph Trocken Riesling             $ 23.99

Wine B           2013 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio                      $ 15.99

2nd Course   Arugula speck pear salad in a roasted garlic ranch     

Wine A           2012 Terredora di Paolo Fiano di Avelino      $ 23.99

3rd Course   Sicilian Sea Bass w/ a Beurre Blanc Sauce on top of spaghetti squash with grilled asparagus                 

Wine A           2012 Four Graces Pinot Noir                          $ 25.99

Wine B           2012 Ceretto “Blange” Langhe Arneis            $ 20.99

4th Course  Garganelli in a roasted veal ragu w/ porcini mushroom    

Wine A           2012 Zenato Alanara                                           $ 20.99

Wine B           2012 Kuleto India Ink Red Blend                         $ 39.99

5th Course  Sacher Torte 

Wine A           Ramos Pinto 10 Year Tawny Port                      $ 39.99

Receive 15% discount when you purchase 12 or more bottles of wine

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Name                                    Phone #

November Wine Club Selections 2014

November 2014

Bodegas Bula Montsant red blend 2012

Bodegas Bula 2012 Bula is produced by the Can Blau estate. The D.O. Montsant, where Can Blau is located, is a horse shoe shaped appellation that surrounds the D.O. Priorat on three sides. It should have been included on the Priorat appellation but was excluded. Can Blau is composed of 60 acres of vineyards with an average age of 35 years. The soils are similar to Priorat with Montsant being a bit more complex with a mixture of slate (llicorella), sandy clay and chalk. Bula Montsant is made by blending Mazuelo, Grenache and Syrah. These three varieties are very well acclimated to the historical region that today covers the DO of Monsant. The soil is clay and sandy slate ideal for the cultivation of the previously mentioned varietals blended in this wine. Aromas of roasted coffee, casis liqueur, and mineral open up and intense and attractive nose. Full-bodied with a silky mouth-feel and good concentration and weight. The flavors are lasting and very satisfying. The finish is long with notes of dark fruit and minerals.

90 Rating International Wine Cellar“(40% carinena, 40% garnacha and 20% syrah, from vines that range from about 25 to 75 years of age; fermented in stainless steel and aged in French and American oak for four months): Brilliant ruby-red. Smoky, mineral-laced scents of dark berries and licorice. Chewy and focused, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors enlivened by a note of black pepper. Dusty tannins give shape to the finish, which lingers with very good energy and sneaky sweetness.”

Pazo de Monterrey Godello 2012

Perhaps inspired by the commercial success of albariño in the western Galician region Rías Baixas, researchers in the late 1970s began working with godello in Valdeorras, in eastern Galicia. One of the earliest and best of the modern godello producers, Godeval, was founded in 1986.  Since then, godello has grown steadily more popular. Now, many producers make the wine, largely in Valdeorras but also in other regions of eastern Galicia, including Monterrei and Ribeira Sacra, and the adjacent region Bierzo in Castilla y Léon.

Pazos del Rei boasts the singularity of its origin, Monterrei, the denomination which is least well-known amongst the Galician wine regions. Monterrei shares the cultivation of the varieties with the neighboring regions: Godello with Valdeorras, Treixadura with Ribeiro, and Mencia with Ribeira Sacra, and is the only one of the Galician regions whose territory lies along the Duero riverbank, although it does not forsake the oceanic influence of the rest, a reason that serves to warrant the cultivation of the red varieties.

90 Rating International Wine Cellar“Pale gold. Complex scents of citrus zest, pear, flowers and smoky minerals. Fleshy orchard fruit flavors are firmed by juicy acidity and gain depth and spiciness with air. A ripe melon note comes up on the smooth, spicy, very persistent finish. “

 

October Wine Club Selections 2014

October 2014       The Oconee Wine Club

Hayes Valley Winery

Located in the northern Central Coast of California, the lore of Hayes Valley extends back to the days of missionaries and the historic El Camino Real. The land was planted with wine grapes in the late 1800’s, but the vineyards eventually succumbed to Prohibition.

Hayes Valley Today

Agriculture was restored to the Valley in the late 1990’s with the planting of new vines. The Hayes Valley is an ideal climate for growing grapes—cool, foggy nights followed by warm sunny days.

Sustainability

sustainabilityHayes Valley Wines are grown and produced at Clos LaChance Estate Vineyards and Winery in California’s Northern Central Coast, which was one of the first  17 certified sustainable wineries in California.

The winery is committed to producing the best quality wine possible while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. As a family-owned and operated winery, it is important for Clos LaChance to maintain the long-term viability of the land for future generations.

Hayes Valley Chardonnay 2013  $ 13.99

Tasting Notes

Hayes Valley Chardonnay opens up with aromas of tropical fruits—pineapples and bananas. Pears and apples are also prevalent, with a hint of toasty oak. Flavors of baked apples, banana and vanilla carry through the palate, along with a creamy mouth feel and a hint of butter. Solid acidity makes this a great wine to pair with many dishes or to drink on its own.

Food Pairings

Chicken dishes (Chicken Piccata, Roasted or Grilled Chicken with a light sauce), Seafood (Steamed Lobster with Butter, Baked Shrimp, Roasted Halibut with a light sauce) and soft, mild cheeses (Brie and Camembert).

Winemaking

  • Handpicked and hand-sorted
  • Whole-cluster pressed; settled in tank for 48 hours
  • Racked to stainless steel tank; fermented at 55 degrees F
  • Post fermentation: 20% racked to French Oak barrels,
  • 20% malolactic fermentation
  • 80% Aged in stainless steel tanks – filtered and bottled

Ageing and Blending

  • 20% New French Oak – 80% stainless steel tanks
  • Blend: 100% Chardonnay

Hayes Valley Meritage 2012 $ 13.99

Tasting Notes

A beautiful dark ruby purple. Lots of fruit on the nose; currants, huckleberries, blueberries and dark cherry. A hint of vanilla and green pepper. On the mouth, the huckleberries stand out along with a beautiful spice. Medium tannins and acidity. A nice smooth finish with a hint of vanilla.

Food Pairings

BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, grilled onion chicken, beef stew, shrimp tacos, beef stroganoff with mushrooms, Montreal-seasoned tri-tip.

Ageing and Blending

  • 25% New French 10% New American, 65% Neutral French
  • Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Malbec

Connoisseur Club

Mauritson Wines

With over 270 acres of estate vineyards and close relationships with longtime growers throughout Sonoma County, they are able to source and manage our favorite blocks from each vineyard throughout the growing season and select the most premium fruit during harvest.

Each vineyard and appellation they source from carry particular qualities in either the terroir or the farming style that they look for when considering a Mauritson wine release.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc $ 21.99
Dry Creek Valley
The 2012 vintage of Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc, is our best to date! The nearly perfect weather conditions throughout the growing season naturally controlled the vines’ vigor, allowing steady sugar accumulation and beautiful flavor and aroma development. In September we sampled the ripening Sauvignon Blanc every day, leading us to harvest our Hardie Ranch Vineyard in two separate blocks in order to achieve the complex flavor profile our Sauvignon Blanc is known for. The first pick retained high natural acidity and citrus flavors and the second pick revealed rich tropical flavors. All lots are hand harvested, whole cluster pressed and fermented separately to achieve immense concentration and depth.

The 2012 Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc is bright and fresh. Guava and hints of key lime pie jump out of the glass. The entry is vibrant, yet maintains elegance. On the palette, there is a harmonious dance of peach, passion fruit and crushed rock. As you would expect from a wine that sees no oak and no malo-lactic fermentation, it finishes clean and smooth with perfectly balanced acidity. Enjoy this wine with light appetizers, salads, seafood dishes or on its own on a warm summer evening. Around the winery, we fondly refer to our Sauvignon Blanc as our porch wine.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon  $ 34.99
Sonoma County
One of the greatest things about this wine is the diversity of fruit that we have to work with. Pulling from some of the best places to grow Bordeaux varietals in Sonoma County: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Rockpile, gives us a distinct advantage in blending. The fruit was harvested between the middle of September and the last week of October.

The 2010 Mauritson Sonoma County Cabernet exudes both elegance and approachability. Sweet red fruit is complemented by undertones of chocolate, wild mint, mineral, and hints of dried garden rose. On the front palate, the wine exhibits polished juicy tannins and lush red fruit, giving way to roasted coffee beans and sweet oak in the mid palate. With ample Merlot, the wine has refined tannins and soft edges. The small crop yielded wines with balanced tannins and acidity, making them extremely food friendly and ageable for the next 5-7 years.

Wines Poured at The Grand Tasting September 29th 2014

The Grand Tasting  Monday September 29th

 15% Discount when you Purchase 12 or more bottles

Name:_______________ Phone#_____________

Email Address:_______________@___________                                                                            

                                                                                  

Table 1 Savannah Distributors                Price   # Bottles

Bodegas Bula Monstant                          $14.99

Cuvelier Collection Red                           $23.99

Roque Colombe Chateaunef-du-Pape    $39.99

Ojai Chardonnay                                      $27.99

Bodegas Obalo Rioja                               $15.99

Left Coast Cellars Cali’s Cuvee               $23.99

The Royal Chenin Blanc (S. Africa)         $11.99

Chassenay d’Arce Brut Champange NV  $46.99

Table 2 United Distributors                   Price   # Bottles

Von Strasser Estate Cabernet                $74.99

Von Strasser Diamond Mnt. Cab            $49.99

Antinori Marchese Chianti Reserve         $36.99

Kendall Jackson Grand Res Chard         $18.99

Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Res.       $24.99

Cambria Chardonnay                              $20.99

Table 3  Empire                                      Price   # Bottles

Elk Cove Pinot Gris                                $19.99

Meiomi Chardonnay                               $19.99

Hess Select Pinot Noir                           $19.99

Hess Block 19                                        $40.99

Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem                 $29.99

Colome Estate Red                                $29.99

Table 4    Prime Wine                                Price   # Bottles

Chateau Teyssier St. Emillion Grand Cru  $39.99

Patient Cottat Sancerre                             $25.99

The Pairing Chardonnay by Jonata          $24.99

Castello di Ama ‘AMA’ Chianti                 $26.99

Neyers Sage Canyon Red                       $22.99

Livon Pinot Grigio                                    $16.99

Fluer de California Pinot Noir                  $16.99

Star Lane Cabernet                                 $29.99

Table 5  Quality Wines                          Price   # Bottles

Hiedler Gruner Ventliner “Losess”           $23.99

Novellum Chardonnay                              $14.99

Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Chard         $22.99

Cristom Jefferson Rsv Pinot Noir            $37.99

Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico           $20.99

Saint Cosme “Les Duex Albions”           $23.99

Tikal “Ptriota” Malbec/Bondra                 $20.99

Tournon Lady’s Lane Shiraz                  $49.99

Table 6 Northeast Sales                       Price   # Bottles

Brancai Tre                                            $ 24.99

San Felice Il Grigio Reserva                  $ 36.99

Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre                 $ 19.99

Viticcio Bere                                           $ 11.99

Tommasi Ripasso                                   $ 21.99

Table 7 Ultimate                                  Price   # Bottles

Cadaretta Sauvignon Blanc                 $17.99

Wild South Chardonnay                       $16.99

Tapiz Malbec                                        $19.99

Formation Pinot Noir                          $18.99

Lamadrid Single Vine Reserve Cab   $22.99

Table 8    Eagle Rock                         Price   # Bottles

Molet Prosecco                                  $13.99

Estampa Estate Malbec                       $13.99

Chozas Carrascal Tinto                       $13.99

Levendi Sweeny Rnch Chardonnay    $30.99

Levendi Sweetwater Ranch Cab.       $45.99

Tenute Costa Barolo                            $54.99

Table 9   National Distributing             Price   # Bottles

Domaine Charvin Cote du Rhone          $22.99

Ridge 3 Valleys Zinfandel                      $25.99

Charles Smith Cabernet                       $19.99

Sanford Pinot Noir                               $22.99

Pierre Sparr Riesling                            $16.99

Talley Aroyo Chardonnay                  $16.99

Table 10  Georgia Crown              Price   # Bottles

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel            $24.99

Ermisch Erendira Pinot Noir             $34.99

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec     $24.99

August 2014 The Oconee Beer Club

August 2014     The Oconee Beer Club

For the inaugural month of The Oconee Beer Club we chose The Dogfish Head Namaste.

The Story of Dogfish Head

The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when we opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state’s first brewpub opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area.

Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Our very first batch, Shelter Pale Ale, was brewed on a system which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath. Brewing 12–gallon batches of beer for a whole restaurant proved to be more than a full time job. When the doors to the pub first opened, we brewed three times a day, five days a week! The one benefit to brewing on such a small system was the ability to try out a myriad of different recipes. We quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when we started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers!

The beer wasn’t the brewpub’s only draw. The pub’s menu centered on a wood-burning grill. We soon became known as the place to enjoy fresh grilled seafood, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. The wood–burning grill imparts a unique flavor to everything on the menu, whether it’s a hearty sandwich, a delicate piece of fish or our signature pizza dough.

With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house!

The reputation of Dogfish Head ales quickly grew beyond Delaware’s borders. Calls from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and beyond poured in, as thirsty restaurant patrons demanded their favorite beach beer at home. We began bottling our Shelter Pale Ale in 1996 and just 1 year later we expanded again – this time we separated the packaging operation from the restaurant, and kept on brewing! By 1999, we were up to five year–round bottled brands in about a dozen states.

We outgrew our distributing brewery in a couple years and in the summer of 2002, we moved our entire production brewery up the road to Milton, Del., into a 100,000-square-foot converted cannery. Around the same time (just to keep thing interesting), we built a distillery on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we could make vodka, rum and gin.

A witbier bursting with good karma. Made with dried organic orange slices, fresh-cut lemongrass and a bit of coriander, this Belgian-style white beer is a great thirst quencher.  Namaste was originally brewed at their pub in Rehoboth Beach with their Italian friend Leo from Birra del Borgo. It was a tribute to their friends at 3 Fonteinen brewery in Belgium, who had devastating production loss (1/3 of their annual production) in 2009.

If would like to watch a youtube video about this beer click here .

 

July 2014 Wine Club Selections

July 2014                      The Oconee Wine Club

This month’s white wine comes from a very well known winery located in Adelaide Hills, Australia called Jacob’s Creek.  In 1847, a young Bavarian immigrant called Johann Gramp missed the wine he used to drink in his home land. Instead of changing his habits, he decided to start growing grapes and attempt to make the wine himself. It was a way of adapting to a new country, but still staying true to his character.  What he didn’t know was that when he planted the Barossa Valley’s first commercial vineyard along the banks of Jacob’s Creek, he was also planting the seeds of one of the most popular wine brands in the world that would be named after the waterway.  Today,  Jacob’s Creek remains one of the most well known, trusted and enjoyed Australian wines around the world. It delivers fresh, elegant and great tasting wines that show true varietal character.

For the Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2013, they reserved selected parcels of grapes grown in the Adelaide Hills region in South Australia. The cool climate of the Adelaide Hills ripens the fruit, developing  a crisp acidity.  Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay exhibits regional characteristics of white peach, nectarine and lemon zest with hints of tasted cashew.

Rated 90 by Wine Spectator, “This bright and inviting white exhibits lively flavors of lemon curd, pineapple and pear on a taut frame, lingering expressively. Intense and stylish. Drink now through 2017.”  This wine represents a superb value at only  $11.99 per bottle!

The red for this month is the Red Knot Cabernet 2012 by Shingleback.  Grapes grown in the McLaren Vale area of Australia are used to make this delicious Cabernet.  The McLaren Vale region is located 45 minutes south of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. The area is bound to the south by the Sellick’s Hill range, extends east to Clarendon, reaches to the north just beyond Reynella and is bordered on the west by the waters of the Gulf St. Vincent.

The Red Knot family of wines are designed for immediate enjoyment, full of ripe, fruit driven flavours. The style is bright, fragrant and varietal with the emphasis on fruit richness, giving the wine lover a delicious wine experience at an affordable price.

Deep magenta. Cassis, cherry and bramble aromas are highlighted with hints of couverture chocolate and cedary French oak. Rich blackberry fruit, firm chocolatey tannins and savoury notes define the palate and linger.

Rated 89 by Robert Parker,  “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2012 Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a fragrant nose of cassis, violets and eucalyptus with an undercurrent of chocolate box. Medium to full-bodied with well-married blackcurrant and menthol flavors, it is nicely framed by a medium level of fine-grained tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish.”  Another killer value from Australia for only $16.99 per bottle!

Connoisseur Club

The red for this month is the Chakana Estate Selection Malbec 2012.  Chakana founded February 1, May 2002, unknowingly at first, the same day the Southern Cross (constellation called Chakana by indigenous Andean highlands) assumes its upright signaling the start of a new agricultural cycle.  Chakana winery was founded by Juan Pelizzatti on May 2nd, 2002. Juan was driven to enter the wine industry first and foremost by his passion for wine, and also by the desire to invest his time and money on a product of agriculture. Juan’s mission is to create an integral experience to introduce world consumers to the taste and culture of the Andes. His vision is to become one of the top 20 exporters of wine from Argentina, by consistently offering outstanding value for money.

“100% Malbec aged in new and used French oak for 18 months exhibits a dense, saturated ruby/purple color along with a sweet perfume of charcoal, white chocolate, blueberries and blackberries intermixed with hints of forest floor and spring flowers. A wine of delicacy, suppleness and full-bodied power as well as tremendous harmony and purity, it will provide pleasure over the next 7-8 years. ”
92 PointsThe Wine Advocate              

The white for this month is the Jean Reverdy La Reine Blanche Sancerre 2012.  This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes grown in Verdigny, one of the top villages in Sancerre. It dates back to 1650 and has been in the family for about 10 generations. Originally the family was growing vines and diverse polycultures, but since the 1950’s they have been focusing on producing wine only. Christophe Reverdy, son of the late Jean Reverdy, now produces around 100,000 bottles per year on average and exports 70% of the total production to UK, Germany, Sweden, Japan and the USA.  The Domaine spreads over 12 hectares (29.64 acres): 9 hectares Sauvignon, 3 hectares Pinot Noir, and produces red, rosé and white wine. The age of the vines is 25 years and older. The vineyard is divided into 15 parcels located on the hills of Verdigny, Saint Satur, Sancerre and Thauvenay.

The vineyards are planted on three different types of soil:

– silicious-clay soils, “Terres a Silex” (east of the hills) – 55%
– pebbly limestone soils, known as the “Caillottes” – 35%
– clay and limestone white soils, the “Terres Blanches” (west of the hills) – 10%

Try this wine with any seafood dish especially oysters and you are sure to experience what white wines made in the Loire Valley of France are all about.  $ 26.99 Retail.

 

 

June 2014 Wine Club Selections

June 2014         Wine Cub Selections

The white for this month is the Chateau Vrai Caillou 2012 ( $ 12.99).  The chateau’s name literally translated means ‘The True Chateau of Rock’. Firstly ‘caillou’ means ‘pebble, stones or rock’ and you can find examples of chateaux named after pebbles dotted across Bordeaux – an example of a Grand Cru Classe so named is the Second Growth Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou (meaning ‘beautiful pebbles’). Why name a chateau after rocks you might ask? Because the stony ground it sits on is vitally important for growing the vines – most great vineyards lie on slopes or hillsides of gravelly or limestone based soils as vines need good drainage. Chateau Vrai Caillou lies on around 200 acres of clay-limestone and is located in the small village of Soussac in the Entre Deux Mers, on the high plateau of the range that divides waters between the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers. Chateau Vrai Caillou sits on the slopes of Butte de Launay, the highest point in the region.

Secondly the reason Chateau Vrai Caillou is known as ‘The True Chateau of Rock’ stems from the fact that centuries ago it was originally known as Chateau Caillou. Since 1863, Chateau Vrai Caillou has been owned by the Pommier family and its wines were noted in the famed Bordeaux wine directory Cocks & Féret in 1879. As was common in this period in time the chateau grew other crops as well as vines but when the Pommiers decided to concentrate on wine making as their sole industry in 1920 they discovered that another chateau had registered the name of Chateau Caillou, in Sauternes. Rather than change the name of their chateau Odette Pommier’s response was: “Ah! Yes, is there another Caillou? Then, mine will be the true (Vrai) one!” And that is the story of how the chateau got it’s name.

The Entre Deux Mers is one of those regions that is undervalued nowadays but in the past it was a hive of activity and wine making. It is criss crossed with Roman roads (one runs through Soussac) and the landscape is peppered with historical forts and Medieval châteaux, mills, churches and monasteries. Wine production here dates back to Gallo Roman times but it was the Benedictine Monks in the Middle Ages who helped to create the reputation of this region and its wines.

The bouquet shows peach, pear and melon scents along with smoky, citrusy, floral and herbal nuances. The flavors are zesty and bright with a minerally-clean freshness that defines good white Bordeaux. The palate-pleasing peach and melon fruit elements are enhanced by nuances of pear, herbs and smoky spice. The finish is dry and clean with an intriguing twist of citrus and spice.

The red is the Chateau Rousset-Caillau 2011 Grand Vin de Bordeaux  ($ 15.99).   Rated 91 by Wine Enthusiast, the wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet.  This wine will age up to 10 years from the vintage date.  The grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness. Traditional vinification methods with maceration at low temperature to extract the best of the fruit. Slow extraction of tannins and aromas, wine for aging. Breeding both traditional tanks and barrels for 12 months minimum.  Dense ruby, chunky, it has a surprising personality for a wine in this price. The attack is full of volume, a complex and delicate wine loaded with notes of caramel, cassis and violet, yet shows some maturity in vanilla notes followed by silky tannins, melted and a long finish. Wine of character developed in the Bordeaux’s traditions.

Connoisseurs Club

The white for this month is called  2012 Blindfold (“White Prisoner”) $ 32.99.  Rated 93 by Robert Parker!  Made by The Prisoner Wine Company, this blended white is an absolutely amazing wine. Created to provide the perfect white wine companion to The Prisoner, Blindfold is bold and intriguing. In establishing our own spin on a white blend, winemaker Jen Beloz and her team sought out interesting Rhône and aromatic varietals that would nicely compliment a classic Chardonnay base.  Through partnering with growers who are dedicated to cultivating alternative varietals in their outstanding vineyards throughout California, the result is a wine that is complex and delicious.  Aromatic and inviting, the wine opens up with subtle notes of mandarin and meyer lemon zest, complimented on the palette with delightful flavors of Anjou pear, roasted marshmallow, spiced apple tart and a hint of minerality . The finish is rich and creamy with bright, balanced acidity. The blend 35% Chardonnay 60% Rhone Whites (Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc) 5% Aromatics (Semillon and Riesling) is aged in 25% New oak (combination of French and Hungarian), 60% neutral oak and 15% stainless steel for 10 months.

The red for this month is the Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir San Luis Obispo County 2012 ($ 19.99).  Rated 90 by Stephen Tanzer, ” Fresh red fruits, flowers and spicecake on the highly perfumed nose.  Juicy and precise, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of blood orange.  Finishes long and sweet, with gentle tannins and lingering floral and spice notes.  This pinot delivers very good value and makes a gently priced introduction to the Talley style.”  Made by Talley Vineyards, the Talley family has farmed in the Southern San Luis Obispo County. The tradition began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of winegrapes began in the neighboring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas.  After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver’s son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality chardonnay and pinot noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms.  Don planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard that included chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 165 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.