September 2015 Wine Club Selections

September 2015

The La Compuertas vineyard is located a stone’s throw from the northern end of the Mendoza river. The property has very deep soil, down to nearly 1.8 metres in places, though part of the property is close to a hilly area where the soil is shallower and somewhat rocky.

LAS COMPUERTAS

Ungrafted Malbec vines planted in 1929 enjoy an abundant source of clean, run-off water from the river and a longer ripening season thanks to the region’s cooler temperatures. Over the years, this vineyard has used a Guyot system with narrow rows and low trellises, irrigation provided by furrows running down the slope, a method used by the immigrants who started the industry in our province. This irrigation method brings silt and clay that retain moisture so less irrigation is used.

Terrazas Reserva Malbec 2012  $ 17.99

The 2012 vintage is characterized by a very cold winter followed by extremely high temperatures from late spring to early summer; this lead to an accelerated increase of sugar rate and a decrease of grape weight. Then, temperatures dramatically decreased therefore slowing down the ripening cycle on the vine; as a result 2012 wines are very fruity and aromatic, with an acidity found typically when the end of the summer growing season is cooler.

Tasting Notes
Intense purplish colour with red shades. Very expressive, revealing a floral and red fruit profile of violet, raspberry and cherry, with marked aromas of toasted coffee and chocolate. Characterized by a broad and sweet mouthfeel, delicate tannins add finesse to this great Malbec.
Ratings
James Suckling – 92 Points: “This is seamless with extremely fine tannins and gorgeous subtle dark fruits with black licorice. Hints of nuts too. Drink or hold.”

Food Pairing Notes

Grilled meats such as chicken or turkey. Lamb cooked with wine sauce. Grilled vegetables and red oily fish.

Terrazas Altos del Plata Chardonnay 2013 $ 12.99

Harvest 2013 was one of the most important harvests of the last decades in qualitative terms, thanks to the absence of climate risk factors. It was characterized by cool climate trends, excellent health conditions and scarce rain. Mild temperatures contributed to an extended ripeness and cool nights helped with keeping a great acidity and a right aromatic development.

Golden yellow with greenish highlights. Highly fruity. It reveals typical peach and white fruit notes, as well as tropical aromas such as pineapple and ripe melon. Slight herbal touch and white chocolate notes. Excellent balance between freshness and a touch of oak. Hazelnut and vanilla hints in the finish.

Dedicated to Chardonnay, Tupungato lies at the heart of a valley with magnificent views of the just-there Andes. Shallow, sandy soil, and a dry climate are a haven for grapevines accustomed to growing at high altitudes.

CAICAYEN

With a 16°C difference between day and night during the summer growing months, the cold nights enable the grapes to lock in all the aromas and flavors the plants produce during the warm daylight hours.

Connoisseurs Club

Emmolo Merlot 2012 $ 54.99

This well-balanced and darkly colored wine evokes the scents of saddle leather, coffee and plum, with traces of smokiness amidst its rich fruit. A smooth entry on the palate leads into ripe flavors of plums, prunes and cocoa, balanced by acidity and a grippy tannin character. On the finish: a harmony of fresh earthiness, smoky notes and cocoa’s lingering, inviting warmth.  This is one of the best Merlot’s I have had in a long time!

Merlot is a variety that requires hands-on manipulation in the vineyard to make a rich, concentrated wine. Crop thinning throughout the growing season leads to a low yield of rich, concentrated fruit. Grapes are sourced from Emmolo Oak Knoll, which includes two vineyards, one of which r Frank Emmolo purchased in 1972. On an average summer day, Oak Knoll is about 7 degrees cooler than Rutherford, allowing for a longer “hang time” than in warmer areas, which means that they can push the grapes to full ripeness. Harvest came in early to mid-October, and the combination of cooler weather, crop thinning and gravely light soil created ideal conditions for producing a rich, distinctive Merlot.

Critical Acclaim

  • Wilford Wong 95 Rating
    Wilfred Wong of Wine.com“Taking a big leap forward, the 2012 Emmolo Merlot has entered the arena of the elite. Rich, lush and generous, yet refined and super well balanced; sweet black fruit flavors; long and lusty from its incredible aromatic nose to is pleasing impact on the palate. Winemaker/owner Jenny Wagner is making a great statement here. How about seared filet mignon over a bed of fresh greens with this baby. Tasty now, but will get substantially better with a half a dozen or more years of bottle age. “
  • Robert Parker 92 Rating 
    The Wine Advocate“Although this winery has been around since 1944, I am unfamiliar with its wines. Packaged in an interesting bottle with a label sporting green ink, this 2012 Merlot is made in an explosively rich, blockbuster style. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by oodles of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit intertwined with hints of espresso and chocolate. Full-bodied and super-rich, but not overly extracted or astringent, this beautifully made, full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal Merlot should win the hearts and minds of many California wine enthusiasts. It is the complete package – from aromatics to an impressive entry, a full, savory mid-palate, and a long finish. Kudos to producer Jenny Wagner.”

Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc 2014  $19.99

 

With a light straw color, the 2014 vintage opens with the soft aromas of melon and white peach, with an underlying note of pantry spice. On the palate, this wine offers a flinty first impression, evoking the freshness of summer rain hitting pavement. An initial tartness quickly dissipates, yielding to the wine’s minerality. Lean but with a fleshy fruit body, this wine remains dry and maintains interest with a lingering lime citrus finish.

 

July 2015 Wine Club Selections

July 2015

Dry Creek Vineyards

The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticulture reawakening in northern Sonoma County.

Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

Today, the second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that over deliver on quality. For more than 40 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades.

Dry Creek Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2013    $ 15.99

90 Rating by Wine Spectator!

The 2013 Heritage Vines Zinfandel continues their string of delicious and beautifully balanced versions of this wine. This vintage presents enticing aromatics of fresh blackberries, black cherry and toasty oak nuances. On the palate, complex flavors of raspberry, licorice and allspice give way to intriguing notes of Asian spice and pepper. The wine is dense and complex, but does not burden the palate with too much of any single character – everything is in balance and carries the right amount of finesse. The tannins are silky and smooth with refined notes that please the senses. From start to finish, this wine is a joy to experience and reminds of us of just how good Zinfandel is from the Dry Creek Valley.

Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc 2013  $ 12.99

91 Rated!

At first swirl, this beautiful wine emanates the classic Dry Creek Vineyard “house” style of Sauvignon Blanc with crisp lemon-lime citrus characters and a zesty mineral edge. Several more turns of the glass reveal tart green apple, fresh grass and a steely quality that harkens to a good Sancerre. On the palate, the wine dances with wonderful bright fresh fruit notes and juicy acidity. The wine is bone dry but not overly so – it has a lovely intensity that finishes clean and pure. A wonderful wine that is simply delicious!

Connoisseurs Club

Lemelson Vineyards

Lemelson Vineyards was designed with two primary goals: to produce the highest quality Pinot noir from our vineyards and to create a winemaking environment that is both aesthetically beautiful and highly functional.  The 21,000 square foot, gravity-flow facility features a unique mobile grape sorting platform and three levels to accommodate gravity based production of approximately 12,000 cases per year with extended barrel aging of Pinot noir.  Complete in 2000, the winery is located at the foot of the Stermer Vineyards, three miles east of Carlton, Oregon.  Lemelson Vineyards owns seven estate vineyard sites that are located in the Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills and Chehalem Mountain AVA’s and are all Certified Organic.

Lemelson Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir 2012  Retail $29.99

Integrating wines from each of our certified organic estate vineyards, Thea’s showcases the vintage, our intentions, and our efforts perhaps more than any other wine. The fragrant, spicy nose of the 2012 Thea’s shows black cherry, licorice, cocoa, and dusty earth. The palate is medium-full with vibrant red cherry and spice on the sweetly fruited, yet restrained mid-palate. The long, juicy finish has good flow, moderate tannins and persistent strawberry and spice. This wine will begin drinking best during the summer of 2015 and improve in bottle for another 5 to 7 years.

Bright ruby-red.  Black raspberry, cherry pit, peppery spices and licorice on the nose and palate.  Silky, broad and open-knit, with hints of candied flowers and smoke emerging with aeration.  Finishes supple and gently sweet, leaving notes of allspice and bitter cherry behind.  I find this expressive pinot very approachable now. 90 Points – Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar

Lemelson Tikka’s Run Pinot Gris 2013   Retail $ 19.99

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Tikka was a Great Pyrenees dog that used to patrol the perimeter of our two Pinot gris vineyards. Tikka’s Run Pinot gris combines early-ripening fruit from our lowest elevation vineyard in Dundee Hills with late-ripening, vibrantly structured gris from our highest site, Chestnut Hill Vineyard. Each year, one of these wines drops to neutral barrels while the wine is still fermenting. Churning caused by fermentation in barrel creates a wine with more complexity and texture. The 2013 is perfumed with papaya, white flowers and tobacco combined with notes of toasted almond and chalk. The palate enters with a gentle touch, offering a delicate balance between pit fruit and juicy acidity finishing with flavors of snap pea and stone.

June 2015 Wine Club Selections

June 2015        Oconee Wine Club Selections

Situated between the mountain ranges of Sierra de Salinas, Sierra de L’Altet, and Sierra de la Sima, the vineyards for Tarima Hill grow at an elevation ranging between 1,970 and 2,460 feet. Sierra de Salinas runs NE to SW similar to the ranges of Jumilla to the west; the vines are oriented NW to SE providing less intense sun exposure, resulting in a longer growing and ripening cycle and, as a consequence, producing a more elegant wine.

Monastrell’s intensity of fruit shows throughout the wine; red plums, black cherries, and raisins, and the toasty barrel power lingers as well. There are a few green, herbal notes, and the wine finishes with a lingering warmth and toast. Drink now or in the next five years.

Monastrell grapes are hand-harvested from small plots of low -yielding old vines. The wine exhibits deep garnet color with flashes of violet and a bouquet of dark red cherries and leather. On the palate, the wine achieves its full potential, offering notes of black berries, plums, and licorice with an elegant but persistent finish.

Tarima Hill Old Vine Estate Monastrell 2012   $ 16.99 Retail
92 Rating
International Wine Cellar“Opaque ruby. Heady, seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, Indian spices and candied violet, with a smoky mineral nuance adding vivacity. Sweet, penetrating and seamless on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and mocha flavors underscored by juicy acidity. At once rich and energetic, finishing with strong thrust, supple tannins and a whiplash of floral pastilles.”
  • WS 91 Rating
    Wine Spectator“Rich yet harmonious, this polished red delivers a core of black cherry and cassis framed with smoke, mineral, licorice and espresso notes. Juicy acidity and well-integrated tannins give this structure. A modern style. Drink now through 2022.”

Tarima Blanco 2013   $ 10.99 Retail

Since first hitting the market in 2011, this blend of Merseguera, Viura and Moscatel has been improving. This vintage marks a high point. Aromas of apple and peach are followed by a textured palate, while flavors of apple and citrus are mild. The finish is bouncy, weighty and straightforward in flavor.

Connoisseurs Club

Stuhlmuller Vineyards is located at the southern edge of the Alexander Valley, where it converges with two other highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. On its eastern edge, the 150-acre vineyard borders the Russian River. Situated in a location that is part river benchlands and part hillside, the vineyard benefits from its alluvial gravel soils and the more rocky soils of the hillside sections.

Stuhlmuller Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

This alluring wine displays a dark inky-purple color and head-turning aromas of blackberry, currant and ripe plum. On the palate, the texture is big and juicy, with velvety tannins and voluptuous flavors of dark berries and crème de cassis, as well as layers of saddle leather, sweet oak and spice.

91 Rating by Robert Parker!  Retail $ 36.99

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays lots of chocolaty, crème de cassis, cedarwood and spice notes intertwined with a hint of oak. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and youthful as well as approachable, it should drink well for 15 or more years.

2013 Estate Alexander Valley Chardonnay  Retail $ 19.99

This wine is medium-gold in color with enticing aromatics of citrus and orchard fruit, as well as hints of brioche, verbena and wet stone. On the palate, flavors of poached pear, apple, yellow plum and quince mingle with notes of honeysuckle, wet stone and Meyer lemon. A touch of creaminess adds to the rich character, with good acidity contributing poise and freshness.

89 Rating by Robert Parker!

The 2013 Chardonnay Estate offers up notes of white currants, peaches and orange blossoms in a medium-bodied style displaying a hint of wet rocks/minerality. The oak component is subtle, and the wine’s fruit dominates. This attractive 2013 will be flexible with an assortment of dishes over the next 4-5 years.

April 2015 Wine Club Selections

April 2015     Wine Club Selections

We chose two wines from the Australian award winning Jacob’s Creek Winery.  As an award winning Californian winemaker, Ehren Jordan’s boutique winemaking style embraces innovative techniques including late harvesting and wild yeast fermentation, offering a complexity of flavor and silky texture. Working together with Bernard Hickin, Jacob’s Creek’s Chief Winemaker and master of Australian terroir and intense varietal flavor, they have developed a range of wines that show the hallmarks of Californian craft and the rich, ripe characters of Australian wine. Two Lands captures Californian craftsmanship and Australian character, bringing together the best of both worlds.

A great article was written on this winery on The Wine Spectator’s website.  Click here to follow the link to this informative article.

Jacob’s Creek Two Lands Shiraz 2013  $14.99

A full-bodied, flavorful Shiraz showing ripe red berry fruits, subtle oak and a generous prolonged finish.  Ripe plum and blackberry with a hint of prune and dried fruits.  Give it a try with slow cooked sticky beef short ribs.

Jacob’s Creek Two Lands Chardonnay 2014  $14.99

A vibrant, generous Chardonnay with ripe, soft melon & white peach flavors balanced with a hint of citrus & finished with subtle oak.  White peach and melon varietal aromas with an attractive creamy nutty and toasty character.  White peach and melon varietal aromas with an attractive creamy nutty and toasty character.

Connoisseur Club Selections

As one of Oregon’s founding wineries, their history is long and varied. From planting the first vineyard in the early 1970’s to farming 237 acres in the north Willamette Valley today, a great deal of learning, experimentation and collaboration has contributed to our company’s and our region’s success.  On a beautiful June day in 1971, David Adelsheim and Ginny Adelsheim stood above an open field and were taken with the beauty of its orange and purple wildflowers. Five hundred feet below, Oregon’s north Willamette Valley stretched out in a patchwork of orchards, pasture and native trees. The field, rich with clay-loam soil, had a gentle southern exposure and was sheltered by the Chehalem Mountains. The Adelsheims had dreamed of planting a vineyard in the area since returning from a summer in Europe, where they were inspired by the artisanal foods and wines they encountered.

In 1972, the Adelsheims began planting their original 15-acre vineyard at Quarter Mile Lane with Pinot noir, Chardonnnay, Pinot gris, and Riesling, relying on family and friends for assistance. Although the Chehalem Mountains were, at this time, an unproven viticultural area, the Adelsheims were undaunted in pursuit of their dream to produce exceptional wines in Oregon’s north Willamette Valley.

Today, the Adelsheim Vineyard estate has grown to include ten exceptional vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley, totaling 223 acres. A new generation of experienced wine industry professionals has joined with David Adelsheim in our passionate endeavor to lead the industry in crafting consistently transcendent wines.

Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 $ 29.99

92 Rating Wine Spectator

Taut, tart and surprisingly generous, blooming with juicy, cranberry-accented blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that linger easily on the sharp-edged finish. Best from 2016 through 2020. 15,221 cases made. –HS

Adelsheim Auxerrois 2013  $ 21.99

When two clones of Auxerrois (oak-sair-wah) were brought into Oregon from Alsace in 1977, they knew next to nothing about the variety. Still, after tasting some test wines made at Oregon State University, their interest was piqued. DNA testing has shown that Auxerrois, like Chardonnay, Aligoté, Gamay and 10 other varieties, is a cross between Pinot noir and an ignoble variety called Gouais blanc. Auxerrois is also the name of the area surrounding the town of Auxerre near Chablis, but the variety has disappeared from that area and all other parts of Burgundy. There are probably less than 5700 acres of it planted in the world. Its early ripening has allowed it to flourish in Luxembourg (even achieving Premier Cru status), but in Alsace, the variety is now mostly used with Pinot blanc in the production of Crémants d’Alsace. In the U.S., only two other producer make wine from this varietal.

March 2015 Wine Club Selections

March 2015                                                  Wine Club Selections

Both the red and white wine come from the Minervois region of France.  This Domaine has been family owned since 1826.  They consistently make great wines year after year.  If you have never had wines from this area, you are in for a treat!

Domaine Tour Boisee Minervois Red 2011  Retail $ 14.99

A blend of the famous Languedoc trio, Grenache, Carignan, and Cinsault. Vinification of each wine plant is achieved separately. Maceration last approximately 21 days. The harvest is fully de-stemmed and the wine is aged in vat for six months. One may inhale the blackberry, the blueberry and the morello flavours. The tasting reveals well ripened berries enhanced with liquorice aromas.  Serves wonderfully with duck, tender red meats, and spicy foods.

Domaine Tour Boisee Minervois White 2012   Retail $ 14.99

Elaborated from the three main grape varieties of the Minervois Appellation in white : Marsanne (50%), Vermentino (15%), Maccabeu (10%), Grenache blanc (10%), Roussanne (10%), Muscat Petit Grain (5%). This wine is obtained by a traditional vinification, with particular care given to the pressing of the grapes. It has a floral and refined character
thanks to the controlled temperature of the vinification, which lasts for approximately thirty days. Then it is kept on fine lees until the eve of its bottling.

Once you perceive its golden glint and inhale its floral and complex notes, you will appreciate its soft apricot and exotic fruit flavors. The final taste is long and fresh with a light bitterness which is so typical of the terroirs of Laure-Minervois.

This wine may be served with hot puff pastry appetisers, grilled fish and seafood. The wine maker’s (Jean-Louis Poudou) favourite dish with this wine is fish baked under a thick layer of large salt (Poisson en croûte de sel) !

Connoisseur Club

Gundlach Bundschu Chardonnay 2012  90 Rating Wine Enthusiast!  $ 28.99

Aromas and flavors of meyer lemon, mandarin orange and fresh guava are layered with wet stone minerality and subtle vanilla bean. The lush and creamy texture, intense weight and lively finish give this elegant chardonnay an ideal balance of freshness and sophistication, and make the 2012 vintage a classic example of the character of the old vines and ancient soils of this vineyard.

This is a polished Chardonnay, fruity in Meyer lemon and lime yet mellow and honeyed on the palate, buoyed by tight acidity and just enough spice. There’s a balance of depth and breadth to this wine, and a lengthy finish. Some fruit comes from 40-year-old vines planted to Heritage Selections of the Robert Young clone.

Tenshen Winery Red 2013  $ 24.99

Tensley Wines owner and winemaker Joey Tensley and TGIC founder, vintner and CEO Alex Guarachi announce the launch of tenshen, a new red Rhône varietal blend from Santa Barbara County AVA . Through tenshen, Tensley and Guarachi collaborate to capture the unique Santa Barbara County regional expressions of Rhône varietals, as harvested at the perfect moment of ripening.

Joey Tensley has a strong following for his acclaimed Santa Barbara County boutique wine label, Tensley Wines. Alex Guarachi, a winemaker in his own right with Guarachi Family Wines, has grown his import, marketing and product development company, TGIC, to become the second largest importer of South American wines in the US over $10.

Tenshen is a play on words that nods to Tensley’s winemaking acumen and the tension that occurs with harvesting. Tension is a tenacious energy that a wine possesses, inspired by the process of picking at the just-ripe-enough precipice and then getting out of the way. Alex Guarachi and Joey Tensley believe that great red wine is all about tension and the elusiveness of this characteristic. As such, the labyrinth design of the label is emblematic of this puzzle or challenge that winemakers face.

90-92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

 Made by Joey Tensley, there are 3,500 cases of the 2013 Red Wine to go around. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Merlot that’s brought up in roughly 20% new oak, it should be a smoking value. Showing lots of purple fruits, white pepper and spring flower like nuances, it has terrific richness, sweet tannin and a big finish. (JD)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Offers a fresh, lively array of complex flavors, extending from ripe, juicy plum and black cherry to subtle tar, rose petal and dried herb notes. Features a supple texture and good length. Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Merlot.

 

February 2015 Wine Club Selections

February 2015                 Wine Club Selections

Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec 2012  $ 16.99

Finca SOPHENIA is an argentine winery recognized as one of the top quality wine producers from Argentina.  To achieve its goals, Roberto Luka, its founder and conductor, chose Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza, one of the most prestigious regions to produce high quality wines. The result was quite rewarding and the wines have already been praised by the wine writers in Europe, America and Asia. Roberto Luka, inspirer of Finca SOPHENIA, holds a recognized background in the wine world. He was Managing Director of one of the main wine exporter companies of his country and President of Wines of Argentina.  In 1997, he founded Finca SOPHENIA naming it this way after the names of his partner´s daughter, Sophia and his own daughter, Eugenia.  The wine making team is integrated by Lic. Germán Masera and winemaker Matías Michelini. Region of origin: Estate grown and bottled at, Tupungato, GualtallaryMendoza, Argentina. Vineyards: By the Andes, altitude 4000 feet. Soils of alluvial origin, loose and highly permeable structure. Special handling of pruning, irrigation and canopy to obtain low yields and grapes of the highest quality. Ageing: 10-12 months in French and American oak barrels. Tasting notes: Intense violet color. In the nose, aromas of ripe red fruit, with a highlighted presence of floral notes, perfectly harmonized with aromas coming from the oak aging. In the mouth it is smooth and velvety with sweet tannins. Robert Parke 91 Rated! “The 2012 Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec has a clean floral component intermixed with ripe red and blue fruit and sweet spices. It feels very harmonious both in the nose and in the medium-bodied palate, where the acidity is the backbone of the wine. It has great freshness, round tannins and pure flavors. This represents very good value. Drink 2014-2018.

Finca Sophenia Reserve Chardonnay 2012  $ 14.99

Region of origin: Estate grown and bottled at, Tupungato, GualtallaryMendoza, Argentina. Winemaking team: Germán Masera and Matías Michelini Vineyards: By the Andes, altitude 4000 feet. Soils of alluvial origin, loose and highly permeable structure. Special handling of pruning, irrigation and canopy to obtain low yields and grapes of the highest quality. Vinification: Harvest exclusively by hand by the end of February. Grape cluster selection (sorting table). Must cold maceration during 10 days. Fermentation through selected yeasts at controlled temperature:15-17 C- during 25 days. 25 % of wine fermentation in new French oak barrels during 6 months. Tasting notes: Golden yellow color of good intensity. Intense tropical fruits: pineapple, mango, and peach, with delicate citric and mineral hints. Vanilla and toast notes confer elegance and complexity. In the mouth, it shows a concentrated sweet entrance of good balance leading to a fresh and persistent finish.

Connoisseur Club

Buehler Vineyards Buehler Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in the mountains east of St. Helena in Napa Valley.  Situated north of Pritchard Hill and Conn Valley, near the base of Howell Mountain, our hillside vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller blocks of old-vine Zinfandel.  The family has been farming this beautiful estate for thirty-six years.  We combine that experience and the unique terroir of our hillside vineyards with low yields, meticulous vineyard management, and minimalist winemaking techniques to create wines of uncommon complexity and depth, and to present these wines to wine lovers at reasonable prices.

Buehler Vineyards Chardonnay 2013  $17.99

This Russian River Chardonnay is born from two vineyards within the Russian River appellation: Wood Vineyard, located on River Rd and River Vineyard, located in the heart of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley on East Side Road. The floral, mineral, and lime aromas and steely structure of the River Vineyard are complemented by the peach and apricot aromas and more fleshy structure of the Wood Vineyard. The Russian River Chardonnay displays abundant floral/ stone fruit aromas lightly accented by toasty, graham cracker sur-lie qualities. The mouthfeel is creamy and full but the natural acidity of the Russian River fruit carries this velvet textured package to a long, clean finish.

Buehler Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet 2012 $ 34.99

Situated in the mountains above Conn Valley and near the base of Howell Mountain, the Buehler Estate vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. The topography of steeply sloped hillsides with eastern exposures against very gently sloping hills with southern and southwestern exposures hints at the tumultuous geologic past of the Estate; extensive faulting resulted in at least three distinct soil types. Not surprisingly, grapes grown on the different soils give different characteristics to the finished wines; these differences are often as great as the differences between various Bordeaux varieties and allow us to blend within the variety of Cabernet Sauvignon to craft a truly multi-faceted Estate wine. After the completion of the primary fermentation, the wine is delivered to barrels to initiate the secondary malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged 18 months in barrels: 35% of which were new French oak, and 5% of which were new American oak barrels. The aromas hint at black fruit: ripe black cherries and black plums. Enticing barrel qualities of cola and spice complement the fruit aromas. On the palate, the wine shows layers of deeply extracted flavors that only mature hillside vineyards can give. Our Estate Cabernet is the most age-worthy wine we produce. Enjoy for 15- 20 years from the vintage.

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 #

January 2015 Wine Club Selections

January 2015                    The Oconee Wine Club Selections

Valentin Bianchi Cabernet Sauvignon 2011   $ 16.99

Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of the oldest and most important wineries in South America. It is a symbol of tradition, nobility and quality in Argentine wines. Started in 1928 by Don Valentin Bianchi, they have won world attention and acclaim since 1934 starting with the “Maximum Quality” honor in Mendoza. On August 12, 1968, Don Valentin Bianchi passed away. However, the tradition that he firmly established continues to live on in his successors.

Today, Valentin Eduardo Bianchi and Ricardo Stradella Bianchi have brought the winery into the modern era. Valentin is the President of the winery while Ricardo is the Chief Financial Officer. Recently, they enlisted the aid of California winemaker, Robert Pepi. He has helped them refine some of their techniques and the new wines show the style that this new breed of management exemplifies. Pepi believes that Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the future of this winery.

90 Rating Wine Enthusiast!

Wine Enthusiast“This is a superb value Cabernet. Black-fruit aromas come with touches of licorice, herbs and marzipan. The palate has an elegance to it, while flavors of berry fruits, cassis, chocolate and fig finish smooth and long. Bianchi has always made good Cabernet, but this one is better than usual. Best Buy”

Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $ 10.99

89 Rating Best Buy!

“Tropical more than green and pungent, this fragrant wine offers powdery, sweet notes and stronger coastal ones. It’s lean and angular in feel, with oceanic flavors of nettle, tangerine and lemon. A light green flavor and a chalky feel make up the finish.”

The grapes were harvested between March 21 and April 15, in different stages, with 20.8-22.8º Brix, depending on the exposure of the parcels and the clone. The 2013 harvest stood out as the coldest season ever, leading to lower pH levels, higher acidity and juiciness, and a powerful aromatic expression. At the winery, the grapes were macerated in a pneumatic press at low temperatures for eight hours in order to enhance aromas and flavors. Afterwards, the wine was cooled to controlled temperatures (46º F) before being clarified to 60-120 NTU. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out at low temperatures (54-55°F, finishing at 60°F)  in stainless steel tanks for 18 days. The wine was aged on its lees for five months to round it out and improve the texture on the palate.

Tasting Notes

Showcasing expressive minerality, the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is marked by a powerful aromatic intensity and a wide aromatic spectrum, with herbal, citric and tropical notes. It is fresh on the palate, offering a crisp, tangy acidity and a juicy, citric finish.

Food Pairing

Pair with crab cakes, chicken tarragon or mussels.

Connoiseurs Club

Chateau Ducla 2012 White Bordeaux $ 18.99

Acquired by the Mau family in 1920, Chateau Ducla comprises some 80 hectares in the heart of the Entre Deux Mers region. The château combines longstanding authenticity and tradition and today offers wines that embody the Bordeaux tradition. Production area encompasses the Castets, Saint Hilaire, &Saint Exupéry. The appellation is in the Gironde region with Semillon and Sauvignon grapes, Bordeaux white are fruity, scented, and perfect served with seafood. The soil is silt-clay-limestone grown on the hillsides.

88 Points Wine Enthusiast

Tangy and fruity, this is a lively, bright wine that has added weight from light wood aging. Citrus and apple flavors show strong and bright to give a crisp, textured aftertaste.

Emeritus Hallberg Ranch Russian River Pinot Noir 2011 $ 36.99

93 Rating Wine Spectator #26 in The Top 100 Wines for 2014

“Impressive, offering richness, vibrancy and subtle charm, marked by snappy blackberry, red berry, spice, sage and underbrush notes. Ends with a minerally edge that holds the flavors. Drink now through 2021. 11,100 cases made. ”

In 1999 Emeritus was born when Brice Cutrer Jones closed on the purchase of Don and Marcia Hallberg’s prime apple orchard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The 115–acre parcel, the Hallberg Ranch, is located two miles north of Sebastopol, on both sides of the Gravenstein Highway and directly on the Gold Ridge—the ten-mile long ridge that bears the name of the predominate soils of the area.

After acquiring the Hallberg property in 1999, Emeritus cleared the land over a three-year period and established a Pinot Noir vineyard with rootstocks and clones specifically chosen for the soils and orientation. The first few harvests were sold to various wineries in the area while Emeritus experimented with small lots of Pinot, and began to outfit the Hallberg barn with fermentation vats, barrels, and environmental controls. Then, in 2004, Brice finally convinced longtime Pinotphile, Burgundy–trained winemaker Don Blackburn to join the team. Don came aboard the day before the first harvest of the William Wesley Vineyard and established the hallmark style of Emeritus—that of elegance and charm. We lost Don to a brief but serious illness after the ’08 harvest, but his protégé, Nicolas Cantacuzene, stepped into his shoes and continues his quest: to produce an authentic wine of great distinction, one that represents its vineyard heritage, a wine of great balance, elegance and charm.

December 2014 Wine Club Selections

December 2014

This month I chose two French wines both rated 92 by Robert Parker!

Chateau Pesquie Terrasses 2012 $ 13.99

Chateau Pesquie is one of Robert Parker’s all time favorite French wine producers, and the Wine Advocate clearly shows the love with three 90+ ratings for the last four vintages.

The 2012 Cuvee des Terrasses is another brilliant example of an elegant and fruit forward wine from Pesquie. The talented brothers Alexandre & Frederic Chaudiere took the outstanding growing conditions in 2012 and turned it into a fabulous Rhone style wine. Don’t miss it!

Located at the foot of Mount Ventoux, Chateau Pesquie has one of the longer histories in the region. In the early 1970’s, Odette & Rene Bastide, bought Chateau Pesquie from an heir of the famous Provençal writer, Alphonse Daudet. They were wine pioneers, as the Southern Rhone wine appellation of Cotes du Ventoux was not created until 1973. Rene & Odette completely replanted the vineyards and the results of that initial work are paying huge dividends as their Syrah and Grenache vines now average 35 to 40 years of age. Although the Chateau Pesquie vineyards are situated in the southern Rhone Valley, the altitude and cooler temperatures of Mont Ventoux lend the terroir more northern characteristics of texture and finesse. With notes of blueberries, cherry liqueur, licorice and spices the 2012 Pesquie Terrasses is a terrific value red.

92 Rated by Robert Parker!

The Wine Advocate“In the same mold and an awesome value year in and year out, the 2012 Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee des Terrasses is a blend of 70% Grenache (60-year-old vines) and 30% Syrah (30+-year-old vines) that was aged two-thirds in concrete (and some in stainless steel) and one-third in older oak. Made from a blend of different terroirs on the estate (and basically declassified Quintessence) and coming from hillside vineyards lying between 840-930 feet in elevation, it offers up a gorgeously pure, supple and seamless profile with kirsch and berry-styled fruit, licorice and spring flower-like qualities all emerging from the glass. Elegant, forward and delicious, it gains in stature in the glass, is ridiculously textured from such an inexpensive wine, and has sweet tannin emerging on the finish.”

Novellum 2013 Chardonnay $ 14.99

Year after year, the Novellum Chardonnay is lauded for being one of the best Chardonnay values on the United States market. Because the wine is un-oaked, many restaurants have found it to be a terrific “by the glass” Chardonnay which marries quite well with food.

Critical Acclaim

  • RP92
    The Wine Advocate“More serious and layered, the 2013 VDP Cotes Catalanes Novellum is a crazy value that needs to be tasted to be believed. A custom cuvee by importer Eric Solomon and a blend of 100% Chardonnay that comes from two separate vineyards, this Cotes Catalanes is aged three months (on Viognier lees) in a combination of Burgundy barrels and stainless steel. Exotic and perfumed, with ample white peach, creme, brioche and subtle nuttiness, it flows onto the palate with a medium to full-bodied, layered and beautifully detailed texture that shows bright acidity and fantastic purity of fruit. An incredible effort that has both richness and freshness, it should continue to thrill for another handful of years. “

Connoisseurs Club

Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 $ 29.99

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded in 2007 by Morgan Twain-Peterson in a 550 square-foot, former chicken coop with 8 foot ceilings and no fermentation space. After six years of Bedrock being a one-man-show, Morgan was able to talk his best friend, Chris Cottrell, into moving to California from New York to join him. They now happily have a little more space to move around in but share the same objectives that guided the winery at the start.

The 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel comes from vines averaging over 80 years of age. Like its predecessor, the lovely 2012, it benefited enormously from the second year in a row of exceptional quality with higher than average yields. Though its core still revolves around the Sonoma Valley appellation (Bedrock Vineyard, Monte Rosso, and Casa Santinamaria Vineyard), we have become geographically more adventurous due to the addition of a few pretty amazing vineyards. The first of these is Nervo Ranch in Alexander Valley with its steep, decomposed shale soils. The second is Sodini Ranch on Limerick Lane in the Russian River Valley that Bedrock Wine Co. happily farms. The last is the amazing Stampede Vineyard in the Clements Hills AVA of Lodi: own-rooted on granitic sands and planted in 1919, it is a star in the making under the new ownership of the Perlegos family. There are also bits of Papera Ranch, Pagani Ranch, and Lorenzo’s in the blend. Though it is legally a Zinfandel, and labeled as such, it is also a Bedrock wine so you can be sure it has its full quotient of the wacky, weird and wonderful in it as well—nearly 23% Carignane, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Abouriou, Aubun, and assorted mixed white varieties. We are thrilled with this wine–I think it is every bit as good as the 2012 though perhaps reflective of the age-worthy 2013 vintage.

MacRostie Chardonnay 2012  $ 24.99

Though MacRostie Winery and Vineyards was originally founded in 1987, the seeds for MacRostie go back to 1974—to the early days of Sonoma County winemaking, when Steve began his winemaking career at Hacienda Winery. At a time when most California winemakers were fixated on Bordeaux varieties and Napa Valley, Steve and a handful of other pioneers took a different path, embracing the fog-shrouded vineyards of Sonoma County and their untapped potential for producing some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the world. While at Hacienda, Steve quickly gained renown as a winemaker capable of making exceptional Burgundian-variety wines. He also began to develop his own style, favoring crispness, complexity and vineyard character, as opposed to overt opulence.

In 1987, Steve established MacRostie Winery and Vineyards. To make his earliest wines, Steve reached out to growers he knew and respected—leaders of Sonoma County winegrowing like the Sangiacomo family. Steve also worked to champion quality in the region, both in the vineyards and the winery, and MacRostie’s wines were soon widely hailed for their unique balance of cool-climate structure and vibrant fruit. In 1992, years before the modern Pinot Noir boom, MacRostie added Pinot Noir to its portfolio, and quickly developed a devoted following for the pure and elegant style of these wines.

The wine is pale straw gold in color, with honey-suckle and jasmine aromas. Citrus flavors; kefir lime and tangerine, dominate the taste profile while the mouth feel is elegant and full, with a ripe pear and a touch of vanilla caramel from the oak. The finish is soft and smooth, very dry, but leaves lingering lush primary fruit flavors. 

90 Rating Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast“So bright and zingy in acidity, and so ripe in tangerine, mango, lime fruit and honeysuckle, that you hardly notice the oak influence. Yet, it’s there in the form of buttered toast. The result is a big, powerful Chardonnay, clean and vibrant, for drinking now with dramatic shellfish and pork dishes.”