August 2014 Wine Club Selections
The Pozzan Family
What began as a love of terroir, has grown into a legacy. With his roots extending to Italy’s famed Piemonte wine region, Michael Pozzan was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but spent summers with his grandparents on their 35-acre vineyard estate. Located in Healdsburg, Michael’s grandfather had purchased the land after WWII. He planted zinfandel grapes to sell to local wineries, but always retained a portion to make wine for family and friends. Michael learned the winemaking craft first hand, following the seasons of the grape in one of California’s most celebrated wine-producing regions, with his grandfather as his guide.
Today, Michael Pozzan Wines is owned and operated by Michael and his wife Mary Ann, also a native of California; sons Matt and Dante are the next generation. Although currently with other wine producers, over the years, Matt and Dante have assisted their parents in operations, sales and marketing in anticipation of joining the family business sometime in the future. Founded in 1991 and based in Oakville, the heart of the Napa Valley, Michael Pozzan Wines carries on an enduring tradition. In Italy, Michael’s family still owns the original vineyard his great-grandfather planted over 150 years ago. Here in California, using grapes exclusively selected from premier Napa and Sonoma County vineyards, the wines of Michael Pozzan remain highly regarded for their consistent quality and value.
Annabella Special Selection Cabernet Napa Valley 2011 $ 15.99 Retail
Named to honor Michael Pozzan’s beloved grandmother, our Annabella wines are a collection of wines hand-sourced each vintage from select vineyards throughout the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Offered in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, these wines are a toast to a woman of remarkable grace and spirit whose love of family, friends and home-cooked meals are celebrated to this day. Annabella wines represent not only quality, but value as well. Because of their popularity and limited production, these wines may be allocated on an annual basis. It is very hard to find a better Napa Valley Cabernet for this price!!!!
Annabella 2010 Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon
75% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
10% North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
10% Napa Valley Merlot
5% Sonoma Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
Aged in French Oak for 16 months. This medium plum colored Cabernet Sauvignon is from one of the most highly regarded places in the world for producing the varietal; Napa. The aromas are text book Cabernet.
Michael Pozzan Russian River Chardonnay 2012 $ 13.99 Retail
Following the traditions of three generations rooted in Italy’s famed Piemonte wine region, Michael Pozzan wines are a stylish, award-winning collection of lush reds and crisp, flavorful whites that are the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of foods, and priced to enjoy every day. Whether barrique-aged in oak or the product of cool fermentation in stainless steel, these wines capture the essence of terroir, vintage after vintage. This is an incredible value for any Chardonnay coming out of Russian River.
This 100 % Russian River Chardonnay is a real crowd pleaser. It is aged 4 months in 1 and 2 year old French Oak. The color is a textbook medium straw. Aromatically, the wine is tropical with passion fruit, lychee and guava. The palate holds sweet, fresh Fuji apple flavors followed by baked apple cinnamon, caramel, citrus and passion fruit ripeness which finishes with juicy pineapple, peach nectar and honeysuckle notes. The Russian River is arguably the finest AVA for Chardonnay and this wine is an excellent example of why. It was barrel fermented in 100% French oak and aged sur lies for 4 months.
Veedercrest has been making award winning wines since its founding in 1972. It was one of the participants at the infamous Judgement of Paris. It has won significant awards at most of the major wine judgings around the world. President Jimmy Carter and his White House dinner guests and Pope John Paul II during visits to America enjoyed Veedercest wines.
In the early 1970s legendary California winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff telephoned amateur winemaker Al Baxter and invited himself to dinner and a tasting. Tchelistcheff who was at that time the most influential post prohibition American winemaker was the mentor for such notables as Robert Mondavi and Louis Martini. He was most notable for his contributions toward defining the style of California’s best wines, especially the Beaulieu Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. Andre had heard about Baxter’s amateur winemaking and about some wonderful wines made by Al in his basement. After the dinner and tasting, Tchelistcheff concluded the wines were very good. He advised Baxter to consider going commercial. Veedercrest was born!
Baxter formed an investment group with co-principals Ron Fenolio, now sole proprietor of Veedercrest, and the Ring Family of New Jersey. A 300 acre property was acquired on Mt. Veeder for vineyard developmentand a vineyard was planted. In the 1970s vineyards, especially mountain vineyards, were planted with much winder spacing than today. Part of the reason was to allow the wide track tractors to work between the rows without turning over. Today tractors can be adjusted so that the tractor is level and the wheels and tracks ride on different levels of the vineyard. Veedercrest pioneered planting some of the steepest slopes on the higher elevations of Mt. Veeder.
Among Baxter’s innovations as one of the early California pioneering winemakers was his participation in the development of fruit forward wines, the making of California’s first true Bordeaux blend, using all five Bordeaux varieties (including grapes from the only acre of Malbec then in California), and promoting truth in labeling with full varietal descriptions and full vineyard designations on the front label of the bottles.
The year 1972 saw the first releases, including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and Reisling. By 1976 the wines had garnered such critical acclaim that they were selected by Steve Spurrier to be in the infamous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting where Chateau Montelena and Stags Leap bested the best of the French. Make sure you see the entertaining movie “Bottle Shock” about this great event, featuring Chateau Montelena’s story. At that historic tasting Veedercrest Chardonnay was acclaimed as the most “French” in style of all the Chardonnay wines entered, regardless of whether French or California in origin. Veedercrest wines were later served at White House dinners under President Jimmy Carter and to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Philadelphia. In 1981, at the International Wine Exposition in Bristol, England, Veedercrest garnered more awards for its wines than any other American winery. The tradition of making great award winning wines continues today.
Veedercrest Chardonnay 2012 Russian River $ 26.99 Retail
This Chardonnay is made specifically for those who love to hate California Chardonnay. Made in the style of the great Chardonnays of the Piemonte region of Italy and the Chablis region of France. It is more characteristic of a Sauvignon Blanc but truly 100% Chardonnay. Veedercrest was recognized at the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting for making the most French style Chardonnay of all the Chardonnays entered in the tasting, and we still make it the same way.
This wine is crisp and acidic, with pineapple, pear, mango and lemon flavors. Also present are hints of cardamom, kaffir, and baked apple. It is lean and elegant and can easily be paired with oysters, cracked crab, filet of sole Veronique or any dish with a cream sauce. Veal ala Normande anyone?
Veedercrest Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 North Coast $29.99 Retail
This cabernet is comprised of 75% cabernet and 25% syrah as a blend of Napa and Mendocino fruit. Fermented to almost total dryness in temperature controlled stainless steel fermenting tanks. This low alcohol wine was then and designed to be drunk young.
TASTING NOTES & FOOD PAIRING
This crystal clear wine possesses a pure garnet color, which has initial notes of cherry. The top of the palate sensation is fruit forward dark cherry with a hint of blueberry. Side palate picks up the pleasing tang of a lemony citric acid, with raspberry overtones and light tannins at the back of the palate. This North Coast cabernet has little residual sugar. This wine pairs well with roasted chickens stuffed with lemon and sage or roast duck with a blueberry or cherry glaze. It also pairs well with baked ham or roast pork.