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
Name Phone #
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.
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.
Pair with crab cakes, chicken tarragon or mussels.
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.
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.
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. “
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.”
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 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.
Hayes 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
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.
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).
- 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
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.
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
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.
Dry Creek Valley
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.
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.
The Grand Tasting Monday September 29th
15% Discount when you Purchase 12 or more bottles
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
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!
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 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.
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.
May 2014 The Oconee Wine Club
Both wines this month come from Australian winery called Wild Oats. Wild Oats Wines are produced by premier Australian winemakers, the Oatley family. Well known for their sailing and tourism pursuits, the Oatley’s first major venture was in fact wine, where Bob Oatley and his three children Andrew (Sandy), Ros and Ian planted their first vineyard in the Hunter Valley in the late 1960’s. Their children, Bob’s grandchildren, comprise the third generation of Oatleys in the Australian wine business today.
Having endured a five year hiatus from winemaking, but continuing to grow grapes on their Mudgee properties throughout, the Oatley family reemerged in 2006 as Robert Oatley Vineyards, based on their family-owned vineyards in Mudgee and purchased the neighbouring historic Montrose and Craigmoor wineries in which to make and market their new wines, the first of which was Wild Oats. Their state-of-the-art winery is the region’s largest, where the team make an outstanding array of wines from Mudgee-grown grapes along with parcels from other specialist Australian regions around the country. James Halliday, Australia’s most highly regarded wine critic, elevated Robert Oatley Vineyards to prestigious FIVE STAR status in his 2011 Australian Wine Companion
Wild Oats Shiraz ($14.99 Retail) continues the Oatley family history of fine craftsmanship. In selecting a number of richly flavored parcels of grapes from our vineyards in the Central Ranges of NSW, and with quality French oak influence, our winemakers have created a sumptuous and velvety red wine with complexity and some spicy characteristics. It tastes of berries, plums, baking spices and a touch of mocha on the lasting firm finish.
Wild Oats Chardonnay ($ 14.99 Retail) continues the Oatley family history of fine craftsmanship. Blending a number of parcels of grapes from our vineyards in the Central Ranges of NSW, with various components undergoing a combination of tank and oak ferment our winemakers have created a terrific example of modern Australian chardonnay, where fruit and texture are the vital components, with oak playing a supporting role. Lovely pineapple and fresh fig flavors, creamy, spicy oak with a touch of vanilla and a long, textured finish.
Connoisseur Club May 2014
Laguna Russian River Chardonnay 2012 ($ 26.99)
Nestled in the heart of the Russian River Valley, Laguna Ranch Vineyard has been home to world-class Chardonnay for the past 30 years. An elegant expression of its namesake vineyard, Laguna Chardonnay is an exceptionally well-balanced and luxurious wine.
” Abundant pineapple, mango and honeysuckle notes intermixed with a hint of background oak jump from the glass of this 2012 Chardonnay. There are 19,000+ cases of this lovely white that should drink well for 3-4 years. It is an excellent example of a classic Russian River Chardonnay.” (Robert Parker)
Il Grigio da San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 ($ 26.99)
Agricola San Felice is a multi-faceted enterprise with activities spread over various locations: above all, of course, the tenute, or farm estates, with their prized vines and olive trees; the Vitiarium, where most of the scientific research is carried out; the winecellars, where all of the production takes place, from vinification to maturation in barriques and bottling; the frantoio, or olive-oil press; the borgo, the company headquarters and retail enoteca, but, in particular, a medieval hamlet transformed into an elegant hotel complex; and, finally, the livestock operation, centered on raising prized local breeds.
Produced from carefully-selected sangiovese grapes, Il Grigio represents the iconic elegance of the traditional Chianti Classico, exhibiting the steely temperament, the dynamism, and the ability to surprise typical of the adventurous, all qualities eminently characteristic of the noble variety that yields Il Grigio.
93 Rated by Robert Parker, “A pure expression of Sangiovese, the 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio shows the inner warmth and richness that is characteristic of the Castelnuovo Berardenga subzone of the famous Tuscan appellation. Balsam herbs and eucalyptus oil appear at first and slowly give way to black fruit, cherry cola, violet and Spanish cedar. It shows an extremely polished feel in the mouth. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.”