December Wine Club Wines

December 2011

Oconee Wine Club Selections

Langtry Estate & Vineyards

For well over one hundred years, intrepid travelers have trekked over Howell Mountain to reach the Guenoc Valley winery.

Langtry Estate & Vineyards property is vast, encompassing some thirty-five square miles of epic terrain, where untamed flora and fauna still abound.

The picturesque estate consists of 23,000 acres and straddles both Lake and Napa Counties where cougar, bear and wild boar still roam the remote hills. Despite the vastness, Langtry’s vineyards are limited to 400 prime acres, ensuring the highest quality.

Langtry Estate & Vineyards currently produces approximately 120,000 cases of wine annually with distribution throughout the United States. From cane to canopy, to rootstock and clone, Langtry Estate believes that the signature of the wine remains in the soil and climate and in varietals chosen for their synergy with the land.

With the establishment of the Guenoc Valley AVA on December 21, 1981, Langtry Estate & Vineyards became the first producer in the nation with its own appellation.

This is a fitting arrangement for the winery as the serpentine soils throughout the region contribute to a terroir that works exceptionally well with Petite Sirah, Langtry’s signature red varietal.

Far from a lonely existence, Langtry’s exclusive status sets it apart from other wineries and holds the secret to the success Langtry has enjoyed with its wines. With hundreds of acres of vineyards, Langtry Estates has a wealth of resources for distinctive, world-class wines.

The namesake, Lillie Langtry, flamboyant British Theatre star, purchased the property sight unseen in 1888.

On her first visit, she arrived in St. Helena in her lavish private railroad car, then embarked with a small fleet of stagecoaches carrying her entourage and paramour, Freddie Gebhard.

Raised as a tomboy, she apparently was quite a horsewoman. She also made wine, which she proclaimed the “greatest claret in the country.”

With the help of her winemaker Henri Descelles, she had 51 tons crushed her first vintage and bottled wine in unique vessels portraying her likeness on the glass.

By 1900 Lake County wines were winning awards in international competition, and the region was earning a reputation for producing some of the world’s greatest wines.

Lillie Langtry sold the property in 1906 and the years of prohibition and vineyard destruction soon followed.

2009 Guenoc Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon $14.99

Our 2009 Guenoc Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon has a fruit forward nose of black cherry, raspberry jam, and herbs de provence.

The wine is elegant and soft on the palate and the acidity is very well balanced.

Winemaker Notes

Tannins are soft and melting while still providing enough structure to contend with hearty dishes, making it a wonderful accompaniment with food or enjoyed alone.

Wine Facts:

Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon 98%, Petit Verdot 2%

2010 Guenoc Lake County Chardonnay $14.99

Produced from grapes from our estate vineyards, our 2010 Lake County Chardonnay is partially barrel fermented with the majority produced in stainless steel tanks.

Winemaker Notes:

The wine has aromas of stone fruit like peaches and apricot, mingling with pineapple and almond paste.

The flavors are intense and echo the nose while displaying balance and elegance.

The finish is long and offers a succulent creaminess.

Appellation: Lake County

December 2011

Connoisseurs Club Selections

Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Chardonnay 2009  $ 29.99

The Appellations

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay  The vineyards along the Sonoma Coast feature marine influences that define this sweeping appellation, an area that stretches from the beautiful San Pablo Bay all the way to the Mendocino County line.

The Sonoma Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) covers over 480,000 acres, with roughly 7,000 acres planted with vines.  Temperatures are moderate, with evenings dipping to 40s as a result of the fog off Bodega Bay and day time highs typically in the low 70s.

Growing grapes in the dramatically cool western reaches of Sonoma County is complex and demanding, with the end result truly worth the risk. The resulting fruit produces wines that are elegant and intensely structured.

Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

Produced using hand-harvested fruit from carefully selected vineyards within the Sonoma Coast appellation, CrossBarn Chardonnay offers structure and weight in balance with pure concentrated fruit.

Whole-cluster, direct to press
60% barrel fermented, 40% in tank
Native and selected yeasts
Aged five months in French oak

Opalescent pale yellow in color, with refreshing aromas of crisp gala apple and lime zest, this chardonnay is mouth-filling and lively from start to finish.

A burst of bright stone fruit opens to silky layers of apple, pear and citrus that glide over the palate; yeasty overtones and mineral notes add elegance over a long finish.

91 Rating by Robert Parker!

A stunning bargain is the 2009 Chardonnay CrossBarn, which was aged in 75% stainless steel, was put through 100% malolactic, and 15% was barrel fermented in order to provide a subtle hint of spice.

Made in a steely, Chablis-like style, it offers up full-bodied tropical fruit notes intermixed with hints of honeysuckle and crushed rocks. Drink this 4,000-case beauty over the next several years.

Riglos Gran Malbec 2006  $ 26.99

Owners: Dario Werthein and Fabian Suffern

Dario and Fabian have been friends since childhood, but only recently found out that their grandparents had grown up in the same small town of Riglos, Argentina.

With the establishment of the Riglos brand, the pioneering spirit of two immigrant families, from Germany and Ireland respectively, is strengthened in partnership and commemorated in name.

Sourced exclusively from their estate vineyard in the Valle de Uco region of Mendoza, the portfolio is comprised of three wines: a malbec, a cabernet sauvignon and a red blend, all styled to strike a balance between vivid varietal expression and elegant structure.

This highly colored, velvet purple wine is a classic expression of Malbec, showing plum, currant and wild cherry aromas wrapped in nuances of chocolate and background notes of oak. On the palate, red berry and dark stone fruit impressions dominate, set in a texture of silky, supple tannins and sweet, luscious fruit lifted by a fine, measured acidity. The finish is long and succulent, ending on a ripe, plush note that invites another glass.

91 Rating Robert Parker!

The 2006 Gran Malbec is more substantial. A saturated purple color, it has a superb aromatic display of wood smoke, spice box, violets, mineral, and black cherry. Layered, bordering on opulent on the palate, it has gobs of spicy black cherry flavors with notes of chocolate and espresso also emerging. The wine has enough stuffing to improve for another 2-3 years and will be at its best from 2010 to 2018.Paul Hobbs, with 20 years of experience working in Argentina, is the winemaking consultant at Riglos.