July wine club selections

July 2013                                Wine Club Selections

Summer is in full gear now!  We wanted to say thank you for all of your support over the 4th of July weekend!  The rain sure kept us busy!  The two French wines from last month have sure been a hit.  You can’t beet a nice Sauvignon Blanc to quench your thirst in the summer time.  This month I did something I have never done before, I chose two wines from different countries- a California white wine and a French red wine.  I know you will enjoy these two great wines!


The white wine is called SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Santa Barbara County.  Invigorating scents of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and freshly cut grass waft from the glass, while clean, crisp notes of gooseberries and tangerines awaken your palate. With a lively, slightly tart finish, our Sauvignon Blanc captures the free feeling of endless summer.  Vineyard Information Our Sauvignon Blanc vineyard is nestled in Santa Barbara’s rolling hills. The cool ocean air and abundant fog of Santa Barbara County allow Sauvignon Blanc grapes to ripen slowly and evenly while developing complex tropical flavors and crisp acidity.

Reductive style winemaking keeps the fresh, fruitforward flavors of the grape intact during the winemaking process by keeping the juice void of oxygen exposure. 100% non-malolactic fermentation maintains the wine’s delicate varietal flavors and crisp acidity. SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless steel tanks at cold temperatures to retain the grape’s natural tropical flavors. The wine is bottled early and sealed with a Stelcap closure to preserve the wine’s freshness.

The red for this month is the Shatter 2011 Grenache.  This wine is a collaboration with Dave Phinney from Orin Swift Cellars.  Dave Phinney founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2000 that the success of The Prisoner, a Zinfandel blend, enabled Dave to focus on Orin Swift Cellars full time. The Mercury Head, Veladora, Saldo, Papillon and Palermo labels soon followed, each label demonstrating Dave’s interest in art and his ability to create surprising, unconventional blends that consumers were wanting. Looking for a new wine project, Dave visited Maury in the Roussillon region of France in 2008 after hearing about it from a friend. Amazed by the area’s potential, he made his first wine, a Grenache blend named D66, from the area in 2009.

Joel Gott started making wine in 1996 with his first vintage of Dillian Ranch, Amador County Zinfandel under the Joel Gott label. His goal was to make quality, balanced wine for under $20 a part of the market he felt was under-served. Joel soon realized that the best way to do this was by blending various California appellations, getting the best from each region, instead of focusing on a single one. He later partnered with two friends in 2001 to launch The Three Thieves, a wine project that allowed him to explore wine branding and packaging, and that eventually took him abroad to Argentina, Chile and Spain to make wine for The Show label, laying the groundwork for further winemaking travels.

Dave Phinney, Joel Gott & Trinchero Family Estates, Shatter

As soon as Dave told Joel about Maury, with its ancient vines struggling on rocky, hillsides of schist, Joel had to go. An area that for years was known only for sweet, port-like wines, Maury was slowly changing course; locals and newcomers were beginning to make exceptional, dry wines. When Joel went to Roussillon with Dave, who by then had built a winery in Maury, he was amazed by the incredibly concentrated fruit, capable of creating darker wines than anything else in France, and the terroir, different from anywhere else in California or France. It was an extraordinary opportunity for them to work together, and with Trinchero Family Estates who will import and distribute the wine.

2011 SHATTER GRENACHE  $ 21.99

Shatter, Dave Phinney and Joel Gott’s first collaborative effort, comes from the small town of Maury in the Rousillon region of France.  The Hillside Grenache vines were planted over 60 years ago in black schist, a slate-like, rocky soil common to the area.  Though nutrient-poor, it retains heat well, allowing the slow-ripening Grenache to reach full maturity through cool nights.  Tough soil, strong winds and hot days push the vines and cause shatter, or coulure, in the grape clusters, naturally thinning fruit from the vines and producing more intensely concentrated flavors.  After harvest, the fruit was cold soaked for 30 days to help further concentrate the wine, then fermented and aged in maury.

You will find aromas of crushed cherry and spring ruhubarb pie with a back ground of seasoned French oak.  As you tasted the wines loads of luscious wild strawberry round the mid-palate.  The finish is full of ripe blackberry and blueberry notes that are intense yet pleasurable.


Zolo Reserve 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina  $21.99

Zolo is produced at one of the most technologically advanced wineries in Argentina. Zolo selects grapes from estate vineyards throughout different key regions of Mendoza. Located at various altitudes, each of these terroirs provides a different expression of fruit and varietal concentration. The winemakers are Fabian Valenzuela and Jean Claude Berrouet (former Petrus winemaker), the vineyard manager is Carlos Correas, and the President and owner is Patricia Ortiz.

The purpose of the winery’s Zolo classic line is to create a family of fruit-forward, great value wines, which can be enjoyed with a wide range of food or by themselves. The Zolo Reserves, with their ultra-high concentration, long ageing in new French oak, and aromatic complexity are made for those special occasions when one needs a wine to “blow your hat off.”  Zolo has been a leading Argentine brand since 2004, and is estate-grown & sustainably-farmed.

93 points, The Wine Advocate (’10).

“A worthy follow-up to the 2009. It has a sedate, well-defined bouquet of kirsch, cranberry, raspberry and that gravel note. The palate is full-bodied and well-balanced with earthy ripe black fruit. It is a little broody, but draws you in, and the finish is powerful but wonderfully focused. This is a classy Cabernet.”

Pine Ridge Vineyards Dijon Clones Chardonnay 2011  $ 31.99

Established in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards produces classically proportioned, expressive wines that embody their history and distinct place of origin.  Pine Ridge founder Gary Andrus, inspired by the illustrious wines of Bordeaux, believed in the Napa Valley’s potential to produce wines of similar stature. He planted the property’s original namesake vineyard on a steeply terraced hillside flanked by a dramatic ridgeline of pine trees in the Stags Leap District. Gary’s pioneering efforts with this first vineyard were met with tremendous success as the Bordeaux varietals he planted – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot – thrived and produced wines of great distinction. In the following years, Pine Ridge continued to acquire exceptional vineyard sites across the region. Today, the Estate’s 200-acres span over five renowned Napa Valley appellations – Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Oakville, Carneros and Howell Mountain.

90 points, Wine Enthusiast
Radiant and golden, our Dijon Clones Chardonnay sings from the glass with aromas of fresh yellow apple, crisp white peach and lemon creme brulee.