June 2012 Oconee Wine Club Selections
Lyeth Estate, established by Chip Lyeth in 1981, was one of the first wineries in California to pursue the unique complexity and composition achieved by the marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and the other traditional Bordeaux varieties. Wines of this style, known as Meritage, have become some of the world’s most highly-rated wines. The word Meritage (pronounced like “heritage”) is a combination of the words merit and heritage. Lyeth, one of the founding members of the Meritage Association founded in 1988, has played an integral role in helping to define this unique style of wine-making. Today, Lyeth continues its legacy of blending family and tradition in its Sonoma County wines, winning praise from critics and consumers worldwide.
Over 25 years later, they are still dedicated to Chip’s vision of making unique blends. In this spirit, Winemaker Bill Arbios has created this exciting blend of five Bordeaux varietals from carefully selected vineyards located in the most esteemed corners of Sonoma County.
Red Wine Selection
Lyeth Meritage 2009 $ 15.99
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec all contribute to this wine’s unique flavor. A brilliant garnet in color, this Meritage is robust with aromas of dark red fruits, currants, and boysenberry with subtle notes of succulent dark chocolate and cedar completing the nose. Flavors of fresh strawberries and boysenberries are lush and pronounced on the palate, followed by hints of roasted coffee and maple. This is a big wine that is well-structured and has a long, smooth finish.
Lyeth Chardonnay 2009 $ 12.99
Sonoma County is one of California’s most prestigious and historic wine-producing regions. The grapes used in our 2009 L de Lyeth Chardonnay were sourced from some of the finest Chardonnay vineyards in Sonoma County. With warm afternoons and cool evenings, the climate is perfectly suited for growing Chardonnay grapes. The nose exhibits aromas of white flowers and freshly picked herbs are accented by fruit forward flavors of green apple and melon. On the palate it is a crisp, bright wine with excellent texture, a balanced acidity and creamy traces of vanilla that culminate in a long, buttery smooth finish. Try this wine with roasted chicken or Dungeness crab.
Connoiessuer Club Selections
Red Wine Selection
Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva Rioja 2004 $ 31.99
Matt Garofalo, owner of The Oconee Cellar, just spent three days touring the Rioja region of Spain and visited the Marques de Caceres winery. ” I was really impressed with their operation. Everything is state of the art, from their cellars where the wines are aged, to their own labeling and bottling plant they have on site. We were treated to a wonderful gourmet lunch and tried all the wines they produce. They even brought out a 1987 Gran Reserva that was outstanding. That is a 25 year old bottle of wine!”, said Matt. This 2004 Gran Reserva spends a minimum of 2 years in oak and another 3 years in bottle before it is released. The result is complex wine that once it opens up is smooth and velvety with a real balance of oak and fruit. It is recommended to decant this wine atleast an hour before drinking to allow it to open up.
91 Rated by Wine Spectator!
Lively and fresh, this focused red offers plum, mineral, sanguine and tobacco notes backed by firm tannins and good acidity. Though supple, this drives through the spicy finish. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases imported. –TM
If you want to learn more about the wines of Rioja a great summation can be found at http://www.wine-searcher.com/grape-1689-rioja-blend-red .
White Wine Selection
Cadaretta SBS 2011 $ 21.99
This boutique Walla Walla, Washington winery combines a family agricultural history with an international style and flair. The extensive Columbia Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) is located in the south-east of Washington State and the north-east of Oregon. Its northernmost boundary is near the Okanagan Wilderness Area on the border with Canada, while to the south it crosses the Columbia river into Oregon. Its western border shadows the Cascade mountain range to the outskirts of the Columbia Gorge AVA. This large AVA contains most of Washington’s smaller wine sub-regions. It joins an essential commitment to the land with an abiding passion for making the best from that land. Cadaretta is a blend of science and soul, tempered with tradition and balance.
The SBS is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (75%) and Semillon (25%). The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the blend came from two vineyards: Spring Creek Vineyard (50%) and Frenchman Hills Vineyard (25%). The Semillon came from Spring Creek Vineyard (14%) and Rosebud Vineyard (11%).
Three of the past 4 years this wine has rated 90+ by Robert Parker!