October Wine Club Selections 2012

The Oconee Wine Club Selections            October 2012

This month I chose two wines from one of my favorite French wineries located in the Rhone Valley.  Since 1808, the name Chapoutier exists in the Rhone Valley.  The distant ancestor Polydor Chapoutier started the first vineyards to buy from and the status of a vineyard area than grower, breeder and wine merchant.

The Côtes du Rhône is one of the oldest in France.  There are more than two millennia, Vienna was a prestigious big city and was the origin of these vineyards.  The reputation of the wines far beyond the borders of each region, a royal edict Precisa this delimitation in 1729 and established the barrel marking with the letters “CDR”.  Côtes du Rhône acceded to the official recognition of the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine) in 1937 only thanks to Baron Le Roy Boiseaumarié, grand unifying the regionThe Côtes du Rhône is one of the oldest in France.

The white for this month is the M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes-Du-Rhone Blanc 2011.   This is one of my favorite everyday French whites.  It is a blend of  Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc.  The soils are mainly clay and limestone.  The grapes are pressed immediately on their arrival at the winery. The racking is done by cold stalling after 24 hours.  Light yellow and clear.  NOSE: green apple, hawthorn and white flowers, citrus and exotic fruits. Palate: Fresh and balanced, a lot of fat and length.  Retail $ 12.99

The red for this month is the M. Chapoutier La Ciboise Luberon 2009.  The Luberon Regional Park serves as a backdrop to the vineyards of Luberon.  In fact, this one covers 36 communes, all located in the south-east of Vaucluse.  Mediterranean with the influence of a more continental climate from the Alps and the Rhone Valley.  With about 2600 hours of sunshine per year, is among the Luberon region of France with the best insolation. The Romans planted these vines in fact especially in the Pays d’Aigues and the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, wineries spread widely, especially north of the Petit Luberon.  The development of the vineyard grows in the late nineteenth century and the interwar period. From the 70s, winemakers in the appellation, aware of the need to modernize, undertake important work. Their efforts were crowned with success in 1988 with the accession of the Côtes du Luberon AOC.  This great red is a blend of Grenache Noir and Syrah.  The wine is aged in vats, from 9 to 12 months on the lees.

Color: red, garnet, bright, clear with purple tints. Nose: complex finish with hints of spices (nutmeg, pepper) and black fruits. Mouth: the attack is frank with tight tannins. Nice balance on the palate with notes of black fruits (blueberry, blackberry, blackcurrant). This wine is very elegant with great finesse and a long persistence.  Retail $ 15.99

Connoisseurs Club Selections

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Round Pond Estate.


The Round Pond Estate is situated in the heart of Rutherford, California, an appellation that has been famous for its world-class red wines for more than a century. The property spans 357 acres of planted vineyards, including the Red Barn Ranch, Hill’s, Round Pond and MacDonnell vineyards. To maintain the integrity of the land and to ensure its continuing bounty for generations to come, we use only sustainable farming practices in our viticulture program. Round Pond’s soils are extremely fertile due to deposits from alluvial outflows of the Conn Creek and Napa River that took place thousands of year ago. As a result, vine health is exceptional, and the vines grow vigorously in this unique appellation. To maintain vine balance and reduce yields – both key factors for quality – we limit each vine to two clusters per shoot, making certain that no two clusters even touch one another. In addition, we carefully work the canopy to establish a good ratio of sunlight to shade. To further control vine vigor we utilize advanced technology to monitor hydration levels in the soil. When they are within days of harvesting, our skilled vineyard workers (some of whom have almost 30 years of experience at Round Pond) hand inspect each vine to discard bad berries, or even entire clusters. As a result, when the fruit is finally picked it represents a meticulous selection of only the finest grapes.

The Round Pond Estate Cabernet 2010 is ideal for weekday meals, this wine makes its intentions known with aromas of cherry cola and grilled dark fruit complemented by savory yet subtle sage, cloves, and dried lavender.   The bouquet prepares the palate for a complex marriage of fruits, warm herbs and spices, and plush velvety tannins, all perched atop mouth-watering acidity.  Depth and approachability propel this wine to the top of the list when looking for something to accompany a wide variety of fare.  Retail $ 29.99
The white is the Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011.  This wine is a pure expression of the fruit without any influence from oak cooperage.  The wine is made to drink early and will show its best on a summer day.   This classic Sauvignon Blanc shows an aroma profile with a bouquet of citrus blossoms, jasmine, and key limes.  As the wine evolves, the wine bursts forth in the mouth, delivering everything the nose promised with additional flavors of crisp white peach and fresh ripe apricots. Rated 89 by Wine Spectator!
Retail  $23.99
89 Points from Wine Spectator – “17 California Values: New reviews of refreshing Sauvignon Blancs priced under $25”.