September 2014 Wine Club Selections

The Oconee Wine Club

Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio 2013 Retail  $12.99

Luna Nuda is the Italian phrase, meaning “Naked Moon” often used by vintners to describe a clear night sky with a bright full moon shining and shimmering over the beautiful Italian countryside, the fresh smell of dew as it softly dusts the trees carried in the calm whispering breeze.  An experience that has and continues to inspire generations of Italian winemakers.  Luna Nuda was created in Alto Adige Italy at the Castelfeder Wine Estate and Tuscany Italy at the Fratelli Nistri Wine Estate.  The vines bearing the grapes for these fine Italian wines have seen many generations of naked moons, and we believe there is a little of that energy and beauty inherent in each bottle of our Chianti and Pinot Grigio.

Buckhead Life Group in Atlanta Georgia is now serving Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio in many of their restaurants, including Pricci, Veni Vidi Vici, Buckhead Diner, Chops, Nava, Atlanta Fish Market, and Bluepointe. These represent a few of the elite restaurants in Atlana and we are very exited about showcasing our exciting new wine from Northern Italy in such fabulous venues.

The Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio was hand-harvested in cool morning hours.  It is Fermented in cool stainless steel tanks to retain freshness and purity.  Grapes sourced from carefully selected low yield vineyards in Alto Adige and Trentino.

Basilica Cafaggio Chianti Classico 2010 Retail $ 18.99

Located in the “golden valley” of the Chianti Classico area, Villa Cafaggio is considered one of the finest producers of Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva and “Super Tuscan” wines.  The origins of the current Villa Cafaggio site date back to the 15th century, when Benedictine monks owned the land and began cultivating grapevines and olives. The 400 meter altitude and mainly southern exposure provide the ideal microclimate and create the best conditions for developing the company’s wine production. For over thirty years, the Cafaggio Basilica has produced and sold its wines on the international market to widespread acclaim.

The Villa Cafaggio estate has 40 ha of vineyards, 85% of which have been replanted planted with Sangiovese over the last two decades. These vines have now reached perfect maturity and are being used to produce Chianti Classico.  The wine is aged in Slavonian oak casks, traditionally used in the production of quality Chianti. The result is a rich, full bodied wine with a deep ruby red color. It has an intense fruity aroma with notes of spicy cloves and a wonderfully refined black cherry and plum fruitiness on a long finish.

91 Rating by Wine Enthusiast      # 10 in the Top 100 Best Buys!

“This stunning wine boasts a bright, vibrant character. The palate has a juicy core of black cherry spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon that recalls Christmas cake. It’s fresh and delicious, with silky tannins that make it easy to enjoy soon.”

Connoisseur Club

In 1971 Sanford Winery and Vineyards discovered an overlooked, grape-growing treasure in the Santa Rita Hills. Recognizing a magical combination of climate and soil conditions much like those in France’s famed Burgundy province, Sanford planted the area’s first Pinot Noir in its Sanford & Benedict vineyard.  The Santa Rita Hills AVA is 100 square miles of heaven for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Sanford’s estate vineyards – Rancho La Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict – lie within it.

Under the direction of Doug Fletcher, Vice President of Winemaking for Terlato Wine Group, Sanford maintains low yields to nurture the lush fruit. To retain the intensity and integrity of the Santa Rita Hills fruit, Fletcher’s team uses a unique gravity racking system. Powerful hydraulic lifts raise and lower vats, minimizing handling and preserving the esters that give Sanford’s wines complexity and delicacy.

Sanford’s white wine fermentation takes place in both 60 gallon French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, while the Pinot Noir is fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks and then finished in French oak barrels. Crafted in small lots, Sanford wines have a consistent style: Their full-bodied fruit flavors are balanced by mouth-watering acidity.

Sanford Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2011  Retail $ 25.99

Our 2011 Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay comes exclusively from our two estate vineyards in heart of this cool climate appellation. The 2010 vintage was marked by low yields due to spring frost.  This resulted in intense flavors with bright acid. By gently whole cluster pressing and barrel fermentation in French oak, this Charonnay has lovely texture to balance the vibrant palate. Our 2011 estate Chardonnay offers intriguing aromas of lemon peel, apricot and toasted hazelnut. In addition to the bright fruit, this wine has aromas of white flowers. On the palate the minerality and acidity give this wine great structure, which carries through its long finish. This full bodied wine has nice acidity to keep it in balance and makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes an excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).

Alejandro Fernandez Dehesa La Granja 2006 Retail $ 26.99

Alejandro Fernández personifies the mercurial 20th-century Spanishexperience. A family breadwinner from the age of thirteen, he went on to learn several trades, beginning as a master carpenter. After military service he worked selling agricultural machinery but soon came to manufacture equipment of his own design, attaining national success with a revolutionary beet harvester. During all these years Alejandro harvested and made wine yearly from his own vineyards, nurturing a lifelong dream of establishing a bodega for the production of great red wines, following the traditions of his ancestors dating to Roman and Visigothic times.  In 1972, Alejandro and wife Esperanza licensed their bodega in Pesquera, the 16th-century lagar and press house serving as grape receiving and processing through the 1982 harvest. (His machine shop which ceased business in 1985 still serves as the source for stainless tanks and countless other items for vineyard and bodega.)

Since 1982, fermentation has been of destemmed whole berries only, maceration varying from 12 to 20 days. The unclarified wine goes directly to small oak after pressing. Barricas are an astute blend of American, Spanish and French oak, custom-cured and made by Spain’s finest coopers.  Innovations such as overhead lifts and Alejandro’s patented barrel steamer facilitate the frequent racking process. Clarification is natural in the cold Castilian winters, assisted only occasionally with egg white fining prior to bottling. Neither filtration nor cold stabilization is practiced.  At a time when the region was pulling out vineyards in favor of irrigated row crops such as beets, Alejandro was augmenting and developing vineyards, his Viña Alta in 1972 the area’s first to be wire-trained.

This 100% Tempranillo is from the Castilla y Leon opens with a mild oak and mild blackberry with a hint of black licorice. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, balanced and juicy. The flavor profile is a tasty black plum and black licorice blend with hints of minerality, old oak, and spice. The finish is dry and it sticky tannins show very nice length. This would pair well with slow cooked barbecue beef brisket. This is a great value from Spain!