JANUARY 2014 WINE CLUB WINES

PRIMARY RED WINE:
2011 LA SALA – CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG – CHIANTI, ITALY
This wine is made by Azienda La Sala, located in the heart of Tuscany, Florence to be more precise. The vineyards and winery have an interesting background. While it is now owned by Laura Baronti, it was once owned by the famous Medici family, going as far back as the 11th century. Written history of the winery tells us that the location where the vineyards lie is in the hills where in his exile, Machiavelli penned The Prince. The immense beauty of the surrounding landscape, its history, combined with the industrious work ethic of the medieval times, remains intact to this day. So what makes Chianti, a “Classico?” These wines must meet the strict guidelines delineated by Tuscan law, which mandates that any wine labeled Chianti Classico must be made with a minimum 80% Sangiovese grapes and 20% for other native grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as other international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This Chianti was made with 100% Sangiovese grapes, fermented and fined in stainless steel tanks for 6 months then allowed another six months aging in French oak barriques. Decant this for about half an hour to release the enticing aromas of cherries, violets, and currants with light hints of wet tobacco. Then pour yourself a glass to enjoy the rich flavors of cherries, well balanced acidity, and a finish that will linger for quite a bit. Pair this wine with your favorite tomato based pasta sauce, aged cheeses such as a Parmigiano-Reggiano., spicy Italian sausage and even hearty meat dishes. This wine retails for $21.99

PRIMARY WHITE WINE:
2012 KENNETH VOLK – VERDELHO “POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD” – PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA
One of my favorite experiences during my most recent trip to Paso Robles was meeting Kenneth Volk, who is known as one of the founding fathers of the Paso Robles wine industry. As a winemaker, Ken's unparalleled knowledge and skill have garnered him immediate recognition for producing luxury wines of exceptional character and for making wines with the lesser known grapes of the world. His charisma and passion for the vineyards and wines is contagious. While listening to Ken tell stories that made Paso Robles the Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year for 2013, I sipped this delightful wine. Made with 100% Verdelho grapes, which is a white grape variety native to the Islands of the Mediterranean Sea. The 2012 California grape acreage report lists 92 acres of Verdelho being cultivated in the California. Ken Volk was the first to plant Verdelho in Paso Robles and also to bottle it. The grapes are harvested and kept cold and fermented in stainless steel, and then the wine is aged on the lees to enhance the texture and fruit flavors in this wine. Chill this bottle, like you would a Chardonnay, to 42 degrees, then open it and enjoy the rich aromas of sliced pear, melon, citrus fruits, and a touch of herbs. On the palate, this wine is refreshing with flavors apple, honey dew melon, guava, and lime that is followed by a clean finish. Enjoy as an aperitif or with fish, shell fish, pork and chicken dishes, Asian salads and seafood paella. This wine retails for $18.99


SECOND RED JANUARY ENTRY:
2011 FAMILIE MAIER – ZWEIGELT – KREMSTAL - AUSTRIA
“400 Years in Wine” the family says proudly! The Maier family has lived in the village of Oberfucha since the 16th century. Today, the winery is housed in a 16th-century structure built of brick, with cellars beneath. Among these, the “French cellar” where Napoleon’s army stored their wine rations during a nearby battle. The room’s perfect temperature and humidity make it an ideal place to archive the best of each vintage. As a pioneering organic estate, grower and winemaker Ilse Maier is the first to farm her grapes organically in the region. This wine is made with 100% Zweigelt, a grape varietal originally developed in 1922 in Austria by a crossing two other Austrian grapes, St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch. The grapes were hand-harvested, and then the juice was fermented and aged in a combination of both stainless steel vats and large neutral oak barrels. The juice was kept on the lees (skins) till right before filtering and bottling. This wine is all kinds of fun and amazing…no corkscrew is needed and when you open this wine you’ll notice rose petal notes, cherries, raspberries and even some baking spice aromas. This wine is meant to be served slightly chilled (60F to 45F). The palate is full of refreshing flavors of cherries, raspberries, reminiscent of a spicier Gamay, and at a whole liter, you get a whole lot more wine to enjoy. Pair this delightful wine with spicy Pad Thai, Goulash, aged Gouda cheese, or with grilled Chicken. This wine retails for $16.99

SECONDARY WHITE:
2012 BURBANK RANCH – “LITTLE RASCAL” ARNEIS – PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA
Burbank Ranch is an 83-acre farm located in the El Pomar area of Templeton, which is within the Paso Robles American Viticulture Appellation (AVA). The property has panoramic views of the Santa Lucia Mountains, rolling hills, and oak-lined seasonal creeks. The soil and water are perfect for growing high quality grapes. Burbank Ranch produces hand crafted high end wines that are meticulously hand harvested, hand sorted in the vineyard, then hand sorted twice again in the winery prior to pressing. From this prime soil we bring you a lovely wine, made with 100% Arneis (which means "little rascal" in the Northern Italian dialect of Piemontese) is so-called because it has been somewhat difficult to grow in Italy. However, in the Paso Robles AVA, the climate appears to be ideal for this grape. Chill this bottle and enjoy a dry, full-bodied white wine with aromas of peaches, nectarine, and even hints of honey on the nose. No oak to be found anywhere in this wine. The palate has bright flavors of apple, minerals, and white peach with a structured finish. Chill this wine and enjoy it with a pasta with pesto sauce, white pizza, or as Burbank Ranch’s own Chef Nic and Sommelier Stephen recommend, with gourmet flat bread. If you make it out to Paso Robles, stop in at Burbank Ranch’s tasting room/bistro in downtown Paso Robles, sample the whole gamut of their wines with the awesome food pairings and tell them Anne’s Boutique Wines sent you! $28.99

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