NOVEMBER 2015 WINE CLUB TASTING NOTES

NOVEMBER 2015 WINE CLUB NOTES

PRIMARY RED WINE:
2012 JESSE’S GROVE – ANCIENT VINE CARIGNANE – LODI, CALIFORNIA
From the moment we discovered this wine, we knew it would be perfect with the Thanksgiving Turkey and all the trimmings. But first, let us introduce you to the winery and the people behind it. The winery is almost out of a history book with buildings that date back to its founding days. Jessie's Grove was founded by and named after Jessie Spenker, who was the daughter of Joseph and Anna Spenker who founded the Ranch and Estate in 1868. Throughout the years, the ranch and farm have survived the depression, prohibition, droughts, disease, and more. For anyone interested in California and wine history, this is a winery well worth the visit, especially in the summer as they host a series of outdoor concerts along with story time with the matriarch of the family, who proudly (and rightfully so) tells the story of the family, the vineyards, and the wines. Today the winery is still a family winery with Spenker’s great great grandson, Greg Burns, who cares for and makes all the wines. This month’s primary red is a 100% Carignane, from vines originally planted by Joseph Spenker in 1889; making the vines 126 years old. Most wineries in the US can’t boast that kind of age. This delicious wine is a dry red, medium bodied, that blows minds as well as the palate. The nose has notes of cranberries, raspberries, and is refreshing and inviting. The palate is just like the nose with its plump fruit notes, and acidity that will enhance the meals of the season, whether you are serving ham or turkey, this wine will pair with it, delightfully.

PRIMARY WHITE WINE:
2014 LITTLE JAMES – “BASKET PRESS WHITE” – VIN DE PAYS D’OC (LANGUEDOC-ROUSILLON ), FRANCE
In the heart of the appellation Gigondas lies the Château de Saint Cosme, an exceptional estate with its Gallo-Roman fermentation vats perfectly preserved. This fantastic historical site gives a good idea how the Gallo-Romans were living and producing wine. The property has been in the family since 1490 and all have been producers of wine for 14 generations. The winery is mainly famous for their Gigondas (red wine) and their ancient winemaking methods but most recently have begun to purchase fruit from near-by villages to make wines that go beyond the laws and allow the winemaker Louis Barroul, to experience the freedom to make wines that come from grapes that are growing exceptionally well but not allowed to carry an appellation name. The label on this wine is a comical depiction by the winemaker himself and how the wine came to be. What is in the bottle is a delicious white wine made with a blend of Viognier that comes from ancient rootstock in Minervois, and then is blended with Sauvignon Blanc. This blend is fermented separately in cement vats and then blended for a truly refreshing and delightful array of aromas and flavors that includes orange skin, apricots, grapefruit, and even some citrus and white flowers. The palate follows through with the same notes and it has a fresh acidity and richness that will make it a perfect companion to roasted Thanksgiving Turkey. This wine is a crowd-friendly wine!

SECONDARY RED WINE ENTRY:
2013 POLIZIANO – ROSSO DI MONTIPULCIANO DOC – MONTEPULCIANO, ITALY
Federico Carletti was introduced to the world of viniculture was in 1961 when his father, Dino Carletti, bought land in the Comune of Montepulciano. They planted the first specialty vineyards in the region. The inspiration for this investment came more from the heart than from economic motives, instead, their choices have been inspired by a passion for agriculture and the real excitement of imagining and conceiving a vine, a grape, and turning it into a wine. Though Rosso di Montepulciano can be made from declassified Vino Nobile grapes, Poliziano takes no short cuts. Instead, they select rows of vines from specific vineyards in order to obtain a wine that is young, fruity, and full-bodied but never harsh or overly extracted; a selection that has allowed them to classify this their Rosso di Montepulciano as the "Second Wine" of the Estate. The wine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. Approximately 40% of the wine is aged eight months in second-year French barriques, while 60% is aged in large vats. This leads to a wine with beautiful notes of ripe cranberry, pomegranates and event a little bit of earthiness. This wine has a racy acidity which makes is perfect with meats but the tannin structure is smooth and delightful. This wine will benefit greatly from about 1 hour of decanting. Then pair it with Roasted Turkey, Ham or even Prime rib.

SECONDARY WHITE:
2013 EMILE BEYER – “TRADITION” PINOT BLANC – ALSACE FRANCE
The Domaine Emile Beyer represents 14 generations of winegrowing centered around the charming village of Eguisheim, the very heart of Alsace wine production. Eguisheim was the birthplace of viticulture in Alsace and is a village dear to the hearts of wine lovers. The region is a mosaic composed of chalky marl, sandstone and clay in varying proportions from one plot to the next. The vineyards benefit from the wealth of these diverse soils, which combined with the unique microclimate, enables the vine to reach its highest potential. The experience that Emile Beyer has acquired over generations enables the domaine to classify its wines by the grape varietal and also by quality, according to the location of the vines. Each different category must meet the domaine’s rigorous quality standards and expectations in order to bear the Emile Beyer label. This wine is 100% Pinot Blanc, a grape that produces wines with delicious aromas of peaches, apricots, and pear, and this wine is very much on mark. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats and allowed to mature on the lees for several months and this gives the wine a crisp acidity combined with the peach and apricot notes that enhance rich meats, but it is also at home accompanying light appetizers as well as a cheese plate at the end of a large meal. We think you’ll really enjoy this wine with the whole Thanksgiving meal!

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