JULY 2016 WINE CLUB NOTES


WINE CLUB MEMBERS WHO RECEIVE (1 WHITE & 1 RED WINE) WILL ENJOY:
2014 BODEGAS SANTO TOMAS – BLANCA MEXICO – BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
Baja has been producing wines since the time of the Conquistadors but the area has been coming more into the limelight in the last 15 years. Being fresh from an eye opening trip to Baja, we are happy to report that this area of the Americas’ is thriving! With winemakers trained around the world, equipment to make a Napa vintner jealous, and a passion for wine that makes our heart happy. The area has come a long way and with that we introduce you to the first ever wine entry to our wine club from Mexico. This wine was produced by Bodegas Santo Tomas, which is the very first winery in Baja California. Founded in 1888, and while it has been under the control of a couple of different families, it was an interim president of Mexico (Abelardo Rodriguez) who launched the winery’s bottling plant in Ensenada, enabling the winery to produce 600,000 cases per year. Santo Tomas is always at the cutting edge of technology, consistently upgrading their equipment and educating their winemakers.At present they have had a woman winemaker, Laura Zamora, heading the whole team for the last 40 years and who is now training her daughter to take the helm when the time comes. Bodega Santo Tomas is so well regarded as a winery that Wente winery in 1998 teamed up with Bodegas to make a wine blend called Duetto (red blend). We learned that although this winery and a few others are producing larger numbers, the majority of the wine is sold in Mexico, and the amount available for export is tiny. We truly had to work and ask nicely to get enough for all our wine club members. The winery is well worth a visit, and we are working on a possible trip to Baja, exclusively for our wine club members in October. Stay tuned…but now, let’s talk about this awesome wine! It is made with an ancient (in California terms) grape. It is called Mission grape; a grape brought to the Americas by Catholic missionaries in the 1500s who planted it to make sacramental wine. It is said that it is related or even the same grape as Listan Negro of Spain or Criolla and Pais which now grows in South America. The grape is red in color and it also used to produce brandies in Mexico, so it was a pleasant surprise to us when we sampled it as a white wine. It is made into a white wine by removing the skins from the stainless steel fermentation tank so that no color is given to the final product. This wine is a summer delight! Clear straw color with aromas of ripe fruits, pineapple, citrus, peaches and even pear. The palate is best described as a delicious crossing between a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a Viognier! Chill this wine to 45F and serve with Guacamole and chips this fourth of July. Grilled fish or chicken that is flavored on the lighter end!

CLIENTS WHO RECEIVE ONE WHITE WINE AND RED WINE WILL RECEIVE THE ABOVE WINE AND:
2013 PEREZ CRUZ – “RESERVA” CABERNET SAUVIGNON – VALLE DEL MAIPO, CHILE – Certified Sustainable
Viña Pérez Cruz is a family-owned, single-estate producer of quality red wines from Chile. The winery is located in the “Maipo Andes” sub-region. This area is 30 miles southeast of Santiago, nestled against the Andes mountain foothills at about 1500 ft. elevation. The family purchased the property in 1963 and ­first planted vines there in 1994. The rocky soils and temperate microclimate of the region create exceptional growing conditions for exceptional wines. What we love about this wine is not only the quality to price, ratio, but also the smoothness of the texture, and when you taste it you’ll see what we mean. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were hand-harvested, crushed and fermented in stainless steels tanks and then the wine was transferred to French oak barrels to age for 12 months. This wine has notes of raspberries, dark chocolate, and just a hint of herbaceous notes on the nose. On the palate the wine begins with blackberry notes, bit of clove spiciness, and a finish reminiscent of espresso beans. This wine is a lovely companion to your coffee encrusted steaks, a chile relleno, or even a vegetarian feast comprised of grilled bell peppers! 90 pts. James Suckling

WINE CLUB MEMBERS WHO CHOOSE 2 REDS, PEREZ CRUZ CABERNET SAUVIGNON AND:
2014 ALTO LIMAY – PINOT NOIR – PATAGONIA, ARGENTIA
Pinot Noir from the heights of Argentina! The cool climate of the Patagonian region is a best kept secret for the wines of Argentina. Alto Limay is a Paul Hobbs Imports project. With over 25 years of experience of winemaking in Argentina, as well as being one of America’s most recognized and admired winemakers, Hobbs, who is also the consulting winemaker,believes that the short, cool, sunny growing season of Patagonia is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir. The grapes were hand harvested and hand carried to the sorting table then crushed and fermented in stainless steel to enhance the fruitiness of the wine, then aged in French oak barrels for 8 months. Bring this wine to 60F and allow it to breathe for ½ hour to allow the notes of red cherries, baking spices, pomegranates, and a touch of Portobello mushrooms to come out. The palate goes on to confirm the crisp red fruit notes noted on the nose. This wine is best consumed young and can be paired with Mushroom risotto, grilled duck, coq’auvin (Burgundian style), or a Mushroom Brie!

MEMBERS WHO CHOOSE TWO WHITE WINES RECEIVE BODEGAS SANTO TOMAS BLANCA MEXICO&:
2014 DOMAINE BARON – SAUVIGNON “LES VIELLES VIGNES” – TOURAINE, FRANCE
The Touraine appellation is relatively unknown, situated in the Loire Valley of France and producing high quality wines that some would say rival Sancerre and Poully Fume but without the price tag. Domaine Baron has been growing Sauvignon Blanc since 1946, and has been in the same family while producing such wines. They practice Organic methods but are not certified, as are many small producers in the old world. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for this wine are gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks along with the lees, which gives the wine that creamy texture. The wine is allowed to rest over the winter before it is filtered and bottled in March. Chill this wine to about 42F. When sipped, you will note the wine’s excellent concentration and body with an enticing lime-citrus and stone fruit bouquet and a long finish. Pair with soft cheeses, tomatoes, vinaigrettes, and lighter foods flavored with herbs.

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