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Volume 9, Issue 1 – January 2016
Inside this issue:
November Selections; Arterberry Maresh, Clos des Lunes, Ferrari Carano, Lindemans Lambic Ale, Masianco, Artesa, Betsy’s Corner
Special points of interest: Wine of the Month Club
Planning a PARTY? Let Betsy help you select just the right beverages!
Stop in, email, or Phone us! Let us help you with your next party.
860.889.4637 Email us! Winetowne@sbcglobal.net
Francois Lurton Les Hauts de Janeil Syrah-Grenache 2014
The Lurton family of France has made wine successfully across different lands including Argentina, Spain, Chile. Syrah and Grenache are typical grapes grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. This wine is a deep red wine with spice and pepper on the nose. On the palate it is easy and the tannins are “dense with an elegant structure. It is long and aromatic with black fruits on the finish.” Stock up on this warm wine for the cold days ahead!
$12.99 reg $11.29 club
Castellargo Pinot Grigio 2014
Pinot Grigio is popular for a reason…it is easy to drink and most of the time it is inexpensive. To start the year off right we bring you this bright, clean and fruitful Pinot Grigio from Italy. This wine comes from north-eastern Italy which includes Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. At only 12% alcohol this wine is lower in alcohol than most Chardonnay so it is a good choice if you want to keep things “light”!
$12.99 reg $11.28 club
Castellargo Nero D’Avola 2014
From the same people who bring you the Pinot Grigio comes a tasty Sicilian wine that more people should be drinking! This is the grape everyone associates with this warm weather island. The wine is dark red with red berry aromas; and a blend of spices. It is a rich wine that is full bodied and ready to take on most hearty dishes. Another wine to stock up on for the cold nights ahead. Think of it as your Italian vacation in a bottle.
$12.99 reg $11.09 club
Triennes Red St Auguste 2012
Perhaps it is enough to know that the owners of Domaine Dujac, Domaine Romanee Conti and a friend, Michel Macaux, were the ones who started this winery in Provence. It should at least give you an idea of the expertise that went into finding/founding this winery. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. We like what The Wine Spectator had to say: “mulled plum and blackberry fruit, with dried anise, tobacco, mint and juniper notes lining the finish”. It is also unfiltered and sustainable/organic.
Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2013
Oregon could justifiably be called the Burgundy of the United States. It has distinguished itself in general as a place to grow and make the finicky grape that is Pinot Noir. It has also increasingly distinguished itself by pushing further into appellations that give new meaning to the word “terroir”.
Jim Maresh is Oregon’s first third generation winemaker. His grandparents did the fifth planting of Pinot Noir in Oregon. The wines here all come from a 45 acre vineyard that is organically dry-farmed. The grapes in this wine come from the Maresh and Juliard vineyards both of which have clones dating back to the 1970s. They recently built a winery within a mile of all vineyards so they could intimately get to know their vines. The grapes are all hand harvested with no added sugar, water or acid (this is a big deal considering how much processing many big wineries do). They prefer to use spontaneous fermentation and neutral French oak so the true fruit character shows through. It is aged for 14-18 months and racked only right before bottling. The winery likes to describe the flavors as “red berries, black tea, sandalwood…stony spice, bramble”. While the Juliard is more “black anise, mocha, dusty rocks”. We like to describe it as off-the-charts– Pinot Noir.
$30.99 / bottle
Clos des Lunes Lune Blanche 2013
When most people talk about Bordeaux they tend to speak of the great red wines. We’d like you to remember that they make great white wines usually from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. This wine which is from the Sauternes region (we know, usually associated with sweet wines) is blended from 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc and it is an irresistible combination. This is a DRY white wine! The grapes are hand harvested when they are very ripe and carefully placed in small crates. It is described by the winery as having “Fleshy white fruit, pear, plum and peach for the Semillon and some exotic and citrus touches remind us of the ripe Sauvignon Blanc”. It has great acidity finishing with a “crisp note of nectarine”.
$19.99 / bottle
This Month’s Cellar Selection
Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma County 2012
If you can’t get to California to visit the elegant winery that produces this wine then the next best thing is to drink this Cabernet Sauvignon which has been made with just a little Syrah. Before other areas and other wineries became trendy, Ferrari-Carano was one of THE wineries. The great soil of the vineyards that produce this wine also have great exposure—ideal condition for wine “terroir”. The components here are “vibrant aromatics of cassis, smoky cedar, mint, caramel, and leather”. If you are looking for a classic American wine to stock in your cellar, you can’t do much better than this.
Beer…Unlike Anything You’ve Known
Lindemans Cuvee Rene Oude Geuze Lambic Ale
Where do we begin the story of this beer and brewery? We start with the fact that Lindemans is not to be confused with the Australian winery of the same name and not linked with it at all. The brewery is located in Belgium, a place well known for Trappist beers and other styles of beer. More importantly we could start with the fact that for a very long time Lindemans has produced some of the tastiest fruit beers around (they also do peach, raspberry, green apple and a few others). This is about a category of beers called geuze—a “wild fermented wheat beer that is made
with aged hops and in small quantities”. They blend older (oude) and younger Lambic beers and they referment in the bottle after it is capped. It is highly sought after by beer connoisseurs and can be aged in your cellar just like wine. Cuvee Rene has been imported into the United States since the early 1990s when the sour beer category was not as well known. Now there are people who drink nothing but sour beers. It challenges the palate when first tasted because it doesn’t taste like any other beer you may have tasted. The brewery compares it to a bubbly dry Vermouth. It is sour and acidic but if you are looking for a way to expand your palate you have found a place to start. Also, sometimes in Belgium it is served with sugar cubes on the side so you can sweeten it to taste. C’mon be adventurous.
$10.99/ 750ml bottle
Masi + Bianco = Delicious
Masi Masianco 2013
Masi may be better know for its red wines (they are well known for their Amarone wines) but this white wine is a treat for Masi lovers. Masi is located in the Veneto region of Italy which is steeped in wine, literature and architecture—in other words, it is a cultural center. Masianco is a blend of Pinot Grigio and Verduzzo. While you may be more familiar with the former, the latter is less well known. Verduzzo does originate in the region of the Veneto and some of the grape’s tannins do contribute to this wine for a slightly different take on Pinot Grigio. Citrus and stone fruit flavors abound with a hint of honey but it is certainly not sweet.
The Art of Chard
Artesa Chardonnay Carneros 2013
Chardonnay is still the undisputed Queen of white wine. Artesa started life as a sparkling wine facility but transitioned to one of the most distinguished still wine wineries in Carneros. It produces excellent Chardonnay because of its location and climate. This wine is aged in both French oak and stainless steel. It has undergone partial barrel fermentation, malolactic and lees stirring. All of that adds up to a wine that is complex with flavors of citrus and white flowers.
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
Imagine that you have purchased a gristmill and want to open a rock climbing ranch but your neighbors balk at the proposition. What do you do? If you are the guys at Hudson Distillery you go back to the basics and decide to use what the mill had: grain, water and yeast. All of it of course led to making whiskey. Although Hudson makes a couple of other things such as rye, a single malt and a corn whiskey, the Baby Bourbon Whiskey is the one for which they are best known. This is the first New York aged Whiskey since prohibition. It is made with 100% Empire State corn that is sourced within ten miles of their distillery; which by the way is called Tuthilltown Distillers. The bourbon is matured in small charred new American oak which of course gives it the beautiful amber color that it has. Small barrels mean more contact with the wood which means more flavoring of the bourbon. They don’t use charcoal or chill filter their bourbon so it is a full flavored spirited adventure when you pour it into the glass. So what does this Baby Bourbon taste like? It tastes like what you imagine bourbon should taste. It has “a bright, defined taste and a warm finish with notes of marzipan and roasted corn”. Also you can take all that goodness and put it to good use in one of your favorite cocktails…a rewarding and enriching experience.
$63.99/ 750ml bottle