- Q & A
September 2005 NewsletterWines evaluated last month: 241 Rejected: 220 Approved: 21 Selected: 4
We are so exhausted! We've tasted so many wines this month and had such a hard time finding the quality we wanted. But persis¬tence is omnipotent and we kept pressing. The import wine this month is such a treat; a Bordeaux-style wine from Argentina. The white wine was a com-plete surprise! Besides being a delightful Chardonnay, the pack¬age is cutting edge!REGULAR SERIES:
2003 Fusee (few-zay), Chardonnay, California
We are the first to have it and you are the first to try it before it hits the mass marketplace. This is a refreshing, ultra¬modern Chardonnay made with tradition and an eye on the future with a screw cap!
2004 Postales Del Fin Del Mundo Cabernet Sauvignon/ Malbec, Patagonia, Argentina
is grown in the vast land¬scapes of Patagonia. The land yields grapes of uniform ripeness, good tannins, and excellent color. The addition of Malbec softens the Cabernet tannins and adds complexity.
2003 Boci Monferrato Rosso, Piedmont, Italy
The Monferrato region is mostly planted with Barbera that produces rich, fruity wines worth drinking now, but also capable of ageing and matches with many dif-ferent recipes.
1998 Anterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Napa Valley, California
Love of family, commit¬ment to friendships, passion for fine wines, devotion to excellence, and the magnificent grapes of Napa Valley are the building blocks for the Ellicock Family Winery and its superior, hand-crafted wine.
Domestic SelectionIn April of 2004, Don Sebastiani & Sons founded a division in their company called Three Loose Screws. The wines are dedicated to taking a different twist and igniting a market of fine wines for the other-than-oenophile crowd. Different twist is the key phrase here; all the wines are finished with screw cap enclosures. As members of Wine of the Month Club, you are kept abreast of all the innovations and current changes in the wine world. Screw caps are the future for many wineries both high and low-end. Screw caps serve many great purposes, first and foremost for preventing TCA, which is commonly known as "cork taint". It occurs when the cork becomes infected with bacteria and then gives the wine an awful smell of musty attic or damp newspapers. Screw caps are also great for sealing the bottle when you don't finish it all in one sitting. Or, if you want to open a bottle at a picnic or at the beach and realize that you forgot your corkscrew. Think bold, vibrant and daring, and you will think of Fusee. Three Loose Screws, (also known as 3LS), offer carefully crafted wines that appear wholly fun, but should be taken totally seriously. After all, 3LS are not loose cannons. They are dignified and astute negotiants of old-school winemaking and marketing, with a long, proud, and successful family heritage. Fusee (few-zay) is the French translation for rocket, an ignitable and cylindrical projectile. The winemaker, Richard Bruno brings many years of expertise from previous jaunts at Alexander Valley Vineyards and Niebaum Coppola. He says that he "is committed to making premium varietel wines of exceptional character with expressive fruit and a delicate balance that pairs well with food." We agree with him and are confident that you will, too. The color is a bright sunshine yellow. The wine is fresh, vibrant, and full of classic Chardonnay aromas such as apples and apricots. Most of the grapes are sourced from the Sonoma Coast which lends a typical aroma and flavor of fresh cut Meyer lemons. It is smooth and easy drinking without a lot of oakiness and flavors of caramel apples, apricot, honeydew, and papaya. We love it with our recipe for Linguine with Chicken, Spinach and Mustard-Dill sauce. See page 13. Cheers!
Color: Sunshine yellow.
Nose: Meyer lemons, apricots, green apples.
Flavor: Dry, clean, smooth, creamy caramel, honeydew, papaya.
Clean lingering finish.
Imported SelectionWelcome to Argentina Wine Country! We cannot seem to get enough of the great wines coming from South America. We talked about this new winery last month with their Malbec and here we are again with another amazing selec-tion. This one is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world! It is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. They are gaining respect and attention for pro¬ducing delicious wines at prices that are incredibly rea¬sonable. A trip to the wine regions of Argentina is very similar to visiting the Napa Valley in the 1980's; young, energetic, and full of promise. The dry climate, cool nights, and hot days, the mineral-rich, sandy soil, and an abun¬dance of sun, combine to make this a wine- growing area with perfect terroir and capable of producing great wines. One of the most south¬ernmost wineries on the plan¬et is Bodega del Fin del Mundo (end of the world win¬ery). It is located in Patagonia, a huge area in Argentina, actually the eighth biggest country in the world. The winery does all the harvest manually. The fermentation takes place in French stainless steel tanks. The vines are irri-gated with the clean water from the Neuquen River and snowmelt from the Andes Mountain Range. The wines are further fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels. Made with great care and meticulous attention to the grape quality, we are thrilled to send you Postales del Fin del Mundo, (postcard from the end of the world!) The wine is "stamped" with its unique personality. The color is a rich, ruby red with a slight pink rim. There are plum, blackberry, spice, and pepper notes to the nose. The palate is smooth and balanced with juicy flavors of blackber¬ry, plums and hints of sweet chocolate. The wine is round, tasty, versatile, and well priced. It is ready to be enjoyed now, but would also benefit from cellar time. The cuisine of Patagonia combines the aborgine communities as well as the strong influence of European pioneers. The recipes vary from hearty mountain fare to sublime seafood dishes. The region is most known for its Patagonian lamb and we have a recipe for a regional lamb dish on page 13, Adventures in Food. Salud!
Postales del Fin del Mundo
(ka -bur-nay saw-veehn-yahn) (mehl-beck)
Color: Ruby, red.
Nose: Ripe red fruits, plum, blackberry, pepper.
Palate: Soft tannins, balanced, medium-bodied,
Limited Series SelectionPiedmont is Italy's western most region with borders on Switzerland and France, and is hemmed in by the Alps and the Apennines Mountains. The name Piedmont means "foot of the mountain." Piedmont has the most DOC-¬DOCG zones in all of Italy, and is very proud of this accomplishment. The Monferrato is part of the vast hills that extend down the Po River to the southern limits of the Piedmont region. It is a region of castles and many social and economic centers. The district is above all a region of noble vine¬yards and truffles. It covers most of the region of Alessandria and Asti. The climate is rigid with distinct changes of season. Winters are cold with plenty of snow. Summers are for the most part hot and dry, and the Spring and Fall are cool with fog. The Monferrato region is planted mostly with Barbera, which loves and thrives in this cli¬mate. Barbera is the most-grown red grape in Piedmont, and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. It is durable, very produc¬tive, and produces wines of healthy tannin, acidity, and mouthfill-ing fruit. Lovers of Nebbiolo, the grape used to make the mighty Barolo wines, admire the Barbera for its easy, early drinkabil¬ity. This is the wine that the Piedmont people drink as they wait for their Barolo and Barbaresco to mature. It is said that "Barbera is the wine that lubricates the daily bread." This wine has a brilliant, ruby color. The nose is an explosion of intense plum, spice, currants, minerals, and chalk. The palate is full, dense, and well-rounded, with bal¬anced acidity and sweet tannins. It pairs ideally with any pasta dish and is delightful with lamb and meat stews.
Boci Monferrato Rosso
Color: Brilliant ruby.
Nose: Plum, spice, currants, minerals, chalk.
Palate: Full, dense, well-rounded, sweet tannins.
Long harmonic finish.
Limited Series SelectionTo the Wappo Indians who first inhabited the val¬ley, "Napa" meant a land of plenty. Today, Napa Valley is home to more than 260 wineries. Its growers and vintners com¬bine cutting-edge science with tradition to continually produce world-class wines. The grapes used in Anterra Wines come exclusively from the Napa Valley. The winery is a result of team work between Andy and Teri Ellicock who are the sole owners and employees of the tiny micro-winery, which is nestled in the beautiful Napa Valley. Andy and Teri are wine enthusiasts who allowed their enthusiasm to mature into a passion to pro-duce their own wines. Andy took classes at Napa Valley College before honing his skills at UC Davis. He pro-duced award-winning wines with Larry Kirkland for sev-eral years before pursuing his dream of making his own wines a reality. The 1990's brought his wines prestige and attention. By intent, it is still one of the smallest bond-ed wineries in the Napa Valley, rarely producing more than 1,100 cases per year; half Merlot and half Cabernet Sauvignon. Although many years have past since the Ellicock's began their journey from afi-cionados to producers, their values have not. They still adhere to the fundamentals of family, friendships, pas-sion for fine wines, devotion to excellence, and personally selecting the very best grapes from the Napa Valley. To quote Teri Ellicock, "We believe our passion, hard work, and craftsmanship has resulted in the highest quality wine. We hope experiencing the subtle flavors and delicate overtones of our wine is exhilarating to all who elect to drink Anterra Wine." The color is dense ruby with a soft, gold rim. The nose is very fragrant with loads of lush black fruit, currants, spicy vanilla, tobacco, and herbs. The palate displays soft tannins and luscious fruit with a core of sweet oak and chocolate. The finish is surprisingly long and rich with currant and vanilla. The wine is leaving adoles-cence and beginning to mature with more complexi¬ty and finesse. Have a glass with some warm French bread and then sit down to dinner with Prime Rib or grilled steaks. Delicious!
Napa Valley California
Color: Dense ruby.
Nose: Black fruit, currants, vanilla, tobacco, herbs.
Palate: Soft tannins, sweet oak, chocolate.
Long finish with currants and vanilla.