- Q & A
September 1976 Selection of California Wine
MIRASSOU FLEURI BLANC – N.V.
The first Mirassou vineyard was planted in the Santa Clara Valley in 1848 by Louis Pellier, who came to California seeking gold. The original holding was sold by Louis to his brother Pierre, who soon doubled the size of the vineyards. Pierre's daughter married Pierre Mirassou, thereby establishing the Mirassou name. The winery's production was sold in bulk for many years and only recently have the Mirassou's marketed products under their own name.
Fleuri Blanc is a new wine from Mirassou, making its debut this month. It is produced predominantly from the Gewurztraminer, about 65%, another 25% is Johannisberg Riesling, and the balance is Pinot Blanc. The Gewurztraminer gives it a bit of fruitiness, the Johannisberg lends a flowery nose and crispness, while the Pinot Blanc enhances the body.
Mirassou's Fleuri Blanc is a semi-sweet wine which is at its best served chilled with cream cheeses, fruit glazed ham or poultry, fresh fruit, dessert, or by itself. A warm weather refresher.
September 1976 Selection of Imported Wine
SANTO TOMAS BARBERA – 1973
The Bodegas de Santo Tomas are located on the outskirts of Ensenada in Baja California. One finds here the true old world tradition of wine production. Wood is used extensively at Santo Tomas for all stages of wine production, from fermentation to ageing. Winemaker Dimitri Tchelischeff gained his winemaking experience in our own Napa Valley, where his father served for many years as winemaker at Beaulieu.
The grapes for the Santo Tomas wines come from a number of small valleys in Baja near Ensenada. Some are said to have climates much like the area of the upper Napa Valley near Calistoga; cool early morning fogs, and hot summers.
The barbera grape has now been planted extensively by Santo Tomas, and its Barbera wines are reminiscent of their Piedmont heritage in the north of Italy. Dry, robust, sometimes tart; Santo Tomas Barbera is at its best served at room temperature with hearty dishes. Ole.
CALLAWAY WINES AT PALOS VERDES
In July, Queen Elizabeth of England visited the United States to participate in our bicentennial celebrations. At the time, an elaborate and much publicized state dinner was held in her Minor, at the White House. California captured some of the limelight at the affair by having one of its wines served to the royal entourage and other eminent guests. The wine selected for the occasion was Callaway White Riesling 1974, from Callaway Vineyards, Temecula, California.
This and other Callaway wines have been available at our shop for some time. We have found the White Riesling to be quite dry for its type, crisp, clean and possessing a somewhat subdued, delicate, nose and flavor; $5.00 per fifth. Also available are Callaway Chenin Blanc 1974, similarly dry but, quite pleasant; $5.00 per fifth. The Dry Sauvignon Blanc turned out to be the most popular of the lot; good varietal character, crisp, light, and refreshing; $4.50 per fifth. Their Chenin Blanc Harvested Late 1973, or, Sweet Nancy, is a sweet, dessert-type wine and one of the few Chenin Blancs we have ever encountered produced in this style; $15.00 per fifth. To round out the Callaway selection is their recently released Zinfandel 1974, at $5.00 per fifth.
NEW PARDUCCI JUGS ARRIVE
About a month or so ago another new jug wine appeared on the market. This one comes to us from Parducci of Ukiah, in Mendocino County; and old name in California wine, but a new one in the bulk wine field.
We now have these vintage dated wines available in Burgundy, Chablis, and Rose in the new 1.5 liter metric bottles. The 1975 Chablis has a light golden color, light to medium body, good fruit for a jug wine, and a surprisingly good finish. The 1975 Rose is medium dry, a good, versatile, quaffing wine. The 1972 Burgundy is surprisingly full bodied for an inexpensive wine. It has a nice deep color, good fruit, and is somewhat drier than most jug wines we have tried. All are available at a modest $2.89 per 1.5 liter bottle.
Les Amis du Vin
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chapter of Les Amis du Vin is joining with the Manhattan Beach Chapter to cosponsor four wine seminars this fall. In addition to the August tasting of the newly-released (1975) German wines, the fall schedule is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 24 Italian Wines
The new Italian appelation control laws are showing their effect; more and more out standing wines are coming from Italy. Our guest expert will be the Italian Trade Com missioner.
Friday, Oct. 27 1970 Bordeaux's 1st & 2nd growths
With the prices returning to reasonable levels, and plenty of 70's left to buy, come find your favorite to stock your cellar.
Friday, Nov. 19 California Chardonnay's – the white wines that have been beating the French. December No Seminar planned.
All these tastings will be held at the Plush Horse Inn, located, at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verdes Boulevard.
If you are not a member of Les Amis du Vin, the Peninsula Chapter welcomes you to come to these seminars and see what they are all about. All of these will be sit-down wine tastings with multiple wine glasses to permit easy comparison of the wines under the leadership of a visiting expert. Contact Al Hausrath, 375-8428 or the shop, 375-5116, for further information.
Our annual glassware, barware and giftware sale will be in progress during the month of September at the shop. A good portion of our regular inventory in these categories is reduced from 25% to 50%.
Here is an opportunity to add a set of good wine glasses for everyday use or for starting and augmenting your fine Seneca glass handbloom crystal. Many gift type items are included and allow you to make some buys as future gifts (like Christmas, you know)!
The sixth offering of a continuing course in "The Art of Enjoying Wine" starts on Sept. 29, 1976 at the Palos Verdes Community Art Association.
The class meets on alternate Wednesdays at 7:30 pm. for a 5 session course. The topic this semester is "California Red Wines," which entails a discussion and tasting evaluation of wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Gamay Beaujolais, Carignane, Grenache, Alicante, Merlot, Burgundy.
The class is restricted to 28 participants and is held in the gallery of the Art Association where art and wine have blended well in the last 5 courses. Lectures on the various aspects of wine, like service, storage, meal matching, and wine lore are interspersed with evaluations of representative wines from each area of the wine spectrum.
If you have always wanted to learn more about wine, whether you are a newcomer, or already a student, this is a good chance to participate in a non competitive class that is offered locally
Particulars about the class may be obtained from the Palos Verdes Community Arts Association office at: 5504 W. Crestridge Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, or by phoning 541-2479. Brochures of the course are also available at the shop. Stop by or call 378-2168.