January 2005 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 223
Rejected: 209 Approved: 12 Selected: 8
Happy New Year from all of us at Wine of The Month Club! We hope that 2005 is prosperous and healthy. Our resolution is the following: To continue to search, taste, select and send you great wines throughout the coming year.
I cannot believe what happened! In 1972, Dave Stare of Dry Creek Vineyards used to drive in to LA and hand deliver his wines for my father's store. He was small and just beginning Dry Creek Vineyards. As this business can go, Dave and Dry Creek Vineyards became superstars overnight. I thought l would never hear from them again (you see, their wines are out of our budget). So when the phone rang and these two Dry Creek wines were offered to us
(these two wines would typically sell for $36.00/pair). I yelled in the office "stop the presses" (literally, we were just about to print the newsletter with the original January selections; coming soon). Enjoy.
That is right, I said "Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon." That was the response I had to give a member when I mentioned this month's selections. Well, they were confused of course, they had seen this exact wine for $50.00 in a wine shop but as a Limited Series member they get the Mount Eden and a wonderful Tempranillo from Spain for $39.98! Mount Eden, a great boutique winery from California and Bodegas Vinedos, an historic Spanish winery make a great start for 2005!
For more than a quarter of a century, Dave Stare has committed himself wholeheartedly to developing his winery. He is involved in the community of Dry Creek, has been president of several industry associations including the Sonoma County Wineries Association and founded the Society of Blancs to promote and market Sauvignon Blanc wines. An avid sailor, Dave's passion for water adventures is reflected in every bottle of wine produced at Dry Creek Vineyard. He shares his love of sailing by featuring original paintings of sailing ships on each bottling.
Dry Creek Vineyard was the first new winery to be established in the Dry Creek Valley since the days of Prohibition. When David Stare arrived, he had a vision and a pioneering spirit. He ripped out the prime orchards and planted grapevines. He ignored the negative and concentrated instead on producing wines of great quality.
From the very first vintage, his Fume' Blanc (Sauvignon
Blanc) put the winery on the map as the wines were met with rave reviews. David Stare and Dry Creek Vineyard are responsible for setting the precedent for leadership and responsible winemaking in the Dry Creek Valley.
The Chardonnay, like all their wines, is crafted for absolute quality and consistency. It is rich, round and elegantly balanced. To ensure complexity, the Chardonnay grapes are harvested from 16 separate vineyards. An average of 25 different lots of Chardonnay are crushed, fermented, and barrel aged separately. All the lots are 100% barrel fermented, 100% sur he aged and Malolactic is always 50% to 100%.
Combine all that with whole cluster pressing and you taste mouth-filling forward fruits of rich baked apples, tropical fruit and honey suckle flavors enhanced by French oak. What a lush Chardonnay!
Chef Brad Wallace at Dry Creek, shares his recipe for Clam Linguine which he recommends with this wine. See Adventures in Good Food on page 13. Enjoy!
Deep yellow gold color.
Tropical fruit, honey
suckle, ripe pear.
Lush and full-bodied.
Taste: Ripe pear, vanilla,
Elegant, long, buttery
Domestic Selection 2
What do sailing and winemaking have in common? Let us go to the source and find out from Dave Stare, owner and founder of Dry Creek Vineyard.
'Sailing, like winemaking, is fun, adventuresome, and romantic. They both offer a refreshing change of pace from the pressures of everyday life. The images of the sailing ships on the labels capture the high¬spirited attitude and feeling at the winery. We love wine. We love sailing. Both are our passions and inspirations.'
Over the years, these labels have become collector's items and consumers love them.
Dry Creek has ten estate vineyards, totaling close to 200 acres in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valley. Not only is Dave Stare dedicated, but his staff is also.
Don Wallace is General Manager, is the product of four generations of California farming family, and loves water sports and
sailing. Kim Stare Wallace is Director of Marketing and has won awards for her skills including "Best Marketed Winery" in Sonoma. William Knuttel is the highly experienced and gifted winemaker. He was winemaker at Chalk Hill for seven years and at Saintsbury for 13 years. Wow! What a resume'! Duff Bevill is the vineyard manager and has the hefty task of managing the fruit quality from each of 12 different vineyards and 10 estate properties. He has been with Dry Creek for more than 20 years.
This is a formidable and powerful team, dedicated to serving up the very best wines from Sonoma.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is an age worthy wine with smells of fresh cherries and blueberries. It is rich with cigar, spice, and sweet oak flavors. It is well-structured with a long and lingering finish. This is the perfect wine with roasted lamb or grilled steaks.
We hope that you enjoy it as much as we have.
(ka -ber-nay saw-veen-yawn)
Deep red color.
Nose: Fresh cherries,
blueberries and cedar.
Taste: Dry, full
bodied,flavors of spice,
and sweet oak.
Dry lingering finish.
Limited Series Selection
Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate locat¬ed on a 2000 foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We know how much you enjoyed the Mount Eden Chardonnay in November so we are sure that the Cabernet Sauvignon will be another big hit.
It was founded in 1942 and has a long and sorted past. Its focus is on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil in these mountains is infertile shale; the weath¬er cool and the vineyards produce extremely low yields.
In 1878, Paul Masson carne from Burgundy France and started a winery in the mountains next to Mount Eden.
Martin Ray grew up there and idolized Mr. Masson. After Prohibition, Martin Ray purchased the Paul Masson Champagne Company from Paul and started making 100% vari¬etel wines, the first ever in California.
He sold this winery back to
Paul Masson in 1942 and planted further north on Mount Eden. Partners renamed the Bite Mount Eden Vineyards and their first vintage was 1972.
Every winemaker has been talented and well respect¬ed, and all the wines have been excellent.
Jeffery Patterson, the cur¬rent winemaker lives with his wife and children on Mount Eden in the house that Martin Ray built.
Patterson believes that all great wines are made in the vineyard. "The challenge and creativity is greatest in the vineyard." He likes the wine to speak for itself.
The 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of this magical mountain fruit. Vibrant aromas of black raspberry, cassis, and oak greet you at the glass. The flavors are chocolate, cedar, and cassis. The tannins are smooth yet powerful.
This wine is still a young¬ster and will benefit with a few more years in your cel¬lar.
If you can wait, let the wine breathe for at least an hour before drinking.
Color: Dark red.
berries and cassis
Textured and elegant.
Flavors of chocolate,
cassis, and dark fruit.
Limited Series Selection
Spain has been a land of vines for thousands of years. Spain is the world's third-largest producer of wine. The land is best known for its rich, red Rioja wines. The Rioja wine district is located in northern Spain between the Ebro River inside the region of Logrono. It is divided into three areas dependent on their dis¬tinct climate and soils. The region is allowed only seven varieties for their wines. The red grapes are: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuela. The white grapes are: Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca. Tempranillo is undoubtedly the most characteristic variety and is the identity of the region. It covers 65% of the land. The grapes are very aromatic. It is also called Cencibel, Tinto del Pais, Tinto Fino, and Ull de Llebre in other regions of Spain.
Bodega Vinedos de Aldeanueva was found¬ed in 1956 and owns 400 acres in Rioja Baja.
Cortijo III (kore-TEE¬hoe) is 100% Tempranillo and aged in American and old Bordeaux bar¬rels. Tinto tells us that the wine has been aged less than one year in the bottle. The wines strad¬dles both Old World and New World winemaking styles.
The modern equipment makes for a clean, fresh wine without losing the earthy and sensuous old world essence. Cortijo III is a soft, elegant and graceful wine. The label humorously depicts a stile-like chateaux to try and negate stigmas of old world producers.
The Cortijo III has a deep purple red color. The nose is inviting and forward with very ripe blackberries and a hint of plums, prunes and min¬erais. The taste is com-plex, medium-bodied, dry and well-balanced. There are flavors of dark berry fruit, ground espresso, licorice, leather and a hint of bacon. Cortijo is a soft, easy drinking wine and is per¬fect to drink with cheese, pasta and pizza. Enjoy!
Cortijo III Tinto
Dark purple red.
Nose: Soft fruit smells
of berry jam, cinnamon.
Taste: Fresh and fruity
with hints of spice, oak
Refreshing soft finish.
We saw a baffle of 'low-carb' wine at the store. How many carbs does
wine have that it needs to be lowered? Is there a market for these wines?
K.S., Walnut Creek, CA
It had to happen eventu-ally with the low-carb trend in full swing. But the good news is that even among the low carb dieters, wine is not the enemy.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's nutrition database, for a five-ounce serving of dry white wine, the carbs are 1.18 g and for dry red wine, it is 2.51 g.
According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade rules, any drink with less than 7 grams can be called low carb.
Wines are not required to list carbs but if they do, they must also list all the nutrition info, includ¬ing calories.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines report that a 5-ounce glass of wine contains about 100 calories but there is variance with different types of
wine and their level of alcohol. Wine contains no fat and negligible protein. When you are concerned about calories and carbs stay away from sugary dessert wines and worst of all, port wine. Any food or drink in excess will result in consequences to our health and well being, so always drink and eat in moderation. Excess in moderation and modera¬tion in excess is the rule. When low-carbing is your diet, cut out the french fries and dessert and enjoy a good glass of wine instead.