- Q & A
February 1978 Selection of California Wine
STONE CREEK SPECIAL SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1974
In our "wine of the month" program we attempt to offer unusual new items, excellent values, or wines of outstanding quality. In this Stone Creek Cabernet we have admirably succeeded in all three areas. Although Stone Creek produces no wine of its own, it buys in bulk and cellars and bottles wines from other producers. Even though wines under the Stone Creek label may be from different districts, and may vary somewhat in quality, they have been found to be consistently sound wines.
The cabernet sauvignon is of course, the noble grape of France which is largely responsible for most of the fine chateau wines of Bordeaux. In California this grape produces some truly superb wines, particularly when grown in the North Coast region of the state.
This Stone Creek Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is a good example of what the cabernet can produce in California. It has a good varietal nose, fine fruit, with a medium body and a pleasant finish. Enjoy it at room temperature with red meats and hearty dishes. An excellent value.
February 1978 Selection of Imported Wine
MARQUIS DE GOULAINE MUSCADET 1976
This wine comes to us from the lower Loire Valley of France. The Loire is the largest, and one of the most beautiful rivers of France, and in its 600 mile course transverses an entire series of provinces and viticultural districts, one of which is Muscadet. The Goulaine family, itself rich in history, has produced wines in this region for nearly a thousand years, and the family chateau dates back to the year 1150. The present Marquis, Robert, is the 11th Marquis de Goulaine and personally supervises almost every aspect of the family's ancient winemaking operation. Muscadet is produced from a grape which is known as the muscadet in local areas, but is actually the Melon grape. The Melan was originally transplanted from Burgundy centuries ago, where it produces a somewhat mediocre wine. In Muscadet this grape produces a fine, crisp dry wine with a distinctive character all its own.
Marquis de Goulaine Muscadet is a splendid example of the wines produced in this area of Brittany. The Marquis says that his wines should be consumed no younger than two months nor older than two years as they tend to loose their freshness. Do try this one at its peak, with shellfish.
I might add that some of the best values on a dollar per ounce basis are still available from these half gallon holdouts. One by one though they are converting to the 1.5 liter size, which is only a 50.7 ounce container. A year ago I speculated that some producers would switch to a full 2 liter container of 67.6 ounces, but I have not yet encountered one. It seemed to me to be a rather logical move, but, would have entailed a price increase which most wineries attempt to avoid unless absolutely necessary. Apparently most feel that it is better business to reduce the size while leaving the price unchanged.
The old gallon jugs of 128 ounces are also doomed. The new metric size in this category will evidently be the 3 liter bottle of 101.4 ounces. It looks the same from a distance, but, falls about a half dozen servings short of its old counterpart.
As I said last November, be aware that these changes are being made, and inspect the container for size. Ask us for help if you have any questions while shopping at the store.
HEITZ WINE CELLARS
We are pleased to announce the addition of the Heitz line to our wine selection. Currently available at our shop are the following items:
CELLAR TREASURE SHERRY $2.25
CELLAR TREASURE PORT 4.50
CELLAR TREASURE ANGELICA 5.90
JOHANNISBERG RIESLING 3.75
BRUT CHAMPAGNE 6.95
EXTRA DRY CHAMPAGNE 6.95
A CHABLIS SURPRISE
To assemble an interesting collection of wine for a tasting, it is almost always necessary to hold one or more screenings to taste side-by-side some of the candidate wines. These screenings are informal affairs, with perhaps ten wine lovers gathering in the Director's home. They require a greater tasting effort (more concentration) than in a typical evening seminar, because the wines will be very similar. Typically, it is an evening of surprises, with some highly touted wines leaving disappointment, and a few happy surprises for wines exceeding their expectations.
The January screening for the Chablis event was exceptional for two reasons. One was the sheer size-: eight Grand Cru's, six Premier Cru's, and two regional Chzblis for a total of 16! But most impressive was the quality. All the wines were outstanding--in sharp contrast to the Meursault screening of last fall, where two screenings ql wines) produced only six wines worthy of the tasting. If you love Chardonnay and are shocked by some of the big prices (over $9) accompanying many of the big California Chardonnays, try the currently-available Chablis. With many under $8, and some under $7, they represent very good values.
Come to the Chablis tasting on February 24, and pick your own favorite. All the wines presented with the exception of the 1969 Grand Cru are currently available.