April 1978 Selection of California Wine
THE FIRESTONE VINEYARD RED WINE - 1976
The Firestone Vineyard winery is new on the California wine scene. It released its first vintages only two years ago. The first offering showed much promise of more good things to come. The new and ultra modern winery facilities at Los Olivos house all of the latest in winemaking equipment. The operation is located in a pastoral setting, amidst rolling hills dotted with California oaks, in the Santa Ynez Valley. This area produced wine some years ago, but has only recently reemerged as a grape growing and winemaking district.
Firestone Red Wine was initially produced to be released as a cabernet sauvignon. The wine however, did not meet the winery's quality standards and was consequently released simply as Red Wine. It is a blend which reportedly contains about 75% cabernet and 25% Merlot.
The wine has a deep ruby color and a subtle nose which reveals its cabernet parentage. It has a medium light body and a smooth finish. A fine cabernet it is not, but a good sound red wine at a terrific price, it is another value of price versus quality discovery by your wine of month screening committee. Enjoy at room temperature with red meats, pasta, or other hearty dishes.
April 1978 Selection of Imported Wine
CHATEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITE - GRAVES 1974
The vineyards of Graves run for some thirty-five miles along the western bank of the Garonne River in a strip seldom more than five miles wide. This strip begins just north of the city of Bordeaux and continues to just below Langon. The area produces both red and white wines, about one quarter red and the balance white. In French the word "graves" simply means gravel or gravelly soil, and such soils are characteristic of the entire area. Chateau Smith Haut Lafite is located in Martillac in the very heart of the district.
The white wines of the chateau are produced from a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes. Although many of the white wines from the Graves area are sweet, this one is dry.
This Smith Haut Lafite has a very pleasant deep and clean nose, a medium straw color, medium body, and a pleasant lingering finish. A very enjoyable, almost flinty taste can be detected. Chateau Smith Haut Lafite has been a long time favorite of this writer, and the 1974 vintage is another winner. Serve this one chilled with light foods for fish.
● DEIDESHEIMER PARADIESGARDEN RIES-
LING KABINETT 1973.
● BLUE DANUBE, GRUNER VELTLINER,
● CHABLIS DOMAINE LA FOUCHERE 1976
● CHABLIS GRAND CRUS - LES CLOS
DOMAINE ROBERT VOCARET
● BEAUJOLAIS JADOT 1976
● MACON BLANC JADOT 1976
● CHABLIS ANGELO PAPAGNI 1974
Our Wine Manager's recently attended an industry sponsored tasting of the wines of Chateau Talbot and Gruaud Larose. Chateau Gruaud Larose is classified as a second growth of St. Julien in the Haut Medoc, and is considered to be one of the finest wines of this district. Chateau Talbot, also a St. Julien, is classified as a fourth growth, but due to its consistently high quality it has commanded higher prices than any other fourth growth wine.
Of the sixteen wines offered at the tasting, we selected four which we felt were of exceptionally good quality, as well as being good values. The four which are now available in our shop are:
● Chateau Gruaud Larose '73
● Chateau Gruaud Larose '67
● Chateau Talbot '71
● Chateau Talbot '70
SPECIAL SELECTION OF Les Amis du Vin YOUR JANUARY WINE
A LITTLE LATE, BUT HERE NOW,
Baron Briare 1975 from La Touraine:
A Refreshing White Loire Wine
La Touraine, located in the center of the Loire Valley, has been renowned for years as the home of the kings and nobles of France. They constructed numerous chateaux and planted vineyards, too.
Château du Breuil, located in Saint Paterne Racan, houses the Baron Briars wine cellars. It is owned and run by Patrick Ladoucette, of the famous Loire wine of the same name. Baron Briare is a dry, fruity and elegant appellation contrOlee white wine made from the Sauvignon grape exclusively. This vine-plant is the same as the one found in Pouilly-sur-Loire and Sancerre.
The taste diversity in the Sauvignon comes from the differences in the soil. The vinification methods practiced at Baron Snare are the same used for Ladoucette at Chateau du Nozet. In order to preserve their freshness the wines are kept in glass vats and not bottled until one month before shipment.
Drink this dry and fruity wine freshly chilled, as an aperitif, or as a pleasant accompaniment to seafood and white meats. Baron Patrick Ladoucette, whose article on Loire wines follows on page 26, describes Baron Briare "as an easily drinkable and refreshing wine."
We select one domestic and one imported wine and feature it in our wine shop.
We send you a bottle of each selection monthly.
We send you a newsletter describing the wine and its background.
We restrict our selections to the popular price range, not to exceed $10.00 for the two bottles of wine each month.
If you are new to wines, it is a good way to learn about them. If you are a seasoned connoisseur, we invite you to test our evaluations and make your recommendations for future selections.
Please send me the domestic and imported selection each month.
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CHAPTER — 153
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