- Q & A
October 1978 Selection of California Wine
FRANCISCAN CHIANTI 1973
Franciscan winery is located in the heart of Napa Valley about a mile north of Rutherford. It was founded in 1971, and is currently owned and operated by Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer, with Meyer as winemaker. The winery owns or controls about 1000 acres of vineyards located in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties, thus providing grapes from a variety of growing areas.
When California producers market a wine with a generic name, such as Burgundy or Chianti, they are attempting to offer a wine which resembles its European counterpart in type and style. In this, Franciscan has been most successful and its California Chianti has been produced in a style reminiscent of many Italian Chianti's.
Franciscan Chianti is dry and light bodied, with a soft finish. It has been skillfully blended to produce a well balanced wine. Try it at room temperature with red meats, pasta or other hearty dishes.
October 1978 Selection of Imported Wine
CHABLIS - DOMAINE LA JOUCHERE 1976
Chablis, a small town southeast of Paris, lends its name to the surrounding district which produces some of the most famous of all white Burgundies. The zone entitled to the use of the name is strictly delimited, comprising only certain areas of chalky soil in a total of 20 small communes. Legally, production of Grand Cru Chablis is limited to an average of only 312 gallons per acre, and any overproduction is usually sold off, and bottled as district wine. We suspect such is the case of this Domaine La Jouchere. In the best years even these district bottled wines are of excellent quality.
The wines of Chablis are made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape, and in fact it is the only grape which may be grown in the district. In this small area the Chardonnay produces some of its noblest offspring.
This Domaine La Jouchere Chablis is a pale straw color with a slight hint of green. It is clean on the palate with a delicate bouquet, and an almost flinty flavor. It is full bodied and rich with varietal character. Serve chilled with light meats or game.
● KONOCTI CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc 1977 $ 4.50/ea. $ 48.60/cs
● FIRESTONE VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon 1975 $ 6.00/ea. $ 64.80/cs
● FIRESTONE VINEYARDS Chardonnay 1976 $ 6.50/ea. $ 70.20/cs
● SONOMA VINEYARDS Est. Bot. Pinot Noir 1974 $ 5.50/ea. $ 59.40/cs (Gold Medal L.A. County Fair 1978)
● CHAPPELLET Cabernet Sauvignon 1975 $10.00/ea. $108.00/cs
● CHAPPELLET CHENIN BLANC 1977 $ 5.50/ea. $ 59.40/cs
● CHAPPELLET Gamay Blanc 1977 $ 4.50/ea. $ 48.60/cs
● CHAPPELLET Napa Valley Chardonnay 1976 $10.00/ea. $108.00/cs
● PARDUCCI French Colombard 1977 $ 3.00/ea. $ 32.40/cs (Gold Medal L.A. County Fair 1978)
● BARENGO White Wine 1977 5 I.99/ea. $ 21.50/cs (Gold Medal L.A. County Fair 1978)
● SOKMELIER WINERY Petite Sirah 1976 $ 7.50/ea. $ 81.00/cs
● SOMMELIER WINERY Zinfandel 1976 $ 4.75/ea. $ 51.30/cs
● SOMMELIER WINERY Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 1976 $ 6.75/ea. $ 72.90/cs
● FETZER Ricetti Zinfandel 1976 $ 5.50/ea. $ 59.40/cs
● SAN MARTIN Johannisberg Riesling 1976 $ 4.25/ea. $ 45.90/cs (1st choice - Marina Del Rey Wine Fair)
● FETZER Lake County Johannisberg Riesling 1977 $ 3.95/ea. $ 42.66/cs (Gold Medal L.A. County Fair 1978)
OTHER L.A. COUNTY FAIR 1978 GOLD MEDAL WINNERS IN STOCK
● FRANCISCAN North County Burgundy Cask 316 $ 2.50/ea. $ 27.00/cs
● PARDUCCI Mendocino Carignane 1976 $ 3.50/ea. $ 37.80/cs
● MILL CREEK Pinot Noir 1975 $ 5.25/ea. $ 56.70/cs
● SIMI WINERY Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon 1977 $ 3.50/ea. $ 37.80/cs
● DOMAINE CHANDON Freds Friends Pinot Noir Blanc N.V. $ 5.25/ea. $ 56.70/cs
● HACIENDA WINE CELLARS Pinot Noir Blanc 1977 $ 4.00/ea. $ 43.20/cs
● MONTEREY VINEYARD Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc 1975 $10.00/ea. $108.00/cs
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California Chardonnays are recognized throughout the world for their excellence. Now, California's vintners and consumers are discovering a second white varietal that deserves world wide recognition. This is the Johannisberg or White Riesling (JR). Germany and Alsace have long dominated the field of premium dry and late harvest Riesling. Now both our large as well as boutique wineries are producing JR wines that are worthy of world wide competition.
These wines are also distinctly different from our Chardonnays. The difference starts with the grape. The Riesling grape is fruity and tart, the Chardonnay grape is almost dull on the palate. The JR grape has high acidity, and yet can be ripened to a high sugar content as well. This allows the vintner to produce a very fruity wine in styles from bone dry to syrupy sweet. Yet, in all of these, the fresh fruitiness shows through - at least while the wines are young. So the Riesling wines, while not as complex as the best of the Chardonnays, show more fruitiness, and can be selected for the degree of sweetness you prefer.
To show you these fine wines and to let you hear first hand from a winemaker who has been successful with the Riesling grape, Michael Hoffman, (winemaker at HMR Vineyards) we have assembled a Riesling tasting for Wednesday evening, October 25. The insert accompanying this announcement gives the details.
Al Hausrath, Regional Director