- Q & A
August 1979 Selection of California Wine
MONTEREY VINEYARD GAMAY BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU 1979
The Monterey Vineyard winery opened in 1974 as a full grown two million gallon capacity winery with contracts for nine thousand acres of vineyards. The new winery was located at Gonzales in the heart of Monterey County. It had some difficult marketing and internal problems which ultimately resulted in the sale of the winery in 1977 to Dick Peterson and Dan Lucas. Eight months later it was purchased by Coca Cola of Atlanta. Peterson, however, has remained as winemaker and president.
The Gamay Beaujolais is the classic variety of the Beaujolais region of France. In Monterey county it has produced a first; a Beaujolais Nouveau which was harvested in the month of January. This demonstrated that Monterey Vineyard is located in the coolest wine growing region, with the longest growing season.
This Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau was fermented in small tanks under CO2 without crushing the grapes. This process results in a rather intense varietal character and an early drinking flavor. Enjoy this wine slightly chilled, with light food or a picnic lunch.
$4.00/fifth $43.20/case #121
August 1979 Selection of Imported Wine
URZIGER WURZGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT 1975
This wine takes its name from the town of Urzig; one of the better wine towns of Germany's Mosel River region. The vineyard area is quite small and production is consequently quite low. The Urziger vineyards are especially rocky and they climb up the steep north west bank of the river. The Wurzgarten vineyards are among the finest of the area. This region is adjacent to the town of Bernkastel, which lends its name to some of Germany's most famous wines.
The predominant grape of the region is of course the riesling, which has been cultivated along the Mosel since Roman times. The wines of the Urzig district tend to have a character all of their own due to its unusual rocky soil.
This Urziger Wurzgarten displays a slightly spicy character which is found in many wines from this area. It is also characterized by a slight touch of spritzig, or tendency to sparkle. Serve chilled with light ,dishes or fresh fruit.
$5.99/fifth $64.70/case #122
● CHARDONNAY, 1977, GRGICH HILLS LABEL. The year was very good for Chardonnay. Our 1977 is very similar to 7973 and 1975 vintages, where cool summers resulted in well-balanced sugar-acid ratios. Grapes were picked at 23° to 24° Balling, with acid of 0.8 to 0.9. The grapes were golden, with berries shimmering like pearls.
Fermentation lasted about a month, then the wine was aged six months in imported French Limousin oak barrels. We bottled it in July, 1978, with alcohol 13.4% and total acid of 0.7 with a very dry finish. This fine Chardonnay has complexity, good balance, finesse and delicate bouquet, similar to a well-made French Montreschet. It will benefit by further bottle aging. The Grgich style of Chardonnay judiciously mingles varietal character of the grape with flavors from Limousin oak, with neither dominating the flavor. Proper proportion here is the art of winemanship. Mingling or "marrying" of flavors starts in the barrel, continues in the bottle, where a new bouquet is created. We hope by 1981 this wine will surpass the Paris award-winning 1973 vintage.
This is our first release of Chardonnay made, aged and bottled at Grgich Hills by winemaker Mike Grgich. Case price is $10.80 per bottle ($129.60 per case) or $12.00 per bottle if purchased singly.
● JOHANNISBERG RIESLING, 1978 -- Regular. Release date June 1,1979. We had plenty of Botrytis on these Johannisberg Riesling grapes during 1978. In order to make a Johannisberg Riesling Regular we had to pick selectively, harvesting bunches of grapes with some Botrytis but low sugar and higher acid. This wine will be similar to the 1977 harvest, with alcohol of 12.4% total acid 0.74, and residual sugar 1.3% Our 1978 is crisp, with a little richer aroma and taste than 1977. It is 100% Napa Valley wine, 100% Johannisberg Riesling grapes.
Case price is $5.40 a bottle ($64.80 per case) or $6.00 a bottle if purchased singly.
● JOHANNISBERG RIESLING, LATE HARVEST, 1977. Since release in 1978, this wine has developed a fine bouquet, and become much smoother. It is very similar to a good German Auslese, with 11% alcohol, 0.82 total acid, and 6% residual sugar. Case price is $9 per bottle ($108 per case), or $10 per bottle if sold singly.
● ZINFANDEL, 1976. This unique wine is still young, with plenty of berry-like aroma and a touch of Nevers oak. It has soft tannins and very dark color, with alcohol 13.5%, good acid of 0.7. This wine belongs to the group of BIG ZINFANDELS, and has lately opened up its full fragrance. Case price is $6.30 per bottle ($75.60 per case), or $7 per bottle purchased singly. Since the price of Zinfandel grapes has been much higher than that for Cabernet Sauvignon, 1978 harvest, it is likely that this is the last opportunity to buy this wine at this price.
● CHARDONNA 1976, HILLS CELLARS LABEL. This Wine was made from 100% Napa Valley chardonnay grapes by fine winemaker, Philip Baxter, at Souverain of Rutherford. 1977 wine was moved to Grgich Hills Cellar to age in new Limousin oak barrels under the care of Mike Grgich. Its final development in oak and bottling was done by Mike. The wine has 13.6% alcohol, 0.71 total acid, lots of glycerol, body and pronounced wood vanillin. It is a rich wine and we hope you will find it exciting. Price is $9 per bottle, $108 per case.
● Chardonnay - HILLS CELLARS 1976
#124 $ 9.00/fifth $ 97.20/cs
● Chardonnay - GRGICH HILLS 1977 #125 $12.00/fifth $129.60/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling – Regular GRGICH HILLS 1978 #126 $ 6.00/fifth $ 64.80/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling – Late Harvest - GRGICH HILLS 1977 #127 $10.00/fifth $108.00/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling – Late Harvest - GRGICH HILLS 1978 #128 $10.00/fifth $108.00/cs
● Zinfandel - GRGICH HILLS 1976 #129 $ 7.00/fifth $ 75.60/cs
● Founders Port J.W. MORRIS PORT WORKS 1977 #130 $ 5.25/fifth $ 56.70/cs
● Vintage Port - J.W. MORRIS PORT WORKS #131 $ 7.50/fifth $ 81.00/cs
● Gewurztraminer - SMOTHERS 1978 #132 $10.00/fifth $108.00/cs
● White Riesling - San Luis Obispo SMOTHERS 1978 #133 $ 9.00/fifth $ 97.20/cs
● White Riesling – California SMOTHERS 1978 #134 $ 6.50/fifth $ 70.20/cs
● Zinfandel - J.W. MORRIS PORT WORKS 1977 #135 $ 5.50/fifth $ 59.40/cs
● Sonoma Red - J.W. MORRIS PORT WORKS 1977 #136 $ 3.50/fifth $ 37.80/cs
● Zinfandel - Sonoma County – LYTTON SPRINGS 1977 #138 $ 6.50/fifth $ 70.20/cs
Back to Basics
Wine appreciation is greatly benefited by the ability to recognize tiny hints of acid, sulphur, sugar, oxidation and materization. Because of this, we are offering a sensory evaluation of these elements in a wine seminar to be held on Monday, August 27th. This seminar will not only give each participant a chance to learn to recognize these taste and olefactory components, but will be presented in such a way as to permit each wine lover to find his own detection threshold.
It is planned that this "Back to Basics" seminar will be held once each year, with different wine experts each time to broaden the learning experience. Last year's event was a sell out - so please reserve early to ensure yourself of a place at this year's event.
A well known California white wine will be served as the "control" wine. Additional samples of this same wine with controlled traces of the sensory component added will be served. Since each participant will be provided with four wine glasses, repeated comparisons are possible.
All of our seminars are seated affairs, with adequate time for note taking as desired. Bread and cheese is served to help clear the palate between samples.
The accompanying announcement gives the details of this seminar.
Al Hausrath, Chapter Director