- Q & A
September 1979 Selection of California Wine
RIVER OAKS VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY 1978
The grapes from which this wine was made came from the River Oaks Vineyards in Alexander Valley, located some seventy miles north of San Francisco. This area is influenced by ocean fog which rolls over the coast range thus creating an ideal micro-climatic zone. Information on the winery and its philosophy appears in the information supplied by them and is reproduced for you inside.
The chardonnay is the classic variety from which the famous white Burgundies of France are made. Grown in California it produces some truly fine white wines. This River Oaks selection is produced from 100% chardonnay. The Winemakers notes for this wine are also reproduced inside.
River Oaks Chardonnay has a light golden-straw color. It is fruity, and very clean on the palate and finishes very nicely. Serve chilled with seafood or salad. A remarkable value.
$5.49/fifth $59.29/case # 139
September 1979 Selection of Imported Wine
SIGLO RED RIOJA 1974
The country of Spain when connected with wine generally brings to mind the sherries, for which it is most famous. Spain does however, produce a rather significant amount of dry table wine. The best of these comes from the region of Rioja. This region takes its name from the Oja River or rio Oja, which is a tributary of the River Ebro in Northern Spain. This area was settled in the 1880's by the French who brought their winemaking techniques from Bordeaux. The finest wines from this area are most certainly its reds.
The varieties of grapes grown in the Rioja region include the Garnacha, Graciano, Mazeula and Tempranillo, all of which are Spanish varieties. Each grower blends according to his own taste, and thus establishes his style of wine for the market. Siglo is a trade name for a red Rioja produced by the well known Bodegas of Felix Azpilicueta Martinez.
The wines from this area are characterized as being rather light and fine textured, with some breed. This Siglo Rioja is a splendid example of red Rioja from this area. Serve at room temperature with a light entree.
$4.49/fifth $48.49/case # 140
River Oaks Vineyards is a unique complex among North Coast wineries. From 1970 to 1974, the organization acquired and planted over 500 acres of premium varietal vineyards located in Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.
Approximately 25% of the plantings are Chardonnay and 25% to Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The balance of Pinot Noir Gamay Beaujolais, Zinfandel and Johannisberg Riesling.
River Oaks Vineyards has certain goals and philosophies from which its wine growing standards are created: 1) All wines are made from River Oaks Vin-yards grapes. This ensures total control of the quality. 2) We select only the best grapes for the limited production of wine under label. The balance of the crop is sold off. 3) River Oaks plans to offer its wines to consumers at a fair value ($2-$6 retail). 4) To take maximum advantage of the intense fruitiness we have discovered in the River Oaks Vineyards grapes, the style of our vinification will be to enhance and highlight the natural varietal characteristics. Wood aging will be used it River Oaks wines only where it underscores the varietal components. 5) River Oaks wines will be made 100% from each variety named unless otherwise designated on the label.
1978 Chardonnay-Alexander Valley WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
These grapes were picked in mid-September at approximately 22.5° sugar brix and 0.08% total acidity. The must was allowed to sit on the skins overnight before the free-run juice was pulled off into jacketed stainless steel tanks and a twenty day fermentation process begun at 55° F. The wine was bottled in May, 1979 after storage exclusively in stainless steel. Though relatively young, this wine is a perfect representation of the true Chardonnay character from the California North Coast region. It has a complex apple-like flintiness in the mouth, with a round, smooth after-taste. This wine will continue to improve for several years as a nice bouquet develops in the bottle. #139 $ 5.49/fifth $ 59.29/cs
● Gewurtztraminer-Washington- STE.
CHAPELLE VINEYARDS 1977 (Idaho)
#141 $ 5.75/fifth $ 62.10/cs
● Gewurtztraminer-Special Harvest, Washington- STE. CHAPELLE VINE- YARDS 1978 (Idaho) #142 $ 7.25/fifth $ 78.30/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling-Idaho- STE. CHAPELLE VINEYARDS 1978 (Idaho) #143 $ 6.25/fifth $ 67.50/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling-Special Har- vest-Idaho-STE.CHAPELLE VINEYARDS 1978- (Idaho) #144 $ 7.25/fifth $ 78.30/cs
● Fume Blanc-Washington-STE. CHAPELLE VINEYARDS 1977 (Idaho) #145 $ 6.50/fifth $ 70 /cs
● Rkatziteli-Livermore-CONCANNON VIN- YARD 1978 #146 $ 5.00/fifth $ 54.00/cs
● Cabernet Sauvignon-HEITZ WINE CEL- LARS n.v. #147 $ 6.89/fifth $ 74.42/cs
● Cabernet Sauvignon-HEITZ WINE CEL- LARS-Lot n.v. 46 #148 $ 7.09/fifth $ 76.48/cs
● Cabernet Sauvignon-Fay Vineyard- HEITZ WINE CELLARS 1975 #149 $ 13.59/fifth $146.78/cs
● Chablis-HEITZ WINE CELLARS-n.v. #150 $ 3.39/fifth $ 36.62/cs
● Zinfandel-El Dorado County-SUTTER HOME WINERY 1978 #151 $ 3.75/fifth $ 40.50/cs
● Chardonnay-Santa Ynez Valley-FIRE- STONE VINEYARDS 1977 #152 $ 7.50/fifth $ 81.00/cs
● Johannisberg Riesling-Santa Ynez Valley-FIRESTONE VINEYARD 1978 #153 $ 5.00/fifth $ 54.00/cs
● Sauvignon Blanc-STONEGATE WINERY 1978 #154 $ 5.49/fifth $ 59.30/cs
● Cabernet Sauvignon-Sonoma-STONEGATE 1976 #155 $ 6.00/fifth $ 64.80/cs
● Pinot St. George-Late Harvest- MONTEREY PENINSULA WINERY 1976 #156 $ 9.50/fifth $102.60/cs
● Cabernet Sauvignon-DRY CREEK 1976 #157 $ 6.50/fifth $ 70.20/cs
● Sylvaner Riesling-CORBANS OF NEW ZEALAND 1978 #165 $ 3.49/fifth $ 37.40/cs
● Select Medium Sherry-CORBANS OF NEW ZEALAND #166 $ 3.25/fifth $ 35.10/cs
FROM GRAPE EXPECTATIONS OF EMERYVILLE CALIFORNIA
At a recent trade tasting from this small importer in Northern California, we selected the seven wines that follow as the best out of 40 that they showed, considering price versus quality.
● Wiltinger Scharzberg, Riesling Kab-
inett, HALLGARTEN/MAX ERBEN 1977
#158 $ 4.69/fifth $ 50.66/cs
● Niederhauser Hermannsberg, Riesling QBA HALLGARTEN 1977 #159 $ 5.32/fifth $ 58.22/cs
● Bourgogne-(White) PIERRE BOUREE 1976 #160 $ 7.99/fifth $ 86.30/cs
You won't believe this one - The label is misleading.
● Barbaresco-FRANCESCO RINALDI 1974 #161 $ 7.89/fifth $ 85.22/cs
● Barolo-GIUSEPPE MASCARELLO 1969 #162 $ 7.29/fifth $ 78.74/cs
● Chianti Classico-VILLA CAFFAGIO 1976 #163 $ 3.69/fifth $ 39.80/cs
● Ay Champagne-Brut, Cuve Reserve RENE BRUN #164 $ 12.69/fifth $137.06/cs
California's Exciting Cabernets
"Every year is a vintage year in California!" How often we hear this, and like most cliche's, a great over simplification. While California's wine growing areas are blessed with the most predictable climate of any wine area of the world, California still has significant weather variations from one year to the next.
While Europe's winemakers are praying for enough sun, California may be blessed with excessive sun, which means too little acidity and too high sugar.
California's premier red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, depends not only on the grape quality to produce outstanding vintage, but also on the winemaker's skills in crushing, blending, and ageing. The winemaker may vary these, too, with each vintage.
Still another important factor in a study of California Cabernets is the many new premium wineries, producing grapes on different soil in different microclimates.
The Manhattan Beach Chapter will be illustrating these variations in an exciting comparison of the '75 and '76 California Cabernets. Featured in this seminar will be both pre and current releases of our top Cabernets. The enclosed flyer gives the details. Reserve early to insure a seat.
Al Hausrath, Chapter Director