- Q & A
"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB" CELLARMASTER SELECTIONS
Another Gold Medal winner! This time at the Orange County Fair 1980. We were pleased again to choose and book a wine for our California selection, and then find that it was pronounced a winner by others whose palate we respect. This Cabernet Sauvignon is in the lower range of Cabernet prices and is a bargain for the price. (Do not compare it with the "big ten". That's not fair, they cost a lot more).
For an import, with a different flair, we looked for a German wine made from other grapes than the Riesling. Interesting wines are being made in Germany from new hybrids, or transplants of grapes from other countries. In the interest of learning about new wines, and finding the buys by matching price versus quality, we selected a wine made from the Rulander grape in a small area of the Nahe region. A real surprise.
KAPELLENBERG-RULANDER-FRITZ SCHMIDT 1977
One of the lesser known wine growing regions of Germany is the Nahe region. The Nahe river, flows through the area, and traverses the slate slopes of the Hunsrueck. It receives the waters of the Glan and Alsenz rivers, and finally joins the Rhine river at Bingen. Red sandstone, clay, gravel, and slate all combine to create ideal makings of a German vineyard. Our wine is a regional wine from the area around the town of Odernheim. It comes from a small "Einzellagen" called Kapellenberg which is composed of 34 hectares (14.5 acres). The designation for this name refers to a chapel which dominates the hillside. Most of Kepellenberg is composed of steep slopes with southwest, south and southeast exposures. The heirs to the estate of Fritz Schmidt in Odernheim are the vintners.
The Rulander grape in Germany is the Pinot Gris from France. In the hands of winemakers in Germany, it produces robust, full bodied wines, soft and smooth, with limited ageing potential. This style of wine is a major departure from the traditional style of Riesling wines from Germany. This Rulander was made by Mr. Loosen, of the Schmidt winery, and it has had longer fermentation on the skin thus giving more color and tannin to the wine. Crystals of tartrate have formed on the cork, indicating good extraction.
The wine is golden in color. It has a fruity nose, with a hint of complexity due to its 3 years of age. It is a mouthful of body. It is fruity and soft, with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is bold and the acid balance amplifies the fruit. Try this with roast ham and pineapple sauce, or Waldorf salad. Great sipping wine for a lazy afternoon. Cellaring Notes: For drinking now.
$5.99/fifth Member reorder price $4.80/fifth
CABERNET SAUVIGNON-LAKE COUNTY-FETZER 1978
Bernard Fetzer, a manager for the Masonite Corporation, bought a ranch in 1958 in Redwood Valley. Part of the property was 70 acres of vineyards, some of which were over 100 years old. He replanted and enlarged them and primarily sold grapes to home winemakers in the U.S. and Canada. Convinced of the worthiness of his grapes he started Fetzer Vineyards in 1968. His red wines, have come into prominance, particularly the Zinfandels in recent years.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the principal grape plantings in Lake County. It does well in the valleys surrounding Clear Lake which is nineteen miles long, and at 1320 elevation. Other vineyards exist around Mount Konocti where climates range from Region II to Region IV. Grapes from Lake County were used by the Fetzers for this style of Cabernet. This traditional grape of Bordeaux, France, has been planted in most of the wine growing regions of California. It has produced a variety of wines, based on the soil, climate, vivification and blending. Our wine is an example of Lake County Cabernet grapes in the hands of a master vintner, John Fetzer.
The wine has a beautiful garnet red color, and a traditional varietal nose. The bouquet is fragrant, with the "green olives" overtone showing through. The flavor is characteristic. Dry and tannic, the taste is austere, however it promises good accompaniment to a hearty red meat meal. Try it also with sharp cheddar and pears, after the meal. Remember that
California Cabernets are now priced from $3.50 to $20.00 when released.
Cellaring Notes: Will improve for at least 5 years. Worth laying down.
$4.50/fifth Member reorder price $3.90/fifth
NOTES ON WINE SERVICE
THE ALL PURPOSE GLASS
early every wine region of France has its traditional glass which the people believe brings out the best of their region's wine. But while this custom prevails in France and while glasses of different shapes and sizes add interest to a table setting, it is not at all essential to use more than one kind of glass for all the wines you serve.
This one glass, an all-purpose glass, should be clear and thin so that you can observe the color of the wine. It should have a stem so that you do not have to hold the glass by the bowl and thus warm the wine. It should hold about 8 to 12 ounces so that you can swirl the wine without spilling. And the bowl of the glass should be slightly tapered so that it retains the wine's bouquet.
This ideal glass — clean and free of detergent and other odors is perfect for every wine you serve. If you serve more than one wine, have a fresh glass for each wine. If you do use glasses of different sizes, serve white wine in the smaller, red wine in the larger. Should there be two reds, serve the more important wine in the larger glass. Place all glasses to the right of the guest. And always place the larger glasses to the left of the smaller ones.
The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club is a unique and enjoyable way to taste and learn about many of the fine wines currently available.
When you become a member you will receive each month
one red wine selection for the month
one white wine selection for the month. (or sometimes a rosé)
an information newsletter describing the wines and their origins
One wine will be a domestic, and the other an import, and both bottles will be full fifths. This sequence will alternate the following month. The total cost for both bottles will never exceed $12.00 plus sales tax and shipping costs of $1.75.
Membership also carries the privilege of purchasing wines from previous selections (as available) at members reorder prices which show discounts from 10% to 25%For free membership information: Write to: The CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club (Dept. N) Post Office Box 217 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 Or Call: (213) 378-8998