- Q & A
Wines evaluated last month: 164 Rejected: 133 Approved: 29 Selected: 2
CELLARMASTER COMMENTS OCTOBER 1983
ANOTHER WOMC SELECTION HITS GOLD
Early this year I attended a trade tasting where our red wine this month was shown. I determined at that time to show it as soon as there was a slot for it. Between then and now, the wine was entered into competition and it won a Gold medal at the Orange County Fair.
This is the 9th time this has happened. It sort of makes one feel very credible! David Bruce Amador Zinfandel is a winner!
The selection of this months white wine was a plea¬sant encounter. I was invited to meet one of those rare people who have "Master of Wine" after their name. This is a British wine trade cre¬dential, earned by very few in England by examination (written, oral, and practical including identification of wines by type, region, and vintage.) It turned out that Derek N. Smedley was a Director of the Langenbach Company in Germany. Our con¬versation turned to the German Wine Academy which I attended in 1975. We had visited Worms and seen Liebfrauenkirche. He showed me several recent releases, and one was a wine I had been hoping to find a good vintage to feature. He had one! You will enjoy the change of pace.
TIME IS CREEPING UP THE HOLIDAYS WILL BE HERE IN NO TIME MAKE YOUR GIFT PLANS EARLY... ENCLOSED IS YOUR CLUB GIFT BROCHURE THEY MAKE EXCELLENT GIFTS PLEASE REVIEW IT AND SEND IN YOUR NEEDS EARLY
Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for fine wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde, CA 90274.
THIS MONTH'S DOMESTIC SELECTION
ZINFANDEL AMADOR. 1980. DAVID BRUCE
David Bruce winery, one of the oldest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is dedicated to making exceptional wines from some of the finest grape growing regions in California.
An ardent wine lover, and a dermatologist by profession, Dr. Bruce settled in the wine country in 1960. He selected this area because of its reputation as one of the finest growing regions in the state. His winery was bonded in 1964.
The philosophy of David Bruce is that the grapes are what make the wine, and winemaking is used to support the grapes. He grows most of his own grapes, but also buys from other regions to add to his styles of wine.
David Bruce is an extraordinary man. He has always been driven by the desire to experiment to make better and better wines. Dr. Bruce, together with his winemaker, Keith Hohlfeldt, are making wines that combine interest, integrity and technology. His Amador County 1980 Zinfandel is testimony this.
Zinfandels are wines which rarely get the credit they deserve, always being an after thought to Cabernets. This grape, which for a long time was considered unique to California, was recently identified in Bari, Italy as Primitivo di Gioia, and in Hungary and Yugoslavia as Plavac or Plavina. Some wine historians suspect that the vine was imported by the "father of California viticulture, Count Agostan Haraszthy" who wrote in 1864…"one day the Zinfandel will rival the great clarets of France."
Typically, zinfandel from Amador can produce wine with an intense fruity character and unique bouquet. It can be hold, chewy, and a full bodied wine which is capable of showing lots of fruit and enough tannin for ageing.
In his penchant for experimentation, David Bruce has blended 29.6% of Petite Sirah in his Amador Zinfandel to give it a new dimension… a bit of spice in the finish, and more structure to the middle taste. The result was good enough for the judges at the Orange County Fair, where this wine walked away with a Gold Medal this year.
Our wine is deep purple red in color. It has a penetrating berry fruit aroma, with some spice and pepper. The wine is full bodied, with an explosive flavor. It is balanced, and chewy with fruit. Tannin is apparent from the start, and finishes with it. It has a long finish of fruit. The varietal character of Petite Sirah does show through the Zinfandel, and pleasantly so. Serve at room temperature with meat dishes. Great with stroganoff!
Cellaring Notes: Will mellow and develop complexities for at least 5 years. Interesting nuances should develop due to the blend. Worth tracking.
Regular Price: $7.50/750ml. Member Reorder Discount Price: $72.00/case. $6.00/each (20.0%)
THIS MONTH'S IMPORT SELECTION
WORMSER LIEBFRAUENSTIFT-KIRCHENSTUCK, 1981.LANGENBACH RIESLING KABINETT
The house of Langenbach is an important source of German Wines. The firm was founded in 1852 by Julius I. Langenbach. It is a major wine distributor with important representations from all the German wine growing regions. Their base is in the historical city of Worms, in the Rheinhessen wine growing region.
In the north portion of the city are 26 acres of celebrated vineyards called Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstuck. They surround a famous church, Liebfrauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady. A beauti¬ful setting for the vineyards and its owners. Langenbach is one of the two owners.
It is said that the generic wine Liebfraumilch was originally named after this church and vineyard. In fact some even go on to say that wines from these vineyards are the original authentic Liebfraumilch. Most writers will concede to the former but deny the latter!
A clarification is in order: The best known wine from Germany is Liebfrau¬mulch. By law, this generic term for "a pleasing white wine" has some very broad geographic origins and grape source blends. Each winemaker puts his style on the line when he markets his wine. A myriad of brands exist domi¬nated of course by you know who? (Just for a change of habit! try Langenbach brand Crown of Crowns. You will be surprised.)
Our wine is a Riesling Kabinett and not a Liebfrau¬mulch. This implies that it is made from at least 85% riesling. Kabinett denotes the grade. (falling into the best category of the four authorized by German Wine Laws, and the first grade of attribute designation.)
Riesling is the premier grape of Germany. It produces a delicate wine with a peach¬like bouquet, and an elegant taste that is fruity when young, and matures into interesting nuances with so age. It is a multifaceted grape as far as wine sweet¬ness is concerned. In the hands of an expert winemaker it delivers charming dry wines, or all the way through the sweetness spectrum to the most intense dessert wines with botritis added for good measure!
This wine is light yellow in color. It has a flowery, fragrant aroma of the riesling grape which is penetrating and long lasting. The taste is slightly sweet. Good balance and light body. Clean riesling taste that lingers and finishes on the dry side. Charming. Serve chilled as a sipping aperitif wine with light cheeses and fruit. For meals, serve with chicken veronique or seafood amandine.
Cellaring Notes: I like it best now, but it will develop more aged riesling characters for 2 to 3 years.
Regular Price: $6.50/750ml. Member Reorder Discount Price: $60.00/case. $5.00/each (23.1%)
CEREBRATE ABOUT WINE
Wine and wine cooking books at discount prices available through The Wine of the Month Club. A membership benefit arranged with a major book wholesaler. (This is page 2 of 12 pages). You may order titles by using the order form on page 7. Order by number and title. Add $1.50 for first book, and $0.75 for each additional book for shipping and handling.International Wine Books Retail
# 523 THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE, Hugh Johnson, new 1978 Hardbound Edition. Updated & Revised. 35.00 Member Price $28.00
# 581 AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO WINES OF THE WORLD, by John Morrell, Easy to understand, highly informative guide in British style, many photos and maps, good section on understanding wine lists, large format, hardbound. 15.00 Member Price $12.00
# 590 THE WHOLE WORLD WINE CATALOG by William Kaufman. A compendium of 2,500 wine labels from all wine areas of the world. The objective information includes labeling requirements for each country. 224 pp, paperback. 5.95 Member Price $4.80
# 597 WHITE WINES OF THE WORLD by Sheldon & Pauline Wasserman. For the new wine drinker or connoisseur of white wines, classifys white wines by taste category in a dictionary format, nearly 1,000 entires. 256pp, 6"x9", hardbound. 8.00 Member Price $7.15
# 617 THE INTERNATIONAL BOOK OF WINE by John Paterson. A very British view of the World of Wine, lavishly illustrated with unique color photos of wine growing and making scenes, (over 90 color plates). Good information on Italian, African and Australian wines and tips for the wine investor. 175pp, 12"x9", good buy. 6.95 Member Price $5.60
# 618 THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WINES VINEYARDS AND LABELS by John Nanovic. A 1979 edition. Easy reading and many color plates on all wine growing areas of the World with useful information on buying storing and using wine. hardbound, 252pp. 8.75 Member Price $7.15
# 619 PLAYBOY'S BOOK OF WINE by Peter A. Gillette and Paul Gillette. A complete and authoritative hook, free of snobbism and an honest view of wine pricing and value. Emphasis on enjoying wine, over 200 photos & drawings, hardbound 252pp. 17.95 Member Price $14.40
# 620 WINE by Hugh Johnson. This new edition of one of the most famous and best selling books on wine is basic to any wine library. The inimitable Mr. Johnson will provide you with impeccably accurate information and delightful reading. Gives California wines fair perspective. Hardbound, 254pp. 16.95 Member Price $13.50
# 674 THE GREAT VINTAGE WINE BOOK, by Michael Broadbent. The definitive new tome covering virtually all major wine areas of the world with commentary by this world famous expert on wines going hack 200+ years. An invaluable reference work for the serious collector. Hardbound, 8"x 10", 432pp. Highly recommended. 25.00 Member Price $20.00
# 691 CYRIL RAY'S BOOK OF WINE. A straightforward and entertaining guide to the world's wines by the internationally awarded wine writer. Fully illustrated in color throughout with many maps and exquisite photographs the world over. The author's personal suggestions unveil mysteries of choosing, storing and serving wine. Hardbound, 9"x 11", 125pp. Beautiful color. Excellent buy. 12.95 Member Price $10.??
# 749 GREAT VINEYARDS AND WINEMAKERS, by Serena Sutcliffe. Written by a panel of experts and edited by Sutcliffe, this book clearly outlines the winemaking methods at over 65 wineries. Complete with particular features of winemaking in each country, photographs and maps, this hook is highly recommended. A suggested alternative to The World Atlas (#523) by Hugh Johnson. 25.00 Member Price $20.00
FOOD WITH WINE ... with "Doktor"
Maybe you have been fortunate enough Maybe to have been given a bottle of Doktor, or you have seen it on a shelf and wondered why it was so expensive, or maybe on the recommendation of a friend you splurged and purchased one. What do you do with it?
Drink it of course!
When? How? With what?. . .becomes the question.
But first. . .What is this most sought after and revered wine?
"Doktor" is the popular name for Bernkastel Doktor. It is the most famous wine of Ger¬many. (To say this, one must discount the wine with girl in the blue habit on the label!...It belongs to another order!)
It is a Mosel from the specific town of Bernkastel, and from grapes grown on the 3½ acre plot called the "Doktor" vineyards. The latter is the most expensive vineyard land in all Germany. Its ownership is split 3 ways bet-ween Thanisch 1.5 acres, Deinhard 1.75 acres, and Laueberg 0.25 acres. This minis¬cule property is practically a shrine in the Mosel wine growing region. It is worth a visit, because the town of Bernkastel that sur¬rounds it is like a picture postcard. It is a place to linger a while. I did just that a few summers back, when I attended the German Wine Academy. There is a charming wine shop just off the main square worth your browsing time.
The reason for the unusual name of "Doktor" is attributed to a fourteenth century tale. Legend is that the archbishop-elector of Trier fell gravely ill, but was miraculously restored to health by a mighty draft of the "Doktor's" wine. This was not the wine's only success. In the first decade of this century it is said to have had its ancient luster refurbished when King Edward VII had his physician prescribe it for the good of the royal liver!
Like the better German wines, it is primarily a Riesling. (About 7% of the vineyard is plan¬' ted to experimental varieties). It is always well made, and it has pedigree. Only Pradikat grade wines are made. Depending on the quality of the harvest each year, they might produce a Kabinett, a Spatlese, or an Auslese designated wine.If you have a Kabinett, you can serve it as an aperitif wine, or you can serve it with a meal. For an aperitif, you can accompany it with mild cream cheese type hors d'oeuvres with simple crackers (not the flavored types), ham wraps, or fruit. For a meal, serve it with ham, or maybe trout. Allow the wine to play an important part of the meal flavor by keeping the meal simple.
The Kabinett is the driest grade of the Pradikat level of quality, and is usually quite suitable to accompany a meal. The next level up is a Spatlese. Here, the level of sweetness is enough that you might not want to consider the meal. Spatlese grade Riesling wines make excellent sipping wines. They are just right for the lazy summer afternoon on the hammock. As an occasional accompaniment, a vanilla wafer or other not too sweet cookie goes just right. If you want to serve it with a meal, then select a lunch, and do it with a fruit salad and cottage cheese or sherbet, or some variety of Waldorf salad with an almond croissant. Sounds good...what!
The Auslese grade is a treat alone. It is usually sweet enough that it will not do justice to any meal, and even to hors d'oeuvres, and they will in turn not add anything to its enjoy-ment. A fine Auslese should be sipped as a dessert, or served for an occasion where food is not the emphasis. Aged Riesling Ausles wines have their own special complexities that develop and add dimensions well worth waiting for. 20 years at good cellar conditions for the right wine is quite acceptable.
All these should be served well chilled, and my favorite glass to serve then in is the roemer. For some reason it makes a difference in the enjoyment!
I cannot guarantee cures from afflictions, but I can quite safely predict an outstanding riesling treat when you partake of the "Doktor."
©Paul Kalemkiarian 1983 Reprint of a column by the Cellarmaster Paul Kalemkiarian in the REVIEW PUBLICATIONS.
ADVENTURES IN EATING
This issue, I am taking "poetic license" to introduce my readers to a restaurant our #2 son researched. Cowboy steaks, and man portion ribs are the specialties of this house.
Dem bones! How good they are, especially if they are sizzled on mesquite with just a hint of sauce on them. Succulent spareribs - that's the latest food fad in town.
Pinnacle Peak is the place I'm speaking about and it is located in San Dimas. This is not the place to go for the faint at heart. Redwood outdoor type tables, informal western atmosphere, and very casual dress is the theme.
As you enter, there is a large glassed in table height pit, mesquite glowing red, and "dem bones" and other cuts of beef laid on a grill sizzling to perfection.
If you have a necktie you want to retire and do it with a flair, wear it. They will instantly spot you, ring the gong, snip it off with a pair of scissors and promptly hang it from the ceiling with your business card attached. Your tie will now join the Pinnacle Peak Hall of Fame hanging from the overhead wires.
The menu consists of Extra large cowboy steaks (darn near 2 pounds) at $10.95; top sirloin steak at $5.95; the rack-o-rib (pork) at $9.95.
The service is smiling and courteous. The beans that accompany the entree are ac-cented with oregano and is a nice change. Baked potatoes are available but $1.00 ex¬tra. Salad and french bread are included. No reserva¬tions. A full bar is also on the premises.
Pinnacle Peak is a division of Agro Land and Cattle Co. of Tucson. They have these other restaurant locations: Tucson, Roseville, Colton, Garden Grove, and El Cajon.
San Dimas is little ways out of L.A., but if you like "dem bones", meaty, barbecued on mesquite and juicy, spilling off your plate, then Pinnacle Peak is worth your time. Whenever you are in the Los Angeles area, you might want to keep this handy tip as a reference for an outing at this unusual western eating establishment.
269 W. Foothill Blvd.
Li'l mavericks welcome!
P.S. It would be our recommendation that the red wines offered were a little more hearty to properly embellish these glorious cuts of meat!For free membership information write or call The CELLARMASTER Wine of the ® Month Club Adventures in Wine Since 1972 79 Malaga Cove Plaza, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (213) 378-8998 Please send me the following: # Description Qty. Member Reorder Price Total 1083A 20.0% discount Zinfandel Amador,1980.D.Bruce Regular price: $7.50/750ml $72.00/case $ 6.00/each
983A 23.1% discount Gewurztraminer,1981.LH.Smothrs Regular price: $9.75/750ml $90.00/case $ 7.50/each
883A 21.1% discount Cabernet Sauvignon1980.Topolos Regular price: $9.50/750ml $90.00/case $ 7.50/each
1083B 23.1% discount Womser Liebfrauenstift-Kirchn Regular price: $6.50/750ml $60.00/case $ 5.00/each
983B 21.4% discount Cabernet Sauvignon1978.CsRojas Regular price: $3.50/750ml $33.00/case $ 2.75/each
883B 24.2% discount Chateau des Tourtes,1979.CtBly Regular price: $4.95/750ml $44.40/case $ 3.70/each
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