- Q & A
October 1997 NewsletterWines evaluated last month: 218 Rejected: 200 Approved: 18 Selected: 2
Another Victory for the Environment
For the first time ever, both Wine of the Month Club selections come from organic vineyards. This may not seem Earth shatter-ing, but it is one small step toward a larger goal. The interesting thing about organics is that many people look at it as an environ-mental and health issue. While those are important concerns, the fact is that it's really a monetary issue. It costs a lot of money to buy all those chemicals to fight off those bugs. I've been saying it for years, once the money issue is addressed, we'll start seeing a lot more organic farming in the vineyards.
Regardless of the farming methods, these are some pretty exciting wines. The purity of flavors in the Powers Fume Blanc is amazing. The more we taste wines from this area, the more we are excited by them.
With the big money going to Chile by the carload, the prices are beginning to creep up. Finding a great buy like the Los Boldos makes us breathe a little easier. I guess it also allows us to drink a lot better for less as well.
Domestic SelectionThe father and son team of Bill and Greg Powers have been growing grapes in the Columbia Valley of Washington since 1982. Their 80 acre estate is located in one of the prime areas in all the Pacific Northwest. Warm summer sun, deep volcanic soils and water from the Cascade Mountains, coupled with the long days and cool nights, combine to produce wines of incredible depth and flavor. In 1990, the Powers' vineyard was the first in Washington to be certified organic. This means that no herbicides, pesticides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers are used in the vineyard. In 1992 they launched the Powers Winery Label. These grapes come from selected sites in the Columbia Valley which emphasize fruit and structure in the finished wine. Our Fumé Blanc is made entirely in stainless steel with no oak treatment. This brings out the essence of the Sauvignon Blanc grape's exotic nectarine and citrus components complemented by an herbal edge that marries incredibly well with commanding dishes. Sauvignon Blanc is often labeled as Fumé Blanc which means "white smoke." It's up to the winemaker to decide which name he wants to use. It is the sole grape used in the Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé areas of the Eastern Loire in France and accounts for some of the most enticing wines produced there. Many describe this wine as smoky in character which is how the name evolved. Unlike other hot areas, the Columbia Valley climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly over a longer period of time. This situation gives the wines their intense flavors coupled with structure and backbone that would be impossible in a warmer climate. The lack of measurable rainfall keeps the grapes from becoming diluted during the critical growing season between August and crush (usually around October or November). Sauvignon Blanc is considered to be a warm climate grape, however it does best in areas like this one where the heat is subdued, but the growing season is long and consistent. The label doesn't tell you, but one taste certainly will.
Fumé Blanc, 1996 Powers
Rich and extracted nectarine, tropical and grapefruit flavors are more than apparent in both the nose and the taste. Beautiful follow through showing incredible acid and a gripping finish. Try with roast sea bass glazed with cilantro and lime juice.
Great now. Why wait? Will easily go another 2-3 years Serve chilled
Imported SelectionFounded in 1850, Los Boldos is one of the oldest vineyards in Chile. It is located approximately 50 miles south of Santiago, Chile's capital, at the foot of the historic Andes Mountains. As with most vineyards in Chile, the grapes are grown on original, pre-phyloxera rootstock. The scourge of phyloxera, which devastated the vineyards of Europe in the mid-1800s, has not been introduced to Chile. The vines propagated here are on their own rootstock instead of the American, phyloxera resistant, rootstock. It is claimed that the wines are better on their own rootstock, though this has yet to be proven scientifically. The 275 acre completely organic vineyard is owned by the Massenez family from Alsace. While organic farming is not very unique in France, it is almost unheard of in Chile. Most people think organic farming is more healthful than non-organic. This in not necessarily so. The act of fermentation and the handling of the wines pretty much assures minimum levels of any herbicides and pesticides which may have been used. What is interesting here is that it is actually more cost effective to be organic. Once you use a chemical to combat a bug, that bug begins to mutate until it is immune. Then you have to find a stronger chemical. The second thing unique to this ownership is that the Massenez family is best known for its pear brandy. The one with the famous pear in the bottle. Just how do they get that pear in there anyway? (Hint: it's not yet a pear when they put it in the bottle.) Cabernet Sauvignon is the most sought-after red grape in the world. It is the grape that made Bordeaux, France, famous and is what still stands out as the king of red wines in California, Washington and most of the new world. The exceptional vineyard sites of Chile have drawn many of these new world winemakers there. It was the French who started the ball rolling in the 1850s when phyloxera was first detected in Bordeaux. That's why most of Chile's grapes are French varietals. One taste of this one, and you'll see why it's still doing well here.
Cabernet Sauvignon, 1995. Los Boldos
Los Bowl dose
Ripe and inviting flavors of cassis and black cherry preserve with a touch of spice and vanilla. Finishes fresh and appealing with just a touch of soft tannins to balance out medium sized, but flavorful, dishes like Orange/Garlic beef dish on page 6.
Terrific right now. Will hold another 1-2 years. Serve cool.
Member Inquiry"Paul, There has been a lot of talk about shipping wines, could you offer an explanation?"
J. G., Pacific Palisades, CA
It started with the end of Prohibition in 1933. A compromise between Congress and the prohibitionists, gave control over the sale and distribution of alcohol to each state. The states had to allow each municipality to decide if they wanted alcohol served in their domain and what controls over that service they would impose.
This law accounts for some of the most diverse laws in the country. Some states, like Utah and Pennsylvania, are actually in the business of buying and selling alcohol. They make a profit on the sale as well as collecting taxes on the incoming shipments. Other states, like California, charge very low taxes and generally have minimum involvement in the sale and distribution.
Shipping wine is a bit more tricky. First of all, it is illegal to ship any alcoholic beverage through the U.S. Postal Service. It must be done by a common carrier like UPS. Many states, mostly wine-producing ones like California and Idaho, have what they call "reciprocal agreements." Anyone can ship wine in or out without any interference. In some states it's a felony! In others there is a limit as to how many cases of wine a consumer may legally purchase. In other words, we have 50 different laws to deal with when discussing interstate wine shipping.
Most of the concern has to do with the state getting its share of tax revenue. Every state has some tax on alcohol and it is a major source of income. They don't want to lose that income by allowing wine to be shipped into the state without the taxes being paid. Many wineries and retailers are trying to devise a system where the taxes are either charged to the recipient or paid by the shipper like sales taxes. This plan is still in its infancy.
Needless to say, it is a complicated issue and must be dealt with on a state-by-state basis. If you live in a state which forbids any shipment of alcohol, your only chance is to complain to your legislative representative. Unfortunately, it's a money issue...both for the state and for the large wholesalers and retailer which fear losing out on a potential sale. Unless there is a huge outcry from the public, things will most likely stay as they are.
Adventures in FoodCall me old fashioned. Call me conservative. Just don't call me late for dinner when there's beef to be had. When there's a terrific Cabernet Sauvignon around like the Los Boldos, we can only think of beef. We don't eat it that often, so when we do, it better be great and have a great wine to go with the dish. After you're tried this dish with the wine, I'll rest my case.
ORANGE/GARLIC TENDERLOIN OF BEEF
1 (6 lb.) beef tenderloin, well trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Los Boldos Cabernet Sauvignon
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. dried whole thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
Vegetable cooking spray
Fresh parsley sprigs
Trim fat from tenderloin. Spear meat in several places and rub with half the minced garlic. Combine remaining garlic, 1/2 cup Los Boldos Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. hot sauce, 1 tsp. dried whole thyme, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 bay leaf, in a large zip top plastic bag.
Add tenderloin; marinate in refrigerator 8 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove tenderloin from bag, reserving marinade; discard bay leaf. Fold under 3" to 4" of small end. Place tenderloin on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush reserved marinade over tenderloin. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of tenderloin.
Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 130 degrees (rare) to 150 degrees (medium), basting frequently with reserved marinade. Place tenderloin on a large serving platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with orange slices and fresh parsley, if desired. Yield: 12 servings (about 180 calories per 3 ounce serving).
Earlier SelectionsGuaranteed Available DESCRIPTION QTY. MEMBER REORDER PRICES TOTAL #1097A Fumé Blanc, '96. Powers "Fine tuned, nectarine and citrus." Reg. Price $7.39 32.47% disc. $59.88/case $4.99/each
#1097B Cab. Sauv., '95. Los Boldos "Ripe cherries and spice." Reg. Price $8.59 30% disc. $71.88/case $5.99/each
#997A Carignane, '96. Galleano "Rich, spicy and full-flavored." Reg. Price $8.99 22.24% disc. $83.88/case $6.99/each
#997B Sauvignon, '95. L'Eparié "Green apple, pear and herbs." Reg. Price $5.99 20% disc. $57.48/case $4.79/each
897A Mus. Canelli, '96. Chest. Hill "Clean, herbal scents and figs" Reg. Price $6.99 20.% disc. $67.08/case $5.59/each
897B Merlot '96. Mendoza Ridge "Musk oil scents and oranges." Reg. Price $7.99 20% disc. $76.68/case $6.39/each
#797A Zinfandel, '96. Cart. & Browne "Ripe cherries, vanilla and spice." Reg. Price $7.99 25.03% disc. $71.88/case $5.99/each
#797B Cot. Gasc., '95. Dom. du Rey "Clean, crisp kiwi and pear blossom." Reg. Price $6.99 28.61% disc. $59.88/case $4.99/each
Please call for shipping prices outside CA in states where Sub-Total permissible. Recipients must be 21 years or older. 8.25% CA Sales Tax Shipping for CA: 1-2: $4.50; 3-4: $4.65; 5-6: $7.65; 7-8: $10.50; 9-10: $11.25; 11-12: $11.50 S&H Check enclosed for $ _____________. TOTAL Charge my: VISA MasterCard AmEx Discover Exp. Date ___/___ /___ Card # ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) Signature ______________________________________________________________(_______)____________________ Shipping Address Phone (Day) ______________________________________________________________(_______)_____________________ City State Zip Phone (Evenings)
Mail to: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 Phone (800) 949-WINE Phone (626) 303-1690 FAX (626) 303-2597 Visit our home page: http://www.WineoftheMonthClub.com
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GIFT # DESCRIPTION QTY. COST TOTAL 10G 2 Bottles The 2 current club selections $19.00*
20G 6 Bottles Assortment of recent selections $51.50*
30G 12 Bottles (1 Case) Assortment of recent selections $99.50*
4GP 4 Months Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 4 months or every quarter for 1 year (specify gift #4Q). (8 bottles total). $67.00*
5GP 6 Months Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 6 months or every other month for 1 year (specify gift #5B). (12 bottles total). $99.00*
6GP 1 Year Subscription: 2 Bottles (the Club Selections) every month for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $195.00*
LOG 2 Bottles The 2 current Limited Series selections. $43.00*
LGP 1 Year Subscription: 2 Bottles every month (Limited Series) for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $243.00*
*Gift wrapping included. Recipients must be 21 or older. Sub-Total CA Shipping Charges: Avg. Out-of-State Shipping Costs: 8.25% CA Sales Tax Gift #10G & LOG $4.50 Gift #10G & LOG $6.25 Gift #20G $8.15 Gift #20G $14.65 S&H Gift #30G $12.35 Gift #30G $21.65 Gift #4GP $18.00 Gift #4GP $26.00 TOTAL
Gift #5GP & LGP $27.00 Gift #5GP & LGP $37.50 Gift #6GP $54.00 Gift #6GP $76.00 Check enclosed for $ _____________. Charge my: VISA MasterCard AmEx Discover Card # Exp. Date ___/___/___ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) Signature ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip (_______ )__________________(________)_______________________________________________________ Phone (Day) Phone (Evening) Please ship Gift# _________ to: _________________________________________________________________ Name (Please Print) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip Special note on gift card or verse #: ______________________________________ Attach another sheet of paper to list other recipients
All Wine of The Month Club gifts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition... gift boxed... and with a gift card.
Mail to: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (800) 949-WINE, Phone (626) 303-1690 or FAX (626) 303-2597 Visit our home page: http://www.WineoftheMonthClub.com
Wine of the Month Club and Wine of the Month are registered trademarks of the Wine of the Month Club. Wine of the Month Club is America's preferred wine club. Each wine featured in our wine clubs is selected from hundreds tasted each month. Monthly wine clubs are a great way to find unique and exciting wines. California wine club, napa wine club, international wine club, red wine club, and discount wine club are wine month clubs that allow one to find great value in the wine industry. Join a wine club today . Our wine club offer is created to give the consumer a chance to get the first shipment to try our Wine of the Month Club.