April 1985 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 146 Rejected: 122 Approved: 22 Selected: 2
CELLARMASTER COMMENTS APRIL 1985
The fun thing about wine is the broad spectrum of taste sensa¬tions from all the different styles and varieties. A unique and inter¬esting style is one known as "Nouveau".
I have been trying to schedule and show a "Nouveau" wine for sev¬eral years now. Traditionally, the Gamay Beaujolais grape has been the variety used for producing this style of wine. It, however, has a limitation of starting to lose its true character within a very few weeks from bottling time. The log¬istics of our club program requires prescreening the wines, selecting the ones that have merit, and scheduling them at the next open¬ing. This process usually takes more time than the prime period of a Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau. So… all these years, as I found an exceptional one, I would find I was locked in with prior schedules and commitments.
In Oregon, I found a winemaker who was making nouveau style wine with the Pinot Noir grape. He served me last years vintage. It
was remarkable. It seemed like it had not aged at all. Tasting his 1984 convinced me that nouveau wines made from Pinot Noir hold up better than those made from Gamay Beaujolais.
Voila! Try this nouveau, and read more about it on page 2.
Our import this month is an outstanding example of a white Burgundy from one of the lesser villages. Naturally… it is from the chardonnay grape. I was parti-cularly anxious to show it to you this month. It comes at the heels of the last white wine from Burgundy. You remember the February import selection: Sauvignon de St. Br is. It was a maverick Burgundy wine! The objective is not to com¬pare the two, but to become familiar with some of the kinds of wine from that small and famous corner of France.
A REMINDER NOTICE ABOUT THE
IS ENCLOSED IN YOUR PACKET.
GIVE IT A LOOK – IT MIGHT BE FOR YOU!
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.
NOUVEAU PINOT NOIR, 1984. AMITY VINEYARDS
The selection of this wine was a result of my November visit to the wineries in Oregon. About forty some wineries are now producing wine and a limited amount is seeing its way into other states. A large variation in quality and consist¬ency is apparent as you wander from tasting room to tasting room. There are some champions here and there, and they make the hunt worthwhile.
A cluster of wineries exist in the Willamette Valley, about 30 miles southwest of Portland. A good base to work out of is the town of McMinnville. Over 20 different win-eries are within 20 minutes driving time. Just out of McMinnville is a tasting room unique to the United States. It is more in the order of an "enotica". (These are common in Italy and are basically wine li¬braries in the different wine grow¬ing regions. The wines of the re¬gion are displayed and often avail¬able to taste.) This "enotica" in Oregon is at the Lawrence Gallery, and is operated by Amity Vineyards. It is a real service to the entire Oregon wine industry. The staff gladly pour any of the wines from 26 different wineries. The winemak¬ers of Willamette should give Myron Redford a medal for this unselfish marketing effort.
It was a wet and cold after¬noon when I stopped by the see Myron. (Part owner and winemaker of Amity) We went to his tiny lab and tasted his favorite wine... Pinot Noir Nouveau. I resolved then, that the time had come to bite the bullet and show a Nouveau. First because the wine was superb. Second, it was made from Pinot Noir rather than Gamay Beaujolias, and might have some more staying power.
What is a Nouveau wine? The word means "new" in French, and
that is what it is, exactly. Young, fresh wine, with all the fruit and grape flavor just bursting in your mouth. In France the Gamay Beaujo¬lais grape has lent itself best to this style of wine. The grapes are fermented by a process of not crushing the berries, and allowing them to ferment at low temperatures in whole condition. Also, the car¬bon dioxide gas that is produced during fermentation is trapped, and remains as a blanket over the fer-menting grapes. This preserves the fresh flavor of the grape and am¬plifies its youthful taste. The Gamay Beaujolais and Pinot Noir grapes seem to lend themselves best to this technic.. The nature of the grape and the absence of wood age¬ing adds to this phenomenon. One seeks the youth and the freshness in this style of wine. These wines lose their charm as they age. Stay away from Nouveau wines that are over a year old.
Our wine is 5 months old. Because it is a Pinot Noir, it is holding up very well. Myron says it actually improves.
The wine is light red in col¬or. It has a fresh, intense fruity aroma of the essence of the grape. Pure and unmasked. Very character-istic young Pinot Noir aroma. The taste is dry, fruity and light. You expect it to be sweetish, from the nose, but it is bone dry. Very flavorful of the variety with no influence of tannin to mask parts of it. Remarkable amount of extrac¬tive for a Nbuveau. A hint of cher¬ry nuance! Serve cool, with lunch¬eon sandwiches.
Cellaring Notes: Drink in 1985.
#485A Regular Price: $5.50/750ml.
Member Reorder Price: 20.00%discount
RULLY BLANC, 1983. JAFFELIN.
Rully is the name of a village in southern Burgundy, France... and Rully Blanc is the white wine made around that village.
The village of Rully is in the Chalonnais wine region of Burgundy. It is best known for its white wine. There is red wine also pro¬duced around Rully, but it does not achieve the prominence of the white wine. The region around Rully also produces considerable sparkling wine, marketed as Bourgougne Mouss¬eux and Cremant de Bourgogne.
More premium French wines are identified by the village names than any other way. It seems to be the traditional way, and consumers over the years have accepted and encouraged this. Furthermore, usu¬ally only one kind of red wine, one kind of white wine, and maybe a rose are produced. And… usually they have designated standards set by the local appellation authori¬ties. Only those wines that meet these standards may be labeled with the village name. Appendages to the name as far as specific maker and estate are added, but they are generally secondary to the type of wine designated by the village name. ( The exception of course is the classified growths, where the estate name of a Chateau or Domaine is the primary identification.)
When a wine from France shows just the name of the village, with no other estate designation, you can generally assume it is a "ne¬gociant" wine. (a wine broker who selected the batch, bought it, bottled it himself, and offered it in his line of wines from various regions. Our wine is such a wine. Of all the Rully wines I tasted with the objective of bringing you an exceptional example, the one from Jaffelin stood out. Their
buyers have good palates, and their reputation on the continent is far reaching. This is also happening in the U.S. (See club selections Oct.'84 and Mar.'83.)
White Rully is made exclusive¬ly from the Chardonnay grape, the white grape of Burgundy. I consider white Rully in the second tier of premium chardonnays from Burgundy. The formidable prices of the Mont-rachets, Cortons, Meursaults, Chab¬lis', turn many to the second tier, without significant sacrifice of a fine chardonnay. The characters of bold flavor, dryness, varietal identity, distinct aroma, full body, all show in better Rully examples. Burgundy experts add that Rully have certain recognizable characteristics, "often evoking the cool, polished smoothness of mar¬ble." Sorry... I could not find the marble in this one! But... what I found was exceptional chardonnay.
Our wine is light golden yel¬low, with a tint of green. It has 2 stages to its nose and taste. It has a young fresh aroma, with a fruitiness that has apply over¬tones. It is not a bold aroma, but a chardonnay is definitely identi¬fiable. Some earthiness come through. As it rests in your glass it develops a further base bouquet of fragrant, not fruity chardonnay. It has a full body, with crisp acid apparent at the start. Good extrac¬tive of grape that has young char¬donnay character. The taste deve¬lops into an intense middle of deep varietal flavor. Finishes long and crisp. Serve chilled with mussels or oysters. Great with coquilles St. Jacques.
Cellaring Notes: Will develop for 2 to 3 years.
#485B Regular Price: $9.50/750ml.
Member Reorder Price: 21.05% discount
THIS MATTER OF LETTING THE BOTTLE "BREATHE"...
I do not belong to the school that insists all wine must be al¬lowed to breathe before serving. If the belief is rigid, I consider it a fetish!
To really recognize the bene¬fit that comes with so called "breathing" of wine, one must look at the chemistry of wine, and the physics of the breathing process.
What we are really talking about is basically two phenomena.
1) Exposing a recently opened bot¬tle of wine to some oxygen from the air. Very simply… a desirable chemical reaction of oxidation.
2) Allowing the wine to evaporate slightly, merely turning into va¬por. A physical reaction which helps the volatile elements in the wine to exert their presence.
The better term, and maybe the correct one, is "aerating" wine. (despite the aquarium overtones of the word!).
And... the better way to aerate a wine, if it needs it, is to decant it into another empty bottle or a glass decanter. (We are not concerned about sediment decan¬ting here. That is another matter, and its whys and hows is the sub¬ject of another article to follow.) The aerating occurs because of the pouring over of the wine. As it is leaving its bottle and dropping into the new container, it comes in close contact with plenty of oxygen from the air, and does what it has to do! Furthermore this same pro¬cess has some agitation or shaking to it, and some of the elements in the liquid wine tend to vaporize.
Everything that happens with a two to three hour breathing spell by opening a bottle and letting it stand that long will happen with a one minute exercise of decanting.
You see... with the tradition¬alists breathing ritual, the 3/4 inch exposure of the wine surface to the air in the neck of the ori-ginal bottle is minimal for the chemical reaction of oxidation. And with no "pouring over", you have to do a heck of a lot of swirling in your glass to achieve the second requirement.
My suggestion is to aerate, if the wine needs it, and not tax ones patience with the guessing of how long does the wine need to breathe.
Now comes the question: Which wines need aerating?
Most wines will benefit from aerating. The degree of benefit will vary considerably. The benefit is both for taste and aroma or bouquet.
Robust, big, bold, assertive red wines will benefit considerably from aerating. (Cabernets, Syrahs, Pinot Noirs, Riojas, Amarones, Ba¬rolos, etc)
Aged wines will benefit, but be careful not to overdo it. Very old wines are delicate and their beauty of age is fleeting! (even while it is in your glass)
Young and fruity red wines are low in benefiting. If they are "closed in" for aroma, a little aerating will help.
White wines likewise, will benefit little.
Certainly, no aerating of sparkling wines is advised!
If you use a glass decanter to transfer your wine to, it is best to have a stopper for it. This will prevent the volatile aromatics from dissipating fast. The surface of wine against the air is now large and this accelerates the action.
To sum it up... breathing is better accomplished by aerating.
ONE OF A KIND WINES....
A random offering of wines that have a special reputation of being among the top wines of the world. These wines obviously have no relationship to our program directly. They are rare and costly wines for the collector, special gift shopper, etc. As our wholesalers and importers offer these on their lists, we in turn offer them to Wine of the Month Club members for that special occasion purchase, or that special gift. The member price is a deep discounted price from the regular price. Use order form on page 7.
LT812 1981 750 Chateau Latour $ 66.95 53.95
LT814 1981 1.5L Chateau Latour $135.30 110.00
LT815 1981 3L Chateau Latour $275.00 220.00
LT817 1981 6L Chateau Latour $609.00 495.00
LT802 1980 750 Chateau Latour $ 41.25 35.00
LT792 1979 750 Chateau Latour $ 74.75 60.00
LT795 1979 3L Chateau Latour $271.00 220.00
LT797 1979 6L Chateau Latour $650.00 535.00
LAT64 1976 1.5L Chateau Latour $149.50 120.00
LT702 1970 750 Chateau Latour $192.50 155.00
LT662 1966 750 Chateau Latour $234.50 195.00
LT552 1955 750 Chateau Latour $247.50 199.00
HB812 1981 750 Chateau Haut Brion $ 61.50 50.50
HB802 1980 750 Chateau Haut Brion $ 41.25 34.50
HB782 1978 750 Chateau Haut Brion $ 99.75 80.00
HBR72 1977 750 Chateau Haut Brion $ 35.00 29.00
HAUT2 1976 750 Chateau Haut Brion $ 76.00 61.50
HB704 1970 1.5L Chateau Haut Brion $333.00 270.00
HB662 1966 750 Chateau Haut Brion $187.50 150.00
Prices subject to change without notice. Acceptance of order subject to availability of wine. The status of your order will be acknowledged as soon as we receive it.
WOMC CELLAR NOTES
A report on how previous Wine of The Month Club selections are faring with ageing.
Apr.1981. R. Carta de Oro,'74 Rioja.Bdgs.Barb.Still quite good. Use up.
W. Chenin Blanc.L.H.'79.Fenestra. At peak. use now.
Apr.1982. R. Badia a Coltibuono'77 Chianti Classico.Can use more age.
W. Healdsberger '80.Balverne. Fading. Use up.
Apr.1983. R. Zinfandel'80 Napa. Burgess. Still improving. Keep.
W. Muscadet '81. B&G. Best it will be. Use.
Apr.1984. R. Colli del Tras.Rosso'82.Lambrgh.Some mellowing.Keep.
W. Joh.Riesling'82.Late Harv.Hardly changed.Keep.
Enclosed in your literature packet this month is a reprint of a recent ad. for the Wine of The Month Club. I thought you might want a couple of copies to keep in your binder pocket, in case a friend or business associate expresses interest in joining.
Adventures in Eating
I finally earned enough writing credits to buy a full page ad. in this newsletter!
So... here it is, from my mail order cake business.
Two delectable cakes, made by me and marketed by mail-order. They are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition, and are really gooood.
Read about them, and if you can think of someone you would like to send one to (maybe yourself!), I will be delighted to serve you.
You've never had a wholesome carrot cake like this. Light, fruity and bursting with the bright sunny tastes of freshly grated carrots, savory spices, naturally sweet pineapple, coconut and chopped walnuts. Topped with a lemon fondant glaze. Made from scratch.
A cake that can follow an elegant dinner or a simple robust barbecue — loved by everyone.
Send a California Carrot Cake for someone's birthday, anniversary, or? You can't eat flowers but you can eat a cake. A gift for all seasons.
This delicious 2 lb., 8" ring cake serves 12-15. Arrives gift wrapped with an original card. An interesting story about the cake is enclosed. I guarantee my cakes will arrive in excellent condition. $15.95 includes shipping anywhere in the U.S.A.
Use the order form enclosed or write your order on the back of this card.
A different type of moist, chocolate cake. The difference is in the marriage of two classic flavors: chocolate and dates. This luscious chocolate cake is made with Dutch cocoa, real chocolate chips, and tiny morsels of chopped dates. The top is smothered with a chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of nuts. Made from scratch.
A dessert cake that goes well with chocolate sauce or vanilla ice cream. When refrigerated, it takes on a fudge-like texture. Tastes crunchy and moist at the same time. Keeps well.
Send this cake to college! Young people adore it, and what a novel birthday or 4 exam time surprise. A gift for all seasons.
This unusual chocolate cake is a 34 oz., 8" ring cake that serves 12-15. Arrives gift wrapped with an original card. An interesting story about the cake is enclosed. I guarantee my cake will arrive in excellent condition. $19.95 includes shipping anywhere in the U.S.A.
Send a cake instead of flowers!
"Cakes With Old Country Goodness"
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
To order:, Use one of the wine gift order forms and write the name of the cake you wish, and who you want to send it to. Enclose a check to: Rosemarie's Kitchen (Price includes shipping anywhere in USA)
For free membership information write or call
Wine of the Month Club®
Adventures in Wine Since 1972 by The Cellarmaster
P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (213) 318-6666
Gift Order Form
Please send me the following:
Discount Nouveau Pinot Noir,'84.Amity
Regular price: $5.50 $52.80/case
Discount Chenin Blanc,'83.Ste.Chapelle
Regular price: $5.50 $52.80/case
Discount Pinot Noir,'81.Tulocay Winery
Regular price: $8.50 $81.60/case
Discount Rully Blanc,'83.Jaffelin
Regular price: $9.50/750ml $91.20/case
Discount Cabernet Sauvignon,'79.TR.Rs.
Regular price: $9.50 $91.20/case
Discount Sauvignon de St. Bris.'83.HG
Regular price: $6.50 $62.40/case
MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217,
Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274
SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $2.50; 6 bottles $5.00; 12 bottles $7.50
□ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total.
□ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express
Card # Expiration Date
Name (Print) Signature
_______________________________________________ We are unable to ship out of California due to Alcoholic Address Beverage laws. Recipients must be 21 or older.
City State Zip
Phone (Home) (office)
(See reverse side to order wine gifts)
WINE GIFT ORDER FORM
GIFTS OF WINE ARE PERFECT FOR:
● Thank you gifts ● Housewarming gifts ●
Hospitality gifts ● Wedding gifts ● Anniversary
gifts ● Congratulations gifts ● I Love You
gifts ● Christmas gifts ● Business gifts
● Mother's Day gifts ● Father's Day gifts
● Forget-me-not gifts ● Bon Voyage gifts
● And Anytime gifts!
All Cellarmaster gifts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition...
gift wrapped... and with a gift card.
CHOOSE FROM 6 POPULAR WINE GIFTS FROM THE CELLARMASTER:
2 BOTTLES: the 2 current club
6 BOTTLES: assortment of recent
12 BOTTLES: (1 case): assortment of
recent selections $92*
4 MONTHS subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selec-
tions) a month for 4 months (or every $62*
quarter for 1 year - specify gift #4Q) (8 bottles total).
6 MONTHS subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selec-
tions) a month for 6 months (or every $92*
other month for 1 year - specify gift #5B) (12 bottles total).
(24 bottles total) subscription: 2 bottles every month
for the next 12 months
(*$2 gift wrapping charge included). $182*