1988-09 September 1988 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 123 Rejected: 101 Approved: 22 Selected: 2
It was raining in Macon on nov 7, 1987. Our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Burrier of Chateau de Beauregard were waiting for us to lunch with them. They were very patient. We had a hard time finding their property in the rain. We took a quick trip to the cellar to taste their '86 harvest of Pouilly Fuissé, St. Veran, and Macon Villages. Good wines... but no "Wow" exclamation! Jacques walked over to a stack of unla¬belled bottles, opened one, and said "tell me what you think of this one! "Wowee" was my answer! Here we are ten months later, and you have a bottle in your hand!
Every time I am at trade tastings, I look at the full range of wines, in all price categories. I pay particular attention to the wines at the low end of the price scale. When I find an exceptional one for the price, I tuck it away in my notes as a
"set aside" wine, available for featuring when I come across a wine I want to fea¬ture that is pushing the budget. Runway Red is one of the former. It is a superb California red table wine. This month, both suppliers of our wines had to make price concession to meet our budget. The gain was ours.
To your health!
Runway Red,nv, McLester Pg. 2
St. Veran,'85.Chateau de Beauregard Pg. 3
Member Inquiry - Cellar Temp Pg. 4
Tasting Notes & Cellar Notes Pg. 5
Adventures In Eating Pg. 6
Wine & Gift order forms Pgs. 7/8
Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for superb wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde, CA 90274. (213) 534-1980
RUNWAY RED, NV, McLESTER WINERY
The story of McLester Winery is strikingly different from our import se¬lection. Several years ago, when Cecil McLester was living in Northern Califor¬nia, his children presented him with a home winemaking kit for Father's Day. It took only one batch of plum wine to hook him.
By the time he moved to Los An¬geles in 1979, he had 11 barrels of home made wine (each containing 50 gals.) to lug with him. After winning several home winemakers competitions he decid¬ed to take the big step and open his own winery. He rented industrial warehouse space, under the flight pattern of LAX airport, and converted it to a winery. Hence the name of his table red, and its most unique label! (The vines are a little bit of fantasy I think!).
Cecil may be crazy, but not stupid. His job as a sales account manager for Motorola was never in jeopardy. Realiz¬ing the difficulty of starting a winery, particularly in a region not specially known for wine, (except for the old days when L.A. county had some vineyards Cucamonga way... remember Virginia Dare wines!) he kept his full-time job. Running a winery is no part-time effort. With the help of his wife, Marcy, the couple actually turned a profit last year, only 9 years after they started! That's pretty good considering the track record of many other wineries.
This is a small winery in the truest sense of the term. Inside the 1,500 square foot industrial building, the sound of the runway is muffled. The operation
is spotless and impressive. Once a year friends and family help with the crushing and bottling of McLester wines. The grapes come from some of the most pre¬stigious vineyards around Santa Maria, Santa Ynez and other points north.
McLester is one of three small win¬eries clustered in an industrial area around the Los Angeles airport offering tours, tastings and various wine-related events. If you just don't have the time or inclina¬tion to journey up to Santa Barbara or even Napa and Sonoma, Inglewood may be an exciting alternative! Stop by and help with the crush. It's an opportunity you wouldn't normally gel Call Cecil or Marcy for tours and tastings at 213 641-9686.
Runway red is a blend of Barbera, Ruby Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. It is Cecils answer to red table wine. It shows a garnet red color and features a fragrant, berry aroma. There are some bri¬ary, young tones to the back of the mouth. Fresh and young tasting with hints of fruit. Soft, easy and well bal¬anced with a nice strawberry component in the middle. Not much tannin or coarseness. Serve at room temperature with meatloaf or as an aperitif with teriy¬aki chicken wings.
Cellaring Notes: Not for aging. Best consumed now through next year.
Reviewed by Ed Masciana
#988A Regular Price: $4.00/ea
Special Member Price: $3.00/ea
Member Reorder Price: $2.70/ea
32.50% disc $32.40/cs
ST. VERAN, 1985. CH. DE BEAUREGARD
Sen Ver-on Sha-toe Bo-regard
After tasting and selecting this wine last November. (see page 1) Jacques wanted to show me a unique feature about his vineyards. One of his proper¬ties straddles the village areas of Pouilly and of Fuissé. He said I could put one foot in Pouilly and the other foot in Fuissé. It was raining so I did not do it. Instead we had an absolutely relaxed lunch, the French kind that lasts for ever; overate... and groaned all the way to our hotel for an afternoon nap!
All 100 acres of Chateau de Beaure-gard are planted to Chardonnay, and are situated in the Macon wine growing re¬gion of France. This is just south of Bur¬gundy, and is often referred to in that designation. Chateau de Beauregard is a family-run operation. Jacques Burlier took over from his father, Joseph, some ten years ago managing the vineyards and the winery.
Jacques' son, Fréderick, will follow the tradition. The reason why many of these wines are so good is the added re¬sponsibility of keeping the family tradi¬tion alive. Besides satisfying the bottom line, they must also satisfy the heritage line. That can be even more demanding!
Several years ago the wines of Pouilly-Fuissé (a better known sub-appellation of the Macon) became inordi¬nately expensive and many producers and wine-drinkers looked to other sites in the Macon for top quality Chardonnay.
St. Véran provided that site. While a great St. Véran costs about half the price of Pouilly-Fuissé, they could be easily confused by the most experienced
taster. For one thing, the grape of both has to be chardonnay. The soil is almost identical, as a matter of fact they are next to each other. Most importantly, howev¬er, is the fact that the French law govern¬ing wine appellations includes a mini¬mum alcohol level as a condition of quality. St. Véran is one of only two ap¬pellations which has the same minimum level as Pouilly-Fuissé.
The chardonnay grape has become the most sought after to grow because it is, by a long shot, the most sought after wine to drink in the world. It is so be¬cause even "average" wine made from chardonnay is more flavorful than many other varietals. The enhancement of oak adds another dimension. It is important to grow it in the best areas and vinify it in such a way to extract those flavors.
Our selection combines the best of all worlds. The color is a light golden yellow. Deep bouquet of vanillin mixed with subtle apple scents. Fragrant and in¬tense. Varietal aroma comes through.
Big mouthful of flavors. Full bodied, rich in chardonnay fruit. Distinct green apple taste with some butteriness. Good clean acid balance, leaning toward crispness. Serve chilled with turkey or seafood. Great with grilled swordfish.
Cellaring notes: Has about 1-2 years of maturing time, though drinking beautifully now.
#988B Regular Price: $13.12/ea
Special Member Price: $12.00/ea
Member Reorder Price: $9.50/ea
27.59% disc $114.00/cs
Adventures in Eating
"Dear Paul: Where can I purchase a ther¬mometer which will tell me the variation in temperature of my wine cellar closet? I would like to find out if the variation ex¬ceeds 10 degrees from day to night and from summer to winter. Even though I have it fairly well protected, I am con¬cerned." R.S. Bishop.CA.
This is a wise thing to do. Measure the variation of temperature of your wine storage area.
Excessive temperature variation, day in and day out, accelerates the ageing of wine, and ages it in less than ideal cir¬cumstances. The ageing process is better at not over 7 to 10 degrees variation, and best at 55 degrees F. Lower than that, the ageing process slows down, and higher than that, it accelerates with lesser quali¬ty to it.
What you need to find is a better spe-cialty hardware store that carries a line of thermometers. Ask for a Minimum/Maximum room thermometer. The more reliable ones have a floating steel marker, above the two mercury columns. (The old fashioned kind they demonstrated in physics lab in high school). They are a little hard to find, and the average clerk in a hardware store gives you a blank stare!
I have had enough inquiries about this that I decided to find the source, and offer it as an inventory item through the Wine of the Month Club. (see next column). A useful tool to own.
For further information about ideal cel¬laring conditions, see my article on page 4 of the February 1985 newsletter. If you wish a copy of that article, drop me a postcard, or call my office manager, Monica, and we will send you one.
Good luck. P.K.
WINE STORAGE AREA
This unique, reliable, thermometer will read the temper-ature of your wine storage area, closet, or cellar accurate¬ly, and also register the low¬est and highest temperature reached by weather or other variation.
Just hang it in the area, and set it (simple) and check it as often as you need a reading, and reset it any time you wish.
This not a mickey mouse instrument. The quali¬ty and reliability meets indus¬trial standards.
+2.50shp+1.30S.Tx. = $23.75.
Use the order form on page 7 if you wish to obtain one.
Makes a great gift for a wine enthusiast friend.
WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB CELLAR NOTES
A report on how previous Wine of the Month Club Selections are faring with age.
Obtained from actual tastings of wines under cellar conditions and/or vintner, importer or wholesaler surveys.
Sep.1984 R. Cabernet Sauvignon.'79.Jekel. Still complexing. Can keep.
W. Cumbrero,'82.Monticello. Now has that Spanish oxidized taste!Use.
Sep.1985 R. Carrascal,'77. At its peak. Use.
W. Gewurztraminer,'84.Gndl.Bnd.Amazing holding power.Start to use.
Sep.1986 R. Merlot,'81.Jaeger. Hold on and save. Starting to complex
W. Mainzer Domherr,'85.Baum.Still very fresh. Should use.
Sep.1987 R. Moreau Rouge n.v. J.Moreau. Hardly changed. Use.
W. Chevrignon D'Or,'85.Hidden Cellars. Hardly changed.Liquid gold.Keep.
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Friends give me interesting recipes, and that is fun, as I get the exposure to a variety of palate preferences. This month's recipe intrigued me, as it was easy, inexpensive and nutritious. A great combination. However, herein lies the tale. I am printing the recipe as given me, but along with that, how I altered the original. With entree foods this is fun and creative. Perhaps, you will come up with your own dynamic version.
1 medium eggplant sliced in 1/2" slices
salt, pepper, flour, oil
1 med. onion, sliced
1/2 lb. tomatoes, chopped
8-10 ozs. drained Tofu
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. basil
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
Sprinkle each slice of eggplant on both sides with salt & pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat about 1/4" oil in skillet over high heat. Fry slices on both sides 'til lightly browned, drain on paper towels. Saute onion in 2 Tb. oil for 2 min. Add toma¬toes, tofu, tomato sauce, sunflower seeds, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper. Combine cottage cheese, eggs & 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Arrange eggplant slic¬es on bottom of 9" square baking dish or other shallow casserole. Spread with 1/2 of cottage cheese mixture & 1/2 of tofu sauce. Repeat. Sprinkle top with remain¬ing mozzarella cheese and soft bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.
1 med. eggplant cut in 1/2" slices
1 large chopped onion
3 Tb. cold pressed green olive oil
1-14oz. can Italian style stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tb. seasoned bread crumbs
3 large cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp. oregano, 3/4 tsp. basil
6 medium sliced mushrooms, sauté
8-10 ozs. drained Tofu
salt, pepper, pinch nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cottage cheese,
1/2 c. parsley,
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup whole grain soft bread crumbs
Lay sliced eggplant on a foil covered tray and broil until lightly browned on each side. In 3 Tb. olive oil, saute onion for 2 min., add mushrooms, garlic, basil and oregano, saute 1 more minute, add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce & wine. Let simmer uncovered for 40 min. Add sun¬flower seeds, tofu, salt and pepper to taste. Mix, egg, cottage cheese, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, pinch nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Layer according to previ¬ous instructions, sprinkling 1 Tb. bread crumbs on the tomato mixture. Bake un¬covered for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with hot french bread and salad. Serves 4-6
As you can tell, this lends itself to a va¬riety of combinations. Tofu is so good for you, I was thrilled to work with this recipe since I adore eggplant.
For free membership information write or call
Wine of the Month Club®
Discovering superb wines since 1972.
P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (213) 534-1980
988A Runway Red,nv.McLester
Reg. Price $4.00 32.50% disc. $32.40/case
988B St. Veran,'85.Chateau De Beauregard
Reg. Price $13.12 27.59% disc. $114.00/case
888A Sauvignon Blanc,'86.Anderson Vlly
Reg. Price $7.69 23.28% disc. $70.80/case
888B Cotes du Rhone,'85.Armand Roux
Reg. Price $7.25 22.76% disc. $67.20/case
788A Chenin Blanc,'85.Mount Palomar
Reg. Price $6.63 25.00% disc. $59.64/case
788B Corvo Rosso,'85.Duca Di Salaparuta
Reg. Price $8.69 20.00% disc. $83.40/case
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer
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