March 1989 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 211 Rejected: 170 Approved: 41 Selected: 2
Are you ready for this?
For this rich, big, lush Napa Ca¬bernet Sauvignon. It is discoveries like this that make my work so re¬warding.
For the experienced among our membership, I am confident you are ready for this wine because it is seldom that this quality of wine presents itself.
For the beginners among our membership, your readiness is portrayed by your interest in learn¬ing about wine. I ask you to con¬sider this wine as a milestone in your wine education.. It is a clas¬sic California Napa Cabernet.
The white wine this month comes from an exotic country, and adds to our review of Sauvignon
Blanc wines from different ori¬gins. We have had great ones from France, Australia, Napa/Sonoma, New Mexico, and now from Ro¬mania. And... look at the price! Really surprising considering the quality.
I would venture to say, that the two selections this month are a $25-30 value together. Enjoy!
Cabernet Sauvignon,'83.Caché Pg. 2
Sauvignon Blanc,'87.Premiat Pg. 3
A Personal Note 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
CABERNET SAUVIGNON,'83.CACHE CELLARS
Cab-ber-nay Saw-veen-yon. Cach-shay
Caché means "hidden" in French... and I guess it is as good a name as any for this winery. It is located on a remote dirt road west of Davis, California. A great place to be! University of California-Davis has the best enology depart¬ment in the country.
The cellars were established in 1978, by Charles and Elizabeth Lowe, in a building constructed in 1942, and operated as a dairy for some time.
The objective of the Lowes is to produce small quantities of "hand crafted" premium wines. They own no vineyards; instead they purchase select varietals from growers from the prime viticulture areas of California. Thus each va¬riety is targeted and purchased in the wine growing region that best suits that variety, in their opinion.
For Cabernet Sauvignon, the Lowes go to Napa. Cabernet from Napa has become legend in Ameri¬can wine lore! This classic main¬stay grape of Bordeaux, France, has become the premiere red wine grape of the world. First, because it makes great wine, (when, as a winemaker, you know what you are doing), and second, because it grows well in many parts of the world. (U.S.A., Italy, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Is-rael, Spain.). Even though it can have many faces, most all cabernet wines are dry, with a distinct va-
rietal flavor of green olives and bell peppers, laced with berry fruitiness when young. After oak and bottle ageing, it shows com¬plexities of flavor and bouquet that arouse the esoteric adjectives in the vocabulary of wine aficionados.
And... this Cabernet will.
80% of the wine was aged in French "Nadelie" oak, and 20% in American oak, Blue Grass cooper¬age. In true French style, it was egg whites fined, and unfiltered.
The wine has a dark purplish-red, opaque deep color. It has a forward bouquet... first of some complexity oriented sweetness through which the aroma of the grape breaks and expresses itself. This is followed by a restrained pepperiness of the variety. An amazing amalgam in the nose. The first taste sensation is its big body, immediately followed by a mouth¬ful of varietal flavor. A distinct softness in the middle, which pro-ceeds into a tannin laced finish with a taste that goes on and on. Serve at room temperature with roast beef or steak. Also, serve with the cheese course (edam or Canadian cheddar).
Cellaring Notes: Will complex further for 5 to 10 years.
#389A Regular Price: $12.00/ea
Special Mmbr Price: $11.61/ea
Member Reorder Price: $9.50/ea
20.83% disc $114.00/cs
SAUVIGNON BLANC,1987. PREMIAT
Romania... would you believe, ranks eighth in world wine pro¬duction; yet it is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. Romani¬ans drink 30 litres of wine per cap¬ita annually compared to our own average of less than 7 litres.
Romania is considered a Latin country more than a Slavic land. Around 500 B.C., the territory of Romania - originally known as Da-cia - was populated by Romans who were exiled there; in other words, Romania was Rome's pen¬al colony. Archaeological studies show that the grape vine was culti¬vated 6,000 years ago in this terri¬tory.
Today... about 618 thousand acres are planted with grapes for wine production... twice as large as California's wine grape acreage. There are four wine growing re¬gions, with 17 wine zones. Our Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Tarnava region, better known for white wines.
For the last 10 years, I have consistently stopped at this particu¬lar importers tasting table to evalu¬ate the Premiat wines. They fasci¬nated me. The price was always right, but the wine never hit the mark. Then this year... Bingo! This Sauvignon Blanc was a buy for the price.
Premiat is the export brand of Romanian wine to the United States. The government owned
agency for wine export known as Vinexport has one distributor for the entire U.S.A.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape has become a universal one. Every body is growing it. This Romanian version from Premiat resembles some of the Blanc Fume from the Loire valley of France, rather than the Bordeaux types of white Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers.
For the price... this particular vintage is a bargain. They did it right this time! The winemakers notes from Premiat show that our wine is 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Feteasca (a local grape), and 5% Traminer.
Our wine is greenish straw yel¬low in color. It has a fruity aroma, with a hint of grassiness and plen¬ty of distinct Sauvignon varietal character. Very clean. It has a me¬dium to light body. Dry, with a crispness of acidity, and a nice fol¬low through of fruit. The middle is full of flavor that lingers in the mouth. Finishes with a hint of the Sauvignon green grassiness. Serve chilled with turkey or chicken casseroles, or with luncheon chicken salads.
Cellaring Notes: Not for age¬ing. At its best now.
#389B Regular Price: $3.39/ea
Member Reorder Price: $2.50/ea
26.25% disc $30.00/case
A PERSONAL NOTE
I have three kids...
well... not kids any more.
The oldest is 36, and lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Lynn and their two children. I have to bootleg some of our selections to him every so often when he runs out of bottles on his wine rack. He is founder and president of Fun Tours, a senior-citizen travel tour compa¬ny serving the midwest. He has offered Rosemarie and I residual seats on the tours, but we have not taken him up on any of them yet... they do not go through too many vineyards!
The middle one lives in San Diego with her husband and two children. She is back in school at 32, breezing through law school. We told here she should have done this right after her undergraduate Princeton stint, but no... she has to do it the hard way... concomitant with raising a two year old and a 3 month old! It is a good thing she has a patient husband!
This personal note is more about No 3. He just came aboard Wine of The Month Club.
He is 30, and has a business back-ground. A four year tour of duty at Xe¬rox, pounding the halls of industry with a photocopier in his briefbag gave him the "cruel world" savvy of buying and selling. Another four years as sales-manager of Tclenomics added a computer dimension to his apprenticeship for this new job! If there is such a thing as a President and a Chairman of the Board in a sole proprietorship, he has assumed the former position, and I have moved into the latter title.
Youth can supervise day to day prob-lems much better! Things like UPS breakages, delivery shortages, shipper
truck breakdowns, bounced checks and bad credit card #'s.
Age must be rewarded with the more sedate duties... long term projects... like planning future club wine selections in less deadline oriented environments, ex¬tensive travel schedules to visit vineyards and wineries to make better deals, devel¬oping new membership benefits and ex¬pansion of wine selections! Don't you agree?
So what does son #2 do, as his first act of authority... threatens his sister to cut off her freebie membership! I had to in¬tervene! After all, he had one of those too, even when he was underage. He for¬gets how prestigious it was being the son of a mail-order wine merchant while he was at USC. Some of the reject wines of our program arc quite good after all!
He started Jan 1, and is doing a super job. He has already involved Sandra, his wife. She is a CPA., and I am sure will keep him harnessed. I have withdrawn from the warehouse office to my new of¬fice in Julian, CA. it is being remodeled to house a fax machine, and a modem for my Macintosh SE.
We did not even have to print new business cards. He has been using mine for several years. He is Paul too! In the past, whenever there was an exceptional trade wine-tasting, he would present my business card for his admission badge quite truthfully!
So now... if you call the office... ask for Paul Jr. He can handle most every¬thing. Once in a while he might refer you to a (619) phone number for a matter he might delegate to Sr.
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.
Mar. 1985 R. Cabernet Sauvignon.'79.Terre Rosse. Was better last year. Use
W. Chenin Blanc,'83.St. Chapelle. On the old side. Use
Mar. 1986 R. Claret, Brokers Reserve.So.Cst ClLrs. Amazing stay power. Use
W. Ockenheimer St. Jakobs.'76. Fruit on way out. Use.
Mar. 1987 R. Cabernet Sauvignon,Lontue,'83.Gato Negro. Fruit is good. Complexing.
W. Sauvignon Blanc,'85.S.J.Sebastiani. Some complexing. Use
Mar .1988 R. Cabernet Sauvignon,'85.Black Opal. Hardly changed. Keep.
W. Chardonnay.'84.Stone Creek. Some complexity, some oxidation.Use.
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Adventures in Eating
Shakers, Bakers Breakfast food Makers
How does anything begin? Our lives roll along, and we partake of our environ¬ment, and every now and then ask our¬selves the question who started or created what I am eating?
Time and again, I find religion has been a factor in this development. As we become more familiar with the shrinking world around, food history brings us even closer.
The diversity of religions in America, has influenced and contributed to the va¬rieties of foods we call "our own".
One of the earliest religions in the U.S. was the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, a spin-off from the Society of Friends who became known as the "Shaking Quakers, or Shakers." Then as today, they lived in isolated and contained communities. Shakers were among the very first to ad¬vocate greater use of vegetables and fruit, and whole grain flour in their diet.
An Amherst student, Sylvester Graham, embraced these pronouncements, became a minister, and began preaching the bene¬fits of bran and wheat and proper diet for good health. He preached "We should not make graveyards of our stomachs. Fill your bodies with native grains, fruits herbs and roots."
Ellen White, a Seventh Day Adventist in Michigan, became so convinced of the importance of proper diet, that she awarded a scholarship to a Medical stu¬dent named John Henry Kellog. He exist¬ed on graham crackers, apple, oatmeal, coconuts and potatoes. He wanted to
prove to his patients what he preached. He developed a formula for the patients in the Adventist Sanitarium in Battle Creek and called his health food "grano¬la."
Later, Dr. Kellog and his brother per-fected a method of flaking corn and wheat kernels... Need I go on? The common cereal found all over the world, Corn Flakes, was born. Mrs. Kellog was a part of this movement, and authored a cookbook: "Science in the Kitchen and Everyday Dishes." In it she had this month's recipe. She stated that she creat¬ed this pie crust "not to increase sales of her husband's product, as to steer cooks away from the butcher's lard." Smart folks, ahead of their time. Have fun!
Mrs. Kellog's Cereal Pie Crust
1 to 3 Tb. Sugar
1 1/2 cup corn flakes, crushed
6 Tb. melted butter (or my favorite 40
60 Dairy Maid and margarine)
Blend the sugar into 1 1/2 cups cereal crumbs, then all the, melted butter. Mix thoroughly with fingers, and press into 9" pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for 5-8 minutes. A great starter for cold pies such as coconut cream, chocolate, or fresh fruit pies topped with cream, me¬ringue, or your choice.
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
389A Cabernet Sauvignon,'83.Caché
Reg. Price $12.00 20.83% disc. $114.00/case
389B Sauvignon Blanc,'87.Premiat
Reg. Price $3.39 26.25% disc. $ 30.00/case
289A White Burgundy (P.B.),'87.Mirassou
Reg. Price $6.85 21.17% disc. $ 64.80/ease
289B Chianti Classico,'86.D'Albola.
Reg. Price $7.99 21.78% disc. $ 75.00/case
189A Petite Sirah,n.v.DaVinci
Reg. Price $7.95 21.38% disc. $ 75.00/case
189B Sauvignon Blanc-Fumé Style,'87Ylm
Reg. Price $6.95 24.46% disc. $ 63.00/case
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer
Taylor $ 19.95/each
SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $2.50; 6 bottles $5.00; 12 bottles $7.50
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MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274
(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 Wine Of The Month Club gifts are guaranteed to arrive in
perfect condition... gift wrapped... and with a gift card.
CHOOSE FROM 6 POPULAR WINE GIFTS
2 Bottles: the 2 current club selections $17*
6 Bottles: assortment of recent selections $47*
12 Bottles (1 case): assortment of recent
4 Months subscription: 2 bottles (the Club
Selections) a month for 4 months $62*
or every quarter for 1 year-specify gift #4Q) (8 bottles total).
6 Months subscription: 2 bottles (the Club
Selections) a month for 6 months $92*
or every other month for 1 year-specify gift #5B) (12 bottles total).
1 Year subscription: 2 bottles every month for
the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $182*