- Q & A
November 1991 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 356 Rejected: 305 Approved: 54 Selected: 2
The proliferation of Chardon-nay in the market place has inun¬dated us, as wine consumers, with many mediocre white wines at top dollar prices. It seems every win¬ery makes a Chardonnay, if they make anything at all. There are some wonderful grapes in the world of viticulture that make ex¬quisite wines and are much less prone to market trends. Colombard is one of these grapes. Finding a Colombard that I wanted to present was more difficult than expected. Acres of it is grown, but not many wineries bottle Colombard as a va¬rietal. Then we found the 1989 Carmenet Colombard. WOW!'
As in California, there are fam¬ily run wineries all over the world. This month's imported red wine came to us from the largest family-owned winery in Italy. This Mon¬tepulciano is the best I've tasted from that region in a long time.
If you want a real treat, look at the enclosed brochure on Califor¬nia chocolate covered almonds, raisins and pistachios. We flipped over the duality!
INSIDEColombard,'89. Carmenet Pg. 2
Montepulciano d'Abruzzi,'89. Zonin Pg. 3
For Your Holiday Giving 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 D, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (818) 445-8281 … FAX (818) 445-8361 WOMC is a California Corporation.
COLOMBARD, 1989. CARMENET. Kahl-um-bard Kar-mon-ay
In opening, let me first ask you to notice the small print section of this wine's label which reads "A Chalone Property". Any discus¬sion of the Carmenet Vineyard must include a discourse on its parent company. Chalone Incor¬porated is the only publicly-held company in the U.S. whose prin¬cipal business is producing and marketing premium wines. Its ori¬gins are with a group of small in¬vestors. In 1960 they revived Monterey County's Chalone Vine¬yard, (vines were planted there at the turn of the century, but nothing was done with them), to produce legendary, sought-after wines.
The corporation's leadership chose an unusual growth pattern. Rather than overexpanding the Chalone Vineyard, in 1980 they established a second vineyard, the Edna Valley Vineyard, in San Luis Obispo County. In 1981 they built a third, the Carmenet Vineyard in Sonoma County. Continuing the tradition, a few years ago they pur¬chased the Acacia Winery in Napa.
Each facility acts as an inde¬pendent operating unit with its own winemaker and staff. Chalone keeps the wineries small so that the respective Winemakers can give every barrel of wine the personal attention it needs. Jeffrey Baker, Winemaker and General Manager at Carmenet, has been in charge of production there since its incep- tion. Dick Graff, one of Chalon Corporation's early coordinators and its technical guru, oversees quality as Executive Winemaker.
Chalone has vinified Colom¬bard since the early 1970s. Theirs is unquestionably the finest exam¬ple of this wine made anywhere. Even with its track record for pro¬ducing sound, crisp, dry white wines, Colombard, before Cha¬lone, was a regular 'Rodney Dan-gerfield' of a vine ("no respect"). Brought to California from France's Bordeaux and Cognac districts, "French Colombard" was used as a jug wine ingredient. Graff recognized that the superior quality fruit from Napa Valley's oldest family-owned vineyard (the Saviez vineyard) would respond favorably to fermentation and ag¬ing in French oak barrels. Here are the marvelous results.
The wine offers a bright gold¬en hue with aromas of fresh flow¬ers and green apples. It is rich and full on the palate, with the vanilla/ oak showing through in the dry, clean finish. Serve chilled with chicken in a creamy tarragon sauce, or with a seafood/pasta/ cream-sauce dish.
Cellaring Notes: Drink now through 1992.
Rvwd by Larry Tepper#1191A Regular Price: $6.83/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.46/ea. 20.00% disc. $65.52/cs.
MONTEPULCIANO d'ABRUZZO, 1989. ZONIN Mon-tea-pull-she-anno Dee Ah-brew-zo
Founded in 1921, Zonin is Ita¬ly's largest privately-owned wine-making concern in operation to¬day. Considering how far back many Italian wineries go, this makes the company a relative new¬comer. In all fairness, it is impor¬tant to state that prior to establish¬ing the firm seventy years ago, the family had actually been active in the wine industry through seven generations. The founder's (Com¬mendatore Domenico Zonin's) four nephews, Gianni, Giuseppe, Gaetano and Silvano, enthusiasti¬cally maintain the family tradition.
Well known as a pace-setter in the use of modern winemaking technology, with diligence and de¬dication, the Zonin family has ex¬panded production and bottling to four-and-a-half million cases per year.
Zonin is actually not just one winery, but a conglomerate of vineyard holdings, vinification fa¬cilities and prestigious wine pro-ducing estates. Their Montepulci a-no d'Abruzzo vineyards lie at about the same position on the Ital¬ian boot as Rome, but well to the east, near Italy's Adriatic coast.
Here the hearty Montepulciano vine reigns supreme, yielding grapes of robust generosity. In the past, its wines were used for boosting lightweight northern vint¬ages. With technological advanc¬es, however, Abruzzi wines have taken immense strides since their emergence on Italian and interna¬tional markets about twenty years ago. Incidentally, do not confuse this wine with Vino Nobile di Montalcino, a Tuscan wine made almost exclusively from the San¬giovese grape of Chianti fame. In general, Montepulciano d'Abruzzc is a purplish wine with an agreea¬ble, straightforward aroma and a warm, generously fruited, slightly tannic taste.
Our Zonin selection, however, goes far beyond the norm. It will be noted to have the medium light ruby color of a mature red wine. The nose is very "Italian", some¬what intense, with a spicy aspect (like thyme) plus an intriguing fruity facet (like gooseberries). The taste is full, dry, smooth and satisfying. With its well-stated fruit impressions, firm acidity, and smoothness, this is a well-structured wine. The finish is dry, but not astringent, with nice rasp¬berry, strawberry and gooseberry flavors lingering. Serve at room temperature with red-sauced pasta, minestrone soup or Manhattan-style clam chowder.
Cellaring Notes: Close to its peak: can hold for 2-3 years.
Reviewed by Larry Tepper#1191B Regular Price: $8.13/ea. Member Reorder Price: $6.17/ea. 24.00% disc. $70.04/case
FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIVING
WINE OF THE MONTH CLUBGIFTS
SEND A WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB GIFT MEMBERSHIP and you're really sending something different. Not only will December selections arrive in time for the Holidays, but exciting selections keep right on coming month after month. And...you have maximum value for the gift dollar, because the recipient is reminded each month of your generous gift by the gift card enclosed with each month's selections and newsletter.
IT'S SO EASY. You order just once, and the Wine of the Month Club will deliver a whole parade of beautiful wines.
YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT THEY'LL ENJOY THE GIFT. These are wines you know and appreciate because you receive them yourself with your own membership.
THE PROVEN-PERFECT PERSONAL AND BUSINESS GIFT. For friends, family, employees, customers and business associates. Wine of the Month Club membership is an investment in good-will - the unique Holiday gift that keeps you in close, friendly contact all-year-'round with people important to you, or your business. It's a family gift - one that goes into the home, where every adult can share and enjoy it.
CONVENIENCE YOU APPRECIATE. You can avoid the unpleasant aspects of shopping - traffic, parking, crowds, waiting in line. Spare yourself those inevitable little annoyances that go with packing gifts for the mail; finding cartons the right size, packing the gifts so they don't break, etc. By sending Wine of the Month Club gifts, you'll make your shopping easier, especially shopping for out of town family and friends.
THE VALUE YOU EXPECT.…. .because you know the contents of each month's gift. And...our gift wrapping is handsome. The shiny burgundy gift box with the silver ribbon makes an impressive package. Each Wine of the Month Club gift is a representation of your thoughtfulness and your creativeness.
SEE THE GIFY BROCHURE IN THIS MONTH'S PACKAGE. HURRY... TIME TS RUNNING SHORT!
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.
Nov. 1987 R. Marque Caceres. '83. Un.Vt.Vn. Peaked. Use. W. Sauvignon Blanc. Vandervoort, '86. Oxidized.
Nov. 1988 R. Fajita Red. '85. McDowell. Fruit gone. Use W. Beaujolais Blanc. '87. G. Duboeuf. Oxidized. Use.
Nov. 1989 R. Cabernet Sauvignon. '86. River Run. Complexing. Keep. W. Chardonnay. '87. LaRoche. Peaked. Use.
Nov. 1990 R. Cabernet Sauvignon. '87. Complexing. Melding of flavors. Keep. W. Coltibuono. '89. La Badia. Chardonnay character pronounced. Keep. Use.-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Adventures in EatingBy Leslie Smith
Let's face it, every cook has at least a few culinary items they are downright afraid to try to make. I always had a fear of making home¬made danish pastry, and rightly so! Never will I forget the disaster of that enterprise. Making danish pastry is a difficult process, a skill that requires a thorough knowledge of the "art". I call it an "art" Because that's what it is! After spending half the day in my flour-filled kitchen, failing miserably at this endeavor, I realized it is virtu¬ally impossible to make danish pastries by simply reading a reci¬pe.
Then there are other kinds of "difficult" recipes. They are the ones that aren't really hard to make, we just think they must be. Like roasting a savory stuffed turkey. I know people who go to great lengths to make their Thanks¬giving buffet one the Pilgrims would be proud of. Then, of all the atrocities...they buy a store-bought already cooked turkey!
Please, cast away your fears. Making a perfect roasted turkey is almost as easy as scrambling eggs, yet far more rewarding. And nothi¬ng quite compares to the luscious holiday smell of a turkey roasting away in your oven.
The Perfectly Easy Roast Turkey8-10 servings
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 16 oz. bag Pepperidge Farm Herb
Seasoned stuffing (dried)
4 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 7 - 12 lb. turkey
Salt and Pepper
Melt the butter and saute onions and celery until soft. Add seasoned stuffing and toss gently. Add 2 1/4 cups of the chicken broth (reserve other 2 cups) and cook until just moistened. Loosely stuff turkey (re¬serving extra stuffing to serve later). Place turkey in a roasting pan and pour reserved chicken broth in bottom of pan around turkey. Sprinkle tur-key with salt and pepper. Immediate¬ly place in a 450 degree oven. Turn down heat to 350 degree and roast approximately 20 minutes per pound. Baste turkey every 15 minutes. Tur¬key is done when drumstick is loose when jiggled.
Remove turkey from oven and let stand 20 minutes before carving. Re¬move all stuffing from cavity before carving. Note: It is not necessary to tress a turkey.
For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club®>b? Discovering superb wines since 1972 P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 (818) 445-8281 FAX (818) 445-8361
Order Form1191A Colombard, '89. Carmenet Reg. Price $6.83 20.05% disc. $65.52/case $5.46/each
1191B Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, '89. Reg. Price $8.13 24.11% disc. $74.04/case $6.17/each
1091A Zinfandel, '88. Glenn Ellen Reg. Price $6.74 20.17% disc. $62.28/case $5.38/each
1091B Macon-Clesse, '90. Cave de Vire Reg. Price $8.24 20.14% disc. $78.96/case $6.58/each
991A Chardonnay, '89. White Oak Reg. Price $14.00 50.01% disc. $83.88/case $6.99/each
991B Chateau Chariot, '88. Corbieres Reg. Price $6.75 22.22% disc. $63.00/case $5.25/each
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer Taylor-Tells variance in temp. zones. $19.95/each $2.50 shpng.
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