- Q & A
November 1993 Newsletter
Wines evaluated last month: 258 Rejected: 217 Approved: 41 Selected: 2
It is the time of the year to say thank you and be humble about what we have. It is so easy to complain and disgust at things that go wrong when in reality things are not so bad. I want to say thank you to all my members who have supported our club and enjoyed the wonders of wine. This means "Thank you " to you.
This month we have the perfect Thanksgiving wines for the dinner table that hosts both turkey and beef.
For the turkey lovers we have a wonderful white Bordeaux from famous importer by the name of Yvon Mau. When last in Bor¬deaux, I tasted this wine and was so impressed, I ordered it on the spot. In future months it will be a widely distributed wine, howev¬er, I guarantee that you are the first in the country to have it for Thanksgiving, 1993.
The beef lovers this Thanksgiv¬ing will have at it. A big red wine from the Alexander Valley of northern Sonoma county hit me between the eyes last month; I think this is one of the best reds the club has had this year. Proper¬ly cellared, this wine will go 10-15 years.
Salud and Happy Thanksgiv¬ing!
Salud! PK Jr.
INSIDEAltimira, '89. Ridge Cellars Pg. 2
Bordeaux Blanc, '92. Yvon Mau Pg. 3
Gifts, Gifts, Gifts 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 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (800) 949-WINE / (818) 445-8281 / FAX (818) 445-8361 WOMC is a California Corporation.
MERITAGE RED, 1989. ALTIMIRA Merit-taje, Al-ta-meera
You may not recognize the names "Altimira" or "Ridge Oak Cellars", yet this winery has been in production for over 100 years, undergoing a veritable odyssey.
In the late 1880s, Augustus Quitzow from Germany built a winery in the geyser and mineral springs district of Sonoma Coun¬ty. He added a distillery and sold the operation to Edward Walden, a New York importer and wholesal¬er of brandies in 1887. The winery changed hands several times there¬after. One owner, the Bagnani family, only produced bulk wines for sale to other wine companies. They posted a sign that read: "Sor¬ry, no retail sales. We drink it all."
In 1972 the Jos. Schlitz Brew¬ing Co. bought the winery. Then Schlitz got bought out by Stroh.
Finally, in 1982, high-powered real estate investor Henry Trione and his sons acquired the winery. Their intention was to produce world-class wines. In an effort to spur growth, both technologically and market-wise, the Triones sold 50% of their winery assets to Aus¬tralia's largest wine operation, the Penfolds group in 1989. And Pen-folds sent them one of their top winemakers, Daryl Groom.
When, more recently, the Triones regained full possession of the winery, the illustrious Mr. Groom agreed to stay on and con¬tinue calling the technical shots.
The 3600 foot promontory that faces this winery and the natural water sources that originally lured Augustus Quitzow to this spot in¬spire its name: Geyser Peak.
What is a Meritage Red? "Meri¬tage" is a term coined to describe certain pricey, upscale wines, ex¬clusively made from specified vine types indigenous to Bordeaux, France, but grown in California. Geyser Peak calls their excellent 1989 red edition, "Altimira, Ridge Oak Cellars". Like the finest bottl¬ings of Bordeaux (including Cha¬teau Lafite-Rothschild), it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carbernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes. After tasting this wine, we bought all of it.
It has a regal deep magenta col¬or. The nose is full of cherries, blackberries and blackcurrants mixed with vanilla/oak. It is very mouth-filling, with the berry/currant flavors predominating, and fairly smooth with the dryness of abundant tannins. Chocolate, cher-ry and rum notes linger in the fin¬ish. Serve at room temperature with filet mignon or the traditional holiday roast beef dinner.
Cellaring Notes: Drink now and watch for 5-7 years.
Reviewed by Larry Tepper#1193A Regular Price: $17.50/ea. Special Member Price: $8.19/ea. Member Reorder Price: $6.55/ea. 20.00% disc. $76.60/cs.
GRAND FRAIS BORDEAUX, 1992. YVON MAU Grand Fray Bore-dough, Eee-vaughn Moe
Yvon Mau is one of the largest wine establishments in Bordeaux, France. In fact, in the export mar¬ket, one out of every 25 bottles of Bordeaux marketed in the world can be attributed to Yvon Mau.
The firm's history dates back four generations to Aristide Mau, a broker of bulk wines. Called to war in 1914, Aristide left his son Yvon to carry on the family busi¬ness. After travelling the vineyards for several years, Yvon founded his own bulk wine brokering com¬pany. His forté was in discovering the true talents among the immense number of "petits chateaux" (small wineries) in Bordeaux (now over 10,000.). He was later joined by his son Michel who, from 1971, further developed the business, in-troducing sales of bottled wine. Michel's son, Jean-Francois, in turn extended the company's hori¬zons to include world markets.
Although Yvon Mau does offer estate bottled (chateau) wines, the majority of its business is as a "ne¬gociant" (a French term denoting an all around wine purveyor). In this capacity, the firm acts to en¬sure the best quality/price ratio. The company is not merely a buy¬er, but a participant intimately in¬volved in all the various facets of wine production. These activities include (amongst others): research, vinification, aging and blending.
The winemakers of Bordeaux, unanimously prefer to use more than one type of grape in their wines. For reds, Cabernet Sauvig¬non and Merlot are the mainstays, while Sauvignon Blanc and Semil¬lon are the two most often encoun¬tered in their whites. The former contributes fullness of body, good acidity and a characteristic herba¬ceousness, or "grassiness". The latter, softness, fruit and restraint.
Bordeaux whites are produced in a spectrum of styles, from very dry, light-bodied table wines (for example, Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves), to very sweet, unctuous¬ly textured dessert wines (exam¬ples are Barsac and Sauternes).
This classic example of the dry style has a pale green/gold color and an aroma of melon, kiwi and citrus. There is a slightly grassy element in the nose, evidence of the Sauvignon Blanc content. The wine is medium-bodied with a crisp texture. Flavors of melon and kiwi come through with a slight fruitiness. The finish is entirely clean with the citrus flavors linger¬ing. Serve chilled with shellfish, chicken or roast turkey. An excel¬lent choice for buffet luncheons.
Cellaring notes: Delicious now, but will drink nicely for at least two more years.
Reviewed by Larry Tepper#1193B Regular Price: $6.79/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.43/ea. 20.00% disc. $65.16/cs.
GIFTS, GIFTS, GIFTS…
FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIVING
WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB
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. 1989 R. Cabernet. Sauvignon. '86. River Run. Peaked. Use or keep. W. Chardonnay. '87. LaRoche. Oxidizing. Use.
Nov. 1990 R. Cabernet Sauvignon. '87. Complexing. Melding of flavors. Keep. W. Coltibuono. '89. La Badia. Separation of flavors. Use.
Nov. 1991 R. Montepulciano, '89. Zonin. Took on some fizz. Use. W. Colombard, '90. Carmenet. Developed nicely. Use.
Nov. 1992 R. Pinot Noir, '88. Paraiso Springs. Has peaked and is holding. Use. W. Fondation 1725, '91. B&G. Nice melding of flavors. Use.-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Adventures in Eating
From a small restaurant on the Gironde river in Pauiliac
Last July my wife and I spent two weeks in Bordeaux, France, sampling wines from all over the would. We were there attending the largest wine show in the world. As exciting, if not more ex¬citing than tasting all those won¬derful wines, is sampling the cui-sine of the rural areas of Bordeaux.
Each night we would ponder the local papers and or travel guides in search of unique restau¬rants off the beaten path. We stayed in a small town called Pauil¬lac were the river front was host to 5 or 6 cafes, each family owned and run. Some were better than others. We were intrigued by one in particular because of the variety of foods that the proprietor of-fered. Tired of the myriad of chicken and beef dishes that to date had dominated our food tour, this pork chop dish was a welcome sight on her menu. It was terrific. Through my fathers translation and my mothers measurements conver¬sion, I am able to share this simple but delicious recipe for pork chops ala Pauillac. She served it with steamed baby carrots sprinkled with chopped dill but you can sub¬stitute your favorite vegetable.
Pork Chops with Sour CreamServes 4.
25 minutes preparation time.
4 loin pork chops
4 tbsp. coarse grain mustard (ie. Moutarde de Meaux)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pep¬per
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup sour cream or fat free sour cream
Place the mustard, ginger, pep¬per, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of oil in a bowl and mix together. Spread 1/3 of the mixture over the chops on one side only. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over moder¬ate heat and place the chops in the pan, uncoated side down¬wards. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Turn the chops over and cook for another 7-10 minutes. While cook¬ing, spread the upturned cooked sides of the chops with another 1/3 of the mustard mixture. Once cooked, remove the chops from the pan and keep warm on a serv¬ing dish. Stir the sour cream into the juices left in the pan. Mix in the remaining mustard mixture and heat through for one minute, stir-ring well, then pour over the chops. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Salud! P.K. Jr.
For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Discovering superb wines since 1972 P.O. Box 660220, Arcadia, CA 91066 / (800) 949-WINE / (818) 445-8281 / FAX (818) 445-8361
Order Form1193A Meritage Red, '89. Altimira Reg. Price $17.50 62.5% disc. $78.60/case $6.55/each
1193B Grand Frais, '92. Yvon Mau Reg. Price $6.79 20.00% disc. $65.16/case $5.43/each
1093A Chardonnay, '92. Sylvester Reg. Price $8.99 22.25% disc. $83.88/case $6.99/each
1093B Merlot, '90. La Playa Vineyards Reg. Price $5.99 20.02 disc. $57.48/case $4.79/each
993A Zinfandel, '90. Story Vineyards Reg. Price $7.99 25.03% disc. $71.88/case $5.99/each
993B Albor Rioja, '92. Campo Viejo Reg. Price $6.99 24.32% disc. $63.48/case $5.29/each
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer Taylor-Tells variance in temp. zones. $19.95/ea. $2.50 shpng.
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