1976-11 November Classic Newsletter

November 1976 Selection of California Wine


In the hills a few miles west of Paso Robles, in San Luis Obispo county, one finds the Hoffman Mountain Ranch and winery. The winery occupies a striking new building in an area which is scattered here and there with a number of older wineries; some of which date back more than a century. The winery is large, compared to most in this area, and has all of the latest equipment. Production dates back only as far as 1973, and is supervised by the owner, Dr. Stanley Hoffman.

The Franken grape, or Sylvaner as it is also known, is probably of German or Austrian origin. It is widely planted in Europe, primarily in Germany. It is mistakenly called a riesling, which it is not, and produces lighter and fruitier wines than the true riesling grape. It `is sometimes found as a late harvest type wine in Germany, but only rarely here in California.

This Hoffman Mountain Ranch, Late Harvest Franken, is a prime example of what this grape is capable of producing here in California. Light and fruity, with just a pleasant whisper of sweetness. Try this one chilled with light meats, cheeses, poultry, fish, or simply by itself.

$3.95/fifth $42.66/case

November 1976 Selection of Imported Wine


The Cote-de-Beaune is the southern half of the celebrated Cote d' Or of Burgundy. It consists of that long narrow belt of hillside vineyards which are responsible for most of the great Burgundies. Soils in this area vary greatly and the district produces white wines which are as famous as its reds.

The wines of this region are generally softer and more refined than those of the Cote-de-Nuits. As a rule they mature more quickly and are shorter lived. The white wines from this area are often golden and succ­ulent while the reds vary markedly in character from one area to another within the region. Some of the reds resemble those of Cote-de-Nuits but most are lighter and more delicate.

Wines labeled simply as Cote-de-Beaune-Villages are regional wines. The Cote-de-Beaune-Villages of Bouchard Freres is a good example of the reds which this area can produce. Sip and see; with most dishes, or with cheese and bread.

$4.59/fifth $49.57/case


By 1978 all wines will be bottled in metric size containers. What we are faced with today is that somewhat bewildering period of transition to the new system. Nowhere are the changes more apparent than in the jug wines. Just what has happened to the good old standard half-gallon jug of wine?

Needless to say bulk wine sizes have undergone some change. What has happened is that many producers have switched to a size which will make the ultimate change-over relatively simple; the magnum. The magnum is the equivalent of two American fifths (25.6 oz.) or 51.2 oz.. At some point we will loose that extra half ounce, and the transition will have been made. A few producers have already introduced their 1.5 liter packages. As for those who still use the half-gallon containers, the decision must be made in the months ahead whether to make the step down to the 1.5 liter or, up to a full 2.0 liter (67.6 oz.) bottle.

Meanwhile, inspect the container for size and be aware that these changes are being made, most often without notice or reductions in price. Become familiar with the new sizes now available because one thing is sure, the half-gallon jug will soon be a thing of the past.


For years the number one selling wine at the Charles Krug winery has been its Chenin Blanc. This has certainly been reflected in our sales at the shop. Much to everyone's surprise, though, Krug announced a few months back that they were running very low on Chenin Blanc, and would have to place it on a strict allocation basis, much like Cabernet Sauvignon was a few years ago. Nobody thought it would ever happen, but it did. Just last week a winery representative told us that the situation would not im­prove until after the first of the year. This announcement prompted us to explore some of the other alternatives available:

WENTE LE BLANC DE LE BLANC - This one scored quite well as a runner up. A blend of Chenin Blanc and Ungi Blanc with Chenin Blanc character pre­dominating. Light, medium dry, good balance and finish. Very popular at $2.75 per fifth.

ROBERT MONDAVI CHENIN BLANC >- Somewhat drier but with good strong var­ietal character and fruit. One of the best made in this dry style. Available at $3.50 per fifth.

J. PEDRONCELLI CHENIN BLANC - Well rounded, medium dry and fruity. This one is a surprise from a small northern California producer. An unques­tionably good value at $2.50 per fifth.

HOFFMAN MOUNTAIN RANCH CHENIN BLANC - A first release from a brand new winery in the Paso Robles area. Medium dry, good balance and fruit with a pleasant finish. Offered at $3.95 per fifth.

Our November seminar is the chance of the year to taste compare California's top Chardonnay's: Sterling 1974; Heitz 1974; Chateau Montelena 1973 and 1974; Spring Mount­ain 1973; David Bruce 1973; Mayacamas 1973; the rare Han­zell 1973; and Freemark Abbey 1972. Mike Grigch, the wine-maker at Chateau Montelena will be the guest expert. All this at the Plush Horse Inn on Friday evening, November 19th. $8.50 for members, $10.00 non members.


The Monterey Peninsula Hotel and Restaurant Associate is sponsoring "The California Wine Festival" on the Monterey Peninsula on December 5-8, 1976. The speakers list is a virtual who's who in Calif­ornia wines: Adams, Amerine, Balyu, Benton, Chroman, Corte, Gomberg, McClelland, Mead, Rhodes, Sichel and Tchelestch­eff. The Festival fee is $125.00, which includes the tastings and lunches. While not a L.A.D.V. meeting, your directors will be glad to co­ordinate the housing for those members of the chapter wanting ing to stay in the same hotel.

For additional information on either of these events, call Al Hausrath, 375-8428 or the shop 375-5116.

We select one domestic and one imported wine and feature it in our wine shop. We send you a bottle of each selection monthly. We send you a newsletter describing the wine and its background. We restrict our selections to the popular price range, not to exceed $10.00 for the two bottles of wine each month. If you are new to wines, it is a good way to learn about them. If you are a seasoned connoisseur, we invite you to test our evaluations and make your recommendations for future selections. (cut here) Please send me the domestic and imported selection each month. NAME PHONE STREET CITY AND ZIP CODE □ Charge my regular account at your shop. □ Charge my Bank of America card #___________________ Expiration date of card __________________ □ Charge my Master Charge card #_____________________ Expiration date of card __________________ Date_____________Signature____________________ Mail to: Palos Verder Wines & Spirits 77 malaga cove plaza Palos Verdes Estates, Ca 90274