1978-03 March Classic Newsletter
March 1978 Selection of California Wine
ALEXANDER VALLEY VINEYARDS JOHANNISBERG RIESLING 1976
Alexander Valley Vineyards is situated in one of the most picturesque settings of the Sonoma wine country. In 1963, Harry Wetzel, Jr., purchased this beautiful ranch from the descendants of Cyrus Alexander, caretaker of old Rancho Sotoyome for General Mariano Vallejo. In 1975 Wetzel began construction of a Spanish-American style stone and redwood winery. The winery is equipped with modern stainless steel fermenters, with small Limousin and American white oak cooperage for ageing red wines. Harry Wetzel III, winemaker, has brought some of this new winery's products to market, and they certainly merit attention.
The Riesling grape from which this wine was made is apparently a native of the Rhine Valley, where it has been grown at least since Roman times. In California it is called the Johannisberg or White Riesling to distinguish it from other similar types which are not true rieslings.
This Alexander Valley Vineyards Johannisberg Riesling is a splendid example of its type. Dry, light and refreshing, with a very pronounced riesling character. Try this one chilled with light dishes. A magnificent bottle at a modest price.
March 1978 Selection of Imported Wine
CHATEAU BELAIR-ST. EMILION 1975
This wine comes from the Bordeaux region of France, and is considered to be one of the finest classified growths of the St. Emilion district. The vineyards of Chateau Belair directly adjoin those of Chateau Ausone, one of the most famous chateaux of the entire area. In fact, both are owned by the same family, and the wines from both vineyards are stored in the same cellars. Chateau Belair's vineyards are extremely old and originally date back to Roman times.
The wines from this region are characterized by a rather full body, and a somewhat earthy taste in the finish. They are produced largely from the cabernet sauvignon grape but are commonly blended with merlot and cabernet franc.
This Chateau Belair is a splendid example of the St. Emilion type, being dry and full bodied. Allow this one some time to breathe before serving. It is at its best served with red meats and hearty dishes. A remarkably good value.
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.
Please send me the domestic and imported selection each month.
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"WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB"
Palos Verder Wines & Spirits
77 MALAGA COVE PLAZA
PALOS VERDES ESTATES, CALIFORNIA 90274
Seventy-two LADV members and guests from the Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes Chapters met in January for a blind comparison of eleven of the best California Chardonnays. Van Vander Stucken, Manhattan Beach Chapter Director, and Dick Arrowwood, Chateau St. Jean Winemaker, led us through this outstanding seminar. All the Chardonnays were big, oaky, wines, with each of the eleven finding strong endorsement from some of the sellout crowd. The 1975 Mayacamus pre-release received 13 of the 72 first-place votes to be picked as the favorite. This wine had a pronounced Chardonnay nose, an acid, fruity body, and a fine finish. Another favorite, the 1974 Spring Mountain, had outstanding aroma and bouquet, was very fruity with heavy oak, one of the best balanced wines present, and a beautiful lingering finish. The limited production (259 cases) Chateau St. Jean Wildwood Vineyards 1975 is also worthy of mention. This wine was partially fermented in small French Oak barrels, adding a remarkable complexity. Dick Arrowwood reported that--because of the success of this wine--all his future Chardonnays will spend at least half of their fermentation time in small oak barrels.
The next event ‑
with Dick Foster –
Hilo Room - Holiday Inn, Torrance
17 March 1978
Sponsored by Manhattan Beach Chapter