1980-05 May Classic Newsletter


since 1972

MAY 1980


The recent advertisements in mag­azines claiming "Some of my best wines are Italian" seems to have substance to the claim. Our last import selection was a white Italian, and our current im­port selection is a red Italian. Ital­ian wines are coming along nicely in the wine world. It is a combination of better wines being exported, importers are selecting wines that appeal to the American palate more carefully and the switch to wines by many of us is dev­eloping into a fun world of tasting and testing the broad spectrum of the wine world. That's just what its all about: What the advertisement is really saying is "Some Italian wines can be fine", witnessed by our selections.


The Turgeon and Lohr Winery is located in downtown San Jose, in an old beer keg filling facility that was purchased and converted by Bernard Turgeon and Jerome Lohr. The grapes come from 280 acres they own in Greenfield (Monterey County). Their first crush was in 1974, and they have been offering some excellent wines in re­cent years. Peter Stern is winemaker/par­tner and is a devoted Monterey appellation promoter.

The Johannisberg Riesling (white ries­ling) grape is a versatile grape from Ger­many. This noble grape produces a wide spectrum of wine types in Germany, from dry table wine to exotic dessert wine. Our winemakers in California have been making some outstanding Johannisberg Ries­lings to match the best of Germany. Trad­itionally the grape produces a wine with a characteristic fragrant bouquet, a soft texture with fruity flavor. The wine is produced in a variation of degrees of sweetness, depending on the style the winemaker chooses for his wine. The wines can have ageing potential and de­velop a whole set of complexities that are worth waiting for.

This J. Lohr wine is light yellow in color. It has a flowery fragrant nose that shows a strong varietal character of Johannisberg Riesling. The wine is slightly sweet, with medium body, and well balanced acid. The flavor lingers and fades to a slightly bitter finish that adds to the wine. It is made to drink young, with fruit, cheeses or fish dishes, with cream and butter sauces. Serve chilled.

$5.50/fifth $59.40/case


Our red wine this month comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. Tucked in the northwestern corner of the country, this region is considered a gold mine of fine wines. The town of Alba, is in the central Piedmont district, where our Dolcetto is from. The house of Pio Cesare, founded in 1881 is one of the well known wineries in the region and their label is recognized traditionally for quality.

This wine is a varietal wine, meaning that it is made predominantly from one grape. The grape variety is called the Dolcetto. The great Dolcetto's are grown and made in the region around Alba. The Dolcetto grape, contrary to what the name might suggest is made into a dry type wine. Typically it has a ruby color, fruity and well rounded with a faint bit­terness that is harmonious. It is often the carafe wine of the region. It is better with two years of ageing, and is normally drunk in its first decade.

Pio Cesare Dolcetto D' Alba 1977 is bright red in color, with a fruity nose that has alcoholic overtones. It has a mouthful of flavor, that lingers to a clean and dry finish. The wine has a velvety medium body. It is ideal with roasts or pasta. Serve at room temper­ature. Salut.

$6.49/fifth $70.10/case


2: Less than average vintage a: Best with further aging
4: Average vintage b: Can improve with further aging
6: Good vintage c: Ready for drinking
8: Very good vintage d: Caution advised if aged further
10: Exceptional vintage e: Wine may be too old to drink

The CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club

The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club is a unique and enjoyable way to taste and learn about many of the fine wines currently available.

When you become a member, you will receive each month: one red wine selection for the month, one white wine selection for the month (rarely, a rose instead of the red or white), and an information newsletter describing the wines and their origins. One wine will be a domestic, the other an import, and both bottles will be full fifths. This sequence will alternate the following month. The total cost for both bottles will never exceed $10.00 plus sales tax and shipping costs of $1.75.

Membership also carries the privilege of purchasing wines from previous selections (as available) at members reorder prices which show discounts from 10% to 25%

For free membership information: Write to: The CELLARMASTER Wine of the Month Club (Dept. N) Post Office Box 217 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 Or Call: (213) 378-8998