1980-07 July Classic Newsletter


since 1972

JULY 1980


It is coincidental that we repeat the same California winery two months in a row. I was looking for a dry ries­ling for this month, and at a blind tast­ing of several, the Callaway White Ries­ling featured this month stood head and shoulders above the crowd. So, Ely Call­away and Steve O'Donnell, you hit a double whammo! (We featured Callaway Zinfandel last month)

The import selection is a French petit Chateau that is a summer oriented red Bordeaux. It is a bargain for the price and as French Bordeaux prices go these days - an exceptional bargain.


The Bordeaux region of France has prod­uced clarets of many styles from Roman times The English labeled the red wines from this region "Claret", even though it is really a corruption of the French "Clairet", which used to mean a light blend of red and white wines. Bordeaux is divided into 22 regions, and wine from these regions may be so labe­led if they meet the appelation standards. Cotes de Bourg is one of these regions. The Bourg hills fringe the river Dordogne as it enters the Gironde river. Two ancient for­tified towns of Bourg and Blay are in the heart of this region.

Bordeaux wines may be blends of a var­iety of grapes. Six varieties are permitted Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere. Some are made from one variety only. The style of wine and its consistency from each pro­ducer is based on the grapes grown in his vineyards and the blending the proprietor and winemaker choose to present as their contribution to the wine specturm. Chateau de la Grave is owned by the Bassereau fam­ily. There are 100 acres of vineyards and the production is about 15,000 cases of red wine and 4,000 cases of white wine a year. They are considered one of the better wine-makers in the Bourg.

The wine is medium red in color, with a distinct cabernet nose. It has a light to medium body, a clean and flavorful taste with good acid balance. Serve with meat dishes, prime rib, steak, or enjoy as a sipping red wine before the meal.

$4.59/fifth Member reorder price $43.20/case


Southern California does it again! From Temecula, in the coastal region near San Diego, Ely Callaway has produced another winner. His vineyards are located in what is now claimed as a "microclimate" in this otherwise traditionally unsuitable area for growing good wine grapes. They are in the path of an ocean breeze from the Pacific Ocean that gushes through Rainbow Gap daily. The cool and moist air passes over the vines and chills the surface of the leaves and slows the rate of maturation; a condition vintners dream about.

The white riesling grape is considered indigenous to the banks of the Rhine, yet some ampelographers attribute it to Roman cultivation along the Rhone river in France during the 3rd Century. Most wine enthus­iasts think of White Riesling (Johannisberg Riesling) as wines that will be sweet. However, many dry varieties are made. I like each style for what it is, and match them with the appropriate foods. Steve O'Donnell, wine maker at Callaway claims he has made the first "breakfast" wine. An interesting thought! Try it sometime with light crepes filled with fresh strawberries, but do not overlook it for a poached fish dinner, or luncheon of ham sandwiches.

This wine is pale yellow, with a frag­rant, fruity aroma that is so delicate and fresh. It is low in alcoholic content (Mosel style) with correct flavor of the grape. It is light bodied, dry, yet soft. A delightful accompaniment to summer.

$6.00/fifth Member reorder price $60.00 /case



Have you ever enjoyed a good wine, but not finishing the bottle, tried to save the rest for some other day? Then when you tasted it again, found that it had turned.

Often enough, rights

Well, here are my solutions to that problem.

Solution No. 1 Get yourself some empty "tenth and "split" size bottles and some corks that are sound, (with no corkscrew holes). Next time you open a bottle of wine, and you do not expect to finish the bottle, fill one of the empty smaller bottles to the neck, allow­ing just enough room for the cork. Then cork it tightly. This exclusion of air from the stored wine will keep it sound for many days. Oxygen in the air is the enemy of wine, and the amount of air that usually remains in 1/2 full bottles, is the reason for their quick turning. Refrigeration helps delay this, but not as well as the exclusion of air.

Solution No. 2 Find a wine enthusiast to share the whole bottle with. (Then turn the music on).

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. (or sometimes a rosé)
an information newsletter describing the wines and their origins

One wine will be a domestic, and 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 $12.00 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