1980-09 September Classic Newsletter


since 1972

September 1980


The availability of aged wines, in the price range we have to work with is practically out of the question. Yet every so often, one comes along that is a good example and by some good fortune, enough is available. In January 1975 we featured a 13 year old regional French Burgundy. It was a find. This time it is an 11 year old Spanish Red Penedes. Please enjoy this months im­port selection now, and do not lay it down. It is at its peak and who knows when we will have another opportunity to demonstrate this phenomenon of age­ing.

The California white wine selection this month won a gold medal at the Los Angeles County Fair exactly two months after we picked it as a feature wine and slated it for you in October. Its a good feeling to pick them on the nose. Goes to show, there is a concurrence of palates. Drink it young and enjoy this one now.


The legendary Buena Vista estate of Count Haraszthy fame was purchased by Frank Bartholemew, chairman of the Board Emeritus of United Press International in 1940. In 1968 he sold most of the vine­yeard, but retained 450 acres for his new Hacienda Wine Cellars. Building a new winery and outfitting it with the latest equipment, he stated his goal as an "ex­periment in quality and nothing else". Our June 1978 selection of Hacienda Zin­fandel 1976 was a milestone towards this aim. Another achievement is this months selection of the 1979 Dry Chenin Blanc.

The Chenin Blanc grape, best known for its French origins in the Loire Valley is a grape that produces light, delicate and refreshing wines. Made in a variety of degrees of sweetness, this wine has graduated from the "picnic wine" reputat­ion to a wine of "memorable flavor" dimension. We knew winemaker Steve MacRost­ie had an exceptional wine in 1979 and our evaluation was confirmed when we heard it won a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles County Fair this year.

The wine has a fresh, clean, fruity nose with lots of depth. It is very var­ietal and satisfying. The taste delivers what the nose promises and more. It is flavorful, to say the least; fruity, with good acid balance, and dry. For a chenin blanc, the wine is full bodied and this helps the flavor linger. A remarkable achievement. Serve chilled as an aper­itif or with fish or fowl. (Try with Chicken Veronique).

Cellaring notes: Drink young, within 2 years.

$5.00/fifth Member reorder price $4.30/fifth


One of the four quality wine regions in Spain is Catalonia, situated in the north east of Spain. The village of San Sadurni de Noya lies in the heart of the Penedes area of Catalonia, and has a rep­utation for its sparkling wine cellars. Red wines from Catalonia are not as pop­ular as other red spanish wines, (like Rioja wines) yet there are some outstand­ing ones. Traditionally this is a region supplying wines for blending. The red wines can reach up to 16% in alcohol con­tent, and can be very deep in flavor and color.

The Rene Barbier firm was founded by a member of a French wine making family in 1880 and since then has been making wine in the village of San Sadurni de Noya. Like most wines from this area they are trademarked and offered under a specific name characteristic to that firm. The Reserva is a vintaged blend of their best red wine. With 11 years of ageing this wine was a total surprise. It is at its peak of development.

The wine is light red in color, with a tint of brown showing its age. A corr­ect color for an aged red. It has a fragrant nose, that develops in the glass; fruit is still well apparent, yet the complexities of ageing start taking over and developing into overtones of cedar. The taste is equally surprising. Des­pite its light color, the wine is a mouthful of body. Fruit, along with new flavors riot seen in a young wine, leave you wanting to linger and savor. We con­sider this the find of the year. Enjoy with delicate meat dishes or with cheese.

Cellaring notes: For drinking now.

$5.79/fifth Member reorder price $5.00/fifth


Foods That Clash With Wine

* Salads - Classically, no wine accom­panies a salad course. Yet, a dres­sing that contains lemon juice, vin­egar, garlic or spices that is the enemy. If you have any of these in your salad, do not serve a wine with it. However, if you have a salad with mayonnaise, as the dressing, or other bland embellishment, and your salad ingredients are not dominant flavors like water cress, then serve a white wine, and a slightly sweet one, to particularly accompany sweet­er salads.
* Garlic - No wine can stand up to it.
* Strong Spices - Try beer instead.
* Curry - For the milder styles you could use a Gewurztraminer, and it c can be rather good. For the strong curry, beer goes very well, particul­arly the European hoppy beers.
* Chili - A red table wine only if you must have wine. Do not waste good wine on it. Beer, again, will come in handy.
* Chocolate - Try coffee!

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