1985-11 November 1985 Newsletter

November 1985 Newsletter

Wines evaluated last month: 326 Rejected: 275 Approved: 51 Selected: 2


THANK YOU.. THANK YOU.. THANK YOU.. at this time of Thanksgiving.

■I am thankful for your continued interest in my Wine of The Month Club because it keeps me employed in an area of activity that I enjoy!

■I am thankful for your reorders because it is an approval of my palate!

■I am thankful for the comments and notes I receive in the mail because they help me from feeling isolated at the window end of my post office mailbox.

■I am thankful for the smile and look of recognition when you step up at one of our booths at a show and tell me you are a member, and how much you enjoy the surprise wines every month.

■I am thankful for my page 6 editor, who has given me a wonderful family. Now that they are all dispersed in Lincoln, (Nebraska), San Diego, and Manhattan Beach, she has the time to work with me. (Even though she was recently recruited again into public service. Rosemarie was just appointed by our county supervisor Deane Dana as a commissioner to the Los Angeles County Commission for Women. She served four years as a council person on our City Council eight years ago.)

I raise my glass and wish you and yours the best.


"Life is too short to drink mediocre wine"

This month's white wine speaks for itself on page 2. I have waited a long time to show you wine made by these people. I had to find a super $3 wine before I could show you this superb $12.75 California white. (Special for us at $12.00)

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= Chardonnay,'82 Frmrk Abby pg.2 =
= Cotes du Ventoux,'83 Dm.Sv pg.3 =
= For your holiday giving pg.4 =
= Care of bottled wine pg.5 =
= WOMC Cellar Notes pg.5 =
= Adventures in Eating by R pg.6 =
= Wine order form pg.7 =
= Gift order form pg.8 =

Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for fine wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: The Cellarmaster Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde, CA 90274. (213) 318-6666


In the short span of years since 1967, Freemark Abbey Winery has produced some of Napa Valley's most memorable wines. This date reference is for the modern Freemark Abbey… the foundations go back to the early 1880s and the beginnings of the Napa Valley as a fine wine district.

The distinction this winery has achieved has been under the direction of a partnership formed to recreate the winery. Five general partners: Charles (Chuck) Carpy, Frank L. (Laurie) Wood, Bill Jaeger, Brad Webb, John Bryan, and two limited partners: Dick Heggie, and Jim Warren are a blend of old and new in the Napa Valley. Two are from pioneer Napa families. Four of the company's five general partners own vineyards. The partnership is one that works. It took a year to put together and has remained intact since its inception. With complete dedication to quality and excellence, strengthened by mutual respect and admiration, each partner's contribution reinforces that of the others.

Larry Langbe h n has been winemaker at Freemark Abbey since 1976. His career started as a chemist. He was soon bored with his "bench chemist" work, and decided to return to his alma mater for graduate work in viticulture and enology. He came to Freemark Abbey in 1975 as an interne, and soon was made winemaker. Since then Freemark Abbey has continued to produce world-class wines.

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay has a venerable history. In 1973, a landmark tasting of California and French wines made from chardonnay grapes found the 1969 vintage of Freemark Abbey Chardonnay best. Other events since have consistently selected subsequent vintages as outstanding.

In wine lore, the chardonnay grape is considered one of the four noble grapes of the world. The term "noble" is said to imply that the grape can produce wine which has superlative taste sensations and has ageing potential that change these sensations to even more desirable ones. (Remembering, that it still takes a skilled winemaker making the wine from well grown grapes in better soils and good weather conditions.)

Tradition relegates the better chardonnay wines to the Burgundy region of France. And... some super examples do to continue to come from there! California has become another traditional source of exceptional chardonnay wine. Several of our wine growing regions have earned this distinction, particularly the Napa Valley. Chardonnay wine is described as "apply" when young, and the exceptional ones become "buttery" when aged. A broad range of fruitiness, crispness, peach overtones, and always "dryness" to nearly the point of austerity, characterizes the range of styles made. (There is no place for any hint of sweetness in the traditional chardonnay character).

The 1982 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay is light golden yellow in color. It has a distinct apply aroma, with a bouquet of toasty oak. The taste is rich with chardonnay varietal flavor. A crispness in the middle of good acid balance, and a finish of clean lingering flavor that is citrusy. Serve chilled with poached fish, or if the opportunity presents itself with broiled lobster tail. Roast turkey would be quite delightful.

Cellaring Notes: Will complex and improve for 3 to 5 years.

#1185A Regular Price: $12.75/750ml. Special Member Price: $12.00/750ml. Member Reorder Price: 23.53%discount $9.75/ea. $117.00/case.


Wine has often been described as a living thing. While technically it has no biological life, wine is a biological mixture of all the things that make up life. This balance of amino acids, phenols, carbohydrates and other organic and inorganic components is fragile and can be easily altered by physical or chemical changes. Some of the conditions which can cause unfavorable changes in wine are heat, cold, oxygen, handling and time.

Wine can be stored safely from 40°F to 65°F. However, if fluctuations of more than 5° to 10°F occur, the wine may become affected. The cork may work loose due to pressure changes, allowing exposure to air or leakage of wine. The storage temperature depends on the wine's age and how long you wish to keep it. If you want to drink your red wine in a year or two, a warmer temperature (60-65°F) will speed development of bottle bouquet. If you intend to keep the wine for a longer period of time, cooler temperatures are desirable. Chemical reaction rates usually double with every 18°F increase in temperature. Storage at elevated temperature (over 70°F) can cause undesirable changes. Quality white table wines are usually consumed sooner than red wines and can benefit by cooler storage. In this case the esters, or fruity character, disappear more rapidly at warmer temperature.

When a wine is stored on its side or upside down, the cork remains wet. As long as the cork is wet, the transmission of air through the cork into the wine is minimal. If the wines are stored upright and the cork dries out, oxygen in the air will rapidly cause chemical changes in the wine, spoiling it.

Wine bottle corks tend to deteriorate after about 10 years. If the cork is crumbly, it needs to be replaced in order to maintain a proper seal for the wine.

If your wine has lead foil over the cork, be sure to wipe the rim of the, bottle to remove salt deposits.

These simple guidelines will help you enjoy your wines to the fullest.

Prepared by Cornelius S.

Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology

U C • D A V I S



A report on how previous Wine of The Month Club selections are faring with ageing. Obtained from actual tastings of wines aged under cellar conditions and/or vintner, importer, or wholesaler surveys

Nov.1981. R. Zinfandel,'78.Dry Creek.Good fruit, still developing.Keep. W. Chateau Larribotte,'76.Sauternes.Lichne.Splendid. Keep.

Nov.1982. R. Pinot Noir, '75.HMR.Getting even better. Keep still. W. Halbtrocken,'80.Pretty much lost all fruit. Consume.

Nov.1983. R. Merlot, '69. Villanyi. No wine on hand to try! Consider using. W. French Colombard,'82.Pedroncelli .Held up well, but use up.

Nov.1984. R. Pinot St. George.San.Benito,'78.Chas.LFr.Fruity, keep. W. Chardonnay,'83.Valenti.Still very fruity. Use up.

Adventures in Eating

By Rosemarie

Zakooska! Call up some friends and say "Come-on-a-ma house for some Zakooska." The Russians do it whenever possible. A get-together where the table is laden with smoked salmon, pickled cucumbers, herring, eggplant, chopped liver, etc. and caviar with blinis.

Zakooska means "the little bite" or what we here call hors d'oeuvres. The quantity and quality of the Zakooska depends on the number of guests and importance of the occasion.

Among the Armenians, we call it "mezza". My mother would prepare several plates of delectable "bites" that preceded our celebration and holiday meals. Calories were unknown, irrelevant, and unimportant then. Still that way in Russia.

Today, being victims of caloric information, our "Zakooska" tables are sparse; but, that needn't deprive us of interesting, tasty, and appealing foods.

This month I bring you an interesting americanized recipe that is simple to make. A sour cream cake; baked and topped with "caviar", and served with homemade blinis (small pancakes).


2 eggs, hard cooked
2 T parsley, stemmed, chopped
¼ median onion, chopped
6 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1 T sour cream
2 eggs
¼ t salt and ¼ t dill
Hot pepper sauce
1½ T butter, softened
4 oz caviar. (Lumpfish o.k.)
Lime wedges

Separate yolks and white of hard cooked eggs, chop separately, chop parsley, onion, set aside. This can be done in your food processor. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, whole eggs, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste in food processor or mixer. Mix well, and add other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Butter an ovenproof container 5½" x 2" deep, or even a little larger, and place a round of parchment or wax paper on the bottom. Pour in mixture and place dish in a container with 2" of water. Bake at 350° 35 minutes, (or until set) on oven rack adjusted to the lowest position. Cool. Refrigerate 48 hours. When ready turn cake on to a platter, peel off paper, and garnish with lime wedges.

Caviar: place caviar in a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly. This takes some of the saltiness away. Let drip dry. When ready to serve, place on top of cake and serve with blinis. This recipe can be doubled with a slight change: 3 hard boiled eggs instead of 4. Do not increase the amount of caviar unless desired.

True blinis are yeast raised buckwheat pancakes. You may use a commercial mix, or make your own from scratch. Make them no more than 3" in diameter. Non-stick pans are wonderful. Can be made 3 hours in advance. One cup flour base makes enough blinis for the Caviar Cake recipe.

Vasheh Zdorovyeh or, "Your Health" in Russian.

For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Adventures in Wine Since 1972 by The Cellarmaster P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 (213) 318-6666

Order Form

Please send me the following:

1185A 23.53% discount Chardonnay,'82.Frmrk Abbey Regular Price: $12.75 $117.00/case $ 9.75/each
1085A 23.08% discount Syrah,'81.McDowell Vlly.Vin. Regular Price: $9.75 $ 90.00/case $ 7.50/each
985A 20.00% discount Gewurztraminer,'84.Gndl.Bnd. Regular Price: $7.50 $ 72.00/case $ 6.00/each
1185B 20.00% discount Cotes du Ventoux,'83Dm.St.Svr. Regular Price: $3.00 $ 28.80/case $ 2.40/each
1085B 24.21% discount Brigadier Miranda,'82. Regular Price: $4.75 $ 43.20/case $ 3.60/each
985B 20.00% discount Carrascal,'77.Bdg.Weinert Regular Price: $7.50 $ 54.00/case $ 6.00/each

MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box 217, Palos Verde Estates, CA 90274 l SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $2.50; 6 bottles $5.00; 12 bottles $7.50 □ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total. □ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express ____________________________________________________ Card # Expiration Date _______________________________________________________________________________ Name (Print) Signature _______________________________________________ We are unable to ship out of California due to Alcoholic Address Beverage laws. Recipients must be 21 or older. _______________________________________________________________________________ City State Zip -_______________________________________________________________________________ Phone (Home) (office) (See reverse side to order wine gifts)

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GIFTS OF WINE ARE PERFECT FOR: ● Thank you gifts ● Housewarming gifts ● Hospitality gifts ● Wedding gifts ● Anniversary gifts ● Congratulations gifts ● I Love You gifts ● Christmas gifts ● Business gifts ● Mother's Day gifts ● Father's Day gifts ● Forget-me-not gifts ● Bon Voyage gifts ● And Anytime gifts!

All Cellarmaster gifts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition... gift wrapped... and with a gift card.


2 BOTTLES: the 2 current club selections $17*
6 BOTTLES: assortment of recent selections $47*
12 BOTTLES: (1 case): assortment of recent selections $92*
4 MONTHS subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selec- tions) a month for 4 months (or every $62*
quarter for 1 year - specify gift #4Q) (8 bottles total). 6 MONTHS subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selec- tions) a month for 6 months (or every $92*
other month for 1 year - specify gift #5B) (12 bottles total). 1 YEAR (24 bottles total) subscription: 2 bottles every month for the next 12 months $182*