1991-08 August 1991 Newsletter

August 1991 Newsletter


Wines evaluated last month: 113 Rejected: 95 Approved: 18 Selected: 2

Wine does not necessarily get better with age. Given the proper grape, the right winery, the correct cellaring conditions then, and only then, will a wine get better with age! The problem is once all these conditions are met; the affordabili¬ty of the wine becomes prohibi¬tive. So how do most of us get a chance to taste aged wine that has improved through the right condi¬tions: Right here at the good ol' Wine of the Month Club! I was so excited when this wine was pre¬sented to me because of the oppor¬tunity to show a wine of such age. I just hoped it would pass the 'test." Pass the test? I immediately requested another sample for din¬ner that night!

The year 1990 is disastrous for French wines. Rainfall, hail and freezing temperatures have all but eliminated the 1990 vintage. We may not see any French wines next year so I found this small winery tucked away in a lesser known re-gion that is fast gaining great re¬spect for both red and white wine.



Charbono,'79. Inglenook Pg. 2
Chateau Larroque,'89 Pg. 3
Member Inquiry Pg. 4
Tasting Notes & Cellar Notes Pg. 5
Adventures In Eating Pg. 6
Wine & Gift Order Forms Pgs. 7/8

Membership in the Wine of the Month Club is open to anyone with an interest in and an appreciation for superb wines...and excellent wine values. Membership is FREE. For info, write: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066. or call (818) 445-8281 … FAX (818) 445-8361


Note: Please do not confuse the wine maker Inglenook-Napa Valley with the jug wine maker Inglenook-Navale.

Founded in 1879, the Ingle¬nook-Napa Valley winery was the hobby of the great seaman Gustave Niebaum.

Not only a diligent student, re¬ceiving his ships papers by attend¬ing merchant marine school in Fin¬land, he was a brilliant businessman. At age 22, Gustave petitioned the Czar of Russia and received exclusive rights for fur trading in Alaska. This strategic move founded the Alaska Com¬mercial Company from which he amassed a large fortune. This money is what he used to found Inglenook-Napa Valley and pursue his dream and hobby of winemaking.

Inglenook-Napa Valley has a rocky though illustrious history. Founded in 1879, it is one of the few wineries that survived prohibi¬tion and to this day the 1933 Ca¬bernet Sauvignon is a rare collec¬tors' item. In the mid-1960's, suffering from low capital and health problems, the family sold the winery to bulk wine makers, Allied United Vintners. Allied was unprepared to handle specialty products and quickly adopted a bulk wine mentality and turned the winery on a downswing. Shortly thereafter, Allied sold the winery to another large organization Heu- blien Incorporated. Heublien's first objective was to re-establish the bulk wine business to increase cash flow and then focus on the Inglenook-Napa Valley premium wines. Ten years after Heublien's purchase of the winery, this 1979 Centennial Charbono was pro¬duced to mark the resurgence of the Inglenook-Napa Valley premi¬um wine varieties (Charbono has been grown at the Inglenook Win¬ery since 1880).

Charbono is of indistinct Ital¬ian origin. Producing big red wines of Barbera nature, good vintages can age from 15 to 20 years.

Our selection is a twelve year old example of how Charbono ages. The color is a gorgeous brick red, rather dark considering the wine's age. The nose is inviting with roasted coffee, berries, lico¬rice, and earth tones all laced to¬gether. The body is still quite heavy with plenty of fruit and character. The roasted coffee and berries come through nicely. It fin-ishes dry with an aftertaste that longs for food. Serve at room temp with crab cioppino, spaghet¬ti, game meats or beef.

Cellaring Notes: Delicious now through mid 1992.

#891A Regular Price: $10.00/ea. Special Member Price: $8.25/ea. Member Reorder Price: $6.50/ea. 35.00% disc. $78.00/case


Unlike many Bordeaux winer¬ies, Chateau Larroque is built around a bona fide chateau. A beautiful country mansion (pic-tured on the label), the property was built in the 1600's and has been in the same family for 150 years; M.C. Ducourt proprietor.

Bordeaux, the wine region is named after Bordeaux, the city. It is on the west coast of France, south of Normandy and north of the Spanish border. Throughout history, it has played host to a montage of vessels from Roman trading ships to Nazi U-boats.

The major feature of the region is the Gironde, a long river estuary that runs 50 miles into the coast of France. The two rivers, Garonne and Dordogne, feed the prominent Gironde. Between the two rivers, Garonne and Dordogne lies the fertile district Entre-deux-Mers, "between two rivers." Entre-deux-Mers, producing both red and white wine, is surrounded by the famous districts of Graves, known for its white wine, Sauterne, known for its white dessert wine, and St. Emilion, known for its red wine. Tucked away in the Entre-deux-Mers is our featured Chateau Larroque producing 8,000 cases of white wine and 10,000 cases of red wine.

Our selection this month em¬ploys the use of three grapes: 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon, and 5% Muscadelle du Bordelaise. What is interesting about this par¬ticular wine is that the blend is a result of the vineyard being planted in the same varieties in the same proportions. The whole lot har¬vested together is what is known as a "field blend," a common prac¬tice in Bordeaux. This method as¬sures consistent vintages from year to year.

Sauvignon Blanc is a native of France and is responsible for the great white wines of Bordeaux. A very versatile grape, it is capable of producing honey-like late har¬vest dessert wines to distinctly dry herbaceous dinner wines.

Our selection shows a nice light straw color with bright high¬lights. The nose is complex with apples, melon and citrus. The fla¬vors follow nicely with light to medium body. The apples and melon come through in the middle and the finish is pleasantly dry with a hint of oak. Serve chilled with river fishes ie. salmon, trout or perch grilled with fresh herbs. No heavy sauces. Should be served while fresh and light.

Cellaring Notes: Drink now through 1991.

#891B Regular Price: $6.75/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.25/ea. 22.22% disc. $63.00/case

Member Inquiry

This is a reprint of a previous newsletter from September 1985. This subject has been very popular lately and thought this was timely information.

"We just recently joined the Wine of the Month Club. The selections have been very enjoyable so far, and we are sure they will continue to be. A minor problem. Both my wife and I are unable to finish a bottle of wine in one evening. It is just a bit much for us. Is there a way of saving the left over wines without it changing so much? We hate to waste such good wines!" J.V. Eureka

Yes, there is!. The old adage "air is the enemy of wine" applies here. The minute you open a bottle of wine, it is immediately exposed to air. An oxidation process starts right then, and it continues until the wine is unpleasant to consume. If there were any acetobacteria in the air, then it also starts turning to vinegar. You need to keep the air away from the wine. The two available methods are to replace the air with another gas or to remove the air completely.

To replace the air, you need to substitute it with another gas that is inert which will not affect the wine. Two such gases are ni¬trogen and carbon dioxide. Both gases seem to work equally as well and are very easy to administer. The two products that come to mind that we here at the club have used are Private Preserve and Wine Life. Once you have opened a bottle of wine, simply spray 1-2 seconds worth of the gas into the bottle. Replace the cork. We cur-rently stock Wine Life at $5.95, plus tax and shipping. These prod¬ucts will protect your wine from oxidation for 5-10 days depending on temperature, light and vibra¬tion.

The other method of wine preservation is removing the air entirely from the bottle. A product that seems very effective with this method is Vacu-Vin. Also readily available, it sells for about $15.00. Vacu-Vin consists of a plunger apparatus and 2 rubber corks. After you have opened the wine secure a rubber cork in the bottle. Attach the plunger apparatus and literally extract all the air out of the bottle forming a vacuum that holds the cork in place. Larry Tepper, one of our wine writers, swears by the Vacu-Vin.

One last method of removing the air from an opened bottle of wine is rather simple but effective, particularly if you like to play with marbles! By adding glass marbles to the partial bottle of wine, you can raise the level of wine to the neck and recork without air. The marbles are reusable though they do require washing and, oh yes, don't lose your marbles!

Keep that air away from the wine. That's the idea.


If your binder is full do not hesi¬tate to call and we will send you one with your next shipment.


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

August 1987 R. Pinot Noir,'83. Heitz Cellars. Peaked. Use. W. Zeltinger Deutchherrenberg,'83.Brrs.Erb. Oxidized. Use.

August 1988 R. Cote du Rhone,'85. Armand Roux. Oxidizing. Use. W. Sauvignon Blanc,'86. Anderson Valley. Oxidizing.Use.

August 1989 R. Saint Emilion,'83. Ch. Haut Pagaud. On its way down. Use. W.Chenin Blanc,'88. White Oak. Fruit O.K. Use.

August 1990 R. Chianti,'88. GabbianoWL. Doing well. Complexing. Keep or use. W. Sauvignon Blanc,'88. Hacienda. Developed. Use.


NEED ANOTHER BINDER? Is your present binder bulging with newsletters? Let us know, and we will ship you an empty one!

Adventures in Eating

by Leslie Smith

I think I have told you that I am happiest in my kitchen. I am. It is true. But there is something about a hot summer day that seems to sap my energy. I'd rather be any place but the kitchen when the tem¬perature outdoors starts to soar. The thought of turning on my oven on a hot summer day is very unap-pealing and I am not particularly fond of what is available for the microwave oven. The option of dining out sounds great if someone would baby sit my two children! Hmmmmm.... What is left? Barbequeing! It's fun, easy and doesn't make me hostage to a hot kitchen.

This recipe combines two of my most favorite things to eat. Grilled chicken and Caesar Salad. I call it "California Caesar Salad," my friends call it "outrageously good!"


For Grilled Chicken:

2 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon

Place chicken in a baking dish or bowl. Rub chicken with garlic. Pour olive oil and lemon juice over chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Grill on a barbeque until done. Cool and then cut into strips.

For Salad:

2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup fine quality parmesan cheese, grated
1 large bunch romaine lettuce
(outer leaves removed) washed and torn into pieces.
1 medium avocado, pitted and chopped
4 roman tomatoes, chopped

In a bowl, place garlic and mash all around. Add lemon juice, Ta¬basco, mustard and worcestshire and whisk. With one hand whisk lemon and garlic mixture while pouring in olive oil. Add parmesan cheese, romaine, grilled chicken strips, avocado and tomatoes. Toss well.


For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Discovering superb wines since 1972. P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 (818) 445-8281 FAX (818) 445-8361

Order Form

891A Charbono,'79. Inglenook-Napa Reg. Price $10.00 35.00% disc $ 78.00/case $ 6.50/each
891B Chateau Larroque,'89. Bordeaux Reg. Price $ 6.75 22.22% disc. $ 63.00/case $ 5.25/each
791A Muscat Canelli,'90. Santino Reg. Price $ 8.39 25.00% disc. $ 75.48/case $ 6.29/each
791B Cabernet Sauvignon,'88. Los Vascos Reg. Price $6.59 20.00% disc. $ 63.24/case $ 5.27/each
691A Pinot Noir, '88. Austin Cellars Reg. Price $ 9.00 27.78% disc. $ 78.00/case $ 6.50/each
691B Chardonnay, '89. Marcus James Reg. Price $ 6.00 21.83% disc. $ 56.28/case $ 4.69/each
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer Taylor-Tells variance in temp. zones. $ 19.95/each $ 2.50 shpng.

SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $2.75; 6 bottles $6.25; 12 bottles $8.50 □ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total. □ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express _______________________________________________________ Card # Expiration Date PLEASE FILL OUT COMPLETELY _______________________________________________________________________________ Name (Print) Signature _______________________________________________ We are unable to ship out of California Address due to Alcoholic Beverage laws. _______________________________________________ Recipients must be 21 or older. City State Zip If shipping address is different please (_____)__________________________(_____)________ write below. Phone (eve.) (day) MAIL TO: Wine of the Month Club, P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 or call (818) 445-8281 … FAX (818) 445-8361 (See reverse side to order wine gifts.)

Wine Gift Order Form


● 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 Wine Of The Month Club 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 Selections) a month for 4 months $62*
or every quarter for 1 year-specify gift #4Q) (8 bottles total). 6 Months subscription: 2 bottles (the Club Selections) a month for 6 months $92*
or every other month for 1 year-specify gift #5B) (12 bottles total). 1 Year subscription: 2 bottles every month for the next 12 months (24 bottles total). $182*