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1992-10 October 1992 Newsletter

October 1992 Newsletter


Wines evaluated last month: 211 Rejected: 179 Approved: 32 Selected: 2

About a year ago I was lost in downtown Los Angeles. I had been invited by a wine broker to meet with him and tour a winery. I kept checking my map book, look¬ing at the street signs, checking the map book, etc.. This could not be right; I was in the heart of industri¬al Los Angeles, looking for a win-ery?! I had been driving around it for 10 minutes! After parking the car, I made my way to the tasting room, and all of a sudden I was not in downtown any more, I was in Padua, Italy, with my new best __friends, the Ribolis. This place was a true oasis! I tasted one of the best imported white wines I have ever had, a Gavi di Gavi (Limited Selection L191D) and this 1990 Maddalena Vineyards (San Antonio's varietal line) Central Coast Chardonnay. I know you will find this wine of extraordinary value and, when you make your way to the winery, an extraordinary ex-perience.

Paul Jaboulet Aine winery has over 150 years experience making French wine. This Côtes du Ven¬toux virtually jumped out of the glass when I tasted it, one of the best I've had. I waited 8 weeks for it to come from France. Now, I bring you this Jaboulet 1990 Côtes du Ventoux. Salud! P.K. Jr.


Chardonnay, 1990. Maddalena Pg. 2
Côtes du Ventoux, 1990. P. Jaboulet Pg. 3
This Matter of the Calif. Wine Label 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 (800) 949-WINE / (818) 445-8281 / FAX (818) 445-8361 WOMC is a California Corporation.

CHARDONNAY, 1990. MADDALENA Shar-doe naye, Mad-a-lane-a

If you were to try and imagine the most irregular, most unnatural, most intriguing location for a win¬ery, would you choose downtown Los Angeles? No, seriously, I mean downtown Los Angeles!

In 1917, when Santo Cambiani¬ca came from Padua Italy, winemaking in Los Angeles was truly in its infancy. He opened this win¬ery and named it after the patron saint of Padua, San Antonio. San¬to purchased his grapes from near¬by San Gabriel, vinting and aging the wines right in downtown (you can see City Hall from their loca¬tion). After the second world war, there were over 40 bonded winer-ies within the city limits of Los Angeles. Now, according to the Riboli family (great nephews and niece of Santo), San Antonio win¬ery " the last producing winery in the City of the Angels". So in¬teresting is the winery and its loca¬tion, it has become Cultural His¬torical Monument Number 42. If you are ever in or about downtown you must pay a visit to San Anto¬nio; there is a wonderful restaurant there that serves over 17,000 cus¬tomers a month, as well as a de¬lightful wine and gift shop.

In 1970, the winery took a fresh look at the wine market and added to the current product line by developing the Maddalena Vineyards. This venture was to take San Antonio winery into the varietal wine market. Today, their winemaker, Jon Alexander (B.S. in Oenology, U.C. Davis and Masters in Microbiology) makes award winning wines for Maddale¬na Vineyards. Our selection this month is the 1990 Central Coast Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the noble white grape of Burgundy, France. There it produces some of the best and most expensive white wines in the world. In California, it produces wines from light-hearted and fruity to big, rich oak-y wines. This se¬lection is of grapes from Monterey County where they are machine picked and pressed. The unfer¬mented juice is then transported in insulated stainless tankers to the winery in Los Angeles. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks where 1/3 is drawn off and aged in French oak barrels.

This wine shows a brilliant golden yellow with citrus and green apples in the nose. The body is medium with all the fruit coming through, with a hint of vanilla from the oak. The finish is long and clean, with fruit flavors linger¬ing. Serve chilled with baked sal-mon or creme sauce chicken.

Cellaring Notes: Drinking well now, will complex for 2 years.

#1092A Regular Price: $7.79/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.99/ea. 23.10% disc. $71.88/cs.

ÔTES DU VENTOUX, 1990. JABOULET AINE Coat doo Von-too, Jab-o-lay

"I do not think that Gerard Ja¬boulet has ever made greater wine than he has in 1990...a new quali¬ty threshold has been attained..." Robert Parker Jr


When we tasted this wine, we had to agree.

Paul Jaboulet Aine is another family owned winery. They have achieved the dual distinction of be¬ing not only one of the largest pro¬ducers of wine in the Rhône but also one of the best. Founded in 1834, it is run today by Gerard Ja¬boulet, with his brother Jacques and his cousin, Philippe.

The Jaboulet winery produces a broad repertoire of wines, 23 in all, from all parts of the Rhône. These include five whites, a single rose, and a full range of reds, in¬cluding the illustrious Hermitage La Chapelle. In addition to owning 178 acres of vineyrads, the winery purchases grapes from 150 other growers.

The firm's original cellars in Tain L'Hermitage were built in 1834. Today, wine-making takes place at a new facility in nearby La Roche Glun, built in 1984. The aging of the one million bottles of wine is still done at the original cellars. Over six generations of Ja-boulets have cultivated the inhos¬pitable terrain of the northern Rhône. Today, they are an enor¬mously large wine dynasty that has managed to not sacrifice quality for quantity.

Côtes du Ventoux surrounds the famous Mount Ventoux in the Southern Rhône Valley. The soils there range from sandy gravel of chalk to moist clay. The grapes of Syrah (for structure and color) and Grenache (for perfume and fruit) grow well in this area. These con¬ditions produce red wines of great spice and fruit with acid enough to carry the wines for 5-7 years. The 1990 vintage has produced big red wines throughout the valley and our 1990 Côtes du Ventoux is no exception.

Our selection yields a deep purple/magenta, almost opaque color. The nose is full of fruit from the 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache blend. A hint of spice and pepper come through the nose after the fruit. The body is full (almost chewy) with fruit (black currant and blackberry) and pepper com¬ing through the middle. The finish is dry with a tannic acid promising longevity. The fruit flavors linger, ending with the pepper. Serve at room temperature with venison ribs, lamb shanks or with cherry sauce roasted pork.

Cellaring Notes: Fresh and lively now, enjoy through 1994.

#1092B Regular Price: $7.19/ea. Member Reorder Price: $5.75/ea. 20.02% disc. $69.00/case


Wine labels are an interesting phenomenon. There are two forces governing them. First, there's the marketing arm of the winery which, hopefully, is in tune with what the consumer wants and gives it to them. Secondly, there is the government, better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). These two are frequently at odds with each other and sometimes for good rea¬son.

Because of the competition in the California wine industry, many wineries are constantly battling to keep up. They will try to stand out in the crowd by coming up with different names or unusual graph¬ics to grab the attention of the con¬sumer.

Just what is the law governing wine labels? It seems that not even the BATF knows for sure. For a beginning explanation let's start at the top.

THE VINTAGE: If a vintage date appears on the label, 95% of the grapes used for that wine must of come from that year's harvest. The 5% leeway allows the wine-maker to blend together vintages and tailor a wine to his desires. A winery must keep scrupulous records and surrender them to a BATF agent for inspection. And, it doesn't pay to try and pull a fast one because unless there is a deva-statingly bad vintage you won't get much mileage out of falsification of a vintage.

THE APPELLATION: An ap¬pellation of origin must appear on the label telling where the grapes came from. It can be as general as California or American; or it can be as specific as Edna Valley, Carne-ros or Paso Robles. Whatever it says, 95% of the grapes must have come from the area men-tioned. And, furthermore, the size of the type used for the appellation cannot be more than half the size of the type used for the name of the wine. What is really typical, when there is a discrepancy, is that the BATF tells you the size you need in millimeters. But print¬ers type is sized by points; no one has worked out a conversion!

THE WINE: With all this picky, picky, picky on the above two regulations you'd think they would really clamp down on the most important part, right? Not so! If the name of the wine appears as a varietal grape, i.e. Chardonnay, only 75% of the grapes have to be of that varietal. The rest can be anything you wanted to put in there. Any grape, that is. If the wine is a blend of several grapes, you can make up a name, like Meatball Red. You are not re¬quired to disclose the grapes used in the blend (WOMC members have access to that information through the newsletter), though you are still bound by the vintage and appellation rules.

This was the first in a two part series on California labeling. Look to a future newsletter for the dis¬cussion on alcohol content and naming your winery.

Salud! P.K. Jr.


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.

Oct. 1988 R. Cabernet Sauvignon, '84. Csno Mcl. Fruit gone. Use. W. Gewurztraminer, '86. Clbrn & Chrchl. Should use up. Austere.

Oct. 1989 R. Merlot, '87. Garland Ranch. Peaked. Use. W. Fumé Blanc, '87. No.Cst.Konocti. Holding. Use.

Oct. 1990 R. Wintervine, '88. Nicely complexed. Separation of flavors. Use. W. Pinot Blanc, '88., Paraiso Spgs. Has developed, peaked. Use.

Oct. 1991 R. Cabernet Sauvignon, '88. Los Vscs. Doing very well. Keep. W. Muscat Canelli, '90. Santino. Has softened. Use.


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Adventures in Eating

By Leslie Smith

Living in Los Angeles, or any other big city for that matter, means dealing with the "trends". There are trendy clothes, restau¬rants, perfumes, television shows, toys, even shampoo is trendy! Even though you may not be the trendy type, certain things eventu¬ally go "out of style", and at one point or another, you will be forced to change with the times.

Recently, I had to buy a gift for a young girl. I entered the chaotic toy store confident of what I want¬ed to purchase. With my credit card in hand I said, "A Susie Homemaker, please" (this was my favorite childhood toy; an oven you could really bake in!). "We don't carry those", the sour-faced man replied, "They're too sexist, and they don't sell well". I was crushed. Where were the toys I so lovingly remembered from my childhood? Gone with the times...I am being forced to change.

Salads have certainly come a long way. One of my favorite trendy salads is the "Chinese Chicken ".

Chinese Chicken Salad

4 whole chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/4" strips
1 red pepper, seeded, juliened
1 small jicama, juliened
1 5oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
5 scallions, white part and 2" of green part, chopped
4 oz. snow peas, trimmed and blanched
3/4 cup cashews, toasted
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dry cooking sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
A few drops of hot chili oil
1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles
2 bunches of lettuce, washed and cut up

1.) Combine first 7 ingredients in mixing bowl.

2.) In food processor, process par¬sley & garlic using steel blade. Add teriyaki, sesame oil, safflower oil, tahini, vinegar, sherry, brown sugar, coriander and chili oil.

3.) Toss chicken mixture, chow mein noodles, and lettuce with dressing. Serve immediately, serves 6-8 people.

For free membership information write or call Wine of the Month Club® Discovering superb wines since 1972 P.O. Box D, Arcadia, CA 91066 / (800) 949-WINE / (818) 445-8281 / FAX (818) 445-8361

Order Form

1092A Chardonnay, '90. Maddalena Vnyrds. Reg. Price $7.79 23.10% disc. $71.88/case $5.99/each
1092B Côtes du Ventoux, '90. P. Jaboulet Reg. Price $7.19 20.02% disc. $69.00/case $5.75/each
992A Cabernet Sauvignon, '86. Sebastiani Reg Price $12.00 39.3% disc. $87.48/case $7.29/each
992B Blanc de Blanes, '90. Dm. de Felines Reg. Price $4.99 28.06% disc. $43.08/case $3.59/each
892A Gewurztraminer, 1991. Columbia Reg. Price $7.29 20.57% disc. $69.48/case $5.79/each
892B Côtes du Rhône, 1990. Moillard Reg. Price $7.69 20.00% disc. $73.80/case $6.15/each
MMT Maximum/Minimum Thermometer Taylor-Tells variance in temp. zones. $19.95/ea. $2.50 shpng.

SHIPPING CHARGES: 2 bottles $3.00; 6 bottles $6.25; 12 bottles $8.50 Shipping charges slightly higher out or California. □ Check enclosed for $_____ for the total. □ Charge my: □ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express _______________________________________________________ Card # Expiration Date PLEASE FILL OUT COMPLETELY _______________________________________________________________________________ Name (Print) Signature _______________________________________________ Recipients must be 21 or older. Address _______________________________________________ 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 (800) 949-WINE / (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*