September Premium Wine Club

Brew Cru Black Label Pinot NoirBREW CRU
Black Label Pinot Noir, Single Vineyard
Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Hemel-en-Aarde, a region known for producing world class cool climate wines, is synonymous with outstanding South African Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.   Influenced by a maritime climate it enjoys cool daytime temperatures that are even lower overnight, particularly during the growing season resulting in this medium bodied wine with classic elegance that exhibits both grace and power. 

This elegant wine shows prominent aromas of black cherries and raspberries with undertones of violets. It has a finely textured palate with silky tannins, strawberry and plum making way for slight savory notes by a fresh and vibrant finish.

Winemaker Bertus Fourie“In my 21 years of making wine, this is without a doubt the wine that best expresses typical Pinot Noir and the precision I’m after when it comes to fruity purity, fine tannins, overall balance and grace.  A non-forgiving and challenging grape to work with, but when the stars align it all comes together in the form of our maiden ‘Black Label’ release.” –  Bertus Fourie, Winemaker

Winemaking: Grapes were handpicked and only individually selected bunches were harvest at maximum flavor intensity. After both bunch and berry sorting on arrival at the winery, the grapes underwent a four-day pre-fermentation cold soak allowing for maximum fruit and color extraction. Four micro fermentations using a combination of whole bunch and whole berries fermentations were done to give depth and a full palate of aromas.  Alcoholic fermentation lasted approximately eight days after which it was pressed, settled, and transferred to barrel for malolactic fermentation. The wine was not racked from barrel only once over the 12-month maturation period, as preserving the freshness and fruit was key for the styles the team was looking to produce.

Appellation: Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.3% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.49
TA: 5.51 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Aging: k
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

 

Benguela Cove Vinography Cabernet Franc bottleBenguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate
Vinography Cabernet Franc
Estate Grown
Walker Bay, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Vineyards: Walker Bay is making great inroad with Bordeaux varieties.  Nudged by the Bot River lagoon with vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyards enjoy cool daytime temperatures that drop even more at night.  A beneficial diurnal range aids in even ripening and complexity, ushering the development of delicate fruit notes, fine tannin structure and a bright acidity.  Cabernet Franc enjoys the nuances of the climate, resulting in small, concentrated berries

Character: At the outset, this Cabernet Franc appears to be reserved. Decanting is advised to enjoy the full flavor spectrum. Varietal characteristics like black cherry, salted licorice, cinnamon, dark chocolate and hints of potpourri is framed with cooler notes of Greek Oregano, graphite and cedar.  An earthiness prevails as bold fruit envelopes your whole mouth.  Mad with focus, clarity and the intention to age.

Johann Fourie Winemaker

Winemaker Johann Fourie

Personality: This wine is the quintessential balancing act of fruit, tannin and acidity with absolute persistence. Commanding yet sophisticated, this Cabernet Franc fulfills the aim of producing a cool-climate wine that was picked at the proper ripeness level and still portrays that old world benchmarks finesse and elegance.

In the Cellar: Grapes were handpicked at optimal ripeness, followed by bunch and berry sorting. A four day cold soak allowed for maximum flavor and extraction and another seven days post fermentation maceration added even more depth of color.  The juice was inoculated, followed by gentle punch downs twice a day. After alcoholic fermentation, it was pressed, settled and transferred to barrel for malolactic fermentation where it was kept until prior to bottling.

Pairing: Braised lamb shoulder, beef bourguignon, or Puttanesca pasta.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14.34% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.49
TA: 5.83 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.77 g/l
Maturation: 22 months in 40% new French oak barrels
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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Brew Cru Chardonnay

Asparagus and Bok-Choy Frittata

Asparagus and Bok-choy Frittata

© FoodandWine.com

South Africa is one of the so-called New World wine countries, along with Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas, but its wines best reflect the balance of the European tradition. A South African chardonnay will make a marvelous partner for this Italian-inspired dish.  When making an Italian frittata, don’t limit yourself to traditional ingredients. The Asian flavors that fill this version offer a real change of pace. Cook the eggs on top of the stove or in the oven —but be sure to use moderate heat so they don’t turn rubbery.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small head bok-choy (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick frying pan, heat the cooking oil over moderate heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok-choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 3 minutes more.
  • Evenly distribute the vegetables in the pan and then add the eggs, pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes. Put the frittata in the oven and bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Drizzle the sesame oil over the top. Serves 4.
  • © Photo and recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com 

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

Brew Cru ChardonnaySilky styleBREW CRU
Chardonnay
Hemel-en-aarde Ridge, South Africa

SILKY WINE STYLE

Walker Bay, a region known for producing world-class, cool climate wines, is rapidly becoming synonymous with outstanding South African Chardonnay. Its close proximity to the ocean is ideal for the development of lovely lime notes, austere structure and lively acidity. 

This well-balanced wine displays the true characteristics of a cool-climate Chardonnay.  On the nose there is beautiful orange blossom, peach and mandarin with tones of raw almonds. The palate shows great finesses and has subtle hints nougat and toasty notes with a refreshing, lasting and creamy finish.

Appellation: Hemel-en-aarde Ridge, Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Analysis: 13.9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.2
TA: 6.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.6 g/l
Aging: 9 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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South Africa HPF Posmeester Merlot

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese

Grilled Flat Iron Steak

© SunnyBryd

Steaks and Merlot are a sure thing, especially with blue cheese, rosemary, garlic and a hot grill. Your Merlot will be mad for this meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound flat iron steak
  • 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, rosemary, oregano, and kosher salt in a bowl along with the olive oil. Place the flat iron steak into a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade overtop. Squeeze the excess air from the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove steak from the marinade, shake off excess, and discard the remaining marinade. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes as the grill warms.
  • Mash together the butter, blue cheese, chives, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper; set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with a dollop of blue cheese-chive butter.
  • © Recipe courtesy from Kristin at Allrecipes.com

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

HPF Posmeester MerlotBold wine Style logoHermanuspietersfountein (HPF)
Posmeester Merlot

Walker Bay, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

In the early 1800’s farmers imported a teacher named Hermanus Pieters to teach their children Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. He would be paid in sheep which he grazed at a fountain under the Milkwood trees near the sea. The spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieter’s Fountein (HPF).  In 1855, the village was named after him – Hermanuspietersfontein.  Fast forward 100 years later, a wine cellar baring his name is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar in the world and using Afrikaans-only wine names.  Operationally, their 350-ton urban winery combines European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process. “Good earth makes better wine” is HPF’s winemaking philosophy, the expression and sense of place is the soul of Sondagskloof.   Sondagskloof is sheltered in a mountainous area, 50 kilometers from the southern tip of Africa and was granted “Ward Status” (ie. AVA) in February 2007.  While the ward comprises of two farms, Hermanuspietersfontein is the only wine producer marketing the Wines of Origin Sondagskloof.

Elegant red blend with an aroma of red and purple fruit such as blueberries and currants.  Milk chocolate undertone and fruit freshness. Lush and juicy palate; supple and full with good length.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 85% Merlot, 14% Shiraz, 1% Mourvedre
Analysis: 13.8% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.5
TA: 5.35 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.2 g/l
Aging: 10 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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September Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Red Kuri Squash Soup

© Con Poulos

Red Kuri Squash Soup

  • 1 1/2 pounds red kuri or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Chopped toasted pecans and small marjoram leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.  In a large saucepan, combine the cubed squash with the chopped onion, bay leaf and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the fennel wedges with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the fennel is tender and starting to brown.
  • Discard the bay leaf from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and warm over low heat. Stir in the butter and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the roasted fennel, pecans, marjoram leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • The soup can be refrigerated overnight, reheat gently.
  • Pairs well with strawberry or cinnamon inflected Pinot Noir
  • © Photo by Con Poulos. © Recipe by Alice Waters of FoodandWine.com

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

Brew Cru Pinot NoirMellow style logoBREW CRU
Pinot Noir
Cape South Coast, South Africa

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Walker Bay, a region known for producing world-class, cool climate wines, is rapidly becoming synonymous with outstanding South African Pinot Noir. With its close proximity to the ocean, it enjoys cool daytime temperatures that are even lower overnight, particularly during the growing season, resulting in this medium-bodied wine with classic elegance that exhibits both grace and power. 

This elegant wine shows prominent aromas of wild cherries and raspberries with earthy undertones.  It has a finely textured palate with silky tannin and strawberry, making way for slight savory notes, followed by a fresh and vibrant finish.

Appellation: Walker Bay, Cape South Coast, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.4% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.57
TA: 5.63 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/l
Aging: 9 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn More >

 

Food Pairing Ideas for Goldschmidt Wines

Goldschmidt-Vineyards-Logo

If you’re joining us for the Virtual Wine Tasting event with Nick Goldschmidt on August 12th on Zoom, here are some great food pairing ideas to enhance your tasting experience with Goldschmidt wines.

TIP: Pull white wines out of the refrigerator 30 minutes hour prior to serving so it is closer to wine cellar temperature of 50-58 degrees. Sparkling wines should be served even colder at 40-50 degrees.

 

Singing Tree ChardonnaySinging Tree Chardonnay
Russian River, California

This Chardonnay is lightly oaked and so fresh, the fruit really shines.  It pairs beautifully with crab or artichoke dip or hummus on soft pita or crispy bruschetta.   Greens with apples, jicama or pears, nuts and vinaigrette made with the wine.  Fish and chicken with less bold/overly spicy sauces to allow the wine to be tasted and not covered up.   Baked brie en croute.  Whole wheat linguine with browned butter panko crumbs, toasted pine nuts, shaved Parmesan & parsley (can add splash of lemon juice garlic, and protein of your choice.)

 

 

Boulder Bank Sauvignon BlancBoulder Bank Sauvignon Blanc,
Marlborough, Australia

From a dried up river bed vineyard in the Rapaura region, this wine pulls some salinity into the minerality and has a hint of sweetness on the finish.  Tart, slightly sweet and salty combos pair well.  Try with grilled 1/2 fresh apricots with goat cheese, thyme, honey and candied walnuts or baked or grilled prosciutto wrapped shrimp or scallop on dill aioli.  Or try pan seared Walleye with sweet pea risotto and crispy Pancetta.  Spinach pie with Tahini sauce pairs nicely too. Or try a flatbread with roasted/grilled vegetables with feta cheese & lemon miso sauce.  

 

 

 

Forefathers Sauvignon BlancForefathers Sauvignon Blanc,
Marlborough, Australia

This wine super aromatic, concentrated and viscous, so it likes a little fat/richness in food to meet it head to head.  Sweetness falls on the mid-palate (like the proteins) and the long finish & racy acidity complements the tartness from cheese and lemon is the perfect finish to pull the wine and the foods together.  Pair with creamy smoked trout (or crab) and corn chowder or a fattier fish such as grilled salmon or sea bass with lemon zest.  Ahi tuna and avocado tartare with salted pita chips.  Chilled Mediterranean grain bowl with chickpeas, kalamata olives, sundried tomato, a bit of red onion, chopped fresh parsley, and feta cheese, with lemon, olive oil and splash of the wine.

 

TIP: Serve reds lightly chilled (especially for the warm night on the patio)…chill them down for about 30 minutes in the fridge. Average house temp of 70 degrees or higher does not do justice to your red wines. They are at their best when consumed between 55 and 65 degrees.

Chelsea Merlot Goldschmidt wine bottleChelsea Merlot,
Alexander Valley, California

Pair with grilled or smoked cherry marinated chicken breast or pork loin. Also yummy with classic Cassoulet, sweet Italian sausage and mozzarella.  Yummy with stuffed grilled Portobella mushroom caps…and always great with a traditional ground sirloin burger or lentil mushroom burger.  Will also pair with lasagna or chili, just be easy on the heat/spice.

 

 

 

Katherine Cabernet SauvignonKatherine Cabernet Sauvignon,
Alexander Valley, California

With moderate tannins and excellent food acidity, this wine pairs best with sauces that have earthy and herbal characteristics that are typical of Alexander Valley wines. Crispy pork belly, with black cherry Au jus,  Ribeye tips with Gorgonzola sauce, variety of aged cheeses,  wild mushroom gratin, or beef wellington. Or try with short ribs with wine reduction with touch of dark molasses or wild Game Sausage.

Hilary Goldschmidt wine bottleHilary Cabernet Sauvignon,
Oakville, California  

This wine’s focused and lush tannins on the mid-palate pull it all together…which is why Oakville Cabernet is often considered to be the BEST Cabernet Sauvignon from California by mainstream wine critics and high end consumers.

Pair with traditional seared filet of beef, Osso Bucco, or lamb lollipops with rosemary demi-glaze. Beef Bourguignon. Leaner, rich and tender cuts and most importantly the sauce should not overpower to allow the wine to shine when combined with the food.

 

Forefathers Cabernet wine bottleForefathers Cabernet Sauvignon,
Alexander Valley, California

Alexander Valley vineyard is very steep so it is dry farmed, resulting in tiny berries. Small grapes = higher skin-to-pulp ratio and all the flavor in wine comes from the skins.  This wine is just pure, decadent, highly extracted and exotic Alexander Valley Cabernet.  On opening it may seem wound up…it is best to allow it to breathe for a couple hours or give it some air in your glass.  The nose is stunning.  Dubbed  “Your Ribeye Wine” but it is also stunning with a nice little chunk of aged Gouda or 10-year Cheddar.

 

TIP: Hey not to be Debbie-Downer….though many of us LOVE dark chocolate… this is NOT a true “pairing” for red wine unless it is nearly void of sugar.  The sugar in chocolate desserts completely coats the tongue and overpowers the fruit in the wine, only tasting alcohol in the wine.  Port wines makes a much better “pairing” for chocolate and aged, full flavor cheese is a better dessert offering for red wines. Yes, the chocolate tastes so good with the last wine of the tasting…BUT, please taste and enjoy your reds on their own.  First, get to know the wine and then maybe as you get closer to the bottom of the glass, then pop that chocolate if you must 😉 HAPPY SIPPING EITHER WAY!

Winemaker Virtual Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Goldschmidt Vineyards

Wednesday, August 12th at 6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for our August Winery Spotlight tasting event on Zoom, featuring Goldschmidt Vineyards from California.  Our special guest will be Owner and Winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt

Nick will be tasting through 7 different wines from Goldschmidt Vineyards, starting with their Chardonnay, two different Sauvignon Blancs, Merlot, and ending with three different Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignons.  Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Nick with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Guest speaker Nick Goldschmidt, Owner and Winemaker

me hi rez

Owner and Winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt

Nick Goldschmidt was born and educated in New Zealand and trained in Australia.  In 1989, after spending 18 months of winemaking in Australia, New Zealand, California and South America, Nick returned to California with an amazing range of winemaking experience.  In 1990, Nick and his wife Yolyn settled down in Healdsburg, California becoming Simi’s Chief Winemaker and then Vice President in 1996.  In 1998 Nick and Yolyn established their own line of wines with the release of Goldschmidt Vineyards and Forefathers, with the goal of focusing on site specific vineyards from around the world. Having produced so many world-class wines around the globe, Nick knew exactly the vineyard sites he would choose for his wines.  The wines are all single vineyards, 100% varietal, handcraft, small production artisan wines. Learn more about Nick’s background here.

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Goldschmidt Vineyards
California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Goldschmidt Napa Oakville

Paco García Junior Tempranillo

Prawn and Bacon Brochettes

Praw Bacon wrap

The Spanish love bacon, this combination of prawns and bacon can be found at most Tapas bars. It’s a delicious treat for guests or backyard BBQ. Makes 12 units.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 oz jamón or thinly sliced bacon
  • 24 medium to large uncooked, headless prawns, peeled
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • cherry tomatoes / bamboo tooth picks (optional serving)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut the bacon (or jamón, if using it) into pieces which will wrap generously round the prawns. Place the wrapped prawns down flat on a board and skewer them through the fattest part and the tail, making sure the jamón is firmly fixed.  Season generously and drizzle with the oil.
  • On a high heat griddle, grill or barbecue the prawn and bacon brochettes for 2-3 minutes on each side, so the jamón crisps up.  Alternatively, roast in a hot oven at 425°F on an oiled baking tray for 8-10 minutes. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately. Optional serving on bamboo toothpicks on top of cherry tomatoes.  © Recipe courtesy of Spain Recipes

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoPaco Garcia Junior TempranilloBodegas Paco Garcia
Junior Tempranillo

Rioja, Spain

BOLD WINE STYLE

Consider native to Rioja, Tempranillo is the wine region’s most typical grape occupying 75% of the vineyards.  The name comes from the Spanish word “temprano” (early) because of its short ripening cycle.  Rioja is the origin of the Tempranillo’s identity and one of the great grape varieties in the world.  Dating back to Roman times, numerous archaeological remains of wine presses and wineries were found in Rioja lands two thousand years ago. The centuries-old economic importance of viticulture for the region started when it became a marketable good during the Middle Ages to the French Revolution.

The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested at the “Ventas Blancas” vineyards, 510 meters above sea level. “It’s a relaxing wine, perfect as a first step into the world of wine.  Easy to notice the floral notes and fruity young wine. It’s a palatable wine for your mouth and nose. A wine that will leave an imprint, a wine to remember.” – Juan Bautista García, winemaker

Intense purple color with cherry red rim.  On the nose, wild berries, predominately blackberry and raspberry.  Balanced palate with a strong underlying taste.  Leaves a long and pleasant aftertaste.  Pairs well with potatoes, cheese, salad, pasta, pizza and white meat.

Appellation:  Rioja Alta, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Analysis: 13.58% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.65
TA: 5.29 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

Paco García Tempranillo Blanc

Croquetas de Bacalao Tapas (Salt Cod Fritters)

salt cod tapasBacalao (salt cod) is a Spanish delight.  Enjoy these bite size fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy, garlicky allioli. They are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb salt cod
  • 1 1/4 floury potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 3 1/2 oz dried white breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for shallow frying
  • lemon wedges and salad leaves, to serve

ALLIOLI INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water two or three times. The cod should swell as it rehydrates. Sample a tiny piece. It should not taste unpleasantly salty when fully rehydrated. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.

Pour the milk into a pan, add half the spring onions and bring to a simmer. Add the soaked cod and poach very gently for 10-15 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding bones and skin.

Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potato to the cod and beat them together with a wooden spoon. Work in the olive oil, then gradually add the remaining mashed potato. Beat in the remaining spring onions and the parsley.

Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste – the mixture may also need a little salt but taste it before adding any. Add one egg to the mixture and beat it until thoroughly combined, then chill until firm.

Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.

Meanwhile, make the allioli. Place the garlic and a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Using a small whisk or a wooden spoon, gradually work in the egg yolks.
Beat in about half the olive oil, a drop at a time. When the sauce is as thick as soft butter, beat in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue adding oil until the allioli is very thick. Season to taste, adding more lemon juice if you wish.

Heat about 3/4 inch oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and cook over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 4 minutes on the other side, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with the allioli, lemon wedges and salad leaves.

© Recipe courtesy of Spain-Recipes.com

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Paco Garcia Tempranillo BlancoBodegas Paco Garcia
Tempranillo Blanco
Rioja, Spain

Silky styleSILKY WINE STYLE

In 1988, a local grower in Murillo de Rio Leza discovered that one of his red Tempranillo vines produced both red and white grapes at the same time. This spontaneous genetic mutation, very similar to what would be a case of albinism, gave birth to a new cepage, Tempranillo Blanco.  It has been harvested by hand in Paco Garcia’s “La Finca del Yergo” vineyard (2014) on clay laden soils; altitude of 550 meters above the sea level.

Winemaking Process: Once at the winery, after stemming, the berries are placed by gravity in stainless steel tanks to macerate for several hours so as to maximize extraction of structure, aromas, color and acidity from Tempranillo grapes.  They’re then presses (separating the skins from the pips) and the resulting must is taken to tapered and inverted tapered stainless steel tanks of 10,000 liters each, with double cold water sleeves to begin fermentation at low temperature.

Afterwards, the wine is kept on its lees for six months, half in stainless steel tanks and half in French oak barrels. This ensures the wine is rich, smooth and creamy, yet displaying the citric fruit and floral character typical of the Tempranillo Blanco variety.  The resulting wines are then blended together and bottled, expressing their round character and persistent bouquet once released.

Tasting Notes:The wine shows a unique bouquet of citrus notes (lemon and orange blossom) and fruits (pineapple and banana) with hints of mint, honey and cedar wood, displaying a subtle minerality.  And the mouthfeel benefits from the original Tempranillo’s volume, structure and length.  Try is now and later, to see the evolution that its acidity, structure and time spent in the barrel provide.  A couple years of bottle aging will appease its freshness and increase its finesse. It’s up to you to decide when and why you prefer to drink it, but it’ll always be a beautiful drop of loveliness.

 

Appellation: Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo Blanco
Analysis: 12.90% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.23
TA: 6.81 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.5 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

August Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos Tapas (stuffed Piquillo peppers)

piquillo stuffed peppers tapasConsidered a Navarran speciality, neighboring La Rioja also enjoys the celebrated peppers.  Stuffed in Longroño style, the capital of the region, which is a good starting point for visiting local wineries.  Start the recipe the previous evening, allowing meat to marinate over night. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jamón (dry-cured ham)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1 jar preserved whole piquillo peppers (about 18 peppers)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

DIRECTIONS:

In a mortar, pound together 2 of the garlic cloves, 1  1/2 teaspoons of the parsley, and 1 tablespoon of the water until a paste forms. Place the veal and pork in a bowl, season well with salt, add the garlic paste, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Add half of the grated onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until shiny and tender. Add the veal and pork mixture, decrease the heat to medium, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon and then stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until the meat starts to crumble a little.

Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add the jamon, 1 of the eggs, and the bread crumbs to the bowl. Mix well and reserve.

Drain the piquillo peppers in a sieve or colander placed over a bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the brine and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining grated onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden. Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound together the remaining garlic clove, 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley, and 1 tablespoon water until a paste forms. Add the garlic paste to the onion in the saucepan and mix well. Add 1 teaspoon of the flour, stirring to incorporate with the onion. Add the pepper brine, increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cook the sauce for 10 minutes longer, or until thickened. Remove from the heat, let cool, and then pass through a food mill fitted with a medium plate held over a large cazuela.

With a small spoon, carefully fill each pepper with the meat mixture, taking care not to tear the pepper by overfilling it. Close the opening of each pepper by gently folding the edges. Spread the remaining flour in a shallow bowl. In a bowl, combine the remaining 2 eggs and the milk and whisk them together lightly.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over high heat. One at a time, lay the peppers in the flour, coating them on both sides and shaking off any excess, and then dip into the beaten egg and set aside on a plate. When the oil is hot, add 5 or 6 peppers, decrease the heat to medium, and fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers in the same way, always making sure the oil is hot again before adding the next batch.

Just before serving, place the peppers in the cazuela (shallow unglazed earthenware) with the sauce, place over medium heat, and heat through. Serve hot. © Recipe courtesy of Spain-Recipes.com

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Paco SeisBold wine Style logoBodegas Paco Garcia
Seis Tempranillo
Rioja, Spain

BOLD WINE STYLE

Julia Pablo and Francisco Garcia

Julia Pablo and Francisco Garcia

Francisco (Paco) Garcia and Julia Pablo founded the family winery in their town, Murillo de Río Leza, in 2001. The hand logo is the original hand tracing of Paco Garcia, the soul of the winery.  It represents the hand craftsmanship and handwork of each and every wine.

Bodegas Paco Garcia winery owns 40 hectares of vineyards spread over seven estates in the central area of La Rioja, near the provincial capital Logroño.   The winery is situated in the town of Murillo alongside the Rio Leza river, in the Rioja Denomination of Origin in Spain. The winery has vineyards in a small valley between the Sierra Cantabria and Clavijo Mountains. The average age of the vines is 30 years and in some cases, reaches up to 80 years.

Since 2008, his son Juan Bautista has been managing it with his wife Ana, and together they have brought a new air to the winery as well as the wine.   “We are focused on the production of quality wines respecting the most deeply rooted traditions of Rioja but without forgetting the most modern oenological techniques.” – Juan Bautista.

Juan Bautista

Juan and Ana Bautista

This young Rioja wine was aged six months in barrels, seeking the highest expression of the varietal, embracing all possible flavors of the Tempranillo grape and maintaining a sweet and harmonious palate. The result, Paco Garcia Seis, with great aromatic power, velvety mouth and awakening of the senses.

Blackberry and ruby red color, clean and bright.  Aromatic explosion on the nose, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and violets.  On the palate, tons of fresh red fruit, floral tones (violets), sweet blackberries. Round mouth, full and pleasant. Hint of oak and caramel. Very harmonious with long finish.   Pair with light cheeses, salads, white meats and fish. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.  

Rioja map

Appellation: Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Analysis: 13.84% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.55
TA: 4.7 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.4 g/l
Aging: 6 months French oak, semi-new, low toasted
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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July’s Collectors Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubClos du Clocher

About Clos Du Clocher

Clos du Clocher wine estate is located in the Pomerol wine growing region in France. With three parcels of vineyard and just 300 yards south of the church in Pomerol, it is surrounded by the most famous growths of the appellation.   Founded in 1924, when the first parcel of vines were bought by a successful Bordeaux negociant,  Jean Baptiste Audy.  Today, the estate is owned by his grandson Pierre Bourotte and his great-grandson Jean-Baptiste.  The soils are composed of the famous dense iron-rich clay that is found in Pomerol.  The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with an average age of 39 years old. Grapes are hand harvested into small baskets and double sorted.  Winemaking is traditional and carried out in stainless steel and cement thermo-regulated vats.  After 4 weeks in the vats, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels or vats, depending on the parcels and the vintage.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels (two thirds new and one third one year old).

Clos du Clocher PomerolBold wine Style logoClos du Clocher
Pomerol
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

This month’s Collector’s Club includes both the 750ml and 1.5 Magnum bottle of Clos du Clocher.

In the very center of the famous Pomerol plateau, under the shadow of the eponymous bell tower of the neighboring church, this vineyard is home to some truly ancient vines that translate into a tremendous wine in bottle. This is without a doubt “A beauty from the high plateau of Pomerol” to quote Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. 

Clos du Clocher is an elegant Pomerol style and a wonderfully pure expression of the vineyard’s terroir. Perfect for short-medium term drinking for the vintage.  Annual production at Clos du Clocher is about 2000 cases and the legendary consultant Michel Rolland consistently produces wines of real elegance from a modest 7 hectares. In a diminishing field, this elegant style is one of Pomerols very best values. 

“Has a lightly roasted feel, with ganache and espresso notes lining the core of plum and blackberry fruit. Roasted alder hints fill the finish, while the roasted edge provides the texture. Shows more guts than refinement.” Wine Spectator

Appellation: Bordeaux (right bank), Pomerol, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Aging: 18 months French Oak barrels
Winemaker: Michel Rolland

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.

Domaine Chante CigaleBold wine Style logoDomaine Chante Cigale
Rouge 2016
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Today, the Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Bright violet. Ripe cherry and raspberry on the deeply perfumed nose, lifted by suggestions of pungent flowers and cracked pepper.  Nicely concentrated but lively as well, offering sappy red berry, candied cherry and lavender flavors that show very good clarity and smooth, seamless texture.  Finishes sweet and silky, displaying spicy persistence and gentle tannic grip.” – 91 pts. Vinous 2018

It boasts silky tannins, plenty of cherry fruit and a dusting of ground pepper and all spice on the long finish. Drink 2018-2028.” – 91 pts, Robert Parker 2018

Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Varietal: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvédre, 5% Cinsault
Analysis: 15.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: 12-14 months in 35% new French oak

 

 
 
 

July Premium Wine Club

Scheid Vineyards logo

Al Scheid

Al Scheid

About Scheid Vineyards

Al Scheid set his roots in Monterey County in 1972, embracing his role as a pioneer of wine growing in the region. Al’s outlook has always been that life is an adventure and this attitude served him well as he embarked on the journey of his lifetime.   For the first 15 years, Scheid Family Wines was known as Monterey Farming Corp, a grape grower that sold all its production to winery clients for use in their own brands. Fast forward to today, Scheid Family owns 12 estate vineyards located along a 70-mile stretch of the Salinas Valley. They now focus on building their own brand that is produced at their state-of-the-art winery, as well as a smaller Reserve Winery where the small production wines of Scheid Vineyards are crafted.

Mellow style logoScheid Vineyards
Pinot Noir Clone POM Reserve
Monterey, California

Scheid’s Clone series was created to highlight the different nuances that each Pinot Noir clone exhibits.  What do we mean by “clone”? Grapevines in general and Pinot Noir in particular, are generally unstable and can mutate slightly over time. Each grape variety is actually made up of many subtypes, called clones. These clones can result in different flavors, intensity, color, etc.  Scheid Vineyards grow 20 different clones of Pinot Noir. Pommard is one of the Dijon clones and is known for earthy, fruit forward characteristics, as well as structure and density.  A dramatic and vibrant wine, Scheid Vineyards Clone POM has aromas of black cherries, blackberries and currants with notes of vanilla, mocha, and oak, mingled with a hint of clove. it is a classic Pinot Noir, with soft tannins and round, rich, red, fruit on the palate.

The Pommard clone is one of the oldest clones planted in the U.S., where it was originally sourced from Chateau de Pommard in the early 1950’s. The fruit for this Pinot Noir was sourced from the Riverview Vineyard, adjacent to the Pinnacles National Park.  This 215 acre vineyard is nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River and is an ideal site for ultra-premium Pinot Noir. The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and the southwestern exposure maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.73
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Aging: 100% French oak

Stokes Ghost

Stokes Ghost Bold wine Style logoScheid Family Wines
Stokes Ghost
Petite Sirah
Monterey, California

In 1833, British sailor James Stokes jumped ship in Monterey with a booty of stolen medicine. Passing himself off as a doctor, he opened a downtown pharmacy and launched a thriving medical practice as “Dr. Stokes”.  Despite a knack for killing his patients, he landed a commission as the personal physician to California Governor Jose Figueroa. Within a year, the governor was dead. The phony physician was astonishingly successful for someone so poor at his job. He grew wealthy, married the widow of one of his patients, and served as mayor of Monterey. Eventually the gig was up. According to legend, Stokes’ sons confronted him of his devious deeds and he ingested poison, falling lifeless at their feet. His former home still stands today and haunted by the ghostly figure of a man dressed in 1800s garb. This is the legend of Stokes’ Ghost.

Deep and brooding, this Petite Sirah is brimming with aromas of blackberry, plum and black currant.   The intense, jammy fruit provides the drama while subtle notes of mocha and hazelnut bring finesse. Stokes’ Ghost is full-bodied with balanced tannins and a finish that lingers on the palate.  This rich, lush wine is just what the doctor ordered.

The Petite Sirah grapes in this wine were harvested at night in the southernmost reaches of Monterey appellation, an ideal location for growing this dramatic, heart-stopping variety. Upon arrival to the winery, the grapes were crushed and fermented in small lots to extract the full flavors and tannin structure for which Petite Sirah is so well known.  The wine was then pressed and racked at dryness for oak aging.

The fruit for Stokes’ Ghost hails from Scheid’s estate vineyard in the Hames Valley, an inland enclave at the southern end of Monterey County. Considered a “Goldilocks” region – not too hot, not too cold – it offers ideal conditions for Petite Sirah. The wine was aged in American and Hungarian oak barrels to add complexity and soften the tannins.

Winemaker Dave Nagengast

Dave Nagengast, Winemaker

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast has a strong connection to Petite Sirah. As winemaker for Stokes’ Ghost, he is passionate about this powerhouse variety and well-acquainted with its deepest, darkest secrets. He knows where to grow, how to farm, when to harvest, and how to vinify Petite Sirah to create a wine that is not only big, dark and bold, but also lush, balanced and aromatic. Says Dave, “Petite Sirah is not for those with delicate sensibilities. But for those of us who revel in a muscular, full-bodied wine packed with flavor, character and soul, Petite Sirah has no equal.”

Appellation: Hames Valley, Monterey, California
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l
pH: 3.54
Aging: 12 months in American, French and Hungarian oak