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.

Wine club logoJoin our PREMIUM WINE CLUB, enjoy amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn more about our Premium Club >

 

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

 

May Premium Club: Iowa

ENJOY CLUB:

Mad HatterBold wine Style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Madhatter Red Blend 2016
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout Napa Valley. The 2017 vintage aptly continues that commitment, with vineyards in St. Helena, Calistoga, Rutherford and Oakville.   Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance and a long silky finish.

A deep garnet hue precedes aromas of crushed cherries, black plum, warm cassis, and violets.  The palate is fleshy with suggestions of blackberries, licorice, and Indian spices. Chewy and approachable tannins lead into a long, silky finish.

Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer

Semper Pinot NoirMellow style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Semper Homage 2016
Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Semper was conceived as a love letter to express enduring faithfulness.  Cultivated in a distinct region of the Sonoma Coast appellation, wines produced in this area have a rare and collectible quality that will only increase in value over time.  During the growing season the vineyard experiences bright sunshine during the day but is subject to a cool blanket of fog that hugs the coastline, creating the ideal conditions for that perfectly slow ripening.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir pays homage to some of the great vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Petaluma Gap appellations.  The primary sourcing is Reuling Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, near Forestville.  In addition to having the ideal climate and well-drained soil for making great Pinot Noir, the vineyard is planted with three of the finest Pinot Noir clones, all of which was used in making the 2016 Semper Homage – Lat Tache, DRC and Calera.   The wine is blended with small amounts of two other vineyards – Sunchase Vineyard and Saltonstall Vineyard, both of which are located in the Petaluma Gap at the southern end of the Sonoma Coast appellation.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir showcases powerful fruit with an elegant structure and medium body. Upon entry, this wine expresses aromatics of wild raspberry and strawberry, transitioning into a robust rhubarb and cranberry palate. Aged in French oak barrels for twelve months, the wine shows nuances of baking spices that complement the natural fruit components of the Russian River Valley.  While this wine is drinking beautifully now, it will continue to improve and develop in the bottle over the next five to ten years. 

Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer, Philippe Melka

THE BECKSTOFFER FAMILY

Tuck Beckstoffer

Tuck Beckstoffer

It began on back country roads and among the vines. The Beckstoffer family arrived in the Napa Valley in 1975 and the young son of a future pioneer spent his days in the vineyards throughout every growing season, cultivating deep roots.

Brought up to respect the land and its fruit, Tuck naturally sought out the practice of viticulture, learning from the masters around him. Much like his father before him, he is a farmer first. It was only after he mastered the art of first craft that he turned his attention to a second craft—winemaking. Over three decades after he first set foot in the valley, Tuck bottled his first wine. For him, it was not a whim or passion project, but the culmination of a life lived on the land, among the vines.

Today, Tuck is one of the few Napa stewards who is both a grower and a winemaker. It is this pedigree that makes his approach different: the process begins with the land itself and culminates with a reverence for the winemaking traditions of the past—sharing successes and failures among fellow craftsmen and appreciating the fruits of their labor over a beautiful bottle of wine.

The St. Helena estate opened in 2016, offering intimate tours and private tastings as a way to share this passion—connecting visitors to the land and sharing the knowledge of how the art of grape growing translates into every bottle. Since day one, the Estate was designed to exude a sense of genuine care and generosity of time and spirit.

As the story continues the unfold, Tuck is raising the next generation in the same way that he was raised—as stewards among the vines. He invites you to share in this journey and visit the estate.

“It’s my belief that all great wines are an ode to teamwork. The wine in the glass is the apex of each season’s fruitful collaboration—hands on the vines, boots in the soil, and a team of voices carrying throughout the cellar.” – Tuck Beckstoffer

Learn more about our PREMIUM WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases! Learn more >