July Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubRobert-Craig_Stick_Blend_2017_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2017 “The Stick” Red Blend
Candlestick Ridge Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Cabernet Sauvignon blend is dense, powerful and beautifully concentrated. The nose is perfumed with luxurious  aromas of black currant, boysenberry, cedar box and Herbes de Provence. The intensely layered palate excites with cassis, plum, and graphite. It is rich and seductive with a velvety texture that finishes long and perfumed.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.77
Maturation: 18 months in 70% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price
Critical Acclaim:
93 pts. JamesSuckling.com

VINTAGE:
The 2017 harvest was the first in the area following a 5 year drought. The soils and water table had been replenished and the vines took off early in the season and weather patterns were about normal until late August. In early September, heat spikes hit the valley and set record or near record temperatures. With plenty of water available most vineyards were heavily irrigated and the temperatures cooled in mid-September to more normal levels. The quantity of grapes was quite low, but quality looked to be excellent. A huge wildfire at the end of harvest threatened vines that still had fruit, but luckily the vast majority of grapes were already safely in the winery for the year.

TERROIR:
Just down the road from the estate, Candlestick Ridge is the northernmost vineyard in the Howell Mountain AVA and is slightly warmer than the summit ridge where the Winery Estate vineyard lies. Candlestick is influenced by warm air from Pope Valley to the east and is protected from the constant wind that hits the ridge line. The big subsurface boulders were removed during the replanting, leaving thin tufa soil on top of a rocky volcanic bedrock.


Collectors Wine ClubRobert_Craig_Winery_Howell_Zinfandel_2018_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2018 Howell Mountain Zinfandel
Black Sears Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

True to the Howell Mountain, the 2018 vintage is beautifully clean and focused with boysenberry and bramble berry wrapped in a subtle pepper spice on the nose and palate. This Zinfandel is balanced and elegantly structured through the finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Zinfandel
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.57
Maturation: 18 months in 60% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price

VINTAGE:
February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in the spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.

TERROIR:
Black Sears has “King of the Mountain” bragging rights on Howell Mountain – topping out at 2,400 feet, making it officially the highest vineyard on the mountain. The vineyard is located just past the gate of the Howell Mountain estate, and now the winery surrounds it – literally – having purchased the vineyard just on the other side of it as well. For 25 years, winemakers have clamored for the Zinfandel grown here: both biodynamic and organic, the site is dry farmed and the vines are pruned in the old world style with no trellising. Zinfandel thrives in the mountain’s well-drained, rocky, volcanic soils and moderate climate.

ROBERT CRAIG WINERY:
Bob Craig always had a passion for Napa Valley Mountain Cabernets, so naturally, he founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three of his friends from business school. In 2004, the team was joined by CEO Elton Slone, who later became a full partner in 2007.  After Bob’s retirement and departure from the wine business in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Today, the winery is still known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards. Robert Craig Winery consistently receives high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery here.



Hess Collection Allomi Cabernet SauvignonThe Hess Collection
2018 Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
Allomi Vineyard

Napa Valley, California
375 ml (half bottle)

BOLD WINE STYLE

“The combination of steady heat and well-drained clay loam soils in our Allomi Vineyard allows fruit to ripen evenly, gaining welcomed complexity and layers of flavor. We consistently see beautiful yields from the Allomi Vineyard, and this vintage was no different. On the nose, this wine delivers delicious aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and elegant expressions of lavender alongside a touch of vanilla. Allomi Cabernet is concentrated upon entry with dense, but well-integrated tannins that provide a round, plush mouthfeel. Layers of juicy black fruit, notably black cherry and black plum, lead to elements of espresso supported by a subtle oak spice that adds to the personality of the wine and reminds us why this is one of our most popular Napa offerings.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
TA: 0.58 gms/100ml
pH:
3.76

Harvested: October 8 – November 2, 2018
Maturation:
18 months in 27% new American oak
Appellation:
Napa Valley, California

Winemaker: Dave Guffy
Food Pairing: Chocolate Lave Cookie Recipe >

 

VINTAGE:
Budbreak began on schedule at the end of February, and Spring brought moderate temperatures that progressed into a warm Summer without any disruptive heat spikes. Steady, consistent growing conditions provided the perfect environment for the fruit to mature and develop. As the moderate, even temperatures continued into the Fall, harvest started slightly later than normal, and in some areas, extended long into the first week of November. With such lengthy hang time, the fruit matured consistently and was picked when it was at its peak, promising exceptional flavor in bottle.

VINEYARD:
A pioneer by nature, Donald Hess was determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking in the far reaches of the Napa Valley. In 1995, he sought out the Allomi Vineyard with a vision to uncover its potential. Once a dormant beauty, the Allomi Vineyard now gives life to luxury Napa Valley wines. The estate vineyard is located in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley. The 210-acre vineyard is focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones that add diversity of flavors and complexity to this wine.

THE HESS COLLECTION WINES:
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse micro-climates and soils uniquely suited to wine grape growing. It is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. The Hess Collection wines are family owned, sustainably farmed and dedicated to reflecting a true sense of place. There wines are recognizable for their elegant, rich and complex flavors and a tradition of excellence. Learn more about the Hess story here >

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe – pairs with Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon


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Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Riesling

Caesar salad on the tableCaesar Salad Supreme

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, divided
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 anchovies or anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cups day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mince 3 cloves of garlic and place in a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, anchovies, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard; mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, then remove garlic from pan. Cook bread cubes in hot flavored oil, turning frequently, until lightly browned; transfer onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes; toss well to coat.

© Recipe courtesy of All Recipes.

JULY WINE CLUB:

Silky styleKillermans Run RieslingKilikanoon
Killerman’s Run Riesling
Clare Valley, South Australia

SILKY WINE STYLE

The nose of this Riesling is intensely aromatic with notes of lemon, lime, orange blossom, and the classic Riesling minerality. The palate is fresh and mouth watering with bright citrus, orange rind and crisp green apple. It has a tangy, dry finish making it a real pleasure to drink.

Varietal: Riesling
Analysis:
12.5% alcohol / volume
Maturation: Stainless Steel
Winemaker: Peter Warr
Appellation: Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
Pairing Recommendations: Fresh seafood such as oysters, scallops and shrimp; or, try with a fresh Caesar Salad.
Critical Acclaim: 93 pts. JamesSuckling.com

BACKGROUND:
Named after a legendary Clare Valley squatter, Killerman, who planted and tended vines on a paddock adjoining the Kilikanoon property. As legend has it, Killerman made his own wines in a galvanized iron lean-to.

WINEMAKING:
The Killerman’s Run Riesling is fermented at cool temperatures for 3 weeks with an aromatic yeast strain. The ferment was stopped prior to complete dryness to give the wine a hint of additional texture and roundness while still being nicely balanced by naturally retained, crisp acidity. This Riesling was made in a classic Clare Valley regional style primarily from carefully selected vineyards in the Watervale sub region.

ABOUT KILIKANOON:
Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell; it is known for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon’s tasting room, was orginally settled by early English migrants who named it after a historic old mansion in Cornwall. When purchasing the historic property in 1997, the mature vineyards of Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling that had been planted by Kevin’s father, Mort in the 1960s, became a part of Kilikanoon, and now form the heart of the estate vineyards. Peter Warr joined the winery in late 2018 after traveling the world honing his craft. He is now responsible for carrying on Mort and Kevin’s legacy at this treasured and award winning estate. Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of Clare Valley’s outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet balanced Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn more here.

© Information provided by Old Bridge Cellars.


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June Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBeehive Queen Bee PorciniBeehive Cheese 
Queen Bee Porcini Cheddar
Uintah, Utah

The rind of this rich and creamy Utah cheddar is hand-rubbed with Porcini mushrooms, imparting an earthy, umami notes throughout the paste of the cheese. On the palate, you can expect all the creaminess of the Beehive Cheese’s award-winning Promontory cheddar to be combined with savory notes from the Porcini mushrooms.

world-cheese-awardProduction: Regalis Porcini mushrooms are pulverized into a fine power, rubbed on the rind of the cheese, and then aged. During the aging process, the earthy flavors permeate throughout the 20-pound wheel of cheese and marry beautifully with the natural sweetness of the cheddar.
The Gist: Aged for 6-8 months; Vegetarian Rennet; Cow’s Milk
Serving Recommendation: Salami, assortment of pickled/brined veggies or olives. It has superb melting capabilities, perfect for risotto or mac and cheese.
Awards:
Super Gold WCA 2021, 2022

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Pairs well with a Sangiovese or Pinot Noir, such as our June Wine Club – La Montage Pinot Noir. For beer, reach for an American Pale Ale.

WINESTYLES: Mellow
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean


Beehive Cheese TeahiveBeehive Cheese
Teahive Cheddar
Uintah, Utah

This Utah cheddar rubbed with Earl Grey is a “feel good” cheese. The soothing qualities of tea and the relaxing properties of bergamot combine to produce a lovely cheese with rich fragrances of orange blossoms. On the palate, it is sweet and creamy. This Jersey cow’s milk cheese immediately delights the palate and the complexities of the tea-rubbed rind continue through the finish.

Silver World Cheese AwardThe Gist: Aged for 6-8months; Vegetarian rennet; Cow’s milk; Gluten-friendly product; Organic, non-GMO ingredients in the rub
Serving Recommendation: Pair with stone fruits, berries, charcuterie, toasted nuts, or top with honey or jam. This cheese is perfect on scones, baked into shortbread biscuits, or sliced on a sandwich.
Awards:

  • 1st ACS 2012
  • Silver WCA 2017, 2018, 2019
  • 2nd ACS 2015
  • 2nd IMPA 2018
  • 2nd British Empire Cheese Competition 2018

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Serve with a fruit forward red wine, or a Chardonnay, such as our June Wine Club – M by Martellotto Chardonnay. For beer, reach for a stout, mead or cider.

WINESTYLES: Fruity or Rich
BEERSTYLES: Malty & Sweet; Crisp & Clean or Fruity & Spicy

Bee Hive Cheese logoABOUT BEEHIVE CHEESE:
In 2005, Tim Welsh and his brother-in-law, Pat Ford, had a vision of opening a creamery in the mountains of Northern Utah. With no more than eight days of cheesemaking experience between the two of them when they first began, the two broke tradition without even realizing it. They enjoyed the freedom to experiment and created their own rules about what artisan cheese could be. With their families by their sides, they built a company grounded in independent thinking, connectedness, and authenticity. They partnered with some of the best cheese researchers and creameries the western U.S. had to offer. Today, Beehive Cheese continues to produce award-winning cheeses that bring family and friends together. Learn more about their story here.


Cheese_springDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Cabernet Sauvignon_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and dark with aromas of black fruit, coffee and toast. On the palate, it highlights flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry with toast, coffee, and spice; with a long velvety finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Certifications: Sustainable Practices, Certified Sustainable, Napa Green, Vegan, and Non-GMO
Food Pairing: Enjoy with a classic sirloin, beef short rib or other braised dishes such as grilled lamb, or portobello mushrooms.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points, CS WE
  • 91 points, JS (2017)
  • 91 points, EC WE
  • 91 points, WS
  • 92 points, W&S (2016)
  • 92 points, WS
  • 92 points, WE (2015)

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Profile_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Profile
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Profile wine has aromas of savory herbs, dark chocolate, roasted notes, black and red fruits. On the palate, there are complex fruit and herb flavors, with velvet texture, fine grained tannins, and a long savory finish.

This iconic proprietary red represents the pinnacle of Merryvale vineyards and winemaking. Intensity, refinement, and balance define this Cabernet Sauvignon dominant red blend. Sourced exclusively from the steep slopes of the Profile Estate Vineyard at the eastern edge of the St. Helena AVA. Exceptional terroir, vine-by-vine viticultural practices and small lot artisanal winemaking. Consistently awarded and highly-scored by critics.

“A terroir selection, the flagship 2017 Profile offers a classic nose of ripe blackcurrants, scorched earth, tobacco, cedar, and dried spices. This carries to an elegant, beautifully balanced 2017 with plenty of mid-palate depth, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish.  It’s a classic, more savory, nuanced 2017 that will evolve for two decades.” – 94 points, Jeb Dunnuck, January 2021

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal:
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
TA: 5.7 g/L
pH: 3.87
Certifications: Napa Green, Sustainable
Vineyard: Profile Estate Vineyard
Cooperage: 80% new from the center of France
Élevage: 23 months
Harvest Dates: September 11th through 18th
Food Pairing: Beef, lamb, duck as well as rich, savory pasta dishes with portobello or shiitake mushrooms and roasted shallots.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE (2017)
  • 95 points WA
  • 94 points JS
  • 92 points W&S
  • 91 points WS
  • 91 points WE (2016)
  • 93 points WA
  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE
  • 90 points WS (2015)

ABOUT THE REGION:
Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world and America’s most celebrated region. Defined by the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges and influenced by its proximity to San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the Napa Valley enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate, long dry summers and cool evenings, perfectly suited to the growing of fine wine grapes. The resulting wines are richly flavored with vibrant fruit flavors and texture.

Andrew-Wright-Winemaker

© Merryvale Vineyards, Winemaker – Andrew Wright

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Winemaker, Andrew Wright, grew up in the Sonoran Desert, knowing very little about wine and the winemaking industry throughout his early life. It wasn’t until a random trip to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York that Andrew uncovered a passion for the winemaking industry. He consumed volumes of wine literature (and of course, the wines they described), expanding his palate and shaping his philosophies today. Andrew began his winemaking career at Callaghan Vineyards, planting vines in the high desert outside of Sonoita, Arizona – he worked several growing seasons here before entering the cellar of Arizona Stronghold.  Andrew is thankful for these early experiences in the frontier, as they forged a deep appreciation for his hard work, experimentation and winemaking with intention.

In 2012, Andrew moved to Napa Valley and worked in the vineyards and cellars of Harlan and BOND Estates, Promontory, The Napa Valley Reserve, Fruition Sciences, and their clients (which included Merryvale at the time). Today, as the Winemaker at Merryvale Vineyards, Andrew is in charge of the production at the St. Helena winery. He oversees all of the winemaking operations for Merryvale wines and deeply believes that winemaking is the synthesis of philosophy, agriculture, science and art. Learn more here.

ABOUT MERRYVALE VINEYARDS:
Home to the first winery built following the Repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Merryvale Vineyards was part of the early fabric of the Napa Valley Wine Industry. Their collection of hand-crafted wines elegantly express the heritage, terroir, vineyards and subregions of Napa Valley. Learn more about the winery here.


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January Premium Wine Club

Mellow style logoRuffion-modus-wine-bottleRuffino
Modus Toscana IGT
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, and complex, fruity and intense on the nose. The initial aromas are of mature black fruits, such as cherries, plums, and small blackberries typical of Sangiovese. There are also floral notes that are complimented by hints of spiced cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is full-bodied and harmonious with modern Super Tuscan finesse and style. This wine is rich with soft tannins and flavors of mature blackberry fruit that lead to a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 37% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano Estate
Soil:
Hilly land with clay, limestone, and a small percentage of silt
Micro-climate:
Variable with good diurnal temperature swings, especially during summer
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
12,000 per acre
Age of vineyards:
Recently planted
First Year of Production:
1997
Food Pairings: Wonderful on its own, or serve with bold dishes such as duck with olives and pancetta, beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce, or aged cheeses such as T
aleggio, Pecorino and/or Gouda.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Only the best grapes are selected in the vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness when picked. They are again sorted prior to pressing. Due to a warm and dry growing season, the harvest began earlier than usual, as the high summer temperatures led to beautiful fruit maturation.
Fermentation: Each varietal was vinified independently, fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 10 days. The wine was then allowed to macerate on the skins for another 2 weeks.
Aging: After completing malolactic fermentation, the 3 varietals were blended and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of first and second use.


Ruffio-riserva-ducale-wine-bottleMellow style logoRuffino
Riserva Ducale
Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, the nose has an elegant bouquet characterized by violet, cherries, wild berries and plums. There are hints of tobacco, clove and eucalyptus. On the palate, the Riserva Ducale is balance and constant with delicate tannins. The vibrant acidity characterizes this wine, which is typical of Sangiovese’s grapes. The finish is persistent and a good structure completes the entire taste sensation.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
The Riserva Ducale grapes came from owned vineyards and selected growers vineyards located in the traditional Chianti Classico production area, stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence. Ruffino traditionally works with a small stable of hand-selected growers, chosen as carefully as the Ruffino vineyards.
Soil: Typical of the Chianti Classico area; a mix of clay and limestone with an abundant presence of “Galestro” rock.
Altitude:
Variable from 951 to 1,476 feet above sea level
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
about 12,350 vines/acre
Bottle Aging:
A minimum of 3 months
First Year of Production:
1927
Food Pairings: Enjoy this timeless Tuscan gem with Italian favorites such as prosciutto and other antipasti, mushroom risotto, pasta Bolognese, and chicken cacciatore. Or, pair it with simple grilled meats and roasted vegetables for a classic Tuscan meal.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The vintage was characterized by a very hot season with a good maturation of the grapes, which led to a slightly early harvest.
Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and maceration were aided by pumping over, which took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats for approximately 16 days.
Aging: The Riserva Ducale aged for 24 months, 12 in big oak casks and the rest in concrete vats.


Mellow style logoRuffino Riserva Ducale OroRuffino
Riserva Ducale Oro
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Riserva Ducale Oro is also Ruby Red in color with hues of garnet. It is powerfully aromatic with cherry, plum, and violet with notes of eucalyptus, chocolate and spicy black pepper. The complexity is an authentic expression of Sangioveses and Classic Chiantis. The wine is full-bodied and powerfully fruity with elegant tannins, perfectly supported by a good acidity. The finish is characterized by pleasantly sweet tobacco, plums, and balsamic herbs. This Riserva Ducale Oro will age gracefully for decades.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
83% Sangiovese, 12% Merlot, 5% Colorino
Grape Sourcing:
Selected from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame estates, located in the heart of Castellina in Chianti.
Soil: Hilly land with poor, rocky, ‘galestro’ soils of mixed clay and sand
Microclimate:
Characterized by hot, dry summers with high diurnal temperature swings, which allow for optimal grape maturation.
Altitude:
820-1,300 feet above sea level
Sun Exposure:
Predominantly south, southwest, and southeast
Growing System:
Cordon-trained
Vine density:
10,000 per acre
Age of Vineyards: 
Vine yield: 12 tons per acre
First Year of Production:
1947
Food Pairings: Traditional Italian dishes pair exquisitely with this wine. Try with a pasta Bolognese, wild boar ragu, or eggplant Parmesan. It also pairs beautifully with American dishes such as grilled rib-eye and roasted vegetables.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced with grapes meticulously selected during harvest. The picking started the third week of September and ended the first week of October. The vintage 2015 shows a vivid fruity notes, with spicy hints of great elegance.
Fermentation: Aided by racking and délestage, fermentation took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 21 days. Post-fermentation maceration on the skins continued for an additional 10 days. The wine was transferred to concrete vats for malolactic fermentation.
Aging: A total of 36 months: the first 12 months in concrete vats, followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels (about 925-2,000 gallons), and finally 12 months in barriques that are four or more years old.

ABOUT RUFFINO WINERY:
In 1877, cousins, Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve, near Florence. Natives to Tuscany, they knew this region already had century-old traditions of growing exceptional wine grapes, but cousins felt that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Word eventually grew about the quality wine the Ruffino cousin’s were producing and the winery began to flourish. Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines. They became nationally and internationally known when their Chianti won Gold Medals and other prizes in 1881, 1884 and 1885 Wine Exhibitions. In 1890, the Duke of Aosta became intrigued by the winery’s reputation, and after trying it for himself, he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian Royal family. In 1927, the winery released their first vintage of Riserva Ducale – named after the Duke of Aosta to acknowledge his esteemed patronage.

Today, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany’s most important wine appellations. They continue to take a traditional approach when making their wines to allow their wines to reveal themselves without manipulation. Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, as they have become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Learn more here. 


Mellow style logoFrescobaldi-Nipozzano-RiservaFrescobaldi
Castello Nipozzano
Nipozzano Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Nipozzano 2017 conveys the intense, harmonious character of the vintage with personality, translating the heat of the season into the glass. The ruby-red color is bright and intense. The usual notes of red fruits and citrus are expressed in a seductive combination of elegance and intensity. Tertiary notes due to aging, such as spices and vanilla, enhance the aromas and balance the tasting experience. The palate is rich, dense and balanced, with a great expression of maturity, polyphenolic elegance and final persistence.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Sangiovese and complementary varieties
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling: 92 Points
  • Gambero Rosso: 3 Glasses
  • Luca Maroni: 90 Points

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The winter was mild and dry. In the spring, the early sprouting of the vines brought the growing season forward. During spring, the arrival of sporadic rains restored the vineyards’ water table, guaranteeing a good blooming, still ahead of time with respect to the previous season. The harvest began at the end of August/first few days of September, after a hot, dry summer that led to the harvesting of well-ripened grapes, qualitatively rich in body and color. As soon as the grapes were harvested, they were taken to the cellar.
Fermentation: Once de-stemmed, the natural fermentation process began in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine remained in the vats to complete maceration. After racking, malolactic fermentation took place in steel as well.
Aging: At the end of the year, the wine was transferred into barriques, where it was aged for further months. A further period in the bottle brought Nipozzano to its full expression as a wine with exceptional balance.

ABOUT FRESCOBALDI WINERY:
Beginning in the early 1300s, the Frescobaldi family has been producing wine in Tuscany for over seven hundred years. That family history is filled with illustrious ancestors, from literary figures, explorers, and musicians, to financiers, bishops, and statesmen. Over the years, the Frescobaldi family had established commercial contracts and relationships, and had the opportunity to share their wine with numerous historical names and courts such as the Court of England, the Papal Court in Rome, Donatello, Michelozzo, Michelozzi, and Filippo Brunelleschi.

The winery has been passed down in the family from generation to generation, building many different sub-family estates over the years. Today, the President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, aims to strengthen the uniqueness of the wines of each family estate. The Frescobaldi family believes each family estate, and their vineyards, should express the diversity and individuality of their Tuscan terroir while always respecting their nature and authenticity. Learn more about the family history here.


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October Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubMAYLA-ROSE_PETILLANTAlella Vinícola
Mayla
Rosé Petillant
Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This attractively colored rosé has a sweet nose of red fruits. On the palate, the mouthfeel is light and fresh with flavors of red fruits.

Analysis: 11.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: 6 months on lees
Yield: 35 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 22 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 5,000 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 3 years
Food Pairing: Ideal as an aperitif or with fresh pasta, rice dishes, or grilled snails
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 87 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.14 points

WINEMAKING:
“The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks on its own fine lees from November to February in order to give the wine more volume, and to prepare it to improve its evolution throughout time . The second fermentation has taken place in bottle for two months more to attain the sparkling point that we wish.” – Alella Vinícola


ona-blanc-brut-natureAlella Vinícola
Ona
Blanc de Noir Brut Nature
D.O. Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Although the Ona Blanc de Noir is a black grape variety, the color is golden with soft reflections. On the nose, there are intense, yet delicate aromas of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and clean cut grass. On the palate, the bubbles are crisp and well integrated into the wine. The wine is refreshing and highlights all of the flavors of white and red fruit with a honeyed, long finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: Minimum of 12 months in bottle
Yield: 25 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 15 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 2,500 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 8 years
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 89 points
  • Robert Parker: 88 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.15 points
  • Great Premi Vinari 2015 Reserva Sparkling Wines

Alella Vinícola logoABOUT ALELLA VINÍCOLA:
Family owned and operated, Alella Vinícola has been operating in the heart of the D.O. Alella, Spain since 1906 – just over 9 miles north of Barcelona. Brothers Samuel and Xavier Garcia perform all of the tasks of managing the winery from planting the vineyards to the commercialization of their wines. The winery’s wines are characterized by the Mediterranean climate and are always produced free of herbicides, insecticides and inorganic fertilizers. Learn more about the winery here.

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October Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubWilli Haag Juffer RieslingWilli Haag
Juffer Brauneberg Auslese
Grosse Lage Riesling
Mosel, Germany

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Honeysuckle and crushed minerals give a modest introduction to this light-footed Auslese (select harvest) wine. The palate is bursting with ripe flavors of yellow-peach and pineapple. The wine’s sharp, zippy acidity lends balanced to a long finish.

Analysis: 8.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Riesling
Region: Brauneberg, Mosel, Germany
Critical Acclaim: 91 points – Wine Enthusiast

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Willi Haag Estate has been in the family more than 500 years – now run by Marcus Haag, the grandson of Willi Haag. Marcus took over the entire management in 1997 after completing his viniculture studies. Today, Marcus combines his family’s wine-making traditions with modern viniculture approaches to produce award winning wines.
 Learn more about the winery and its vineyards here.


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September Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine Clubroederer-estate-brut-multi-vintage-bottleRoederer Estate
Brut
Anderson Valley, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex flavors of pear, spice and hazelnut and is fresh, yet has great depth. It is lightly fruity with great finesse.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Anderson Valley
Varietals:
Approximately 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir
pH: 3.1
Residual Sugar:
12 g/L
Aging: Aged a minimum of two years on the yeast
Awards:

  • 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast, December 1, 2020
  • 93 Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2020
  • 93 Points – Decanter, July 2020
  • 92 Points – Decanter, January 2020 
  • 92 Points, Smart Buy – Wine Spectator, August 31, 2019
  • 90 Points – Wine & Spirits, August 2019
  • 92 Points, Best Buy – Wine & Spirits, August 2018
  • 93 Points, #27 Top 100 Wines for 2018 – Wine Spectator, July 31, 2018

ABOUT ROEDERER ESTATE:
Founded in 1982, Roederer Estate is among a very few California sparkling wine houses that only sources estate-grown fruit and builds upon a centuries-old tradition of winemaking. Nestled in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, the Estate’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean allows the grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character. Learn more about the Estate here.


Cremant-dAlsace-Lucien-Albrecht-Brut-Rose_eLucien Albrecht
Le Crémant d’Alsace Rosé Brut
Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Crémant Rosé has nice pink reflections and salmon tones supported by an elegant effervescence. On the palate, there are notes of delicate red fruit that bring roundness and body together to make a complete wine.

Analysis: 11.98% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Residual Sugar:
9.8 g/L
Total Acidity: 3.18 g/L
Vinification: 100% hand harvested, extended and soft pressed, 6-8 weeks controlled fermentation in stainless steel, then laid on racks for a minimum of 12 months.
Aging Capacity: Enjoy it now or keep it up to 3 years
Serving Temperature: 44.6ºF-46.4ºF
Pairings: Excellent for festive occasions.
Awards:

  • Silver Vinalies Internationales 2020
  • 90 points – Wine Enthusiast 2020

ABOUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE APPELLATION D’ORIGINE CONTRÔLÉE:
“Crémant d’Alsace Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée was created in 1976 to distinguish the wines obtained by the sparkling champagne method. The term “crémant” comes from Champagne where it was fallen in disuse. It was the recognition of the efforts made by several Alsatian winemakers, including the Maison Lucien Albrecht.” – Lucien Albrecht

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Maison Lucien Albrecht’s origins can be traced back to 1698 when Balthazar Albrecht settled in Orschwihr, a small Alsatian village ideal for it’s growing conditions. Eight generations later, the family continues to work in these same unique terroirs creating world renowned wines. Passed down from father to son, each generation has adapted its wine-growing and wine-making methods gradually to get the very best out of the terroir, while still producing authentic wines, characteristic to Alsace. Learn more about the family history here.

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August Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine ClubBarton & GuestierBarton & Guestier
Vouvray Passeport
Loire Valley, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Bright clear yellow in appearance, the Vouvray Passeport has a fruit driven nose with subtle aromas of white flowers mixed with peach, pear, pineapple and carambola. On the palate, it is well balanced between fruit and flint, with a nice, refreshing finish.

Varietal: 100% Chenin Blanc
Region: Loire Valley, France – near the town of Tours
Classification: Appellation Vouvray Contrôlée
Soil: Clay and limestone base with sandy patches, where Chenin grows its best
Climate: Oceanic, mild and humid
Vinification: Pressing of the grapes with overnight settling – controlled alcoholic fermentation to preserve residual sugar
Viticulture: Low yields, hand tending, careful selection and minimal interference in the natural ripening of the grapes
Pairing: This wine is very versatile. It can be paired well with anything from cheese to appetizers, salads, fish, barbecue, or even spicy food or curry dishes. Best served between 46ºF and 50ºF.
Critical Acclaim:

  • Double Gold Medal – Wine Tasting Competition (WSWA) 2016 – USA – 2015 vintage
  • Double Gold Medal – York World Wine & Spirits Comp 2016 (2015 vintage)
  • Vivino Wine Style Awards 2017
  • “Best Buy” – Wine Enthusiast (2014 vintage)
  • 91 points Ultimate Wine Challenge ‘Finalist’ (2013 vintage)

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an aged cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY: 
In 1725, Irishman, Thomas Barton settled in Bordeaux, France to start is company – now, the city’s oldest active wine house. His grandson Hugh teamed up with Frenchman, Daniel Guestier, and in 1802 their partnership became official. Since then, the company has reached over 130 countries. Learn more about their story here.


BEXBEX Winery
Riesling
Nahe, Germany

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The BEX Riesling is brilliant straw color. On the nose, there are aromas of orange blossom, lime and white grapefruit, while on the palate there are mouthwatering flavors of lime and mandarin orange. The wine finishes with notes of minerals and citrus zest.

Analysis: 10.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Riesling
Appellation: Nahe, Germany
RS:
2.4%
pH: 3.23
TA: .82 g/100ml
Aging: Fermented at cool temperatures (52)F-55)F), then aged in stainless steel tanks to enhance the wines fresh fruit characteristics

Closure: Twist off to preserve the zesty citrus and bright stone fruit nuances. This allows a slight effervescence to be sealed in, lifting the soft aromas out of the glass.
Pairing: Enjoy as an aperitif, pair with a light or spicy cuisine, or serve as a finale with a dessert
Critical Acclaim:
Exceptional – “Best Buy” – 90 points: Beverage Testing Institute, Oct 2015

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

WINEMAKER NOTES – 2014 VINTAGE:
“The 2014 growing season was early and fast! Riesling shoots appeared on April 12, three weeks before the norm. Flowering was ahead of schedule and the vines ripened nicely through August when a period of strong rains occurred. Luckily Mother Nature delivered a nice dry September helping the grapes to reach full maturity. The hallmark of 2014 Riesling are sassy wines – crisp and lively with well-integrated acidity.” – BEX Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located 25 miles south of Mosel, in the Nahe (pronounced Nah-heh) region of southwest Germany; BEX Winery works to produce wines highlighting the distinct flavors of its land. Nahe is the most geologically diverse growing region in Germany. It’s known for its red slate/diverse soils, mild climate, and moderate rainfall – making distinct Rieslings with fresh fruit and floral aromas. Learn more about BEX Winery
here.


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May Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBenning CheeseBenning®
Mild Goats Milk Gouda
Holland

Benning® Mild Goats Milk Gouda is a semi-firm, pure white, versatile cheese that is fresh and mild in taste. It is made from light goats’ milk that is then formed into classic gouda-style wheels and aged to create a smooth and creamy textured cheese. This cheese is great for the pickiest of eaters. It is mildly tangy and slightly sweet with hints of caramel. 

FOOD PAIRING: This cheese melts beautifully; eat as is, or slice/grate onto your favorite sandwich or pizza.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: The Benning® Mild Milk Gouda pairs well with dark and malty beers such as a malty Amber Ale. It also pairs nicely with a buttery Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or our May Wine Club Chenin Blanc.

WINESTYLES: Silky
BEERSTYLES: Dark & Roasty or Malty & Sweet


midnight-moon-pkg-smallCypress Grove®
Midnight Moon®
Holland

This aged goat milk cheese is made exclusively for Cypress Grove® in Holland. Aged for at least six-months, Midnight Moon® is an ivory-colored goat cheese with forward nutty and brown-buttery flavors, finish with long caramel notes. Similar to classic goudas, Midnight Moon® forms protein crystals as it ages, and lends to a slight crunch to the otherwise dense and smooth cheese. This goat cheese is known to convert even the pickiest of goat cheese critics!

AWARDS:

  • Best of Class, World Championship Cheese Contest  2010, 2020
  • Super Gold, World Cheese Awards   2015, 2018
  • Gold, World Cheese Awards  2014
  • Best New Product in Show, sofi Awards  2002
  • Silver, World Cheese Awards  2017
  • Silver Finalist, sofi Awards  2003
  • Third Place, World Championship Cheese Contest   2014
  • Bronze, World Cheese Awards  2016
  • Bronze, sofi Awards   2017

FOOD PAIRING: Serve with fig jams, seeded crackers, or bread

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with Ice Wine, Sweet Sherry, Syrah or Zinfandel. As for beer, look for a Belgian Dark, Stout, or a Tripel.

WINESTYLES: Fruity or Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Dark & Roasty, or Fruity & Spicy

ABOUT CYPRESS GROVE®, ARCATA, CALIFORNIA:
In the 1970’s, when pre-packed TV dinners and processed, rubber cheese were popular, a self-proclaimed “serious hippie” named Mary Keehn was on the hunt for something different. A mother a four, she wanted to find healthier milk for her children. Mary noticed her neighbor owned goats for brush control and asked if she could purchase two, at which the neighbor replied, “if you can catch ’em, you can have ’em”. Each day, Mary went out with grain until eventually she lured in her first two goats: Esmeralda and Hazel. These goats turned into four, and many more from there. With a lot of goats, came a lot of milk, and thus, Cypress Grove® was born! Learn more about their story here.


Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >