May Premium Wine Club

City-on-hill-red-blendCity on a Hill Wine Company
Red Blend
Swartland, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

The second of their “canvas wines” and the second vintage of this wine, City on a Hill Wine Co. used three varieties stretched across five vineyards. This wine remains the winery’s main focus in terms of red wine and this blend continues to grow in vineyards and varieties as they stretch their reach further across Swartland. The Red Blend has great structure, showing red and black fruit with their trademark Swartland fynbos and olive notes. Syrah dominates this blend followed by Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Syrah, Tinta Barocca, and Cinsault
RS: 1.9 g/L
TA:
5.2 g/L
pH:
3.65
Fermentation: Native Yeasts – 75% whole bunch
Vessels: Old 500 liter oak barrels
Year of Planting: 1968-1990’s
Soil Type: Decomposed granite, schist, & clay
Cultivation: Bush vines & trellised vineyards

ABOUT CITY ON A HILL WINE CO.:
City on a Hill Wine Company was started with one goal in mind: to make wine with freedom to explore and engage the vast terroirs and people that make up this beautiful region. The team was drawn to the rustic traits of the Swartland in the South Western part of South Africa – a location where you will rarely find landscaped vineyards or shiny farm gates, but rather an unforgiving landscape and people of the soil. The climate is hot and dry, and the conditions are becoming very extreme to farm in. Herein lies the beauty of the Swartland: a mix of old dry-land bush vines planted by previous generations, complimented by younger plantings of newer and experimental varieties, planted by this generation for the generations to come. City on a Hill Wine Co. has grown their offering to six wines. A lot of effort goes in to ensure constant improvement in all areas of grape growing and vinification. This is a lifelong task and something that the next generation will benefit from.
 


Last-of-the-First-WineFalse Bay Vineyards
Last of the First
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Professor Perold’s creation, Pinotage, was propagated at Elsenburg College in 1935. In 1941 Myrtle Grove on the Schapenberg was chosen for the first commercial plantings. Today only one block remains on the Schapenberg — The Last of The First.

Completely different in style to inland Pinotage. The Last of The First is elegant, perfumed, graceful. It is luminescent dark cherry in color with earthy smells of lifted mulberry and damson plums. The taste is balanced with finely integrated tannins threading through from start to finish. It highlights morello cherry with a touch of earthiness. Drink now and over the next decade. Serve at 59ºF – pairs beautifully with duck.

Region: Schapenberg (W.O. Stellenbosch)
Varietal: Pinotage

Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume
RS: 1.5 g/L
TA:
4.9 g/L
Total SO2: 85 mg/l
Production: 1549 bottles

REGISTERED SINGLE VINEYARD:
A small and singular parcel of mature 1994 planted Bush Vine Pinotage measuring 1.3 hectares. This block is the last Pinotage grown on the ocean facing slopes of the Schapenberg, where the original commercial plantings of Pinotage took place. This rare little block is on a cooler, elevated south-facing slope, just 2.5 miles from False Bay. Due to the effect of incessant wind and the application of organic farming practices, the berry-size and yield is also tiny at just over 3 tons/ha or 20 hl/ha. The up-side, however, is healthy grapes with excellent balanced concentration. Good things really do come in small packages.

WINEMAKING:
Grapes are handpicked, sorted and fermented whole bunch with wild yeasts in a small open top oak fermenter, using regular, manual-punch downs during the fermentation process. The wine is left on the skins and stems for 31 days, then is pressed off in a basket press before being transferred to three old 600 liter barrels. Here, the wine goes through a maturation period of 16 months before bottling without fining with only the lightest of filtrations.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. It is a sister company to Waterkloof Winery. In 1994, well before Waterkloof was founded, Paul Boutinot came to the Western Cape to seek grapes from balanced, yet under-appreciated vineyards. These vineyards would soon be lost to large co-operative blends that were dominating South Africa’s wine industry at that time. Paul transformed these Cape gems into wines with minimum intervention – something unusual for the time. He chose to organically farm using wild yeast ferments and no acid additions. Today, ingredients remain the same using beautiful coastal fruit, old vines, wild yeasts and additions avoided. Learn more here.

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Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon

Grilled Steak

© Photo by Steve Giralt

Perfectly Grilled Steak

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch-thick boneless rib-eye or New York strip steaks (about 12 ounces each) or filets mignons (8 to 10 ounces each), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. About 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.
  2. Heat your grill to high. Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135°F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140°F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150°F).
  3. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

© Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoPeacock_CABSAVNV (1)False Bay Vineyards
Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A wine that portrays typical varietal character along with a lot of elegance and accessibility. On the nose you can enjoy subtle red berries, a hint of chocolate and green spices. The palate has a lifted freshness and soft tannins which are well integrated- the fruit also carries through well to the aftertaste. It’s great enjoyed on its own, but also pairs well with a variety of dishes ranging from a simple tomato-based pasta dish to a juicy sirloin steak.

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
13.4% alcohol / volume
TA: 6.3 g/l
pH:
3.46
RS:
2.6 g/l

“Cabernet Sauvignon has always been seen as a big, bold and very tannic wine…the king of the reds. It is traditionally marketed as a wine to keep for at least three years before even thinking of opening a bottle. But at Waterkloof we believe it does not necessarily have to be big and gutsy to make an impression. We look for vineyard sites that are able to produce wines with notable elegance and freshness, allied with a fine texture.” – False Bay Vineyards

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
The grapes for our Peacock Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from the cooler slopes of the Helderberg ward on the coastal outreaches of Stellenbosch. Deep red soils provide moisture and nutrients, which give this Cabernet its supple, dark berry character. This cooler area also allows a longer ripening period, which imparts balanced flavors and elegant tannins to this red varietal. False Bay Vineyards use very minimal intervention during their winemaking process. The grapes are tasted regularly to determine the optimal ripeness and taste. Wines are hand-harvested after the grapes are de-stemmed. The juice is naturally fermented using “wild yeasts”, allowing for the flavors of the vineyard to be further expressed in the bottle. The skins are juice are mixed using two punch-downs or two pump-overs per day. The wine is aged in older 225L barrels for 9 months, after which it underwent a light filtration and a small dosage of sulphur is added before finally bottled. No other additions such as tartaric acid or enzymes were added.

ABOUT FALSE BAY VINEYARDS:
Named after South Africa’s most iconic bay, which frames much of the country’s premium wine-lands, False Bay Vineyards, was born from a desire to make ‘real’ wine affordable. The sister company of Waterkloof Winery, False Bay Vineyards, produces two collections: the earlier drinking, yet refined Peacock Wild Ferment range, named after the brightly plumed birds conspicuous in and around Waterkloof’s vineyards and the False Bay wine range of easy-drinking yet quality driven wines. Learn more about False Bay Vineyards here.

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May Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds fatty tips trimmed)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 small garlic cloves (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and garlic and cook until the chops are browned, about 2 minutes longer for medium meat. Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
  2. Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

© Recipe courtesy of Janet Mendel from Food and Wine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCircle-of-Life-RedWaterkloof
Circle of Life Red

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A perfectly integrated blend with great length, combining the spiciness of the Syrah, the fresh fruits of the Petit Verdot and juiciness from the Merlot. The introduction is fresh and fruity with good acidity, evolving into riper flavors and herbaceous notes, and with elegant tannins and light acids on the finish. It is very versatile and will complement numerous dishes, but the winery recommends enjoying it with a hearty piece of lamb.
 
Varietal: 26% Syrah, 24% Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot and 24% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 5.2 g/l
VA: 0.7
Residual Sugar: 2.3
Production:
17,400 bottles produced
 

Circle of Life tells the story of Waterkloof: A once conventionally farmed vineyard with great potential, that – since Paul Boutinot took over the property – has been transformed into a living, breathing organic and biodynamic vineyard by Farm Manager Christiaan Loots and his team. Waterkloof winery strives to produce distinctive, yet balanced wines using traditional, organic and biodynamic methods. They work with nature, not against it. Chickens, sheep and work-horses have unique and integral parts within the vineyard. Their soils are free of chemicals, and instead are kept healthy using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from their own organic compost. The winery continuously works to understand their vineyards to harness the individual characteristics of each vineyard block. Waterkloof’s objective with Circle of Life was to produce two blends that encapsulate all the varying terroir characteristics and grape varietals found on Waterkloof.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
All grapes are hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards, then brought to their cellars by their work-horses. The grapes are then hand-sorted again at the winery to ensure only the best berries are being used. The sorted grapes are then placed into wooden fermenters using their gravity system. This fermentation process starts naturally with yeast present on the grapes to enhance the flavors from the vineyards. Throughout the fermentation process, the winery performs soft punch downs twice a day to gently and slowly extract the tannins. The wines will spend around 30 days on the skins – give or take depending on taste. After the maceration time on the skins, the wine is ran down using gravity, no pumping is incorporated. The grape skins also fall through into the basket press and are softly pressed to gently extract every last bit of wine, aroma and color. The varietals are then aged separately in French oak for about 18 months. After the aging process, Waterkloof blends the Syrah (26%), Merlot (24%), Petit Verdot (26%), and Cabernet Franc (24%) together, then keeps in wooden fermenters for another 9 months. This wine is unfined and gently filtered.

ABOUT WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: ‘THIS IS IT!’ Just like that, Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began. Learn more about the history of Waterkloof here.

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April Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Shallots

Beef Tenderloin with Shallots

© Photo by All Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ pound shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • ¾ cup port wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin roast, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 sprigs watercress, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a 9-inch pie pan, toss shallots with oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are deep brown and very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine beef broth and port. Bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste. Set aside.
  3. Pat beef dry; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan, set over medium heat on the stove top, sauté bacon until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add beef to pan; brown on all sides over medium high heat, about 7 minutes.
  4. Transfer pan to oven. Roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 125°F (50°C) for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent loosely with foil.
  5. Spoon fat off top of pan drippings in roasting pan. Place pan over high heat on stove top. Add broth mixture, and bring to boil; stir to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer to a medium saucepan, and bring to simmer. Mix 1 ½ tablespoon butter and flour in small bowl to form smooth paste; whisk into broth mixture, and simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in remaining butter. Stir in roasted shallots and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut beef into ½ inch thick slices. Spoon some sauce over, and garnish with watercress.

© Recipe courtesy of Christine L. from All Recipes.

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoChateau-de-Bel-Air-Lalande-de-Pomerol-bottle-webChâteau de Bel-Air
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Lalande de Pomerol, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

On the nose, Château de Bel-Air presents notes of red fruit and floral aromas; on the palate, a harmonious balance between flesh and tannins means it can be enjoyed after just a few years of cellaring. A delicate wine that is a perfect partner for refined dishes.
 
Varietal: 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
Viticulture: Culture Raisonnée, soil tilling or cover cropping
Harvest: Mechanical, with sorting in the cellar
Winemaking: Parcellary, in thermo-regulated concrete vats


Mentioned in the Cocks & Feret guides as one of the best wines of the appellation as early as 1922, Château de Bel-Air is situated on a sunny plateau that gently slopes southward. The historical quality of its wines and its privileged position, which guarantees the vineyard ideal sun exposure year-round, inspired owner Michel de Laet Derache to acquire the property in 2011. The vines, averaging 40 years of age, are planted on a terroir of gravel brought from the volcanic Massif Central by rivers during the quaternary era, with layers of iron rich clay. In order to best express the nuances of the site, the vineyard is managed and vinified plot by plot, with a respect for the different ages of the vines, varietals, and rootstocks. Vinification takes place in thermo-regulated concrete tanks. The wine is then mostly aged in oak barrels (45% new) for 12-18 months. 

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April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa


Bold wine Style logogoldschmidt-alexvalley-plus-yoeman_2015-webGoldschmidt Vineyards
PLUS Yoeman Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Goldschmidt PLUS Yoemen Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a small mountain vineyard just east of the town of Geyserville, California. It’s a superb vintage for Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Nick Goldschmidt hand bottled it directly from the barrels. It’s very refined with deep, almost opaque, purple-black color and outstanding flavor development. Showcasing bold aromas of dusty plum, black cherry, graphite and flint nuanced with black pepper. There are hints of blueberry and black licorice, which lie in perfect balance to its generous structure and very dense, yet silk tannin profile. This wine is very concentrated but marvelously flavorful.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Alexander Valley, CA
Vineyard: Yoeman
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH: 3.6
TA: 6.9 g/L
Clones: Heritage, 337
Average Vine Age: 35 years
Harvest: Hand-picked
Harvest Date: October 1, 2015
Yield: 2.5 tons per acre
Filtering: Unfined/Unfiltered
Aging: Allier Oak, tight-Grain, 43 months, 100% new
Production: 99 cases
Critical Acclaim:

  • 2011 – 94 Points, Anthony Diaz Blue
  • 2008 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2007 – 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2006 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2005 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2004 – 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
The vineyard slopes to the southeast and is comprised of well-draining glacial loam. Soft morning sun promotes slower grape maturation and longer “hang times” in this secluded micro-climate. Rarely do vineyard conditions afford a winemaker the opportunity to make a wine such as this.

VINTAGE NOTES:
“We were challenged this year by a warm winter, a cool spring, and three summer heat waves, but the gorgeous fruit at harvest released our worries. Yields were down we were blessed with great quality and consistency. Small clusters with some of the smallest berries we’ve ever seen. Very concentrated but marvelously flavorful!” – Nick Goldschmidt and the Goldschmidt winery


Bold wine Style logoGoldschmidt-Forefathers-Cabernet-webGoldschmidt Vineyards
Lone Tree Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The magnum bottle is signed by winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt. Forefathers Lone Tree Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a 3 acre parcel just north of Geyersville. Deep ruby-black in color.  It highlights blackberry, cassis, and plum aromas with nuances of malted chocolate and tobacco. On the palate, there are savory tastes of black cherry and black currant with smooth, finely-structured tannins. This wine is beautifully weighted and will continue to develop complexity well into 2025.

Bottle Size: Magnum 1.5 L (equivalent to two standard 750 ml bottles)
Analysis:
14.3% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Alexander Valley, CA
Vineyard: Lone Tree
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH: 3.6
TA: 6.8 g/L
Yield: 1.8 tons per acre
Aging: Demptos Allier, 70% French, 30% American; 16 months, 18% new
Racked: Gravity racked three times
Production: 660 six-packs
Critical Acclaim:

  • 2017 – Best of Class, LA Wine Competition
  • 2015 – 93 Points, North Coast Wine Comp.
  • 2014 – 95 Points, The Tasting Panel
  • 2012 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2010 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2009 – 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2008 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2007 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2006 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2004 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2003 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
This mountain vineyard faces east avoiding hot afternoon temperatures. East-facing slopes are a relatively rare occurrence in the Alexander Valley, as most are either heavily forested or too steep to plant. Up 800 feet in elevation, this vineyard runs cooler than others along the valley floor, allowing grapes to ripen very slowly at first. Starting in September the morning fogs roll in and cover the valley completely. Lone Tree is above the fogline and gets abundant sunshine for the remainder of the season. The overall season is longer than the others though and the longer hang-times translate into more complexity and depth. Learn more about the vineyard and its production here.

VINTAGE NOTES:
“Bud-break occurred three weeks ahead of normal but March and April remained warm with no signs of frost. In May, however, the weather changed considerably. Unusually cool and somewhat damp days lingered for the first two weeks during fertilization of the vines’ flowers. This caused a lot of shatter in the developing clusters, which led to fewer flowers and ultimately less berries. Warm weather returned through the rest of the season with a heat spike in early September. A tiny crop ensued and with it tiny berries. Some of the berries were the smallest we’d ever seen! Definitely a vintage for the record books in terms of yield but equally noteworthy for its depth of flavor and extraordinary concentration.” – Nick Goldschmidt and the Goldschmidt winery

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
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 Goldschmidt Winery here.


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March Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Pork Chop Recipe

© Photo by Little Ferraro Kitchen

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Garlic and Thyme

  • 1 bone in double cut pork chop, about 2 inches thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves gently crushed and skins removed
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by removing the pork chops from the fridge and bringing it closer to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on all sides and get your cast iron pan hot on the stove top.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and drizzle the skillet with a neutral oil, such as grape seed oil.
  4. Once skillet is hot, sear pork chops on all sides, about 2 minutes per side until nicely charred, then place in oven and roast for about 6-8 minutes until internal temp reaches 135°F (mostly cooked through).
  5. Place the skillet back on the stove top and add butter, garlic and herbs and as soon as butter melts, carefully tilt the pan with one hand and use your other hand to baste the infused butter onto the pork chop for another 1-2 minutes, not letting the butter burn.
  6. Once done, turn off heat and remove pork chop to another plate to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into it.

© Recipe courtesy of Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen.

MARCH WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoTerroir Selection Carmenere 2019Casas del Toqui
Terrior Selection Carménère
Cachapoal Valley, Chile

BOLD WINE STYLE

Cherry red color with violet hues. Aromas of black fruits, chocolate and spices, with hints of currants, nuts and tobacco. On the palate there are silky tannins. This wine is juicy and well balanced, with a lingering finish.

Varietal: 100% Carménère
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: Native yeast vinification in neutral French oak
Viticulture:
Vertical espalier
Vinification:
Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 12 months
Closure: Natural cork
Pairing: Serve between 60˚F-64˚F with pork chops and sausages

ABOUT CASAS DEL TOQUI:
In 1994, Château Larose Trintaudon, a major French wine producer from the Bordeaux region, partnered with traditional wine producers from the Cachapoal region in Chile and together they founded Casas del Toqui. Recently, their legacy was recaptured by a Chilean family with a great passion for wine, contributing with their own unique and distinctive mark.

The Cachapoal Valley is renowned worldwide for its Mediterranean weather, where the Coastal Range and the Andes create one of the best soils in the region to produce high quality wines. The terroir of Casas del Toqui includes a wide range of soil types. Each plot of land is handled individually according to the unique characteristics of the terroir, which through a coordinated harvest, vinification and barrel management allows Casas del Toqui to keep individual lots to show the purest expression of each component before crafting the different blends.

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March Premium Wine Club

Court Rollan
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Cachapoal, Chile

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Ruby red color. Intense aromas of ripe red fruit and black fruits such as redcurrant, accompanied by floral touches and dried fruits notes, especially toasted nuts and candied almonds. Fresh in mouth, with good volume, firm and silky tannins. The contribution of the wood is balanced, and brings complexity to the blend. Persistent and elegant finish.

Region: Alto Totihue, Cachapoal Valley
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon 88%, Syrah 12%
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification:
Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post-fermentation maceration and aged in French and American oak (second use) for 14 to 16 months
Closure:
Natural cork
Pairing:
Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF. Ideal to accompany lean, grilled red meats.


Court Rollan
Carménère, Syrah
Cachapoal, Chile

Bold wine Style logoBOLD WINE STYLE

Deep ruby red in color. Complex and elegant in aromas, the first layer shows the well worked out typicity of the predominant variety with black pepper, accompanied by floral notes and fruits such as plum and fig. Well balanced in taste, with silky and polished tannins, with a good mid-palate, and a persistent finish. Interesting cassis notes in the aftertaste.

Region: Alto Totihue, Cachapoal Valley
Varietal: Carménère 82%, Syrah 18%
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification:
Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post-fermentation maceration and aged in French and American oak, both of second use for 14 to 16 months
Closure:
Natural cork
Pairing:
Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF. Ideal to accompany stuffed pasta based on cheeses and nuts, or baked quail

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Court Rollan was born as the expression of passion and family commitment for the quality of wines. This project shows the excellence through different wines, made from the best vine grapes from the vineyards. Wines with a superb presence, full bodied, with great character, structure and intense complexity. Extraordinary aging potential.

In 1994 Château Larose Trintaudon, a major French wine producer from Bordeaux region, partnered with a traditional wine producer family from the Totihue region in Chile, and together they founded Casas del Toqui Winery, producer of Court Rollan Wines. In 2010, their legacy was recaptured by the Court family, who has a great passion for wine, contributing and adding their own unique and distinctive seal to the company.

The Cachapoal Valley is renowned worldwide for its Mediterranean weather, where the Coastal Range and the Andes create one of the best soils in the region to produce high quality wines. The terroir of Casas del Toqui includes a wide range of soil types. Each plot of land is handled individually according to the unique characteristics of the terroir, which through a coordinated harvest, vinification and barrel management allows Casas del Toqui and Court Rollan to keep individual lots to show the purest expression of each component before crafting the different blends.

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

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January Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Dead ArmBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2014 Dead Arm Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus ‘Eutypa Lata’ that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

This is one of the more pure fruited versions of this iconic wine that we have seen in recent times. Highly aromatic in the early stages of its life, the nose is dominated by an array of perfectly ripe berry fruits and spicy notes. The dark, earthy and savory characters that we are well accustomed to, whilst present, seem to be taking a back seat. Nonetheless, they play an integral role in adding depth and complexity here. The palate is similarly positioned, showing almost restrained fruit weight but great depth of flavor and wonderful brightness. What hasn’t changed is that line of fine, lively tannins that present themselves early and drive the wine from start to finish, drawing fruit flavor along with them.

Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz 100%
Residual Sugar:
0.9 g/L
pH: 3.48
Titratable Acid:
7.4
Oak Maturation:
18 months
Harvest Dates:
February 12th – April 17th
Chief Winemaker: Chester Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Critical Acclaim:

  • 91 pts. on Wine Enthusiast
  • 97 pts. Tony Keys, The Key Report
  • 97 pts. Ray Jordan, The West Australian
  • 96 pts. Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer
  • 95 pts. James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion
  • 94 pts. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
  • 92+ pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
  • 92 pts. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
  • Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Awards ‘Best Value’ 2017
  • 5 Stars Winestate Magazine Mainfreight World’s Greatest Shiraz Wine Show

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Darry and Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Darry and Chester Osborn

VINTAGE:
A wet winter ensured good sub soil moisture and set up the vines well with healthy canopies. Spring was very dry with above average temperatures, a heavy downpour in January was a welcome relief. Mild conditions during the ripening period produced wines that show an abundance of spicy fruits with great color, richness and balanced tannins. Vintage started on 30 January, the earliest start on record by one day.

THE WINEMAKING:

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:

The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.


Shipsters'-Rapture-ShirazBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2010 Shipsters’ Rapture Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Shipsters’ Rapture is named in honor of Henry Shipster and his family who owned the vineyard before the Osborn family. The Shipsters are said to have delighted in their small plot of land, lovingly planting it to vines, an orchard and Needle Pines that still line the vineyard today.

Upon release, The Shipsters’ Rapture has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. The nose is dominated by deep, dark purple fruits. Initially a little tight, with air there is the appearance of spice and flowery, mulberry notes.

Deep, rich mulberries and plums are the feature fruits on the palate. There is also a very appealing volume of spice on the finish. The cooling influence of the steep vineyard has created a more focused, linear wine. There is a real density to the wine with lovely long, mineral tannins that really linger. This wine epitomizes elegance but power. It will benefit from cellaring and decanting prior to serving is recommended.

Analysis: 14.2% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz
pH: 3.42
Titratable Acid: 6.6
Oak Maturation: 20 months in new and old French and Old American Oak
Harvest Date: 5 March 2010 
Chief Winemaker: Chester d’Arenberg Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Additional Info: Vegan Friendly
Altitude: 70m Above Sea Level
Aspect: Southern
Size (area): 1.5 Hectares
Soil: Sandy Loam/Limestone
Age of Vines: 43 years
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points on Wine Enthusiast 
  • 91 points on Wine Spectator
  • 97 points from Huon Hooke
  • 91 points from Vinous Antonio Galloni
  • 91 points from Stephen Tanzer

VINTAGE:
Above average autumn rains set the vines up well. There was some heat during flowering which reduced crop levels in but with no ill-effects on quality. There was some more warm weather in January as the reds were going through veraison, this did no damage, but did encourage an early start to vintage. The day time temperatures were mild through out ripening with mild to cool nights. 2010 was a very strong vintage in McLaren Vale with the reds in particular showing excellent varietal characters and balance.

THE VINEYARD:
This very steep south aspect vineyard (depicted front) was planted to Shiraz in 1969. This aspect promotes the flowery fruit characters of the wine. The floweriness is further enhanced as the vines are situated in a steep gully where considerable cold air drainage occurs at nightfall. The geology is Blanche Point formation (limestone based), promoting the powerful structure of the wine.

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Winemaker Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Winemaker Chester Osborn

THE WINEMAKING:
Walking the vineyard rows and tasting grapes, Chester Osborn classifies and determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard. Small batches are crushed in the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber toothed crusher and then transferred to five-tonne headed-down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. When tannin extraction is just right the wine is basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete primary and secondary fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees to keep the wine fresh while also reducing the oak influence. There is no racking until final blending. Chester and the winemaking team undertake an extensive barrel tasting process for the ‘Amazing Sites’ range and only the best shiraz blocks from each vintage are selected.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.

ABOUT D’ARENBERG:
Since 1912 the Osborn family have tended vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia. It is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d’Arenberg’s first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale’s old bush-vine Grenache. Today fourth generation family member, Chester, makes distinctive wines using traditional methods both in the vineyard and the winery. Recently, Chester has converted all of the family’s vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed – all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottling every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Hall of Fame for earning place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d’Arenberg’s revered reputation worldwide. To learn about the history of d’Arenberg, click here.


Bold wine Style logoSteyning-cabernetPenley Estate
2014 Steyning Cabernet Sauvignon
Coonawarra, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

The 2014 Steyning is an excellent example of a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a concentrated aroma of leather, olive, dark blueberries and plum. The densely concentrated fruit is supported by cedar French oak, and is a wine of complexity and length bolstered by brooding savory tannin. Drink fantastically now, or well into the future. Suggested to decant before drinking.

Analysis: 15% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH:
3.54
Titratable Acid:
6.74 g/L

© Photo by Penley Estate

© Photo by Penley Estate of Hans

Viticulture:
Hans is a natural in the Vineyard. He’s a Viticulturist and a Geologist who has always been keen to understand the interaction between the vine and its own local geology. A visit to Portugal’s Douro Valley helped him realize his two fields of knowledge were a perfect match and since then Hans has been busy applying his geological mapping skills to the mapping of vineyards around Penley Estates. Hans’ aim is to always identify the small parcels of fruit in each vintage that will enable their winemakers, Kate and Lauren, to bring the ‘season to your glass’.

Winemaking:
Kate is one of Australia’s best contemporary winemakers. Wineries such as Wirra Wirra (McLaren Vale), Tim Kanppstein (Clare Valley), Seppelt (Great Western), Punt Road (Yarra Valley) have all benefited from Kate’s brilliance. There is no denial of talent and absolute harmony when it comes to Kate and the winery, which the Penley Estate has witnessed each year since she started in 2016.​ Her investment in Penley is what has fed their evolution into creating some spectacular contemporary varietals. Coupled with the addition of winemaker, Lauren Hansen, it’s as though Penley Estates have taken an almighty breath of fresh Coonawarra air. Learn more about their team here.

Penley Estate_Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen

© Photo by Penley Estate – Winemakers Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen


About Penley:
The Penley Estate wine-making history dates back to 1844, but it really began with a red sports car in 1945. It was a collision of hearts and minds, a collision that had been 100 years in the making – refined and distilled from two pioneering winemaking families When Reginald Lester Tolley rolled up to a function in his red sports car, Judith Anne Penfold Hyland was suitably impressed by the car and rather taken by the man behind the wheel. Sparks flew, romance blossomed and Penley was conceived (as a business name) in 1947 after Reginald and Judith married. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the Penley name came to life, when the children of Reginald and Judith decided to create their own wines and put a label on tradition. They bought a plot of land in Coonawarra, planted cabernet grapes and called it Penley Estate. In 1995, they built a winery at Penley Estate – a full on, all the bells and whistles, impress me with your red sports car winery. Their reputation had grown by then, and it made sense to have everything on site. They planted more vineyards, added some Shiraz to the Cabernet, and increased their range of wine, producing classic Coonawarra reds that were full-bodied, to be kept and savored. To learn more about the history of Penley Estate, click here.

“Our history is a rich mix of endeavor, passion and vision with a touch of scandal and madness thrown in for good measure. We could write a book about it. Instead, we’ll leave you with the words of our glamorous mother; words that we hope you’ll taste in every bottle of our contemporary Coonawarra wine… ‘Grow up and be fascinating.'” – Ang and Bec Tolley


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December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

© Natasha's Kitchen

© Natasha’s Kitchen

The spice in Grenache begs to be paired with herb-heavy dishes such as roasted meats, vegetables and stews. This simple one-pot lamb stew is loaded with hearty, healthy ingredients perfect for the winter months. The lengthy simmering time in the oven makes the tender lamb morsels and vegetables just melt in your mouth.

Lamb Stew Recipe

  •  4 oz. bacon (4 strips, chopped into 1/4 inch strips)
  • 2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt for the lamb plus 1 tsp for stew
  • 1 tsp black pepper for lamb plus 1/2 tsp for stew
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups good red wine
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs small yellow potatoes halved or quartered into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots 10 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5 quart dutch oven, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until browned and fat released. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
  2. While bacon cooks, season lamb pieces with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook lamb in 2 batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned (3-4 min per side) then transfer to the plate with bacon.
  3. Add diced onion and sauté 2 min. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to simmer then cook uncovered 10 min. Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
  4. Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil then cover and carefully transfer to preheated oven at 325˚F for 1 hr and 45 min. When done, potatoes and lamb will be very tender.

© Recipe courtesy of Natasha of Natasha’s Kitchen.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSkylark GrenacheSkylark Wine Company
Grenache
Mendocino County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color. Juicy red fruit aromatics are interwoven with forest floor notes, though the red cherry fruit takes center stage. The palate delivers ripe cherry fruit flecked with a savory white pepper spice complexity. The spice notes then turn ripe and creamy on the finish leaving an impression of dark cocoa with a deft touch of barrel sweetness. Ethereal and exuberant.

Skylark Grenache is sourced from Charlie Sawyer’s beautiful vineyard high above Ukiah in Mendocino County, California. With clonal material sourced from Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this is one of the premier sites for Grenache in Northern California. Expertly farmed by Peter Chevalier, this classic vineyard has been our home for Grenache since the 2007 vintage. After green harvesting, the fruit is hand-picked, mainly de-stemmed and then fermented in an open top tank with daily punchdowns. A splash of 8% Syrah from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard lends a touch of color and spice. After secondary fermentation in seasoned French cooperage, it is then bottle unfined and unfiltered with minimal intervention.

Varietal: 92% Grenache, 8% Syrah
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.66
TA: 6.0
Aging: Native yeast vinification in neutral French oak
Harvested: 
Hand picked
Vineyard: Sawyer Vineyard – Rodgers Creek Vineyard

Produced: Six Barrels – 150 cases

ABOUT SKYLARK:
Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest and the Skylark Wine Company was born.

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

ABOUT JOHN LANCASTER:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, John Lancaster is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. He resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

ABOUT ROBERT PERKINS:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

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