September Premium Wine Club

Bold wine Style logoBendewijn-Syrah-2020 (1)The Ahrens Family Winery
Bendewijn
Syrah

Paarl, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

This medium to full bodied Syrah is grown on old bush-vines in a shale dominant soil on the northern side of the Paarl district. Bright red spicy fruit is complemented with a silky soft tannin.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Syrah
Total Acidity:  5.4 g/L
pH: 3.56
Residual Sugar:  2.7 g/L
VA: 0.52 g/L
Total Production: 721 bottles


Bold wine Style logoBendewijn-Cabernet-Cinsault-2020 (1)The Ahrens Family Winery
Bendewijn
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault

Wellington, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

This medium bodied small batch red wine was grown on a complex coffee-stone gravel/quartz combination soil, giving the wine both weight and mineral elegance. The bold Cabernet tannins are rounded into a silky smooth texture with the addition of Cinsault, also enhancing the fruit.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cinsault
Total Acidity:  5.0 g/L
pH: 3.73
Residual Sugar:  2.0 g/L
VA: 0.59 g/L
Total Production: 994 bottles

ABOUT ALBERT AHRENS’ BENDEWIJN LABEL:

Albert Ahrens

© The Ahrens Family

Bendewijn is passion project for Winemaker, Albert Ahren of The Ahrens Family Winery. Bendewijn was intended to be a group united by wine. Albert writes:

“A ‘bende’ directly translated is a gang, and “wijn” translated is wine… Hence Bendewijn is a wine-gang, more specifically, a wine-following. Bendewijn is not a wine club! So… Let me explain… Firstly, I’m a grape-scout & winemaker, annually producing our address specific Ahrens Family Wines. As the years go by, I constantly find myself inspired to explore other regions and wine styles. Occasionally I stumble across an intriguing vineyard, in most cases an older vineyard, usually located on the slopes of one of our many mountains located in the Western Cape. I’m obviously keen to have a go at it and produce a barrel or two. After every harvest, the end result is a couple of interesting new wines. These wines could be once-off or made again… no rules. Bendewijn is my space of freedom of expression. The aim is for a group of winelovers to join my “wine-gang” and follow me on my exploration. Bendewijn is sent out in a mixed case of six bottles, once every few months and if there is enough wine – no rules!”. – Albert Ahren

© Information from Albert Ahren’s Bendewijn and The Ahrens Family Winery – All Rights Reserved. 


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September Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Pulled_Pork_SandwichPulled Pork Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 ea boneless pork butt (5 to 7 lbs)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup salt
    • 2 tbsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp onion powder
    • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
    • 1 tbsp black pepper, toasted and ground

DIRECTIONS:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix evenly. Rub the mixture into the meat.
    • Place the entire pork butt onto a foil lined baking pan with 2 cups of water and cover for 2 hours. After the two hours, reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more hours basting the meat every hour with the cooking liquid. Be prepared that there will be steam when you peel back the foil.
    • Carefully remove the meat from the oven. To test whether the meat is done, stick a fork into the meatiest side (versus the top) of the pork butt and the fork should easily twist. If there is a lot of resistance, continue to cook covered for an additional hour. Once the meat is fully cooked, allow to rest for about 30 to 45 minutes in it’s cooking liquid. Then shred the meat.
    • A portion of the meat can be mixed with a small amount of cooking liquid- cooking liquid may be salty therefore add sparingly!
    • Serve the shredded pulled pork on your favorite roll or baguette with a fresh cabbage slaw or favorite condiments such as mustard, BBQ sauce, pickles and/or butter.

© Recipe courtesy of Canvasback.

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

Reguta_AltropassoMellow style logoReguta
Altropasso
Friuli, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

This wine is ruby red in color with purple nuances tending to garnet with aging. The nose and the palate are very elegant. It contains fruity flavors like blueberry and blackberry with vanilla and toasted high quality notes. It is soft, full-bodied and persistent on the palate.

Varietals: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Denomination: IGP Trevenezie
Serving Temperature: 64.4ºF
Food Pairing:
This wine is perfect for roast meat, especially pork, lamb, goat or game.

WINERY NOTES:
A champion, characterized by vibrant violet hues, with a clear and persistent smell which is added by the balsamic fragrance from the oak. Captivating and creamy notes of Blackberry dominate the palate. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot expresses itself wonderfully with its strong texture. It charms with spectacular flavors from various types of jam. – Reguta winery

ABOUT REGUTA:
Located in the province of Udine, near the Friulian Riviera, the Reguta Winery has been owned and operated by the same family since 1928. Founded by Ettore Anselmi, the winery has since been passed down to his sons, Giuseppe and Luigi – who are teaching the same principles to their own sons today. Giuseppe and Luigi are constantly looking to improve their wines. With their years of experience and great traditions coupled with their outlook for the future, they are able to adopt the most advanced production technologies to ensure their wines are the best quality, while enhancing the uniqueness of their land. Learn more about Reguta’s history here.

© Information provided by Reguta.


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July Premium Wine Club

Bold wine Style logoPascual Toso Alta CabernetPascual Toso
Alta Cabernet Sauvignon

Mendoza, Argentina

BOLD WINE STYLE

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from 60 year old vines, Pascual Toso Alta has a nose and palate redolent of boysenberry and raspberry, with hints of vanilla, baking spices and chocolate. Complex and well-balanced, it is elegant in structure with gentle tannins and a lingering finish.

Analysis: 14.0% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Total Acidity: 6.07 g/L
Residual Sugar: 2.63 g/L
pH: 3.66
Appellation: Maipú, Mendoza
, Argentina
Serving: Serve between 59°F and 62°F with red meats, pasta dishes or mature cheeses
Critical Acclaim: 93 pts JamesSuckling.com; 92 pts Decanter; 2022 Decanter World Wine Award Silver

WINEMAKER NOTES:
The grapes are 100% estate grown and hand-picked using small baskets. The vineyard is carefully managed to ensure the grapes reach optimum ripeness. Cold maceration takes place over 48 hours, prior to fermentation.  The winemaker process is carried out in stainless steel tanks and macerated from 15 to 20 days.  To obtain its maximum expression, the wine is softly filtered before being bottled.  Aged in new French oak barrels for 14 months, it then receives an extra six months aging in bottle prior to release.

ABOUT PASCUAL TOSO:
When in the mid 1880s Pascual Toso set out towards Argentina from its home town, Canale D’Alba, in Piamonte, Italy, he could not have imagined that he would become the founder of a winery, which is today one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Argentina.

When he arrived in Argentina, he settled in Mendoza. As he had been closely involved in the development of his family wine business in Piedmont, he promptly saw the promising future for winemaking in the region and decided to use his expertise. Thus, in 1890, Pascual Toso established his first winery.

At the beginning of the 20th century, he decided to expand his business and acquired vineyards in Maipú. At his estate “Las Barrancas”, he built another winery, “Las Barrancas” (small Canyon) which is dedicated to producing and growing the finest grapes. Since 1890, Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso has become one of the most exciting and promising Argentine wineries and remains faithful to its principles: Tradition, Authenticity, Innovation. Learn more >


Bold wine Style logoParticular_Cabernet_Franc_2019-wine-bottleBodegas Bianchi
Particular Cabernet Franc

Mendoza, Argentina

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Cabernet Franc is deep red in color with intense and lively purple hues. On the nose, there are aromas of black currant and cassis, combined with sweet spices, such as red peppers and black pepper, as well as vanilla and smokey aromas from the oak aging. It has a great structure and volume on the palate, with sweet tannins. It is elegant, with a balanced acidity and a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.6% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec
Total Acidity: 5.7 g/L
Residual Sugar: 3.5 g/L
pH: 3.55
Region: Uco Valley, San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina
Serving: Room temperature as the perfect accompaniment to pork and beef, as well as salmon or other flavorful fish.

WINEMAKER NOTES:
The grapes come from the Uco Valley, or more precisely, from Los Chacayes, Tunuyan. This terroir is renowned for its great properties for producing high-end wines. There is a daily thermal range that brings this varietal to perfect ripeness, and a soil composition that contributes mineral notes. Together, they make this Cabernet Franc a structured and truly complex wine. The wine was aged for 12 months in French barrels; the wine was then transferred to stainless steel tanks for 10-15 days in order to allow the lees to precipitate. After stabilization, the unfiltered, final wine was bottle-aged an additional 8 months.

ABOUT BODEGAS BIANCHI:
Bodegas Bianchi is a family winery that values tradition, quality, prestige and innovation. The history and tradition of Bodegas Bianchi were made possible by owner, Valentín Bianchi. Born in Italy in 1887, Valentín was encouraged to travel to San Rafael at the young age of 23 where he began his new life on this side of the world. In 1928, Valentín achieved his life goal to have his own vineyard and open a winery, of which he named El Chiche, “the small winery of the great wines”. Determined to make the best wines, he imported European vines and adapted them to the climate and characteristics prevalent in the region of San Rafael. As a result, he gradually built a familiar winery whose name would be an authentic patrimony of Argentina: Bodegas Bianchi. Today, Bodegas Bianchi is a global brand present in more than 40 countries, continued by Valentín’s son, Don Enzo Bianchi. Learn more about their winery here.

Valentin Bianchi Winery

Bianchi Family Photo

Don Valentin Bianchi


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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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July Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Tasty crispy fried wedges of potato with fresh rosemaryDuck Fat Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3.54 lbs. potatoes, medium or large, Yukon Gold or Russet
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 oz duck fat
  • 2 tsp rosemary, roughly chopped
  • sea salt flakes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Peel the potatoes, then cut into 3 inch pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Par Boiling & Roughing up:

  • Add 1 tbsp salt and then the potatoes to a large pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes well.
  • After draining the potatoes well, return to the empty pot on the turned off stove and allow to “steam dry” for a few minutes.
  • Add 1.5 tsp salt and the semolina. Place lid on, then shake the pot up and down vigorously 5 to 7 times to rough up the surface.

Roasting:

  • Pour duck fat into heavy based metal roasting pan (not glass or ceramic).
  • Heat in oven for 5 to 7 minutes until it’s shimmering and very hot with little wisps of smoke.
  • Working quickly and carefully, remove pan from oven.
  • Transfer potatoes into the roasting pan (be careful), and turn to coat in fat. Then, arrange the potatoes cut face down.
  • Roast for 25 minutes. Turn potatoes, roast for another 15 minutes. Turn again, then roast for a final 10 to 15 minutes, or until deep golden and super crunchy.
  • Transfer to a warm serving bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and rosemary, serve immediately.

© Recipe courtesy of Nagi at RecipeTin Eats.

JULY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoKillermans Run Cabernet SauvignonKilikanoon
Killerman’s Run Cabernet Sauvignon
Clare Valley, South Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

The aromas of blackberry, mocha, sage and French oak combine sweetly on the nose.  The classic cassis and herbaceous notes carry through from the nose onto the palate, beautifully supported by fine grained tannins. Velvety texture finishing with black pepper and exotic spice.

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
14.0% alcohol / volume
Maturation: 16 months in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads
Winemaker: Peter Warr
Appellation: Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
Pairing Recommendations: Slow Cooked Beef Brisket with a side of duck fat potatoes and greens
Critical Acclaim:
91 pts JamesSuckling.com; 90 pts Wine Spectator; 90 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate

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 grapes are sourced from the cool climate vineyards of the Clare Valley, South Australia. Hand-selected fruit parcels, maturation in new and older small French oak hogsheads for up to two years and attention to final blending has ensured a wine of great poise and balance.

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 originally 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. Learn more here.

© Information provided by Old Bridge Cellars.


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May Wine Club Pairing Recipe

PERFECT GRILLED SAUSAGE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound (raw) fresh sausage links or brats of choice
  • For serving, as desired: toasted brat buns or brioche buns, grilled peppers & onions, sauerkraut, mustard or Dijonnaise, ketchup, etc.
  • For a Latin American flare, turn your grilled sausage into a Choripán by topping with a Chimichurri Sauce on a Crusty Baguette. Follow Hilah Johnson’s recipe here.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the grill: Prepare your grill for indirect cooking, creating a zone of direct high heat & a second zone of indirect heat.
  2. Grill the sausage: Once the grill is hot, place the sausage directly on the indirect head side of the grill, arranging the sausage as close to the direct heat as possible without being directly over the flame. Close the lid & cook for 4-5 minutes. The heat from the direct heat side of the grill will circulate around the sausage, cooking them with really gentle indirect heat. After 4-5 minutes, flip the sausage, and cook over indirect heat for another 4-5 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the sausage registers a temperature of 150 degrees F.
  3. Chargrill the sausage: Transfer the sausage to the direct heat. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, until charred as desired & the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Transfer to a plate to rest & cool slightly before serving
  4. Serve the grilled sausage on a toasted bun with all of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

© Recipe courtesy of Jess Larson at Plays well with Butter.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCasas del Toqui Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cahapoal ChileCasas del Toqui
Terroir Selection Alto Cachapoal
Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby red in color with aromas of cassis, spices, black fruits and notes of toffee and caramel. On the palate, the wine has good structure with a long and pleasant finish.

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
14.0% alcohol / volume
Region: Cachapoal D.O., Chile
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification: Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 12 months
Closure: Natural Cork
Serving Suggestion: Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF
Food Pairing: Serve with red meat, pork loins or sausage

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. In 2010, the Court family recaptured their legacy, adding their own distinct and unique touch to this already elegant winery. Learn more here.

Casas-del-toqui-barrel-cellar


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May Premium Wine Club

Bold wine Style logoEL-Toqui-PRIVATE-COLLECTION-Cabernet-SauvignonEl Toqui
Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon is deep red in color with hues of ruby. On the nose, there are notes of ripe cassis, black cherry, black pepper, roasted coffee bean and dark chocolate. The palate is firm, with sweet and ripe tannins and a long, elegant aftertaste. 

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation:
Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification: Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 14 months
Closure: Natural Cork
Producer: Casas del Toqui S.A.
Serving: Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF
Food Pairing: Serve with grilled meats and game meats


 

Bold wine Style logoEL-TOQUI-PRIVATE-COLLECTION-CarmenereEl Toqui
Private Collection Carmenere
Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Private Collection Carmenere wine is deep red in color with shades of violet. It has very complex aromas of black fruits, plum, orange peel, cherry and spice dressing that carry accents of dark chocolate and vanilla. The palate is soft with a generous volume. There are tannins that are present, but are soft with a very balanced acidity.  It is long and complex, delivering flavors very similar to those on the nose.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Carmenere
Appellation:
Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification: Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 14 months
Closure: Natural Cork
Producer: Casas del Toqui S.A.
Serving: Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF
Food Pairing: Serve with lamb chops and rosemary, pork ribs, pasta and cheeses.

Casas-del-toqui-barrel-cellar

ABOUT CASAS DEL TOQUI WINERY:
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.

One of the country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley is set at the heart of the central valley and the icon of wine production in Chile. It’s a fairly new wine-producing region, but quickly gaining reputation as Chile’s ‘Napa Valley’. Sandwiched between the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Mountain range, the Colchagua Valley’s volcanic and granite soils merge with a Mediterranean climate. The vineyards are situated in the hills of a sub-region that combines the freshness of the Pacific with the vibrant minerality of the quartz and granite soils.. Learn more about their winery here


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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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Raised by Wolves Old School Red Blend

Pizza

Photo Credit: Copyright Anson Smart

Pizza Vesuvio with the Works

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced baked ham, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 ounces salami, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
  • 2 large cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 pitted olives, sliced 1/4 inch thick

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°. Let the stone heat for 30 minutes. In a bowl, lightly drizzle the artichoke hearts with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll or stretch the pizza dough out to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the edge on half of the pizza 1/16 inch thick. Generously flour a pizza peel. Transfer the dough to the peel and lightly brush with oil. Top the thinner side of the dough with half of the artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, ham and salami, 3 inches from the edge. Sprinkle with half of the oregano and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the marinara. Lift the 3-inch edge of dough over the filling and press to seal in the center of the round.
  3. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of marinara over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the remaining artichoke hearts, mozzarella, ham and salami over the marinara. Spoon small dollops of ricotta over the toppings, then scatter the mushrooms and olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining oregano.
  4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and bubbling. Cut into wedges and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Francis Ford Coppola from Food & Wine.

JANUARY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoRaised by Wolves Cinsaut Cabernet SauvignonRaised by Wolves
Old School
Cinsaut Cabernet Sauvignon
Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

Having enjoyed many old South African Cabernet Sauvignons from the 1960’s and 1970’s, Adam Mason was enthralled to discover that many of these old gems contained far greater percentages of Cinsaut than Cabernet Sauvignon, reflecting the actual plantings of both varieties at the time. Using possibly the oldest producing Cinsaut vineyard in Stellenbosch (planted in 1965) and Bonniemile Cabernet planted in the 1980’s, Adam attempted to pay homage to this uniquely South African story. Vinification of both varieties was carried out in separate concrete ‘kuipe’ before transferring to barrels for 18 months maturation.

Appellation: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Varietal: 2/3 Rustenhof Cinsaut, 1/3 Bonniemile Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
12.81% alcohol / volume
Residual Sugar: 1.8 g/L
VA:
0.79 g/L
pH:
3.66
TA:
5.3 g/L
SO₂:
5/65 ppm
Bottled: 10/18/2019
Growers:

  • Rustenhof: Pieter Bredell
  • Bonniemile: Deon Joubert

Raised by WolvesABOUT RAISED BY WOLVES:
Raised by Wolves offers exceptional wines with excellent values. Made as a project by Wine Industry Specialist, Adam Mason, Adam says the name is a parody of the constant one-upmanship between winemakers. He mocks other winemakers’ statements of ‘my wine is single vineyard!’, or ‘Yeah, well my wine is naturally fermented…’, and ‘Oh yeah, well my wine is hand sorted by berry.’, by saying “My wines are all of the above, and I was raised by wolves.” – Adam Mason. Adam’s wines are produced in limited quantities, and are made from a selection of unique vineyards from his travels around the Cape, showcasing how interesting and rare the Cape’s vineyards can be. 

 

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