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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May Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubPrisoner-Sparkling_wine-bottleThe Prisoner Wine Company
Unshackled Sparkling
California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This brut-style California wine has a mineral profile, driven by floral notes on the nose. On the palate, there are big, bright notes of green and Fuji apples with Asian pears. Each sip features a vibrant acidity, with a crisp, clean finish.

Varietal: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Aging: 36 months en tirage to ensure the highest quality
Serving Suggestion:
For optimal flavor, refrigerate for at least three hours and serve chilled

Pairing: Serve this fruity wine with shrimp ceviche, fresh oysters, or a supreme pizza.


Prisoner-Sparkling-Rose_wine-bottleThe Prisoner Wine Company
Unshackled Sparkling Rosé
California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This brut-style California wine features a fresh, fruit-forward aroma tempered by a touch of minerality. It offers lively, bright flavors of apricot and yellow peach on the palate. Each sip features a vibrant acidity and a crisp, clean finish.

Varietal: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Aging: 36 months en tirage to ensure the highest quality
Serving Suggestion:
For optimal flavor, refrigerate for at least three hours and serve chilled

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Unshackled is a brand from The Prisoner Wine Company, and recently the official wine of Coachella VIP. It’s made for those who are looking to “break free from convention, stereotypes, and perception”. When their first wine, The Prisoner, was released about two decades ago, it swiftly changed the perception of what a red blend wine could be. Since then, the winery has grown to include a range of rule-bending blends with provocative label designs to become one of the most bold and innovative wine brands in the market. Today, their Director of Winemaking, Chrissy Wittmann and her team of over 100 growers in northern California bring together exceptional fruit to produce a family of unique wines unrestricted by tradition. Learn more about their story here or follow their Instagram @unshackledwines.

Unshackled sparkling wines


Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

 

 

Winery Spotlight Series: June 16 Marietta Cellars

Wine Tasting Event

Marietta Cellars Wines Tasted

Marietta Cellars
Sonoma County, California

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a wine tasting event, featuring Marietta Cellars from Sonoma County, California, with guest speaker Scot Bilbro on Zoom. Owner and Winemaker, Scot Bilbro will be guiding us through a tasting of seven of his Marietta Cellars wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Old Vine Riesling
  • Old Vine Rosé
  • Old Vine Red Lot 71
  • Román Zinfandel
  • Armé Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Christo Red Blend
  • Gibson Block Syrah

To reserve a table and attend the wine tasting in person, please call your local WineStyles store.  Or if you prefer to attend remotely, from the comfort of your home, pre-order a wine tasting kit-to-go and watch on Zoom.

About Marietta Cellars:

Marietta Cellars is a family owned winery in Sonoma County. Chris Bilbro (pictured left) with winemaking roots dating back three generations, founded Marietta Cellars in 1978. Scot Bilbro (pictured right) is now the second generation Winemaker and Owner of Marietta Cellars. Applying his Viticulture and Enology training from UC Davis, Scot keeps yeast happy, manages oxygen’s interaction with the wine, and dials in the temperature range of a fermentation…but the real magic happens in the quiet moments. Hiking the vineyard rows as the fog burns off; checking grapes in the sweltering sun; in the cellar at the end of the night during harvest checking tank temperatures with the palm of his hand. He continues to lead a team that performs magic by transforming hard work, attention to detail, a blessed climate, and exceptional land into beautiful, modern wines. Learn more >

About Scot Bilbro – Owner and Winemaker:

Scot Bilbro grew up admiring his father’s ability to create magic – whether it was with wine, food, or a simple game to entertain Scot and his brothers. Scot learned the ins and the outs of the family’s wine business, and after graduating from UC Davis, decided to return to the family winery to create magic of his own. Scot was uncertain and tentative, but his father gave him the confidence to create beautiful wines of his own. This second-generation winery continues to transform hard work, a blessed climate, special pieces of land, and belief into beautiful liquid expressions of family and place. Learn more here.

June16_Marietta_Eventbrite_header

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Marietta Cellars
Sonoma County, California

June 16, 2021

6:00pm CST/ 7:00pm EST

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Winery Spotlight Series: May 12 Daou Family Estates

2020_DAOU-Family-Estates-Logo_FullVirtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

DAOU Vineyards
Paso Robles, California

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring DAOU Vineyards from Paso Robles, California, with Winemaker and Co-Proprietor, Daniel Daou. During our virtual event, Daniel will be guiding us through a tasting of the following seven DAOU Vineyards wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • DAOU Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles
  • DAOU Chardonnay, Paso Robles
  • DAOU Reserve Chardonnay, Willow Creek
  • DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
  • DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
  • Bodyguard by DAOU, Paso Robles
  • Pessimist by DAOU, Paso Robles

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite. Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Daniel with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Daou Brothers

© Photo by DAOU Vineyards

About Daou Family Estates:

Georges and Daniel Daou are inseparable as brothers, best friends, and visionaries. Family owned and operated, DAOU is committed to producing collectible, world-class wines to rival the most respected appellations in the world. DAOU Mountain stands alone at an elevation of 2,200 feet, rising from the heart of the Adelaida district in the rugged coastal range west of Paso Robles. As stewards of this beautiful terroir, DAOU’s goal is to make unique fine wines that honestly reflect the estate and craft wines that combine Old World tradition with New World techniques. Learn more >

About Daniel Daou – Winemaker and Co-Proprietor:

Daniel combines the training of an engineer with the touch of an artist. These gifts have enabled him to master the art and the science necessary to make transcendent wines. Growing up the larger part of his life in France, Daniel developed a love for wine at a very young age. With the highest scoring Cabernet Sauvignon in the Central Coast region, Daniel’s track record of impeccable quality in the fine wine world continues to garner accolades. Learn more about Daniel here.

May12_Daou_Eventbrite_header (1)

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

DAOU Vineyards
Paso Robles, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

M by Martellotto

Garlic Butter Cod Fish Recipe

Cod Fish Recipe

© Photo by Primavera Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cod fish fillets – This is an affordable white fish that takes on the flavors it’s cooked with. Haddock, Pollack, or Mahi Mahi would make great substitutes.
  • Olive oil – Or use another neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point like vegetable, avocado, or safflower oil.
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic Lemon zest
  • Green onionsfor garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Season the fish

  1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel so the seasonings adhere better to the surface. It will also help the fish crisp on the outside when seared.
  2. Season both sides of the cod fillets with the spices. It may help to mix them together in a small bowl first to get even coverage.

Cook

  1. Next, sear the fish on both sides in hot oil.
  2. Continue cooking until the fish flakes apart, flipping again halfway through.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan with garlic and lemon zest. Coat the fish in the garlic butter.

Garnish and serve

  1. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Then, sprinkle chopped green onions over the top and serve with your favorite sides.

© Recipe courtesy of Olivia of Primavera Kitchen

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Silky stylem-by-martellotto-chardonnayMartellotto Winery
M by Martellotto
Sta. Rita Hills, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

“A Chardonnay lover’s Chardonnay. Sourced from the Spear Vineyards, located a few miles west of the winery in Buellton, off Highway 246 in the Santa Rita Hills. This area is famous for the best, cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Spear Vineyard is CCOF certified organic and located near Seasmoke, which charges $100-200/bottle of their wines!” – Martellotto Winery

The wine was stainless tank fermented and then rested in neutral French oak barrels for 12 months. This Chardonnay has a lovely natural acidity and a light zip in the mouth from the sandy loam vineyard that was covered by the Pacific Ocean millennia ago. The wine is light, delicate, and an eminently drinkable quaffer that pairs with a variety of foods. If you love Chablis and dry, nuanced Chardonnay, then you will love this wine. The M by Martellotto was naturally produced and organically farmed.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
AVA:
Sta. Rita Hills
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Organic
Production: 14 barrels
Oak: 11 months, neutral French Oak

“Santa Barbara remains one of the most fascinating regions in the world. Rich history, a culture of site-specific wines and reasonable pricing make Santa Barbara one of the most exciting and rewarding regions for consumers who want to discover distinctive, high-quality artisan wines that speak of place.” – A. Galloni

ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

The Martellotto family roots trace back to a 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines that speak to his own viticultural passion. From his ancestors’ traditional winemaking in Southern Italy, to his grandfather’s homemade wine during Prohibition, to production in an innovative warehouse facility shared with Barbieri Wine Co. and Lo-Fi wines, Martellotto Winery produces remarkable wines of consequence, consistency, value, and varietal expression. With each bottle, it is the Martellotto family’s desire to share extraordinary, artisanal wines.

THE MARTELLOTTO LABEL:
Professor John Langdon is famous for creating Ambigrams and inspiring Dan Brown to incorporate his graphics in the books and movie around The DaVinci Code. He has only designed one wine label, and that is for Martellotto Winery. The Martellotto label is a spiritual totem, symmetrical down the middle, and a mirror image. The ARTE of the name engages the Art & Science of winemaking. The bottle enumeration demonstrates the handmade, limited availability of these wines.

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Martellotto Melodeon

Brown Butter-Sage Chicken Wings Recipe

Credit: © Todd Porter & Diane Cu

Credit: © Todd Porter & Diane Cu

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 to 8 small sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pound chicken wings, split
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flout, for dredging
  • Vegetable Oil (or other high flashpoint oil), for frying

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and stir in the garlic. Continue cooking the butter until it is light brown and develops a nutty aroma.
  2. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the sage leaves, ground sage, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.

  3. Rinse the chicken wings and pat them dry. Generously season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Dredge the wings in flour, shaking off any excess flour, and set aside.

  4. In a large saucepan or deep fryer, heat the oil to about 375°. Fry the chicken wings in small batches until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Shake off any excess oil and place on paper towels to drain. Continue frying the chicken in batches until all of the wings are cooked.

    Toss the wings in the brown butter sauce and serve warm.

© Recipe courtesy of Todd Porter and Diane Cu of Food and Wine Magazine 

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Martellotto ChardonnaySilky styleMartellotto Winery
Melodeon Chardonnay
Sta. Rita Hills, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

“A Chardonnay lover’s Chardonnay. The fruit in the Martellotto Chardonnay is from the Spear Vineyard, located a few miles west of the winery in Buellton, off Highway 246 in the Santa Rita Hills. This area is famous for the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and we are pleased to be sourcing such high quality fruit. Spear Vineyard is farmed organically and located very near Seasmoke, which charges $100-$200/bottle for their wines!” – Martellotto Winery

This Melodeon Chardonnay was barrel fermented and has a lovely natural acidity and a light zip in the mouth from the sandy loam vineyard that was covered by the Pacific Ocean millennia ago. A broad mouthfeel and yummy vivacity combine with layers of vanilla, toasted hazelnuts, and nutmeg singing into the finish. If you love Chablis and dry, nuanced Chardonnay with layers of depth and a crunchy deliciousness, then you will love this wine.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
AVA:
Sta. Rita Hills
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Organic
Production: 14 barrels
Oak: 11 months, 20% new French Oak

“The daring, innovative spirit embodied by the region’s young producers and a vast range of first-class sites creates conditions that are idea for the production of distinctive, pedigreed wines of the highest level. Best of all, with few exceptions, these wines remain under the radar and very fairly priced relative to global peers.” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:

Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

The Martellotto family roots trace back to a 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines that speak to his own viticultural passion. Located in Buellton, California – in the hottest new AVA region of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara – Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals, with a vineyard first philosophy of gentle handling and minimal intervention.

Through a deft combination of sourcing sustainably farmed grapes from California’s choicest vineyards and deploying creative, progressive blending and fermenting techniques, Martellotto produces outstanding wines that capture pinpoint varietal expression.

Greg has nearly two decades of diverse experience in all facets of the wine business, including import and distribution and working with some of the greatest wines and wineries in California, Piemonte, Tuscany, and Bordeaux, as well as Spain, Chile and Argentina. Consultant Mike Roth, an authority in the fields of biodynamics and natural winemaking, has working under Napa pioneers Mike Grgich and Nils Venge. He has made wine in Santa Barbara at Koehler, Demetria, Martian Ranch, and for his own Lo-Fi brand.

THE MARTELLOTTO LABEL:
John Langdon designed the Martellotto label as a spiritual totem, symmetrical down the middle, and a mirror image. The ARTE of the name recognizes the Art & Science of winemaking. The bottle enumeration demonstrates the handmade, limited availability of these wines. Prof. Landon’s signature ambigram design is located on the bottom right of the back label. Turn the bottle upside down to visualize how his name reads left to right.

Greg Martellotto video

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Martellotto ‘My Way’ Malbec

Lamb Sliders with Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1 large)
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 13 ounces lean ground lamb
  • cooking spray
  • 8 (1.3 ounce) mini-sandwich buns
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sugar to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat; cook 8 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and lamb in a large bowl. Divide lamb mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Broil 6 minutes, turning once after 3 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 3 minutes.
  4. Broil buns, cut sides up, 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with about 1 1/2 tablespoons caramelized onion and about 3/4 teaspoon blue cheese. Cover with top halves of buns.

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoMalbecMartellotto Winery
My Way

Santa Barbara, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

“A Hedonistic wine that is a pleasure to share. This Malbec is the dark horse of Cahors and Argentina. Martellotto produces an outstanding expression from the hottest part of SB County.” – Martellotto Winery

The “My Way” Malbec is dark as night, inky, and redolent with blue fruits. Flavors of dark plum, cherry, and blackberry explode in the glass and the finish is lush with toasty oak, vanilla, and crusted flowers. ‘My Way’ is an awesome California expression on this noble varietal – it’s a velvet glove with an iron fist.

Varietal: 80% Malbec, 20% Petit Verdot
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
AVA: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Sustainable
Production:
20 barrels
Aging:
10 months, 30% new French Oak

HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA:
This new, small AVA was established in 2009. Located in the southeast part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley, this is the hottest part of the valley and furthest from the ocean. Rolling hills sit atop a serpentine-laced terroir that is primarily planted to Bordeaux varietals.


ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:
The Martellotto family roots trace back to 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines what speak to his own viticultural passion. 

Located in Buellton, California, Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals from the hottest new AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Indeed, Martellotto Winery is one of the few California wineries bottling and producing varietal wines from each of the five noble Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Since 2005, Martellotto Winery has produced unique and exciting wines designed to surprise and ignite discerning palates of wine lovers everywhere.

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Greg Martellotto has been making wine since 2005. His peripatetic path has led him to winemaking experience in Mexico, Italy, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. He holds a degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Masters degree from the University of Texas. His global wine experience has provided opportunities to travel to most of the major winemaking regions of the world as both a buyer and a consumer, which informs his style. Equally important and unique among most winemakers, Greg’s experience as an importer and wine buyer provides insiders access to the greatest wines and wineries in the world. In this capacity, he regularly tastes more than 400 wines per month and he knows great wine.

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Skylark Red Belly

Down Home Dig-in Chili

© Bewitching Kitchen

© Bewitching Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, chopped
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt), chopped
  • 4 cans (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle pale ale (12 ounce)
  • 7 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco type), to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Increase heat to high. Add beef and pork; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder chilies, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 2 hours, adding reserved tomato liquid if chili appears dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer until thickened and meat is tender, 2 more hours.
  • Season chili with hot pepper sauce. Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.
  • © Photo courtesy of Bewitching Kitchen; Recipe from Bon Appétit, 1988

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoSkylark Red BellySkylark Wine Company
Red Belly

North Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, black licorice and a violet floral top note completes the engaging and complex nose. The red and black fruits on the palate turn creamy, silky and supple; as the medium-bodied palate is polished with lovely fruit viscosity buffered by inner mouth perfume. This is an eminently drinkable vintage for Red Belly, enjoyable now and for the next decade.

Red Belly is Skylark’s ode to the South of France where blending varietals to create a unique synergy is the way of life. Blending compatible varietals together is a centuries old tradition, and the Skylark team loves the challenges and complexities that come with that tradition. The Red belly is comprised of 40% Niemi Vineyard Carignane, 36% Ashurst Vineyard Syrah and 24% Sawyer Vineyard Grenache. Each varietal is fermented separately, then after secondary fermentation in barrel, the cepage is finalized after multiple blending sessions. The goal for Red Belly is juicy fruit, integrated tannins and early accessibility with mid-term aging potential. Skylark has definitely have achieved that here.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Varietal: 40% Carignan, 36% Syrah, 24% Grenache
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.61
TA: 6.2
Aging: Native yeast vinification of individual varietals in neutral French oak

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyards: Niemi Vineyard – Ashurst Vineyard – Sawyer Vineyard
Produced: 37 barrels – 925 cases

“While we continuously explore the fertile California landscape for red wine vineyards that excite us, our current releases are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Our single vineyard Syrahs are inspired by the Northern Rhone wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Our Grenache is reflective of the great wines produced in the south of France in tiny villages such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We love the style of these wines and have discovered vineyards in Northern California that allow these varietals to truly shine.”

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Skylark Pinot Blanc

Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Scallops

Creamy Lemon Scallop Pasta

© Spices in my DNA

INGREDIENTS:

For the scallops

  • 1 pound jumbo scallops, side muscle removed
  • small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

For the pasta

  • 9 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the scallops

  1. Make sure scallops are super dry, pat down thoroughly with paper towels until they’re dry. Season with pepper (no salt yet). Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Once melted, wipe out the pan so that only a thin layer of oil and butter remain. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and sear on the other side for 1 minute or until just cooked through. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water generously. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to scoop out the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, or right before you drain it.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly. If it seems too hot, reduce the heat to medium (you don’t want the garlic to brown). Add the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup), mascarpone, ricotta, parmesan, and lemon zest, and stir until melted and creamy. Add the pasta and toss until coated. If the sauce seems too dry, add another splash of pasta water and toss until desired consistency is reached. Add the chopped basil and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops over the pasta, and garnish with extra fresh basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

© Recipe from Spices in my DNA

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSkylark Wine Company
Pinot Blanc
Mendocino County, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

Light straw yellow in color. High-toned aromatics of lime peel, roasted lemon, Granny Smith apple and a complicating note of pebbled soil. Intense and penetrating on the palate, the flavors follow through with the roasted lemon and green apple enlivened by natural acidity. Deftly light and concentrated at the same time, with the crunchy fruit streaming into a palate-staining finish.

One of Skylark’s oldest vineyard sources is Bernie Orsi’s Pinot Blanc outside of Hopland in Mendocino, California. Originally planted by John Fetzer in the 1970s, John and Robert walked through the oldest block of this site in 2005. Impressed by the thick, stubby trunks and gnarled old vines, they signed on to purchase that section for harvest 2005.  They have now grown production to almost the entire vineyard for Skylark’s Pinot Blanc bottling. After picking, the fruit is whole cluster pressed into a tank, then racked to Mueller stainless steel barrels for fermentation. Stirred the lees once, blocked malolactic fermentation and bottled with a light filtration. No doubt, this vintage of Pinot Blanc will brighten your day.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Analysis: 13.2% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.28 g/L
TA: 7.1
Aging:
Whole cluster pressed and vinification in multiple stainless steel 75gl barrels

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyard: Orsi Vineyard
Cases Produced: 800

“To reflect our palates, the portfolio at Skylark includes crisp, flavorful, aromatic white wines and full-bodied, rich, spicy red wines. As we have long admired the beautiful white wines produced in Alsace and Austria, our Pinot Blanc is a California rendition of a classic European varietal.”

 

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Winery Spotlight Series: Dec. 9th Skylark Wine Company

Skylark Wine Company Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Skylark Wine Company

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring the co-proprietors of our December Wine Club, John Lancaster and Robert Perkins, from Skylark Wine Company. During our virtual event, John and Robert will be guiding us through a tasting of our December Wine Club wines and other Skylark wines too. The following 6 wines featured during the tasting will be:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Skylark Pink Belly Rosé 
  • Skylark Orsi Vineyard Pinot Blanc
  • Skylark Red Belly
  • Skylark Grenache  
  • Skylark Las Aves 
  • Skylark Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah 

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside John and Robert with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.Skylark Wines

About Skylark Winery:

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. Skylark Wine Company was formed. Learn more about Skylark Wine Company here.

John Lancaster – Co-Proprietor

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, 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 the 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. John resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins – Co-Proprietor

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: 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.”

 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Skylark Wine Company
Mendocino County, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com