January Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubLaurent-Perrier-Cuvee-webLaurent-Perrier
La Cuvée Brut Champagne
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This wine comes from the purest grape juice and allows Laurent‑Perrier to craft “La Cuvée”, a champagne of great finesse and a beautiful freshness obtained after a long ageing process in their cellars. Laurent-Perrier’s style and personality are defined by its very high proportion of Chardonnay. Purity, freshness and elegance – essential characteristics, expressed in this champagne which embodies the spirit of the House.

La Cuvée is pale, gold in color with fine bubbles that feed a persistent mousse. It has a delicate nose with hints of fresh citrus and white flowers, while on the palate the wine’s complexity is expressed with successive notes of vine peach and white fruit. There is a perfect balance between freshness and delicacy with fruity flavors that are very present on the finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: La Cuvée is a blend made from over 100 Crus selected by Laurent-Perrier

  • A majority of Chardonnay, over 50%
  • Pinot Noir, between 30% and 35%
  • Rounded out with Meunier, between 10% and 15%
  • + Reserve wines between 15% and 30% to ensure perfect consistency in style

Vinification and Aging: For blending, only the musts of the Cuvée are used, so only 80% of the grape juice is extracted from pressing. The ideal aging is around 4 years in the cellar, and its balance and freshness are enhanced by a light dosage.
Serving Temperature: Serve between 46.4ºF – 50ºF
Food Pairing: Perfect as an aperitif or paired alongside poultry or the finest fish.

ABOUT LAURENT-PERRIER:
Laurent-Perrier is a Champagne house founded in 1812. Nestled in a Grand Cru village at the crossroads of three main winegrowing areas, Laurent-Perrier is the largest female-owned, family-run, fiercely independent estates focusing exclusively on champagne. Passed down from generation to generation, Laurent-Perrier continues to offer unique experiences for champagne lovers all over the world. Learn more about their story here.

Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

 

 

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.


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

Learn more about our Premium Club >

 
 
 

 

Maison Louis Latour Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées

Rack of LambGarlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of garlic (cloves peeled)
  • ¼ cup rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 racks of lamb, frenched (2 pounds each)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary and olive oil and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Season the lamb racks with salt and pepper and rub the garlic-rosemary oil all over them. Set the racks fat side up on a large rimmed baking sheet and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roast the lamb in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the racks and roast for 10 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. Transfer the racks to a carving board, stand them upright and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Carve the racks in between the rib bones and transfer to plates. Serve right away.

© Recipe courtesy of Kenny Rochford from Food & Wine.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

pinot noir les pierres dorees
Louis Latour
Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées
Burgundy, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Les Pierres Dorées Pinot Noir has an intense, bright red color with red-garnet hues. On the nose, there are notes of flowers, red berries and soft spices. On the palate, it is round and full-bodied. It has a great deal of freshness with long under notes of black fruits.

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Analysis:
13-13.2% alcohol / volume
Region: Beaujolais, France
Village: Les Pierres Dorées
Appellation: Burgundy
Average Vine Age:
7 years
Soil: Clay and limestone with Iron-oxide
Harvest: Mechanical
Fermentation: Traditional in open vats
Aging: 10 to 12 months aging in stainless steel vats and oak barrels
Barrels: Louis Latour cooperage, French oak, medium toasted
Cellaring Potential: 5-7 years
Serving Temperature: 57.2-60.8ºF
Food Pairing: Rack of lamb, quail with grapes, red tuna tartare, sea bass, goat cheese, red fruit soup
Critical Acclaim:
James Suckling 2018, 89 pts

WINERY NOTES:
Maison Louis Latour once again exports its Burgundian know-how outside of the Côte d’Or. After the great successes of Ardèche and Var, they decided to repeat the experience in the heart of Beaujolais with the planting of 20 hectares of Pinot Noir. The calcareous soil rich in iron oxide gives a very particular ochre color, and the high altitude contribute to produce a surprising wine which associates richness and freshness with a beautiful aromatic complexity. This region offers beautiful argilo-calcareous soils, the plots selected by Maison Louis Latour form two islands and are situated on the villages of Morancé and Theizé. With a continental moderate climate, vineyards benefit from an ideal period of sunshine but the temperatures are relatively fresh due to an elevation between 280 and 400 meters.

ABOUT MAISON LOUIS LATOUR:
Founded in 1797, Maison Louis Latour has been apart of Burgundian history for more than two centuries. Authentic and independent, the winery is now run by the 11th generation of the founding family. The family is determined to preserve the winery’s unique heritage. Today, the Latour’s family Domaine spreads over 50 hectares of exceptional vineyards. Learn more about their history here.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn More >

 
 
 

 

Estate Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Gruyère Recipe

Thanksgiving stuffing with sausage

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, about 1 lb. (500 g), crust removed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. (500 g) pork breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) grated Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ cup (1/4 oz./7 g) chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Using the melted butter, grease the bottom and sides of 9″x13″ (23cm x 33cm) baking dish.
  2. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until dried but not browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered but the bacon is not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery and garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables are softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the stock and whisk until combined.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage mixture to a very large bowl; discard any fat and liquid remaining in the pan. Add the bread cubes and cheese to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the stock mixture to the bowl and toss until the bread cubes are evenly moistened. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Stir in the sage and thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared dish and bake until the stuffing is set and the top is golden brown and lightly crisped, about 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10 to 12.

© Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma and Chris Lanier, co-founder and chef of Ravenwood, Kerhonkson, NY.

NOVEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoEstate-Cellars-Cabernet (1)Estate Cellars
2019 Estate Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Central Coast, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of red wines and at Clos LaChance there is no exception. Cabernet is the largest volume of acreage for a single varietal on their estate and made up of over six different clones on four different root stocks. The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has always been a top performer for quality and the flag ship of the Clos LaChance portfolio.  They stay true to the style and the terroir on their Estate that presents an approachable and elegant style of Cabernet that is crafted for your everyday indulgence. The wine is ready to drink now and can be laid down for several years as well.

TASTING NOTES:
Dark Plum in color, the 2019 Estate Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied with medium acid and high tannins. On the nose, there are flavors of cassis, tea leaf, and blackberry jam. On the palate, there are notes of cedar, huckleberry and molasses.

Varietal: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Malbec
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume

Aged: 16 months on 25% new French oak, 10% new American oak, 65% neutral French and American oak
Harvest Date: Oct. 2 – Oct. 31
Average Brix at Harvest: 25.0
pH: 3.61
TA: 0.62
Sugar: 0.13 g/L
Food Pairings: Braised Short Ribs, Vegetarian Lasagna
Cheese Pairings: Gruyére, or with the November Cheese Club selections.
Critical Acclaim: 95 pts. justwinepoints.com

 

 

California Certified Sustainable logoWINEMAKER NOTES:
The Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from some of the finest vineyards throughout the Central Coast of California, ranging from San Francisco and Livermore in the north to Paso Robles in the south. The grapes are handpicked and hand sorted prior to a 72-hour cold soak at 40°F. During fermentation, the wine is pumped over four times per day during peak fermentation to maximize extraction. Post fermentation, the wine is held on skins for 24 hours to extend maceration and provide even more color and tannin extraction. The wine is then aged on 25% new French oak and 10% new American oak, and the remainder is aged on a mix of neutral American and French oak.

HARVEST NOTES:
The 2019 Estate Cellars’ Cabernet Sauvignon, similar to the previous two vintages, was notated as one of the latest starts to their season’s harvest. The winters have prolonged their growing seasons as the increasingly wet soils allow the vines time to mature at a healthy rate. The above average rainfall in the spring gave rise to a later than average bud break and bloom, which allowed the weather time to warm up and decrease any concerns of destructive frost. The summer temperatures were well below the seasonal average with only four days of 100+ degree temperatures (in previous years, they saw 11-16 days over 100 degrees). These even and mild temperature changes gave the winery an ideal growing season that pushed them well into November. They believe this hang time has shaped up to provide high quality wine and one of their best vintages to date.

Clos LaChance logoABOUT ESTATE CELLARS:
From the family owned and operated winery Clos LaChance, based in the Northern Central Coast region of California, Estate Cellars was established as their secondary, high-quality line made to reach additional markets with a unique label. Clos LaChance Winery and Estate Vineyard is proud to be Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The winery stays true to the style of their terroir by creating approachable and elegant wines. Learn more here.


Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn More >

 
 
 

 

Alella Vinícola Costa Del Maresme

Skirt Steak

Credit: © Tina Rupp

Skirt Steak with Moroccan Spice Rub and Yogurt Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ pounds skirt steak, cut into 6-inch lengths
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Moroccan Spice Rub
  • ¾ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large pita breads, for serving
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Light a grill. Rub the steaks all over with 3 tablespoons of the spice rub and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, scallions, garlic, jalapeños and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice rub. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare meat. Brush the pitas with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steaks across the grain. Transfer the steaks to a platter and serve with the toasted pita, yogurt sauce and lettuce leaves.

© Recipe courtesy of Grace Parisi of Food & Wine.

OCTOBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoCosta_del_Maresme_Red-Wine-2020-tech-sheet (1)Alella Vinícola
Costa del Maresme

Alella, Spain

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Costa del Maresme is 100% Mediterranean in character. The nose and palate both highlight the ripe bunches of the Red Grenache and Syrah grapes.

Varietal: 90% Red Grenache, 10% Syrah
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Analysis: 14.0% alcohol / volume
Aging: Aged over lees around 8 months
Yield: 22 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 35 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100 m, SE
Soil: Granites (“Sauló”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 12,000 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 4 years
 

WINEMAKER NOTES:
“Depending on the final ripeness of the different vineyards and varieties, each harvest’s final blend is formed. Varietal base was shared by Red Grenache and complemented with Syrah.” – Alella Vinícola

Alella Vinícola logoABOUT ALELLA VINÍCOLA:
Alella Vinícola is a family winery passed down from generation to generation since 1906. Located just 9 miles north of Barcelona, the winery currently produces, makes and bottles wines and cavas in two designated origins, D.O. Alella and D.O. Cava. Now owned and operated by brothers Samuel and Xavier Garcia, they produce around 90,000 bottles each year, comprised of a dozen different wines. The brothers continue ensure they are producing all of their wines organically, free of herbicides, insecticides and inorganic fertilizers. Learn more about winery here.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn More >