August Sweet Club Iowa

 

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

NECTAR WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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


BEXBEX Winery
Riesling
Nahe, Germany

NECTAR WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

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


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July Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne_Taittinger_Brut_La_Francaise-bottleTaittinger
Brut La Française
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Taittinger Brut La Française is pale gold in color with fine, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there are delicate aromas of peach, white flowers, vanilla pods, and brioche and the on the palate there are flavors of fresh fruit and honey. Excellent with foods such as seafood and white meat.

Analysis: 12.3% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier
Appellation: Champagne, France
Aging: 3-4 years on lees
Winemaker: Alexandre Ponnavoy

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Taittinger Brut La Française is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from at least 35 villages. The high proportion of Chardonnay (40%) is unique among fine nonvintage Champagnes. The presses are located in the vineyard for immediate pressing of the fruit after the manual harvest, and the resulting must is cold fermented under temperature-controlled conditions. After resting until the end of winter, the wine is blended, and then the final cuvée undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle in Taittinger’s cool cellars. The aging of Brut La Française on the lees for almost 4 years, more than double the legal minimum of 15 months. This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Taittinger family has managed the Champagne House for nearly a century. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, grandson of the founder, has maintained this commitment for 40 years and today he shares it with his son, Clovis and his daughter, Vitalie who both work beside him. Their aim is to always achieve excellence with their work. “Having our family name on a bottle places demands and responsibilities on every minute. It conveys both the skills and knowledge of the past and a commitment to the future,” Clovis Taittinger.  Champagne Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. The firm is distinguished for its extensive vineyard holdings of 752 acres, including prestigious Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims regions. Unlike most large houses, Champagne Taittinger relies primarily on estate grapes for its portfolio of Champagnes. Also unique are the higher proportion of Chardonnay in its wines that gives Taittinger its signature style, and the time devoted to aging the wines before release—most often greatly exceeding the legal requirement, in a practice that also has become a Taittinger hallmark.
 Learn more about the family business here.

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June Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubMumm_Napa_Brut_PrestigeMumm Napa
Brut Prestige
Napa Valley, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Brut Prestige is Mumm Napa’s signature sparkling wine. It is relaxed, yet elegant, featuring bright flavors of citrus, red apple, stone fruit and vanilla with notes of honey, and gingerbread spice. Its vibrant flavors are balanced by a fine acidity and a rich, lingering finish.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Gris & Pinot Meunier
Residual Sugar: 1.1%
Style: Brut
TA: 7.0 g/l
pH: 3.15
Time en Tirage: 18 months
Aging Potential: Drink now
Critical Acclaim: 
91 Points Wine Enthusiast – March 2017

FOOD PAIRING: This wine pairs beautifully with hors d’oeuvres, crab cakes, smoked salmon, fresh greens, salads, or grilled chicken and vegetables.

VINEYARDS:
The Brut Prestige is a blend comprised of the best selected grapes from different grower locations across the Napa appellation. Each harvest, the grapes are hand-picked in the mornings to ensure they arrive to the winery in perfect condition.

WINEMAKING:
Fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures, this preserves the fruit’s intensity and freshness. A few select logs are aged in French oak barrels to add depth, complexity and spiciness. From there, the finished blend goes through a second fermentation with about 18 month’s yeast aging, adding complexity, and layers of yeast dough and creaminess. Next, the wine is disgorged in brut style and part of the dosage is added back after being aged for another 3 months to balance the acidity. 


Mumm_Napa_Brut_Rose_Tech_Sheet_-_ConsumerMumm Napa 
NV Brut Rosé 
Napa Valley, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Mumm Napa’s signature Rosé is coral-pink in color. It features fresh aromas of black cherries, red berries, and citrus. On the palate, this Brut Rosé has mouth-filling flavors of rich, robust red fruit flavors, rounding out to a very elegant finish. The Pinot Noir is responsible for the soft texture and forward fruitiness, while the Chardonnay plays a roll in the wine’s structure and elegance.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa County
Residual Sugar:
1.15%
Style: Brut
TA:
7.0 g/l
pH: 3.10
Time en Tirage: 18 months
Critical Acclaim: 91 points Wine Enthusiast – December 2015

FOOD PAIRING: Pairs beautifully with creamy cheeses, grilled salmon, roast duck, or spicy Italian or Asian dishes.

VINEYARDS:
Each harvest, the Brut Rosé blend is selected from the best grapes from up to 50 grower locations throughout the Napa appellation. Similar to Mumm Brut Prestige, the grapes are hand-harvested in the early mornings to ensure they arrive at the winery in perfect condition.

WINEMAKING:
Each individual vineyard lot is fermented separately at cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, this helps to preserve the individual flavors, freshness and intensity of each fruit. A few select lots are aged in French Oak barrels to create further depth and complexity to the wine. To create the coral-pink color of the wine, a small amount of red Pinot Noir is added to the blend before being bottled. From there, the wine is yeast aged for an average of 18 months to add further complexity and creaminess to the wine. Next, the wine is disgorged and a dosage is added back to balance out the wine’s acidity. The dosage includes a Pinot Noir fermented in traditional Burgundian fashion, creating an extra layer of depth, color and robust fruitiness to the wine.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Established in California in the late 1970’s, Mumm Napa follows traditions from their French heritage. Their roots can be traced back to a leading International Champagne in France, GH Mumm. Today, the winery continues to follow traditional French wine making techniques to create their award winning, hand-crafted sparkling wines. Learn more about their story here.

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April Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Shallots

Beef Tenderloin with Shallots

© Photo by All Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

© Recipe courtesy of Christine L. from All Recipes.

APRIL WINE CLUB:

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

Lalande de Pomerol, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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


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

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February Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubGustave_Lorentz_Cremant_dAlsace_Brut_Rose_Fact_new-format_JCGustave Lorentz
Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Cremant d’Alsace Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, which is full of charm and elegance. It makes a refined aperitif and an ideal cocktail or reception drink. Fresh and discreetly fruity, it inspires a host of gastronomic matches. This refined wine also works with hot and cold seafood appetizers, chicken, pork and other white meats & game, as well as some desserts. Serve chilled.

Analysis: 12.3% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 7.8 g/l
Producer: Gustave Lorentz
Region: AOC Alsace
Country: France

WINEMAKING:
The grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to “Methode Champenoise.” After traditional fermentation “vin de base” in tanks, a second fermentation (“prise de mousse”) takes place in the cool cellars. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Aging is done “sur lie” between 14 and 18 months, with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle. At the time of “degorgement,” the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1836, Maison Gustave Lorentz owned 33 hectares of land on the hillsides of Bergheim in the heart of the Alsace wine region, 12.8 hectares of which are classified Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, and 1.75 hectares Grand Cru Kanzlerberg. The first mention of the Lorentz family in the commune of Ribeauvillé dates back to the end of the Thirty Years’ War in the second half of the 17th century. They were innkeepers or coopers as well as ‘gourmets’, the old name given to wine merchants, which afforded them an important status in the local community. In 1748, winegrower and blacksmith Jean-Georges Lorentz was the first to settle in Bergheim, which later became the heart of our domaine. His son, Pierre Lorentz, was married to the youngest daughter of the Mayor of the time (Nicolas Schmitt). Generations passed with the birth of Jacques Lorentz in 1798 and Charles Lorentz in 1836. This same year, Maison Lorentz was founded in the commune of Bergheim. Today, Georges Lorentz has the honor of managing the estate, seven generations later.
To learn more about Gustave Lorentz Winery and family, click here.

Gustave Lorentz Vineyard

© Photo by: Gustave Lorentz Winery


Alma 4 Alma 4
Blanc de Blanc
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Alma 4’s Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay is greenish yellow in color with slight tints of gold. It has persistent and delicate chains of small bubbles. The nose is quite shocking. It has strong flavors of fruits, such as fresh pear, as well as some citrus notes of mandarin peel and Kinoto. The fruit is balanced, the yeast is subtle, and the wood flavor is complex. On the mouth, it is creamy and fully. There is a harmony of sugar to acidity with an exotic fruit finish. It is long and complex. Intense and fresh. This sparkling wine is tasted with the 5 senses.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Residual Sugar: 4.7 g/l
Acidity: 7.05 g/l
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Appellation:
Uco Valley
Vineyard: Sustainably farmed – 1200-1550 meters in elevation
Production:Traditional method (Champenoise) using direct pressing. Fermentation begins at 59-64.4ºF for 20 days. 15% of Chardonnay is fermented in French oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. The second fermentation is in bottles between 57.2º F and 60.8º F.
Disgorgement:
Performed manually
Time on Yeasts: 40 months

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Alma Cuatro (or Alma 4) began in 1999 as an experimental sparkling wine-making project led by four young people from Mendoza, with a strong investigative spirit: Mauricio, Agustín, Marcela and Sebastián. With passion, perseverance, friendship and work, these four friends came together to create a line of sparkling wines made by second fermentation in the bottle — combining innovation with the avant-garde method.
Learn more about these four friends and owners here.

Alma 4 Friends

© Photo by Alma 4

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Winery Spotlight Series: Feb. 24th E.Guigal

Guigal Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

E. Guigal

Rhône Valley, Ampuis, France

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring E. Guigal wines from Rhône Valley, with guest speaker Patrick Will, Vintus VP of Brand Management. During our virtual event, Patrick will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Côtes du Rhône Rosé
  • Côtes du Rhône Blanc
  • St. Joseph Blanc
  • Crozes-Hermitage Rouge​
  • Côtes du Rhône Rouge
  • Gigondas
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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 Patrick with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Guigal WinesAbout E. Guigal:

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis; a small, ancient village at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It is overlooked by unique vineyards where vines and wine have been celebrated for over 2,400 years. The founder went on to make wine for 67 vintages in the Côte-Rôtie appellation. Today, Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe Guigal, along with their families, are the guardians of this exceptional domain which combines history, devotion and a sense of togetherness. A breath of inspiration for generations to come. Learn more about E. Guigal here.

Vineyards:

The Maison Guigal upholds the highest level of respect for their vine through their relentless commitment to the preservation of each ancient plot. In each season, growers pay close attention to the maturation of the grapes. From budding through to harvest in September, they tend the vines to ensure that each plant survives the winter months unharmed and are nourished by the sun and the rain once spring arrives. Every measured and precise act of care and attention has been handed down through the generations who have looked after this first-class terroir. Learn more about their vineyards here.

About Patrick T. Will,
Vice President, Vintus Brand Management and Development

Patrick T. Will

Patrick T. Will

Patrick joined Vintus in late 2010 when Vintus purchased his national importing company Ex Cellars Wine Agencies, Inc., and merged two dynamic portfolios.  Prior to joining Vintus, Patrick had extensive experience in the wine trade, including time in both retail and winery production. From 1988 to 1996 he was General Manager of Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, CA, where he worked with consultant André Tchelistcheff.  Patrick served as President of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association from 1991-1994.  In late 1996 he formed Ex Cellars with Fred Ek, and spent nearly 15 years developing and managing the US sales as the exclusive importer of E. Guigal, Domaine des Baumard, D. Milhade, Domaine Talmard, and Dog Point Vineyard, among others.  In 2008 Patrick was inducted into the Echansonnerie des Pâpes, the wine brotherhood of Châteauneuf du Pape, and he was honored as “Person of the Year” by Hospice du Rhône in 2011, recognizing his long association with the wines of France’s Rhône valley.  He is a frequent guest lecturer on the Rhône Valley and other topics at the CIA Wine School in St. Helena, California and he currently serves on the board of World of Pinot Noir.  Patrick wears “multiple hats” at Vintus: he oversees sales in 5 states, manages 10 brands within the Vintus portfolio, and supplies educational assistance as needed. Patrick lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Donna.  He reports to company President Michael Quinttus. 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

E. Guigal
Ampuis, France

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

January Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubAntech Brut NatureAntech
Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Limoux, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our Brut Nature wines are made with “zero dosage”, which means that no “expedition liqueur” (sugar) has been added to the bottle. They respect and reveal the purest expression of our painstakingly selected grapes and our blends — berries, linden tree flowers, crisp green apple, anise, etc. — depending on the cuvées.” – Antech

This wine has not received any dosage and thus it expresses the purity and liveliness of the wine. With a crystalline yellow color and golden highlights, the fineness of the bubbles are delightful. The intense nose offers delicate aromas of hawthorn and a pretty fresh mouth of citrus aromas with a very harmonious finish, where the wine can express itself. Taste it as an aperitif or along with the meal. Serve chilled (45-47°F).

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin, 5% Chardonnay
Vinification: Traditional Method, exclusively handpicked harvest. Direct pressing of the grapes and selected musts are set for a first fermentation in inox vat under controlled temperature. Finally, blending and a second fermentation are completed in capped bottles on lattes for around 18th months in air conditioned cellars.
Critical Acclaim: 90 points from Decanter

VINEYARD:
This wine is grown with an oceanic influence in a Mediterranean climate on hillsides and terraces with gently sloping clay-limestone soil. On average, the vine age is about 20 to 40 years old and yields less than 50 hectares. For over five centuries, Antech has tamed this magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. The secret of their character lies in the wise combination of Limoux’s three terroirs, which form the backbone of their cuvées: freshness from the Pyrenees, vinousness from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. Limoux is a lovely little Languedoc town in the heart of Cathar country.  Learn more about their vineyards here.
ABOUT THE WINERY:

Family owned and independent for 6 generations, the Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of sparkling wines in Limoux, legendary sparkling wine area. Forerunner in the regional anchoring and the revival of the traditions, the Antech Estate distinguishes itself by a distinctive style, from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action.

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CollectionDomaine Charles Baur
Crémant d’Alsace Brut
Eguisheim, Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Crémant is a style of sparkling wine from France, with strict regulations that govern the production methods. Alsace, as a Crémant producing region, dates back to the 19th century and typically have fine mousse (bubbles).

This Crémant, or Brut sparkling white wine, offers a complex nose of apples, pears, white flowers, and a touch of melon. On the palate, this sparkler is fresh, delicate, well-balanced, and provides a fantastic mouthfeel. It pairs nicely with seafood, oysters, and desserts, but can also be enjoyed on its own any time.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 80% Pinot Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
Appellation: AOC Crémant d’Alsace
Harvest Method:
Manuel harvest with sorting
Vinification:
Pneumatic pressing of whole grapes with selection of juices. Prize de Mousse in bottles at low temperature. Stored, then disgorged.
Critical Acclaim:
92 points Wine Enthusiast 

VINEYARD:
The vines are located in Eguisheim and the surrounding area. Predominately clay-limestone, the slopes of Eguisheim have weak to steep slopes. Protected by the Vosges, rainfall is low, which promotes maturation and limits disease. To learn more about Domaine Charles Baur’s Vineyard, click here.

Alsace wines Charles Baur Eguisheim_ Crémant d'Alsace Brut

Photo by Domaine Charles Baur

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in Eguisheim, in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the Charles Baur family cultivates vines located on the slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate surroundings. Their beautiful wine heritage is made up of several plots located on the Grands Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg. With the aim of producing great Alsace wines, they seek moderate yields and harvest and sort all of their production by hand. In order to ensure a high level of quality every year, they exclusively produce wines with their own harvest grapes. The Charles Baur Winery develops the entire range of Alsace wines, a very wide range of Grands Crus and several Crémants d’Alsace.

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December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

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Pairing Recipe August Wine Club

August Wine Club

Abbotts and Delaunay
A Tire d’ Aile
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
Cotes Du Roussillon
France

Cotes Roussillon bottleStemmed from the encounter of two passionate winemakers, Abbotts & Delaunay wines embody the know-how of Nerida Abbott and Laurent Delaunay.

A Tire d’Aile is a range of delectable, balanced and elegant wines from classic appellations in the Languedoc region. Respecting both the soil and the vines, healthy grapes are produced with good concentration much to the delight of the birds that live in the plots.

The grapes for this wine hail from three of Roussillon’s famed terroirs; Montner (a temperate zone producing grapes that lend depth to the wine), Tautavel (a hot, dry terroir whose grapes add complexity) and Caramany (a cooler area with grapes that lend elegance). The grapes are handpicked. The Syrah and Grenache grapes are vinified traditionally while the Carignan undergoes whole bunch maceration. Pairs great with grilled meats, poultry in puff pastry and Mediterranean cuisine.

Deep in color with carmine hues, this wine has aromas of raspberry, violet, licorice and blackberry underscored by spicy notes. Full-bodied from the start with soft tannins and long on the finish.” – Laurent Delaunay, winemaker

 

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta

Pairs well, complementing the earthy, fruit forward flavors in a Languedoc red.

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta plate

INGREDIENTS:
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 1b mild Italian pork sausage
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1-½ cups baby kale
• 7 oz. canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 lb dried penne pasta
• pinch red pepper flakes, optional
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 5 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving

DIRECTIONS:
• Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
• In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pork sausage, breaking it up and cook until browned. Add the red onion slices and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low.
• Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.
• Drain the pasta. Add the beans to the sausage mixture, pasta, Parmesan cheese and reserved pasta water. Stir to mix and gently mix in the baby kale. Serve with extra cheese. Serves 4.  © Photo and recipe Always Ravenous, adapted from French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson.

Grenache Blanc Pairing Recipe

Fish Lasagna
fish-lasgana
INGREDIENTS:

•  Lasagne sheets
•  18 – 21 oz (500-600g) varied fish fillets (salmon, mackerel, Pollack, etc).
•  2 jars tomato sauce (home-made tomato sauce is best)
•  1 tub of soft cream cheese flavored with tomato
•  2 tablespoons crème fraiche (thick, heavy creme with buttermilk)
•  2 tablespoons mustard
•  grated Gruyère (or mozzarella)
•  salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the fish in a court-bouillon or steam it (or even microwave it).  Mix the flaked fish with cream cheese, mustard and crème fraiche, season with salt and pepper.

Start to assemble the lasagne; a layer of tomato sauce, a layer of fish mixture, a layer of lasagne sheets….and repeat the process.

Finish with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle over grated Gruyère or mozzarella.

Bake in the oven at 390°F (200°c) for around 35 minutes.  Serves 4. Recipe courtesy of Vinadeis of France.

Chx-Tour-de-Montredon_Blanc_SMSilky_StickerTour de Montredon
Grenache Blanc
Corbieres, France

The Montredon Cooperative Winery was established in 1938. It is situated in a splendid location of the Corbieres region amidst impressive surrounding hills. The vineyards cover 8 hectares near the Labade Hills. The parcels are sheltered from the wind; this enables the grapes to reach exceptional levels of maturity and concentration. The vines are grown on a mosaic of terroirs with many geological nuances – limestone, clay, shale and pebble.  Winemaker Dauga, can also be viewed as an artist and an author, expressing the terroir and producing real, authentic, well-made styles of wine. Enjoy this Grenance Blanc with fish, shellfish and seafood.

winemaker-Olivier-DaugaA beautiful pale yellow color. The nose developed aromas of flowers and anise.  Fresh and fruity, this wine is long and rich on the palate”, winemaker Olivier Dauga.

Winemaker: Olivier Dauga
Appellation: Corbieres, France
Varietal Blend:  60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne
Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume, 3.1 pH, 6.9 g/l TA
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine