January Premium Wine Club

Mellow style logoRuffion-modus-wine-bottleRuffino
Modus Toscana IGT
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, and complex, fruity and intense on the nose. The initial aromas are of mature black fruits, such as cherries, plums, and small blackberries typical of Sangiovese. There are also floral notes that are complimented by hints of spiced cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is full-bodied and harmonious with modern Super Tuscan finesse and style. This wine is rich with soft tannins and flavors of mature blackberry fruit that lead to a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 37% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano Estate
Soil:
Hilly land with clay, limestone, and a small percentage of silt
Micro-climate:
Variable with good diurnal temperature swings, especially during summer
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
12,000 per acre
Age of vineyards:
Recently planted
First Year of Production:
1997
Food Pairings: Wonderful on its own, or serve with bold dishes such as duck with olives and pancetta, beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce, or aged cheeses such as T
aleggio, Pecorino and/or Gouda.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Only the best grapes are selected in the vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness when picked. They are again sorted prior to pressing. Due to a warm and dry growing season, the harvest began earlier than usual, as the high summer temperatures led to beautiful fruit maturation.
Fermentation: Each varietal was vinified independently, fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 10 days. The wine was then allowed to macerate on the skins for another 2 weeks.
Aging: After completing malolactic fermentation, the 3 varietals were blended and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of first and second use.


Ruffio-riserva-ducale-wine-bottleMellow style logoRuffino
Riserva Ducale
Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, the nose has an elegant bouquet characterized by violet, cherries, wild berries and plums. There are hints of tobacco, clove and eucalyptus. On the palate, the Riserva Ducale is balance and constant with delicate tannins. The vibrant acidity characterizes this wine, which is typical of Sangiovese’s grapes. The finish is persistent and a good structure completes the entire taste sensation.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
The Riserva Ducale grapes came from owned vineyards and selected growers vineyards located in the traditional Chianti Classico production area, stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence. Ruffino traditionally works with a small stable of hand-selected growers, chosen as carefully as the Ruffino vineyards.
Soil: Typical of the Chianti Classico area; a mix of clay and limestone with an abundant presence of “Galestro” rock.
Altitude:
Variable from 951 to 1,476 feet above sea level
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
about 12,350 vines/acre
Bottle Aging:
A minimum of 3 months
First Year of Production:
1927
Food Pairings: Enjoy this timeless Tuscan gem with Italian favorites such as prosciutto and other antipasti, mushroom risotto, pasta Bolognese, and chicken cacciatore. Or, pair it with simple grilled meats and roasted vegetables for a classic Tuscan meal.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The vintage was characterized by a very hot season with a good maturation of the grapes, which led to a slightly early harvest.
Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and maceration were aided by pumping over, which took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats for approximately 16 days.
Aging: The Riserva Ducale aged for 24 months, 12 in big oak casks and the rest in concrete vats.


Mellow style logoRuffino Riserva Ducale OroRuffino
Riserva Ducale Oro
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Riserva Ducale Oro is also Ruby Red in color with hues of garnet. It is powerfully aromatic with cherry, plum, and violet with notes of eucalyptus, chocolate and spicy black pepper. The complexity is an authentic expression of Sangioveses and Classic Chiantis. The wine is full-bodied and powerfully fruity with elegant tannins, perfectly supported by a good acidity. The finish is characterized by pleasantly sweet tobacco, plums, and balsamic herbs. This Riserva Ducale Oro will age gracefully for decades.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
83% Sangiovese, 12% Merlot, 5% Colorino
Grape Sourcing:
Selected from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame estates, located in the heart of Castellina in Chianti.
Soil: Hilly land with poor, rocky, ‘galestro’ soils of mixed clay and sand
Microclimate:
Characterized by hot, dry summers with high diurnal temperature swings, which allow for optimal grape maturation.
Altitude:
820-1,300 feet above sea level
Sun Exposure:
Predominantly south, southwest, and southeast
Growing System:
Cordon-trained
Vine density:
10,000 per acre
Age of Vineyards: 
Vine yield: 12 tons per acre
First Year of Production:
1947
Food Pairings: Traditional Italian dishes pair exquisitely with this wine. Try with a pasta Bolognese, wild boar ragu, or eggplant Parmesan. It also pairs beautifully with American dishes such as grilled rib-eye and roasted vegetables.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced with grapes meticulously selected during harvest. The picking started the third week of September and ended the first week of October. The vintage 2015 shows a vivid fruity notes, with spicy hints of great elegance.
Fermentation: Aided by racking and délestage, fermentation took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 21 days. Post-fermentation maceration on the skins continued for an additional 10 days. The wine was transferred to concrete vats for malolactic fermentation.
Aging: A total of 36 months: the first 12 months in concrete vats, followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels (about 925-2,000 gallons), and finally 12 months in barriques that are four or more years old.

ABOUT RUFFINO WINERY:
In 1877, cousins, Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve, near Florence. Natives to Tuscany, they knew this region already had century-old traditions of growing exceptional wine grapes, but cousins felt that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Word eventually grew about the quality wine the Ruffino cousin’s were producing and the winery began to flourish. Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines. They became nationally and internationally known when their Chianti won Gold Medals and other prizes in 1881, 1884 and 1885 Wine Exhibitions. In 1890, the Duke of Aosta became intrigued by the winery’s reputation, and after trying it for himself, he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian Royal family. In 1927, the winery released their first vintage of Riserva Ducale – named after the Duke of Aosta to acknowledge his esteemed patronage.

Today, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany’s most important wine appellations. They continue to take a traditional approach when making their wines to allow their wines to reveal themselves without manipulation. Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, as they have become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Learn more here. 


Mellow style logoFrescobaldi-Nipozzano-RiservaFrescobaldi
Castello Nipozzano
Nipozzano Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Nipozzano 2017 conveys the intense, harmonious character of the vintage with personality, translating the heat of the season into the glass. The ruby-red color is bright and intense. The usual notes of red fruits and citrus are expressed in a seductive combination of elegance and intensity. Tertiary notes due to aging, such as spices and vanilla, enhance the aromas and balance the tasting experience. The palate is rich, dense and balanced, with a great expression of maturity, polyphenolic elegance and final persistence.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Sangiovese and complementary varieties
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling: 92 Points
  • Gambero Rosso: 3 Glasses
  • Luca Maroni: 90 Points

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The winter was mild and dry. In the spring, the early sprouting of the vines brought the growing season forward. During spring, the arrival of sporadic rains restored the vineyards’ water table, guaranteeing a good blooming, still ahead of time with respect to the previous season. The harvest began at the end of August/first few days of September, after a hot, dry summer that led to the harvesting of well-ripened grapes, qualitatively rich in body and color. As soon as the grapes were harvested, they were taken to the cellar.
Fermentation: Once de-stemmed, the natural fermentation process began in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine remained in the vats to complete maceration. After racking, malolactic fermentation took place in steel as well.
Aging: At the end of the year, the wine was transferred into barriques, where it was aged for further months. A further period in the bottle brought Nipozzano to its full expression as a wine with exceptional balance.

ABOUT FRESCOBALDI WINERY:
Beginning in the early 1300s, the Frescobaldi family has been producing wine in Tuscany for over seven hundred years. That family history is filled with illustrious ancestors, from literary figures, explorers, and musicians, to financiers, bishops, and statesmen. Over the years, the Frescobaldi family had established commercial contracts and relationships, and had the opportunity to share their wine with numerous historical names and courts such as the Court of England, the Papal Court in Rome, Donatello, Michelozzo, Michelozzi, and Filippo Brunelleschi.

The winery has been passed down in the family from generation to generation, building many different sub-family estates over the years. Today, the President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, aims to strengthen the uniqueness of the wines of each family estate. The Frescobaldi family believes each family estate, and their vineyards, should express the diversity and individuality of their Tuscan terroir while always respecting their nature and authenticity. Learn more about the family history here.


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Raised by Wolves Old School Red Blend

Pizza

Photo Credit: Copyright Anson Smart

Pizza Vesuvio with the Works

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

JANUARY WINE CLUB:

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

BOLD WINE STYLE

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

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

  • Rustenhof: Pieter Bredell
  • Bonniemile: Deon Joubert

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

 

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January Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubAntech EspritAntech
Esprit de Bulles
Limoux, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This Cuvée offers a unique taste and is a local symbol, allied to traditions and history of Limoux. Its straw yellow color with swirling bubbles and sparkling reflections is already a call to party. The palate is lively with the sensation of biting into apples and grapes. Honey, scents of acacia and very ripe pear notes bring softness and voluptuousness. Serve chilled at 41- 43 °F. 

Food Pairing Recommendations: Its lightness and freshness are ideal as an aperitif or to accompany desserts with apples, pancakes, fruit pies and French King cakes.

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

Analysis: 6.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Mauzac
Residual Sugars: 80 g/L
Vinification:
All grapes are handpicked, carried to the fermenting room in cases of at most 660 pounds, and then immediately pressed pneumatically. The juices selected are then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats set at low temperatures. The juices are then fermented until they reach a degree of 5 percent alcohol content. Effervescence is produced by the Méthode Ancestrale using only the natural residual sugars in the juice after the first fermentation in their temperature controlled cellars (57°F) over a 14 week period. Effervescence occurs and the alcohol content rises to 6-7 percent.

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
Hillsides and terraces have gently sloping clay-limestone soil with Mediterranean climate and an oceanic influence. The vine age is on average 20 to 40 years old and y
ields less than 50 hectares. To move further ahead in their quest for finesse and elegance, the Antech Winery conducts advanced experiments on the vines. In their family vineyard, they try out new methods on their old vine-stocks on the appellation’s highest land — stony, south-facing hillsides nearly 400m above sea level, opposite to the Pyrenees. To learn more about the Antech Vineyards, click here.

© Photo by Antech Winery

© Photo by Antech Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Family owned and independent for six generations, The Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of Sparkling wines in Limoux’s legendary sparkling area. The Antech Estate distinguishes itself with their distinctive style – from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action. To learn more about Antech Winery’s history and their team, click here.


Les_Arroucats_Cuvee_VirginieChâteau Les Arroucats
Cuvée Virginie
Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A fleshy, powerful, elegant wine with beautiful aromas and a good length. To drink now as an apéritif, with fat liver, poultry or apricot tarts; or to lay down for 5 years.

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

Analysis:
13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 87% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon, 3% Muscadelle
Harvesting: Hand picked by successive sorting 
Yields: 35 hl/ha
Winemaking: Traditional winemaking in cement and stainless steel vats
Aging: In vats during one to two years
Annual Production: 20,000 bottles per year for this cuvée

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
The Vineyard sits on about 22 hectares of land. The soil is on a panoramic plateau composed of fossilized oysters, located at 110 meters from the sea – called Clayey-calcareous soils. The average age of the vines is about 40 years old.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in the district of Sainte Croix Du Mont, the estate was created after the war by Mr. Labat. From 1990 to 2000, his daughter, Annie Lapouge committed to develop and modernize the estate. Annie’s daughter, Mme Virginie Barbe now runs the estate.

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Sweet Club

January Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoIce Creamy White Chocolate PeachOmnipollo
Ice Creamy White Chocolate Peach
United States

Triple IPA brewed with Cocoa Nibs, White Chocolate, Peach & Lactose Sugar

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10% alcohol / volume
Brewed: By Twelve Percent Beer Project in the USA

Omnipollo FoundersABOUT THE BREWERY:

Omnipollo® is a beer production company founded by brewer Henok Fentie and artist Karl Grandin in 2010 with a shared vision of changing the perception of beer — forever. They brew a plethora of styles to explore what beer has and can become. As a joint and equal partnership between a brewer and a graphic artist, their creative process has come to resemble the work shop of other pop cultural expressions such as music. Omnipollo® beers are always a collaborative effort and are brewed at breweries in all corners of the world. This approach means they stay curious, grounded and tuned in. Learn more here.


New SensationStillwater Artisanal
New Sensation
United States

A double dry-hopped IPA, but translated to “International Pale Ale” for the range of ingredients and techniques used. European malts, domestic flaked grains, and Scandinavian Ale Yeast (Kveik) come together to create a hazy lush malt. This IPA is double dry-hopped with US Citra and Sabro hops, as well as German Hallertau Blanc and Australian Galaxy hops. It is bursting with citrus, coconut, and white grape with a floral bouquet, making for an elegantly elevated IPA experience.

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: IPA – International
ABV: 7.6% alcohol / volume


FrutariaStillwater Artisanal
Frutaria
United States

A collaborative project with Morada Cia Etílica from Curitiba in Southern Brazil, this beer will take you on a virtual trip to South America. Frutaria is a tropical fruit Gose inspired by the fruit markets of South America. It is loaded with ripe mango, guava, pineapple and passionfruit with a touch of sea salt.

BeerStyles: Sour, Tart & Funky
Style: Gose
ABV: 6% alcohol / volume

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Stillwater Artisanal is the nomadic ‘gypsy’ brewing venture headed by Baltimore native, Brian “Stillwater” Strumke. A former internationally renowned techno DJ and producer who rather quickly made his mark in the home-brewing community for his often odd concoctions and unconventional brewing methods. Competitions often yielded wins in the more esoteric categories and his intricate use of herbs, spices, wild yeasts, and anything else he could get his hands on often came to judges with both intrigue and enjoyment. In 2010, after about 5 years of backyard brewing, Brian has taken Stillwater Artisanal Ales to the public. Traveling the world to collaborate with various breweries hand-crafting small-batch, authentic ales.


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Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple-Ginger Glaze pairing recipe

roasted-vegetablesINGREDIENTS:

•  ¼ lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2” x ¼” sticks
•  ¼ lb. carrots (3 or 4), peeled and cut into 2” x ¼” sticks
• ¼ lb. turnips (about 2 medium or 1 large), peeled and cut into thin wedges
• ¼ lb. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and any wilted leaves pulled off; large sprouts halved
• 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks (about 1/3 cup)
•  3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
•  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
•  1 ¼ Tbs. pure maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the oven to 425ºF.  Spread the vegetables and ginger matchsticks in a large, low-sided roasting pan or a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with butter and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the vegetables and spread them out, so that they’re just one layer deep. Roast the vegetables, tossing a couple of times, until tender and golden brown in spots, about 30 minutes. Combine the grated ginger and maple syrup. Drizzle the vegetables with the maple-ginger mixture, toss, and roast for another 5 minutes. The vegetables should be very tender and browned in spots. Serve warm. Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of FineCooking.com , Eva Katz, Issue 55

MR_12ChardSilky_StickerScheid Family Wines
Metz Road
Estate Grown Chardonnay
Monterey, CA

The namesake Metz Road runs alongside Scheid Family Wines’ Riverview Vineyard, the site of their Estate grown Chardonnay. Located in the northernmost vineyard in Monterey County, Riverview is located two miles southeast of Soledad and adjacent to the Pinnacles, nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River.  The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.  Riverview is an ideal site for ultra-premium Chardonnay with a Burgundian flavor profile.  The cool climate produces a steely style, with distinct notes of minerality.

Dave“Juicy red apples, citrus and bright tropical fruit greet the nose, followed by lilting aromas of vanilla and toasty oak.  The palate delivers concentrated apple and pear flavors with a distinct mineral component.  Beautifully balanced, the well-integrated oak doesn’t overpower and a soft, full mouthfeel is complemented by balanced acidity.”,  Dave Nagengast winemaker.

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast
Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal:  100% Chardonnay
Analysis:
13.3% alcohol / volume, 3.35 pH, 3.3 g/L RS
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.