Casas del Toqui Barrel Series Merlot

Polenta (boiled cornmeal) with meat-based sauce -  ragù alla bolognese.PARMESAN POLENTA WITH SAUSAGE RAGU

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 1⁄4 cups polenta (not quick-cooking)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high; add sausage and cook, breaking it into small (almost meatball-like)pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and boil; simmer until thick, 30-40 minutes. Add basil, vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper; keep warm.
  2. When sauce is nearly ready, bring sea salt and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; slowly add polenta and cook, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, 1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese, and kosher salt. Divide between bowls and top with ragù; garnish with more Parmesan cheese.

© Recipe courtesy of Pedroncelli.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoToqui-Barrel-Series-Merlot-wine-bottleCasas del Toqui
Barrel Series Merlot
Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile

MELLOW WINE STYLE

This Barrel Series Merlot has an intense ruby red color with hints of violet. The nose is complex and intense with notes of tobacco, chocolate and spices. It has nice tannins on the palate with interesting volume and good persistence.

Varietal: 100% Merlot
Analysis:
13.5% alcohol / volume
Region: Cachapoal Valley D.O., Chile
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification: Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 8 months.
Closure: Natural Cork
Serving Suggestion: Serve between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF
Food Pairing: Serve with game meats and casseroles.

ABOUT CASAS DEL TOQUI:
Casas del Toqui Winery was created with the intention to develop and produce high quality fine wines, to be shared both domestically and internationally. They are committed to excellence by continuously managing their quality, labor safety and environmental sustainability; allowing them to be a role model for the Chilean wine industry. Their philosophy is to achieve maximum balance, quality and identity to each of their wines, to ensure they are a direct reflection of their terroirs. Learn more about the winery here.

Casas-del-toqui-barrel-cellar


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Reguta Merlot

Simple Bolognese

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. This will take approximately ½ hour.
  5. Finish bolognese with Pecorino Romano.
  6. Add to your favorite pasta.

© Recipe courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis from Giadzy.

MARCH WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoReguta
Merlot
Friuli, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Reguta Merlot is ruby red in color, tending to garnet with age. The nose displays a vibrant, varietal perfume subtler when young, and becomes extremely pleasurable after aging.

Varietal: Merlot
Analysis:
12.5% alcohol / volume
Serving Temperature: 50ºF-53.6ºF
Food Pairings:
Pair with meat based risotto or pasta, boiled meat, or rabbit stew.

ABOUT REGUTA:
The Reguta winery was founded in 1928 by Ettore Anselmi. Today, the winery is still owned and operated by the Anselmi Family in Pocenia in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Second and third generations – Giuseppe and Luigi Anselmi and their sons continue the family’s traditions while expanding their high quality products. Located in a microclimate next to the Adriatic Sea, the winery boasts 250 hectares of vineyards. The soils are clayey in nature with a sandy component – allowing optimal development of the vine and an ideal habitat to produce and mature generous fruits.

 

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January Premium Wine Club

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

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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


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

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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


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

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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


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

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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.


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November Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Rich and Simple French Onion Soup Recipe

French,Onion,Gratin,Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups sliced onions
  • 4 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices French bread
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese, diced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt butter with olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions.
  2. Add beef broth, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven broiler.
  4. Ladle soup into oven safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with a slice of Provolone, ½ slice diced Swiss and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

© Recipe courtesy of Lori Levin from All Recipes

NOVEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoEstate-Cellars-Red-BlendEstate Cellars
Proprietary Red Blend

Central Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Estate Cellars’ Proprietary Red Blend is a Bordeaux Style and a true representation of a California Meritage.  It is crafted out of the finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot from Central Coast vineyards. Blends are a true representation of the winemaker’s craft and the best possible wine they can make. Utilizing each of the varietals for different components rounds out the blends mouth feel and creates balance in the final product.

TASTING NOTES:
It’s a medium to heavy bodied wine that is dark purple in color with aromas of dried herbs, blueberry and tea leaf. On the palate, there are flavors of cocoa powder, currants and white pepper.

Varietal: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 15% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume

Aged: 16 months on 30% New French Oak, 70% Neutral French and American Oak
Harvest Date: Sept. 30 – Nov. 2
Average Brix at Harvest: 25.0
pH: 3.62
TA: 0.63
Sugar: 0.20 g/L
Food Pairing: Pot Roast, French Onion Soup, Italian Sausage Pasta
Cheese Pairing: The November Cheese Club selections.

California Certified Sustainable logoWINEMAKER NOTES:
The Estate Cellars Red Blend grapes were handpicked, and hand sorted prior to a 48-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 Red Blend is the best representation of a winemaker using all the tools they have to make the best wine possible. This wine is crafted over several tasting sessions with the winemaking team, fine tuning all aspects from flavor and aromas, to structure and mouthfeel.

HARVEST NOTES:
The 2019 Estate Cellars’ Red Blend, similar to the previous two years, 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 THE WINERY:
Estate Cellars is a secondary brand to
Clos LaChance, a family owned and operated winery in the Northern Central Coast region of California. After perfecting their portfolio, they wanted to reach additional markets by creating unique labels while still maintaining their same attention to high quality wine. Clos LaChance Winery started in 1987 when co-owners, Bill and Brenda Murphy, decided to plant a few rows of Chardonnay in their Saratoga backyard. By 1992, they grew into a commercial winery releasing their very first vintage. Today, Clos LaChance Winery and Estate Vineyard is proud to be Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. Learn more here.


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August Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

Roast Beef Smoked Gouda Sandwich

© Photo by Running to the Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1/4 pound sliced roast beef
  • 3-4 ounces smoked gouda, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and sage.
  3. Toss to coat all the onions in the butter, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the onions sauté slowly for 30 minutes, only stirring very occasionally. After 30 minutes they should be nice and caramelized.
  4. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to spread on one side of each slice of bread.
  5. With the buttered side facing down, layer half the cheese slices on top of the bread.
  6. Next lay the roast beef on top of the cheese.
  7. Spoon some of the onions (you may have extra) on top of the roast beef.
  8. Top the onions with the remaining cheese and then the other slice of bread with the buttered side facing up.
  9. Transfer the sandwich to a skillet over medium heat.
  10. Press the sandwich down using a large spatula and hold pressure on it so that the cheese melts. After about 2 minutes, flip the sandwich over and repeat. The first side should be a nice golden brown. Alternatively, you could use a panini press for this if you have one.
  11. Once the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove from the skillet, cut in half and serve up with your bowl of soup!

© Recipe courtesy of Gina Matsoukas from Running to the Kitchen.

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSidetrack RedPomar Junction
Sidetrack Red

Paso Robles, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Sidetrack Red is a proprietary blend highlighting the distinct flavors from the El Pomar District of Paso Robles. It is vibrant, deep and rich in colors, with aromas of plums, blueberries, red roses and caramel. On the palate, there are notes of berries, dark chocolate, and spices.

Varietal: 44% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 1% Grenanche Noir
Region: El Pomar District AVA
Analysis: 14.08% alcohol / volume
Brix: 24.5
PH: 3.54
TA: 6.6 g/L
Residual Sugar:
0.40%
Production: 1235 cases
Aging: 9 months
Critical Acclaim: Silver Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Food Pairings: Roast beef, cabernet braised cabbage, gouda & cheddar cheeses
 
WINEMAKER NOTES:
“Pomar Junction Vineyard has a unique terroir, as our limestone soils, cooling Templeton Gap breezes and expert sustainable farming techniques (SIP Certified Vineyards) combine to produce this outstanding wine. The Sidetrack Red makes a fantastic, food-friendly wine.” – Jim Shumate, winemaker.
 
ABOUT POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD & WINERY:
Dating back at least eight generations, the Merrill Family has been growing and producing grapes on California’s Central Coast since the 19th Century. Originally, the family was growing grapes for other wineries in California – from premium small producers to large international brands. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill, along with their son, Matthew, and winemaker, Jim Shumate farm the vineyards and produce elegant wines of their own.
Learn more here.
 

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Eola Hills Classic Merlot

Smoked Pomegranate Baby Back Ribs

© Photo by The Modern Proper

Smoked Pomegranate Baby Back Ribs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 head Garlic, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • cup salt
  • 2 rack baby back ribs
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the Brine: In a large stock pot bring 1 gallon of water along with onion, garlic, bay leaves, allspice berries, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place ribs in pot making sure they are fully submerged in the brine, adding more water if necessary. Cover and allow ribs to soak in brine for 24 hours.
  3. Pomegranate BBQ Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. BBQ sauce can be stored for up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.
  4. Ribs: Remove ribs from brine and dry with a paper towel.
  5. When ready to cook, set grill temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
  6. Place ribs directly on grill bone side down. Allow to smoke for 3 hours.
  7. Increase heat on grill to 375°F and preheat, lid closed. Using the pomegranate BBQ sauce, generously coat the ribs and allow to cook for another hour. Meat should be tender but not falling off the bones.
  8. To serve, garnish with minced cilantro. Enjoy!

© Recipe courtesy of The Modern Proper.

JULY WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoClassic MerlotEola Hills Wine Cellars
Classic Merlot

Oregon

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Eola Hills Classic Merlot is red in color with aromas of plum, cherry, and rosemary blossoms. On the palate, it highlights flavors of red cherries, blueberries, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee beans. It is a rich and robust medium/full bodied wine.

Varietal: Merlot
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume
PH: 3.44
Residual Sugar:
0.2 g/L
Production:
1,270 cases
Brix at Harvest:
23
Sourcing: Applegate & Columbia Valleys
Food Pairing: Look for savory dishes like sautéed wild mushrooms, rosemary infused lamb, pork ribs with pomegranate molasses, or beef roasted with garlic and red wine.

WINEMAKER NOTES:
“Eola Hills has been crafting Merlot for more than 30 years. This sauve varietal has the capacity to beautifully showcase terroir and various winemaking techniques and continues to be a passion of Eola Hills. This vintage is voluptuous and deliciously fruit-forward. With extended oak aging, this rich style takes on darker fruit characters tinged with the freshness of rosemary blossoms and the intensity of dark chocolate.” – Steve Anderson, Head Winemaker.

ABOUT EOLA HILLS WINE CELLARS:
In the early 1980’s, Oregonian Tom Huggins found himself intrigued by the notion of creating great regional wines in the heart of the Willamette Valley. With close friends and family members, they invested in purchasing 35 acres that Tom thought was ideal for growing grapes. Today, Eola Hills Wine Cellars is still locally owned and operated and one of Oregon’s largest wineries, farming over 325 acres of prime vineyard land. They produce over 80,000 cases of fine wines that are enjoyed across the country and internationally, capturing the spirit and flavors of Oregon. Learn more about their history here.
Boozie Banter Podcast

PODCAST WITH EOLA HILLS WINERY:
WineStyles team recently hosted special guest Brett Huggins of Eola Hills Winery on our Boozie Banter podcast. We talk Oregon wine, his family winery, gleaning, moving to the Midwest and taste 8 wines from their expansive portfolio. Learn more about other exciting wines from Eola Hills! Listen to the full broadcast on Spotify here >

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May Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine Club2016ArgyleVintageBrutBottleWebArgyle Winery
Vintage Brut
Willamette Valley, Oregon

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The 2016 sparkling wine vintage in the Willamette Valley was generous yet refined, highlighting the alluring precision the region has to offer. Knudsen Vineyard, in the protected Dundee Hills, brings supple depth and elegance.  While Spirit Hill Vineyard, in the windy confines of the Eola-Amity Hills, brings tension and mineral backbone. Fresh seashore, white peach, and toasted brioche are framed around a creamy center and long, graceful finish.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 55% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier
AVA: Willamette Valley AVA
Harvested: Aug. 23 – Sept. 2, 2016
Brix at Harvest: 18.6
Barrel Aging: 70% Stainless Steel, 30% Neutral Oak
Dosage: 3 g/L
Malolactic: 0% Malolactic Fermentation
Critical Acclaim: 
91 Points Wine Spectator; 90 Points Wine Enthusiast

FOOD PAIRING: Serve with creamy, salty, or lean and lemony cheeses, such as a Brie, Triple Cream or Bleu Cheese. 

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1987, Argyle was founded by Rollin Soles to produce sparkling wines in cool-climate of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Today, Argyle Winery produces sparkling wines, Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Rieslings. All Argyle Sparkling wines are 100% Argyle grown, vintage dated, made from hand-picked, cold press grapes, bottle fermented, aged on yeast for a minimum of 3 years and ‘disgorged on demand.’ They have earned acclaim for their elegance, character, and uncommon ageability. Learn more about their history here.


MSC_SparklingBrutRose2020_Bottleshot_3000px_300ppiMcBride Sisters 
Sparkling Brut Rosé 
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Grown sustainably in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Hawke’s Bay is one of the most prestigious fine wine regions in New Zealand and the source for McBride Sisters’ delicious non-vintage Sparkling Brut Rosé.

This Sparkling Brut Rosé has gentle floral notes of rose petals, strawberries and cream, and loads of freshly crushed red berries. The red fruits carry through the palate, where cranberry, peach, strawberry, and raspberry take center stage. There is a hint of toasty complexity and some creamy richness from time on lees that lead into a dry finish with lingering hints of spice.

Analysis: 12.6% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 64% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 6% Merlot
RS: 9.4 g/L
pH: 3.4
TA: 6.2 g/L
Critical Acclaim: 
92 Points, Gold Medal, San Diego International Wine & Spirits Competition

FOOD PAIRING: Pairs beautifully with everything from seafood to fried chicken.  

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The McBride Sisters were raised separately among the vines of Monterey, California and Marlborough, New Zealand. Destiny led them to each other, and they quickly bonded over their shared passion for good wine and a desire to shake up the industry. In 2005 they started a wine company together. Today, the award-winning McBride Sisters Collection wines directly reflect the terroirs of the sisters’ youth, with wine styles and flavors designed for all palates. Learn more about the sisters’ story here.

Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

 

 

May Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds fatty tips trimmed)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 small garlic cloves (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and garlic and cook until the chops are browned, about 2 minutes longer for medium meat. Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
  2. Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

© Recipe courtesy of Janet Mendel from Food and Wine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCircle-of-Life-RedWaterkloof
Circle of Life Red

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A perfectly integrated blend with great length, combining the spiciness of the Syrah, the fresh fruits of the Petit Verdot and juiciness from the Merlot. The introduction is fresh and fruity with good acidity, evolving into riper flavors and herbaceous notes, and with elegant tannins and light acids on the finish. It is very versatile and will complement numerous dishes, but the winery recommends enjoying it with a hearty piece of lamb.
 
Varietal: 26% Syrah, 24% Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot and 24% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 5.2 g/l
VA: 0.7
Residual Sugar: 2.3
Production:
17,400 bottles produced
 

Circle of Life tells the story of Waterkloof: A once conventionally farmed vineyard with great potential, that – since Paul Boutinot took over the property – has been transformed into a living, breathing organic and biodynamic vineyard by Farm Manager Christiaan Loots and his team. Waterkloof winery strives to produce distinctive, yet balanced wines using traditional, organic and biodynamic methods. They work with nature, not against it. Chickens, sheep and work-horses have unique and integral parts within the vineyard. Their soils are free of chemicals, and instead are kept healthy using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from their own organic compost. The winery continuously works to understand their vineyards to harness the individual characteristics of each vineyard block. Waterkloof’s objective with Circle of Life was to produce two blends that encapsulate all the varying terroir characteristics and grape varietals found on Waterkloof.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
All grapes are hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards, then brought to their cellars by their work-horses. The grapes are then hand-sorted again at the winery to ensure only the best berries are being used. The sorted grapes are then placed into wooden fermenters using their gravity system. This fermentation process starts naturally with yeast present on the grapes to enhance the flavors from the vineyards. Throughout the fermentation process, the winery performs soft punch downs twice a day to gently and slowly extract the tannins. The wines will spend around 30 days on the skins – give or take depending on taste. After the maceration time on the skins, the wine is ran down using gravity, no pumping is incorporated. The grape skins also fall through into the basket press and are softly pressed to gently extract every last bit of wine, aroma and color. The varietals are then aged separately in French oak for about 18 months. After the aging process, Waterkloof blends the Syrah (26%), Merlot (24%), Petit Verdot (26%), and Cabernet Franc (24%) together, then keeps in wooden fermenters for another 9 months. This wine is unfined and gently filtered.

ABOUT WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: ‘THIS IS IT!’ Just like that, Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began. Learn more about the history of Waterkloof here.

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Château Roc de Candale

tagliatelles-aux-morilles-et-champignons-de-paris-entete

© Photo by Les Vins de Saint-Emilion

Tagliatelle with Morels and Paris Mushrooms

This mushroom pasta pairs beautifully with the notes from the Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend of Château Roc de Candale. We have found a French recipe from the Saint-Émilion region in France, however, for ingredients more easily accessible in the United States, this Creamy Pasta with Mushrooms from Bon Appétit is a good alternative to try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.1 lbs (500 g) fresh Tagliatelle pasta
  • 1/3 cup (25 g) dried morels (or substitute dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 cup (250 g) fresh Paris mushrooms (substitute white or Crimini mushrooms)
  • 1 leek (white part)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 16.9 fl. oz. or about 2 cups (50 cl) light cream (about 18% fat content)
  • sunflower oil
  • nut oil
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. The day before, rehydrate the mushrooms in water for half an hour. Rinse to remove sand and then soak them again in 2 cups (50 cl) of fresh cream. Place the preparation in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the mushrooms and keep the liquid cream. Peel and cut the Paris mushrooms into thin strips. Slice the leek and onion.
  3. Sauté the onion, leek and mushrooms in an oiled pan. Add salt and pepper. Wet it if necessary.
  4. After ten minutes, add the fresh cream, filtered through a fine sieve. Stir regularly and adjust seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. When cooked, boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the Tagliatelle.
  6. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, serve immediately, if you like, with a drizzle of walnut oil from Périgord.

© Recipe courtesy of Les Vins de Saint-Emilion.

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoChateau-Roc-de-Candale-bottle-webMagali & Thibaut Decoster Vineyards
Château Roc de Candale

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Château Roc de Candale has a bright purple color. The flattering bouquet is charming thanks to fine notes of spices. The wine is immediately pleasing with notes of fresh, ripe and juicy fruits. Château Roc de Candale offers sophisticated and spontaneous enjoyment.

Varietal: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Analysis:
13.5% alcohol / volume
Harvest: By hand, in small crates
Average Yield: 25 hl/ha
Vinification: Soaking, pigeages (punching down the cap), and malolactic fermentation in barrels
Fermentation: 30 days
Vats: Wooden
Aging: 12 months in barrels
Production: 23,000 Bottles
Oenologist Consultant: Stéphane Derenoncourt

ABOUT THE VINEYARD
Château Roc de Candale was previously called Vieux Château Haut Béard. Its vineyard is close to that of Château de Candale and is planted at the foot of Saint-Emilion’s south-facing slope. The former owner brought together the two estates when he acquired Vieux Château Haut Béard after having purchased Château de Candale. Today, each growth has its own vineyard and cellar. In this way, the identity and style of each of them are preserved. 
Château Roc de Candale is planted on a more clay-silt terroir which gives the wine greater suppleness in its early years. Being less complex than its neighbor, it is a wine for more immediate enjoyment. Learn more here. 

ABOUT DECOSTER VINEYARDS:

Their story began in 2004 when Thibaut and Magali became wine-growers at Clos des Jacobins, though they had little ties to the world of wine-growing. Both came from Limoges, and they studied business and marketing in France and England. Eventually, Thibaut moved to the Bordeaux area and was taken on as a vineyard worker at a wine estate in Léognan. There, for a period of 3 years in the field, he practiced all the vine-growing tasks required to produce high-end reds and whites. In 2003, an opportunity came along for Thibaut and Magali to set up in Saint-Émilion. Clos des Jacobins and Château La Commanderie were up for sale, and one year later Thibaut and Magali were the new owners of the estates. Learn more about their story here. 

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