Domaine De Lilotte Bordeaux

Bowl,With,Delicious,Meatballs,On,TableBest Ever (Easy) Baked Meatballs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley minced (or about 1/2 Tbsp. dried)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together onion, bread crumbs, garlic, egg, cheese, ketchup, salt, pepper and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add in ground beef and mix gently until combined. Do not overwork. Form into 1-inch balls and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are browned and cooked through.

© Recipe courtesy of Jenn of Yummy, Healthy, Easy.

JANUARY WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoDomaine_Lilotte-bottleDomaine de Lilotte
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Aged in vats, this dry, red wine expresses balance and spicy aromas when very young. Its freshness charms lovers of young wine who above all seek conviviality among friends. Drink now or lay down for 2 or 3 more years.

Varietal: 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc
Analysis:
13.00% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.58
Appellation: Bordeaux
Winemaker: Hugues Mallet is in charge of the production in the vineyard and in the cellar
Pairing: Great with pork chops and a nice honey mustard sauce

WINERY NOTES:

In the Vineyard: The Domaine de Lilotte is located in the village of Tauriac, in Côtes de Bourg wine region, to the north of Bordeaux.  Produced by a 4th generation family, the estate was added to the Haut-Maco family business in the 1970s. Domaine de Lilotte is a clos of just 13 hectares on a clay, alluvium, and sand soil located near the river. The average age of the vines is 25 years old and grass is grown between the rows to create competition for the plants. Vines are de-leafed on the east side in July. Since 2018, the farm has been Certified HVE 3 (“Haute Valeur Environnementale Niveau” 3 or “High Environmental Value” Level 3) – the highest level possible in this French environmental certification.

About the Harvest: To limit the yield, the winery will green harvest when it is necessary. The grapes are picked by a mechanical harvester with a de-stemmer integrated on the machine. The berries are sorted manually on a sorting table.

In the Cellar: Traditional vinification is used. The alcoholic fermentation is done in stainless steel vats with control of temperature and the Malolactic Fermentation. Maceration is for about 10 to 15 days. Aging is completed in vats and bottled frequently to keep its freshness.

Photos and information © Domaine de Lilotte – All Rights Reserved.


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January Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Homemade,Blackened,Salmon,Served,With,Cilantro,Lime,RiceBlackened Salmon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillet portions skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the salmon on a large plate, flesh-side up, and pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, brown sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme and oregano.
  3. In a separate small bowl, melt the butter. Brush the butter over the flesh-side of the salmon fillets, then sprinkle the flesh sides evenly with the spice mixture. Lightly pat the spices to adhere as needed.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet or similar heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat (no need to add oil). Turn on the exhaust fan and open a window if things start to get smoky. Once the pan is completely hot (a droplet of water should dance on its surface), working quickly but gently, add the salmon fillets, one at a time, flesh-side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes without disturbing the fillets, until the surface is blackened (peek as little as possible so that the salmon gets a nice dark color), then carefully turn each piece of salmon over.
  5. Continue cooking over medium heat, until the skin becomes crispy, and the fish is fully cooked through, about 5 to 6 additional minutes depending upon the thickness of your fillets. The fish should reach 145°F on an instant read thermometer and flake easily with a fork at its thickest part.
  6. Squeeze lemon over the salmon, then transfer the fillets to serving plates. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh thyme and additional lemon wedges.

© Recipe courtesy of Well Plated by Erin Clarke.

JANUARY WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoChateau-Govain-bottleChateau Govain
Merlot
Côtes de Bourg, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Aged in vats, this dry, red wine expresses balance and fruitiness when very young. Its freshness charms lovers of young wine who above all seek conviviality among friends. Drink now, or lay down for 2 or 3 years.

Varietal: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
13.00% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.58
Appellation: Côtes de Bourg
Winemaker: Hugues Mallet is in charge of the production in the vineyard and in the cellar

WINERY NOTES:

In the Vineyard: Côtes de Bourg region was liked by the Romans so much they established vineyards on the pretty limestone hillsides (côtes in French) and shipped wine via the river from the port town of Bourg.  Chateau Govain is a little clos of just 4 hectares on a clay and majority of limestone soil located on the first hill above the river. The winery grows grass between the rows, creating competition for the plants. The average age of the vines is 25 years old and the winery de-leafs on the east side in July.

About the Harvest: To limit the yield, the winery will green harvest when it is necessary. The grapes are picked by a mechanical harvester with a de-stemmer integrated on the machine. The berries are sorted manually on a sorting table.

In the Cellar: Traditional vinification is used. The alcoholic fermentation is done in stainless steel vats with control of temperature and the malolactic fermentation. Maceration is for about 10 to 15 days. Aging is completed in vats and bottled frequently to keep its freshness.

Information © Chateau Govain – All Rights Reserved.


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Winery Spotlight Series: October 12, 2022

Robert_Craig_logo

Robert Craig Winery Spotlight
with Guest Speaker, Elton Slone
Napa, California

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a wine tasting event featuring Robert Craig wines and guest speaker Elton Slone, President and CEO of Robert Craig Winery. He will be joining us live on the big screen sharing the six wines below.

Wines Tasted:

  1. Robert Craig Chardonnay, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California
  2. Robert Craig Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
  3. Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cuvée, California
  4. Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot, Napa Valley, California
  5. Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, California
  6. Robert Craig Howell Mountain Zinfandel, Black Sears, Napa Valley, California

To reserve a table and attend the wine tasting in person, please call your local participating WineStyles store. Or, if you prefer to attend remotely, pre-order a wine tasting kit to-go and watch/taste along with us on Zoom!

Oct-12_Robert-Craig_bottles

About Robert Craig Winery:

Founder Robert (Bob) Craig began his long and storied career at The Hess Collection in the 1980s. In 1990, Bob Craig founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three friends from business school. In 2004, CEO Elton Slone joined the winery and became a full partner in 2007. Following Bob’s retirement in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards, Robert Craig Winery consistently garners high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery’s history here.

About Elton Slone – CEO and President:

Since his arrival at Robert Craig Winery in early 2004, Elton Slone has continued the Craig’s commitment to producing properly expressive cabernet sauvignons from mountain vineyards in the Napa Valley. His career spanning nearly three decades in the luxury wine industry have made Elton a fan of single vineyard, cellar worthy wines that display balance, nuance and complexity. Today, he spends much of his time traveling around the country to share the Craig word and wines with other wine enthusiasts. He brings his passion for old world wines to the new world of Craig with a production philosophy based on site expression. Learn more about Elton and the rest of the Robert Craig team here.

Photos and information © Robert Craig Winery – All Rights Reserved.


Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together
Contact your local participating WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.
Winery Spotlight Wine Tasting with Elton Slone
Robert Craig Winery
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
6:00pm CST/ 7:00pm EST
Cheers!
WineStyles.com

September Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Pulled_Pork_SandwichPulled Pork Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 ea boneless pork butt (5 to 7 lbs)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup salt
    • 2 tbsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp onion powder
    • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
    • 1 tbsp black pepper, toasted and ground

DIRECTIONS:

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix evenly. Rub the mixture into the meat.
    • Place the entire pork butt onto a foil lined baking pan with 2 cups of water and cover for 2 hours. After the two hours, reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more hours basting the meat every hour with the cooking liquid. Be prepared that there will be steam when you peel back the foil.
    • Carefully remove the meat from the oven. To test whether the meat is done, stick a fork into the meatiest side (versus the top) of the pork butt and the fork should easily twist. If there is a lot of resistance, continue to cook covered for an additional hour. Once the meat is fully cooked, allow to rest for about 30 to 45 minutes in it’s cooking liquid. Then shred the meat.
    • A portion of the meat can be mixed with a small amount of cooking liquid- cooking liquid may be salty therefore add sparingly!
    • Serve the shredded pulled pork on your favorite roll or baguette with a fresh cabbage slaw or favorite condiments such as mustard, BBQ sauce, pickles and/or butter.

© Recipe courtesy of Canvasback.

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

Reguta_AltropassoMellow style logoReguta
Altropasso
Friuli, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

This wine is ruby red in color with purple nuances tending to garnet with aging. The nose and the palate are very elegant. It contains fruity flavors like blueberry and blackberry with vanilla and toasted high quality notes. It is soft, full-bodied and persistent on the palate.

Varietals: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Denomination: IGP Trevenezie
Serving Temperature: 64.4ºF
Food Pairing:
This wine is perfect for roast meat, especially pork, lamb, goat or game.

WINERY NOTES:
A champion, characterized by vibrant violet hues, with a clear and persistent smell which is added by the balsamic fragrance from the oak. Captivating and creamy notes of Blackberry dominate the palate. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot expresses itself wonderfully with its strong texture. It charms with spectacular flavors from various types of jam. – Reguta winery

ABOUT REGUTA:
Located in the province of Udine, near the Friulian Riviera, the Reguta Winery has been owned and operated by the same family since 1928. Founded by Ettore Anselmi, the winery has since been passed down to his sons, Giuseppe and Luigi – who are teaching the same principles to their own sons today. Giuseppe and Luigi are constantly looking to improve their wines. With their years of experience and great traditions coupled with their outlook for the future, they are able to adopt the most advanced production technologies to ensure their wines are the best quality, while enhancing the uniqueness of their land. Learn more about Reguta’s history here.

© Information provided by Reguta.


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July Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubRobert-Craig_Stick_Blend_2017_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2017 “The Stick” Red Blend
Candlestick Ridge Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Cabernet Sauvignon blend is dense, powerful and beautifully concentrated. The nose is perfumed with luxurious  aromas of black currant, boysenberry, cedar box and Herbes de Provence. The intensely layered palate excites with cassis, plum, and graphite. It is rich and seductive with a velvety texture that finishes long and perfumed.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.77
Maturation: 18 months in 70% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price
Critical Acclaim:
93 pts. JamesSuckling.com

VINTAGE:
The 2017 harvest was the first in the area following a 5 year drought. The soils and water table had been replenished and the vines took off early in the season and weather patterns were about normal until late August. In early September, heat spikes hit the valley and set record or near record temperatures. With plenty of water available most vineyards were heavily irrigated and the temperatures cooled in mid-September to more normal levels. The quantity of grapes was quite low, but quality looked to be excellent. A huge wildfire at the end of harvest threatened vines that still had fruit, but luckily the vast majority of grapes were already safely in the winery for the year.

TERROIR:
Just down the road from the estate, Candlestick Ridge is the northernmost vineyard in the Howell Mountain AVA and is slightly warmer than the summit ridge where the Winery Estate vineyard lies. Candlestick is influenced by warm air from Pope Valley to the east and is protected from the constant wind that hits the ridge line. The big subsurface boulders were removed during the replanting, leaving thin tufa soil on top of a rocky volcanic bedrock.


Collectors Wine ClubRobert_Craig_Winery_Howell_Zinfandel_2018_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2018 Howell Mountain Zinfandel
Black Sears Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

True to the Howell Mountain, the 2018 vintage is beautifully clean and focused with boysenberry and bramble berry wrapped in a subtle pepper spice on the nose and palate. This Zinfandel is balanced and elegantly structured through the finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Zinfandel
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.57
Maturation: 18 months in 60% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price

VINTAGE:
February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in the spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.

TERROIR:
Black Sears has “King of the Mountain” bragging rights on Howell Mountain – topping out at 2,400 feet, making it officially the highest vineyard on the mountain. The vineyard is located just past the gate of the Howell Mountain estate, and now the winery surrounds it – literally – having purchased the vineyard just on the other side of it as well. For 25 years, winemakers have clamored for the Zinfandel grown here: both biodynamic and organic, the site is dry farmed and the vines are pruned in the old world style with no trellising. Zinfandel thrives in the mountain’s well-drained, rocky, volcanic soils and moderate climate.

ROBERT CRAIG WINERY:
Bob Craig always had a passion for Napa Valley Mountain Cabernets, so naturally, he founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three of his friends from business school. In 2004, the team was joined by CEO Elton Slone, who later became a full partner in 2007.  After Bob’s retirement and departure from the wine business in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Today, the winery is still known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards. Robert Craig Winery consistently receives high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery here.



Hess Collection Allomi Cabernet SauvignonThe Hess Collection
2018 Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
Allomi Vineyard

Napa Valley, California
375 ml (half bottle)

BOLD WINE STYLE

“The combination of steady heat and well-drained clay loam soils in our Allomi Vineyard allows fruit to ripen evenly, gaining welcomed complexity and layers of flavor. We consistently see beautiful yields from the Allomi Vineyard, and this vintage was no different. On the nose, this wine delivers delicious aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and elegant expressions of lavender alongside a touch of vanilla. Allomi Cabernet is concentrated upon entry with dense, but well-integrated tannins that provide a round, plush mouthfeel. Layers of juicy black fruit, notably black cherry and black plum, lead to elements of espresso supported by a subtle oak spice that adds to the personality of the wine and reminds us why this is one of our most popular Napa offerings.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
TA: 0.58 gms/100ml
pH:
3.76

Harvested: October 8 – November 2, 2018
Maturation:
18 months in 27% new American oak
Appellation:
Napa Valley, California

Winemaker: Dave Guffy
Food Pairing: Chocolate Lave Cookie Recipe >

 

VINTAGE:
Budbreak began on schedule at the end of February, and Spring brought moderate temperatures that progressed into a warm Summer without any disruptive heat spikes. Steady, consistent growing conditions provided the perfect environment for the fruit to mature and develop. As the moderate, even temperatures continued into the Fall, harvest started slightly later than normal, and in some areas, extended long into the first week of November. With such lengthy hang time, the fruit matured consistently and was picked when it was at its peak, promising exceptional flavor in bottle.

VINEYARD:
A pioneer by nature, Donald Hess was determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking in the far reaches of the Napa Valley. In 1995, he sought out the Allomi Vineyard with a vision to uncover its potential. Once a dormant beauty, the Allomi Vineyard now gives life to luxury Napa Valley wines. The estate vineyard is located in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley. The 210-acre vineyard is focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones that add diversity of flavors and complexity to this wine.

THE HESS COLLECTION WINES:
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse micro-climates and soils uniquely suited to wine grape growing. It is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. The Hess Collection wines are family owned, sustainably farmed and dedicated to reflecting a true sense of place. There wines are recognizable for their elegant, rich and complex flavors and a tradition of excellence. Learn more about the Hess story here >

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe – pairs with Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon


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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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