May Premium Wine Club

Bold wine Style logoPomar Junction Cabernet Forward bottle imagePomar Junction
2014 Cab Forward

Paso Robles, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Bordeaux blend is an opulent wine that delivers notes of licorice, chocolate, black cherry, plum, blackberry, and spice, combined with incredibly silky tannins.

Analysis: 14.6% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Merlot
pH: 3.60
Residual Sugar:
0.26%
Total Acidity:
6.8 g/L
Appellation:
Paso Robles, California
Vineyard: Paso Robles
Aging: 21 months
Cooperage: 30% New Oak
Winemaker: Jim Shumate
Cases Produced: 158
Accolades: Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; 94pts The Somm Journal.

WINEMAKER’S NOTES:
“Cab Forward is a Reserve blend of our best barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. This wine honors the railroad heritage of the Merrill family. Excellent aging potential.” – Jim Shumate


Bold wine Style logoPomar Junction Reserve Cabernet bottle imagePomar Junction
2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Everything you desire in a Cabernet Sauvignon! Ripe blackberry and black currant flavors with a hint of pencil and cigar box in the mid-palate. It pairs perfectly with a peppercorn New York steak.

Analysis: 15.6% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: El Pomar District AVA
Vineyard: Pomar Junction Vineyard
pH:
3.62
Residual Sugar:
0.33%
Total Acidity:
7.1%
Aging: 21 months
Cooperage:
35% new oak
Winemaker:
Jim Shumate
Cases Produced: 164
Accolades: Double Gold San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

WINEMAKER’S NOTES:
“This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made entirely from Estate Grown grapes. It was handpicked from the hillside portion of the vineyard with limestone shale rock soils. Yields were limited to produce an intensely dark-hued wine. As is typical from this vineyard, the wines maintain complexity while remaining a soft mouthfeel. As always, the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon features our favorite barrels from the cellar. The ripening for previous vintages carried well into the late fall, typical of this vineyard which experiences the afternoon breezes and climate effects of the Templeton Gap Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon.” – Jim Shumate, Winemaker

VINEYARDS:
Made entirely from hand-picked, estate-grown grapes, this Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the hillsides of their vineyard with limestone shale rock soils. It takes patience to grown this varietal on their ranch as it often is not picked until late October, nearly a month later than a typical Eastside Paso Robles vineyard. The cooling Templeton Gap breezes moderate the summer temperatures and combine with their Linne Calado soils for idea Cabernet growing conditions.

Jim Shumate_Winemaker

© Jim Shumate

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
A Southern California native, Jim Shumate now lives in Paso Robles with his wife and children. He graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Enology, and eventually developed and managed the Cal Poly pilot winery that opened in 2008. In the early stages of his career, he was greatly influenced by legendary winemaker, Chuck Ortman. Jim became Senior Lab & Barrel Technician, Cellar Master and Consulting Winemaker at a few different wineries before accepted the position of Winemaker at Pomar Junction in July of 2011.  Read more >

ABOUT POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD & WINERY:
The Merrill Family has been growing and producing grapes in California’s Central Coast for the past eight generations. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill, along with their son, Matthew, and winemaker, Jim Shumate farm the vineyards and produce elegant wines of their own. The finest blocks of grapes are selected from their family estate, along with vineyards in Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties managed by a sister firm, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. All wines produced are exclusively farmed by the Merrill’s who believe that control from planting and pruning through harvest, fermentation and cellaring is critical for success. Learn more here >

© Information and photos from Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery – All Rights Reserved.


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April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubAudere wine bottleHertelendy Vineyards
Audēre Red Blend 2018
(glow-in-the-dark label)
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

In Latin, Audēre means to dare or to risk. This unique Bordeaux blend is a risk-taker as it defies conventional winemaking methods and boldly stands out. This blend hails from ultra premium, volcanic Napa areas, such as Pritchard Hill, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak and Hertelendy’s very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (planted in 1993 at 1365 feet, 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA). Enjoy a burst of flavor, serious tannins, and a full-bodied mouth feel… plus, the label glows in the dark! 

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 39% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: September 26, 2018 – October 30, 2018
Release Date: October 10, 2022
Cooperage: 23 months in 90% French & Hungarian Oak
Growing Season: 2018 was an extraordinary year with the most predictable weather conditions and no heat spikes, which resulted in the longest hang-time on the vines. Vintner, Ralph Hertelendy believes it was the best vintage of the decade.
Cases Produced: 329
Winemakers: Ralph Hertelendy & Phillip Corallo-Titus

CRITIC’S REVIEWS:
“The 2018 ‘Audere’ is another fantastic wine from Hertelendy in this vintage and similar to last years release, this is the most accessible wine from this outstanding lineup. It begins with seductive aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherries currants which are joined by exotic spices, violets, wet gravel, tobacco and hints of earthy nuances all developing in the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied and well-structured with beautifully polished tannins. It displays outstanding concentration and overall balance with a long seamless finish leaving behind flavors of black fruits, tobacco, violets and spices all leave a lasting impression. This is already fantastic, however it also has the structure to take on additional bottle age and evolve gracefully for years to come.” — 95 Points, International Wine Report


2017_SMB_Bottle ImageHertelendy Vineyards
Signature Mountain Blend 2017
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Composed of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, this limited case production (6 barrels) is the closest wine in Hertelendy Vineyard’s program that could be called an “Estate Wine”, as most of the blend comes from their very own Rockwell Ridge Estate Vineyard (located 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA). It is a delectable representation of what their Estate Rockwell Ridge Vineyard (blended with Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill & Atlas Peak fruit (can produce). 

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 49% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 1% Petite Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: September 7, 2017 – October 7, 2017
Release Date: February 22, 2021
Cooperage: 23 months in 90% new French & Hungarian Oak
Growing Season: 2017 was a great vintage overall where record-setting winter rains ended their five year drought. A lengthy, moderately warm summer created idyllic conditions for density, ripeness, and concentration. However, the winery lost 50% of their total yield to the fires.
Cases Produced: 150 (6 barrels)
Winemakers: Ralph Hertelendy & Phillip Corallo-Titus

CRITIC’S REVIEWS:

  • 96 Points & Double Gold Medal in the Sunset International Wine Competition
  • “The 2017 Signature Mountain Blend is another stellar wine from Hertelendy in this vintage. This instantly begins to impress as it displays wonderful purity and freshness, releasing gorgeous nuances of ripe cassis, dark cherries and blueberries, which are followed by exotic spices, dark florals, licorice, fresh sage and underlying hints of espresso all taking shape. On the palate this is full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with outstanding concentration and a layered mouthfeel that continues seamlessly through the finish. This is a simply sensational wine that is drinking incredibly well now, but should also hold up beautifully for decades and become even more compelling over time. “— 95 Points, International Wine Report
  • “Coming from the estate property on Howell Mountain, the Bordeaux blend 2017 Signature Mountain Blend has a perfumed, floral, incense, vanilla, and violets tinged bouquet that’s supported by plenty of blue fruits. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has good acidity, a firm, tight, compact feel on the palate, ripe tannins, and outstanding length.” — 93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Hertelendy Vineyards is a luxurious, boutique winery that specializes in producing Bordeaux blends from the most ultra premium terroirs that Napa Valley has to offer. Their ancestors have been making wines in Hungary since the 1700’s, and mountainous, volcanic terroir has always been a Hertelendy winemaking tradition. In 2013, Hertelendy Vineyards was founded by Ralph Hertelendy, who acquired this 4 acre vineyard on the slopes of Howell Mountain. Today, Ralph, and Winemaking Consultant, Phillip Corallo-Titus continuously work together to create wines that meet in the middle of their styles – creating beautiful, compromising expressions that otherwise wouldn’t have been made. Learn more about their story here.

Photos, video and information © Hertelendy– All Rights Reserved.


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April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Cabernet Sauvignon_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and dark with aromas of black fruit, coffee and toast. On the palate, it highlights flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry with toast, coffee, and spice; with a long velvety finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Certifications: Sustainable Practices, Certified Sustainable, Napa Green, Vegan, and Non-GMO
Food Pairing: Enjoy with a classic sirloin, beef short rib or other braised dishes such as grilled lamb, or portobello mushrooms.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points, CS WE
  • 91 points, JS (2017)
  • 91 points, EC WE
  • 91 points, WS
  • 92 points, W&S (2016)
  • 92 points, WS
  • 92 points, WE (2015)

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Profile_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Profile
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Profile wine has aromas of savory herbs, dark chocolate, roasted notes, black and red fruits. On the palate, there are complex fruit and herb flavors, with velvet texture, fine grained tannins, and a long savory finish.

This iconic proprietary red represents the pinnacle of Merryvale vineyards and winemaking. Intensity, refinement, and balance define this Cabernet Sauvignon dominant red blend. Sourced exclusively from the steep slopes of the Profile Estate Vineyard at the eastern edge of the St. Helena AVA. Exceptional terroir, vine-by-vine viticultural practices and small lot artisanal winemaking. Consistently awarded and highly-scored by critics.

“A terroir selection, the flagship 2017 Profile offers a classic nose of ripe blackcurrants, scorched earth, tobacco, cedar, and dried spices. This carries to an elegant, beautifully balanced 2017 with plenty of mid-palate depth, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish.  It’s a classic, more savory, nuanced 2017 that will evolve for two decades.” – 94 points, Jeb Dunnuck, January 2021

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal:
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
TA: 5.7 g/L
pH: 3.87
Certifications: Napa Green, Sustainable
Vineyard: Profile Estate Vineyard
Cooperage: 80% new from the center of France
Élevage: 23 months
Harvest Dates: September 11th through 18th
Food Pairing: Beef, lamb, duck as well as rich, savory pasta dishes with portobello or shiitake mushrooms and roasted shallots.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE (2017)
  • 95 points WA
  • 94 points JS
  • 92 points W&S
  • 91 points WS
  • 91 points WE (2016)
  • 93 points WA
  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE
  • 90 points WS (2015)

ABOUT THE REGION:
Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world and America’s most celebrated region. Defined by the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges and influenced by its proximity to San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the Napa Valley enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate, long dry summers and cool evenings, perfectly suited to the growing of fine wine grapes. The resulting wines are richly flavored with vibrant fruit flavors and texture.

Andrew-Wright-Winemaker

© Merryvale Vineyards, Winemaker – Andrew Wright

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Winemaker, Andrew Wright, grew up in the Sonoran Desert, knowing very little about wine and the winemaking industry throughout his early life. It wasn’t until a random trip to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York that Andrew uncovered a passion for the winemaking industry. He consumed volumes of wine literature (and of course, the wines they described), expanding his palate and shaping his philosophies today. Andrew began his winemaking career at Callaghan Vineyards, planting vines in the high desert outside of Sonoita, Arizona – he worked several growing seasons here before entering the cellar of Arizona Stronghold.  Andrew is thankful for these early experiences in the frontier, as they forged a deep appreciation for his hard work, experimentation and winemaking with intention.

In 2012, Andrew moved to Napa Valley and worked in the vineyards and cellars of Harlan and BOND Estates, Promontory, The Napa Valley Reserve, Fruition Sciences, and their clients (which included Merryvale at the time). Today, as the Winemaker at Merryvale Vineyards, Andrew is in charge of the production at the St. Helena winery. He oversees all of the winemaking operations for Merryvale wines and deeply believes that winemaking is the synthesis of philosophy, agriculture, science and art. Learn more here.

ABOUT MERRYVALE VINEYARDS:
Home to the first winery built following the Repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Merryvale Vineyards was part of the early fabric of the Napa Valley Wine Industry. Their collection of hand-crafted wines elegantly express the heritage, terroir, vineyards and subregions of Napa Valley. Learn more about the winery here.


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November Premium Wine Club

Robert-Mondavi-Cab-FrancBold wine Style logoRobert Mondavi Winery
Oakville Cabernet Franc 2018
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Oakville Cabernet Franc is a complex wine with notes of black currant, black plum, and unsweetened cocoa on the nose. On the palate, there are flavors of juicy blackberries, savory herbs and fresh tobacco. 

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Oakville District, Napa Valley, California
Food Pairing: Pair with robust meats and complex vegetables

HARVEST:
The grapes selected for the Oakville Cabernet Franc are grown on low fertility, well-drained soils with optimal sun exposure; this allows the winery to yield great fruit maturity and aromatics which Cabernet Franc is prized for.

ABOUT ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY:
Robert Mondavi built his winery in Northern California in 1966, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and other key grape varieties to create some of the world’s finest wine. Today, Robert Mondavi Winery produces critically acclaimed, top-rated, world-class wines adored by industry experts, master sommeliers and consumers alike. Additionally, they are a Napa Green Certified winery and partnered with Napa County Resource Conservation District, creating the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group (NSWG). Learn more about the winery and their vineyards here.


Bold wine Style logobrowne-family-vineyards-cabernet-sauvignonBrowne Family Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Columbia Valley, Washington

BOLD WINE STYLE

“Beautiful aromas of toasted oak with foxy grape and black fruit notes lead into flavors of dates, huckleberries and black cherries. Bold tannins stick to the palate leaving a lingering finish of licorice and berry compote. This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon pairs perfectly with wild game like elk or venison and earthy wild mushrooms.” – Winemaker, John Freeman

Analysis: 14.91% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Columbia Valley AVA
TA: 5.5 g/l
pH: 3.89
Aged: 21 months
Harvest Date: October 5th-November 1st, 2017

HARVEST:
The 2017 harvest was far more normal than the warmer and larger than average harvests from 2012-2016. A rainy spring led to a dry, warm summer, making for excellent fruit development in the Browne Family Vineyards. By the time of harvest, their fruit showed phenolic ripeness with balanced sugar, acids and tannins in the fruit skins. 

ABOUT BROWNE FAMILY VINEYARDS:
Browne Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery located in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington and throughout the Columbia Valley AVA. Inspired by William Bitner Browne, the late grandfather of their proprietor, Andrew Browne, the winery continues to be committed to producing world-class wines with cellar-worthy vintages that stand the test of time. Learn more about the family winery and vineyard 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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Pomar Junction Brooster

Asian Steak Skewers

© Photo by the Recipe Critic

Grilled Asian Garlic Steak Skewers

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds top sirloin steak
  • 1 red onion
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • sliced green onions for garnish
  • skewers

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut steak into one inch cubes. Cut the red onion into large chunks and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, sugar, ginger and sesame seeds. Add the steak and toss to coat in marinade. Marinate for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the meat and the red onion onto the skewers. Grill for 8-10 minutes until the meat is done to desired liking.

© Recipe courtesy of Alyssa Rivers of The Recipe Critic.

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoPomarJunction_2018BroosterPomar Junction
Brooster Fighting Red

Paso Robles, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The “Brooster Fighting Red” Blend is an approachable red wine that is medium-bodied with spicy accents. It highlights flavors of red cherry, plum, berries, caramel and black pepper with hints of spice and oak. This wine is excellent on its own or paired with a casual meal.

Varietal: 30% Zinfandel, 25% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Grenache Noir, 6% Mourvèdre, 2% Petit Verdot
Analysis:
14.7% alcohol / volume
PH: 3.48
TA: 6.1 g/L
Production: 1715 cases
Aging: 18 Months, Neutral Oak
Winemaker: Jim Shumate

 

 

WINEMAKER NOTES:
“In homage to historic and traditional Paso Robles table wines, it is approachable with domesticated red cherry and plum flavors with just a hint of oak. This style of wine is reminiscent of Zinfandel blends commonly produced before the days of “over the top” ripeness and high alcohol levels. Caramel, black pepper, and a hint of minerality add complexity to this affordable red wine. It is accessible via the convenient Stelvin screw-cap and its bright, colorful package is a big hit in restaurants. It goes with many lighter foods that heavier red wines might overwhelm. It is sure to give you something to crow about!” – Jim Shumate, winemaker

ABOUT POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD & WINERY:
Located in the El Pomar District in the heart of the Paso Robles AVA, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery is family owned and operated by the Merrill Family. Here, they grow premium grapes, focusing on small lot, food friendly wines with sustainable vineyard management techniques. The winemaking experience is further enhanced by their Head Winemaker and Cal Poly SLO Enology Professor, Jim Shumate. Learn more about the Merrill Family and Jim Shumate here.

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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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Martellotto ‘My Way’ Malbec

Lamb Sliders with Blue Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1 large)
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 13 ounces lean ground lamb
  • cooking spray
  • 8 (1.3 ounce) mini-sandwich buns
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sugar to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat; cook 8 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and lamb in a large bowl. Divide lamb mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Broil 6 minutes, turning once after 3 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 3 minutes.
  4. Broil buns, cut sides up, 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with about 1 1/2 tablespoons caramelized onion and about 3/4 teaspoon blue cheese. Cover with top halves of buns.

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoMalbecMartellotto Winery
My Way

Santa Barbara, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

“A Hedonistic wine that is a pleasure to share. This Malbec is the dark horse of Cahors and Argentina. Martellotto produces an outstanding expression from the hottest part of SB County.” – Martellotto Winery

The “My Way” Malbec is dark as night, inky, and redolent with blue fruits. Flavors of dark plum, cherry, and blackberry explode in the glass and the finish is lush with toasty oak, vanilla, and crusted flowers. ‘My Way’ is an awesome California expression on this noble varietal – it’s a velvet glove with an iron fist.

Varietal: 80% Malbec, 20% Petit Verdot
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
AVA: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Soil:
Sandy Loam
Farming:
Sustainable
Production:
20 barrels
Aging:
10 months, 30% new French Oak

HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA:
This new, small AVA was established in 2009. Located in the southeast part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley, this is the hottest part of the valley and furthest from the ocean. Rolling hills sit atop a serpentine-laced terroir that is primarily planted to Bordeaux varietals.


ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:
The Martellotto family roots trace back to 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines what speak to his own viticultural passion. 

Located in Buellton, California, Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals from the hottest new AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Indeed, Martellotto Winery is one of the few California wineries bottling and producing varietal wines from each of the five noble Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Since 2005, Martellotto Winery has produced unique and exciting wines designed to surprise and ignite discerning palates of wine lovers everywhere.

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Greg Martellotto has been making wine since 2005. His peripatetic path has led him to winemaking experience in Mexico, Italy, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. He holds a degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Masters degree from the University of Texas. His global wine experience has provided opportunities to travel to most of the major winemaking regions of the world as both a buyer and a consumer, which informs his style. Equally important and unique among most winemakers, Greg’s experience as an importer and wine buyer provides insiders access to the greatest wines and wineries in the world. In this capacity, he regularly tastes more than 400 wines per month and he knows great wine.

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Winery Spotlight Series: Jan. 27th Finca Decero

finca-decero-logo-alpha
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Finca Decero

Mendoza, Argentina

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual Winery Spotlight tasting event, with Chief Commercial Officer, Stephanie C. Morton-Small, and Winemaker, Tomás Hughes, from Finca Decero in Mendoza, Argentina. During our virtual event, Stephanie and Tomás will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Owl & the Dust Devil Malbec 2017
  • Owl & the Dust Devil Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
  • Owl & the Dust Devil Icon Blend 2016
  • Decero Mini Ediciones Cabernet Franc 2017
  • Decero Mini Ediciones Petit Verdot 2015
  • Decero Mini Ediciones Tannat 2015
  • Decero Amano 2016

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Stephanie and Tomás with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Decero Wines_Blog
About Finca Decero:

Born of the world-class vision of Swiss owner Thomas Schmidheiny, Finca Decero is an acclaimed wine estate located in a one-of-a-kind Remolinos vineyard in Agrelo, Mendoza.

Finca Decero, once a bare patch of soil in the Argentine foothills of the Andes, is now a one-of-a-kind vineyard, where each vine is nurtured by hand and winemaking is without compromise. As Decero means ‘from scratch’, they are fortunate to be free from constraints of tradition, developed an ‘amano’ or ‘by hand’ approach that is human, sustainable and sensitive to nature. The winery treads lightly in an environment that they have come to know intimately, almost inch by inch. Only in this way can the unique natural attributes of the Remolinos vineyard and Agrelo, shine through in the single vineyard wines, handcrafted from scratch. Learn more about Finca Decero here.

Stephanie C. Morton-Small – Chief Commercial Officer

Stephanie-Morton-Small

© Photo by Finca Decero – Stephanie Morton-Small

Experiencing wine at some of the greatest estates of France during time spent in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Aix-en-Provence was the seed from which Stephanie’s career in wine grew. After graduating from University of London, time in the UK wine trade was followed by nearly a decade in international sales and marketing roles based in Australia and further consolidated by an MBA.

Having been a Director of a group of some of the finest and well established wineries in Australia, Stephanie was attracted to moving away from the “established” to start something “from scratch”. The long-term vision of Thomas Schmidheiny and the quality of every aspect of Finca Decero, from the ground up, formed a unique attraction which caused Stephanie to move to Argentina in 2007. Learn more about her story here.

Tomás Hughes – Winemaker

Tomas-Hughes

© Photo by Finca Decero – Tomás Hughes

Tomás has spent most of his career focused on making fine wines from Mendoza, first with the team at Achaval Ferrer then at Clos de Chacras. However, not to leave his travels behind, in 2006 Tomás visited Australia working a vintage with Peter Lehmann and visiting vineyards and wineries throughout the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills before returning to Mendoza to take up the position of senior winemaker, working with Daniel Pi at Trapiche, responsible for their highest tier of red and white wines.

Joining the Finca Decero team as winemaker in 2014, Tomás finally realized a long-held dream of working daily at one with nature, explaining: “For me, joining Finca Decero is a reflection of who I am and what I have learned over the years about the inextricable link between the earth and wine.” Learn more about his journey to become a winemaker here.

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Finca Decero
Mendoza, Argentina

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Winery Spotlight Series: Nov. 18th Michael David Winery

Michael David Winery Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Michael David Winery

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for a virtual wine tasting event with David Phillips, Co-Owner and President of Michael David Winery. During our virtual event, David will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Michael David Sauvignon Blanc
  • Michael David Chardonnay
  • Lodi Red Blend
  • Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Inkblot Cabernet Franc
  • Inkblot Petit Verdot
  • Earthquake Zinfandel

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside David with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.Michael David Winery Wines

Michael David Winery Wine Tasting

About Michael David Winery:

The Phillips family and Lodi, California go way back. They have been farming this soil since the 1860’s and cultivating wine grapes since the early 20th century. Founders and brothers, Michael and David Phillips, are 5th generation grape growers who have raised their families in the vineyard; and now the 6th generation has joined the team, Mike’s son, Kevin, and daughter, Melissa. They embrace the importance of “leaving it better than you found it” for future generations. The Phillip’s family legacy and love of Lodi drive their focus on sustainability. Plus, they are pretty fun too.

David Phillips – Co-Owner and President

David Phillips

David Phillips

Early adopter of farmer’s markets, underage winemaker, long distance runner, UC Davis alum, champion of Lodi Wines, cork dork, brother, husband, father, and outdoor enthusiast. Working the family farm and vineyards from a young age, Dave returned to Lodi in 1989 after graduation, obtaining a job in the wine cork industry, and backpacking the world. Since then, he’s combined his love of Michael David Winery wines with his love of traveling by overseeing distribution from just one state to all 50, then onto 32 countries!

Michael Phillips – Co-Owner and Founder

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Lifetime tractor driver, UC Davis grad, 5th generation Lodi grape grower, brother, husband, father, grandfather, jet-setter, un-traditionalist. Raised in Lodi, Mike worked harvests from a young age. After college, he wanted to show the wine world what Lodi was capable of and started planting unexpected varietals. In 1984, he opened a small tasting room at his parents’ farmstand. Today, you know that farmstand as Michael David Winery, and it’s helped put Lodi on the map as one of the finest wine regions in the world. Learn more about Dave, Mike, and their team here.

Lodi Rules:

“Some people like to say “rules were made to be broken.” We like to say “when rules are created to support and protect farmers, vintners, the land, your neighbors, and amazing wine… maybe you should stick with them.” – Michael David Winery

With over 100 “rules,” or practices geared towards environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the Lodi Rules certification helps both wineries and consumers to make better choices when it comes to making and drinking wine; the Phillips Family lives by these rules. These rules have been vetted by scientists, academics, and environmental groups worldwide, and are the most thorough set of sustainable viticultural standards in the entire state of California. Every year, Michael David Winery strives to make 100% of their wines Lodi Rules Certified. Learn more about Lodi Rules here.

Brothers Mike and Dave

Brothers: Mike and Dave

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Michael David Winery
Lodi, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com