December Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubKiona Red Mountain Ice WineKiona Vineyards
Chenin Blanc Ice Wine
Red Mountain AVA
Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

While the Red Mountain AVA is known for big, powerful red wine, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate Vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, ensuring a consistent freeze year-in, year-out. We don’t pick Ice Wine until the grapes are naturally frozen in the vineyard, typically picking in the early morning hours before the sun rises.

Ice Wine is one of the world’s most elusive and delicious elixirs. Kiona prefers to use Chenin Blanc, a varietal that allows for robust acidity and intense green and tropical fruit flavors. Kiona’s philosophy with this wine is to emphasize acidity over outright sweetness, a tactic that ensures a balanced, crisp wine that dances on the tongue.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit desserts, including pastries and tarts.

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

Analysis:
9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.26
TA:
8.63 g/L
Residual Sugars: 175 g/L
Vineyard Source: 100% Kiona Estate, Red Mountain, Washington
Vineyard Blocks Planted: 1976, 1983
Varietal Composition: 100% Chenin Blanc
Winemaking: 100% Stainless, 31.3º Brix @ Harvest

PRODUCTION: Heat accumulation tracked slightly behind the previous vintage on Red Mountain. Bloom occurred slightly ahead of historical averages, and during ideal weather conditions. Crop loads were heavy going into the summer, resulting in the need to perform additional thinning. Weather during harvest (September-October) was ideal. It’s a stellar high acid and high sugar vintage.

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting Room Magazine


ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
While Red Mountain is known for big, powerful red wines, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, increasing the likelihood that we are able to produce Ice Wine. They don’t pick the grapes until they are naturally frozen in the vineyard, a process that concentrates the sugar and flavor to unprecedented levels.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1975 John Williams and Jim Holmes’ families planted the first vineyard on Red Mountain, an area now known for producing some of the world’s most powerful, opulent wines of distinction. For three generations their families have worked side by side, hand in hand to craft exciting, vineyard-driven wines that capture the essence of Red Mountain. Learn more about Kiona Vineyards here.

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November Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubIl MoscatoMionetto
Il Moscato
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.

Mionetto’s Il Moscato has a bright, golden, straw yellow color; persistent nose reminiscent of aromatic grapes; elegant, sweet, delicate palate. Overflowing with stone fruit aromas such as peach and apricot, with slight floral overtones On the palate, it tastes of bright juicy fruit with a refreshing zing from the delicate bubbles. The persistent, fine bubbles enhance the taste experience.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit, pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Bubbly’ section pair well with soft or pungent cheeses, such as a Brie and Camembert. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato
Residual Sugar: 70 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Winemaker: Francesco Mionetto

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1887, master winemaker Francesco Mionetto opened the winery in Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco area, just north of Venice. His love and passion for the region and its wines are still to this day a fundamental value for this unique winery. Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco production on the international scene.

From the very beginning, Mionetto has always been a modern and innovative winery able to anticipate trends, while maintaining a strong bond to the traditions of its homeland, a feature which still today sets it apart from other sparkling wine producers.

PRODUCTION:
In 1982, the Mionetto family introduced autoclave fermentation by switching to the Charmat method, which allows for better preservation of the flavors and aromas of Prosecco and other sweet wines. After an initial soft pressing and the temperature-controlled first fermentation that takes place at the facilities of their selected producers, using the Charmat method, the second fermentation takes place in autoclaves instead of individual bottles. This additional temperature-controlled fermentation is recommended in order to help maintain the freshness and aroma of the grape in the bottling phase.

The winemaker’s job is not only to produce a high quality sparkling wine, but to maintain the relationships with local farmers who provide the grapes. Mionetto is fortunate to have relationships with vineyard owners that date back for generations. The strength and longevity of these relationships are what greatly affect the quality and quantity of grapes provided to a winery. 

THE TERRITORY:
Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco and Moscato production on the international scene. The beauty of the hills takes in many physical forms. While some slopes roll gently towards the valley, others are much steeper. For protection from the prevailing cold alpine winds and icy rains from the North, vines are on Southern slopes. Southeast slopes are best; they face the morning sun, benefiting from the early sunlight and a morning jolt of CO2, needed for sugar production. The climate is generally temperate: the area is protected by the Alps to the North and warmed by the winds of the Adriatic Sea to the East, mitigating the temperature in summer and producing rainfall that favors the proper growth of vines. In late summer, the area is characterized by great temperature variations between day and night, enabling the growth of aromatic substances in the grapes as they mature. Learn more here.

Croft Fine Tawny PortCroft
Fine Tawny Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Vivid tawny-red color. Nose of ripe mellow fruit with aromas of figs and prunes set off by an attractive woody and spicy character. Smooth and round on the palate, full of rich jammy flavors.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Ports are very versatile and can be used for cooking sauces to roasted beef or lamb; or added in desserts for dimension and silkiness.  When simply drinking this port, keep it for desserts, or pair with more savory dishes such as Pâtés, Blue Cheeses, or Walnuts. Check out Croft’s recommended recipes and pairings here.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing:
Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a Stilton and other Blue cheeses. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.


Analysis: 20% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Blend
Residual Sugar: 100.6 g/l
Acidity: 3.37 g/l

Production:
The Fine Tawny is drawn from a reserve of fine wood ports which have been aged for up to three years in seasoned oak casks, each holding about 650 liters of wine. The individual wines are then blended to guarantee consistency of quality and house style. Croft Fine Tawny is bottled for immediate drinking.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Croft is one of the most distinguished of all Port houses. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honored styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations.

As important as its history, traditions and vineyards, is the fact that Croft remains a family company, dedicated to the production of the finest Ports of all styles, from full bodied reserve Ports to the iconic Croft Vintage Ports prized by the connoisseur and collector.

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Sweet Club

October Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubLa Cantina Pizzolato - Moscato DolceLa Cantina Pizzolato
Moscato Dolce
Treviso, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The Organic and Vegan Dolce, or sweet, Moscato Sparkling Wine of the “So Easy” line is one of the trendiest wines in La Cantina Pizzolato’s range. Bright gold color. Aromas of honeysuckle, ripe apricot, and angel food cake with a round, vibrant, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length peach nectar, sweet apple, orange marmalade, and honey finish with no oak flavor. A balanced and floral Moscato that is sure to please fans of the varietal.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
This wine can be served with all types of desserts and especially with creamy desserts. Suggested also as an aperitif with some fresh fruit or herbal and spicy cheeses.

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

Analysis:
6.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Moscato I.G.T.
Varietal: 100% Moscato (Muscat)
Residual Sugar: 89 gr/l
Acidity: 5.4 gr/l
Critical Acclaim:

  • Silvier Medal at AWC Vienna 2017
  • Silver Medal at IWSC International Wine&Spirits 2017
  • Diploma di Merito at Mostra Vini Triveneto of Camalò 2018
  • Silver Medal at 42° Mostra del Vino of Candelù 2017
  • DAMA D’ORO and PREMIO “TULLIO DE ROSA” as Best Sparkling wine at Enoconegliano 2017
  • Admission to the book 5StarWines of Vinitaly 2018 with 90/100
  • Bronze medal at Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

 

Production:
Using soft pressing, the must remains in steel pressurized tanks, with Charmat method for 2 months, reaching up to a pressure of 2.5 atm. The bottle has been covered with a sleeve that recalls the bubbles with a floral design and communicates its personality from the first impact. Packaging is completely recyclable as the sleeve can be removed.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1981, the company initially focused on the cattle industry and the cultivation of kiwi, peaches, strawberries, apples and pears. Grapes and wine eventually became their top selling products. In 1987, the winery started to bottle their own way – mainly producing Verduzzos, Merlots and Cabernets. Motivated by the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to drink healthy wines, the winery obtained their organic certification in 1991, the year in which the certification system was born in Italy. By 2012, the Pizzolato winery had achieved their Vegan certification. Since then, many sustainable choices have been consolidated, towards a organic innovation of the entire winery, as well as of the product.

Owner, Settimo

Owner, Settimo Pizzolatool

The present owner, Settimo Pizzolato, has many years of experience enriched by five generations that preceded him. His organic farming allows him to have good health and the ability to enrich the organic treasure that his company has. He balances the ecosystem of his land with the organization of his winery to create a wine that is a result of healthy natural grapes from his vineyards. These grapes create a wine that will remind you the tradition and well being when you taste it. Learn more about Pizzolato Winery here.

It’s been more than thirty-five harvests and I feel like I have lived so many lives; each year, each vintage is an adventure in itself, difficult, unique and unforgettable. We want to produce a wine that is suitable for everyone, can be paired with every meal, vegan or not; the most important thing is that it must be a good wine. – Settimo


Botani MuscatJorge Ordóñez & Co.
Botani Muscat Frizzante

Sierras de Málaga, Spain

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A delicate, lightly sparkling wine with a flowery, exotic nose characterized by aromas of lychee and stone fruit. This wine is 100% Muscat of Alexandria – one of the oldest clones of the Muscat family and one of the only remaining genetically unmodified vitis vinifera cultivars remaining in the world today. The seafaring Phoenicians transplanted this grape from Alexandria, Egypt to Málaga 3,000 years ago.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Enjoy this versatile liquid gold nectar of the gods on its own or with strong cheeses, figs, pâtés, pastries and desserts. This wine should always be enjoyed well chilled.

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


Analysis:
9.5% alcohol / volume
Denominacion de Origen: D.O. Málaga & D.O. Sierras de Málaga
Varietal: 100% Muscat of Alexandra
Critical Acclaim:

  • 89 pts. Jeb Dunnuck
  • 89 pts. Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • 87 pts. Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Production:
Planted on multiple old mountainside vineyards. The vineyards in Málaga are the most extreme in all of Europe. The mountainside vineyards are planted at inclinations of up to 70°. There is no terracing, ladders, or mechanization to assist with the harvest. The winery uses traditional dry farmed viticulture and organic Gobelet trained vines. Everything is cultivated completely by hand, with minimal human intervention; the majority of the vines receive no treatments whatsoever. Primary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks using wild yeast. Secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks following the Charmat method of sparkling wine production.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Sierras de MálagaBodegas Jorge Ordóñez Málaga, located in Ordóñez’s hometown, was founded in 2004- a partnership between Ordóñez and the Kracher family of Austria. The winery was founded with the goal of resuscitating the centuries long tradition of winemaking in Málaga, which was destroyed by the phylloxera plague in the 19th century. It was Jorge’s dream to champion his home region and restore it to its former glory.


Jorge Ordóñez Málaga produces its dry and sweet wines from Muscat of Alexandria; one of the world’s only remaining ancient (genetically uncrossed) grape varieties and the most important for commercial wine production. The Muscat of Alexandria vineyards used by Jorge Ordóñez Málaga were planted between 1902 and 1974 on un-terraced mountainside vineyards. The vast majority of steep vineyards in Europe have terraces or are mechanized in some way to protect workers and assist with harvest; the vineyards in Málaga, however, have remained untouched. All pruning and harvesting is done by hand, and mules carry six 33 pound boxes up the slopes at a time. An absolutely heroic form of viticulture.

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Sweet Club

September Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubBenguela Cove - Noble Late HarvestBenguela Cove
Noble Late Harvest
Hermanus, South Africa

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This wine has a medium straw color with heady notes of honey blossom, orange peel, pineapple and dried peaches. The lovely sweetness of the wine is balanced with a lingering finish while still remaining fresh and crisp on the palate.

Region: Walker Bay, Hermanus, South Africa
Analysis: 9.50% alcohol / volume
Residual Sugar: 190.00 g/L
pH: 3.17
TA: 8/30 g/L
Critical Acclaim: 4.5/5 stars in 2016 Platter’s South African Wine Guide

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Enjoy this versatile liquid gold nectar of the gods on its own or with strong cheeses, figs, pâtés, pastries and desserts. This wine should always be enjoyed well chilled.

ABOUT BENGUELA COVE LOGOON WINE ESTATE:
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a 200 hectare lifestyle farm and exclusive luxury estate situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean these unusual maritime conditions ensure that this unique terroir produces outstanding quality grapes.

VINEYARDS:
Benguela Cove’s close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean results in a cooler median daytime temperature and in cool maritime winds that caress the vineyards at night. This favorable climate, use of covered crops and the direction in which the vines face aid in the slow ripening of these grapes.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes’ exposure to the cool ocean mist helps to create conditions under which botrytis cinerea (noble rot) can flourish, producing grapes of concentrated intensity.

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate: Penny Streeter OBE (Owner) & Johann Fourie (Winemaker)


WINEMAKING:
The grapes are harvested, pressed, centrifuged, and then held as a cold juice at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The juice is fermented at various intervals throughout the year, which allows the wine to remain fresh and delicate throughout the entire fermenting process. The Stella Rosa family uses this technique to capture the fresh flavors of natural blueberry distillates & purées for their Blueberry wine, and an off-dry Rosé, busting with fresh flavors for their Watermelon wine. Both Stella Rosa Blueberry and Watermelon contain natural carbonation. The juice is fermented in Charmat-style, pressurized tanks, and as the alcohol is created, so is the carbonation. Once the desired sweetness is achieved, the wine is centrifuged and bottled. The alcohol level stays at approximately 5% and contains 6-10% residual sugar. Its natural acidity and low pH strike the perfect balance with the wine’s natural sweetness.

Benguela Cove Vineyard

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate

VINIFICATION AND MATURATION:
The botrytis cinerea grapes were meticulously selected and harvested by hand. On arrival at the cellar, further hand selection and sorting of botrytis infected bunches was done. Destemming was followed by 24 hours of cold maceration and thereafter the fruit was pressed several times to extract the highly concentrated juice. After settling, fermentation occurred in both stainless steel tanks and 225-liter French oak barrels (20%) at 16°C. This process took three weeks until the desired sugar/acid balance was reached. Fermentation was stopped by filtration and the wine was then chilled.

VINTAGE:
A cool ripening period, and especially low night temperatures, contributed towards exceptional quality and flavor. The favorable conditions resulted in exceptionally flavorful and intense Sauvignon Blanc with good acidity. The harvest had the earliest start in decades and resulted in one of the best vintages for white wines with above average quality. Warm weather in August resulted in earlier bud break, after which a warm, dry and windy summer kept vineyard growth under control and accelerated ripening by approximately two weeks. The dry weather also led to one of the healthiest seasons in years.

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

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Sweet Club