Winery Spotlight Series: Feb. 24th E.Guigal

Guigal Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

E. Guigal

Rhône Valley, Ampuis, France

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring E. Guigal wines from Rhône Valley, with guest speaker Patrick Will, Vintus VP of Brand Management. During our virtual event, Patrick will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Côtes du Rhône Rosé
  • Côtes du Rhône Blanc
  • St. Joseph Blanc
  • Crozes-Hermitage Rouge​
  • Côtes du Rhône Rouge
  • Gigondas
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape

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 Patrick with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Guigal WinesAbout E. Guigal:

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis; a small, ancient village at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It is overlooked by unique vineyards where vines and wine have been celebrated for over 2,400 years. The founder went on to make wine for 67 vintages in the Côte-Rôtie appellation. Today, Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe Guigal, along with their families, are the guardians of this exceptional domain which combines history, devotion and a sense of togetherness. A breath of inspiration for generations to come. Learn more about E. Guigal here.

Vineyards:

The Maison Guigal upholds the highest level of respect for their vine through their relentless commitment to the preservation of each ancient plot. In each season, growers pay close attention to the maturation of the grapes. From budding through to harvest in September, they tend the vines to ensure that each plant survives the winter months unharmed and are nourished by the sun and the rain once spring arrives. Every measured and precise act of care and attention has been handed down through the generations who have looked after this first-class terroir. Learn more about their vineyards here.

About Patrick T. Will,
Vice President, Vintus Brand Management and Development
Patrick T. Will

Patrick T. Will

Patrick joined Vintus in late 2010 when Vintus purchased his national importing company Ex Cellars Wine Agencies, Inc., and merged two dynamic portfolios.  Prior to joining Vintus, Patrick had extensive experience in the wine trade, including time in both retail and winery production. From 1988 to 1996 he was General Manager of Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, CA, where he worked with consultant André Tchelistcheff.  Patrick served as President of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association from 1991-1994.  In late 1996 he formed Ex Cellars with Fred Ek, and spent nearly 15 years developing and managing the US sales as the exclusive importer of E. Guigal, Domaine des Baumard, D. Milhade, Domaine Talmard, and Dog Point Vineyard, among others.  In 2008 Patrick was inducted into the Echansonnerie des Pâpes, the wine brotherhood of Châteauneuf du Pape, and he was honored as “Person of the Year” by Hospice du Rhône in 2011, recognizing his long association with the wines of France’s Rhône valley.  He is a frequent guest lecturer on the Rhône Valley and other topics at the CIA Wine School in St. Helena, California and he currently serves on the board of World of Pinot Noir.  Patrick wears “multiple hats” at Vintus: he oversees sales in 5 states, manages 10 brands within the Vintus portfolio, and supplies educational assistance as needed. Patrick lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Donna.  He reports to company President Michael Quinttus. 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

E. Guigal
Ampuis, France

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

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

January Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBlumenkäse
Switzerland

An alpine cheese covered with wildflowers from the meadows of Switzerland. This floral beauty isn’t just pretty on the outside, it’s packed with flavors of French onion soup and sweet carrots on the inside. The rind is decorated in a long list of herbs and flowers, including: winter savory, dill, garlic, caraway, lovage, marjoram, mint, leek, chive, parsley, juniper berries, onion, marigolds, cornflower, roses, and strawberry leaves. 

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Chardonnay, Viognier, Bubbles or Fruity Red Wines; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter, such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Fruity, and Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy and Bitter

Blumenkases


Marcel Petite
Sagesse 24-Month Comté
France

Selected by Essex St. Cheese Co., Sagesse Comté (formerly “Symphony”) represents the highest level a wheel of Comté can achieve at Marcel Petite; only 2% of all production reaches this point. Sagesse Comté is selected in line with the Essex flavor profile, but is bigger and broader in taste with a darker paste and immense tyrosine crystallization. This is an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese with a powerful depth of flavor, similar to a great piece of dark chocolate. Sagesse Comté is available only once a year.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Champagne, aged Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir; for beer, look for something Malty & Sweet such as a Milk Stout.

WINESTYLES: Rich, Mellow, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet

MarcelPetiteSagesse

© Photo by Comté Marcel Petite


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

January Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Dead ArmBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2014 Dead Arm Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus ‘Eutypa Lata’ that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

This is one of the more pure fruited versions of this iconic wine that we have seen in recent times. Highly aromatic in the early stages of its life, the nose is dominated by an array of perfectly ripe berry fruits and spicy notes. The dark, earthy and savory characters that we are well accustomed to, whilst present, seem to be taking a back seat. Nonetheless, they play an integral role in adding depth and complexity here. The palate is similarly positioned, showing almost restrained fruit weight but great depth of flavor and wonderful brightness. What hasn’t changed is that line of fine, lively tannins that present themselves early and drive the wine from start to finish, drawing fruit flavor along with them.

Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz 100%
Residual Sugar:
0.9 g/L
pH: 3.48
Titratable Acid:
7.4
Oak Maturation:
18 months
Harvest Dates:
February 12th – April 17th
Chief Winemaker: Chester Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Critical Acclaim:

  • 91 pts. on Wine Enthusiast
  • 97 pts. Tony Keys, The Key Report
  • 97 pts. Ray Jordan, The West Australian
  • 96 pts. Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer
  • 95 pts. James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion
  • 94 pts. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
  • 92+ pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
  • 92 pts. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
  • Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Awards ‘Best Value’ 2017
  • 5 Stars Winestate Magazine Mainfreight World’s Greatest Shiraz Wine Show

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Darry and Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Darry and Chester Osborn

VINTAGE:
A wet winter ensured good sub soil moisture and set up the vines well with healthy canopies. Spring was very dry with above average temperatures, a heavy downpour in January was a welcome relief. Mild conditions during the ripening period produced wines that show an abundance of spicy fruits with great color, richness and balanced tannins. Vintage started on 30 January, the earliest start on record by one day.

THE WINEMAKING:

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:

The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.


Shipsters'-Rapture-ShirazBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2010 Shipsters’ Rapture Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Shipsters’ Rapture is named in honor of Henry Shipster and his family who owned the vineyard before the Osborn family. The Shipsters are said to have delighted in their small plot of land, lovingly planting it to vines, an orchard and Needle Pines that still line the vineyard today.

Upon release, The Shipsters’ Rapture has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. The nose is dominated by deep, dark purple fruits. Initially a little tight, with air there is the appearance of spice and flowery, mulberry notes.

Deep, rich mulberries and plums are the feature fruits on the palate. There is also a very appealing volume of spice on the finish. The cooling influence of the steep vineyard has created a more focused, linear wine. There is a real density to the wine with lovely long, mineral tannins that really linger. This wine epitomizes elegance but power. It will benefit from cellaring and decanting prior to serving is recommended.

Analysis: 14.2% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz
pH: 3.42
Titratable Acid: 6.6
Oak Maturation: 20 months in new and old French and Old American Oak
Harvest Date: 5 March 2010 
Chief Winemaker: Chester d’Arenberg Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Additional Info: Vegan Friendly
Altitude: 70m Above Sea Level
Aspect: Southern
Size (area): 1.5 Hectares
Soil: Sandy Loam/Limestone
Age of Vines: 43 years
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points on Wine Enthusiast 
  • 91 points on Wine Spectator
  • 97 points from Huon Hooke
  • 91 points from Vinous Antonio Galloni
  • 91 points from Stephen Tanzer

VINTAGE:
Above average autumn rains set the vines up well. There was some heat during flowering which reduced crop levels in but with no ill-effects on quality. There was some more warm weather in January as the reds were going through veraison, this did no damage, but did encourage an early start to vintage. The day time temperatures were mild through out ripening with mild to cool nights. 2010 was a very strong vintage in McLaren Vale with the reds in particular showing excellent varietal characters and balance.

THE VINEYARD:
This very steep south aspect vineyard (depicted front) was planted to Shiraz in 1969. This aspect promotes the flowery fruit characters of the wine. The floweriness is further enhanced as the vines are situated in a steep gully where considerable cold air drainage occurs at nightfall. The geology is Blanche Point formation (limestone based), promoting the powerful structure of the wine.

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Winemaker Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Winemaker Chester Osborn

THE WINEMAKING:
Walking the vineyard rows and tasting grapes, Chester Osborn classifies and determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard. Small batches are crushed in the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber toothed crusher and then transferred to five-tonne headed-down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. When tannin extraction is just right the wine is basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete primary and secondary fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees to keep the wine fresh while also reducing the oak influence. There is no racking until final blending. Chester and the winemaking team undertake an extensive barrel tasting process for the ‘Amazing Sites’ range and only the best shiraz blocks from each vintage are selected.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.

ABOUT D’ARENBERG:
Since 1912 the Osborn family have tended vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia. It is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d’Arenberg’s first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale’s old bush-vine Grenache. Today fourth generation family member, Chester, makes distinctive wines using traditional methods both in the vineyard and the winery. Recently, Chester has converted all of the family’s vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed – all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottling every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Hall of Fame for earning place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d’Arenberg’s revered reputation worldwide. To learn about the history of d’Arenberg, click here.


Bold wine Style logoSteyning-cabernetPenley Estate
2014 Steyning Cabernet Sauvignon
Coonawarra, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

The 2014 Steyning is an excellent example of a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a concentrated aroma of leather, olive, dark blueberries and plum. The densely concentrated fruit is supported by cedar French oak, and is a wine of complexity and length bolstered by brooding savory tannin. Drink fantastically now, or well into the future. Suggested to decant before drinking.

Analysis: 15% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH:
3.54
Titratable Acid:
6.74 g/L

© Photo by Penley Estate

© Photo by Penley Estate of Hans

Viticulture:
Hans is a natural in the Vineyard. He’s a Viticulturist and a Geologist who has always been keen to understand the interaction between the vine and its own local geology. A visit to Portugal’s Douro Valley helped him realize his two fields of knowledge were a perfect match and since then Hans has been busy applying his geological mapping skills to the mapping of vineyards around Penley Estates. Hans’ aim is to always identify the small parcels of fruit in each vintage that will enable their winemakers, Kate and Lauren, to bring the ‘season to your glass’.

Winemaking:
Kate is one of Australia’s best contemporary winemakers. Wineries such as Wirra Wirra (McLaren Vale), Tim Kanppstein (Clare Valley), Seppelt (Great Western), Punt Road (Yarra Valley) have all benefited from Kate’s brilliance. There is no denial of talent and absolute harmony when it comes to Kate and the winery, which the Penley Estate has witnessed each year since she started in 2016.​ Her investment in Penley is what has fed their evolution into creating some spectacular contemporary varietals. Coupled with the addition of winemaker, Lauren Hansen, it’s as though Penley Estates have taken an almighty breath of fresh Coonawarra air. Learn more about their team here.

Penley Estate_Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen

© Photo by Penley Estate – Winemakers Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen


About Penley:
The Penley Estate wine-making history dates back to 1844, but it really began with a red sports car in 1945. It was a collision of hearts and minds, a collision that had been 100 years in the making – refined and distilled from two pioneering winemaking families When Reginald Lester Tolley rolled up to a function in his red sports car, Judith Anne Penfold Hyland was suitably impressed by the car and rather taken by the man behind the wheel. Sparks flew, romance blossomed and Penley was conceived (as a business name) in 1947 after Reginald and Judith married. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the Penley name came to life, when the children of Reginald and Judith decided to create their own wines and put a label on tradition. They bought a plot of land in Coonawarra, planted cabernet grapes and called it Penley Estate. In 1995, they built a winery at Penley Estate – a full on, all the bells and whistles, impress me with your red sports car winery. Their reputation had grown by then, and it made sense to have everything on site. They planted more vineyards, added some Shiraz to the Cabernet, and increased their range of wine, producing classic Coonawarra reds that were full-bodied, to be kept and savored. To learn more about the history of Penley Estate, click here.

“Our history is a rich mix of endeavor, passion and vision with a touch of scandal and madness thrown in for good measure. We could write a book about it. Instead, we’ll leave you with the words of our glamorous mother; words that we hope you’ll taste in every bottle of our contemporary Coonawarra wine… ‘Grow up and be fascinating.'” – Ang and Bec Tolley


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January Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubAntech EspritAntech
Esprit de Bulles
Limoux, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

© Photo by Antech Winery

© Photo by Antech Winery

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


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

NECTAR WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

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Sweet Club

January Beer Club: Iowa

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

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

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

Omnipollo FoundersABOUT THE BREWERY:

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


New SensationStillwater Artisanal
New Sensation
United States

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

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


FrutariaStillwater Artisanal
Frutaria
United States

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

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

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


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December Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoSparkling REDSparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Red
United States

A juicy Pinot Noir hard seltzer with sour cherries and a squeeze of lemon.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Pinot Noir Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling WHITESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling White
United States

A crisp combination of floral sauvignon blanc & tropical passion fruit with a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Sauvignon Blanc Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 


Sparkling ROSESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Rose Rosé
United States

A fruity-floral blend of rose hip, hibiscus, & schisandra berries (the five-flavored-fruit), and a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Rosé Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling CITRUS HAZESparkling Stillwater
Citrus Haze
United States

Fresh tangerine & grapefruit, fermented dry & lightly dry-hopped with citra and mosaic hops. This hard seltzer is a premium sparkling beer alternative.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling ELECTRIC YUZUSparkling Stillwater
Electric Yuzu
United States

Yuzu, lemon, and lime gently dosed with sansho + sichuan peppercorns. This hard seltzer offers a tingling experience like no other.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling RITUAL PINEAPPLESparkling Stillwater
Ritual Pineapple
United States

Fresh juicy pineapple & herbal sage tea, with a touch of galaxy hops.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

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

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December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

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If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

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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Sweet Club

Skylark Red Belly

Down Home Dig-in Chili

© Bewitching Kitchen

© Bewitching Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, chopped
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt), chopped
  • 4 cans (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle pale ale (12 ounce)
  • 7 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco type), to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Increase heat to high. Add beef and pork; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder chilies, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 2 hours, adding reserved tomato liquid if chili appears dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer until thickened and meat is tender, 2 more hours.
  • Season chili with hot pepper sauce. Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.
  • © Photo courtesy of Bewitching Kitchen; Recipe from Bon Appétit, 1988

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoSkylark Red BellySkylark Wine Company
Red Belly

North Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, black licorice and a violet floral top note completes the engaging and complex nose. The red and black fruits on the palate turn creamy, silky and supple; as the medium-bodied palate is polished with lovely fruit viscosity buffered by inner mouth perfume. This is an eminently drinkable vintage for Red Belly, enjoyable now and for the next decade.

Red Belly is Skylark’s ode to the South of France where blending varietals to create a unique synergy is the way of life. Blending compatible varietals together is a centuries old tradition, and the Skylark team loves the challenges and complexities that come with that tradition. The Red belly is comprised of 40% Niemi Vineyard Carignane, 36% Ashurst Vineyard Syrah and 24% Sawyer Vineyard Grenache. Each varietal is fermented separately, then after secondary fermentation in barrel, the cepage is finalized after multiple blending sessions. The goal for Red Belly is juicy fruit, integrated tannins and early accessibility with mid-term aging potential. Skylark has definitely have achieved that here.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Varietal: 40% Carignan, 36% Syrah, 24% Grenache
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.61
TA: 6.2
Aging: Native yeast vinification of individual varietals in neutral French oak

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyards: Niemi Vineyard – Ashurst Vineyard – Sawyer Vineyard
Produced: 37 barrels – 925 cases

“While we continuously explore the fertile California landscape for red wine vineyards that excite us, our current releases are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Our single vineyard Syrahs are inspired by the Northern Rhone wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Our Grenache is reflective of the great wines produced in the south of France in tiny villages such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We love the style of these wines and have discovered vineyards in Northern California that allow these varietals to truly shine.”

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