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May 2023Wines of the Month

1st Bottle Red: Folktale, Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

For the wine snob: ­­Grapes from 2 vineyards were selected for this special wine, using clones 943, Pommard 4 and 115.  Each batch was hand harvested and transported to the winery in ½ Ton picking bins. Our team hand sorted the fruit by cluster before gently placing the bunches in fermentation bins with dry ice to begin its native fermentation.  Daily hand punch downs were performed and the grapes were gently basket pressed when dry.  The wines aged in neutral French oak for 6 months before being blended and returned to barrel for another 10 months in barrel.  The wine was bottled in November 2022.

For the rest of us: Floral hibiscus, lavender, and dried cranberry aromas are met with a redwood forest floor and graphite nose. On the palate, juicy cherry fruit carries a long and savory finish that evolves beautifully.

1st Bottle White: Gehricke, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

For the wine snob: The 2021 growing season in Sonoma County was fortunate to have smoke-free skies and consistent weather, With cool spring temperatures followed by a warm summer without heat waves, the season allowed for the fruit to ripen evenly and gradually, reaching its fullest potential before being pulled off the vine. An early harvest produced grapes with intense flavors and fresh acidity.

For  the rest of us: Aromas of fresh spring flowers intermingle with hints of ripe melons, tropical fruits, and baking spices. On the palate, notes of mango, guava, white peach and grapefruit are layered with touches of fresh lemon tart, dried coconut, and roasted macadamia nuts. A smooth texture and vibrant acidity add to the long crisp finish

2nd Bottle Red: Thorn-Clarke, Shotfire, Barossa

For the wine snob: When the Clarke forbears discovered gold in 1870 at the Lady Alice mine in the Barossa goldfields, so began a family dynasty intrigued by geology. A fine legacy that is reflected today in the terroir of our vineyards. The Shotfire range immortalizes the Shotfirer’s hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges. Harvested in February and March 2020 and each batch was fermented separately on skins for 7 days in open fermenters. After pressing, the wines were settled in tank before racking to oak to mature for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak. After maturation, the batches were selected to best reflect the true characters of each variety.

For the rest of us: 60% Shiraz 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, rich aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, and plum mingle with hints of vanilla, clove, and cedar. The first sip reveals a full-bodied wine with a velvety texture and a vibrant acidity that adds freshness to the palate. The dark fruit flavors dominate the mid-palate, complemented by subtle hints of oak and spice. The tannins are firm yet well-integrated, providing a satisfying grip and a lingering finish. The overall balance of the wine is impeccable, showcasing the best of both grape varieties.

2nd Bottle White: Demarie, Arneis, Langhe, Italy

For the wine snob: Arneis is a difficult grape to manage needing well drained soils and the perfect climate. the name, Arneis, reflects this, meaning, “little rascal’. From organically farmed sandy soils, the Arneis grape is a significant part of the regions history and identity. Very few people have had success growing this grape outside the Piedmont region of Italy.

For the rest of us: 100% Arneis. This wine is delicate and fresh, with subtle notes of white flowers, apricot, grapefruit, and fresh herbs. This light-bodied wine opens with time in the glass. Finish expresses a pleasant bitterness, reminiscent of hazelnut or almond.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Domaine Grand Venuer, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France

For the wine snob: Established in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the commune of Orange, the Jaume family has been dedicated to the art of wine growing since 1826. Founded by Mathieu Jaume, the Domaine is now run by the 5th and 6th generations of Jaumes: Alain Jaume & his children Christophe, Sébastien, and Hélène. Historically, Domaine Grand Veneur was known for its white wines, until 1995 when the winery refocused their efforts on the reds. The estate now measures 225 acres and covers four appellations: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-du-Rhône ‘Les Champauvins’ & Côtes-du-Rhône (Rouge, Blanc & Rosé), Lirac, and Vacqueyras.

For the rest of us: 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvédre. An intense dark-ruby color. The nose develop aromas of ripe black fruit (such as blackberry), cherry and spice box. The palate reveals the presence of tannins, in high quantity and elegant. The finish is long and luxurious. This is the Chateauneuf du Pape expression, displaying all the characteristics of the terroir.

1st Reserve Bottle White: Martinelli, Bella Vigna Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

For the wine snob: Our Bella Vigna label is curated from our estate vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation. We wanted to create an appellation blend that reflects the characteristics of our Sonoma Coast vineyards and is still true to our Martinelli style. Bella Vigna translates to ‘Beautiful Vines”, so our winemaking team chose barrels that best denote the flavor profiles of our vineyards, showcasing how beautiful the fruit from the Sonoma Coast can be.

For the rest of us: On the nose you will find aromas of golden apple, fresh lemon juice, and graham cracker. This wine is vibrant upon entry with flavors of lemon and pear. The bright acid feeling on the palate will continue through the citrus splashed finish.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Château Du Parc, Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion

For the wine snob: At Château Du Parc, we hand pick our grapes and only the grapes that produce the highest quality wine are selected in order to ensure our wine reflects the true essence of the Appellation Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Contrôlée. After fermentation, which lasts between 7 and 10 days, we age our wines in smaller oak vats to allow them to slowly mature with a slight oak influence. Château Du Parc ages in these oak vats between 14 and 18 months. Then the liquid is aged for a minimum of one year in our bottles. We blend our wine from both newer oak and older oak influences to produce a well-balanced full-flavored Bordeaux wine that can be enjoyed within three years of vintage or aged for 12 to 15 years.

For the rest of us: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The wine has a rich red color with sheen and great intensity. Very ripe, red fruit notes on the nose contrast with spicy notes with beautiful complexity. On the palate, it has a great onset; frank, direct, and sustained by beautiful red fruits throughout the tasting which linger in the mouth. Spicy and light wooden notes are present throughout.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: TER Noir, Champagne, France

For the wine snob: This more generous blend comes from the three classical Champagne grape varieties. The first third comes from “Le Champ de la Truie” section of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, planted in Chardonnay. The second third comes from the terroir called “Le Tertre,” planted in Pinot Noir, in the area of Montgueux. The last third comes from the parcel “Le pré des vallées,” planted with Pinot Meunier, in the soil of Monthodon. This cuvée is supple and round. It reveals a beautiful fruit complexity and a real depth. The finish is fresh and silky.

For the rest of us: 34% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Pinot Meunier. Pale yellow, the prologue is slow and abundant and make a nice creamy line from the bottom. The nose is dominated by white fruits like appellant pear, opens on almond notes and grilled almond with hints of dry apricots slightly cocoated. The mouth is tender and round, lives a sensation of smoothness and silky texture of the small peach. The raspberry dominate the fresh and long finish like a pad.

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