April 2016 WINE CLUB selections

“The first rule of WINE CLUB is… ALWAYS talk about  WINE CLUB!”

The Wine buyers (Andrew and Dale) pick two wines each month for you that we love, one white (or rose, or bubbly) and one red each the total value of which will exceed $40
Come by the shop to sign up, or give us a call at 803.279.9522

3 months $40/month = $120 and you get a Riedel glass
6 months $36/month = $216 and you get two Riedel glasses
12 months $32/month = $384 and you get four Riedel glasses
(totals are pre-tax)FullSizeRender (29)

April 2016 Selections
Pinot Noir! and more Pinot Noir! (with just a little Chardonnay)

Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noirs NV
Methode Champenoise

92% Pinot Noir 9% Chardonnay

One of our favourites for many years, this is an outstanding bubbly. Very slightly pink in color persistent bubbles, lovely complexity, and a long clean finish, every time we treat ourselves to a bottle of this I’m always surprised that it’s even better than I remembered!

The Blanc De Noir is made in the traditional Champagne Method, with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. In Champagne only three grapes are allowed, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the latter two are both red grapes. When the wine is all chardonnay it’s called Blanc De Blancs, when it’s made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, or some combination thereof it’s called Blanc De Noirs. The juice of the grapes is white it’s only when the juice is allowede to rest on the skins after crushing that the wine becomes red by soaking up color, flavor, and tannin from the skins.

This wine, like most Sparkling wines, is Non-Vintage, allowing the wine maker to blend from different years, in order to have a consistent house style.

We choose WINE CLUB based on what we have tasted and loved, not by score, but it is nice to know that this wine was given 90pts by both the Wine Spectator and The Wine Enthusiast!

Below are the tasting notes from the Winery, which are spot-on

Our Blanc de Noirs is predominantly made from hand-harvested Pinot Noir grapes, the hallmarks of which are a vibrant red fruit character. The creamy palate and rosy hue are a result of a small addition of Vin Gris, which was blended into the base cuvée. Over forty different clones and selections of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are planted on our 340-acre estate in the Sonoma Carneros district. This allows us to consistently produce cuvées with complexity and clear fruit expression.

Bright strawberry and black cherry aromas with subtle vanilla highlights. Creamy cherry, lemon and cola flavors combine with a lush palate, lively bubbles and a persistent finish.

Outstanding with crab, Thai cuisine, roast pork, quail, foie gras or semi-sweet desserts. Seasoning affinities include star anise, plum sauce and tarragon. Look to triple aged gouda or hard aged cheeses with persimmons and hazelnuts for the cheese course.

• Whole cluster pressed to avoid bitter compounds
• Juice is naturally settled overnight (debourbage) to encourage a clean fermentation
• Proprietary yeast used for secondary fermentation provides a delicate house signature
• Cuvee is a blend of 18 different base wines fermented in stainless steel tanks 55F to 60F
• 5% to 7% cold-soaked Pinot Noir juice (Vin Gris) is blended into the base wine for color and to establish the creamy notes in the finish
• Wine spent a year and a-half en tirage (on the yeast)

92% Pinot Noir
8% Chardonnay
pH: 3.07
Total acidity: 0.73 grams/100 ml
Alcohol: 12.2%
Appellation: Carneros
Gluten Free

Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2014

We used this wine in a seminar last fall, it showed remarkably well and was a favourite of the seminar. Dale and I tasted it again a couple of weeks ago and found it even better as it has matured a bit in the bottle. There is some very nicely complex dark fruit here, cherry and cassis, a clean wine, not light, true Pinot Noir!

This wine is produced partially using the technique of Carbonic Maceration, in which the wine starts fermentation while still in the grape, which produces a brighter, less tannic wine, that is not intended for long cellaring, as the wines produced by this method usually lack the structure needed for proper aging, although… I’ve had older Beaujolais that I think aged wonderfully, and this wine is certainly not devoid of structure! Anyhow.. The Whole Cluster is amazing now, and will be for at least the next two or three years.

For pairings, Spicy grilled pork loin, a good Cuban Ham Sandwich, Grilled salmon with sauteed baby portabellos and tomato, throw some fresh rosemary, in the mix… Yum!!

Another highly rated wine in the $20-25 price range, both Wine & Spirits and The Wine Enthusiast give this wine 90pts

Here’s what the Enthusiast has to say:
“Partially carbonic macerated (think Beaujolais), this bright and fruity wine has extra complexity in this new vintage. An interesting whiff of funk leads to forward and appealing cherry and plum fruit flavors. This is a great bottle to pop with a grilled salmon.”