Red Trio Wine Club - June 2012
Learn the finer points to many of the wines we offer each month. Our club wines are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness and every one has an interesting history. Here are some of the wines we are offering this month:
Chatter Creek Winery - Woodinville, Washington
2007 Blend 105 Columbia Valley
Gordon Rawson started making wine as a hobbyist over twenty years ago while he was working for a fine wine distributor in the Seattle area. In 1987, he parlayed his enthusiasm for winemaking into a job at Columbia Winery where he had the opportunity to work with Master of Wine, David Lake. David’s style of management was to have his staff involved in all aspects of the winemaking process that allowed Gordon to both observe and participate in the artistic side of winemaking. Early in 2000, he departed Columbia Winery to focus solely on Chatter Creek. Chatter Creek specializes in handcrafted varietal wines that emphasize the diverse terroir of Washington State. Production is styled after class European wines, focused on the Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. Chatter Creek wines are small lot products from vineyards where Gordon works hand-in-hand with the growers to obtain the best possible fruit. The fruit is gently handled, and fermented in small one-ton fermenters. Chatter Creek wines are aged in seasoned barrels so as to not overwhelm the subtle nuances of the terroir. Gentle technique in the cellar produces elegant wines that are balanced, with classic old world style, and containing new world fruit and finesse. Blend 105 is named in honor of Chatter Creek receiving the 105th Washington State Winery License. With over 700 wineries in the state now, it shows how far Chatter Creek's roots and expertise go back. Blend 105 is made from 49% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Malbec. Why such an eclectic blend? Gordon says it best, "Wine making is a combination of science, art, and federal regulations. I find blending to be more interesting when I abandon the 75% federal rule for varietal wines, and let whimsy take me where it will." This wine sparkles with bright, ruby color. The nose, ripe and forward, is an aromatic blend of violets, cassis, and black cherry. A complex palate starts with cassis, then warming to plumy cherry and blueberry fruit. The finish continues the interplay of the fruit and terroir, framed in by notes of toasted almonds and vanilla bean. Overall this is a wine that boasts of tremendous balance and attentive winemaking. Drink now through 2015. Only 650 cases produced.
Tintara - Australia
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale
Founded in 1862, Tintara remains a testament to quality winemaking, combining age-old methods with new-age technology. The first vines were planted by Dr. Alexander Kelly, and in 1863 the first Tintara winery was established at "Upper Tintara". Built against the rolling hills that foot the Mount Lofty Ranges, its ingenious sloping design allowed the labor intensive work to be achieved with the assistance of gravity, which also meant gentler handling of the juice. In 1878, the Tintara winery and its gravity flow techniques moved to the Old Mortlock Flour Mill in the heart of McLaren Vale, where it remains today. In fact, to this day they use the very same rare basket presses and original slate open fermenting tanks as used in the 19th century. Tintara is a rarity in every sense. The 2007 vintage produced fragrant Cabernet Sauvignon with ripe tannins, a function of the long, dry spring and early summer. The result from the Tintara vineyards was a vintage with relatively low yields leading to an early ripening year achieving a full-bodied lifted Cabernet with balanced structure. Visually it pours a deep garnet with a bright red rim. The nose is vibrant and engaging; displaying lifted varietal fruit characters of blackcurrant and red fruits, with savory hints and overtones of cocoa and spice. The palate Is rich but stylish, being of medium to full body with ripe elegantly structured tannins providing a fine balance between the varietal fruit characters and the subtle Integration of French oak. The palate is long with good depth of flavor leading into a fresh, savory structural finish. This wine is drinking well now and should continue through 2015. Decant at least one hour prior to use and serve with prime rib, crown of lamb, roast duck and well-aged cheeses.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild - Chile
2009 Escudo Rojo Red Blend
The Rothschild family’s involvement in the wine business dates back to the late 1800s. Today, the organization is chaired by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, great-great-granddaughter of founder Nathaniel de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking dynasty. The organization runs two distinct operations: Châteaux wines and Branded wines. In 1930, the idea of a wine “brand” was in its infancy. Nevertheless, wine visionary Baron Philippe de Rothschild created Mouton Cadet, and in essence, created the world’s first modern wine brand. To expand their market the Rothschild family moved on to other regions of the world and arrived in Chile. Escudo Rojo is the literal translation of “Red Shield” or “Rothschild”. The 2009 Escudo is made up of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Carmenère, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Syrah. The wine has a lovely color, dense and deep with a slight ruby tint, and a full, generous nose that reveals attractive blackcurrant, liquorice and cherry brandy aromas with spicier touches of nutmeg. It is round and rich on the palate, and its chocolate, vanilla, caramel and pepper notes are underpinned by a stylish tannic structure, powerful but restrained. The long, full-bodied and expressive finish combines tannins refined by the maturing process with delicious and persistent fruit and roasted coffee flavors. Drink now through 2014. It is excellent with fresh light dishes based in meats, vegetables and fresh herbs. It is also a good accompaniment to ripe cheeses such as Gouda, Gruyere or a dry goat cheese.
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