Premium 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:
Midnight Ridge - Australia
2011 Shiraz South Eastern Australia
Shiraz is Australia's highest profile wine style, and arguably its best red wine. The grape is believed to have come to Australia first from its home, Hermitage in the Rhone area of France many years ago. Some believe, again arguably, that due to extensive re-planting in France due to Phylloxera, Australia's older vineyards are more like Hermitage used to be, than that region is today. Some Australian vineyards date back over 100 years unchanged (and small amounts of wine are still made from these old grapes.) What is not in doubt however is that Shiraz, called Syrah in France, is the best and best known red wine of Australia. It is the most widely grown red grape variety, grown in almost all regions, and makes the most recognized Australian wines in the world market. Through all of this and in almost every climate, Shiraz makes quality wine. It can be delicious and fruity when young, but can mellow with up to 20 or 30 years in the cellar into magnificent wine showing earthy, velvety, almost sweet fruit characters. This Midnight Ridge offering was just released so it is very young. It is a medium weight Shiraz, with a pleasing balance between ripe fruit and savory, earthy notes on the nose. The palate is succulent and mouth-filling, with lashings of red berry and brambles. This wine is perfect now and will drink well through 2016 or longer. Serve with spiced red meat dishes such as steaks, lamb kebabs or grilled chops.
Bixler Vineyards - Lodi, California
2009 Union Island Pinot Grigio
When David Bixler came to the California Delta after his prosperous run during the Nevada Silver Rush of the 1860’s, little did he know that a wine brand in his namesake would be born some 150 years later. The vineyards of Augusta Bixler Farms encompass approximately 300 acres on Union Island in the South San Joaquin Delta. Here, the rich fertile sandy-loam delta soils, along with a unique microclimate make this location ideal for growing premium wine grapes. Warm summer days leading to predictably cool Delta breezes each evening, are key elements contributing to ideal fruit ripeness and the creation of Bixler Vineyards wines. The 2009 Union Island Pinot Grigio is the 3rd vintage producing their benchmark white under the careful eye of winemaker Heather Pyle. The 2009 Pinot Grigio is made from 89% Pinot Grigio, 6% Viognier, and 5% Chardonnay all from the Augusta Bixler Farms estate. The wine shows crisp citrus notes, light-to-medium body, with ripe fruit flavors of grapefruit and a hint of pineapple. In order to allow the crisp fruit flavors to be fully expressed, no oak was used during the aging of this wine. This Pinot Grigio was created to be very refreshing as well as approachable. It will make a terrific compliment to shellfish, ceviche’ and lighter appetizers, and is a great warm weather sipping wine by the pool or on the patio. Drink now through 2013.
Rivarey – Spain
2007 Tempranillo Rioja DOC
Rioja, a classic region of Spain, produces some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world, some ready to drink young, others spending years in barrel and bottle before hitting the shelves. Once the only DOC (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo). Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often. As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within four years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. The Rivarey offering is a Crianza. It is sourced from 100% Rioja Tempranillo and was o aged in American oak for 12 months prior to bottling. This wine that will delight your palate with delicious fruit flavors of raspberries, strawberries and cherries, and notes of vanilla. It is silky-smooth and easy to drink. Drink now through 2013. It is a charming wine for any occasion. Ideal with Mediterranean cuisine, sautéed vegetables, legumes, fish and beef, cold cured meats and cheese. A wine for everyday summer occasions too such as barbecues and parties.
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