90+ Point Wine Club - November 2012
Learn the finer points to many of our Wine of the Month Club. All of the wines included in our wine clubs are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness.
Hard Row to Hoe – Manson, Washington
2009 Laid Back Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope
Hard Row to Hoe is a small boutique winery on the north shore of Lake Chelan in picturesque Manson, Washington. Their southwest facing vineyard looks out over the lake and the peaks of the North Cascade Mountains which provide the clear, glacial water to irrigate their vines. They are a real 'working winery' handcrafting all the wine on the premises. They specialize in small batch processing, emphasizing quality over quantity. Passion for grapes and wine is their business. Winemaker and owner Judy Phelps, like most small producers, wears many hats, winemaker, tasting room manager, marketer, grower and more, with a staff of one in the winery, plus an additional cellar hand during crush. Judy’s style can be described as adventurous, producing a variety of new and different wines different each year with most of these are allocated primarily to the winery’s wine club members. Her wines are beautifully made, by hand, to display the fruit of the vineyard through gentle handling and the judicial use of new oak resulting in wines that are complex, approachable and so delicious. The Laid Back Cabernet is sourced from 100% Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a brilliant opaque red, featuring a complex nose ripe with Bing cherries, cassis, boysenberry and sweet chocolate. Full-bodied and rich with long, silky tannins. The flavors are layered with jammy cassis and sweet oak. Approachable now, this wine will age gracefully for another 3-5 years with proper care. 90 Points Wine Enthusiast.
Bodega Altocedro - Argentina
2009 Malbec Reserva La Consulta Mendoza
“Altocedro represents real artisanal winemaking, a boutique operation with some serious talent behind the wheel.” -Wine Spectator. The winery and vineyards of Altocedro are located in the premier region of La Consulta, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Winemaker and owner Karim Mussi Saffie uses sustainable growing practices to produce limited amounts of terroir driven wines. The vines range up to 100 years of age. All harvesting, sorting, and crushing are done in individual batches by hand. Fermentation occurs either in small cement tanks or in barrels, and the extract is done with a gravity flow system developed at the winery over 100 years ago. Altocedro has become synonymous with outstanding La Consulta wine. The 2009 vintage is made up of 100% Malbec from original La Consulta rootstock with an age of 47-69 years. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak for 15 months. The resulting wine is a dark, loamy style, featuring hefty cocoa and espresso notes, backed by dark roasted vanilla and mulled fig fruit. This stays focused and polished though, despite the dark profile, with a long fruit- and licorice-filled finish. Plush on the palate, it conceals enough structure to evolve for another 2-3 years and will be at its best from 2012 to 2021. Only 1,667 cases made. 92 Points Wine Spectator. 92 Points Robert Parker.
Clark-Claudon Vineyards – Rutherford, California
2011 Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
Since 1989, the growing of Clark-Claudon Napa Valley Estate Wines reflects a determination to pursue excellence in their vineyard and in the winery, to farm with sensitivity to the environment and to celebrate life. Clark-Claudon believes that the vineyard and the growing season define each vintage. Hence, each vintage is a statement of season and the beauty of their vineyard environment. With thirty-eight years experience in the wine industry, the Clark-Claudon family also knows that great wines are produced through a combination of art, passion & science in both the vineyard & the winery. They use minimal intervention, state of the art practices to passionately create their wines. This results in wines known for their elegance, beautiful aromas, full-bodied richness, perfect balance and lingering finish. Their intent remains, to produce exceptional, Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon & Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc. Wild Iris begins with flawlessly ripe fruit that was handpicked under the stars. At the winery this perfect fruit is then de-stemmed, triple sorted and gently pressed, allowing only the free run juice to become Wild Iris. This 2011 vintage was then fermented in a combination of stainless steel, French Acacia and French Oak barrels with daily lees stirring for four months. Then, only the best lots were blended to capture the beautiful essence of the 2011 Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc. The resulting wine is a stunning marriage of nature, art and passion. 2011 Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc is freshly inviting, while beautifully complex. Notice its golden glint and enjoy Wild Iris’s extraordinary bouquet of juicy pears, delicate boxwood, ripe gooseberry and hints of citrus. Then experience Iris’s silky rich yet refreshing mouth feel and explore its beautiful complexity. Lastly, relish the long, fruit filled finish coated lightly with dark honey, a hint of vanilla and a shadow of nutmeg. The 2011 vintage again succeeds in preserving a perfect balance between crisp varietal flavors and rich creamy texture. This makes Iris the perfect white for pool side relaxing or an elegant table. 90 Points Stephen Tanzer.
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