Cellars Wine Club - October 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:
Poderi Elia – Italy
2007 Serracapelli Barbaresco DOCG
Meticulous, beyond belief in the cellar, Federico Stella, the young and talented owner/winemaker of Poderi Elia, possesses an uncanny instinct for making world-class wine. Respectful of traditional varietals, but unrelenting in his desire to improve, Stella experimented with over 30 combinations of French oak before settling on his cooperage formula! (Imagine that expense for a small estate!) Consistently he takes all of his wines right up to the edge of modernity, but then masterfully hovers there, never once crossing the line or going too far. Although extremely affable, Federico remains serious while discussing his vision. Indeed, even when the subject of conversation turns away from Poderi Elia, one always has the distinct impression that, privately, Federico is still thinking about his wine. From the heart of Barbaresco country in Neive comes this stunningly elegant Barbaresco. The Stella family has been making wine since 1890, but only recently have garnered international attention–it is easy to understand why. This outlier wine sparked much controversy at the Nebbiolo blind tastings because of the thickness of its extraction and the darkness of its appearance. Serracapelli is a beautifully rich wine that doesn’t necessarily highlight Barbaresco typicity. You’ll get opulent aromas of black cherry, spice, leather and moist tobacco. The mouthfeel is rich, round and velvety. Just 710 cases produced and only a fraction of that imported into the United States. Drink now through 2018. 94 Points Wine Enthusiast.
Jarvis Wines - Napa, California
2009 Chardonnay Napa Valley Finch Hollow Vineyard
Jarvis Winery is truly unique. Carved into a mountainside high in the hills of Napa — only four miles off the Silverado Trail — its setting is truly spectacular. Jarvis Winery produces ultra-premium, estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. The grapes are hand picked and go directly from the vineyards to the winery cavern. With 45,000 square feet of floor space, the Jarvis cavern contains the entire winemaking process and provides the ideal humidity for aging fine wines in oak. The wines never see the light of day until the day they're shipped. The caverns also house an underground stream and waterfall. Owner William Jarvis has created a beautiful Crystal Room, featuring stunning crystals, and his unique fiber-optics chandeliers and the caves interior lighting are a sight to behold. This Finch Hollow Chardonnay is made up of grapes from a special vineyard called “Finch Hollow”. It is a small plot that in previous years was harvested by flocks of Finches and Blackbirds. After all the Jarvis vineyards were netted and completely harvested, they got a lot more grapes from Finch Hollow. Their Winemaker Consultant Dimitri Tchelistcheff, noted that it was a distinct terrior which contributed an intense tropical fruit character. In this unique setting the vines grow in shallow soil on a steep hillside. Year after year they are impressed with the Chardonnay from Finch Hollow. It is barrel fermented in new French oak, and sur-lie aged with weekly stirring. The result is a bright, sunshine yellow wine with floral aromas and ripe
mouth filling fruit - an elegant wine from a remarkable harvest sure to make those you share it with feel privileged. This wine was ready to enjoy now and should continue to drink beautifully for four to six years. Only 294 cases produced. 92 Points Wine Spectator.
Terra Blanca – Benton City, Washington
2008 Onyx Red Mountain
Keith and ReNae Pilgrim started Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard in 1992 with the purchase of 300 acres on an arid, treeless slope called Red Mountain. Together, they figured out how to grow grapes, make wine, sell wine and stay married. The majority of their wines are made from the fruit they grow. While many winemakers will select vineyards for their variety of fruit and locations, Keith has invested in raising his vines for his own winemaking style. Once the fruit is picked, he often chooses long extended fermentation times using both native and selected yeast for the reds. Before fermentation, there is typically extended periods of cold soaking and post-fermentation there is often extended time on the skins; these choices are essential to producing wines with huge depth and structure; high levels of fine, well behaved tannins; and an intense fruit core. The blending of individual barrels to create the wines that Keith makes is really the artistic part of the winemaker's job. With assistant winemaker Randy Swanson and cellar master Javier Mendoza, Keith typically tastes through all of the blending trials for the wines. The blending trials for a single wine can often take several months of daily tastings to perfect the blend. Many hours of systematically trying different blends for each of the wines often results in a sea of glasses with typically very small but significant differences to evaluate and select from. Picking up the next blending trial to move a blend closer to completion until Keith and his staff are completely happy with the resulting blend. Once the wines are bottled, prefer to allow their huge structured Red Mountain reds to have a minimum of one year in the bottle. Keith believes the red wines have the structure, tannins and depth to last for well over 20 years. Terra Blanca has been producing Red Mountain estate grown wines since 1997 and their first wines from 1997 here today are still babies…. Just think what the future holds. The 2008 Onyx is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec to make a true Bordeaux blend. The 2008 growing season had an early start in the spring, it continued with moderate summer temperatures and overall was a mild growing season. This allowed for a timely harvest between September 17 and October 11. Vines were fifteen years old, grown in unilateral cordons on a vertical shoot position trellis. Vines were cropped at a very low 1.75-3 tons per acre. Raspberry and cherry with notes of violets lift from the glass and mingle with soft spice and toasted oak on the nose. Smooth, lush flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and cassis wrap around a core of full, yet soft, structured tannins. Cedar notes with light touches of spice fold into lingering cherry and berry flavors surrounded by a sea of rich chocolate on the long, silky finish. Drink now through 2020. Only 606 cases were bottled. This wine has not been rated yet.
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