Platinum 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:
J. Lebègue & Cie - France
2011 Grand Vin de Bordeaux Saint-Emilion
J. Lebègue wine-house was founded in 1828 near Margaux, in the city of Cantenac. Jules Lebegue bought the estate of Montbrun, close to château Palmer, and settled there its headquarters, until 1957, when fire entirely destroyed the castle. They decided then to move to Saint-Emilion and restart their activity there, in the heart of the right bank. St-Émilion is mostly planted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is those two varietals along with some Cabernet Sauvignon the comprise this J. Lebègue offering. The vines used were relatively young with an average age of 20 years and planted in soils made up mostly of chalk and clay. Although the grapes were harvested mechanically, they were then manual selected of the grapes before complete de-stemming. Traditional vinification techniques were used in small concrete vats with controlled temperatures. The finished wine is very typical of the Saint-Emilion appellation. The color is a nice and brilliant, dark red. The nose is of red fruits with spicy notes. This wine is well-balanced between well-matured red fruit and silky tannins with a fine roundness to its overall depth and finish. Drink now through 2018 and pair with steak ribs, lamb or truffle eggs.
Kaiken Wines – Argentina
2006 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Just as Kaikenes (wild geese, indigenous to Patagonia) fly over Patagonia, crisscrossing the land between Chile and Argentina, so have famed Montes Wines from Chile crossed over the Andes and into Argentina. It was precisely the wines of Argentina that attracted Montes into that country. For that same reason they imposed upon themselves, the task of acquiring for Kaiken the best grapes produced in the area. They went through all the best grape producing estates, finally deciding for the exceptional quality of that in the First Zone (Maipua, Cruz de Piedra, Ugarteche, Agrelo) as well as from Valle de Uco. Along with a hard selection of the best producers, they meticulously supervise each step and work in the vineyard from start to finish of each growing season, observing each little detail. This Kaiken Ultra is comprised of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec (hand-picked grapes, most of them sourced from 50+ year old vines located in the first zone: Agrelo, Lunluta, Pedriel). After fermentation the was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. The finished wine has an intense ruby red color that showcases red fruits flavors with spices and cedar notes. It's a wine of elegant notes and great complexity on the nose. On the mouth we find a unique combination between the Cabernet Sauvignon’s intensity, provided by the vines located in the Agrelo vineyard combined by the silkiness of the tannins given by the old vines located in the first zone. While ready to enjoy now, this wine will age well through 2016. Recommended to accompany strong flavored foods like lamb, beef and pork meats and gourmet pastas.
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards - Manson, Washington
2010 Marsanne Yakima Valley
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, such as Cinsault, Petite Sirah, Marsanne, to name a few. These are allocated primarily to 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. Working with Boushey Vineyard in the central Yakima Valley to source the grapes for this wine, winemaker Judy Phelps fermented the Marsanne in stainless steel with sur lie aging for eight months prior to bottling. Pale straw in color, this beauty is a full bodied white wine with a hint of grapefruit and honeysuckle. Very balanced in its acidity, it is rich and creamy on the palate but not overly so. Fragrant and enjoyable with a lingering finish, this wine pairs very well rich dishes such as crab or fettuccine Alfredo. Drink now through 2015.
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