90+ Point Wine Club - September 2012
Learn the finer points of all of the incredible wines we deliver, from reviews to food pairings and wine characteristics. All of the wines included in our wine clubs are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness.
Leon Perdigal - France
A group of Rhône producers got together to create a Châteauneuf-du-Pape specifically for the American market, the winemaker's name starts with a vowel - that's all we're allowed to tell you. If you need another hint, just look at the cork! The 2010 will be another great for the Southern Rhône. The Wine Spectator rated the 2009 vintage 94 and "Outstanding" and but have given the 2010 a 94-97 rating which could put it in the "Classic" category. Most would agree that a great wine starts in the vineyard and this Châteauneuf-du-Pape offering is no different. The wine is comprised of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from Six cru estates. After fermentation the wine was aged for 12 months in French oak. The wine's characteristics are of a typical youthful Châteauneuf-du-Pape profile - deep ruby/purple color along with a gorgeously sweet perfume of cassis, black cherries, plums, smoke, grilled herbs, and licorice. With supple tannins, full body, and beautiful texture and depth, it should drink nicely for another 10 years. Because of its youth this wine will benefit from one hour of decanting prior to use. Pair with grilled beef, Marengo calf, boar stew, lamb, and various hard cheeses (Maroilles, Livarot...). This wine has yet to be rated (Rhône/Southern 2010 vintage 94-97 Points Wine Spectator).
Elisabetta Foradori - Italy
2009 Teroldego Vigneti Delle Dolomiti IGT
"Elisabetta's journey in her "wine life" is a familiar tale, but one that we never tire of hearing. The early death of her father unexpectedly hurtled her to the management of the family estate. Though "born among the vines" as she says, she took the helm at first more from a sense of duty than one of passion or vocation. Eventually, however, that passion and vocation came through the work itself, both in the vines and in the cellar. A path of questioning, experiment and intuition (that included everything from biodynamics, to massale selection and the use of amphorae) eventually led her to give up any sense of chasing market trends of the "wine industry" to develop the estate towards the goal of making wines respectful of the soil and the local grapes she wants to honor, and using the techniques she found more interesting, less invasive, and more wine "holistic". In a lot of ways, she has come far, but we think, that for Elisabetta, like for other great grower/winemakers we are privileged to work with, it is a process, and one that doesn't necessarily end." Louis Dressner, US Importer. This 2009 offering is made from 100% Teroldego. Many people will not want to burden themselves with learning about an obscure red grape like Teroldego. It’s not easy to pronounce (tehr-AWL-deh-go) and hardly sweet sounding off the tongue. In fact, only a handful of producers outside northeastern Italy have it in their repertory, and very few examples make it to American shores. And what a treat it is. The wine pours and inky-purple in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, smoke, fresh flowers and mountain herbs are evident on the captivating nose. It is fresh and juicy on entry, then rich and pure in the middle. Blueberry and blackberry flavors linger nicely through the very long, clean finish, which features a saline quality. Drink now through 2014. 91 Points Stephen Tanzer.
Dierberg Vineyard - Santa Ynez, California
2009 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley
Carved into the sandstone at the base of a 1500-foot-high ridge looming above Star Lane Vineyard, this new winery serves as a home for both Star Lane and Dierberg Estate. It is modeled on a Bordelais design built around a classically conceived courtyard framed by stone windows and arches. The building is a dream that has been more than a decade in coming for vintners Jim and Mary Dierberg, and it offers a blend of French aesthetics on the outside with serious, "no-frills" functionality on the inside. The attention to detail within the winery demonstrates the fact that the winery is their greatest winemaking tool. The Central Coast's cool-weather terroir is exemplified at the two estate vineyards that provide Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Dierberg Estate: the original Dierberg Vineyard in Santa Maria - planted in 1997 - and the newer Drum Canyon vineyard located farther to the south in the Santa Rita Hills. In both vineyards, cooling Pacific Ocean fog and breezes keep this sunny corner of California far cooler than one would imagine. This phenomenon favors crisp acidity and gentle ripening in classic Burgundian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Dierberg Vineyard is situated atop a sandy loam mesa above the South Bank of the Santa Maria River. The vineyard, located in the near-extreme Western part of the Santa Maria Valley AVA, is one of the coolest vineyards in the appellation. This attribute, combined with the sandy, marine-based soils, creates Chardonnays with high acidity. Following harvest they use a mix of time-tested techniques from Burgundy in combination with less traditional techniques more suited to the unique characteristics of the vineyard. The result is a lush, mouth-filling Chardonnay balanced by crisp acidity. Their 2009 Chardonnay opens with vibrant orchard fruit aromatics, particularly Anjou pear and Fuji apple. With air, these are augmented by autumnal scents of baking spice and Marcona almond. Racy on the palate, this is a vintage full of fresh, mineral energy- hints of sea shell and river stones that dovetail into a long, mouthwatering finish. Perhaps their most precise expression of their Santa Maria vineyard yet, they expect this vivacious Chardonnay to age beautifully over the next 6 to 8 years. 93 Points Robert Parker.
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