This email is about the January 2012 Wine & Beer of the Month Club selections, with tasting notes and technical details about what is going in your Bin. Please notice the opportunity to set your communication preferences. Look in the heading of this email, there’s a link that says this: Did you know you can dial in your email preferences here? That link is in every email, and it gives you the chance to decide which types of communication you want from us. Want to know what each of the options means? Here are the details. Feel free to reply to this email and share your thoughts, we love hearing from you!
Open Hours: Holiday hours are over, we’re now back on our regular schedule of being open Tuesday-Saturday, 11-7. Wine tasting is every Friday 4-7 and Saturday 12-7.
The wine and beer for this month’s Club has arrived and will be in your Bin on Friday!
Time for a new year and a pile of powerful wines to kick it off. Check these out, come to the tasting on Friday & Saturday to try themall.
If you’re not a Club Member yet, learn about the Wine & Beer Club?
Wine & Beer Club is rolling out this Friday, and tasting is from 4-7 Friday. We will be tasting Saturday from 12-7 as well, which is a great time to taste wine to beat the rush. The cost is $10 per flight (3 oz. each of 3 wines – red or white).
And without further adieu here’s the lineup for Club and Tasting:
Cameron Hughes Carneros Chardonnay
(Sonoma Carneros, Mendocino County, Napa County, California)
Taste: Pale golden color with great clarity. Presenting a marvelous bouquet of ripe white peach, golden nectarine, and white flower, this wine is rich with smoky oak and peachy character. It’s crisp and quenching with energizing acidity, offering tiers of jovial fruit. Above the merriment of this wine is serious juice, offering a great palate. Drink this now, and enjoy through the spring and summertime.
Cameron Confidential: Blended out with Pinot Blanc, Riesling and a bit of Moscato this wine is what we called an “Alsacian Blend”. Given that Chardonnay is not a major part of Alsacian winemaking we realize it’s a fanciful endeavor but the name is meant to evoke more the style of the region, a style, I think, those of you who enjoy less wooded wines with brighter acidity will enjoy. Now, that’s not to say this wine didn’t see oak. The base wine for this blend saw about 25% new French oak including barrel fermentation but no malolactic fermentation so, instead of being buttery and rich, its peachy and fresh. Blend in the aforementioned varietals to the tune of about 15% and the resulting wine is a complete departure from traditional Chardonnay. Zippy and bright with a rich midpalate of fresh peach fruit this wine will make a fantastic spring aperitif wine and a welcome partner to Asian cuisine, fruit salads, picnics, and poolside.
Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat
Four Vines Petite Sirah
(Paso Robles, California)
Pop the cork and be instantly greeted by the scent of black cherry, nutmeg and vanilla before the glass even meets your lips. Enjoy the smooth, surprisingly velvety tannins that only the hills of Paso Robles can deliver, while flavors of rich, deep fruit and toasty, caramelized creme brulee envelop your palate like the most luxurious (faux) fur throw
The finish goes on for miles (ok, for minutes) with smoky char and BBQ notes with undercurrents of decadent, juicy boysenberries and nutty toffee that linger in the depths of this black as night Paso Petite. Food Pairing: Braised Prime Rib, Roast Duck, & Pot Roast.
100% Petite Sirah
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Riesling
We don’t often put Riesling in the wine club, and there’s a reason. Riesling is often considered a beginners wine, and a connoisseurs wine choice. For a beginner, Riesling can come in a bottle that is inexpensive, somewhat sweet, not overly complex, and smooth. This sweet-style Riesling is what makes Chateau Ste. Michelle famous, among others.
But what would a Connoisseur have to do with Riesling? On the high end of Riesling, the Germans and Alsacean French have been doing it top notch for years. To the Germans Riesling is not just one thing. Like the Eskimo’s words for snow, the Germans have classified Riesling (and Gewurztraminer) into several classes. The beginner type Rieslings would be in the German table wine category, and anything of high quality and value would be in the Prädikat classification. This Prädikat system is divided into Kabinett, Spätlese (late harvest), Auslese (select harvest), Beerenauslese (select berry harvest), Eiswein (ice wine), and Trockenbeerenauslese (select dry berry harvest). We’re going up the quality and value scale there. Want to know more? This Wikipedia entry is enlightening.
The Fritz Haag Auslese Riesling, for example, is showing very well right now in the 1931 vintage. To get a bottle in the current vintage, expect to pay $70-90. The Germans also classify single vineyard designations, as each vineyard site within it’s AVA contributes it’s own unique terroir to the wine.
OK, so what about this wine in the Reserve White wine club? This is a special opportunity to try something special in the German tradition, get a good price on a great bottle of wine, and learn about high-end Riesling. Selbach-Oster is the winery, it’s a family owned winery since 1660 located in the Mosel region. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer was the name of this region until 2007, when the Germans shortened it to make it more friendly. Zeltinger Sonnenuhr is the vineyard site, which is a specific part of the vineyard marked by a Sundial that was constructed in 1620 by the Abbot of the nearby Himmerod monastery. It’s on a very steep slope with large outcroppings of rock. Large chunks of blue Devonian slate, very shallow subsoil of decomposed slate on top of slate bedrock, contributing a mineral quality to the wine, something to look for in your tasting of it.
Being an Auslese, this is a select harvest wine. Some auslese are made sweet, this one is reported as dry. It does have a touch of Botrytis, which is known as “noble rot” because it is a fungal rot that attacks grapes giving it a distinctive flavor most well known in dessert wines such as Sauternes or the Aszú of Tokaji.
Robert Parker, Wine Spectator and Steven Tanzer all gave it 90 Points. From this same vineyard site, there is a more expensive version of this wine from select barrels they call “Rotlay.” The Rotlay is expected to age until 2032 and usually costs close to $60 per bottle! This bottle is typically in the mid $30’s but we were able to secure some at only $20 per bottle for wine club members.
Here are the tasting notes from the experts:
Fabulously integrated with salty and silky terroir notes. Super-clean botrytis appears at the very end of this seamlessly woven wine.
90 Points-The Wine Advocate “Evokes pungent brown spices and honey indicative of botrytis on the nose, as is a touch of bitterness. But the corresponding flavor characteristics are nicely folded into the wine’s creamy texture, while cooling fresh orchard fruit and herb elements offer counterpoint and keep pace with the lightly-honeyed glaze of botrytis in a sappy, clinging finish. This should cellar well for the better part of two decades.”
90 Points-Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar “Peach pit, cherry blossom and quince jelly dominate the bouquet. Almost creamy in texture and yet delicate, with the smoky, wet stone minerality keeping the ripe apricot fruit in elegant balance. Persistent persimmon flavor with a hint of slate make for a long finish.”
90 Points-The Wine Spectator “Apricot, citrus, spice and mineral permeate the lush texture in this soft, bright Riesling. Harmonious and graceful, with lingering apricot and nectarine notes on the finish. Drink now through 2025.”
75 Wine The Sum
This amazingly well-endowed, profoundly rich red wine must be smelled and tasted to be believed. The color is a rich, deep purple garnet and gives but a small hint as to what’s inside. The nose gives off soaring and wonderfully focused aromas of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, cherries, cedar cigar box, blackberries and cinnamon. In the mouth, there are layers upon layers of broad, sweet opulent fruit balanced by firm tannins, great acidity and oak
Ken Wright Pinot Blanc
(Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Pinot Blanc is a lighter-colored natural mutation of Pinot Gris. Our sources for this fruit are a two acre block of Meredith Mitchell Vineyard and a half acre block of Freedom Hill Vineyard. After pressing the fruit, the juice is fermented in neutral French barrels. The neutral casks give us rich textures without imparting new oak that would detract from the bright fruit/mineral/floral profile of the wine. The new wine remains in barrel with the original yeast and is not racked until bottling.
Look for lemon and lime flavors to burst from this full bodied Pinot Blanc. Also notice the tropical fruit flavors and the bright acidity to balance out this delicious wine.
100% Pinot Blanc
Bergevin Lane Moonspell Cabernet Sauvignon
(Columbia Valley, Washington)
…MOONSPELL, A luring name and a luring wine. Intricate power and delicious balance. Dark fruits especially black berries and black currant cassis followed by mineral, earth, balanced smoky oak and plenty of spice. Dense and thick the entirety of the mouth is coated with rich concentrated flavors while the tannins, fine and ripe, linger elegantly behind leaving the impression of pure Washington fruit and terroir. The most perfectly balanced Cabernet bottling so far without a doubt…
New world marries old world!!! (could the missing link have been found here??…)
Sarah says its intoxicating, with floral and herbal aromas. Tropical notes of hints of oleander on the generous nose that opens up right away. It’s a very pretty wine with flavors of cola, black fruit and a firm grippy tannin.
Aged for 20 months in 82% French and 12% American oak & 5% Hungarian
Stone Tree Vineyards (WS): 47%, Double Canyon (HHH): 23%, Les Collines (WW): 21%, Pepper Bridge (WW): 9%
76% Cabernet, 11% Merlot, 9% Malbec, 4% Petite Verdot
Anniversary Club Red
Walla Walla Vintners Sangiovese 1.5L Magnum
(Columbia Valley, Washington)
Go big or go home right? Well, we went big! This is a delicious bottle of Sangiovese, and we felt the Magnum size would be a perfect way to start 2012 for the Anniversary wine club. It’s a Double Gold award winner at the recent Seattle Wine Awards, and the only Platinum winning Sangiovese in the Wine Press Northwest blind competition.
This elegant and charming wine contains 80% Sangiovese from Desert View, Dwelley and Kiona vineyards laced with 12% Goose Ridge Vineyard Syrah and 8% Dwelley Vineyard Malbec. It is an astonishing blend of terroirs and varietals. It is our eleventh vintage of Sangiovese and is reflective of the ripeness, fruitiness and the balance of the 2009 vintage-another award winner! It will woo you into crafting a meal of eggplant parmesan smothered in San Marzano crushed tomatoes seasoned with fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella and grated parmigiano-reggiano.
80% Sangiovese, 12% Syrah, 8% Malbec
Beer Club selections are not open for the tasting event, but a few bottles are available for purchase.
Stone Double Bastard Barleywine 2011
Here’s what the brewery has to say:
This is one lacerative muther of an ale. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory…and those around you would have little desire to listen to your resultant whimpering. Instead, you slackjawed gaping gobemouche, slink away to that pedestrian product that lures agog the great unwashed with the shiny happy imagery of its silly broadcast propaganda. You know, the one that offers no challenge, yet works very, very hard to imbue the foolhardy with the absurd notion that they are exercising ‘independent’ thought, or attempts to convey the perception it is in some way ‘authentic’ or ‘original.’ It’s that one that makes you feel safe and delectates you into basking in the warm, fuzzy, and befuddled glow of your own nescience. Why so many allow themselves to be led by the nose lacks plausible explanation. Perhaps you have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don’t even notice your white-knuckle grip on it. You feel bold and unique, but alas are nothing but sheep, willingly being herded to and fro. If you think you are being piqued in this text, it is nothing when compared to the insults we are all asked to swallow streaming forth from our televisions and computers. Truth be told, you are being coddled into believing you are special or unique by ethically challenged “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” marketers who layer (upon layer) imagined attributes specifically engineered to lead you by the nose. Should you decide to abdicate your ability to make decisions for yourself, then you are perhaps deserving of the pabulum they serve. Double Bastard Ale calls out the garrulous caitiffs who perpetrate the aforementioned atrocities and demands retribution for their outrageously conniving, intentionally misleading, blatantly masturbatory and fallacious ad campaigns. We demand the unmitigated, transparent truth. We demand forthright honesty. We want justice! Call ‘em out and line ‘em up against the wall… NOW.
Beer Advocate: 100 World Class, RateBeer: 100
10.5% ABV / 22 oz bomber
Alaskan Smoked Porter 2011
Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988.
The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited “vintages” each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine.
Introduced in 1988, Alaskan Smoked Porter has been credited with helping inspire an American revival of smoked beers. Alaskan Smoked Porter is one of the most award-winning beers in the history of the Great American Beer Festival and a perennial winner at the World Beer Cup.
Alaskan Smoked Porter may be enjoyed with smoked seafood, cheese and other robust foods and as an after-dinner drink. It pairs beautifully with everything from bleu cheese to vanilla ice cream and raspberries. This unique beer is also a wonderful flavoring ingredient in sauces, seafood dishes and even cheesecake.
Beer Advocate: 93 exceptional, Rate Beer: 100
6.5% ABV / 22oz bottle
Sam Adams Third Voyage Double IPA
Also dubbed Batch No 1 in this new experimental series from Samuel Adams, Third Voyage is a double IPA and it uses cascade hops from new Zealand and the Pacific Northwest. It is piney, powerful and filled to the brim with floral and edgy hops.
Rate Beer: 96
8% ABV / 22oz bottle