|The Sarah Jane
English Newsletter: 11th Edition
May 10, 1998
SUTTER HOME is celebrating its 25th anniversary of producing Americas original white zinfandel by offering an opportunity to win a free trip to Napa Valley, (please, see http://www.sutterhome.com/ for details). Director of Communications Stan Hock says, "Over the past quarter-century, SUTTER HOME has sold over 400 million bottles of white zinfandel,and in the process, introduced millions of Americans to premium wine. In 1996 , the Wine Spectator named Bob Trinchero one of the 50 most influential individuals in the wine industry and described him as having turned more Americans on to the pleasures of wine at the table than anyone in history. Today, despite perennial predictions of its demise, white zinfandel is still going strong. With shipments of 21 million cases annually, it continues to challenge Chardonnay as Americas best-selling varietal wine."
FALL CREEK introduced its new super premium red wine, MERITUS $20, at the Texas Hill Country Festival. Packaged with an award-winning label, the name MERITUS alone identifies the Texas Hill Country wine. It has forward fruit, silky tannins and an enviable structure that suits a of number of dishes. Look for it during the upcoming weeks at your favorite wine market. Additionally, FALL CREEK is recycling its old barrels into Wine Woods, wood chips that add flavor to your grilled foods. And if you havent discovered the FALL CREEK Chenin Blanc Mustard, deny yourself no longer. It is fat free and full of deliciousness. I buy it by the case.
CAP*ROCK Winery, located on the Texas High Plains, uses grapes from one of the states premier wine growing regions. Winemaker Kim McPherson will soon celebrate 20 years in the Texas wine industry. He is a Lubbock native, graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Food and Nutrition Science before studying Enology and Viticulture at U.C.Davis, and served an apprenticeship at Trefethen. Recent CAP*ROCK awards include a gold for 1996 Topaz Royale at the 1997 International Eastern Wine Competition and at the 1997 National Orange Show a silveralso silver for 1995 Garnet Royal, and gold for 1993 CAP*ROCK Sparkling; gold for 1995 Diamond Royale at 1997 Jerry Meades New World International Wine Competition; and silver for the 1995 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at the 1997 BTI/World Wine Championships.
MESSINA HOF announced that "recently released results of the Dallas Morning News International Wine Competition show that Messina Hof has increased its position at TexasMost Awarded Winerywinning the only Texas gold (Late Harvest Muscat Canelli) out of 47 medals awarded, silvers for Johannisberg Riesling and Chenin Blanc and bronzes for "Angel" Late Harvest Johannisberg Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Papa Paulo Port.
SILVER OAK CELLARS General Manager David Cofran has announced that Peter Carisetti was named Marketing Director. He has held senior management positions with Seagrams wine marketing divisions and at Franciscan Vineyards. Silver Oaks, a leading producer exclusively of premium Cabernet Sauvignon, was started by Justin Meyer and Ray Duncan in 1972. SILVER OAK cabernets have attained acclaim for their well-defined bouquet, complexity and finesse, achieved in part from an extensive five-year aging program. Silver Oaks next release will be its 1994 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on August 1, 1998.
JAMIE DAVIES became President of Schramsberg Vineyards in February following the death of her husband and partner, Jack Davies.
ROBERT MONDAVI received the 1998 Vinitaly International Prize in Verona, awarded annually to an Italian and a non-Italian for leadership and innovative contributions to the wine industry.
LEE HODO was named National Public Relations Director for Ironstone Vineyards and DANIEL LEWIS is the executive chef at the IRONSTONE CULINARY CENTER. Hell create recipes and menus for the year round schedule of private and public events.
WINE INSTITUTE reported a Supreme Court decision to uphold a lower ruling regarding direct shipments of wine to Florida by out-of-state retailers. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, Floridas contention that states should have access to federal courts in order to stop out-of-state alcohol shipments directly to consumers. It sends a signal that states should consider the offers being made by wineries and other licensees seeking to gain limited legal access to consumers who request their products.
MAISON MARQUES & DOMAINES USA has added Champagne DEUTZ and DELAS Freres to its US portfolio. One of Champagnes smallest grand marque houses, DEUTZ was founded in 1838 and has long been run by the Lallier family, descendants of the original founders William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldermann. DELAS was founded 160 years ago in the heart of the northern Côtes du Rhone. One of the largest landholders in the northern region, DELAS also purchases grapes from the southern Rhone. The wines are praised for their intensity of flavor and excellent value.
Another issue of NEWSFLASH reports "Alcohol and Vitamin C May Reduce Gallstone Risk." The Journal of Clinical Epidemiology reports a finding for gallstones to be lowest in women (2,744 postmenopausal women) who both drink alcohol and take vitamin C supplements.
Also, "It appears that the combination of the antioxidant effect of wine and its effect on platelet aggregation may be associated with reducing the odds of developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration)," quotes NEWSFLASH from a study of 3000 older adults published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
NAPA RIDGE 1996 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon comes from well drained, gravelly or sandy soils that direct most of the vines energy to developing leaves and grapes. Leaves are pulled to balance the output so the sun can help development of the fruit flavors in grapes. Winemaker David Scholottman says 1996 was ideal in the Central Coast. Well-ripened grapes provide a complex range of flavors from dark berries to spices. And, its only $10.
KING ESTATE is offering a couple of good surprises: 1994 KING Zinfandel $20 and 1994 KING Cabernet Sauvignon $30. Owner Ed King says, "The bottles are unusual because zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon are not commonly associated with Oregon. While pinot noir is well established in reputation, Oregon is a young viticultural region and we will be many decades sorting out all its possibilities. " These two seem destined for the long haul.
1995 SHAFER Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District $30, Winemaker Elias Fernandez says, "The long hang time and slow maturation of grapes in 1995, along with a low crop, produced a SHAFER Cabernet with lots of intensityvery dark in color, with rich, sweet fruit, blackberry aromas and supple, ripe tannins."
1995 CHATEAU ST. JEAN Pinot Blanc Robert Young Vineyard $14, has "notes of vanilla, butter and floral aromas, and a rich, creamy mouth feel with melon and apples and a long buttery finish."
1996 DRY CREEK VINEYARDS Chardonnay $14.75, has "aromatic notes of pineapple, citrus and pear. Tropical fruit flavors and crisp apple integrate with vanillan oak. Well-balanced with soft textures, the Chardonnay finishes lush and creamy" (winemaker comments)."
1995 DRY CREEK Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $27, "intense black cherry and apricot aromas with bouquet of warm spices. Concentrated dark cherry, spicy berry flavors and soft mint notes with restrained oak and a full-mouth-feel add dimension to long, smooth finish (winemaker comments)."
1997 HOGUE Cellars Dry Chenin Blanc $7, Winemaker David Forsyth says "Minimalistic is the word to describe the winemaking process for this wine: take fresh grape flavors, convert to wine with cool fermentation to maintain freshness, bottle and drink when the wine is young."
1997 HOGUE Cellars Late Harvest White Riesling $8, "To preserve the lovely fruit qualities of this wine, juice was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks at 50-54° F. Drink young to enjoy the fruit flavors and crispiness at their peak."
1997 BERINGER limited Vineyard Selection (LVS) White Zinfandel $8, according to Tim Hanni, M.W. and manager of Beringer Wine and Food Dynamics Program, "People love choice and Beringer Winemaker Ed Sbragias addition to our portfolio gives a choice of its rich aromas and flavors of strawberries, raspberries and citrus and its solid continuum of flavor, showcasing both the varietal character and the versatility of this classic California grape. A menu selection calling for a light fruity wine could offer suggestions among this White Zinfandel, a Riesling, a Chenin Blanc or a Gewürztraminerall with their own flavor nuances. And I say, the more choices the better!"
LOU PRESTON says "It looks like another darn good year for Rhône varietals at PRESTON VINEYARDS here in Dry Creek Valley and were excited to be kicking off the year Viognier and Le Petit Faux.
1997 PRESTON Viognier, Estate grown and Barrel-Fermented $20, "aromas of peach, pear, spring flowers and ginger and a palate impression thats full and rich with a firm structure carrying fruit to a clean finish," says Winemaker Kevin Hamel.
1997 PRESTON "Le Petit Faux" Estate grown, Cincault 42%, Grenache 31%, Mourèdre 27%, $10, "The delicate but complex wines shows notes of white peaches, strawberries, clove and pepper. The wine is full and ripe, refreshing and completely dry," says Winemaker Kevin Hamel.
STYLES OF CHARDONNAY PRESENTED BY THE HESS COLLECTION
The 1997 GLEN CARLOU Chardonnay $15, from estate vineyards in Paarl, South Africa, has a 100% barrel fermentation with seven months aging in small French oak, partial malolactic and "lees" agitation (accomplished by physically rolling the barrels instead of stirring) to create a rich, full and ripe wine. MONTGRAS proprietor and winemaker, Hernan Gras, treats his fruit with restraint, harvesting in layers (20% on Feb. 10 remainder of Feb. 18) which keeps the natural acidity. Carefully selected grapes are whole cluster pressed, 75% cold fermented in stainless steel and 25% in American oak barrels. The wine is aged 6 months sur lie for the 1997 MontGras Reserva Chardonnay $11 from Chile. The results: three continents, three growing regions, three very different styles of Chardonnay.