|The Sarah Jane English Newsletter:
August 20, 1998
18th NAPA VALLEY WINE AUCTION reported a wave of heartfelt generosity which sent spirits soaring and raised $3.8 million for local health care. The 1999 event is scheduled for June3-6 and John Shafer of Shafer Vineyards will be Auction Chair. For information: 707/942.9783, ext. 901.
VALLEY OF THE MOONWinery & Vineyards re-opens. The winery has enjoyed a rich and illustrious past dating back to 1860. Since its purchase by KENWOOD Vineyards in early March 1997, there has been a renaissance combining the propertys past with its new future as a producer of ultra-premium Sonoma wines. Initially, production will be 5000 cases of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and old-vine Zinfandel. Visitors are welcome daily from 10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at the winery, 777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442-1951.
LODI-WOODBRIDGEin Crush District 11 (Napa is in District 4 and Sonoma in District 3), has winegrapes that have attracted Californias premium wineries by their consistent quality and value. The 1997 Crush Report stated that 36% of Californias 152,721 tons of zinfandel and 26% of the 57,964 tons cabernet sauvignon come from Lodi-Woodbridge.
LOCKWOOD Vineyardmanagement approved an expansion that will double Lockwoods winemaking capacity from 3000 to 6000 barrels. Already one of the most successful estate wineries in Monterey County, Lockwood is among the elite 7% of wineries that receives the most awards for estate grown and bottled wines. CEO John Handel also announced that Lockwoods highly regarded winemaker, Steve Pessagno, was made a partner to assure winemaking consistency in years to come.
STAGS LEAP DISTRICT WINEGROWERS, a non-profit alliance, is offering "Appellation Collection," a mixed case, limited quantity of its vintners wines: Chimney Rock, Clos Du Val (library selection), Pine Ridge, Regusci (preview selection), Robert Mondavi, Robert Sinskey, S. Anderson, Shafer, Silverado, Stags Leap, Steltzner, $395 a case plus shipping where possible. For details: 707/255-1720.
SPICEWOOD1996 Chardonnay won a bronze and best of the appellation at the Grand Harvest Awards in Santa Rosa, CA and the 1997 Sauvignon Blanc won bronze at the Dallas Morning News National Wine Competition.
MESSENA HOF WINE CELLARSwon three gold, four silver and three bronze medals at the Dallas Morning News Competition, accentuating again that it is Texas most-awarded winery. Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo says "We received 26% of all medals awarded to Texas wineries and Best of Class (BOC) in five of the six wine categories we entered . . . an astounding result considering the level of competition at this event. For example, our Chenin Blanc won BOC in a category that included Beringerswhich sells 50% of all Chenin sold in Texas. Our other wines that received BOC were Johannisberg Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Late Harvest Muscat Canelli and Papa Paulo Port."
STE. GENEVIEVE WINES, Texas, has received the Impact "Hot Brand" award for outstanding sales performance. The "Hot Brand" award is calculated by Impact Databank, a leading source of alcohol beverage statistics, and is published each year in beverage industry publications Impact and Market Watch. Ste. Genevieve is the first Texas wine to receive the award. The brand has posted double-digit growth over the past six years and continues to expand. With annual case sales exceeding 330,000 and over 1,000 acres of vineyard under cultivation, Ste. Genevieve is the states largest wine producer. The winery and vineyard are located 26 miles east of Fort Stockton.
CONSORZIO CAL-ITALIA, a group of more than 50 California wineries producing wines from classic Italian grape varieties, has launched a website (www.cal-italiawine.org), established an 877-CALITAL information number, and announced plans for the its 2nd Columbus Day tasting in San Francisco.
ROBERT MONDAVI CULINARY AWARDSwent to Michael Chiarello Real American Restaurants, St. Helena, Cal.; Christopher Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Ala.; Jean Joho of Everest, Chicago; Anne Kearney of Peristyle, New Orleans; Jean-Marie Lacroix of Four Seasons Hotels Fountain Restaurant, Philadelphia, and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, New York.
MICHEL-SCHLUMBERGER WINESLtd. is a new wine import and marketing company. In addition to Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate wines, the company will market a select portfolio of international wines with emphasis on small, high-quality French producers.
REGUSCI WINERYopened in June 1998 on a historic piece of land, formerly the home of Grigsby-Occidental Winery, established in 1878, located in Stags Leap District. Regusci specializes in estate- grown, small, hand-crafted lots of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and zinfandel.
EVELINE BEYDON-SCHLUMBERof Domaines Schlumberger, Alsace, France, was nominated by Jean Meyer, Grand Master, the Confrerie Saint Etienne, as a member of the newly created "Premières DamesGrand Conseiller" of the Confrerie Saint Etiennewhich has opened its doors for the first time to women.
ERIC BEYDON-SCHLUMBERGERhas become a Chevalier du Merite Agricole, an honor he dedicated to the entire winemaking team.
SONOMA COUNTY GRAPE GROWERS ASSOCIATIONreported that Sonoma County wines have received more awards than any other California winegrowing region for ten years in a row. For more information about Sonoma County and its 11 viticultural areas, and a list of hot, highly-rated wines and medal winners from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, please see http://sonomagrapevine.org.
JOSEPH PHELPS 1995 INSIGNIAhas been given the Sweepstakes Award for overall best red wine in the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Just under 2,600 wines were entered in this years competition, and the Sweepstakes Award is given to the best white and the best red wines in the show.
Directed by wine writer Anthony Dias Blue, he says, "Ive tasted over 20 Insignia vintagesthis is the best ever made. Winemaker Craig Williams deserves a lot of credit. This shows that the American wine industry is capable of making wines that are among the greatest in the world."
FOOD WRITERis a useful and informative newsletter for cookbook authors/publishers, food editors and free-lance writers published bimonthly beginning in Feb. Subscriptions: one-year $30 and two-year $50, please write Page One, 137 Yost Ave., P.O.Box 156, Spring City, PA 19475; e-mail: Foodwriter@aol.com.
BULLETIN of the SOCIETY OF MEDICAL FRIENDS OF WINEreported an address by A.C. Noble, Professor of Enology, U.C.Davis, "Role of Saliva and Propylthiouracil Status in Perception of Taste and Mouthfeel of Wine." Very briefly, she said that the assessment or preference for wines varies enormously among individuals due to our preferences, expectations and previous wine experiences. In contrast to the quality response, we perceive odors and tastes fairly consistently, of course, with exceptions. The paper discussed two factors which may affect our perception of taste and mouthfeel of wine: sensitivity to propylthiouracil (PROP) and Salivary Flow Rate. PROP is genetically determined and classifies "tasters" and "non-tasters." "Theres an important anatomical difference in fungiform papillae (buds) formation concerning their size and amount. More studies are needed to determine that there is real effect of PROP status on perception of individual and integrated sensory properties and separately to determine if there is any consistent effect on preference. Preferences are based on more than taste, however, and PROP sensitivity most probably has absolutely no affect on perception of aroma."
Concerning "The Role of Saliva," Prof. Noble says that "Saliva can potentially affect perception of taste and mouthfeel of wine in many different ways. It provides the background taste environment: to elicit a salty taste sensation, concentration of NaCl must significantly exceed the sodium concentration of the resting saliva to which the subject is adapted. The stimuli eliciting a taste or mouthfeel response are constantly changing. Hence, saliva and stimulus interaction and their contrasts may affect taste perception.
LEGISLATIVE WINE NEWS
NIENTE ORIGINAL DISCOVERED
FAR NIENTE was founded 1885 but was abandoned with the onset of Prohibition in 1920. Gil Nickel, who started restoration of the Napa Valley estate in 1979, has spent 18 years searching for a bottle with the original label. Gils good friends, Tim and Jennifer Parrott, discovered the bottle by chance. The engraving depicts a hammock laden with grape clusters. Research is already underway to determine if the drawing was created by Winslow Homer, a nephew of the founder of Far Niente, John Benson. An historian and expert on Homer, Eric Rudd, has explained that while Homer did very little commercial art, he was known to have supplied his work to friends and relations for commercial use, including his cousin Virginia Johnsonthe lady who inherited Far Niente in the early 1900s.
The bottle was one of the few missing pieces of information about Far Niente history and will be prominently displayed at the winery.
"To make exceptional Cabernets was my winemakers dream," Justin says. "When Ray Duncan and I started Silver Oaks Cellars in 1972, my dream began to materialize. Now, after twenty-five exhilarating years, I still get excited every time crush rolls around. Over the years we have made many outstanding wines of which I am very proud," Justin continues. "But I always remind myself that we have yet to make the perfect Cabernet. The challenge is always out there waiting for the next vintage.
"From the start, we have dedicated ourselves to Cabernet," Justin says. "Our grapes are selected from meticulously farmed vineyards in Alexander Valley (A.V.) and Napa Valley. Both are aged for up to 30 months in American oak barrels and then cellared for another 12 to 18 months to develop the bouquet that comes from lengthy bottle age. Our aging program, hard work, patience and winemaking expertise are responsible for the well-developed bouquet, complexity and finesse that is Silver Oaks trademark."
The concept is to make wine that tastes good when consumed, and taste expectation should be delivered whenever a consumer buys a bottle of wine. The method employed to achieve this is:
"All our first wines (1972-1978) came from our first vineyards in A.V.," Justin says. "Because these wines have been so consistently delightful, our Alexander Valley Cabernet has become the standard for our finesse-style Cabernet Sauvignons. The interplay of soil and climate in this region produces exquisite wines year after year with only slight vintage variation," Justin explains.
"The character of our Alexander Valley wine is exemplified by its softness and drinkability upon release, with more subtle complexity as it matures in bottle for an additional five to ten years. The velvety smooth, lush, mouth-filling wines from Alexander Valley are easily distinguished from our bolder, more aggressive Napa Valley Cabernets."
In 1992 Silver Oaks bought a winery in Alexander Valley where grapes from their A.V. 200 acres are processed. The modified cellar holds 4,600 American oak barrels. Guests are invited to come to the tasting room and courtyard.
"Our Napa Valley Cabernet was first produced in 1979 to offer Silver Oak drinkers a choice," Justin says. "Napas volcanic soils and climatic conditions are quite different from A.V. The vines typically produce less tonnage per acre with more intense flavors. These wines tend to be more austere and closed-in with harder tannins at release time. The initial austerity softens and rounds out with age and contributes to long-range potential."
"The Napa winery was established in 1972 in Oakville on the site of the old Oakville Diary. The building served as our first aging cellars and theyre still in use today. In 1982, a 2,500 barrel cellar, hospitality room and offices were added. A new crushing, fermenting and bottling building was completed in 1987. Visitors are welcome at A.V and Oakville."
SILVER OAK 1994 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $45, "the 1994 growing season in Alexander Valley will be remembered as one of the longest and most favorable in recent history. Rainfall was ideal for normal vine growth and summer was mild. The wine displays a rich ruby color, a vibrant, complex nose of black currants, violets, chocolate and oak. Currants and chocolate overtones resonate on the palate. The wine is lush, full-bodied sumptuous, with a long spicy finish, soft and integrated tanninsoverall, opulent, complex and in harmony."
CENTRAL COAST WINE CLASSIC AUCTION
The versatile, eight-day, event was enjoyed by an estimated 7,500 people, myself especially. Director Archie McLaren has inspired and designed a fine artistic spectacular showcasing wine, food, music and art. The event featured a variety of seminars, vertical tastings, luncheons, dinners, cooking demonstrations, vineyard symposia and auctions.
Of course the idea is to raise money for KCBX to fund scholarships at area universities and to underwrite educational programs for the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, Paso Robles Vintners & Growers Association, Edna Valley Arroyo Grande Valley Vintners Association and the Central Coast Wine Growers Association. In behalf of those beneficiaries, the amount of money raised, $684,172, surpassed the previous record by $200,000. The highest single bottle price, $4,300 went for a Salmanazar (equivalent to one case of 750 ml bottles) of 1996 Tally Rosemarys Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir. The top ten bidders list, however, included nine bidders in excess of $20,000. Wine sparks a generous crowd.
The Wine Classic is my favorite auction. I like the selection among a variety of things to do, the wonderfully friendly people, the pulsating atmosphere and I love the weathercooool. The wine seminars and cooking demonstrations are outstanding.
Platinum Package buyers attend a dinner (limited to 200) by a famous chef at Hearst Castle. This year two Wine Classic Culinary HonoreesMadeleine Kamman, author/teacher and director of the Beringer School for Chefs, and protégé, Gary Danko, chef/owner of Viognier in San Mateo (and so much more), were guest chefs.
I went to Hearst Castle last year, so this year I joined other participants at The Gardens of Avila and the marvelous selection of dishes by Executive Chef Michael Albright and Sous Chef Robert Appel for "Fun, Food and Winning Wine," a sampling of Central Coast wines and a huge array of pastas, salads, cheeses, fruits, grilled meats, shellfish and other seafood, dumplings, dips, sauces, and, momentously, Pastry Chef Elizabeth Gonzales mouth-watering pastries.
Wine seminars were well represented, too, with Rhônes being the featured wine this year.
Dr. REMINGTON NORMAN, the KCBX International Press Nominee, moderated the wine tastings with ease, knowledge and funincluding the opening seminar with Chateau de Beaucastel Proprietor/Vintner Francois Perrin. Normans most recent book is The Rhône Renaissance - A guide to Rhône and Rhône-Style Wines in France and the New World.
"In pursuit of our goal between education and indulgence, were presenting these seminars," he began. "Chateauneuf-du-Pape in general is a difficult appellationa sort of Cinderella. Theres very high quality winemaking, dedicated people, great diversity of soil and microclimates and 8,000 acres of diverse areas, including drift boulders from ancient aquatic periods. Even though one varietal dominates (grenache), a smaller amount of blended grapes (syrah) can make a huge difference," he said. "Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a blended wine and thats important to remember. One grape does not stand alone and the others are needed to give the wine a chance. Beaucastel is a wonderful property. Its treated with ultilmate care from the vineyards to the wine."
We also tasted some lovely Chateau de Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1996 and 1997. I preferred the 1996and youll probably be able to find it.
RHONE wines tasted from California proved indisputably that viognier and syrah grapes are at home in the Central Coast. They were featured at a tasting held at the Cliffs, and although discussed several times during the event, one criterion rang true: Drink Viognier youngwithin 15 and no more than 18 months upon releaseand youll enjoy one of the freshest, most floral and fruit forward, delightful wines your palate can imagine. This evening I tasted at least 18 Viognier and slightly fewer Syrah wines and my notes lauded: Alban Vineyards, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Dover Canyon, Edna Valley, Fess Parker Vineyard, Foxen Vineyards, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Sunstone, Cambria, Tablas Creek Vineyard, Tobin James, Treana Winery, Wild Horse Winery, Zaca Mesa with additional praise for the Buttonwood Farm Winery Marsanne, Eberle Counoise and Syrah, Lockwood Syrah, Bonny Doon Rousanne, Seven Peaks Shiraz, Wild Horse Rousanne, Marsanne and Syrahall tasted with wonderful breads from Aficionado European Bakery (Santa Barbara).
GEORG RIEDEL (sounds like needle), producer of premier wine stemware for Reidel Glas Austria, presented one well-attended symposium. Reidel glasses are designed for optimum flavors and aromas of individual grape varieties. His symposium illustrated that fact vividly. The tasting included sampling the same wine in four differently styled and sized glasses to show explicitly how the glass shape can make a substantive difference in wine flavors and odors. The glasses were the Basic, the Ouverture, the Vinum and the Sommeliers. My notes on the same petit sirah tasted in the four different glasses: the 13 oz. Basic--fruit, vanilla, spice, ripe and rich, tannic; the 17 oz. Ouverturelanolin, berries, astringent finish, still big and tannic; the 22 7/8 oz. Vinumcomplex integration, spice, black pepper, anise, wine softens but is still tannic and big with fruit developing; the 20 ¾ oz. Sommeliersoak aromas, smoky, tea, touch bitter on finish, big and tannic. Again, the wine was the same in all four glasses. Everyone was amazed and delighted.
Mr. Reidel kindly gave each participant a set of the four glasses.
For anyone interested in cooking, the chefs demonstrations are a must. Chef Gary Danko and Chef Cal Stamenov satisfied the spectators easily.
GARY DANKO, at the tender age of six, joined his mom in the kitchen to bake cookies and cakes. He liked them and the process so well that several years later in 1977 he headed for Hyde Parks Culinary Institute of America. I first tasted Garys food at Chateau Souverains restaurant and remember well thinking that this man really has a special touch. His position won him acclaim and selection as one of Americas best new chefs by Food & Wine. I followed his career and him to the dining room at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco where my sterling opinion was reinforced. At the Ritz-Carlton he won more acclaim and in 1995 was named the Best American Chef in California by the James Beard Foundation. Along the way, he studied with Madeleine Kamman at Beringers School for Chefs and then assisted her at her New Hampshire cooking school, and later in France. Now he has his own restaurant in San MateoViognier.
His KCBX Classic luncheon menu was:
Roast Half Lobster with Tomato, Corn, Basil & Polenta with 1997 Andrew Murray Vineyards Viognier; Pistachio Crusted Loin of Veal with Wild Mushrooms, Potato Puree & Pinot Noir Sauce with 1996 Jaffurs Santa Barbara Country Syrah; and Roast Peaches in Raspberry Soup.
The luscious luncheon was enjoyed at Gardens of Avila, orchestrated by Executive Chef Michael Albright and his capable staff.
CAL STAMENOV has been a favorite chef of mine since we met three years ago at The Highlands Inn during his "Masters of Food and Wine" inauguration. I think he was 29 or 30 at the time. For those of you who have not been blessed enough to attend "The Masters," the Highlands Inn and its sponsors invite about 28 highly awarded, renowned chefs from around the world to prepare non-pareil luncheons and dinners for 180 persons for seven days with a support kitchen staff of 80 or so persons. Not only did Cal have to order every precisely specified and exacting item on each chefs menu list (months in advance to assure its fresh availability and timely shipping), but also run a kitchen with more than 100 chefs--sous chefs, pastry chefs, helper-chefs and so forth--for the entire event.
But, young Cal never blinked. During the entire time I never saw him harried or without a smile and pleasant greeting. He managed everything with seeming ease, and consummate skill. Remarkable indeed! Beneficiary to a remarkable calm, his attitude exudes gentleness and instills confidence. If that werent enough, the man is a superb cook.
Cals luncheon menu:
Black Sea Bass Steamed in Lemon Verbena with White Corn, Wild Asparagus and Pea Sprout Sauce with Zaca Mesa Winery Estate Santa Barbara County Roussanne; Roasted King Salmon Wrapped in Pancetta with Daube of Cepe Mushrooms, Celery Root Puree and Sirah Sauce with Sunstone Vineyards Estate Santa Barbara County Syrah; Warm Brown Butter and Bing Cherry Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream
.This delicious luncheon occurred at Cliffs at Shell Beach with assistance from Executive Chef Greg Moss and his capable staff.
BONNY DOON and ZACA MESA paired up for a vertical tasting to show off some vintages from the 1990s. Bonny Doon Cigare Volant from 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994 showed how cool vintages (90, 91, 94) matured compared to warmer vintages. Zaca Mesas Z Cuvée is the Chateauneuf du Pape-style wine that shows how well Central Coast Rhône varietals can be blended. We tasted the 1992 (first release), 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996.
White RHÔNE varietals were sampled on Sunday morning at the Cliffs. Under a tent by the ocean, cool breezes refreshed while a band played popular 1950s tunes for the folks who toe-tapped under the tables while tasting white Rhônes. Dr. Remington Norman moderated several events as well as this panel of distinguished winemakers.
ALBAN VINEYARDSJohn Alban began the discussion with a comment that many repeated.
"Viognier wines are best drunk youngwithin 15 months of their release," he said. "Were trying to add to the group of white wines, not replace Chardonnay or any others. Viognier is grown, not produced. Too much oak makes the flavors taste flawed. Its a wine of pristine fruit and flowers and it must arrive at the winery with these seductive notes or they simply wont be present in the wine. Viognier is not like any other white wine youll ever drink. Its low yielding and then further restricted. Enjoy it with crab, lobster, fish with herbs but not cream. Its a high acid wine with floral notes, dried peaches and apricots." (My notes agreed).
ANDREW MURRAY VINEYARDSAndy Murray explained the importance of picking the fruit at just the right time.
"We pick the fruit very ripe and it has a higher alcohol and darker color due to the sun exposure," he said. "Once the grapes are very, very ripe we really struggle to get them in. We pick at 24 brix. Viognier has a sweet nose but a different palateits dry. We make it in one-third stainless steel and two-thirds old oak for a rich and crisp wine."
CAMBRIA Winery &Vineyard, located in Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, is in a cool climate and has high acidity. Winemaker Dave Guffy thinks theyre fortunate to even be growing viognier in their area. Despite its sweet fragrance, Viognier is not a sweet wine but a very fruity wine. Its elegant and broad on the palate. Fermentation temperature is especially important for this type of wine and they handle it very carefully.
COLD HEAVEN 1997 Viognierwas only recently bottled and showed some bottle shock. Notwithstanding the effects, the wine is made to be tart and dry, picked at 23 brix and reaches 14 per cent alcohol. It is fermented in 7-to-10-year-old oak, according to Winemaker Morgan Toral, to "avoid that steely component that one gets from stainless steel ."
That mention was the first Ive ever heard about a "steely" quality imparted by stainless; although Ive often noticed a metalic character about a wine and did not know what caused it.
DOVER CANYON WINERYsDan Panico blended viognier and roussanne (25%) because he likes the oily body of roussanne grapes mixed with the floral quality of viognier. The vines are head trained, dry farmed, ripen in September instead of October and have a chalky-dusty character. He starts with a cool fermentation in stainless steel and then moves to oak for a richness and depth on the palate. The wine has a nice medley of fruits and is ripe and delicious on the palate.
EDNA VALLEY VINEYARDWinemaker Clay Block has been on board for only one year. He ferments in stainless steel, ages a portion in some oak and then blends the two.
"This may sound bad," he said, "but I like it with onion rings because its so rich and delicious."
It was rich and delicious, but I didnt try it with onion ringsonly because we didnt have any. Next time.
JAFFURS WINE CELLARSsCraig Jaffurs makes excellent viognier and he is surprised by all the attention hes gettingbut delighted. It really is very good. He picks at 23.2 brix and said that no other grape changes as quickly in the field. "If the sugars arent there, you simply dont pick it." His wine is left sur lie, undergoes malo-lactic, ages in oakone new one to each eight old ones; has limestone and mineral aromas and does not pair well with spicy hot foods and peppers. "It is really good with fruit and Thai dishes because it is such an elegant and aromatic wine."
ZACA MESAsJim Fiolek informed and entertained as usual. What a delightful character. We tasted the 1996 Zaca Mesa Estate Zaca Vineyards Roussanne. Jim says it ages well, comes from grafted vines, has fruitiness, tobacco and reflections of the limestone soil.
"Were a vineyard-based winery and our vineyards drain into rivers. We have 20 acres each of roussanne and viognier. We harvest at 23 ½ brix, cold settle and then do fermentation in older and wiser barrels that really know how to treat a wine," Jim said.
Older oak barrels do not impart oak flavors. Extraction and smoothness result from neutral oak and give roundness and richness.
The dates scheduled for the 1999 KCBX Central Coast Wine Classic, celebrating its fifteenth year in 1999, will be held from Sunday, July 4 through Sunday, July 11. It is a benefit for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County Public Radio KCBX and is sponsored by American Eagle/American Airlines. For information, please call (805) 781-3026, fax 781-3025, or 4100 Vachell Lane. San Luis, Obispo, CA 93401
LLANO ESTACADOhas released six wines from the 1997 vintage. Winemaker Greg Bruni says theyre in the midst of an important facility expansion and a research program centered on viticulture and site selection in Texas.
STE. GENEVIEVEfrom West Texas and LORVAL from the south of France, marketed by Ste Genevieve, have more good wines at stunningly low prices. These wines are fresh and fruity and ready to drink. Take a bottle home and enjoy it tonight with whatever is on the table.
FETZERhas bestowed a new proprietary name on its popular ZinfandelHome Ranch. It joins its sister winesSundial Chardonnay, Eagle Peak Merlot, Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and Echo Ridge Sauvignon Blanc.
MURPHY-GOODEsaphorism "Man cannot live by Fumé along" reflects on its success with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The red program is gathering momentum as replanted vineyards come into production and demands escalate.
FLORA SPRINGSlikened its new releases to the three great tenors because "Flora Springs has three great new wines just over $ tenor dollars." According to Julie Garvey, proclaimed tenor Luciano Pavarotti certainly can sing alone, but he invited two other super tenorsPlacido Domingo and Jose Carrerasto join him in an event in Italy that made history. "Our proclaimed Sangiovese also starred solo to sold out houses," she says, "but we thought it deserved some company too, so we are presenting our new Pinot Grigio and Rosata. We call the three wines our Floritalia line. Theyre worth singing about."
|AFICIONADO EUROPEAN BAKERY, 10 East Carrillo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, (805/963-8404) supplied the
bread for all the wine tastings during the July 1998 KCBX Central Coast Wine Classic.
Normally, I taste only with water, but the bread sticks and various loaves were too
delicious and foregoing the buttery pleasures was not possible. If you visit Santa
Barbara, dont miss this bakery for some excellent offerings.
PASTRY CHEF ELIZABETH GONZALES--who turns out some of the tastiest loaves, most luscious desserts and irresistible breakfast buckwheat pancakes Ive ever devoured-- contributed her usual skills to the evening. Her finale was the extraordinary Hawaiian Pineapple Filled with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding with Tropical Fruit Stir Fry.