Wine Club Bottles for December 2017
Corbières “Gris de Gris” Rosé will be a new offering here at The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey and this is another chance for Wine Club Members to get their hands on it before we release it on the menu. This dry Rosé is hand harvested. Gris de Gris is blend by the saignée method. This is a method of rosé production that involves bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins. After a 24-hour débourbage, or settling of the must, alcoholic fermentation takes place at cool temperatures for 35 days. The wine rest for one month before bottling to preserve freshness and aromatic intensity. The blend in the bottle consists of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvèdre.
The first vineyards at Domaine de Fontsainte, in the Corbières appellation, were planted by the Romans. Artifacts found in these vineyards, such as an old coin dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa in 25 A.D., are a testament to its antiquity. The original domaine was built around a thermal spring, which was later named for the local, twelfth-century patron saint, Saint Siméon; hence Fontsainte—the saint’s fount. Yves Laboucarié’s family has been making wine here since the seventeenth century and Kermit Lynch and his company are now working with his son, Bruno to bring this wine to you.
The Fontsainte vineyards surround the hamlet of Boutenac in the area known as “The Golden Crescent.” This swath of land is one of the sunniest in the appellation of Corbières, enjoying southsoutheast exposure, and protection from the cold, northeast winds by a large 500-hectare forest. The cooler sea breezes from the Mediterranean help this sun-soaked terroir achieve balance as well. Like many of the vignerons that we work with, Bruno believes that “great wines are made in the vineyard” and less in the cellars. He farms the land sustainably and keeps treatments to a minimum. Silica, clay, and limestone dominate the subsoil of Fontsainte’s vineyards. Many of their vines are older, especially the parcel known as La Demoiselle, which recently celebrated its hundredth year.
Irony Cabernet Sauvignon is a combination of small lots from premiere vineyards throughout the North Coast of California. Sourcing from a wide range of vineyards allows for a wide range of characteristics and flavors. From the warmer, inland valley terroirs of Solano county to the cool coastal influences of the
Pacific and Clear Lake in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties, 2015 Irony Cabernet Sauvignon is a precious, handcrafted combination of ripe, concentrated flavors, balanced acidity and layered complexity. After primary fermentation, the wine was gently pressed and transferred onto a combination of French and American oak to age.
Irony 2015 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon opens with enticing aromas of black cherry, cola, bittersweet cocoa and dried herbs. This medium-bodied wine delivers dark berry flavors combined with layers of chocolate-covered black cherry and subtle notes of baking spice. Lush fruit, a balanced profile and structured tannins make this Cabernet Sauvignon a perfect match for roast beef tenderloin, penne pasta with Italian sausage, or even rich chocolate cake.
All Red Selection
The Milton Park 2015 Vintage was characterized by a dry period extending from July to April, together with warmer than usual temperatures during spring until mid-January which advanced maturity on lower yielding vines. Mild temperatures from Mid-January slowed maturities concentrating flavor and intensifying color development.
The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed into fermenters. Yeast is added immediately once in fermenter and the ferments are pumped over twice daily to maximize color, tannin and flavor extraction. After cool fermentation and pressing, the wine is then put into predominately American oak to mature.
The nose is berry fruits, with hints of dark chocolate and spice. The palate is medium bodied with intense plummy fruit. This plummy fruit fills the whole palate and combined with the soft and approachable tannins creates a very mouth filling wine. The length of flavor is long with plumy and licorice fruit and spicy oak.
The Bodegas “Glorioso” Tempranillo 2011 is a new and exciting wine to our daily list. The grapes are from vineyards with south orientation and protected from the cold winds of the north by the Sierra de Cantabria, allowing the vine to take advantage of the heat it needs to ripen the fruit. Meanwhile the clay-calcareous soils, are ideal for the Tempranillo vine to regulate their demand for moisture.
Selected grape from the Rioja Alavesa vineyards. After a long maceration, the wine goes to French oak barrels, where it remains for 20 months. The wine is then refined in the bottle for a few months before it goes on the market.
This wine has an intense bright red hue. The nose is intense and clean. A very good maturation of the grape is identified since you can notice intense aromas of ripe red fruits, in addition there are hints of
dried flowers and a background of spicy aromas where highlights of vanilla and black pepper sit, all contributing to the complexity and elegance in the glass.
Of corpulent and enveloping character but friendly and expressive since we appreciate a There is good muscle and structure as the wine passes over the palate. This is typical of mature tannins. This tannin quality is well balanced with an acidity that refreshes the wine. A harmonious and long finish with sensations of sweet and elegant character making the memory attractive and of great quality.
This wine is expected to remain optimal until 2020, pairing well with roasts, red meats, game, lamb, and cured cheeses.
All White Selection
Since introducing Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Bianco Fontanavigna 2011 two menu adjustments ago, many of you have heard a condensed version of the reason why I wanted to bring this offering in and purchased the last 28 cases in Missouri. This was in my selection last quarter and many people, once tasting it, were very happy with the selection. So much so, I wanted to offer it once more. Pallagrello Bianco is a much-loved, yet almost extinct, green-skinned grape variety thought to have originated in Campania, Italy, or possibly ancient Greece. Like its black-skinned sibling, Pallagrello Nero, it was thought to have been wiped out due to phylloxera, a powdery mildew. During the following “forgotten era”, Pallagrello Bianco was mistaken for another grape, Coda di Volpe. However, its true identity was rediscovered in the 1990s by Italian vine grower and former lawyer Peppe Mancini, who has since replanted it and the nero variant.
In the 18th Century, when the royal House of Bourbon ruled Naples and Sicily, Pallagrello Bianco became a favorite of King Ferdinand IV. He set aside a place for the grape in his famous Vigna del Ventaglio, or Fan (-shaped) Vineyard, which was reserved only for his favorite vines. Back then, the grape was revered for its ability to make vini buoni e serbevoli (high-quality and long-lasting wines) – a characteristic that is valued once again by modern-day producers.
Pallagrello Bianco vines produce small bunches of small berries. The grapes are high in sugar and low in acid. Locals traditionally dried some of them for use in their cakes and pastries because of these qualities. Wines produced from Pallagrello Bianco are rich, yet soft, with a wide range of aromas, from peach and apricot though to honey, wax and even almond and vanilla (when aged in oak). The wines tend to have a full and succulent feel in the mouth.
Pallagrello Bianco wines can be made and marketed as IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). This classification is frequently used when producers make wines from grapes not permitted in the higher DOC and DOCG classifications. Outside Campania, few producers, if any, grow Pallagrello Bianco.
The 2011 vintage was picked between early August and September by hand. From there they are processed by a soft crushing and pressing, fermentation in stainless steel with a temperature range between 57-59° F. The wine then stays on noble lees for 6 months. The 2011 was a tough year. It was generally smooth until mid-August through the last two weeks of the month with scorching temperatures, to be remembered as perhaps the warmest of the last years in memory. After mid-August temperatures, and were accompanied by hot dry winds, which overheated the grapes. Harvest, therefore, was advanced to avoid early maturation. The wine is light straw-yellow in color. On the nose there are notes of fresh fruit, apples, pineapple, and melon. To the taste the wine is balanced between freshness and softness, with a good minerality, persistently aromatic flavors, and a long finish of dried apricots. Food for this bottle can cover baked oysters with a ground red pepper, parmesan and breadcrumb topping, to fresh buffalo mozzarella, and even sautéed mushrooms with fresh herbs.
Robert Parker scored this wine at 89 points. He talked about the Pallagrello Bianco 2011 as “The estate is among the wineries that are focusing on a handful of once-forgotten, ancient varieties that are today being rediscovered. This particular set of new releases is a bit uneven across the board, but when Terra del Principe gets it right, the wines are among the best in Campania, and Italy, for that matter.” This is a 100% Pallagrello Bianco coming from the vinyards of Mascioni (30%), Piancastelli (30%), and Bosco Agnese (40%) and being grown across the region in volcanic soils with stones, sand, and clay.
Another wine club only first is the Borealis 2015 from Montinore Estate. This is an off-dry, aromatic white blend composed of primarily Alstain varieties that grow on the estate vineyards at Montinore: Muller-Thurgau, Gewuztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. In the wine making process, each variety is fermented and finished separately, with decisions being made about acid and residual sugar on each individual wine. For example, the Gewurztraminer underwent 24 hour skin soak, to coax increased flavor out of the skins, while the remaining varieties were processed promptly to enhance freshness and avoid any phenolic extraction. Using a variety of yeasts, mostly indigenous, the length of fermentations and the amount of time spent on the lees is varied. All of this is done in consideration of how they will work together in the final blend. Extensive blending trials are done to ensure a bright, attractive wine, with a purity of flavor, and a fine balance between residual sugar and acidity. The 2015 Borealis is Gewurztraminer dominant making up 34%, followed by Muller-Thurgau
at 30%. The Muller and Riesling offer floral and delicate notes, texture and spice. With the warm 2015 vintage, this wine offers more tropical fruit, with good body and nice minerality, augmented by texture, spice, and floral notes and a crisp, dry finish.
The wine is mouthwatering and multi-dimensional, this perennial crowd pleaser is a blend of our favorite cool-climate whites. This is an intensely aromatic, wire a nose of tropical flowers, ripe kiwi and melon, the silky soft palate is brimming with rose petals, pink grapefruit, mango, and white nectarine then finishes on a high, clean note of bright key lime.