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Congratulations to all who have survived the past year as well as the holidays and are now emerging from the aftermath. It is time to get back on track with our weekly wine regimen as the bottles keep arriving and the wine keeps flowing. Fortunately, ours is an intellectual pursuit in an effort to better understand grape growing, wine making and sensory perception; and not just be looking for a buzz. The next Saturday, the 15th, we will host the Kenneth Volk Vineyards and winery representative, Mike Brown. The following Saturday, the 22nd, we will be joined by Deborah Ellis of Fess Parker Winery. Please engrave these dates into your memory or at least scratch them onto your calendar. These are great wineries deserving of our rapt attention.
2007 DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER PINOT BLANC, ALCACE, FRANCE
List price 14.95; our price 12.99
Schlumberger makes this wine with equal proportions of two grape varieties : Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois. It is a dry wine combining the freshness of one with the aromatic qualities of the other. It is quite close to Chardonnay and is well-balanced, dry and fresh on the palate, with very attractive, fine fruit. This Alsatian wine is known for its suppleness, its emphatic fruitiness and its ability to easily go with a large range of dishes.
2008 WHITE OAK SAUVIGNON BLANC, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
List price 14.95; our price 9.99
Bill Myers moved from Los Angeles to the Alexander Valley in the 1970s and began making wine; he quickly became recognized for producing wonderful Chardonnay, Zinfandel and what was to become White Oak’s flagship wine: Sauvignon Blanc. It has typical grassy herbaceousness but performs more in the grapefruit genre. Even in the finish there is a slight expression of grapefruit bitterness. This is a very good food wine with a fresh, crisp finish.
2009 PEDRONCELLI CHARDONNAY, DRY CREEK VALLEY
List price 12.00; our price 9.99
When we hosted the Pedroncelli Winery a few months back, we did not include the Chardonnay, a shameful omission we will correct here and now. While the refreshing citrus, melon and tropical fruit aromas and flavors predominate, the blend of the stainless steel fermented and barrel fermented cuveees adds both fruit-forward qualities and complexity. The wine finishes clean, crisp and light.
2008 PUERTO VIEJO CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CHILE
List price 9.00; our price 7.99
This wine remained on its lees for six months in stainless steel vats with micro-oxygenation and with French oak staves; 15 percent of the wine was aged eight months in French and American oak barrels. It is a well-done, affordable Cabernet with all the qualities with a black-fruit bouquet, and showing ripeness, depth and solid tannins in the mouth. The flavor profile of cola, blackberry and chocolate works just fine, and the finish is long and hints at bitter chocolate and cedar.
2007 BOUTARI XINOMAVRO, NAOUSSA GREECE
List price 18.00; our price 15.99
Boutari Naoussa was the first Grecian bottled wine available in Greece (1879) and is the benchmark among Greece’s premium red wines. It has won many awards over the last 50 years both in Greece and internationally. It is also the #1 selling premium red wine from Greece worldwide. It has typically a rich bouquet of ripe red fruit, blackberry and plum, together with sun-dried tomato and the aromas derived from ageing: cinnamon and wood. It has a rich body, good balance and structure, with soft tannins in its finish.
2007 ESTANCIA MERITAGE RESERVE, PASO ROBLES
List price 20.00; our price 16.99
he blend in this Meritage is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 12% Petit Verdot. It is a deep violet wine with crimson edges. The bouquet shows ripe black cherries, licorice, mountain herbs, mocha and fine integrated oak. It is thick, deep and explosive. Chocolate dipped black fruit is enveloped in rich sweet oak. The firm, structured, ripe tannins accompany a long, fruit driven finish.