January's Featured Wine Club Wines Are
Sauvignon Blanc is unmistakable for its taste and thanks to its typical crispness - almost a personal mark which is added to its aromas, therefore its taste - wines produced with this grape are always pleasing and “intriguing”.
The flavors many people identify with Sauvignon Blanc are typically similar to grass, bell-pepper, or grapefruit in nature. New Zealanders liken it to "gooseberry", but that is not a familiar smell or flavor to most Americans.
Marlborough has the sunniest, driest climate in New Zealand, and the Wairau Valley's rich soils combine with the cool nights to deliver astonishingly pungent wines, with gooseberry, herbs, pink grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, asparagus, lime-leaf, tropical fruit, passion fruit, and a host of other beguiling aromas. Few wines ever achieve the amazing aromatic complexity and zesty fruit of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The expression of this amazing explosion of fruit is aided by our special proprietary yeast: by careful management of the yeast strain, Estate New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc casts long, rich flavors, redolent with grass and currant leaves, and a crisp dry finish.
Also noted are herbs, pink grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, asparagus, lime-leaf, tropical fruit, passion fruit, and a host of other beguiling aromas. The expression of this amazing explosion of fruit is aided by our special proprietary yeast.
Crisp and dry, this refreshing wine is a fabulous match with food, as its full, fresh flavors and wonderfully balanced acidity make it essential with chicken, fish and grilled vegetables. Try it with grilled salmon!
CHILEAN PINOT NOIR
Requiring the shortest growing season to fully mature, Pinot Noir is often seen as winedom’s Holy Grail: The most difficult wine to make, but the most alluring when done well. Where many varieties focus on flavor, the Pinot is all about its almost sinful textural qualities, characteristics that call forth descriptors like succulent, sensual, silky, satin-like, fleshy, juicy, enticing. Plus, Pinot Noir is just plain difficult: It ripens unevenly, it wants to race through fermentation, and it goes through “dumb” stages—in barrel and in bottle—where winemakers wish to pour it down the drain. The wise ones do not. Such impetuousness requires the coolest of vine land climates to slow it down, which is why we see the grape on the Sonoma Coast, where the San Francisco Bay serves to slow the ripening curve dramatically. The longer the fruit stays on the vine, the richer the wines.
Richness in texture—the sort of suppleness that is all “wet”—is what Pinot Noir is all about. The flavors are there, too, from the bright cherry (red and black) and strawberry on the fruity side, to the wonderfully complex mushroom and leather of the earthy side, on to the absolutely yummy “filet mignon” meaty character the most of us simply drool over.
The Queen of grapes, Pinot Noir makes the world’s most sought-after and expensive wines. It changes character, expressing ‘terroir’ in response to growing conditions, making distinctly different wines wherever it is grown.
The Maipo Valley is located in central Chile, just south of Santiago in a region bound by the Andes mountains to the east, the Coastal range to the west, and the Maipo River to the north. Despite its relatively small size, this is the most celebrated appellation in Chile, home to some of the oldest vineyards in South America. These old vines produce wines of incredible finesse and complexity.
Chilean Pinot Noir is a wine of delicate balances: intense raspberry and black cherry aromas, along with elusive notes of toast and vanilla make this a lush and rich—but not heavy—wine. Tannins are silky, gently caressing the palate, compelling, yet rounded. Bright ruby highlights, medium body and a hint of violets and herbs, and subtle oak round out the finish.
When you combine Pinot’s extraordinary range of texture and flavor, you have a wine that is open to the widest possible wine-food match-ups. Almost anything is fair game. You like fish? Pinot can do that. You like spicy food? Pinot can do that. You like the classic filet mignon slathered in sautéed mushrooms? Pinot can definitely do that! Or if you want, just open a bottle and enjoy the sunset.