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WineRelease.com's January 15, 2002 Monthly Newletter


Greetings. WineRelease.com is now 498 wineries strong!

I hope your holidays were enjoyable.

Earlier this month I visited Copia (http://www.copia.org), Napa's new cultural center for the celebration of wine, food and the arts, with my sister Robyn and girlfriend Kris. The center is quite an attraction with art exhibits on the history of food, sensory experiences, wine tastings, food demonstrations and a large herb and vegetable garden. Most all the art and exhibits will change every six months keeping Copia fresh. We lunched at Julia's Kitchen (named after the patron saint of the pantry, Julia Child) and ordered the five course tasting menu with wine. The meal was excellent, the service was exceptional and the wine was well paired.

I also visited New York last week and ate at Veritas (http://www.veritas-nyc.com) with my friend Cat. Chef Scott Bryan is one of the few chefs (another being Brendan Walsh mentioned later) who received rave ratings by Anthony Bourdain of the best seller Kitchen Confidential. The meal was excellent and we paired it with a 1998 Domaine Gramenon "Les Laurentides" red Rhone wine. The wine had a nose of black pepper, black plum and a bit of cassis and the flavors carried through with a slight hint of smokey oak and a pleasant Grenache finish.

Last Saturday I lunched with my dear friends Michael and Maureen at Brendan Walsh's Tavern at the Elms in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Brendan Walsh (formerly of Arizona 206) is also one of the few chefs that Mr. Bourdain speaks highly of in Kitchen Confidential. We ate at the tavern portion of the restaurant and I enjoyed venison and the house French Burgundy.

Also on Saturday I visited Arthur Wunderlich's wine store, Bedford Wine Merchants (http://www.bedfordwines.com/). Arthur has an excellent selection of California, New York and French wines and he even had a bottle of Screaming Eagle on his shelf. I purchased wines from Arthur in 2000 and met him later that year at Wine Spectator's California Wine Experience. I asked him for a recommendation of a New York wine and he picked out a Pinot Noir (Millbrook) from the Hudson Valley that I hope to include in a Pinot Noir tasting sometime soon.

Of special interest in February is Silver Oak's release of their 1997 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on Saturday, February 2nd. Show up early (5am) if you want to snag a big bottle and sip coffee with other Silver Oakers and wax about the exceptional 97 vintage. If you arrive after sunrise, expect to see CHP officers doing their best to alleviate traffic congestion on the two lane Oakville Cross Road. Bring extra cash because the 97 price tag is now $100 per bottle. I remember just a few years ago when the price was half that amount. Upon leaving Silver Oak, take a right and visit Groth to pick up their 98 Reserve Cabernet which will also be released that day.

On to the show...

February 2002 Wine Releases


January's recommended mailing lists:

Copain
Wells Gutherie learned winemaking from Chapoutier in the Northern Rhone of France and spent time with Jean Louis Chave learning about Rhone varietals. Wells returned to the states and worked for Turley Wine Cellars before starting his own winery, Copain. Gutherie's 'old world' wine style of minimum intervention allows the wine to express the qualities and characteristics of each vineyard.
http://www.copainwines.com/mailinglistform.htm

Anomaly Vineyards
Another new small winery, Anomaly Vineyards is located at the base of the western hills in Napa Valley's quaint town of St. Helena. Steve and Linda Goldfarb own the vineyards and winemaker Amy Aiken produces limited amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. The first commercial vintage release will be 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon (350 cases produced) and is slated to be released in April 2003.
http://www.anomalyvineyards.com/mailing.html

I will be in San Luis Obispo visiting a few wineries and losing a few golf balls this week. I will report back next month.

Enjoy

Neil Monnens

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