WineRelease.com's May 15, 2005 Monthly Newsletter
Greetings from WineRelease.com, now 1,047 winery listings strong!
It’s been a busy 30 days since April 15.
First: The Frascati WineRelease dinner was a fantastic night. Good food, good wines, and good times. Next time I hope to get some wineries to donate a selection of wines, get a restaurant to discount the meal, and then donate the balance of the event cost money go to charity. Event date to come.
Second: I just got back from Paso Robles today after two days at Hospice du Rhone. I will have pictures up soon. A friend and I flew down from San Francisco in his Warrior III single engine plane. Not a bad way to travel, and the event was a blast as well. Win-win.
Third: I went to the California Cabernet Society's annual Cabernet Sauvignon tasting at Greystone in Napa last Monday and had some great 2004 barrel samples. I was surprised how approachable most of the wines were while still in barrel. Should be a great vintage for 2004 California Cabernets.
Fourth: I am planning to go to Sterling this Friday for their annual "Merlot in May" event. Yes, Miles lambasts Merlot, but can you take advice from a guy who steals from his mother? The billboard at Trefethen on Highway 29 on the way up the Napa Valley says "Obviosly Miles didn't try Napa Valley Merlot". I got a chuckle out of that.
Fifth: I will be on TV... Specifically DIY Network's "Fresh Coat" television series on Monday, June 20, 2005 at 8:30 PM EST.
Long story on how I got on the show, but it was fun completing the project, and I was actually impressed with the wall mural that host, Steve Bull, and I created. I never knew I was an artiste! As a point of interest, the room is actually the office I use to work on WineRelease.com (and QPRwines.com as well). Now you’ll be able to picture me sitting at the wine barrel desk while I send you your latest newsletter.
And last but not least... Over 67 updated listings since April 15th!
And now, on to the show...
June 2005 Wine Releases
- Bargetto Winery; 2003 Santa Clara County Syrah
- Burrowing Owl Vineyards; 2004 Pinot Gris
- Buttonwood Farm Winery; 2003 Marsanne
- Carlisle Winery & Vineyards ; 2003 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
- Castle Rock Winery; 2004 Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir
- Chateau Felice; 2004 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay
- Clos Saron; 2003 Pinot Too, 2003 Home Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Crane Family Vineyards; 2003 Don Raffaele Estate Merlot
- Dreyer Sonoma; 2004 Sonoma County Chardonnay
- Flora Springs Winery; 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Gary Farrell; 2003 Russian River Valley Rochioli & Allen Vineyard Chardonnay, 2003 Russian River Valley Russian River Selection Pinot Noir, 2003 Russian River Valley Rochioli Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2003 Russian River Valley Starr Ridge Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2003 Dry Creek Valley Dry Creek Selection Zinfandel, 2002 Sonoma County Merlot
- Grgich Hills Cellar; 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002 Napa Valley Merlot, 2004 Napa Valley Fume Blanc
- Haak Vineyards and Winery; 2003 Zinfandel
- Handley Cellars ; 2003 Mendocino Ridge Zinfandel
- Harvest Moon Estate & Winery; 2003 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
- Hill Climber Vineyards; 2002 Napa Valley Rolly Akers Syrah
- Homefire Cellars; 2003 Dry Creek Valley Hale’s Vineyard Zinfandel
- Jones Family Vineyards; 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002 The Sisters
- Kenwood Vineyards; 2003 Jack London Merlot, 2004 Sonoma Series Gewurztraminer, 2004 Yulupa Series Chardonnay
- Koehler Winery; 2004 Sauvignon Blanc, 2003 Magia Nera (Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah)
- Kuleto Estate Family Vineyard; 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Martinelli Winery; 2004 Jackass Hill Muscat Alexandria, 2004 Martinelli Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2004 Tessa Lee Sauvignon Blanc, 2004 Dry Select Gewurztraminer, 2003 Terra Felice Syrah, 2003 Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel
- McNab Ridge; 2003 Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon
- Nadeau Family Vintners; 2003 Late Harvest Zinfandel
- Peju Province Winery; 2004 Carnival French Colombard
- Penner-Ash Wine Cellars; 2003 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2003 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2003 Goldschmidt Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Qupe Wine Cellars; 2002 Bien Nacido Vineyard Roussanne
- Recline Ridge Vineyards; 2004 Kerner
- Renaissance Vineyard & Winery ; 2002 Estate Chardonnay
- Robert Hall Winery; 2003 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sawtooth Winery; 2003 Viognier, 2004 Riesling, 2003 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, 2004 Muscat Blanc
- Terra Valentine; 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
- Thumbprint Cellars; 2004 Lake County Dancing Crow Cineyard Sauvignon Blanc
- Tinhorn Creek Vineyards; 2004 Pinot Gris
- Twisted Oak Winery; 2004 Calaveras County Viognier, 2004 Sierra Foothills Marsanne, 2004 Sierra Foothills &@#$! White Table Wine (Rhone Blend, Marsanne/Rousanne/Viognier)
- Valley of the Moon Winery; 2001 Sonoma County Cuvee de la Luna
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The following 67 winery information pages have been updated since 4/15/2005:
- A.P.VIN; United States: California: Central Coast: Santa Lucia Highlands
- Ambullneo Vineyards; United States: California: Central Coast: Santa Maria Valley
- Anam Cara Cellars; United States: Oregon
- Bargetto Winery; United States: California: Santa Cruz Mountains
- Barnard Griffin; United States: Washington State
- Benton Lane Winery; United States: Oregon: Willamette Valley
- Buttonwood Farm Winery; United States: California: Santa Barbara County: Santa Ynez Valley
- Cafaro Cellars; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Capay Valley Vineyards; United States: California
- Carmel Road Winery; United States: California: Monterey County
- Carneros della Notte; United States: California: Sonoma County: Carneros
- Casa Carneros; United States: California: Napa Valley: Carneros
- Chateau LaFayette Reneau; United States: New York: Finger Lakes
- Consilience; United States: California: Santa Barbara County
- Domaine de Chaberton; Canada: British Columbia: Lower Mainland
- Dover Canyon Winery; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
- Dunham Cellars; United States: Washington State
- Dunning Vineyards ; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
- Dutton-Goldfield; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Écluse Wines; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
- Five Star Cellars; United States: Washington State
- Gary Farrell; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Groth Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley: Oakville
- HdV; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Hestan Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Homefire Cellars; United States: California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
- Iris Hill Winery; United States: Oregon
- Jones Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Kate's Vineyard; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Kiepersol Estates Vineyards and Winery; United States: Texas
- King Estate Winery; United States: Oregon: Willamette Valley
- Koehler Winery; United States: California: Santa Barbara County
- Lagier Meredith Vineyard; United States: California: Napa Valley: Mount Veeder
- Lamborn Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Larkin Wines; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Lewelling Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Lost Canyon Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Morgan Winery ; United States: California: Monterey County
- Mount Tamalpais Vineyards; United States: California: Marin County
- Nichol Vineyard; Canada: British Columbia: Okanagan Valley
- Olson Ogden Wines; United States: California: Sonoma County
- Ophir Wines; United States: California: Sierra Foothills
- Paradise Ranch Wines; Canada: British Columbia: Okanagan Valley
- Parma Ridge Vineyards; United States: Idaho
- Penner-Ash Wine Cellars; United States: Oregon: Willamette Valley
- Pey-Marin Vineyards; United States: California: Marin County
- Recline Ridge Vineyards; Canada: British Columbia: Salmon Arm
- Renaissance Vineyard & Winery ; United States: California: Sierra Foothills
- Reynolds Family Winery; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Robert Hall Winery; United States: California: Central Coast: Paso Robles
- Robert Stemmler Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County
- Rocca Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Saturna Island Vineyards; Canada: British Columbia: Gulf Islands
- Sawtooth Winery; United States: Idaho
- Sea Smoke Cellars; United States: California: Santa Barbara County
- Shypoke Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Silver Oak Cellars; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Skewis Wines; United States: California: Sonoma County
- Spangler Vineyards (formerly La Garza Cellars); United States: Oregon: Umpqua Valley
- Taylor Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley: Stags Leap
- Terra Valentine; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Twenty Rows; United States: California: Napa Valley: Mount Veeder
- Twisted Oak Winery; United States: California: Sierra Foothills: Calaveras
- Twomey Cellars; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Vine Cliff Winery; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Vinoce Wines; United States: California: Napa Valley: Mount Veeder
- Westwood Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County
By The Barrel Winemaker profile with Joe Cafaro of Cafaro Cellars
Joe started work at Krug in 1969 through 1971 and then worked at Chappellet, Keenan and Acacia before starting Cafaro Cellars in 1986.
He also consults for Sinskey, Della Valle, Oakville Ranch Vineyard, Lewis and Emilio’s Terrace.
Describe the pivotal point when you went from dreaming about making wine to actually doing it.
When I was in Fresno State College enology program and tasting wines of the world with classmates. Then taking a field trip to Sonoma and Napa to visit some wineries in the mid 60’s.
What was the first wine you remember tasting and where were you?
It was a 55 Chateau Cheval Blanc. All I can remember is thinking how do they get so many aromas and flavors into a bottle of wine. Oh by the way, we paid $17 for the bottle 1967.
Who has been the most influential in your wine making career?
Two people Bill Bannitti and Phillip Togni. Both winemakers trained me in old world winemaking with an eye on new world techniques.
What is your most memorable food and wine experience?
It’s usually the last meal I had. I find that when food and wine are balanced and compliment each other it does not matter if it is a five course dinner at a four star restaurant or burgers on the grill. They are all memorable.
What is your favorite memory of creating wine?
When the consumer says my wine is yummy. That is a very technical term - yummy.
What wine best expresses the region where it grows?
I think we in California are finally realizing that each variety must to grown in proper climate and soil to get the best from the variety. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot do best in Napa Valley, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir do their best in Sonoma and the Central Coast.
What food and wine paring is perfect?
I especially like Merlot and grilled or roasted turkey.
What do you wish you could say on your wine label that you can't?
This is really good just trust your palate.
What is your opinion on alternative cork closures?
For the right wine and price that is all that should be used - wines that are drunk up in six months, wines under $15(today dollars not 1967 dollars). These wines do not need a cork nor should they have one. Consumers need to get over that wines with corks are better and screw caps are bad.
What is the funniest wine descriptor you have heard?
Describing a wine like American muscle car, "This wine has a lot of power under the hood and goes in a straight line fast."
What wine trends do you not want to see?
The one we are in, globalization of wine. That is making all wine from different regions of the world taste all the same.
What do you want to tell the beer drinkers of America?
Try it you might like it.
If you weren't a winemaker, what would your occupation be?
Which words or phrases are overused in the wine world?
Just read few back labels and you will notice many.
What childhood talent did you have that came in handy in your wine life?
Being inquisitive like a child helps winemakers understand how wines are created.
What bits of advice do you have for an aspiring winemaker?
Keep learning, you will never know it all.
What part of your job do you most enjoy?
By far, working with the vineyard to create grapes that will give me the wines I want.
What part of your job do you least enjoy?
My least favorite job is the travel but take it as a challenge, which makes it fun.
How do you want to be remembered as a winemaker?
I made some darn good wines.
What is your greatest winemaking fear?
I forgot some small detail.
What is your wine motto?
Veni, Vidi, Cero.
For your last supper, what will be the food and wines?
Some sort of comfort food like lamb shanks in red wine, garlic mash potatoes, grilled spring vegs with a great well balanced Cabernet Sauvignon or spicy Pinot Noir.
First Crush New winery profile of Green Truck Cellars
Kent Fortner works by day at Luna Vineyards and in his spare time makes small batch Pinot Noir (less than 500 cases) from the Napa Valley. At $35 it is a great price for a hand crafted Napa Valley Pinot Noir.
The wine is available via mailing list and their web site is very entertaining as well as informative.
This issue's worthwhile wine site to visit is Sterling Vineyard's Merlot in May.
The largest Merlot festival of it's kind and certainly the most scenic, Merlot in May is surrounded by vineyards, at the base of Sterling's hill, one mile south of Calistoga in beautiful Napa Valley.
With a reputation as the most relaxed, least pretentious wine tasting around, Merlot in May® at Sterling Vineyards® has become an annual hit with wine lovers and winemakers alike. Held May 20th, as the days lengthen and the weather turns warm, Merlot in May is the unofficial kick-off to the summer season.
Please forward this email newsletter to your wine friends so they can enjoy it as well.
Till next month!
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