WineRelease.com's September 15, 2005 Monthly Newsletter
Greetings from WineRelease.com, now 1,062 winery listings strong!
It has been a busy and exciting month filled with wine tasting events, work, and celebrations. My 40th birthday celebration, in fact. Last weekend, my girlfriend arranged for a special bottle of champagne and great dinner at Gary Danko (as always) on the eve of my birthday, and then she had me up at dawn for a surprise trip to Las Vegas the following day. I didnít even find out where we were going until we were actually in the car on the way to the airport! We managed to gamble at nearly every hotel along the strip, and fortunately, some birthday luck was on my side because I headed home with a fat (and happy) wallet at the end of the day. If that wasnít great enough, I had a BBQ with friends on Saturday, a family celebration on Sunday, and some funny 40th birthday practical jokes played on me by my coworkers this week. I can tell you that it really makes you really appreciate the people in your life.
And now, on to the show...
October 2005 Wine Releases
- A.P.VIN; 2004 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2004 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2004 Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2004 Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Bargetto Winery; 2004 Petitie Sirah
- Blankiet Estate; 2002 Paradise Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Clos Saron; 2001 Black Pearl
- Core; 2003 Hard CORE, 2003 Elevation Sensation
- Crane Family Vineyards; 2003 Hilltop Selection Merlot
- Destino Wines; 2003 Russian River Chardonnay
- Groth Vineyards; 2004 Chardonnay
- Handley Cellars ; 2003 Anderson Valley Estate Chardonnay, 2003 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
- Harvest Moon Estate & Winery; 2003 Estate Zinfandel
- Kathryn Kennedy Winery ; 2002 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Kenwood Vineyards; 2001 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon
- Koehler Winery; 2004 Chardonnay
- Kongsgaard; 2003 Chardonnay, 2003 Syrah, 2004 Viognier/Roussanne
- Kosta Browne Winery; 2003 Sonoma Coast Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2003 Russian River Cohn Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2003 Russian River Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Lagier Meredith Vineyard; 2003 Mount Veeder Syrah
- Lake Sonoma Winery; 2004 Dry Creek Fume Blanc
- Larkin Wines; 2003 Cabernet Franc, 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Lewis Cellars; 2002 Napa Valley Cuvee L
- Morgan Winery ; 2004 Santa Lucia Highlands Double L Vineyard Chardonnay, 2004 Santa Lucia Highlands Twelve Clones Pinot Noir, 2003 Santa Lucia Highlands Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Mount Eden Vineyards ; 2002 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Bottled Pinot Noir, 2002 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 Edna Valley Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay
- Mutt Lynch Winery ; 2003 Dry Creek Valley Perotti Vineyard Canis Major Cabernet Sauvignon
- Ophir Wines; 2003 Syrah
- Ortman Family Vineyards; 2003 San Luis Obispo County Syrah
- Piziali Wines; 2004 Lake County Horne Vineyard Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
- Renaissance Vineyard & Winery ; 2002 Estate Syrah
- Robert Biale Vineyards; 2003 Zappa Proprietary Red, 2003 Aldo's Zinfandel, 2003 Monte Rosso Zinfandel, 2003 Nonna's Sangiovese, 2003 Gaudi Carli Barbera, 2003 Royal Punishers Petite Sirah, 2003 Sweet 16 Late Picked Zinfandel
- Robert Sinskey Vineyards; 2001 Capa Vineyard Pinot Noir
- Sawtooth Winery; 2004 Chardonnay
- Sea Smoke Cellars; 2003 Botella Pinot Noir, 2003 Southing Pinot Noir, 2003 Ten Pinot Noir
- Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery; 2003 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tablas Creek Vineyard; 2003 Esprit de Beaucastel
- Terra Valentine; 2004 Pinot Noir Russian River
- Tinhorn Creek Vineyards; 2002 Odfieldís Collection Merlot
- Titus Vineyards; 2003 Merlot
- Twomey Cellars; 2002 Napa Valley Soda Canyon Ranch Merlot
- Vine Cliff Winery; 2003 Proprietress Reserve Chardonnay, 2002 Napa Valley Merlot
- Zaca Mesa Winery; 2003 Estate Bottled Chardonnay, 2002 Estate Bottled Syrah
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The following 25 winery information pages have been updated since 7/15/2005:
- A Donkey and Goat; United States: California
- Castle Rock Winery; United States: Washington State: Columbia Valley
- Core; United States: California: Santa Barbara County
- Davis Family Vineyards; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Grgich Hills Cellar; United States: California: Napa Valley: Rutherford
- Herb Lamb Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley: St. Helena
- Hop Kiln Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- J Vineyards & Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Jarvis Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Kesner Wines; United States: California: Napa Valley
- La Filice Winery; United States: California: San Luis Obispo
- Morgan Winery ; United States: California: Monterey County
- Mount Eden Vineyards ; United States: California: Santa Cruz Mountains
- Ophir Wines; United States: California: Sierra Foothills
- Paradigm Winery; United States: California: Napa Valley: Oakville
- Patit Creek Cellars; United States: Washington State
- Peter Michael Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Knight's Valley
- Robert Biale Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Robert Sinskey Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Rocca Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
- Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley
- Tor Kenward Family Vineyard; United States: California: Napa Valley
- TR Elliott; United States: California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
- Viansa Winery; United States: California: Sonoma County: Carneros
- Wolf Family Vineyards; United States: California: Napa Valley
By The Barrel Winemaker profile with Craig MacLean of MacLean Wines
Craigís connection to the world of wine began after attending a series of wine tastings organized by a client in 1982-83.
At that time Craig was operating a landscaping business after receiving his B.S. in Plant Science from U.C. Davis.
This new interest coupled with the desire to earn a post graduate degree culminated in Craigís return to U.C. Davis to get a Masterís Degree in Enology.
In 1986, during his last year in the Enology program, Craig worked the harvest at Chappellet Vineyard.
Upon graduation he was hired as Assistant Winemaker for Markham Vineyards where he stayed for 2 years. In 1989 he accepted the Assistant Winemaker position at Cain Cellars and the following year he was promoted to Winemaker and continued the Cain Five tradition for four vintages.
In 1994, Craig moved down the hill to Spring Mountain Vineyard for four vintages. Early in1998 Craig and some friends decided to create a small wine brand together.
What started out as a 500 case project soon grew to 3000 cases and Craig left Spring Mountain to found the Kelham MacLean project.
After three vintages, Craig and his partners sold the company, and in 2001, Craig crushed the first grapes for MacLean Wines (this time, solo).
What was the first wine you remember tasting and where were you?
The year was 1984 at a wine shop in Davis. I was with three new friends who were fellow graduate students in the enology program. We ordered a bottle of Ridge 1980 York Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. We were blown away; none of us had tasted a wine that good yet. We all agreed that if we could make wine that good, we would be very happy.
What is your most memorable food and wine experience?
The restaurant was the Anaheim Marriott by Disneyland. A friend of mine was a good friend with the chef and 8 of us assembled for a four-course meal. However, each person received a different course. Everyone tasted each amazing dish and on cue, passed their plate. At the end of the meal, we had each tasted 32 different concoctions and every single one was delicious. I remember two of the wines: a 1994 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay and a 1990 Cain Five.
What food and wine paring is perfect?
Currently, our favorite is a complex Sauvignon Blanc with the smoked salmon appetizer at the Rutherford Grill. However, to state the obvious, a grilled rib-eye steak with a big Napa Valley Cab is hard to beat.
What do you wish you could say on your wine label that you canít?
Wine is the best drug available to mankind. It helps maintain a healthy heart and mind.
What do you want to tell the beer drinkers of America?
Support the microbreweries.
If you werenít a winemaker, what would your occupation be?
Probably an architect or building contractor, I love re-modeling old homes. The home we live in now was built in about 1898 and we refer to it as "the project". We discovered recently that it is the first home built in Alta Heights, which is the neighborhood to the east of downtown Napa.
Which words or phrases are overused in the wine world?
"What style is your cabernet?" Red wines should be about the terroir not a particular style.
What childhood talent did you have that came in handy in your wine life?
I donít know about childhood talent, but as a young guy I used to ride around wild on my bike. As a winemaker, I am still running around wild. Now itís in a truck.
What bits of advice do you have for an aspiring winemaker?
Make wine with your heart and gut as much as with your head. Keep your chin up because you will mostly likely have to pay some dues. Be true to yourself.
What part of your job do you most enjoy? Least enjoy?
I enjoy tasting the fruit leading up to harvest and seeing the amazing change of flavors and tannins. I least enjoy sales.
How do you want to be remembered as a winemaker?
MacLean stuck to his goal of making wines that were a reflection of the vineyard and vintage and did not make wines to follow the latest trend.
What is your greatest winemaking fear?
Stuck fermentations donít scare me anymore, but they sure cause a degree of sleep loss.
What is your wine motto?
I canít stay sober.
This is a line from Calamity Jane on the HBO Deadwood series: (The whole line was: "I canít stay drunk where he is buried, and I canít stay sober." She was distraught after the death of Wild Bill Hickock and was leaving town).
First Crush New winery profile of Kesner Wines
Kesner Wines was formed in 2003 and focuses on small production, naturally made, hand-crafted, vineyard-driven wines.
Jason Steven Kesner, owner and winemaker, has lived in the Napa Valley since 1979, and both he and his family have been involved in various aspects of the wine industry for over 20 years.
Currently the vineyard manager of Hudson Vineyards, he chose his first wine to be Chardonnay from Hudson Vineyards.
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Till next month!
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