fine Wine Source Wine Club

May 2017
Cartlidge & Browne: In the late 1970’s, Tony Cartlidge sat in the cab of a cement mixer on a nuclear plant construction site reading about great California winemakers; shortly thereafter, he got into his 1960 Nash Rambler and headed to Napa. He checked into a Motel 6 and used the Yellow Pages hanging from a payphone in the lobby to cold call wineries looking for employment. He talked his way into a job as a tour guide for a winery and there also began to dabble in winemaking. Tony and his partner, Glen Browne, decided to break all the rules and embark on a winemaking enterprise with no experience, vineyards, or winery. In 1980 they settled into a facility in Napa that was little more than a garage. While Glen Browne handled the business end, Tony Cartlidge scoured the appellations of the North Coast in his Rambler. He brought the harvest of his labors back to the garage and it wasn’t soon after that critics began to talk about the balanced, varietally correct, complex wines; a style previously thought achievable only with estate-grown and bottled fruit. As Tony puts it “They were Hollywood, we were Independent Films.” The family-owned, Sonoma-based wine company Vintage Wine Estates, acquired Cartlidge & Browne in 2011, and set about to restore the iconic brand with a new package and aesthetic to bring the origin story to life. Today, the garage may be gone, but the spirit and vision lives on. Tony Cartlidge continues as spokesman and ambassador for the wines, which remain true to their original style.
About: California’s North Coast AVA is vast, covering more than 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of land to the north of San Francisco. “We get to pick and choose the best vineyards across California — some with lively acid, others that will lend a plush texture on the palate. From there, we ferment the grapes under strict temperature controls, age the wine, blend to taste, and age the wine some more until it’s integrated, aromatic and delightful on the palate. Ah Chardonnay…”
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay-10 months, medium toast French oak
Alcohol:13.5%
Tasting Notes: Gold in the glass and roaring with aromatic passion fruit, guava and tangerine on the nose. Medium bodied with lively hints of cinnamon spice, and flavors of stone fruit (like warm, freshly baked peach cobbler) cruise into a lemon curd packed finish.

Food Pairings: Chardonnay is a “comfortable cruiser” when it comes to pairing with food — it will play nicely with a variety of foods. Enjoy it on its own or take it for a test drive with sautéed fish with lemon-butter sauce, roast chicken, or your go-to creamy pasta recipe.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich & opulent with a silky long finish. Best served with rich fish or poultry dishes.

fine Wine Source Wine Club

April 2017
Peirano Estate Vineyard: In 1879, with only $50 in his pocket, Giacomo Peirano (a former grape farmer in Genoa, Italy) immigrated to San Francisco with hopes of fulfilling the American Dream by striking it rich in the Gold Rush. Things in that arena didn’t “pan out” for Giacomo, so he took what was left of his money and settled in Lodi. At the time, Lodi was full of miners and their camps, but there was a shortage of merchants in the region. Giacomo sensed an opportunity and opened a mercantile store where miners could get their supplies and daily necessities; subsequently, this is where he would realize his fortune. He would soon return to Italy to fetch his betrothed and beloved Maria, and cuttings of Italian Zinfandel to plant on his recently acquired 300 acres of Lodi property. The Peirano Family had much to be thankful for until the turn of the century when tragedy would strike; two of their five sons died, one from a horse kick to the head and the other from blood poisoning. To keep their minds off their grief, Maria devoted her energies to the business and Giacomo to the vineyards. During Prohibition, the vineyards would survive as they were considered “table grapes.” The Depression would hit the Peirano’s equally as hard as most, but they persevered with a strong focus on family. Starting in 1992 through present, the vineyard and winemaking are handled by a fourth generation Peirano Family member, Lance Randolph. Peirano Estate Vineyards have won many awards for producing top of the line wine using many of the old techniques of Giacomo Peirano and staying focused on the family, their heritage, the land, and the fruit.
About: The 2014 vintage was an excellent but small lot and the Lodi Appellation is ideal for Malbec. Similar to Argentina’s Mendoza region, Lodi’s long warm days are moderated by cool temperatures influenced by cool winds from the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The fruit was hand harvested and sorted into small bins and immediately inoculated with yeast, helping to retain the varietal’s natural character while extracting a fair amount of tannin during fermentation. A combination of short and closely monitored rotary fermentation and static (tank) fermentation is used to get different characteristics. After completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked and then aged in both French and American oak with 15% new.
Varietals: 100% Estate Malbec
Alcohol: 13.8%…enjoy it now or cellar through 2025.
Tasting Notes: The color is vibrant and deep purple/garnet. The aromas fill the senses with big ripe strawberries, flora, and tea. On the palate it is explosive with seductive fruit forward flavors of strawberries, blackberries, and rhubarb. The finish leads to a rich, round, soft mouthfeel from the moderate tannins with lingering spice and toast.
Pairings: Malbec’s softer tannins make it an ideal pairing for leaner meats; flank steak, skirt steak, and sirloin. It also pairs well with lamb, pork, or think chicken or steak fajitas!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: A big POP of ripe red and black fruit. Great barbeque wine that drinks great with anything from the grill!

fine Wine Source Wine Club

March 2017
Bodegas Ramon Roqueta: The first documents certifying the wine activity of the Roqueta family are from 1199. In 1898 the Roqueta Family set up shop in the northeastern Bages Region of Spain in the town of Manresa, just northwest of Barcelona; however, today the winery and the vineyards are located further to the west in Fonollosa. The estate has 54 hectares of vines and their wines are produced under the ‘Denominació d’Origen’ Catalunya. Today, Bodegas Ramón Roqueta is a great example of a company renovating and adapting to the new times while maintaining the tradition and expertise garnered over the centuries. Their range of wines is split between whites, a rose, a few mono-varietals, and a couple of red blends with Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
About: The 2015 Garnacha has great pedigree as well as great taste steeped. It has won awards at several of Europe’s most prestigious competitions; taking a Gold Medal at Concours Mondial Bruxelles 2016, Gold Medal at 2016 Berlin Wine Trophy, Gold Medal at Mundus Vini-The Grand International Wine Awards, and Gold Medal at 2016 Portugal Wine Trophy. The Garnacha is fermented in stainless steel tanks ranging from1,000 Liters to 36,000 Liters and “treated with the utmost respect.” The wine is then aged in the barrel room until bottling, the final phase of the ageing process.
Varietals: 100% Estate Grown Garnacha
Alcohol: %14
Tasting Notes: Cherry red color with aromas of red berries over a bed of florals, pleasantly fresh in the mouth with balanced acidity and red berry fruit.
Food Pairings: Garnacha wines of Spain are quite unique in the fact that they easily take on the characteristics of the terroir. The aromas will range from sweet, fresh, and fruity to intensely mineral. The debate has been ongoing for the origin of Garnacha, with some saying Spain and others saying the Italian island of Sardinia; however, it is the primary varietal for this region. Pair this wine with BBQ salmon (cedar plank) or pork, lamb, or grilled red meats…think savory!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Great minerality with layers of complexity and loaded with deep dark fruits. Best served with lamb or beef, think fatty meats…Cheers!!!

fine Wine Source Wine Club

March 2017
Pash Wines: Debuting in Michigan in the summer of 2014, Pash Cabernet Sauvignon is produced by Pash Wines of Napa and distributed by US Wines Imports of Ann Arbor. Pash is an Australian slang term for tongue kiss; similarly, the wine is succulent and indulgent like a passionate kiss. They specialize in in Cabernet Sauvignon, carefully sourced and blended from progressive growers across California, but predominantly sourced from Paso Robles and Sonoma County. Unfortunately that is about all we know about this enigmatic producer.
About: Since we don’t have much to tell you about this Cabernet and its producer, let it suffice to say that we still found it amazingly delicious enough to present to you. In lieu of the description for the wine we have opted to share a list of perfect pairings for Cabernet Sauvignon :
• Beef, especially grilled, roasted or stewed
• Braised dishes like braised lamb or venison
• Cheese, especially aromatic ones like Roquefort, Blue and Camembert varietals
• Filet mignon
• Foie gras and truffles
• Roasted eggplant
• Game and game birds
• Lamb, especially roasted or rack of lamb
• Lentils
• Mint
• Mustard
• Osso Bucco
• Black pepper
• Potatoes
• Korean-style beef
• Many dishes featuring the flavors of onions and mushrooms
• Risotto
• Pasta dishes, especially with cream sauces
• Rosemary
• Steak
• Thyme
• Short ribs

Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 14.5%
Tasting Notes: Succulent, luscious, indulgent, bold and deep are good descriptors for this Cabernet Sauvignon, kind of like a deep kiss…
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich and opulent with flavors of cherry and blackberries. Best served with grilled meats!

fine Wine Source Wine Club
February 2017

Chateau Latour de Beraud: Château La Tour de Béraud is located in the southern part of the Rhône Valley in AOP Costières-de-Nîmes. The estate lies in the historical geographically important area between Nîmes, Arles, and Avignon. La Tour de Béraud is an ancient fire tower. Its roof was open so that everyone could easily see when a fire was set into it. It was built by in the eleventh-century on the top of the Costière (Coast). Dominating the large plain of Beaucaire, one could see 50 miles away down to Camargue…where there were other fire towers. Part of a large network of watchtowers from the Mediterranean to the Rhône River, a fire from a tower sounded the alarm when invaders were coming. The vineyards make up @30acres & are planted on terraced slopes, composed of clay and pebble soils which were deposited in the area as glaciers moved through the continent during the quaternary period, a geological time period that encompasses the most recent 2.6 million years (including the present day). This specific terroir gives freshness and balance to the wines while the sunny climate of the Rhone ripens the grapes to perfection. Francois Collard is one of the most gifted viticulteurs in the area, and along with his wife Anne, run the Chateau and manages the property that was purchased by the family in the 1960’s. Fran
About: Since the vineyards are situated only a few miles from the Rhone River. The result is an exceptional terroir composed of flat, rounded stones (“galets”) on clay and limestone, enabling the vines to draw nutrients and moisture for the depths of the soil. The galets protect the soil from evaporation and also add a touch of minerality and freshness to the wines. The vineyards were originally made up of predominantly red varietals, dominated by old vine Carignan; however, over the years Francois has expanded the varietal makeup. The vinification was done using the traditional method; maceration of 2-3 weeks in tank at 25-26 degrees, and maturation for about a year in concrete tanks to preserve its natural freshness.
Varietals: 45% Grenache Noir (Adds Fruit & Roundness), 30% Syrah (Adds Color/Finesse/Full Flavor), 15% Mourvedre (Adds Complexity&Fruit),5% Marselan (Adds Tannins/Color/Tangy Fruit)
Alcohol: 14%
Tasting Notes: Aromas of red fruit, mild spice are supported by harmoniously integrating tannin. Ready to drink now, but can be kept for 2 years…decanting is recommended.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rustic flavors of tobacco, mushroom, and savory white pepper and sea salt notes. Best served with savory soups and roasts.

fine Wine Source Wine Club

February 2017
Desert Wind Winery: From the very first harvest in 1994, the Fries (Frees) Family marveled at the intensely concentrated fruit produced by their Desert Wind Vineyard-fruit perfect for crafting wines with immense structure and aging potential. In 2001, the family introduced Desert Wind wines in order to showcase this exceptional vineyard through its own wine brand. In 2004, the family built a crush pad and wine production facility in Prosser, Washington, allowing them to process the fruit and age wines in close proximity to their vineyard sites. Three years later, they opened Desert Wind Winery, an immense Santa Fe-inspired destination housing a tasting room, restaurant and luxury overnight accommodations. .
About: Three vineyard sites owned by the Fries family: Desert Wind Vineyard, Sacagawea Vineyard, and Estate Vineyard, provide the fruit for Desert Wind wines. The Estate Vineyard surrounds the Desert Wind facility in the Yakima Valley. The other vineyards lie at the foot of the Saddle Mountains in the Wahluke Slope AVA, a sub-appellation of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley that is known for its fierce summer conditions. The site is considered Zone 3, the hottest in the region. The climate is extreme, and it is not uncommon for summer temperatures to reach 110°F. Winter days may be as cold as 14°F with an annual rainfall of only 7-8 inches. The vines require irrigation during the hot summer months and the soil is rocky and shallow with excellent drainage. The 480-acre vineyard is a southern facing block with a two percent slope and shallow, rocky soil. The vines are irrigated with an underground drip system; double catch wires are used to increase air circulation during the growing season. Leaf pulling and cluster thinning are important steps in aiding the ripening of the grapes. The 2014 growing season was a great one on the Wahluke Slope – warm throughout, with a sunny September. This allowed The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to achieve ideal ripeness, while still maintaining great naturally acidity. After fermentation, the wine was aged for sixteen months, allowing time for the tannins to mature and soften the finish.
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.3%
Tasting Notes: The 2014 Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon is extremely rich, with flavors of blackberry and Bing cherry, with hints of cinnamon and cocoa. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich, opulent, and loaded with flavors and complexity. Patience will be rewarded with cellaring for a few years. Best served with pork or roast beef.

fine Wine Source Wine Club


January 2017
Chateau Galochet: Born in 1974, this cooperative has raised itself over the years to the #1 producer of Appellation d’Origine Protégée wines in France, and the leader of Cotes de Bordeaux. The French government, not too long ago, officially announced that the long standing AoC (Appellation d’origine Controlee) system for wine is being replaced by a new quality ladder with the top step being an AoP, or Appellation d’Origine Protégée. Thierry Bergeon has managed Chateau Galochet with his wife and brother since 1996. The estate is located 30km from Bordeaux. Enthusiastic about being winegrowers and delighted to live in the country, this inseparable trio has also started breeding dairy cows and selling raw milk in the bottle, which is quite rare.
About: The vineyards are located north of Bordeaux, across the appelations of Bordeaux, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux, and Cotes de Bourg. The terroir is clay and limestone and the plantings are of the Bordeaux varietals, but majority Merlot. The wine is fermented in 100% stainless steel vats. Its strength resides in combining traditional know how with modern techniques. To get the most out of this Bordeaux, decanting for a minimum of one hour is recommended.
Varietal: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14%
Tasting Notes: This wine has an attractive deep garnet-red hue and fruity nose with hits of red currant berries. It starts out firm and fruity on the palate, with soft, very round tannin (which will be more pronounced without decanting). The finish is smooth and long.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Elegant and silky with flavors of cherries and strawberries. A great Merlot from Bordeaux!! Great served with a Pot Roast or lamb of any kind. Cheers!

fine Wine Source Wine Club

January 2017
Christopher Michael Wines: The wine business is a somewhat unlikely landing point for brothers Eric Christopher and Ryan Michael Harms. The Harms brothers were born and raised in the Midwest where drilling or dairy farming might have been more likely ventures. But for reasons that can only be deemed as fate, they landed on the West Coast in the wine business-Ryan in Oregon and Eric in California. After more long-distance brainstorming than either can remember, small inklings for how they might one day work together gave way to one big idea for what is now an expression of their collective experiences under one label—Christopher Michael Wines. Ryan is a winemaker by trade and Eric is a financial analyst in the wine business, so each has their own unique skill sets to contribute to the venture which began in 2009. Not afraid of vineyards in the far reaches of any growing region, the Harms brothers are focusing their efforts on finding expressive fruit that produces vibrant and fresh wines. Without worrying about geographic boundaries, Ryan & Eric look to work with growers that farm sustainably and seek out the best expressions of their grapes. Be it Oregon Pinot (a past wine club selection) or Washington Cabernet, what matters most to the brothers behind Christopher Michael Wines is finding fruit that will make a delicious wine regardless of varietal or origin.
About: The 2014 vintage in Washington started out warm, bud break was early, and vineyards went through flowering under ideal conditions. Warm, dry conditions persisted throughout the season and resulted in the warmest summer on record. This unusually warm weather continued into the harvest window as they began to pick under optimal conditions. This was a rare year as both quality and quantity of fruit was exceptionally high. The resulting wines are showy with ripe fruit flavors and great concentration. The vineyard sources for the 2014 Christopher Michael Red Blend were 83% Wahluke Slope and 17% Columbia Valley.
Varietals: 54% Syrah, 20% Barbera, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petite Verdot, 4% Malbec, 3% Grenache
Alcohol: 13.9%
Tasting Notes: A bright and expressive nose leads into dark fruit flavors of blackberry and cherry with hints of baking spice with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: A juicy fruit forward red loaded with purple fruit flavors of blueberry and pomegranates. Big Red Wine here, with a powerful finish; great served with a juicy hamburger or any red meat.

December 2016 Imported Wine: NV Mascaro Cava Reserva Brut Nature “Pure” Catalonia, Spain

fine Wine Source Wine Club

December 2016
Mascaro: Since 1946, the Mascaro Family has been dedicated to producing premium quality brandy, Cava, and white wine. From the beginning their founder Antonio Mascaro has insisted upon complete control from vineyard to bottle. Since 1997 the Mascaro winery has been run by the 3rd generation of the Mascaro family, at the head of which is Antonio’s granddaughter, winemaker and owner, Montserrat Mascaro. The family owns the “Mas Miguel” estate in Aiguamurcia, Alt Camp, a region that belongs to the southern Catalan province of Tarragona. Formerly owned by the community based in Cistercian monastery of Santes Creus , the estate comprises over 170 hectares, of which 35 are vineyards that belong to the Cava and Penedes D.O.’s of Spain.
About: The grapes for the Cava are selected from the private estate named “Mas Miguel” in the foothills of Tarragona that was the former Cistercian Monastery at Santa Creus. Careful hand picking of fruit is placed into small traditional baskets. Gentle pressing follows to produce individual musts that are fermented under carefully controlled temperatures of 18-20 degrees with a perfect blend of the individual varietals. The second fermentation is made in the bottles with no added sugars and followed by a period of ageing in contact with the yeast on lees in underground caves built in 1992, which are connected to the ancient wine cellars. This gives the wine its backbone and roundness as the wine ages to perfection.
Varietal: 80% Parellada and 20% Macabeo
Alcohol: 12% with Zero Dosage
Tasting Notes: Golden color with green hues and hints of peach and apricot coming through to a lively and rounded nose that is very dry yet creamy and stimulating on the palate.
Food Pairings: Ideal with light seafood, shrimp cocktail, bacon wrapped scallops, fresh oysters or cured salmon. Think salt.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Great Bubbly! Dry, crisp and has a long lingering finish. Best served with cheese and smoked salmon.

fine Wine Source Wine Club

December 2016
Scotto Family Cellars: The Scotto Family traces its winemaking history back to the 1880’s when their great, great grandfather Salvatore Scotto was an officer in the Italian Navy on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Italy. Salvatore made wine for his family, friends, and neighbors. In 1903 their great grandfather Dominic Scotto and his family immigrated to New York and settled in a Brooklyn brownstone, not too far from the docks where he worked in the shipyards. He taught his sons to make wine, which they sold in 5 gallon crocks from a horse drawn wagon. In 1909 he opened D. Scotto Wines in downtown Brooklyn, offering fine wines from around the world. Their grandfather’s wine career started in 1934 with the repeal of Prohibition when he began selling gallon jugs of his father’s wine from a pushcart. He and his brother Sal also created the Villa Armando brand, and the bestselling wine ‘Rustico.’ Today it is one of the oldest wine brands in the US. The 4th generation began when their father Anthony Jr. started as a teenager making wine and eventually began a winery owner, exporter, and consultant. Today the brothers and sisters of the Scotto Family still produce Villa Armando and other brands that they sell domestically and overseas.
About: This is the first Napa Valley release from Anthony Scotto. The N.A.P.A. portion of the wine’s name represents the 5th generation of Scotto vintners: Brothers and sisters Natalie, Anthony, Paul, and Anne. Michael’s Red is named for the youngest brother, who recently joined the family business. The grapes were harvested by hand and the wine was aged in new and second year oak barrels for 21 months (48% toasted French oak, 40% American oak, and 12% Hungarian oak).
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Barbera, Syrah, and Merlot (unspecified amounts)
Alcohol: 13.9%
Tasting Notes: Michael’s Red is a full bodied wine with intense color, concentrated dark fruit flavors, and moderate oak accents & tannins that develop and become more pronounced after a few minutes in the glass.
Food Pairings: From Pizza and Pasta to a nice juicy steak this deep red will pair well with hearty winter comfort foods from stews and roasts to burgers and deli meats.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big and juicy red! Great wine served with BBQ or a big juicy hamburger!