fine Wine Source Wine Club
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
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
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
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.