Fine Wine Source Wine


April 2019

Tortoise Creek Wines: Tortoise Creek is an outstanding line of varietal wines that have been sourced from vineyards predominately in the Lodi region. Great importance is placed on sustainable practices in both the vineyard and winery and the large majority of the Tortoise Creek wines are certified sustainable. The wines all represent the purist possible examples of single varietal wines and all are remarkable value. Starting with the 2009 vintage Lodi Zinfandel “The Chelonian”, Tortoise Creek Wines has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF) to donate a portion of the annual profits to benefit the conservation of turtles and tortoises. The Chelonian Research Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 by Dr. Anders G.J. Rhodin for the production, publication, and support of worldwide turtle and tortoise research, with an emphasis on the scientific basis of chelonian diversity and conservation biology. More information can be found at Chelonian.

The Chelonian Zinfandel: “The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles. The Zinfandel fruit comes from three well-managed vineyards in the Clements Hills and Lodi-proper areas near Sacramento and is a blend of 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat and 5% Petite Syrah. Gravity flow handling is used where the fruit is destemmed (but not crushed) and whole cluster fermentation maximizes flavor and color extractions. Extended maceration was used to add depth, structure, complexity and to stabilize the unique color of Zinfandel. To fill in the mid-palate and add softness the wine was aged in oak for 6 months.

Varietals: 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat, and 5% Petite Syrah

Alcohol: 14.5%

Tasting Notes: No other variety represents the region of Lodi like Zinfandel. Over 100 years ago European settlers believed it to be the best fit for the climate and soils and their keen insight paid off. Our Zinfandel “The Chelonian” has a lovely spicy, cherry like bouquet and is bursting with sweet, berry flavors. There are also delicious overtones of black currant and plums, with a welcoming finish of vanilla and cinnamon toast.

Food Pairings: Zinfandel wine is happiest when paired with anything from the meat aisle, burgers, grilled sausages, lamb chops, pork, meat stews, hearty pastas, or barbequed dishes. If cheese is more your thing, try The Chelonian Zinfandel with aged cheddar, aged Gouda, parmesan, asiago, or a dry cheddar jack.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big, rich, and spicy with layers of complexity; best served with zesty grilled or BBQ meats!

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2015 The Omen Zinfandel is a classic example of terroir-based Sierra Foothills Zin. We currently have what may be the last of the retail inventory in existence. With the 2016 vintage, The Omen winemakers decided to discontinue the single-varietal bottling; instead, using the fruit for blending. FWS Wine Club Member Price $24.99!!! Grab a bottle or two before it disappears…FOREVER.

Fine Wine Source Wine


February 2019

Cosentino Winery:

Marty Peterson comes from a family with a rich farming history. In 1904, his great-grandfather, Carl A. Peterson, made his way by ferry to Lodi, an agricultural community at the mouth of the Sacramento River Delta, 60 miles east of San Francisco, where he founded the family ranch. For more than a century, the Peterson family has farmed 100 acres in the Lodi region, now planted to fine wine grape varietals, as well as Bing cherries. The fourth generation of growers from the family property, Marty grew up in a community of farmers who shared a similar commitment to the land. The childhood friends and family relationships forged over many years are still firmly in place, giving him an insider’s insight—and connections— into this important, emerging winegrowing region. Marty received his Bachelor of Sciences in Enology from Fresno State University in 2002, giving him expertise on the cellar side and refining his natural farming knowledge. Peterson joined Vintage Wine Estates in 2011 as winemaker for Viansa Sonoma; in May of 2015 he was then appointed Winemaker at Cosentino Winery, where he draws on his deep roots in the Lodi region, as well as his knowledge of the Napa and Sonoma appellations, to create uniquely expressive wines of balance and complexity. Cosentino Winery is renowned for creating the first designated and licensed Meritage wine, Bordeaux inspired blend (The Poet) that set the standard that others would follow in Napa Valley.

About:

In 1990, ‘THE’ Series was introduced with ‘THE Zin,’ showcasing the best grapes from the Lodi AVA and paving the way for ‘THE’ Series of wines. ‘THE’ Series is now our largest volume collection of wine from the Lodi AVA. 2016’s THE Dark is a proprietary blend of Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months is French oak barrels. The grapes for THE Dark were hand-harvested in Lodi, an AVA known to benefit from the cooling Delta influence. The 2016 harvest was notably even and steady, providing balanced yields of quality fruit which allowed us to craft a wine with both freshness and depth of fruit. Don’t be afraid of THE Dark – enjoy now or over the next three years.

Varietals:

Undisclosed percentages: Predominantly Petite Sirah blended with Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alcohol:

14.5%

Tasting Notes:

THE Dark lives up to its name with an inky dark hue in the glass and rich aromas of plum, blackberry jam and blueberry cobbler. The palate is dense with fruit flavors, pepper spice and vanilla barrel toast leading to a brooding finish that is smooth and opulent.

Food Pairings:

THE Dark can hold its own against slow-roasted short ribs and rosemary-crusted lamb or a slow cooked herb-crusted bottom roast with carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, and stewed tomatoes; however, it is equally delicious to indulge in after dinner alongside aged Gouda or flourless chocolate cake. THE Dark would also be a perfect pairing to Valentine’s chocolates and a romantic candle-lit evening with your sweetheart!!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Big, rich, and chewy…A full throttle Wine that way overachieves; best served with BBQ!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


December 2018

Chronic Cellars:

Founders of Chronic Cellars, Jake and Josh Beckett got their hands in the dirt at a very young age; as sons of Paso’s pioneer vintner Doug Beckett. The boys grew up working in vineyards of Peachy Canyon Winery and learned all about winemaking from their father. “We grew up on it — it was grape juice to us,” said Jake. But it was time to break out on their own and the brothers launched Chronic Cellars in 2007 with a small 56-case production of petite sirah. Why petite sirah? “My father gave us some to help us out,” noted Jake, in charge of sales and marketing. Josh handles winemaking duties. From that humble start the production has now grown to 30,000 cases annually. Growing up in a Paso Robles wine family meant chores came in the form of washing barrels, punching down fermenting grapes and working the bottling line. Naturally, the Beckett brothers were destined to make juice. Chronic Cellars is all about using the best, or as the brothers refer to them ‘chronic’, grapes to make seriously good wine for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Growing up a local has its perks, like knowing all the best grape growers in Paso Robles. They’ve partnered with these neighbors and friends to build an epic network, allowing Josh to select the grapes he wants for all his custom blends. In 2014, Chronic Cellars was purchased by Winery Exchange, a Novato based company, but even with the new ownership, Josh will remain the winemaker, Jake will be in charge of marketing and brand development, and Dawn Beckett is responsible for all the fun in the Chronic Cellars Paso Robles Tasting Room.

About:

Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from vineyards along the North Coast of California, this award winning sparkler is vinified using the Charmat Method. This method was developed and patented in 1895 by Italian Federico Martinotti and further developed by Eugene Charmat in 1907. The method is now named after the latter, but is also called cuve close, metodo Italiano or the tank method. The wine is mixed in a stainless steel pressure tank, together with sugar and yeast. When the sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, the yeast is filtered and removed, and the wine is bottled. The duration of fermentation affects the quality; longer fermentation preserves the wine’s aromas better and gives finer and more durable bubbles.

Varietals:

Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

Alcohol:

11%

Tasting Notes:

Bask in the aroma of fresh pears, cut apples, hints of fresh baked bread, light spices, and decorative floral notes. Sip and get a little bubbly with the different citrus flavors along with apples and pears.

Food Pairings:

Pairs well with Gouda or Brie Cheeses, Christmas appetizers, Sweet & Sour Pork, or enjoy it with dessert alongside apple pie, pumpkin pie, or your favorite holiday dessert dish.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Light and lively with a good POP! Great with salty Holiday Snacks, salty cheeses, and Charcuterie.

Fine Wine Source Wine


August 2018

Klinker Brick Winery:

The folks at Klinker Brick Winery believe that great wine begins with suitable climate and soil; both of which are found in Lodi. Sandy loam coupled with the hot and cold temperature exchange that graces Lodi from day to night creates the perfect environment to cultivate warm weather varietals like Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. A certain level of skill, attention to detail, and harvest accuracy is a requirement for the vintner as well. What once began as a grape growing community from the early 1900’s until the late 1980’s, Lodi is now a thriving wine-producing region adorned with dozens of wineries, including Klinker Brick. Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region, continue the tradition of cultivating “Old Vine” Zinfandel vineyards that their ancestors planted in the early 1900’s.With roots in Germany, Russia and later the Dakotas, the family settled in Lodi, first producing watermelons. Recognizing that the soil and climate were ideal for growing grapes, they began to plant varieties that included Zinfandel, Tokay, Carignane, and Alicante. For over one hundred years, the family has cultivated the land with the aim of producing top quality fruit. Zinfandel was one of the first grape varieties to be planted in the Lodi appellation, although it had also been established in other parts of California. The Felten Family own and manage fifteen individual vineyard blocks of “Old Vine” Zinfandel that range in age from 40 to 120 years old. Each vineyard is planted in sandy loam soils in the Mokelumne River Appellation of Lodi and the Clements Foothills.

About:

Part of the extended Felten Family includes their winemaking consultant, Barry Gnekow, who was responsible for crafting the wines from the inaugural vintage. Barry, a Davis graduate with over 25 years of experience of winemaking, has a unique ability to bring the best of the vineyard into the cellar, year after year, assisting in producing wines of distinction for Klinker Brick. Joseph Smith joined Klinker Brick in 2008 after starting his career in the nineties as an apprentice with Gnekow Family Wines. From there he worked under Barry at Hahn and also Michael David as a cellar master and ultimately our full time winemaker. Joseph has been producing wines of exceptional quality for Klinker Brick.

Varietals:

38% Grenache/30% Carignane/24% Syrah/8% Mourvedre. Harvested in August of 2017

Alcohol:

12.8%

Tasting Notes:

Old World style meets New World Fruit. Pleasant flavors of ripe strawberries, grapefruit and subtle watermelon coupled with a dry composition, gently caress the palate. The finish is incredibly clean with light, bright acidity.

Food Pairings:

Light salads, light pasta, and rice dishes; especially good with seafood, raw and lightly cooked shellfish, and grilled fish and goats’ cheeses. If you are looking for a good BBQ pairing, try it with a Turkey Burger topped with Avocado and Manchego Cheese (Google: ‘Perfect Turkey Burgers Food Network’ for a great recipe!!!); perfect for hot weather drinking!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Rich and full flavored…not a wimpy rose here! Long on the palate, a perfect summer and early fall sipper, and great with anything on the BBQ!

fine Wine Source Wine

July 2017
Hybrid by Peltier Station: It all began with the Shatz Family in the early 1950’s, whose passion for farming has been passed along to each generation with the love for the land and vineyards. As third generation grape growers, Rodney and Gayla Schatz carry on the same traditions today as their parents and great-grandparents did many years ago, growing superior grapes that are sold to numerous wineries throughout the country. They purchased their first vineyard in 1985 and built a winery in 2002 as a custom crush facility producing premium wines. From a drive to create their own label to share from the vineyards that have captured their hearts, comes the desire to make outstanding wines with a commitment to quality and excellence; essentially, creating individuality in each bottle. Their flagship Peltier Station Petite Sirah launched the beginning of many vintages and varietals. The Hybrid Label is a revolutionary product that combines highly advanced technology with environmentally sustainable principles. It is the inspiration of the need for first-rate wines at a fair and affordable price. So wines were crafted with taste to back them up and their final product is unpretentious with high quality. Hybrid is about taking away unnecessary elements to produce a great wine that anyone can enjoy.

About: : Lodi California is located directly east of San Francisco at the edge of the Sacramento River Delta, and noted for its classic Mediterranean climate with warm days and cool nights. The soil varies in the AVA (approved in 1986), though in most places it is a deep loam primarily covered with large rocks, similar to Chateauneuf du Pape. All of the grapes are estate-grown, harvested at 25.6 Brix, de-stemmed, and crushed. Fermentation was 24hr cold soak, Pasture Red Yeast on primary and Vinaflora Oenos direct inoculation on secondary, limited hand pump-overs, pressed at 7 days. 5000 cases produced.
Varietals: 80% Petite Sirah, 15% Sirah, 5% Viognier.
Alcohol: 14.3%.
Tasting Notes: Loaded with berry flavors and aromas, an earthy middle body with a rich silky finish. The “touch” of Viognier has been added to round out this “Monster” wine!.
Food Pairings: Dry strong Cheeses, BBQ or grilled Hamburgers and Beef Steaks, Lamb anyway you want to cook it, or a Beef/Pork Tenderloin-roasted, grilled, BBQ’d with a creamy sauce as a nice bridge! .
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: A big pop of strawberry licorice on the nose and the palate. Loaded with flavors of hickory and smoke, served best with barbequed or grilled meats!.

December Domestic Wine: 2010 Lange Twins Zinfandel, Lodi, CALIFORNIA

For five generations, the Lange family has been growing sustainable winegrapes in the Lodi Appellation, and in 2006 they opened a winery to showcase their passion for growing winegrapes – because great wine starts in the vineyard.

Building on their successes as a vineyard management company, the winery was their first step into crafting wines made solely from their estate vineyards.  Since opening in 2006, they have continued to expand their state-of-the-art winery to keep up with the demand for their Lange Twins wines as well as private labels and custom winemaking services.

Although they have the latest winemaking technology at their fingertips, they never lose sight of the fact that only great wine can be made from great winegrapes.

About the Winemaker: David, a second generation winemaker who graduated from University of California, Davis, is a 25 year veteran winemaker from Robert Mondavi. As Director of Winemaking at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, he led a team of enologists in creating and evolving their wine style to improve the quality of Woodbridge wines. He helped pioneer winegrower lot processing for direct wine quality feedback, supported barrel aging of premium wines for enhanced quality, and drove stylistic winemaking for hundreds of different wines. His winemaking philosophy stems directly from Robert Mondavi himself, driving continuous improvements while nurturing a respect for both grape and wine.

Varietals: 100% Zinfandel

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Tasting Notes: The 2010 Zinfandel has an aroma of bright crushed blackberry and blueberry fruit. On the palate, loads of fresh vibrant blackberries meld with notes of spice and are balanced by a touch of vanilla oak and soft tannins. It is a luscious wine!

Food Pairings: Zinfandel is a great wine for the cold weather months. Pair this wine with richer foods like braised meats or even with heavy cheeses. Zinfandel can also be a great dessert pairing, especially with chocolate and fresh berries.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Rich, flavorful, and spicy…loaded with flavor. A great wine for this time of year. Enjoy at home, by the fire, with some hearty soup or chili. The wine will warm you up!”-JL