SHOREHAM, VT. (PRWEB) – WhistlePig, the No. 1 distiller in the fast growing, ultra-premium and luxury rye whiskey category, 1 is pleased to introduce their newest edition of The Boss Hog: The Samurai Scientist. Now available for pre-order via Caskers, The Samurai Scientist is a sixteen-year-old, single barrel, straight rye whiskey that is powerfully complex and distinctly unique from anything WhistlePig has introduced before.
The Samurai Scientist is named for a legendary Japanese chemist, Jōkichi Takamine, the pioneer who introduced koji fermentation to the American whiskey industry in the 19th century. The limited-edition whiskey is the embodiment of a genuine collaboration between WhistlePig’s team and Japanese brewers from Kitaya, an award-winning sake, shōchū and umeshu producer located near Yame City in Fukuoka Prefecture on Japanʼs Kyushu Island. The umeshu used is Saikoo, a uniquely traditional, aged umeshu made by Kitaya. The whiskey was distilled in Canada using koji fermentation and aged for sixteen years before being finished in umeshu seasoned barrels and bottled by hand on the WhistlePig Farm in Shoreham, VT.
“It was an honor to work alongside the team at Kitaya to bring this collaboration to life in the form of the first American whiskey finished in Japanese umeshu barrels. With the introduction of The Samurai Scientist, WhistlePig continues to pave the way for innovation across the rye category,” says Jeff Kozak, CEO, WhistlePig. “Dave Pickerell committed to five promises for The Boss Hog, including being distinctly unique from anything we’ve done before. He had a thirst for exploring and trialing techniques from around the world, and Takamine was likeminded in propelling whiskey innovation across continents. This vision continues to drive us to explore beyond the limits of American Whiskey.”
“We finished one of our oldest whiskeys in barrels that held Kitaya’s eleven-year-old umeshu. With umeshu being an intensely aromatic spirit, it does not take long to impart deeply complex flavors. Each barrel of The Samurai Scientist is bottled at proof. Only 90 barrels exist and each bottle notes the barrel number and proof, ranging between 120 – 122,” says Pete Lynch, Master Blender, WhistlePig.
On the nose, The Samurai Scientist is intensely aromatic, with cinnamon, maple syrup and toasted marshmallow. Upon tasting, you’ll find bold notes of tobacco, ginger, baking spices and savory umami. After some time in the glass, and with a few drops of water, the whiskey reveals rich and complex notes of rye spice, oak char and vanilla. The finish on The Samurai Scientist is incredibly long, with oak spice, char and just a touch of smoke.
The Samurai Scientist is crowned by a hand-made Danforth pewter stopper representing Takamine’s family heritage and ground-breaking contributions in the field of chemistry. It is presented in a gift box elaborating his story.
The Samurai Scientist is available in a 750ml bottle at 60 – 61% alc./vol. with a suggested retail price of $499.99. Like the other Boss Hog editions before it, The Samurai Scientist will be sold at a variety of premium liquor stores, bars and restaurants across the United States, entering select international markets in the coming weeks, and is now available for pre-sale via Caskers.com.
Founded in 2008, WhistlePig is the premier aged rye whiskey, featuring the bold and often untapped flavor of rye. WhistlePig is leading a surge of innovation in the emerging field of North American whiskey. As the most decorated rye whiskey – having received the coveted ‘Best in Show Whiskey’ title from the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, WhistlePig is widely viewed as the world’s finest Rye. With the opening of its distillery on its 500-acre Vermont farm in the fall of 2015, WhistlePig has also become one of the leading farm-to-bottle rye whiskeys in the world. http://www.whistlepigrye.com
(1) Ultra-premium and luxury rye category defined as all rye whiskies in the U.S. sold at $75 or higher per 0.75L bottle at retail (Source: IWSR 2016)
NAPA, Calif., PRNewswire Delicato Family Wines, producer of Bota Box, the world’s fastest-growing Top 20 wine brand1, announced today the launch of three new varietal wines under Bota Box’s premium bag-in-box Nighthawk range: Nighthawk Black® Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, Nighthawk Black® Lush Pinot Noir and Nighthawk Gold® Vibrant Sauvignon Blanc.
The Cabernet is the first bourbon-barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon to market in alternative packaging, making it the first such entrant in a hot category that’s growing at a rate of 49 percent over last year2. Nighthawk Black® and Nighthawk Gold® wines by Bota Box deliver bolder, richer expressions of classic varietals, backed by the renowned quality, value, and eco-friendly packaging of Bota Box.
Bota Box Bringing New Consumers into Alternative Packaging Category
“Bota Box is now the U.S. category leader in premium wine in alternative packaging, and its strong performance is driving the growth of the premium alt-packaging category as a whole3,” commented Jon Guggino, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Delicato Family Wines. “These three new Nighthawk wines build on the successful introductions of Nighthawk Black® Cabernet Sauvignon, Nighthawk Gold® Buttery Chardonnay and Nighthawk Black® Red Wine Blend, which quickly became the fastest-growing wines in their segments4,” continued Guggino. The Nighthawk Black® Red Wine Blend is the number-two best-selling 3-liter red blend in the U.S., after Bota Box RedVolution5.
Together, Nighthawk by Bota Box wines are becoming a powerful brand in their own right, with sales on track to reach one million cases in 2019. “The Nighthawk by Bota Box family of wines is attracting new consumers to the boxed wine category, and has strong appeal with younger Millennial and Gen Z wine drinkers aged 21 and over, who love Nighthawk’s bigger, bolder flavor profile,” remarked Guggino. The wines’ rich, intense flavors are reflected in the Nighthawk by Bota Box tagline, “Where Flavor Soars”.
Multi-Million-Dollar Consumer Ad Campaign Supports Industry-Leading Growth
Propelled by strong consumer loyalty and outstanding quality, Bota Box is now the ninth-largest wine brand in the U.S. by revenue6. On August 1, the brand launched a multi-million-dollar consumer advertising campaign with the tagline “This Is How We Bota.” Built around insights derived from consumer research, and validated by outstanding metrics for consumer favorability and recall, the ads illustrate how Bota Box wines unlock the potential to find good times in everyday moments. The “This Is How We Bota” campaign will run through the end of 2019 on major digital outlets, including You Tube, Hulu, and ESPN Digital, as well as social channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Three Packaging Formats Offer More Portable and Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to Glass
Bota Box and Nighthawk by Bota Box wines are available in 3-liter cartons; select varietals are also packaged in 1.5-liter bag-in-boxes and in 500-milliliter Tetra Paks. Produced at Bota Box’s Certified Sustainable California winery, the compact, portable, shatter-proof bag-in-box cartons go where glass cannot, and use state-of-the-art technology that keeps the wine fresh for up to 30 days once open.
The packaging is also environmentally friendly: Bota Box cartons create 85% less waste than traditional glass bottles and are 100% recyclable. Made from unbleached, post-consumer fiber, the cardboard is printed with VOC-free inks and bonded with cornstarch instead of synthetic glues.
Delicato Family Wines launched Bota Box in 2003, taking inspiration from traditional Spanish wine skins known as “botas”, which were used to carry wine for centuries. Instantly popular among both outdoor adventure enthusiasts and eco-conscious consumers looking to reduce their environmental impact, Bota Box today appeals to a wide cross-section of wine drinkers who’ve come to trust the brand’s quality and appreciate its outstanding value.
The new Nighthawk Black® Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, Nighthawk Black® Lush Pinot Noir and Nighthawk Gold® Vibrant Sauvignon Blanc are available nationwide for a suggested retail selling price of $22.99. Each 3-liter carton contains the equivalent of four 750ml bottles of wine.
ABOUT DELICATO FAMILY WINES
Delicato Family Wines is a fourth-generation, family-owned company founded in 1924 and has grown to be one of the U.S.’s fastest-growing top-ten wine companies. Delicato’s diversified portfolio of leading brands includes Bota Box, Noble Vines, Gnarly Head, Z. Alexander Brown, Black Stallion, 1924, Three Finger Jack, Toad Hollow, Mercer Bros., Santa Rita 120 (Chile) and Schmitt Söhne Family Wines (Germany). Transcendent Wines, Delicato’s Fine Wine Sales & Marketing portfolio, includes such luxury brands as Black Stallion Limited Release, Diora, Dobbes Family Estate Wines and Wine by Joe, in addition to imported luxury estate wines such as Schloss Vollrads, Franz Keller, and Bischöfliche Weingüter (Germany), Casa Real and Triple C (Chile), and Torbreck Vintners (Australia). For more information, visit www.delicato.com.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (PRWEB) – Wine Country Network, publishers of Wine Country International magazine and producers of six professional beverage competitions have announced the winners of the 5th Annual North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition.
The N.A.B.W.C. was created to promote excellence in Bourbon, Whiskey, and Moonshine. This double-blind competition is based on a 100-point scale. Only American and Canadian made whiskeys have the opportunity to compete against America’s native spirits for the coveted N.A.B.W.C. “BEST OF SHOW AWARD.”
This year’s “Best Of Show” winner was the Limited Edition Weller C.Y.P.B. Wheated Bourbon, 95 Proof, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and $39.99 MSRP. Weller C.Y.P.B. letters stand for, “Craft Your Perfect Bourbon”. This limited-edition whiskey is the result of the overwhelming consumer survey consensus for the distillers to create a wheated recipe bourbon, aged on the highest warehouse floors for eight years and bottled at 95 proof.
Double Gold Medal Winners include:
- George Remus’s Remus Repeal Reserve Series II
- Buffalo Trace’s Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- W. L. Weller’s W. L. Weller 12 Year Old
- A. Smith Bowman’s John J. Bowman Single Barrel
- Town Branch’s Malt Whiskey
Wine Country Network, C.E.O., Christopher J. Davies, stated “this year’s competition, which was originally scheduled to take place in New Orleans on July 16 to 17 but was affected by Hurricane Barry. This was the fourth recorded storm to make landfall at hurricane strength on the state of Louisiana in the month of July. So the competition was moved to Colorado and took place on August 3 and 4, 2019 at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield”. A follow-up trade, media tasting took place to celebrate the more than 50 medal winners.
Wine Country Network plans to produce the 2020 North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition in New Orleans next year. For a full list of winners visit: WhiskeyComp.Com
NAPA, CALIF. (PRWEB) – Crush Challenge announced today the lineup and partners for their fifth annual fundraising event to be held on Saturday, October 12. Hosted by ZD Wines, Crush Challenge is the ultimate food, wine, and cycling event benefiting selected nonprofits. The community is welcome to participate in each of the distinctive experiences, pedaling out on the 27-, 38- or 50-mile bike ride, exploring the extensive culinary and wine pairings at the Food & Wine Marketplace, enjoying the private barrel tasting while others are cycling, or celebrating at the lavish chef-driven wine dinner.
“Crush Challenge is personal for all of us at ZD Wines. Having lost my father and ZD’s founder to cancer, we are proud to continue the efforts he began to find a non-toxic cure for lymphoma. We also want to support those living with Parkinson’s and help the next generation to succeed by providing funds for the Teen Center at Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley – causes we’re passionate about championing,” said ZD Wines President, Brett deLeuze. “Whether by hopping on a bike or sampling the incredible food and wine, we invite everyone to join us for this distinctly Napa Valley day of giving back.”
Hosted at a new location this year, the Food & Wine Marketplace will be held from 12 – 3 p.m. in the beautiful North Yountville Community Park, conveniently situated between Lincoln Avenue and Washington Street. Sample bites from renowned area restaurants and discover new favorite wines in vintner-hosted tastings. Culinary partners include Angèle, Bouchon Bistro, Celadon, Heritage Eats, Il Posto Trattoria, Market St. Helena, NapaSport, and Sam’s Social Club. Featured wineries include Baldacci Family Vineyards, Clos Du Val, Monticello Vineyards, Hudson Ranch, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Silver Oak & Twomey, St. Supéry, Truchard and ZD Wines.
One hundred percent of the net profits from Crush Challenge will go directly to funding programs for UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley.
ZD Wines Crush Challenge offers a full roster of experiences, including:
- The Ride // 9AM-12PM – Explore the beauty of Napa Valley via world-class cycling routes. Three different course lengths – 27 miles, 38 miles or a new 50-mile route – offer something for riders of all levels. Pass through vineyard-lined avenues, sharing the road with cycling pros and friends during this fully supported ride. Ride as an individual or create a team of peers. Cost: $125, with a fundraising option starting at $25. Price includes access to Food & Wine Marketplace. http://www.bikereg.com/crush2019.
- Private Barrel Tasting // 10AM-12PM – ZD Wines’ barrel tasting is hosted by ZD Senior Winemaker, Chris Pisani, and Chef Matt Gennuso of Chez Pascal in Providence, Rhode Island, at the newly renovated ZD Wines Rutherford Estate. A wide selection of ZD’s award-winning wines will be available to taste, including library and large format bottles, along with artisanal cheese, charcuterie, and light food pairings. The barrel tasting also includes access to the Food & Wine Marketplace. Transportation is provided between ZD Wines and North Yountville Community Park. Cost: $195 per person.
- Food & Wine Marketplace // 12PM-3PM – Vintners and chefs join together in an unrivaled, all-inclusive tasting experience at the North Yountville Community Park. Sample local wines and dishes from favorite area restaurants while enjoying live music, as well as a silent auction and raffle. Cost: $95 per person for Marketplace access only.
- Exclusive Wine Dinner // 6PM-10PM – Hosted at the luxurious Las Alcobas, and featuring a star-studded lineup of chefs, including Celebrity Chef Chris Cosentino of Acacia House, Top Chef alum Casey Thompson, Rogelio Garcia of Spruce, and Chris Kollar of Kollar Chocolates, this celebratory dinner recognizes the achievements and impact of the cyclists, the community, and the three beneficiary agencies. Limited to only 60 guests. Cost: $295 per person; limited tickets remain.
- The Auction – The silent and live auction includes rare wines, private dinners, VIP getaways and more. Bidders can register athttps://events.handbid.com/auctions/crush-challenge-2019.
Key partners for the event include, Bob McClenahan, Bright Event Rentals, Breakthru Beverage of Arizona, Brotemarkle, Davis & Co. LLP, Chatham Inn, the Clarke Family, CMS Wine Marketing, DeFeet, Demptos Cooperage, Heritage Wine Cellars LTD., Hincapie Sportswear, Las Alcobas Napa Valley, Mechanics Bank, Medalist Sports, Monterey Bay Wine Company, MS Walker, Napa River Velo, National Distributing Company, Inc., The Pink Ribbon Golf Classic, Porsche Walnut Creek, Pure Luxury Transportation, RCI Builders, Reich & Walner, Seattle Genetics, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, Sport Beans, SRAM, T Edward Wines, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, ZD Wines, Zipp.
About Crush Challenge
This year marks the fifth annual Crush Challenge food, wine and cycling experience. Hosted by ZD Wines with the goal of bringing awareness and funding to a select group of worthy charity efforts, the event is open to anyone 21 years and older. Cyclists can learn more at crushchallenge.net. Tickets are available for purchase online here. The Crush Challenge is also looking for enthusiastic and giving people to volunteer at the event. Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up here. Those not able to attend the event but who would like to donate can learn more about the charities involved by visiting crushchallenge.net/the-cause.
About UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 10,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit https://health.ucdavis.edu/cancer/
About the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s
The Davis Phinney Foundation was created in 2004 by Olympic medalist and retired professional cyclist, Davis Phinney, to help people with Parkinson’s live well today. The organization’s singular focus is to provide programs and resources that offer inspiration, information and tools that enable people living with Parkinson’s to take action that can immediately improve their quality of life. Through The Victory Summit® event series, Every Victory Counts® manual, Ambassador program, Sidekicks™ intergenerational program, extensive online content and the funding of quality of life research, the organization impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals each year.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Our Clubs serve 1,330 Napa and American Canyon youth every day after school at our Napa Clubhouse, American Canyon Clubhouse, Club 1515 Teen Center, and 8 additional school-based locations. We provide youth ages 6-18 with a safe, positive place after school, during most holiday breaks, and throughout summer. Key programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Boys & Girls Club of Napa Valley can be found online at thepositiveplace.com.
About ZD Wines
ZD Wines is owned and operated by the deLeuze family, who is dedicated to producing world-class wines, farming organically and giving back to the community. Located in the Rutherford region of the Napa Valley, the winery and hospitality center offer sweeping valley views of premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and the Mayacamas mountain range to the west. The deLeuze family produces wines from their certified organic vineyards in the Rutherford and Carneros regions, as well as organic vineyards in Napa, Santa Barbara, Monterey and Sonoma. With innovative winemaking practices, they produce wines of quality, consistency, and style. ZD Wines is currently celebrating 50 years of winemaking and can be found online at ZDWines.com and @ZDWines on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
WOODINVILLE, WASH. (PRWEB) – Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) celebrated its 32nd annual weekend of charitable wine events August 15 – 17, 2019, raising over $4.5 million and hitting a new milestone for the second year in a row. The highest bid of the evening was $225,000 for a 1928 vintage Ford Roadster Hot Rod, receiving a $200,000 match from the Ellison Foundation, for a total of $425,000, the highest amount ever received for an auction lot in AWW’s history. The lot was purchased by John Goodman, a local real estate developer.
Over 200 winemakers, vintners and growers attended the events over the course of three days to celebrate, pour wines and offer wine-focused auction lots to help achieve this goal. “The Washington wine industry and its community are the perfect pair for this annual event, which had a new, palpable energy this year that attracted a vibrant audience, including veteran attendees and newcomers alike,” said Executive Director of AWW, Jamie Peha.
Proceeds from the events benefit Seattle Children’s and Washington State University’s (WSU) Viticulture & Enology Program.
Highlights of Washington’s premier charitable weekend of wine events included:
Private Barrel Auction (Thursday, Aug. 15): For the fifth year, the Private Barrel Auction (PBA) held at Novelty Hill-Januik winery provided a unique opportunity for retailers, restaurateurs and industry trade partners to bid on 47 lots of exclusive Washington-produced wines. This year marked the arrival of new traditions, including a Barrel Series collaboration featuring one grower and one vintner, plus a PBA Vintners Blend featuring a blended wine created in partnership with selected wineries and a sommelier. “As a winemaker who has nearly forty Washington vintages under my belt, the Private Barrel Auction is something I always try to attend,” said Rick Small, owner of Woodward Canyon Winery. “This auction gives our winery incredible exposure and the opportunity to produce something very special and extremely limited for the trade. Lastly, the fact that I’m a graduate of WSU is important too; I want our industry to improve and the Wine Science Center helps make that happen. Go Cougs!”
The exclusive event raised a record $300,000 for WSU’s Viticulture & Enology Research program, an increase of 20% over last year. Record attendance included high-level local and national trade buyers.
Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction (Thursday, Aug. 15): The annual picnic held on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery brought together more than 1,400 attendees to sample wines from more than 60 of Washington state’s top winemakers. Attendees raved about the event as they sampled dishes served by an exceptional collection of Pacific Northwest chefs and restaurateurs, including Tom Douglas and Lisa Dupar. Some culinary highlights included grilled octopus from chef Ryan Donaldson of Gather Kitchen and Bar; lamb merguez sausage sandwiches from RN74 and chef Shawn Applin; and lemon blueberry custard topped with lemon curd from Molly Moon’s Ice Cream and chef Heather Hodge. Guests bid on one-of-a-kind wines during the wine barrel and silent auctions and tested their luck in a raffle for prizes, such as a 7-day cruise from Holland America Line.
Winemaker Dinners (Friday, Aug. 16): Winemaker dinners took place at private estates around the greater Seattle area on Friday evening. Each dinner was conceived, created and served by all-star local chefs and paired with Washington state wines poured by the winemakers themselves. The sold-out events included pairings such as Ambassador Wines of Washington, Damsel Cellars and The Walls with chef Maggie Trujillo of Aerlume, hosted at a lakeside home in Sammamish, Wash.; DeLille Cellars and Quilceda Creek with chef Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner and Bastille at the historical Kerry Mansion overlooking Seattle on Queen Anne hill; and Betz Family Winery and Long Shadows with chef Jesus Boitres of El Gaucho, hosted at a waterfront home in Gig Harbor, Wash.
Gala (Saturday, Aug. 17): The Gala is the grand finale that culminated the weekend of events and featured live and silent auction lots. The live auction portion of the event raised $1,563,300. Auction lots of note included a private dinner with Nathan Myhrvold and winemakers from Kobayashi Winery, Reynvaan Family Vineyards and Upchurch Vineyard, which sold to Gary Rieschel for $90,000; a trip to Argentina’s wine country arranged by AWW Co-Chairs Juan Muñoz Oca and Jessica Munnell, which was doubled to two trips on the spot and purchased by both John and Csilla Prunier and Teresa and Tim Gable for $55,000 each; and a trip to South Africa for a luxury safari, provided by Steve and Bridgit Griessel, which was purchased by Michelle and David Dufenhorst for $65,000.
Local Washington winemakers provided pairings for guests during a social hour featuring bites from Trevor Pierson of Purple Café and Wine Bar, and Jun Kobayashi “Tsuyoshi” of Shiro’s before enjoying a four-course plated meal including dishes from chefs Kurt Dammeier and Morgan Mueller of The Butchers Table, Paul Duncan of Ray’s Boathouse and Jonathan Zimmer of Gourmando. Throughout the evening, guests celebrated the craft of Washington winemaking and heard moving speeches delivered by honorary vintner Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery, honorary grower Scott Williams of Kiona Vineyards and honorary chair Stephen D. Tanzer. The evening concluded with dancing and delicious late-night eats from chef Thomas Litrena of Agrodolce.
ABOUT THE AUCTION OF WASHINGTON WINES (AWW) Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $50 million, benefitting Seattle Children’s and Washington State University Wine Science Research. AWW was listed as the top 3 U.S. Charity Auction in the nation by Wine Spectator. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support the Washington wine industry and families in our communities around the region. The 2020 Auction of Washington Wines events will take place next August. Major sponsors for 2019 included Wells Fargo, CenturyLink, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Ferrari of Seattle, The John L. Scott Foundation, The Seattle Times, King 5 TV, iHeart Radio, Holland America Line and Wine Spectator Magazine. For more information, go to http://www.AuctionofWaWines.org.
Lusso Della Terra Cellars won first place in the People’s Choice Award at the 21st annual Winemakers’ Cookoff in Paso Robles on August 10. It was the winery’s first year participating in the Paso Robles Rotary sponsored event, which was held at the Paso Robles Event Center.
The owner and winemaker, Edward Cholakian, helped serve up Texas Beef Sliders alongside Cali Grill chefs, Marlynna and Adam Farleas. The sliders featured Texas beef, bacon, cheddar, onion straws, house-made barbecue sauce, on a toasted brioche bun, served with Cali Grill’s famous waffle fries, and was paired with Lusso Della Terra Cellars’ 2016 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cholakian was proud to win the top award at the competition, which pits area winemakers in competition with each other, serving grilled masterpieces alongside their best wine in order to raise funds each year for local high school scholarships. “We were so thrilled to be apart of this amazing community event,” Cholakian said about participating. “We couldn’t have done it without our amazing staff and the staff from Cali Grill. They all worked hard to make this event unforgettable.”
The winemaker said he was also grateful to the event coordinators, who helped make their first year worthwhile. “This is an unforgettable event, we hope to continue participating in the future,” he said.
Lusso Della Terra Cellars is a boutique winery located in the Paso Robles AVA. Their small lot, specialty wines win competitions across the country and please wine connoisseurs from around the world. Their winery is located in San Miguel’s rolling hills, and they provide a luxurious experience for visitors, a space for private events, and vineyard backdrops for small, intimate weddings. Lusso Della Terra also provides full service Custom Crush to a variety of clients, and they work with winemakers from around the world, large and small.
Edward Cholakian is a Paso Robles area winemaker and has been making wine locally for over 10 years. A graduate from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Edward began his wine industry career on the accounting side of winery operations after graduation. He worked for an inspirational Italian winemaking family in the Russian River Valley that showed him the true wine industry lifestyle; he inevitably fell in love and the rest is history. Cholakian went to UC Davis and received a degree in Enology and named his winery Lusso Della Terra, Italian for luxury of the land, to honor their family.
Cali Grill is a family owned and operated restaurant and has been part of the Central Coast Community for over 40 years. Their home style Cooking is fresh and delicious, and the restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for a business lunch, or a family dinner.
For more information on Lusso Della Terra Cellars, visit https://ldtcellars.com/.
For more information on Cali Grill, visit http://www.caligrillpaso.com/.
Last week, I wrote about the seminar that Karen and I attended at the latest Garagiste Festival in Glendale. Part 2 is about the other wines we tasted.
The grand tasting featured over 50 wineries from all over California, 23 of which also poured the previous evening at the Rare & Reserve kick-off party – shout out to Fired Up Chef Services for the great BBQ buffet dinner that accompanied this.
Here are the wineries that stood out to us. I’ve also added a few comments in brackets. We didn’t taste everything, so not being marked as a favorite isn’t a sign of disrespect. And in some cases we only tasted at a winery’s table during the Rare and Reserve tasting and if so that is indicated as well.
13th & Third Wines – Paso Robles
2018 Rose of Grenache
2017 Lily (blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Picpoul)
2015 NMR (blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre)
[Hard to go wrong when the winemaker is Don Burns of Turtle Rock and Saxum.]
Aldina Vineyards – Sonoma
2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Angeleno Wine Co. – Los Angeles
2018 Super Bloom Verdejo, Clay Station
2018 Meadow Rose, Terra Alta
2017 Zanja Madre (Grenache, Tempranillo), Alonso Family Vineyard
2017 Syrah, Alonso Family Vineyard
[As I mentioned in the segment about the seminar and in a previous article, I’m a big fan of what this winery is doing in downtown LA.]
Ascension Cellars – Paso Robles
2015 Ascendance Cab/Merlot [from the R&R tasting]
Bevela Wines – Santa Barbara
2018 White Lotus Grenache Blanc [from the R&R tasting]
Bodega de Edgar – Paso Robles
2015 Gran Reserva Tempranillo [from the R&R tasting]
Byron Blatty Wines – Los Angeles
2016 Evenfall (Tempranillo, Petite Sirah and Merlot)
2015 Ghost Cat (Syrah, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Merlot)
[both from the R&R tasting]
Cavaletti Vineyards – Santa Barbara / Los Angeles
2018 Alicante Bouschet – Barrel Sample
2017 Vigneron Reserve Syrah/Cabernet
2018 The 109 Mile Rose (Tempranillo, Grenache)
2017 Rancho Baila Sol Field Blend
[So impressed with everything from this winery.]
Deno Wines – Paso Robles
2010 Two Bills Zin-Grenache
2009 Paso Robles GSM
2017 Arneis, El Pomar District
2016 Estate Grenache
2016 Estate GSM
2014 Estate GSM
[These tasted like old school Paso Robles to me. I don’t mean big over-the-top wines. They brought back memories – in a good way – of visiting before things got so crowded. They have a tasting room in Templeton now, which also reminds me of old school Paso.]
DeWitt Vineyard – Sierra Foothills
2016 Estate Syrah
2015 Estate Touriga
2016 Estate Tempranillo
[Really nice, fairly prices wines. Just disappointed their Barbera wasn’t ready!]
Dusty Nabor Wines – Central Coast
2014 Bolt To Wines Grenache
2016 Bolt To Wines Grenache Blanc [the richness of this wine was amazing.]
2017 Syrah – Ballard Canyon AVA
2017 Bolt To Wines Syrah
Ferguson Family Winery – Sierra Foothills
2016 The Phoenix Zinfandel
2016 Boomshakalaka Petite Sirah
Golden Star Vineyards – Central Coast
2015 Tempranillo, Paso Robles
2016 Syrah, Chavez Vineyard, Antelope Valley AVA
[I really am past due for a visit to this high-desert winery.]
Golden Triangle – Paso Robles
2015 Syrah, Willow Creek District
2015 Cab / Syrah, Willow Creek District
[Finally got to taste Garagiste Fesitval co-founder Stewart McLennan’s wines. And the good news is that he is opening a tasting room in Templeton.]
Hoi Polloi Wines – Central Coast
2017 Rose of Grenache, Adelaida District, Paso Robles [consistently Karen’s favorite Rose]
2016 “Blue Velvet” Syrah, Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA [a consistently great Syrah from an iconic vineyard]
[From Garagiste Festival co-founder Doug Minnick and his partners; we are lucky to have this tasting room in the Santa Clarita Valley.]
MCV Wines – Paso Robles
2018 Pink Rose
2016 Petite Sirah, Rosewynn Vineyard
2016 1105 Blend
[I’ve been a fan of Matt Villard’s wines for a long time. Some big news coming from this winery so stay tuned.]
Oceans Churning Wines – Sonoma
2014 Chardonnay [from the R&R tasting]
Powicana Farm – Mendocino
2013 Petite Sirah [from the R&R tasting]
Record Family Wines – Paso Robles
2017 Estate Viognier
2017 Estate Grenache Rose
2016 Randy’s Red (Syrah, Grenache)
2016 Reserve Syrah
[The wines are made by Jeff Strekas of ONX, so of course they’re going to be delicious.]
Two Papas Wines – Santa Barbara
2017 Grenache Blanc, Saarloos Vineyard
2017 Grenache, Saarloos Vineyard
2017 Grenache, Thompson Vineyard
2017 Syrah, Thompson Vineyard
[I was eager to taste Santa Clarita local Rick Pratt’s wines and I was totally blown away by the quality.]
Two Shepherds – Sonoma
2018 Picpoul Blanc, Yolo County
2018 Rose of Carignan, Mendocino
2018 “Wiley” Carbonic Carignan, Mendocino
2016 Carigan, Mendocinao
[William Allen continues to make his delicious, convention-defying wines.]
Velvet Bee Wines – Santa Barbara
2018 Queen Bee (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon) [from the R&R tasting]
Wandermust-Must Wines – Sonoma
2018 Verdelho [from the R&R tasting]
Zanoli Wines – Paso Robles
2017 Mourvedre, Glenrose Vineyard
2016 Syrah, Glenrose Vineyard
Congratulations to co-founders Doug Minnick and Stewart McLennan as well as Lisa Dinsmore (Event/Web Director) and Melanie Webber (Public Relations and Communications) for another great event. Their passion and hard work have really made the Garagiste Festival concept something special. We can’t wait for the next one.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 30 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also President of MCP Financial, which provides outsourced controller services. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The record-setting wine, Fourmeaux 2017, sold for $85,250 or $710 per bottle (and $8525 per case). The auction was held at Louis M. Martini Winery.
The Bordeaux-style red wine is named after VGS Chateau Potelle proprietor Jean-Noel Fourmeaux. Fourmeaux, who hails from France, founded the winery in 1980 and has been overseeing the production of small-batch, Bordeaux-style wines since then.
“Art is evolutionary, winemaking is, too,” he said when asked about the winning barrel-auction price. “These wines bear my name. They are what I have learned during my life and what I have become. They represent maturity and wisdom, and as well as presence and dimension. [They are] a culmination of my decades-old love affair with wine and life.”
The Fourmeaux 2017 is a highly concentrated, rich, and not overly tannic wine from grapes grown atop Mount Veeder at an elevation of about 2,000 feet. VGS Chateau Potelle produced only 170 cases—10 of which were accounted for in the winning barrel. The wine itself was aged for 20 months in new French oak, and it comprises a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (97 percent), and Malbec (3 percent). The wine is made from the only grapes they were able to harvest on Mount Veeder in 2017 because of the wildfires.
Fourmeaux 2017 was crafted by Kale Anderson, the youngest American winemaker ever awarded a perfect 100 points by wine critic Robert Parker.
“The 2017 vintage was very challenging,” said Anderson. “To achieve a wine of this quality is really humbling and I’m grateful it was so well received.”
To say this wine appealed is an understatement; the impressive price surpassed the second highest barrel lot by $38,250.
The high bidders on the Fourmeaux wine were Bruce and Jennifer Adams from Louisiana. Bruce Adams said he was delighted to play a small part in such an important event. “To contribute to the continued success of the Fourmeaux luxury brand is a pleasure and it serves a great cause, not to mention the wine is really spectacular.”
This year marked the 39th annual Auction Napa Valley. Following the conclusion of the event proceeds from the live auction, barrel auction and e-auction will be distributed to support 28 Napa County charities in children’s education and community health. The 2019 event is expected to raise $12 million
As for Fourmeaux 2017, it will be available by allocation only from VGS Chateau Potelle. For more information about the wine or to request an allocation, please visit www.vgschateaupotelle.com.
Love invites to wine and dine with winemakers, and this one was right up there with the best:
A day trip to Napa and a leap of faith led Zak Miller, winemaker at Domaine Carneros, on a journey from field research in forestry science to the vineyards of California, Chile and New Zealand to learn all he could about winemaking. And another leap, joining Domaine Carneros over a decade ago, saw his deep respect and fascination for the Pinot Noir grape blossom into a surprising love affair with chardonnay working alongside Eileen Crane, Founding Winemaker and “America’s Doyenne of Sparkling Wine.” As winemaker at Domaine Carneros, Zak oversees the day to day operations of sparkling winemaking.
On behalf of Zak…we’d like to extend an invitation to join him for an intimate dinner of award-winning, estate Carneros sparkling and still wines…at Avra Beverly Hills.
Tucked in the back of the swanky Avra Beverly Hills restaurant, Zak Miller sat alone at a table for five waiting for four ladies of the pen, the wine pen, to arrive. Though the restaurant was a bit high-status, along with Miller’s pedigree, Miller was not. Affable, friendly and open from the moment he stood to say hello to the end of our time together, roughly two hours, I came away armed with plenty of info to share from our “bubbly” time together. (If you just want to see more photos, go here.)
I had received a large file of past and current press releases from the winery and I have abbreviated some of that below. Before that I will share what we talked about and my notes on both the still and sparkling wines we sampled. This is what I learned from Miller firsthand, we absorbed more (in more ways than one – lol) during the tasting:
- This is Miller’s 12th harvest with Domaine Carneros. He had experience winemaking for Saintsbury in Napa, as well as wineries in New Zealand and Chile.
- The winery is striving to be 100% Estate Vineyards, they currently have 400 acres. They have long relationships with growers in Carneros for some of their fruit.
- It takes roughly 10 years from harvest to release for each vintage.
- The “Chateau” in Carneros is a replica of Champagne Taittinger official residence, the Chateau de la Marquetterie. Taittinger founded Domaine Carneros in 1987.
- They use up to 13 Chardonnay clones in the sparkling wines.
2012 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs
2012 was a big harvest according to Miller. The bottle, the only one with embossing and a different all over shape, will be hard to find except in fine restaurants. A little over $100 a bottle and made with 100% estate grown Chardonnay. I got aromas of crisp yellow delicious apple, Brie cheese, rye toast and a mild salinity. In the mouth I got that same bright apple, pear, pink grapefruit and plenty of citrus. $115 a bottle.
2015 Brut Cuvee
This wine – 51% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Noir and 2% Pinot Gris – spent 36 months in barrel. Notes of white peach, cream, white pepper and green grass on the nose with fresh fruit cocktail and hard red apple candy on the palate. $36 a bottle.
2016 Estate Pinot Noir
They make about 12 thousand bottles of Pinot Noir per year. This vintage used 15 of their 16 Pinot Noir clones, all estate. Loved the aroma of black cherry, stems and must as well as the flavor of both red and dark cherry, black currant and toasted oak. Well balanced fruit and tannin. After twenty minutes the wine further improved and showed more of that dark fruit I liked. Nicely done for only about $30 a bottle for a Napa Pinot.
Cuvee de la Pompadour
This blend of 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay had only been macerated with the skins on for a few days before draining off. Miller wanted the color but not the tannins from the Pinot. He felt that a heavy Pinot influence makes the sparkling “bastardized.” Yellow cling peaches, raspberries, golden raisins and a hint of flint greeted me on the nose, followed by raspberry, red cherry and just a tad of cheddar. $42 a bottle.
From Domaine Carneros (Abbreviated)
Some history: Founded in the Carneros appellation of Northern California by the Champagne Taittinger family, Domaine Carneros is a small grower producer of ultra-premium Carneros Sparkling wines and limited production Pinot Noirs. Thirty years after the winery’s inaugural harvest, Domaine Carneros has become the benchmark for California Sparkling wine, reflecting both the individuality of the Carneros’ terroir and the craftsmanship of its French legacy.
The Chateau: Completed in 1989, the 18th century château-style building was architecturally inspired by the historic Château de la Marquetterie owned by Champagne Taittinger in the Champagne region of France. Situated atop a knoll and overlooking endless rolling vineyards, the elegant property is an iconic Northern California landmark. The château houses the winery’s facilities as well as beautiful salons for visitors and wine club members.
The summer of 2018 marks the completion of the highly-anticipated and beautifully-designed Jardin d’Hiver – a conservatory-style addition to the north terrace of the renowned Domaine Carneros château, which will allow guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of Carneros and surrounding vineyards while being shielded from the weather.
Winemaker Zak Miller: It was his first harvest in Napa Valley at Saintsbury Vineyards that gave him a deep respect and fascination for the ever challenging Pinot Noir grape. Eager to continue learning, he traveled to New Zealand and Chile to hone his craft. Returning to northern California wine country in 2008, Miller joined Domaine Carneros with the goal of continuing to evolve his skill with pinot noir working closely with TJ Evans and his still wine program at the chateau. Or so he thought.
Working alongside Founding Winemaker, Eileen Crane, opened to Miller a new realm of possibility in winemaking – sparkling wines – and he hasn’t looked back since. Through Crane and the Domaine Carneros team, he developed a deep appreciation for the versatility of both pinot noir and chardonnay in sparkling winemaking and the great skill required to craft beautifully balanced, elegant yet complex wines. And through his work as a sparkling winemaker, he grew to love a variety he admittedly didn’t gravitate toward originally – chardonnay – which provides the base for what he feels is its finest expression (and a personal favorite), Blanc de Blancs.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.