Chef Mike: His last OTBN for 2009!

So we all should agree by now that Christmas Eve is the perfect “OTBN” night for sharing great wines!

A evening of a marvelous pot luck with family and friends sharing wine… food… wine… song… wine… telling stories… wine… fine cigars… ahhh and of course… Wine!!!

Out Christmas Eve night began with a touching toast to family & friends with us that night – both here and present and in spirit! Later events along with appetizers and dinner included a Christmas Scavenger Hunt For Kids, “Rock Band” Fun, & An Annual Family “White Elephant” Gift Exchange. Combined with some nice wine and not a bad evening I would say!

Hope all was good for you and yours this Christmas and have a great New Year!

Ohhhh yeah – The Featured Wines On The Fraschilla, Mitchell, Van Klaveran Holiday Wine List Included:

2006 Dr Loosen Urziger Wurgatern & Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Rieslings
Mosel – Saar Germany: Some of Germany’s Best Rieslings from a great
vintage. Dr Loosen is a fantastic starting point for “rediscovering” the
greatness of well crafted Riesling wines!

2007 Brancott Reserve Sauv Blanc Marlborough New Zealand: If you are looking
for a New Zealand Sauv Blanc to substitute for the ubiquitous Kim
Crawford look no further then this wine! (Sauv Blancs from Matua would
would also be a good choice). Dry crisp grapefruit and gooseberry mmmh.

2007 Kali Hart (Talbot) Monterey Chardonnay: Want quality Chardonnay on a
budget? This 3rd label of Talbot is the wine you are looking for! This
Chard drinks like many at 3 times the price so you can be comfortable
opening this treat with either wine philistines or snobs!!!

2005 Cakebread Napa Chardonnay: Ok so it’s Cakebread and from an older
vintage… That makes it a bigger and richer Chad then the zippier
freshness I’ve noted in their more recent releases! A Classic “California”

2006 Talbot “Sleepy Hollow” Monterey Chardonnay: I agree with R Parker – You
can never go wrong with Talbot! A big rich and beautiful with a velvety
mouth feel and long finish… I love that over the last 10 years this is one
the best California Chardonnays that most Chardonnay lovers don’t even

2003 The Black Chook S. Australia Shiraz-Viognier: Along with D’Arnberg’s
LaughingMagpie this is the best expression of this wine blend at this price
point ($20) I have found that comes to us from Land Of Wonder Down Under!

2003 Wild Duck Creek “Springflat” Shiraz: A great producer of fine Aussie wines.
Not an over the top Shiraz but very balanced but rather an “elegant” Aussie
Shiraz. One of my favorites with a roasted lamb dish!

2005 Palumbo Family Wines – Temecula Estate Syrah-Cab Blend: Yes Everyone
bags on Temecula Valley Wines (Oft’ treated as the “Red-Headed Step
Child of California Wine Regions), but the Palumbo Family has set a high bar
for others in the area to follow. The weather, elevation, and soil suggests
that like Paso Robles this can become a great location for Rhone and Cab
Blends. Honestly they may be a little pricey for the region (they only produce
a few hundred cases) but they are beautifully enjoyable wines none the less!

2005 Houge Reserve Washington State Cabernet: The 2005 Columbia Crest
Reserve Cab making #1 on the Spectator Top 100 List announces to the
world that great Washington Cabernets at great prices are plentiful!
Previously a state known for producing great Merlot and Cab Franc, the
Hogue Cab will open your mind about WA State Cabs!

1998 Au Bon Climant “Knox Alexander” Pinot Noir: The first California Pinot Noir
that made me appreciate this varietal. This top release from wine maker
Jim Clendenon is a wonder. Beautifully still enjoyable more than a decade
later it’s release and it shows plenty of life left. A classic balanced Pinot
combining fruit in earth in a manner a classic Red Burgundy lover will savor!

2003 William Selyem “Westside Neighbors” & “Vista Verde” Pinot Noirs: To some
California’s first “Cult” Pinot Noir has run out of favor to the more muscular
Pinots currently in favor among wine geeks. I still find W. S. wines to be the
most consistently beautiful & elegant expressions of Pinot Noir produced in
California. I am shocked how many so called Pinot Lovers have either
forgotten or do not know about these wines and their history of putting
California Pinot Noir on the world wine map!

2005 Sea Smoke Southing Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir: Ok so we had to sneak in
a “modern” styled Pinot Noir. With the release of the movie Sideways these
wines had an expanded buzz about them. The “Cult” following of SS wines
are due mostly to the over the top fruit forwardness that these wines
exhibit upon their release. I have a secret for “real” Pinot Lovers – Wait 4
years or more and the over the top fruit of a youthful S.S. transforms into
a beautifully balanced Pinot Noir showing off the earth and Terroir where this
small production Pinot is produced in California’s Santa Rita Hills Region.
FYI – My wife and I shared a 2003 $ 04 recently and as much as we are in
awe of fruit these wines show in their 1st year of release they are far
superior to enjoy as they age! As for the 05 Southing – I thought I heard
some one refer to it as, Ahhhh… Sex In Bottle!

2007 Joseph Swan “Cuvee De Trois” Russian River Pinot Noir: Joseph S was
another pioneer in making good Pinot Noir up in the Russian River area of the
Sonoma Valley. The past few vintages of Pinot have been disappointing, but
this Pinot from California’s classic 2007 vintage shows he can still produce
a beautiful Pinot Noir.

So the question once again remains the same – What are you having on your OTBN Wine Night!!!

All The Best and In Vino Veritas!

Michael Fraschilla

Wine & Spirit Specialist & Partner
24-Pinot Media LLC
(805) 217-4518 Ph
(805) 522-4337 Fax