The Vineyard's Wine Club

August Featured Wines

This month our Grand Cru Wine Club is features two long-time greats from California, Alexander Valley Vineyards and Girard, and our Premier Cru Wine Club showcases two great values from Argentina (Fabre Montmayou) and New York's Finger Lakes (Boundary Breaks) that are perfect for the summer.

Grand Cru Wine Club - $50

2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc Alexander Valley

Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley was mostly prune orchards and pastures when, in 1962, Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased a large portion of a homestead built by Cyrus Alexander, the valley’s nineteenth century namesake. Here, in a rural community of family farms and ranches, the Wetzel family settled. They raised livestock, cultivated bountiful gardens and restored Alexander’s original home, making it the center of family life.

In 1963 the Wetzels boldly planted premium grape varieties, among the first in the area. They sold the grapes for a number of years to other wineries and often produced a little homemade wine in the adobe as a family project. They bottled their first vintage of Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon in 1968, but this wine was only given to friends and family. In 1975 the family built a small winery and Hank Wetzel, oldest son of Maggie and Harry, produced Alexander Valley Vineyard’s first wine in 1975. His wife Linda set up the books and managed the winery office.

AVV quickly established a reputation for estate grown wines with distinctive varietal character. Acclaimed for crisp Chardonnay and luscious Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards brought recognition to the appellation and became a leading winery in Sonoma County.

Today the Alexander Valley is a prominent appellation known worldwide as the source of elegant, age worthy wines. As the twenty-first century begins, the Wetzel Family Estate grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager Mark Houser and Winemaker Kevin Hall work as a team to maximize fruit flavor in the vineyard and to create balanced wines that capture the grapes’ varietal characteristics.

The Wine:

The 2012 Cabernet Franc has aromas of cassis, black cherry, blueberry, menthol and vanilla with flavors of plum, black cherry, vanilla, blueberry and cassis.  This is not a heavy wine, but there is broad mouthfeel with a rich texture and a structured finish.  Enjoy this with pork, chicken and turkey.


2013 Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The story of Girard starts out almost 40 years ago when a father and son first planted grapes on Pritchard Hill.   After 25 years they found another man with their same passion and sold him the vineyard to continue the legacy started many years ago.   Vintner Pat Roney has maintained the quality at that started on Pritchard Hill.  I have always been a fan of the wine of Girard and with Marco DiGiulio as winemaker (Lokoya, Buena Vista, Pezzi King and Robert Pepi) the quality of the wines has become fantastic.   

Today we are featuring the delicious 2013 Girard Napa Valley Caberent Sauvignon that is sourced from Lauer and Crocker Vineyards in St. Helena and Juliana Vineyard in Pope Valley.  I have come to the conclusion that I really like the Cabernets from the 2013 vintage.   The wines have beautiful fruit, lush mouthfeel and can be enjoyed now and over the next 5-7 years.   

The Wine:

Baking spice notes blend with hints of aged cigar box on the nose. On the palate we see blackberry and cassis, mocha powder and a touch of rich leather. The finish of this Cabernet boasts rich dark fruit and expressive tannins.

Premier Cru Wine Special - $25

2013 Fabre Montmayou Malbec Reserva

Hervé Joyaux Fabre, owner and director of Fabre Montmayou, was born in Bordeaux, France to a family of wine negociants. When Herve Joyaux Fabre arrived in Argentina in the early 90's looking for opportunities to invest in vineyards and start a winery, he was impressed by the potential for Malbec in Mendoza. Within months he purchased the first of several old vine, high elevation vineyard sites under his control - an impeccable 37 acre spread in Vistalba planted with original rootstock Malbec vines in 1908. A pioneering Patagonian winery was constructed in the Rio Negro region ten years later. At present the family owns 217 acres of vineyard land in Mendoza (Vistalba, Compuertas, Tupungato) and 122 acres in Patagonia (Allen, General Roca). All wines are estate grown, farmed using traditional methods without the use of herbicides and pesticides, and fermented with native yeasts.

The Wine:

I love the lush fruit in this particular Malbec. Excellent structure with just hints of French Oak adding the this already complex wine.   This really over delivers for the price.   

"This so balanced and pretty with floral, berry, blackberry and hints of cedar. Full body, very polished and balanced. Long finish. Drink or hold." - 93 POINTS James Suckling

2013 Boundary Breaks Vineyard Ovid Line North Riesling Finger Lakes

These guys are Riesling freaks. Most of their Rieslings are single clones and bone dry but the Ovid Line North is multiple clones a just slightly off dry. I was really wowed by all their wines but this particular wine grabbed my palate. It was like biting into a perfectly ripe fresh apple with just the right amount of dryness. This is a winery that will change your mind about Riesling.

The Wine:

"The 2013 Riesling "Ovid Line North" Single Vineyard has been seen before, but given its presentation as part of a mini-vertical, it is well worth another look. The freshness of this wine makes it enticing. It might even be better than when I first saw it. The big acidity and nice fruit mingle together very well and then absorb the sugar (33 grams per liter). The fine, lingering finish seals the deal. This young winery is only getting started, but for what it considers to be an entry level wine, released early in its history to boot, this is pretty fine." - 89 Points Wine Spectator

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