USA wine production Wineries in all 50 States Main centres: California, Oregon, Washington and New York. Post-Pylloxera, familiar European varieties on native American root stocks American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) since 1980: can be a whole County or a small geographic area; e. g. Mendocino AVA and Oakville AVA
Californian wine production Thriving wine industry before Phylloxera in late 1880s Prohibition in 1920s 1930-1960: Cheap, bulk wines from Central Valley 1960–present: Explosive growth in quality and quantity; small boutique wineries Polarisation of size of winery and quality (and cost) of wine Quality wines from cooler regions: Davis Zones I-III
Wineries in California by County Napa 284 Sonoma 210 San Luis Obispo 98 Santa Barbara 50 Mendocino 46 TOTAL 1,050
Davis Climatic Zones Region I: <2,500 degree days Bordeaux, Champagne Region II: 2,500-3,000 degree days Nth Italy (Piemonte) Region III: 3,000-3,500 degree days Nth Spain Region IV: 3,500-4,000 degree days Cape Province SA, Tuscany Region V: >4,000 degree days Western Australia
1. Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Colour: Pale-green Aroma: Intense aromas of grapefruit, citrus, kiwi and fresh cut grass greet the nose Palate: The crisp acidity gives the wine a fresh vibrant feel with flavours of grapefruit, lime zest and grass that closes with flavours of melon and a nice tart finish.
2. Cartlidge and BrowneChardonnay, North Coast, 2010 The Cartlidge and Browne winery is in Santa Rosa, Nth Sonoma Cartlidge and Browne buy in grapes from their extensive contact list of growers, in Mendocino, Sonoma and the Sierra foothills. The winemaker, Paul Moser, aims to make wines in the restrained European style where quality relies on fruit and balance rather than power. The chardonnays have bags of fresh fruit flavour and are considered to be among California’s best value whites.
2. Cartlidge and BrowneChardonnay, North Coast 2010 Aroma: green, red and brown apple medley and more floral honeysuckle lead. Palate: both silky and alive. Flavours of honey and baked bread from sur lees aging while maintaining a delicious fruit profile. Very French in style with an elegant minerality and complexity combined with the slightest caramel and brown sugar notes.
3. Six Vineyards Pinot Noir,Willamette Valley, 2008 Eric Lemelson came to the wine business after a previous career as an environmental lawyer First Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1995. Today some 120 acres and a unique state-of-the-art winery The vineyards have been farmed organically given Lemelson’s environmental background and belief that grapes develop their full flavour potential without the use of synthetic chemicals A fine, plump, cherry-fruited pinot blended from six vineyard sites, and now Lemelson’s second label.
3. Six Vineyards Pinot Noir,Willamette Valley, 2008 Nose: it has great aromatic complexity with strawberry, plum, dried flowers, ripe black cherries and subtle earth. Palate: is bright and fresh with lovely, sweet red cherry and citrus throughout the soft, medium-bodied mid- palate. Bigger than average tannins serve to create an unusually long finish for this wine It is drinking very well, even days after bottling. Now to 2014.
DVD Interlude Jancis Robinson Biodynamism in Burgundy Terroir Oregon (Willamette Valley AVA) Pinot Noir in California (Russian River AVA) 15 minutes
NapaValleyNapa Valley AVAand severalsmaller AVAs:Rutherford,St Helena,Oakville, 4Stags Leap,Yountville
Clos du Val A Napa Valley icon! Founded in 1970; first wines 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon competed with Bordeaux wines in famous 1976 Paris blind tasting Prime vineyards in Stags Leap, (near Yountville) & Los Carneros
4. Clos du Val Merlot, 2006 77% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc cf Pomerol & St Emilion
4. Clos du Val Merlot 2006 A consumer’s view: Nose: plum and chocolate, cherry and cinnamon, pepper and a little oak. Palate: still a bit tannic, but had chocolate and cherry, pepper and plum, and a slightly spicy finish
Zinfandel Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards DNA fingerprinting revealed that it is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, and also the Primitivo variety traditionally grown in Puglia The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, although a semi-sweet rosé (blush-style) wine called White Zinfandel has six times the sales of the red wine in the United States The grapes high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent.
5. Ravenswood Lodi Old VineZinfandel, 2009 Joel Petersen founded in 1976 A champion of Zinfandel 77% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Syrah Sourced from: 97% Lodi, 3% North Coast Aging: 18 months French Oak, 30% new Skin Contact: 7–9 days of skin contact during Native fermentation Alcohol: 14.5% Drink now, or age another 5–7 years
5. Ravenswood Lodi Old VineZinfandel, 2009 Aromas and flavours: Dried currants, spice, plum, and wild berry along with self- assured, muscular tannins and balanced acidity Unbelievable with lasagna, grilled pepper steak, or stew
6. Duck Pond Cellars CabernetSauvignon, 2010 Duck Pond Cellars is a family winery which owns and operates 340 acres of vineyards in northern Oregon (for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) and 520 acres in Columbia River AVA, eastern Washington (for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot). 80.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Merlot The vines spread their roots through the sand and rock of the Eastern Washington desert seeking moisture. The resulting fruit is produced with great effort and is extremely concentrated in flavour with rich and ripe blackcurrant flavours with a backdrop of cedar and spice.
6. Duck Pond Cellars CabernetSauvignon, 2010 Colour: Aroma: Palate: This wine embodies the elements of its creation: rich and ripe fruit flavours, (current, raisin, cherry & plum) powerful body and a heady aroma. Great balance lends the wine to a variety of food pairings; match for intensity.
7. Turner’s Crossing, CabernetSauvignon 2004. Bendigo Bendigo, Central Victoria [Loddon River!] Selected grapes; matured for 18 months in French oakLook Density of colour? Rim?Aroma Vanilla from oak casks Blackcurrants, mulberries, plums, pepper, cloves.Taste Full-bodied, huge, rich, fruity with hints of the flavours of matured red wine: leather, game, tar, cigar box, chocolate
8. Quady Winery Elysium BlackMuscat, 2009 From Madera in the Central Valley. Black Muscat is known in Europe as a table grape variety, Muscat Hamburg, one of the very few black skinned muscats. If ripened to as sweetness of about 25 brix, it attains a rose-like aroma and lychee-like flavour. Elysium is used to either accompany or replace dessert. It is wonderful with blue cheeses, with desserts containing red fruits (such as Summer Pudding,, with vanilla, with dark chocolate, with ice cream desserts. One favourite is to pour the wine onto vanilla ice cream.
8. Quady Winery Elysium BlackMuscat, 2009 With nearly 200 g/l residual sugar, this wine is enormously sweet in honey and black cherry flavours, balanced by brilliant acidity. For something unusual, try with a runny cheese, like a soft Gorgonzola.
Today’s wines1. Bonterra, Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino & Lake Co, 2008 £10.99 W2. Cartlidge and Browne, Chardonnay, North Coast, 2010 £9.50 WS3. Six Vineyards Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2008 £9.50 WS4. Clos du Val, Merlot, Napa Valley, 2006 £17.95 S5. Ravenswood, Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, 2009 £8.75 * WS6. Duck Pond Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia River, WA, 2010 £14.60 S7. Turner’s Crossing, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bendigo, 2004 £15.00 OZ8. Quady Winery Elysium, Black Muscat, 2009 [37.5cl] £10.70 *W Waitrose * Majestic WS Wine Society S Slurp.co.uk OZ OZWINES
Aroma test Which of today’s wines is this? Think of characteristic aromas!
Best value Which of today’s range offers best value?
Next session Wednesday 13 June 2012 at 2.30pm Viognier
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