For this week’s tasting we are pleased to welcome South Eastern Representative Jeff Papa of Rombauer Vineyards. Jeff will be pouring the four wines that Rombauer is best-known for; their Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. He is also bringing with him a special “bonus wine” or two, including the Rombauer Diamond Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.
We will have outstanding pricing on the Rombauer wines (averaging $5.00 off per bottle) at the tasting. We hope you will join us this Thursday!
“The Rombauer family winery is located on the northeastern edge of the Valley on a secluded tree-covered knoll over looking the Napa Valley. The Joy of Wine (the Rombauer philosophy of wine and food) goes back to Koerner Rombauer’s ancestors from the wine growing region of Reingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. The Joy of Wine is a direct connection to The Joy of Cooking, written by Koerner’s great aunt, Irma Rombauer.
Koerner Rombauer moved his family to the Napa Valley in 1792 and purchased 40 acres of beautiful hilltop land on the Silverado Trail, near the town of St. Helena. In 1976 Koerner and Joan [his now deceased wife] became partners in Conn Creek Winery. Koerner learned the wine business first in the cellar, working hand-in-hand with the winemaker and learning all phases of winery operations. By 1980 the Rombauers had become interested in making wine under their own label; they had it custom produced in a neighbor’s winery. In 1981 they sold their interest in Conn Creek and began construction of the Rombauer Vineyards winery on the property adjacent to their home. The winery was founded in 1982.
The Rombauer family has over 30 years of winemaking experience in the Napa Valley and is dedicated to family, land and community. Koerner Rombauer oversees the daily operations. Daughter, Sheana manages promotional marketing, wine clubs and special events while son, KR Rombauer III directs the national sales team.”
Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay 2011– Carneros, California. 100% Chardonnay that aged for 10 months in a combination of American and French oak. “Rich yellow color and becoming more golden with age. Inviting fruit aromas of honeydew, yellow peach and fig are supported by vanilla and caramel. Creamy vanilla integrates with honeysuckle, pineapple and apricot for a fabulous richness on the palate. A luscious mouthfeel leads to a generous and creamy finish. Pleasantly voluptuous from a cooler vintage. Our favorite Joy of Cooking® pairing for this wine includes salmon fettuccine with peas, burrata cheese with arugula salad, roasted turkey, and fried green tomatoes. WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: We have a unique style of Chardonnay that has developed over time with select vineyards from the Carneros region. The cool climate and clay soils offer ideal conditions for Chardonnay grapes.” Tasting $30.99
Rombauer Vineyards Merlot 2008– Carneros, California. A blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that aged for 18 months in a combination of French and American oak. “Beautifully dark red in color; opening with plush aromas of black cherry and ripe plum. Black currant, cedar and tea flavors weave together seamlessly on the palate. Showing elegance and finesse, this wine radiates concentration and balance. A generous finish of mint and plum build on the back palate. Our favorite pairings for this wine include chicken parmesan, cedar-planked salmon over wild rice, and mushroom pizza. WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: The Carneros region with its climate and clay soils allows us to produce a Merlot which is true to the varietal’s characteristics. The longer growing season allows the fruit to reach maturity slowly, giving us fruit which is soft and elegant, yet rich and full flavored.” Tasting $28.99
Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel 2010– California. A blend of 94% Zinfandel and 6% Petite Sirah that aged for 15 months in a combination of American and French oak. “Deep purple in color; powerful aromas of wild berries, clove and plum emerge from the glass. Luscious, juicy layers of black cherry, blackberry and boysenberry integrate with nuances of allspice and burst on the palate. Berry flavors linger for an extended finish. Our favorite pairings for this wine include pasta bolognese, curry chicken, and lamb kabobs. WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: This Zinfandel is a great example of our ongoing commitment to quality vineyard selection. Handpicked Zinfandel from low yielding, old-vine blocks is harvested at optimum maturity and rushed to the winery in refrigerated trucks. At the winery we spare no effort or expense in the winemaking process to ensure quality and enjoyment.” Tasting $28.99
Rombauer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009– Napa Valley, California. A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc that aged for 19 months in French oak. “Dark plum color with a hue of crimson red. An opulent bouquet of blackberry, red currant, plum and dark cherry fruit emerge from the glass. Black currant, cherry and spice intertwine for an exceptionally balanced palate. Smooth tannins help build depth on the back palate for a lengthy finish, rich with creamy vanilla and blackberry. Our favorite Joy of Cooking® pairings for this wine include grilled filet mignon and sautéed spinach, marinated flank steak and summer squash, or soft artisan cheeses. WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: The fruit for this Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our vineyards in Stags Leap, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Calistoga. To ensure optimum quality and fruit expression, we control every aspect from farming each vineyard to bottling the wine. Our meticulous attention to detail shows in this exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.” Tasting $35.99
Gruet Winery– “Gilbert Gruet founder of Gruet Winery was born in Bethon, France in 1931. He grew up in a poor family, and began working at a young age. In 1952, Gilbert Gruet, along with his wife Danielle, dreamt of producing fine quality Champagne.
In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern U.S., and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards in Engle, 170 miles south of Albuquerque. The land was inexpensive and the opportunity golden. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet, whose Champagne house, Gruet et Fils had produced fine Champagne in Bethon, France, since 1952, made the decision to plant an experimental vineyard, exclusively planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. His children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie, and family friend Farid Himeur then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure.
At 4300 ft. the vineyards are some of the highest in the United States, so regardless of how hot the days might be, the temperature at night can drop as much as thirty degrees, cooling the fruit and slowing down the maturation process on an otherwise short growing season. Sandy and loamy soil, and a lack of humidity that might contribute to rot, give us a consistency of fruit year in and year out, and allow us to produce our award winning wines without the use of pesticides.
The excellent 1987 harvest allowed Laurent to produce his first two wines following the strict guidelines of a true Methode Champenoise; production totaled 5000 bottles. All manual machinery had been shipped from France and the wine was produced in a small rented facility in the city of Albuquerque. In 1989, after the required minimum of two years aging on tirage, our first two sparkling wines were introduced to a very appreciative wine world. Critics and connoisseurs alike were astonished by the quality and the value. New Mexico wine was on the map!”
Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV– Albuquerque, New Mexico. A blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay that aged in the bottle in tirage for two years. The rich and toasty character of our Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for two-year minimum, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors. The amazing berries aromas and the creamy texture play a leading role and create a great finesse. Winemaker’s Note: A fine salmon color, aggressive mousse and a lovely fruity wine with plenty of immediate charm and toasty aromas. There is also an explosive juicy flavor of raspberry. French for “white of black”, Blanc de Noirs describes a sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes, by pressing them gently and running the pale juice o the skins. Our Blanc de Noirs NV was first released in 1990. With the success of our Brut release, we wanted to add a non vintage wine similar to the classic blends of NV Champagnes, Pinot Noir dominated. Wine Makers Notes: Pale Salmon in color, our Blanc de Noirs has aromas of berry and pear, complimented by a rich, round mouth feel on the palate. It finishes with a layer of cream and pleasant, warm toastiness. Incredibly versatile with all styles of food!” 90 Wine Spectator– “Elegant and focused, with creamy vanilla and apple aromas and rich yet crisp flavors of baked pear and cinnamon bread. Drink now through 2014. 20,000 cases made.” Tasting $14.99