This Week’s Wine Tasting
Gruet Winery, Truvee and Uppercut
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. Gilbert followed his heart and in 1967 created the U.V.C.B. (Union Vinicole des Coteaux de Bethon), a co-op in the village of Bethon.
In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards In Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequence, 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, then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure.”
Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV– New Mexico. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. “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.” “Elegant and focused, with creamy vanilla and apple aromas and rich yet crisp flavors of baked pear. 90 Points and Top 100 Wine Spectator.” $17.99
Gruet Rose NV– New Mexico. 100% Pinot Noir. “This nearly garnet Rose, like all our non-vintage sparkling wines, is aged 24 months en tirage. It has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, Brut style. The flavor of berries continues on the palate, revealing more strawberry, raspberry, cherry. This sparkler is lots of fun and very festive, but production is limited to 5000 cases per year, so don’t miss out!” “Has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. 88 Points and Best Buy Wine Spectator.” $17.99
Truvee– “What began as a connection between two sisters with a curiosity for wine, grew into a true passion and today, the McBride Sisters launched Truvée Wines. The latest wine release from Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, Truvée tells the compelling story of Robin and Andréa McBride and their self-made success, through two Central Coast grown varieties, a lightly oaked Chardonnay and a Rhone Style Red Blend.
Fittingly derived for the French verb “to find,” Truvée is a reflection of one shared vision that grew out of two individual stories, and honorably exemplifies to “find what matters most.” Sharing the same father, but raised by different mothers, Truvée creators Robin and Andréa McBride both grew up in emerging wine regions—each independently fostering her own appreciation for the craft of winemaking. Growing up continents apart, the McBride Sisters were unaware of the others existence for nearly half of their lives. Their father’s final wish was to connect his two daughters, and with the help of a relative, the sisters were united for the first time in 1999 at the ages of 16 and 25. After connecting, the McBride Sisters formed a deep and lasting friendship, and also discovered their mutual interest in the wine business.
Both born in Los Angeles, Robin was raised in Monterey, California around coastal tide pools, forests and vineyards, while Andréa was raised in her mother’s native country of New Zealand, where she learned firsthand the art of grape farming from her uncle in Marlborough. Marrying their 10-plus years of experience in the wine industry as négociants, and creators of eco.love Wines from New Zealand, the McBride Sisters have crafted an authentic, but affordable luxury wine, Truvée.”
Truvee Chardonnay 2013– Central Coast, California. “With our Truvée Chardonnay, we have created a wine that showcases the beautiful fruit flavors that develop in the vineyards, supported by a touch of French oak and with minimal intervention from Monica, our winemaker. This Central Coast Chardonnay is elegant and vivacious. The fruit was sustainably grown in Chalone, Edna Valley and Monterey County with flavors that span white peach, pear, citrus zest, green apple, pineapple, vanilla, oak and with delicate notes of white flowers. A portion of the wine was put into new and neutral French oak barrels, while the balance was fermented in stainless steel tanks.” $12.99
Truvee Red Blend 2013– Central Coast, California. “Only the best grapes were sourced from Central Coast California vineyards within the Chalone, Monterey, Edna Valley, San Benito and Paso Robles American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Velvety and full-bodied, the Truvée Red Blend is rich with dominant notes of blueberry, blackberry, caramel, cocoa and red cherry, creating a smooth and decadent flavor.” “This Central Coast Red Blend is complex. The flavors in this wine span red cherry, blueberry, blackberry, cocoa and caramel, and we used a mix of French and American oak to mature the wine. The fruit was sustainably grown in Paso Robles, San Benito, Edna Valley, Monterey County, Chalone and is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel.” $12.99
Uppercut– “The whole idea of Uppercut is producing affordable Cabernet from one of the world’s premier winegrowing regions. Fortunately, winemaker Chris Cooney has access to fruit from some of Napa’s best valley, bench and mountain vineyards. This gives him the latitude to create wines that are rich, complex and consistent from vintage to vintage. Cabernet is sourced from the entire length of Napa Valley, such as Rutherford, Calistoga and St Helena, for layers of flavors and impeccable balance. The flexibility of sourcing is one of the keys to Uppercut’s success. The winemaker’s intention is to produce delicious, affordable wines that pair well with food and deliver the unmistakable flavor and personality of Napa Valley.
The Uppercut winemaker is Trevor Durling, who has been working with Diageo Chateau & Estate since 2010 and now oversees the entire Uppercut portfolio, as well as continuing his responsibilities as associate winemaker at Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt Vineyard. “I’m proud to have been a part of the early success of Uppercut wines and am looking forward to continuing to build a reputation for this brand,” says Durling.”
Uppercut Meritage 2012– Napa County, California. 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc. “Aromas of raspberry, blackberry and cherry leap out of the glass. On the palate, a dense core character of beautiful black and red fruit is complemented by notes of vanilla, clover and toast. Juicy and bright with a persistent finish.” “Our Meritage red blend offers big aromas of raspberry and nutmeg complemented by dense black fruit and toast flavors. Pairs well with interesting meats, including boar, duck, and even venison, as well as, steak and lamb.” $16.99
Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon 2012– Napa County, California. “Boasts aromas of dark fruit, espresso, violet and spice. Smooth blackberry, black cherry and cocoa flavors expand across the palate, revealing nuances of caramel and toffee from new oak barrels. This broad-shouldered Cabernet Sauvignon draws you in with its expressive nose. The deep flavors—structured with firm, approachable tannins and lively midpalate acidity—stand up to the bold flavors of grilled rib-eye steaks and braised short ribs. Its multilayered personality is unmistakably Napa Valley Cab.” $16.99