Tag Archives: Shebang

Saturday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 3pm-5pm. Thanksgiving Picks!

Adami Sul Lievito Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG

Now on its 3rd generation of winemakers, Adami is known for Prosecco’s 1st Cru vineyard: Giardino. This year the winery was awarded a Slow Wine award, for its dedication to the practice of making Prosecco in the traditional method. The Sul Lievito is from slightly riper grapes that undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. It is another Prosecco that is left “on the sediment” or spent lees. The sediment acts as a preservative so no sulphites are added to Sul Lievito; the total amount of S02 is less than half of that allowed for organic wines in Italy. Finally, all of the sugar is fermented, so there is zero residual sugar. This is healthy Prosecco!

As Prosecco should be, Sul Lievito is refreshing! But it’s also complex with notes of bread crust and flowers. It’s dry, minerally and light – perfect as a starter or to sip throughout the meal.

Elena Walch Gewurtztraminer 2011, Alto Adige, Italy

Elena Walch trained as an architect before marrying into one of Alto Adiges most highly regarded family-run estates. It quickly became obvious that she had a knack for wine-making and she soon took over numerous duties, from vineyard to cellar. An ardent devotee of environmental causes, she has transformed the 33 hectare estate into one that now operates fully sustainably, in the true sense of the word. Read her sustainability manifesto here.

Elena Walch Gewurtztraminer hails from Tramin, where the grape itself originated. This wine is bursting with heady aromatics: flowers, rose petals, tropical fruit and spices float up and out of the glass. The palate is concentrated, rich and delicious. There’s a reason why people reach for Gewurz on Thanksgiving: what better beverage to do battle with a multitude of dishes, from savory to sweet, than a wine that has the same range? Grab this bottle, be happy.

Bedrock Shebang! Red, 6th Cuvée, Old Vine Cuvée

This is an everyday California blend from Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock fame. Morgan grew up in the wine business, as he’s the son of Joel Peterson, owner and winemaker at Ravenswood. Shebang is Morgan’s entry level, every day red, but it’s anything but ordinary. It’s a blend of multiple vintages, which is why it is cuvee #6 and not vintage dated. Morgan does not reveal the vineyards from which the grapes are sourced, but they’re from some of the most famous and well-known sites in California. The Sixth Cuvée is designated as an Old Vine Cuvée for the first time, as 92% of the fruit was sourced from vines more than 90 years old. This includes some declassified fruit from the 100+ year old Bedrock vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The blend is 60% Zinfandel with a balance of Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and a few other old-vine, field blend grapes thrown in for good measure. The wine was fermented on native yeasts, aged in French oak (15% new), and made with the same attention that is given to Bedrock’s wines.

It’s a plush, round & soft red loaded with juicy fruit, but backed up with surprising depth and character. It’s the perfect pair for burgers, pizza and other casual fair, but zinfandel loves Thanksgiving, so Thanksgiving loves Shebang.

Bonny Doon ‘A Proper Claret’ 2012, Bonny Doon Vineyard, California

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petit Verdot, 8% Tannat, 7% Syrah, 1% Petite Sirah.

Whenever we’re about to write a note about Bonny Doon wines, we end up just throwing up our hands and saying: why bother? Behold, the winemakers notes:

Some cautionary words: Bonny Doon Vineyard is, as we all know or should know, a strictly cabernet-free zone, at least it has been for the last twenty-eight years. The last “Claret” produced at Bonny Doon Vineyard was in 1985 from grapes grown at our late Estate in the eponymous hamlet of Bonny Doon. It was a blend of approximately equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab. Franc, Merlot and Malbec, and against all expectation, it was actually pretty damn good. Randall Grahm, owner and winemaker, has expressed opprobrium, occasionally bordering on amused disdain, for this popular grape variety. We are not really at liberty to say how Bonny Doon Vineyard has come to be entrusted with the distribution of a wine made from such improbably alien grape varieties, but suffice to say that the deal was doon grudgingly and harumphingly.

So, with these caveats, the sentiment at Bonny Doon Vineyard is that if we ever were to drink a cabernet-based blend, this would be one that would serve quite well. It is lean, neither overly alcoholic (weighing in at 13%), nor overly extracted; it is precisely as one would imagine A Proper Claret to be. The wine contains a substantial dollop of petit verdot (22%), which adds a silky note of violets and textural elegance, in precision counterpoint to the lead-in-the-pencil firmness offered by the inclusion of the manly tannat (8%). There is a lovely suggestion of cedar and mint, in the nose. The wine has medium tannins, nice acidity, and finishes cleanly.

Now, as to the label. What can we say? We are just scandalized, sputteringly unable to countenance the opportunistic wine marketeers who would stoop to using lurid imagery merely to sell a bottle of wine. Has it come to this? It is only because we enjoyed the wine so much that we are willing to put up with the tasteless monstrosity that is this label. “Proper”(!?!) Claret. Indeed.

Food Pairings: Proper (British) mutton, proper leg of lamb, (ideally served with proper Yorkshire pudding).

We (Campus) must interject on these otherwise perfect notes to say that turkey would also be a fine match for a Proper Claret. Really, we’re not just saying that.