Wineries of the Month
Venturini owns twelve hectares of land covered with grape cultivations which are used for growing grapes. The grapes are grown on the rolling hills of Valpolicella Classica at an average height of 812 feet above sea level. The vines face southwest on terraces held up by stony walls called “marogne” and are supported by “simple” and “double” pergolas. The soil is light, chalky and full of stones. Venturini produces wine using exclusively their own grapes. It is expression of the everyday life of the past and the present; our wine is our history and it shows precisely, as well as unexpectedly, the nature of Venturini’s family, who belongs to an historical Valpolicella wine area.
Simon De Brazzan
Four generations and Simon di Brazzan still has only one passion; trust. Daniele Drius inherited the Simon company of Brazzan and insists the wines are made with the same confidence that aroused his grandparents; producing a wine that creates almost a magical experience and seduces everyone. During the harvest, the vineyard is surrounded by unique scents and flavors. The value of the land, composition, layout, exposure and location have found a natural equilibrium with the succession of cultivation techniques. Vines, vintages and methods may vary, but determining the character of a wine is the task of the land. Considering the time spent, the time changing, and the seasons alternating, the vintages may vary. Here, tradition does not hinder innovation and defending the authenticity of our vines does not prevent the wine from evolving.
There are four elements to Laredan Gasparini wine. First being the territory, which is a beautiful natural art work that is respected by using 100% renewable energy. Second, a love for wine that is not rational, but comes from the depth of the heart. Thirdly, a passion for quality that is a rational and continuous energy, searching for the ideal Wine, which does not want to be the expression of an absolute style, but the product of a unique terroir. Lastly, a terrior, which is the synthesis of an infinite interaction between the Environment and us, living beings who inhabit it with our traditions. This is a balance of force and energies which specifically belong to this place, unique and incomparable.
Winery of the Month
Broken Earth Winery
Visionary, Herman Schwartz purchased the property in 1973 and planted 520 acres to grapevines. Schwartz was an innovative grower with a keen interest in sustaining the environment and promoting high-quality wine-grape growing. He embraced sustainable farming techniques as they were first coming on to the scene in the early 1980s. The Vineyard is a model for growing first-quality winegrapes in an eco-friendly manner. Moving forward, Broken Earth Winery remains committed to sustainable ideals, and to continuing to bolster the highquality reputation of Paso Robles wines.
Like the new moon, De Novo means beginning anew. De Novo Wines is named in honor and celebration of life’s many new beginnings, transitions, and continued growth. Our wines are crafted from the finest grapes from small, family-owned vineyards located across Sonoma County, including Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Mayacamas Ridge. We care about the world we’re leaving our children. Bottling our wine in light-weight renewed bottles, using wine labels made of recycled paper, employing solar energy and supporting our growers in minimizing water use are some of the steps we’ve undertaken. Our winemaking strikes a balance between the fruit-forward New World style and more food-friendly styles more often found in the Old World.
Mersenne founder and President Robin Youngdahl is a true wine lover. Her travels around the world have given her the opportunity to discover many great wines. She fell in love with the wines Mitch Rice was producing and later fell in love with the winemaker himself! Winemaker Mitch Rice is passionate about the art and science of creating fine wines. His many years of experience as an artist and winemaker blend together to create bold and uniquely expressive wines.
ITALIAN Wines of the Month
Loredan Gasparini N.V. Prosecco Asolo is 100% Glera.The Lordean Gasparini Prosecco Asolo is pearl essence in color and boasts floral perfumes, tangerine and lemon curd on the nose. This wine has a vibrant acidity and fresh finish. On the tongue, you will experience tropical fruits and slight mineral hints. Alcohol 11%.
Venturini 2015 Valpolicella is made from Corvina 70%, Rondinella 25%, and Molinara 5%.The Ventuini Valpolicella is a ruby red wine that turns garnet as it ages. Aromas of fruit and wild flowers pleasantly hit the nose. This wine is well balanced and displays tight tannins. Hints of mocha, red berries, and light spices are present on the palate, along with a strong sour cherry flavor. This wine finishes with strong hints of almond. Alcohol 12.5%.
Simon de Brazzan 2016 Friulano is 100% Tocai Friulano. The Simon de Brazzan is a golden light color with greenish reflections and the bouquet is pleasing and delicate with scents of both flowers and tropical fruits. This is a full-flavor wine that his harmonious on the palate with a persistent aromatic aftertaste of tropical and citrus fruits. Alcohol 13.5%.
Simon de Brazzan 2015 Cabernet Franc is 100% Cabernet Franc. The Simon de Brazzan Cabernet Franc is intense ruby red color with purple shades and the bouquet has distinctive herbaceous scents that are both elegant and spicy. On the palate, there are velvety hints of vanilla, spices, coffee, and a slight touch of tobacco is present on the finish of this fullbodied wine. Alcohol 13%.
Venturini 2013 Valpolicella Ripasso consists of Corvina 70%, Rondinella 25%, and Molinara 5%. The Venturini Valpolicella Ripasso is vibrantly ruby red in color. Strong herbal aromas fiercely hit the nose. On the palate are hints of ripe fruit, leather, and a light smoke finish. This is a full-bodied wine that is both smooth and complex. The ripasso process includes adding amarone grape skins, which ads a robust complexity to this blend. Alcohol: 14%.
Loredan Gasparini 2012 Venegazzu consists of Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 25%, Cabernet Franc 10%, and Malbec 5%. The Loredan Gasparini Venegazzu has an opaque young claret color and boasts aromas of cassis, tobacco and herbs. This blend expresses rich and sumptuous flavors on the palate. It balances tangy acidity and fine, food-friendly tannins with a dense core of black cherry, plum and black currant fruit. Delicious notes of licorice, pipe tobacco and dark chocolate emerge on the wine’s long finish alongside complex hints of herbs and earthy mushrooms. Could decant an hour. Alcohol 14%
Venturini 2012 Amarone consists of Corvina 70%, Rondinella 25%, and Molinara 5%. The Venturini Amarone is a wine with an intriguing color, an intense ruby red wine that over the years becomes a deep garnet color. The nose expresses an intense, ethereal bouquet. The flavor has charismatic personality with velvety tannins and a long enveloping softness. Strong red fruit and cherry bouquet, spiced and balsamic notes emerge. It has a warm, velvety, robust flavor with a pleasantly bitter after taste. Pairs well with game, grilled meat, braised meat and mature cheeses. Serve in wide-rimmed glasses, to enjoy its melodious nature. Alcohol 14.5%.
ITALIAN Region of the Month
Venezia, a city built into the sea, is haunted by the princes and poets of its past and by centuries of tourists. The cities of Padova, Vicenza, and Verona, originally frontier posts on the Roman trade route between Venezia and Genova, grew into Renaissance splendor. Nature exhibits its own marvels, the Dolomite Mountains in the north, the Euganean hills in the south, vast Lake Garda in the east, and to the west, the Adriatic with its beaches and ports. Today, Veneto is a thriving agricultural center, ranking first with classified DOC wines. There are three areas of premium production: the western province of Verona, the central hills, and the eastern plains. Verona is the leader in classified DOC wines, especially Soave, Bardolino, and Valpolicella, a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. When young, Valpolicella is a fruity red, but when the grapes are partly dried, they become Amarone, one of Italy’s most noble wines. Bardolino is made from the same grapes but is a lighter version. The central hills produce Soave, Tocai, the Pinots, Merlot, Cabernet, and sparkling Prosecco. The eastern plains have been dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc for decades.
CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month
Broken Earth 2013 Quadrant PRB White Blend consists of Viognier 74%, Chardonnay 19%, Grenache Blanc 4%, and Albarino 3%. It shows lavender with hints of pineapple and honey. Dominant characters are derived from the Viognier grape, as it adds melon and apricot on the palate. The wine delivers a flavor-packed array of fruit and is beautifully balanced with refreshing natural acidity although it also shows its soft side. Alcohol 13.7%.
Broken Earth 2012 Quadrant BDX Bordeaux Blend consists of Merlot 24%, Cabernet Sauvignon 26%, Petite Sirah 25% and Petit Verdo 15%. The bouquet of this blend is crowded with an array of red and dark berries. The palate is mouthwatering with softer tannins bound by smoky, spicy oak. This wine boasts of a long and smooth finish. Alcohol 12.8%.
Mersenne 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This Sauvignon Blanc is bright and bold. It is aromatic with tropical fruit, warm baked apple and hints of spice. On the palate there are flavors of white peach with touches of baking spice and ruby grapefruit. It has medium body and the mouth feel is smooth with a lingering and refreshingly crisp finish. Pairs well with cheeses, shellfish, and cold vegetables. Alcohol 14.8%.
De Novo 2013 Pinot Noir 100% Pinot Noir. The 2013 vintage brings together beautiful Pinot character, hints of cherry, seedy raspberry, violets and earthy, herbal notes. This wine is both balanced and fresh with strong earthiness on the finish. Alcohol: 14.07%.
De Novo Bastille 2014 consists of 58.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39%, Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc. This blend is a brilliant garnet in color, with rich with aromas of plum and subtle notes of cedar completing the nose. This wine is smooth and supple in the mouth with silky, medium-full tannins, the palate offers up blackberry and integrated oak spice. Alcohol 13.7%.
De Novo Bastille 2010 consists of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. This beautiful blend has elegance, complexity, length and freshness. The palate offers up flavors of lingonberry and red currant fruit, with light and integrated oak spice (subtle vanilla and cinnamon), as well as light minerality. Alcohol 15.3%.
De Novo 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. With a deep purple color and gem like clarity, this wine is a concentrated, classic Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose offers up hints of oak and dark berry. The palate continues with multiple layers of dark forest berries, an alluring trace of leather and finishes off with lingering plum. This is a balanced wine with a strong backbone and moderately soft tannins. Alcohol 14%.
CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month
Russians planted the first vineyards after establishing a colony at Fort Ross on the Pacific in 1812. In 1824 while he built the Mission in the Town of Sonoma, Father José Altimira planted grapevines to provide sacramental wine for religious services and for the table. Sonoma County is large and boasts a huge diversity of vines and wine styles because micro climates, soils, and topography are infinite. Some of these micro climates are hospitable to grapes that require warmer temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon and associated Bordeaux varieties or Zinfandel and other Mediterranean grapes. The County also offers cooler areas where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and additional white varieties thrive. Marine fog, breezes, and cool nights prolong ripening to produce complex flavors. Sonoma County so far includes 16 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) recognized by the Federal government. AVAs include Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley..
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
By Chef Robin Obert
Korean Style Tacos with Kogi BBQ Sauce
Rotisserie Chicken 1#
Corn tortillas 12
Quick Cucumber Pickle (below) or prepared kimchi (Korean pickled,
Kogi BBQ Sauce
Korean fermented hot pepper paste (gochujang) 4t
Soy sauce 1/2C rice wine vinegar 1/4C
Toasted sesame oil 2T
Toasted or black sesame seeds 1/4C
Whisk all ingredients together until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. You can make this a few days in advance and store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
For the Quick Cucumber Pickle
I like using English cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers – the skin is thinner and they have less seeds. If you have a Mandoline Slicer it certainly will make the job much easier.
2 large English cucumber (or 2 Japanese cucumbers), sliced very thinly
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh chili pepper (or more depending on your tastes)
Generous pinch of salt
Mix together all ingredients. Make the cucumber pickle 1 hour prior to serving. Store in the refrigerator and serve it cold on the tacos for texture and temperature contrast. Serves 4.