Wineries of the Month
Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia, producing archetypal wines from native varietals. Antonio Argiolas, who died in 2009 at the age of 102, inherited seven acres of vines from his father in 1938. He was the first on the island to convert t modern viticulture to pursue quality over quantity. His sons, Franco and Giuseppe, replanted the vineyards in the 1980’s with the goal of reducing yields and focusing exclusively on Sardinian grapes. Joined by enologist Mariano Murru, the Argiolas family is today recognized as Sardinia’s leading wine producer with 600 total acres of vines.
The Azienda Agricola Pala (or Pala Estate) was founded in Sardinia, Italy in 1950. Mario Pala is now the third generation of family taking care of the vines of his family with the help of his wife, Rita, and the fourth generation of the family represented by his sons, Massimiliano, Elisabetta, and Mariantonietta. From father to son since 1950, the most important ingredients that the Pala family has always added is terroir, tradition, and respect for the environment. They possess the passion to make wines that are able to express the family character and the terroir of this extraordinary island.
Winery of the Month
Scott Harvey Wines
Growing up in California’s Sierra Mountains Region, Scott developed a keen interest in winemaking as a high school exchange student in the Rhineland Pfalz region of Germany. Scott attended California State University at Sacramento before beginning practical Enology training at Montevina Winery in Amador County. Back to Germany in 1975, he apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt. Once again returning to Montevina Winery, Scott focused on all aspects of winemaking and running a winery. From farming the grapes to effectively marketing the wine, Scott solidified his knowledge and experience. In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, also in Amador County.
In 1979 Scott developed an ambitious winery plan for the Santino family. As Winemaker and General Manager of Santino Winery, Scott is credited with placing Amador County firmly on the California wine map. Crafting the best wines possible from the soils and climatic conditions of the region, Santino and later Renwood benefited from Scott’s German training and innovative style. Becoming one of the leading wineries in Amador County, and garnering critical acclaim, the wine world was paying attention. Amador County was now recognized as a world-class wine-growing appellation.
In 1996, Scott was recruited as Partner, Winemaker & President for newly purchased, Folie a Deux Winery in Napa Valley. Combining forces with Lead Partner, renowned Winemaker, Richard Peterson, Ph.D, a formidable winemaking team was launched. Scott pursued his commitment to award-winning Cabernets made from the Estate Vineyards in Napa Valley while continuing his passion for Amador County Zinfandel. Access to Scott’s original Grandpère vineyard in Amador County and close relationships with premier Amador County growers, resulted in award-winning wines all around for Folie a Deux. In addition, Scott’s creation, the “Menage a Trois” line of wines, was an instant commercial success. In 2004, Folie a Deux, now a respected brand, was sold to Sutter Home/Trinchero Winery. Scott was finally positioned and ready to start his own venture, and he had the ideal partner – his wife, Jana, a wine industry veteran.
ITALIAN Wines of the Month
Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna 2016 DOC is 100% Vermentino. This wine is light in color and shows the fragrance of macchia, a mixture of evergreen shrubs and herbs. Hints of pine and mint coupled with ripe fruit and sweet citrus show. The palate is vibrant and textural and finishes with lingering acidity. Pair with shell fish and mild cheeses. Alcohol: 13.5%
Argiolas Perdera Monica di Sardegra 2013 DOC consists of 90% Monica, 5% Carignano, and 5% Bovale Sardo. This wine is soft and fruity with very low tannins. It shows red fruit aromas with flavors of cherries and plumbs. Floral notes and sharp spices are also found. The acidity of this wine is very bright, with tannins remaining low. Pair with pasta dishes, fish stews, grilled Tuna, stewed lamb, and Pecorino cheese. Alcohol: 13.5%
Argiolas Is Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna DOC is 100% Vermentino. This wine is straw yellow in color and shows ample and harmonious scents of yellow blossoms, tropical fruits, and underlying mossy notes. On the palate, this wine is mellow and expansive with a very long earthy and pleasant finish. It pairs with mild white fish, alfredo pastas, and soft cheese. Alcohol: 14%
Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna 2014 DOC is a blend of 90% Cannonau, 5% Bovale Sardo, and 5% Carignano. This wine displays flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and sharp spices. French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla are noted on the lengthy finish. Pair with Pasta Bolognese, Roast suckling pig or lamb, and Sardinian Pecorino cheese. Alcohol: 14%
Pala Cannonau i Fiori 2015 DOC is 100% Cannonau grapes. Cannonau is considered the prince of Sardinian reds. This wine is very clear ruby red in color with hints of violet. The aroma is intense and fresh with immediate notes of ripe red fruits and vegetables. This wine is dry and smooth to the palate with strong structure and persistent finish. Pairs well with spicy dishes, red meats, and ripe cheeses. Alcohol: 13.5%
Pala Essentija Isola Dei Nuraghi 2012 IGT is made 100% from the Bovale grape. This wine is deep, intense ruby in color with light garnet reflections. It shows intense and persistent aroma with prevailing notes of ripe fruit, most notably plumb. This wine is dry with soft taste and good structure that is both smooth and enveloping. Pair with red meats, pasta dishes with red sauces, and ripe cheeses. Alcohol: 14%
Pala S’arai Isola Dei Nuraghi 2012 IGT is blended from 40% Cannonau, 30% Carignano, and 30% Bovale grapes. This wine is very clear and deep garnet in color. Persistent aromas show notes of mature fruit and on the palate is the strong flavor of almonds. This wine has a strong structure and perfect balance this is both dry and smooth. It has a long-lasting and lingering fruity finish. Pair with grilled red meats, lamb chops, hearty stews, and pasta with strong spicey sauces. Alcohol: 14%
ITALIAN Region of the Month
Facing Spain to the west, Lazio to the east, and the island of Corsica a stone’s throw to the north, the island of Sargegna is still mostly undeveloped. The rocky Costa Smeralda in the north draws tourists to its resorts, while agriculture and viticulture dominate the south where the capital city and major port, Cagliari, is located. The rugged Gennargentu Mountains provide sweeping views to the east. In the 8th Century BCE, Phoenician traders influenced wine making in Sardegna, and much later in the 13th Century, the Spanish conquistadors brought Iberian grape varieties to the island, including Vermentino, Cannonau, Monica, and Carignano, among others. But the indigenous Nuragus is the leading white variety, appealing mostly to Sardinians. Sweet wines are also traditional in Sardegna. The older vineyards have traditional head-pruned arberello vines, whose leafy canes bend to the ground, the vines lower and less influenced by the winds from the sea. The newer vineyards are likely to be trained on vertical trellises and planted in locations where they are protected. Sardinia has one DOCG wine, Vermentino di Gallura, 19 DOC zones, and 15 IGT zones.
CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month
Scott Harvey 2016 One Last Kiss White Alsation Style Blend consists of 63% Chardonnay, 21% Riesling, and 15% Orange Muscat grapes. This wine is straw yellow in color and made in a semi-dry style with mouth-watering balance. This wine is a fruit cocktail of honeysuckle, pineapple, spicy peach and tropical flavors. It also boasts of citrus fruits and has a lingering and refreshing finish. Pair with fruit salad, light pastas, fish, and chicken. 364 cases produced. Alcohol: 12.5%
Scott Harvey 2013 Three Stags Red Old World Style Blend consists of 57% Zinfandel, 17% Syrah, 15% Estate Petite Sirah, 5% Barbera, 4% Mixed Reds, and 2% Mixed Port varieties. This red blend is briary with layers of blackberry, bright red cherry, pomegranate, violets, and balanced with a fleshy center and Amador regional earthy tones. This wine expresses a good balance of fruit, French oak, structural tannins, and medium alcohol. Pairs with grilled Filet Mignon and sharp cheeses. 1640 cases produced. Alcohol: 14.5%
Jana 2016 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc comes from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This refreshing white wine is made in a dry, crisp and delicate European style. This wine has both aromas and flavors of lemon blossoms, pink grapefruit and melon. This well-balanced and well-structured wine has a long-lasting finish of citrus fruit. Pairs with Asian foods and light chicken or pork dishes. 276 cases produced. Alcohol: 12.5%
Scott Harvey 2014 J&S Reserve Barbera consists of 82% Barbera and 18% Syrah. Wilderotter and Coon Vineyards provide Barbera grapes in this vintage. This perfectly structured red wine is fruit forward and rich full flavors expressing both the varietal and the Amador Terroir. This complex wine has notes of bright red cherries, pepper and mulberry with a bright center finishing with chocolate and spice. Aged 21 months in French oak. Pairs well with the December Recipe, Smoky Turkey Chili. 538 cases produced. Alcohol: 14.5%
Scott Harvey 2013 J&S Reserve Syrah is 100% Syrah. This wine is produced in a rich, dark, fruit froward style. It is aged 23 months in French oak cooperage to develop a well-rounded wine with firm and structured tannins. It boasts aromas of blackberry, pepper, clove, blueberry and sweet light oak introduce fresh, bright and spicy flavors of the same, laced with firm tannins that carry through the long finish. Pairs with roasted duck, grilled sausage, and heavy pasta dishes. 272 cases produced. Alcohol: 14.5%
Jana 2013 Cathedral Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from three vineyards just off the Silverado Trail bordering the southern end of Stag’s Leap District. This cabernet is made in the “old world style”, the way it used to be made back in the 50’s and 60’s. This wine is well structured and firm with aromas and flavors of violets, light Eucalyptus, and hints of mint. It finishes strong with the smell of dust after a fresh rain. It is aged 17 months in French oak. Pair it with a big ribeye grilled to perfection. 392 cases produced. Alcohol:13.5%
Scott Harvey 2015 Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel consists of 84% Zinfandel, 11% Syrah, and 5% Barbera. 68% of the Zinfandel comes from the Harvey Vineyard documented as existing in 1869, the oldest producing vineyard in America. This wine is a briary varietal layered Zinfandel with flavors of blackberry, fig, pomegranate, and violets. It is well-balanced and boasts a fleshy center with hints of coffee and bright currants. It has Old Vine complexity with first growth quality. It is aged 20 months in French oak.437 cases produced. Alcohol: 14.8%
CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month
Amador County is located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in central California, approximately 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley and 40 miles east of the state capitol of Sacramento. The majority of Amador’s 3,700 vine acres and 40 wineries are in the northern part of the county in the Shenandoah Valley, near the small town of Plymouth. Here, vines are planted on rolling, oak-studded hillsides ranging from 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. Slightly to the east is the small Fiddletown appellation, which boasts even higher-elevation vineyards. Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic Sierra Series soils – primarily sandy clay loam derived from decomposed granite. These friable, moderately dense soils effectively retain Amador’s 36 to 38 inches of annual rainfall, enabling most growers to dry-farm their vineyards. Dry-farming, coupled with the low nitrogen and phosphorous content of the soils, results in sparse vine canopies affording the grapes excellent sunlight exposure. Amador County’s two major sub-appellations are Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
By Jana Harvey
Smoky Turkey Chili
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
5 lbs. turkey legs with skin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 Tbs. ancho chile powder
2 Tbs. chipotle chile powder
4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 qt. water
1 2lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 15 oz black beans, drained
4 large poblano chiles roasted, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup tomato paste
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the turkey with salt and pepper; cook over moderate heat until browned, 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the garlic and onions to the casserole and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes. Add the ancho and chipotle chile powders, cumin and cloves and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water; bring to a simmer. Return the turkey to the casserole; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the turkey to a plate and let cool slightly. Discard the bones and skin and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Skim the fat from the chili. Add the squash and turkey. Simmer over low heat until the squash is tender, 15 minutes. Add the beans and poblanos. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle 1 cup of chili into a bowl. Stir in the tomato paste until dissolved, then stir the chili back into the casserole. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve in mugs or bowls. Enjoy!