Varsity Liquors' Wines of the Month
Hello from the depths of winter in Princeton, to all those loyal club members out there. As the wind howled around the eves, our thoughts turned to sunny California, and the grape vines that grow there. Wine prices in California are higher than they used to be and values are much harder to find, but we put our shoulder to the task and ferreted out a few wines that should take the chill out of winter and not put a chill on your purse.
Chauffe-Eau Merlot 1996, Sonoma County
The popularity of merlot may be on the wane, but we think that's only for mass-produced, characterless merlot. This wine is anything but characterless. With characteristic aromas of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, to go with the black fruit and berry, this wine has balance and elegance to spare. Not over-oaky, this wine could be enjoyed readily with dishes such as Pork tenderloin or any entrée using game birds like Duck or Pheasant.
Monterra Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, Monterey
This is easy-drinking California Cabernet in its most enjoyable guise. Low in acidity, this wine has a soft round aspect that is the result of ripe fruit and the mellowing effect of oak barrel ageing. With a hint of green olive on the nose that evolves into cedar and cigar box aromas, this wine never loses its purity and focus on the fruit. This wine is coming from the largest single vineyard in the world, the San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey County consisting of about 20 Square Miles of vines.
Cartlidge and Brown Chardonnay 1999, California This bottle represents one of the best values out there in California Chardonnay. Good concentrated fruit touched by just enough oak to enhance the product of California sunshine. This wine is a perennial favorite of the Wine Advocate, a great by the glass choice in fine restaurants, and a wine that we had to have as soon as we knew it was available to us. The only question is why did it take us this long to feature it in our wine of the month club?
We also want to let our club members know that our Spring Charity Gala Wine Tasting has been set for Friday March 23rd, at the Ivy Club in Princeton, from 7-10 pm. This Spring Tasting will benefit Habitat for Humanity and will feature well over 100 different wines. Call for ticket information.