Wednesdays 5:30-8:30 PM
What is meant by the term "artisan wine"? Does it suggest the winemaker's passion for his work, does it reflect the small quantity of wine made, or is it shorthand for a winery's emphasis on the art of making wine over the bottom line? The answer is, simply, all of the above. The craft of producing superb wines is typically one that yields limited quantities, and this month we are pleased to present some boutique wines from a select group of wine artisans. Through their own unique approaches, they have all created truly exceptional wines.
Which will you prefer? $5 for a Tasting
2010 Saddleback Cellars: Chardonnay
One of the first varietals produced by Saddleback Cellars back in 1983. Sourced with grapes from St. Helena and their Oakville estate in Napa, this Chardonnay is deliciously unexpected. Bright with citrus zest and baked yellow apple, its creamy texture leads into toast and butter from the delicate use of oak while a unique minerality tantalizes the palate.
2010 Saddleback Cellars: Old Vine Zinfandel
This robust wine is crafted from gnarled vines over 120 years old, aged in only new oak with the slightest masterstroke of cabernet included to give it dimension. The result is a viscous, black-crimson wine with lush, ripe blackberry notes mingled with baking spice. You may also detect some smoky wisps of earthen minerals and lingering elements of espresso.
2008 Highflyer Series Pinot Noir
From their Somerston Estate in Napa, this particular wine was designed by founder/winemaker Craig Becker to feel like coming home. With its ripe cherry, raspberry and plum flavors accented by a supple acidity and soft, yet unyielding tannins, this charmer leaves one with the feeling of being wrapped in a warm blanket of Pinot Noir deliciousness.
This bright and brilliant wine, crafted in Craig Becker's artisanal style, takes the winemaker's craft to new heights. The nose is quite seductive, with floral orange blossom leading into some very pleasant citrus acidity— all of which unfolds with a soft minerality in the background and concludes with a dash of white pepper and a hint of new French Oak.
2011 Priest Ranch
Another great wine series from the illustrious Craig Becker. The grounded, distinct structure and bold presence of this wine derives from carefully chosen blocks of his estate. Expect a rigid yet bright acidity complemented with flavors and aromas of citrus and grass or green melon, with just a slight hint of spice from the subtle use of neutral oak.
2008 Priest Ranch
Here we have the not-to-be-missed centerpiece for Craig Becker's wines. This wine is like placing your ear on the track with a distant freight train approaching…the aroma a slow rumble of what's to come. It starts with a meaty, ripe fruit on the nose and initial palate, following through to anise and allspice, which leads to a solid crescendo of tannin smoother than polished obsidian.
2006 Sturino Trotta Cellars: Pinot Noir
A newer wine venture from local Wisconsinite turned wine artist, Dave Trotta Barnes. His winery is named in honor of his grandparents' and their passion for family, tradition and the pursuit of excellence, and this bold Pinot is a fitting tribute. Aromas of ripe raspberry and vanilla are complemented by hints of cherry and cocoa alongside Dave's penchant for French oak aging.
2006 Sturino Trotta Cellars: Old Vine Zinfandel
One sip and you'll see that this isn't your typical fruit and black peppercorn Zinfandel. Dave gives it his signature mature oak treatment, letting it age a good 2 years before bottling. The result is an utterly rich wine with a thick aroma of earth and soft, ripe red fruit rising softly like incense. This is followed by the deep, silken juice of chocolate-dipped dark cherry and a subtly spicy finish.