A few weeks ago a package arrived on my doorstep with two very beautifully wrapped bottles of wine. I couldn’t help but think that the smile that found my lips, the fingers that graced the silver and red shimmer of the bottles, would be the same all across America to those that had received the same similar box.
I had written previously about the California Wine Club and the two wines I had the opportunity to try this past November. The Bronze Award Winning 2009 “Seven Brothers” Sauvignon Blanc and the 2010 Tempranillo. This time I had the chance to open a smooth bottle of deep red 2009 Central Coast Merlot and a 2011 Chenin Blanc from the White Hills Vineyard; both wines from Daniel Gehrs Winery.
2010 Chenin Blanc, Santa Barbara County:
This is our first Chenin Blanc to carry the Santa Barbara County Appellation since 2004. The grape source is altogether new. The sprawling, White Hills Vineyard near Santa Maria, was planted in the early 1980’s. The Chenin Blanc vines are ideally situated on a moderate south-facing slope in deep, sandy soil. Production is very moderate by California standards, and the quality high. The slow fermentation took place entirely in stainless steel over a long, 72 day period at steady, cool temperatures. An early 2011 bottling has captured and full vitality of this classic variety, vineyard and vintage with lovely aromas of honey and flowers wedded to complex flavors of fresh pears and quince.
2009 Merlot, Central Coast, 87% Merlot, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc.:
After three back-to-back small vintages due to drought, frost and assorted fits of weather 2009 arrived with a strong, successful bloom, a warm but mild summer and a dry sunny autumn which was perfect for ripening a full crop of Merlot. Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel, gentle pressing followed by patient aging in a cool, cellar environment reveal here a lovely and fragrant wine. The in-blending of Malbec and Cabernet Franc in the above percentages adds the complexity of cranberry and blueberry respectively to the ripe, black cherry and tanned leather fragrance typical of Merlot. Delicious, soft, lip-smacking tannins give length and structure to the finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years.
These two selections are from California Wine Clubs features this month. The Chenin Blanc is my favorite out of all the wines I have tried so far from CWC. It is such a beautiful crisp wine that really brings out the blessings of the season. The wonderful thing that the club features is Uncorked, which comes with each set of wines and shares the stories behind the wines and recipes from the wine makers. There is always fun facts and trivia as well, if you are like me and love to learn little odd tidbits here and there to start conversations over glasses with friends.
The California Wine Club is certainly an extraordinary gift, especially if you have a loved one or friend that is into the finesse of wines or likes to consider themselves a wine connoisseur. Though I like to think that it would be a beautiful gift for a spouse or partner, a reason each month to step away from the day to day and enjoy each other, a glass and conversation. Either way, it makes a splendid gift.
Purchase: You can learn more about how to become a Premiere Member for yourself, or gift a Membership by visiting their Wine of the Month Club. You can also find Fun & Unique Holiday Gifts!
This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a 2 month Membership to the California Wine Club for the purpose of this review.