January 19, 2018

February Wine of the Month Club

Selections and tasting notes
Featuring selections from Sonoma

Balletto Vineyards
2010 Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay
Russian River Valley, California

Balletto Unoaked Chardonnay

Balletto Unoaked Chardonnay

It’s not often that tank-fermented Chardonnay delivers the depth and texture of Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay.  This rich and diverse wine has bright fruit aromas and a nicely balanced mouth feel.  The complex bouquet includes key lime, lemon peel, peaches and apricots which it certainly delivers upon drinking.  The crisp tartness complements the wine’s natural viscosity and creates balance and elegance.  Lemon-lime flavors then kick in for a long, citrusy finish that lasts several minutes and begs for the next sip.  Taken altogether, the aromas and mouth feel create a distinct style of Chardonnay that is made to highlight the grape itself and not the oak and malolactic aromas found in Chardonnay fermented and aged in oak barrels.

This wine is extremely versatile with food. It is textured and plush enough to compliment rich seafood like lobster, crab and scallops, but also has a crisp acidity and fruit flavors that can pair nicely with more diverse flavors like grilled pork tenderloin with a fresh apple reduction sauce.

The grapes for this wine were grown at Balletto’s Occidental Road Vineyard next to the winery and tasting room.  Known as Block A10½, the vines are planted with the “Robert Young Clone 17” clone of Chardonnay. Every year, this block produces a tropical juice that becomes Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay.

At Balletto Vineyards they farm more than 500 acres of wine grapes in the Russian River Valley and select the best 10 percent of these grapes to ferment and bottle under the Balletto label. It’s one of the many ways they maintain the high quality of their wines.

 Club price: $14.49 (Regular price: $16.49)

Highway 12

Highway 12

Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery
2010 Sonoma Red Blend
Sonoma valley, California

In keeping with Highway 12’s winemaking tradition and notoriety for Red Blends, this 2010 release showcases a marvelous varietal and vineyard composition that delivers once again.  Comprised of 77% Merlot, 12%, Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petite Sirah, the result is a wine that balances power and elegance.  A stunningly vibrant bouquet sets up the entry to a dense and complex wine.  This is where the power takes form showcasing developed tannins and flavors of cherry, chocolate and blackberry.  The ‘jammy-ness’ lingers on the mid-palate for some time leading to a velvety softness on the finish.

Structurally, each varietal component contributes to this wine; Merlot from the Sonoma Valley ‘banana belt’ gives incredible depth and base, while the Cabernet Franc is responsible for the subtle earthy tones and soft mouth feel.  The Cabernet Sauvignon offers the perfect amount of bright acidity which is true to its source in the southern Sonoma Valley.

 Vineyard selection for the Sonoma Red Blend brings together various micro-climates.  This release showcases the mid-Sonoma Valley intensity of Valley’s ‘banana belt’ and the cooler southern reaches.  Each varietal is crushed, fermented and aged separately and blended after 18 months of barrel aging in French oak to achieve the optimal flavor profile.

The winemaking process focuses on minimal intervention of the wine during aging to allow the truest of the varietal characteristics to shine.  This philosophy results in a wine that purely represents the traditional style of the vineyards in Sonoma Wine Country.

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $16.99)

To learn more about our Wine of the Month Club please click on this link:  Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club

Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager,
Tinnell’s Finer Foods

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