Join us on THURSDAY JUNE 15 at 6:30 as Stellina debuts another season of AL FRESCO WINE TASTINGS UNDER- THE-STARS, conducted in the privacy and comfort of our outdoor gardens (weather permitting, of course).
The first event of the summer will be “CALIFORNIA UPSTARTS”. It’s a collection of some of the most precocious wines currently being produced in Northern California. From Napa, Sonoma, Lake County and Mendocino wine regions we’ll taste 5 wines blended from an astounding ELEVEN DIFFERENT GRAPE VARIETIES! Included are a true French-style Pinot Noir grown in an unusually cool micro-climate, Zinfandel mixed with five different Mediterranean grapes, and even a brand new sparkling wine that is the brainstorm of a Boston-area television celebrity.
Every wine tasting includes selected complementary antipasti and professional commentary from an industry representative. Reservations are required, and the cost per person is $35, including all wine and food.
To insure proper confirmation, make your reservations by phone at 617-924-9475.
CHAMPY BRUT NV SPARKLING WINE, SONOMA COUNTY
Champy was founded by entrepreneur, two-time Emmy award-winning executive producer and Boston based entertainment and lifestyle television personality, Jenny Johnson. A genuine lover of bubbly, Johnson has always been attracted to the celebratory spirit that revolves around sparkling wine and its ability to spontaneously transform an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one. In 2015 she collaborated with Penny Gadd-Coster, executive director of winemaking at Rack & Riddle in Sonoma, CA, to develop Champy a high-quality sparkling wine that would inspire people to celebrate life, not just on momentous occasions but every day.
Johnson was immediately drawn to Gadd-Coster, because of both her palate and her resumé. With nearly three decades in the wine industry, more than 100 medals and awards to her credit, and a special focus on sparkling wine, Gadd-Coster brought the science and wine-making chops to Johnson’s vision. “Female winemakers at her level are rare—that was immediately a big draw,” Johnson says. “I applaud and appreciate powerful women.”
Tasting Notes: Soft, lush, and creamy in the mouth with hints of citrus flower on the nose and bright notes of sweet red raspberry, strawberry, green apple, and ripe stone fruit on the palate.
Varietals: 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir sourced from Sonoma
CONN CREEK “ANTHOLOGY” BLEND, NAPA VALLEY
Anthology is a Greek word that refers to a collection of literary or artistic works. Conn Creek’s flagship wine, Anthology, is a testament to the layers of depth and complexity that can be achieved through the art of blending
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 88%, Cabernet Franc 9%, Malbec 2.5%, Petite Verdot 0.5%
- Aging: 18 months, 50% new French oak, 5% new American, 45% Second Fill
- Alcohol: 14.5%
TASTING NOTES; Mixed red and black fruits with toasted baking spices and light floral accents. The blend of fruits carry into the palate and add notes of anise and cardamom.
ROBERT PARKER: 90 POINTS! The Wine Advocate – “The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Anthology exhibits a dense purple color as well as attractive floral, blackcurrant and blue fruit-dominated aromatics. The enticing bouquet is followed by a medium-bodied, pure, complete wine with a solid attack, mid-palate and finish. There is noticeable, but well-integrated tannin in this excellent/outstanding effort. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.”
WINE ENTHUSIAST: 90 POINTS! Wine Enthusiast – “Combining Cabernet with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, in that order percentage-wise, this is a well-made wine. Oaky and dusty with refined tannins, its fruit brightly centers around raspberry and red currant.
PINOT NOIR “LES VOISINS” COPAIN, ANDERSON VALLEY, MENDOCINO
Les Voisins, meaning “the neighbors” in French, is an hommage to the great, small-production grape growers in California. Copain sources fruit from the cool Anderson Valley to fashion this Pinot Noir. Les Voisins Pinot Noir embodies the grace and elegance of Anderson Valley. The flavors run as deep as the dark garnet color in this elegant and sophisticated wine. Aromas trigger black cherry, Alpine strawberry, subtle spice and dried orange, while the fruit flavors are fresh and exuberant. The texture is like velvet, layered with delicate tannins and a firm acidity to cleanse the palate. The complexity and richness of flavor increase with each sip. This is a wine that will age gracefully for 5-7 years.
“A few evenings later, I opened the 2010 Copain Pinot Noir Les Voisins Anderson Valley and again Guthrie immediately captured my focus with the wine’s eye-catching clear red color and the floral and red fruit scents that floated from my glass. My mouth was treated to a savory mix of black cherry and raspberry flavors with tannins and acidity that were in a non-aggressive pact with the ripe fruit.”
“Where many other California pinot noirs are opaque, alcoholic and oaky, Guthrie as opted for the less traveled road that leads back to his French wine training. This is a pinot noir that is all about the grapes and vineyard and ignores the winemaking style du jour. A miniscule 1,072 cases were made of the 2010 Copain Pinot Noir Les Voisins Anderson Valley.”
CABERNET SAUVIGNON ARROWOOD “KNIGHTS VALLEY”, SONOMA
Winemaker’s Notes: The Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is bold with black forest fruit and spiced plum, offering undertones of roasted coffee and crushed rock. Caramel and anise come through on the palate accompanied by broad tannins and a rich and persistent finish.
Arrowood is 100% Sonoma. Since 1986, we have been producing high-character wines from sustainably and organically farmed vineyards west of the Mayacamas Ridge. Our winery is located in the historic Sonoma Valley, a small sub-appellation in the heart of the county. Often described as a warm pocket in a cool region, this rolling AVA is particularly well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, our signature wine. We also produce limited quantities of other noble varieties from some of Sonoma’s acclaimed vineyards
Vinous / Antonio Galloni 91 POINTS! – “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley), all Knights Valley fruit in this vintage, is superb. Raspberry jam, spice, scorched earth, rose petal, cloves and new leather are some of the signatures. Knights Valley is often noted for Graves-like sense of gravel-infused minerality, naturally allied to a California expression of fruit. That is exactly what readers will find in the 2013.”
ZINFANDEL STEELE “CATFISH” LAKE COUNTY
The vineyard is located on the Bell Hill bench of Lake County just south of Kelseyville. Catfish Vineyard, planted in 1901, is head pruned and stands on its own roots. Steele Wines purchased the vineyard in 2000 and we have been working to rehabilitate the old vines since that time. Catfish Vineyard Zinfandel, is actually a field blend of a number of varieties, including small amounts of carignan, alicante bouschet, cabernet sauvignon , petite sirah, and cinsault. Having more than one variety assured the old-time vintners that they would have some grapes to harvest regardless of the spring frosts or autumn storms.
91 Points “Silky, full, fresh and vibrant with cherry cobbler, raspberry jam, fennel seed, thyme, lavender, and warm toasty oak.” Catherine Fallis, MS 4/6/2017
TASTING NOTES: Inky color; berries, raspberry, red cherry, eucalyptus nose; black fruits, blackcurrant, blackberry, tart cherry, mocha, jam, pinch of pepper on the palate. Relatively restrained sweet oak, tannin, balancing acidity, 15.2% alcohol. Lake County Catfish Vineyard vines more than a century old and deliver a concentrated load of brambly, rustic flavor. The wine actually is a field blend that also includes small amounts of carignan, alicante bouschet, cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, and cinsault.
Catfish Vinyard was planted in 1901 outside farming town of Kelseyville, CA, west of Clear Lake. Steele and Shooting Star Wines were founded in 1991 by Jed Steele, who prior to that was founding winemaker and VP of production at Kendall Jackson. He began his winemaking career at Stony Hill Winery in Napa in 1968, then picked up a masters in enology degree at UC Davis, so you have a seasoned wine veteran shepherding these old geezer grapes into the bottle. In spite of his mass market KJ resume (production topped one million cases his final year at KJ), Steele focuses on bottlings of 1,000 cases or less with his Lake County winery’s two labels.
Lake County is one of the smallest inland wine regions in California, bounded on the west by Mendocino and Sonoma counties and by Napa to the south (it was part of Napa until 1896). Vineyards are squeezed around steep hills near the shore of Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in California—25 miles long, next to an extinct volcano. The lake and vineyard elevations make this one of the coolest wine regions in California.