95 Point Brunello Available at Fairview Heights!

Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007… $52.99

castelgiocondo_2007_spallaCastelgiocondo is produced from an uncompromising selection of the finest Sangiovese grapes, in a vineyard whose ideal elevation, well-drained soils, and southwest-facing exposure yield all of the qualities that converge to produce the finest expression of this ancient grape variety. It is an elegant, well-balanced wine of magnificent structure.

The 2007 harvest concluded in October of that year. The overall high quality of the fruit brought in resulted in an excellent vintage as well. The first grapes demonstrated that the 2007 harvest was to be outstanding, the natural culmination of a good growing season. The spring months were mild, with scarce rain and little heat stress, conditions that produced sound, healthy fruit on the vines.

TASTING NOTES CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino presents a clear ruby red with garnet highlights. Pronounced notes of blackberry elegantly accompanied by floral notes such as violet. The nose is complex and well-blended: spicy notes of black pepper and clove, tobacco and leather, and “jus de viande” reflect well the evolution of the wine. Resonating tannin textures, mellow structure with a long and elegant finish.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS Beef stews, braised meats and aged cheeses.

Wine Enthusiast rated this wine 95 points!

Carlisle Winery Zinfandels

Available in short supply at Fairview Heights

Carlisle Winery is a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated Zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Petite Sirah).

Says the winemaker: “While we like our wines to be bold and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and nuance. Our goal is always the same – grow and source outstanding fruit, do as little as possible to it, and bottle outstanding, pleasurable wine.”

2009 Russian River Valley Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard… $34.99

After the devastating frost of 2008, yields of these 82-year-old vines bounced back nicely in 2009 to 1.6 tons to the acre. This was certainly one of the more nerve-racking picks of the year, finishing under stormy skies just hours before the heavens opened up. After a five-day cold soak, the must was inoculated with two different strains of yeast. Fourteen days later the wine was pressed to all French oak, 25% new. As usual, bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Note: Medium-dark to dark violet-ruby. Heady aromas of mulberry, raspberry, brier, pepper, and incense spill from the glass. Serious stuff! The wine glides smoothly across the palate with lively acidity giving delineation to the bright raspberry and Asian spice flavors. Amazingly well balanced for such a powerful wine. Carlisle Vineyard always seems to produce a wine that benefits from at least several years of aging. This rendition is no exception. Drink from 2013 through 2020.

2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel… $29.99

As usual, Ray Teldeschi’s “mother” block (planted pre-1900) and Rich Mounts’ “La Loma” block (planted 1950s) form the basis for this wine.  But both vineyards suffered in the heat of August 24th and yields were reduced considerably.  Fortunately, to make up for the loss, we were able to secure a little fruit from the Oddone Vineyard, just to the north of Ray’s ranch.  Expertly farmed by one of my favorite vineyard managers, Oddone Vineyard had virtually no heat damage.  In the end, we included a little of Ray’s Grenache for mid-palate texture and volume and a dash of Petite Sirah for focus and delineation.  Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Note: Dark ruby-garnet.  Beautiful aromas of black cherry and loamy, iron-laden soil greet the nose.  Not as red fruit oriented as years past but also not overripe or port-like.  On the palate, rich and full bodied with a delicious “pop” of Zin-berry fruit so typical of Dry Creek Zinfandels.  Plenty of acidity in the finish keeps the wine lively and fresh.  With ample acidity and tannin, give this bad boy some time and enjoy from 2014 through 2020.

Sommelier Showdown IV is just around the corner!

The Randall’s Wines and Spirits Sommelier Showdown returns to Copia Restaurant and Wine Garden as Glenn Bardgett, nationally recognized and award-winning Beverage Director for Annie Gunn’s, faces off against Linda McGovern, Certified Sommelier and head of Major Brands’ Crush Division. The action takes place Thursday, July 18, at 7:00pm.

You’d be hard pressed to find two better recognized names in the St. Louis wine scene than Linda McGovern and Glenn Bardgett, and so it will come as no surprise that they’ve crossed paths before. In fact, the two have been friends for almost 30 years. They first met when Linda was a customer at Glenn’s wine shop on Page. That store eventually sold to Brown Derby where Bardgett continued to work. When he made the move to Annie Gunn’s, it was McGovern who replaced him. Now a wine rep for Major Brands, Linda calls on Annie Gunn’s regularly to promote wines from her Crush portfolio. Without question, the two share a mutual respect. And so it will be a rare treat, perhaps even a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to see them set all of this history aside, smear on the war paint, and attempt to brutalize each other in three rounds of competitive wine pairing.

Guests at the event will enjoy three courses and six wines while cozily enveloped in Copia’s gorgeous (and well air-conditioned) wine garden. The Somms, on the other hand, will be feeling the heat as they struggle to pair wines with the Showdown’s most challenging menu to date.

While our seasoned wine pros enjoy top billing, it may well be Copia’s Chef Zack Fiordimondo who wins the day. Round one will showcase an igredient as loathed by sommeliers as it is by the average third grader, Brussels sprouts! Here they’ll be sauteed and accompanied by mixed greens and a bacon Vidalia dressing. For round two, Fiordimondo will let up on the gas only slightly as he offers up a blue cheese and portabella yukon gold potato cake topped with smoked pork and an apple cider glaze. In keeping with a summertime grilling theme, the third and final round will feature smoked brisket, garlic crostini, and a barbecue vinaigrette. That’s right, barbecue vinaigrette at a wine pairing competition. It’s really just sadistic at this point.

As always, the ticket price will be a mere thirty-five dollars for three courses, six wines, a show, and gratuitous tequila. Copia can be reached at 314-241-9463 for reservations. We’ll see you there.

Somm Showdown IV