Specialty Club – January 2007

2003 Chester|Kidder Red Wine
This powerhouse wine is part of the Long Shadows Vintners project, an interesting collaborative effort between Chateau Ste-Michelle’s former CEO Allen Shoup, on-site winemaker Gilles Nicault, and world-renowned winemakers such as Randy Dunn, Michel Rolland, John Duval, Armin Diel, Philippe Melka, and Augustin Huneeus. This is Gilles’ personal wine – his own selection of fruit from the top vineyards in Washington. Named after Allen Shoup’s grandfather and grandmother, it’s a complex, hand-crafted blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah. Although showing quite a bit of oak, it’s loaded with tasty, spicy dark fruit now and we expect it to age for at least another five years. A classic fit for roast beef and rich dishes, it costs $49.75, and it’s all gone.

2004 Ca’ Ronesca, Sauvignon Podere di Ipplis
Here we have another gem unearthed and imported directly by our friends at Small Vineyards Imports here in West Seattle. This is the flagship wine of the Ca’Ronesca winery in Dolegna del Collio in Friuli, the eastern region of Italy that is becoming more and more well known to American consumers for excellent Bordeaux-style wines. The grapes, grown around Ipplis of course, are harvested in the early morning away from the heat of the day and vinified with as limited an exposure to oxygen as possible. It’s a classic example of Friuli Sauvignon Blanc, with a fresh and crisp palate showing good green fruits – a great match for seafood or vegetable dishes. Although ready to drink now, it will continue to develop for 2 or 3 years. Named Sauvignon Blanc of the year by an Italian trade group, it also received two glasses from the Gambero Rosso, the Slow Food guide. It is $31.00, and, since Small Vineyards was able to bring less than 50 bottles into the country, it is in extremely short supply.