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featuredwine

Below are the September, 2006 Featured Wines for the Wines by Jennifer Wine Club.


White Wine


2005 HUBER GRUNER VELTLINER

"Obere Steigen"

Traisental, Austria

 

2005 Huber Gruner Veltliner "Obere Steigen"Weingut Huber is among Austria's leading producers. Their natural, non-interventionist winemaking methods and organic growing practices result in a range of fresh, clean, balanced wines.

Huber is located in the Traisental region, which is predominantly planted with Grüner Veltliner. The name of this wine, "Obere Steigen", means upper slopes and refers to the plot of vines that the grapes for this wine was sourced from. More information may be found in Huber's production notes.

The family has about 30 acres of vineyards planted to Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and varieties of red grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon and Zweigelt. Their wines exhibit both richness and subtlety, elegantly showing off their skill in blending artistry with science.

Markus Huber perfected his skills as enologist working for such notable wineries as Weingut Jurtschitsch in Austria and also internationally, before taking over as Cellar Master and General Manager of the family business - Winzerhof Huber.

Winzerhof Huber"In the cellar, our job is to receive the quality given to us by nature," says Markus. "We introduce as little interference with the wine as possible, because the less you move a wine, the more it will thank you."

Austria's status as a world-class wine region has been a well-kept secret for some time now. For many years, the wine-savvy Austrians quietly drank up most of the nation's production, while wine lovers elsewhere were blissfully ignorant of the major qualitative turnaround occurring there.

Recently however, oenophiles outside Austria are catching on and beginning to clamor for the top wines. As a result, Gruner Veltliner's popularity has been increasing rapidly as wine lovers discover its remarkable versatility with food and its distinctive flavor profile. With aromas evocative of white flowers, citrus fruits, white pepper, anise and even lentil or celery, the variety offers a new range of aromatic sensations for wine drinkers. When well-made, Gruner Veltliner has plenty of flesh and power but still seems lithe and silky in texture.

Wine Map of Austria

Many people know that Riesling wines have great aging potential, but fewer know that Grüner Veltliner tops even the Rieslings. In many tastings, Grüner Veltliner wines from the 1970's and 1980's have shown their huge potential for aging, outperforming even the big white Burgundies.



Red Wine


2005 CANTINE SANT’AGATA
RUCHE'

Piedmont, Italy


2005 Cantine Sant'Agata Ruche Cantine Sant’Agata has been a family-run operation since its founding in 1916 by Stefano Cavallero, grandfather to the present proprietors, Franco and Claudio. Stefano built the original farmhouse and constructed the cellars using tufa, the traditional building material of the times. Cantine Sant'Agata is an "azienda agricola", which is a classification reserved for wineries that have their own vineyards and make all their wines from their own grown grapes.

The 30 acre estate is located on the hills of Scurzolengo in Piedmont and grows Ruche', Grignolino, Barbera, Cortese, Chardonnay, and Nebbiolo grapes to produce about 150,000 bottles of wine per year.

Influenced by a local priest who experimented with winemaking, the family uprooted a parcel of Barbera vines in favor of an obscure grape found in the area. The Piedmont priest was gaining quite a reputation for his wines, and the family took a leap of faith by planting the Ruche' grape in 1980.

Some say the Ruche' vines were originally imported from Spain or France a century ago; others say the variety is indigenous to the Monferrato hills around the city of Asti. Whatever the case, Ruche' has only been cultivated commercially for a few decades, and the area only became a Denominazione di Origine (DOC) in 1988, in recognition of the quality and distinctiveness of Ruchè. The official name of the DOC is Ruche' di Castagnole Monferrati, and Sant’Agata, making about 3,000 cases annually, is the largest of its approximately 35 producers.

This is truly a unique wine, explosively fragrant, intensely flavorful and pleasantly spicy, showcasing dried wild-berry flavors in the smooth mellow finish.

Ruche', which thrives in limited areas, is truly a unique expression of the land and is capable of producing superior wines. The Cavallero family believes so strongly in the Ruche' grape that they ferment the grape only in stainless steel, believing that any attribute wood might impart to the wine is unnecessary. Further, by featuring the grape alone, their wines are distinctive, tannic, yet unoaked - a step apart from oaked wines.

Interestingly, until the late 1980's, Ruche' grapes were used to make only sweet wines.

 

Wine Map of Italy

 

Wines by Jennifer is also proud to announce our new "Cellar Club", featuring a new wine each month suitable for long-term aging. Call the shop and ask for Jennifer for all the details on this exciting new Club, or visit our Featured Cellar Club Wine page for details on this month's selection.

 


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