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November 17, 2011

2009 Can Blau / Montsant, Spain

Can Blau Montsant label 

With 60 acres of hillside vineyards averaging 35 years of age, the Can Blau estate is located in horseshoe-shaped Montsant, a D.O. surrounding Priorat on three sides. Varietals are matched to vineyard soils, microclimates and exposures, encouraging wines of great depth and complexity: Cariņena is planted in sandy-clay soils, Syrah in chalky soils, and Garnacha in llicorella (dark, dense slate soils so celebrated in Priorat).

Despite the fact D.O. Montsant has only recently received formal recognition, it has always been considered a historic region. As a longtime wine source, this rugged mountainous area has a long tradition of producing wonderfully robust yet elegant wines.


90 Points on the 2009. "The 2009 Can Blau is made up of 40% Carinena, 40% Syrah, and 20% Garnacha aged for 12 months in French oak. Wood smoke, spice box, incense, lavender, black cherry and plum aromas are followed by a mouth-filling, round, dense wine with outstanding grip and length. It over-delivers in a big way."

-- Parker's The Wine Advocate



Wine With Me Price: $15.99

Chateau Montelena 2010 Potter Valley Riesling

Napa Valley, California


In 1882 the stone castle of Chateau Montelena was built in Calistoga, California, and within a few years the winery was the seventh largest winery in the Napa Valley. With the onset of Prohibition in the United States, winemaking ceased at the Chateau and in 1958 it was sold to a Chinese couple looking for a retirement home. Ten years later, under new ownership, the Chateau once again became a winery and began producing wines in 1972. In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world by taking first place in the famous "Judgment in Paris" competition, in which its 1973 Chardonnay rated above all the other white wines there. A bottle of that vintage is in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


The 2010 Potter Valley Riesling is a wonderfully aromatic wine that shows layers of floral notes--orange blossom and honeysuckle,along with ripe orange, lime, apricot, and white melon fruits, all accented with sweet clove and nutmeg spice tones. Soft, round and fleshy on the palate, this wine shows a strong acid backbone without pronounced tartness. Rich, smooth, and juicy with nice density throughout, there are layers of white peach, apricot, white melon, and Rangpur lime leading into the long, warm and spicy finish.


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2009 Heinz Eifel Eiswein / Rheinhessen, Germany 
Eifel Eieswien label 

The Rheinhessen is responsible for the largest production by volume of quality wine in Germany. Historically, it was part of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, but is now included in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is also known as the land of a thousand hills and has been producing wine since ancient Roman times.


Eiswein (ice wine) is made from frozen grapes and dates back to the 1960s in Germany. The very sweet, frozen grapes are picked from the vine and then pressed while frozen. The watery juice is extracted as ice crystals, leaving a very small amount of juice that's remarkably high in sugar, acid and flavor. Eiswein is distinguished by the contrast between its fragrant sweetness and acidity.


Eifel uses only the highest quality grapes processed with truly modern standards and, unlike many larger German wineries, the family controls every aspect of the winemaking processs--from vine to bottle. The 2009 Heinz Eifel is an intensely concentrated Eiswein characterized by a pepper-laced pear and apple nose and offers eye-popping acidity, extraordinary depth and a long, sweet finish. This is an outstanding wine value.


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There is no time more fitting to say
Thank You
Our families here at Wine With Me wish
you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.

Mark, Ron, Reyna, Kelly, Barb, Angie & Sharon


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Mark and Ron 1

"What wine do you guys drink at Thanksgiving dinner?"


At this time of the year, Ron and I are probably asked that question about 15 times a day. So, we thought we'd tell you what wines we're sharing with our families this Thanksgiving.


It was tough to narrow down just three from our 600 bottles so we decided to select a white wine from California, a red wine from a relatively new winery, and a dessert wine.


The Celler Can Blau winery was established in 2003 by Australian winemaker Liz Reed and Catalan winemaker Richard Rofes. The winery released its first wine in 2005 and its vintages get better and better every year. If you're looking for an amazing Spanish red, you won't be disappointed with any of the Can Blau wines.


What can we say about Chateau Montelena that hasn't already been said? Its wines are exquisite. Aside from the wonderful taste of the 2010 Riesling, we also love how it looks in the glass--bright golden straw color that graces any holiday table.


If you're too full to eat pumpkin pie, you can still enjoy the dessert portion of Thanksgiving dinner with a glass of Eiswein. (And, be thankful that you didn't have to harvest those frozen grapes  on a wintry -14°F morning last December!) We think Eiswein is best slightly chilled, but you can drink it either way.


So that's what Ron and I will be drinking this Thanksgiving! Let us know if you liked these wines, too!


Have a wonderful dinner and good times with your family!


--Mark & Ron