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We are pleased to share the most recent reviews from Ronn Wiegand’s Restaurant Wine in his latest issue #181-183. Ronn Wiegand is an international wine professional with 40 years of experience as a sommelier, wine journalist, wine critic, wine educator, wine judge, and wine consultant. He is a Master of Wine (1991) and Master Sommelier (1986)—and was the first person in the world to hold both titles.
Wiegand began writing about wine in 1981 and has published hundreds of articles in such publications as Decanter and Wine Spectator. He was wine columnist for both the San Francisco Examiner and the trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News for 5 years. Since 1988, he has been Publisher and Editor of Restaurant Wine, a subscription-only journal read by sommeliers and restaurant wine directors throughout North America. www.restaurantwine.com
RESTAURANT WINE®’S EVALUATION SYSTEM QUALITY ratings are:
★★★★★ EXCEPTIONAL quality for its type and style; a superstar (5 stars) within its price category. Merits an extra special effort to purchase. Very highly recommended.
★★★★ EXCELLENT quality for its type, style, and price. Among (4 stars) the very best of its type for its price. Highly recommended.
★★★ VERY GOOD quality for its type, style, and price. Has (3 stars) distinctive character and positive attributes.
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2016 CHARDONNAY, ESCOLLE ROAD VINEYARD, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS ★★★+ To Be Released March 2019
A complex, toasty Chardonnay that is full bodied, very supple in texture, and long, with a woody finish. In aroma/ flavor, it tastes of pear, butterscotch, vanilla, pineapple, and spicy oak. Needs modest aging. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. Partial ML. 100 cases. 14.8%
Very fine Sauvignon in a fairly delicate style. It is full bodied, crisp, long on the palate, moderately intense in flavor, and spicy and lingering on the finish. In aroma/flavor, it tastes of pear, white pepper, lemon, and tropical fruit, with a hint of lemon grass. 100% Sauvignon. Aged 6 months in stainless steel. 1,734 cases. 13.5%
The 2016 is a very good wine: crisp, delicately flavored (grapefruit, white peach, pear, pineapple), and medium full bodied, with good balance and a medium long finish. 100% Grenache Blanc. Aged 6 months in stainless steel. Unwooded. 100 cases. 12.8%
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2017 GRENACHE BLANC, SAN LUCAS VINEYARD, MONTEREY ★★★★+ To Be Released March 2019
The 2017 is delicious: full bodied, supple, and rich; a wine with subtle, delicate fruitiness (pear, lime, honeydew melon, dried fig), excellent balance, and a very long finish. Great value. 100% Grenache Blanc. 30% fermented on the skins. Aged 7 months in stainless steel. Unwooded. 132 cases. 12.8%
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2017 ALBARIÑO, ARROYO SECO, MONTEREY ★★★+ Sold Out
A delicately flavored Albariño of very good quality. It is medium bodied, crisp, floral-and-fruity in flavor (lime, honeysuckle, lemon, white peach), balanced, and vibrant on the finish. 100% Albariño. Unwooded. 195 cases. 12.5%
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2015 PINOT NOIR, DOCTOR’S VINEYARD, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS ★★★★ To Be Released November 2019
The 2015 is in a ripe, complex style. It is very supple in texture, intensely flavored (cherry, plum, strawberry jam, spicy oak, black tea), and balanced, with a very long finish. Needs further aging. 3 day cold soak. Aged 18 months in oak barrels, 75% French and 25% other European. 150 cases. 14.5%
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2016 TEMPRANILLO, SAN LUCAS VINEYARD, MONTEREY ★★★+ To Be Released September 2019
The Tempranillo is a very good version of the varietal: supple and complex, with fully body, light oakiness, good balance, and a long finish, tasting of plum, tobacco, rose petal, and oak. Can be aged further. Aged 18 months in 80% American and 20% Hungarian oak barrels. Unfiltered. 135 cases. 14.6%
SCHEID VINEYARDS, 2016 DOLCETTO, RIVERVIEW VINEYARD, MONTEREY ★★★★+ To Be Release May 2019
The Dolcetto is excellent: red-purple in color, distinctly flavored (plum, red licorice, blueberry jam, blackberry, herbs), well balanced, and medium long on the finish. Will benefit from modest aging. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. 100 cases. 14.5%
The Tannat is a very impressive wine: fleshy, rich, and oaky, it is full bodied and quite powerful on the palate, with excellent depth, firm structure, and a very long finish, tasting of blackberry, cherry, black tea, clove, and spicy oak. Aged 18 months in 51% French and 49% Hungarian oak barrels. Unfiltered. 147 cases. 14.5%
The Hames Valley Petite Sirah is exceptional: an ultra-ripe, full bodied, intensely flavored wine that is fleshy in texture, balanced, and very long and mildly tannic on the finish. 100% Petite Sirah. Aged 18 months in Hungarian oak barrels. Unfiltered. 100 cases. 14.9%
We are utterly thrilled to introduce our second bottling of Appassimento Cabernet. Arguably the most important red wine grape in the world, a distinguished Cabernet Sauvignon is one of life’s great pleasures. We choose our Cabernet sites carefully: warm days with lots of sunshine, cool nights to preserve the balance of the fruit, well-drained soils, and gentle slopes. Our Appassimento Cab is made in a style similar to northern Italy’s celebrated Amarone in which the grapes are allowed to dry slowly on the vine, which intensely concentrates the flavors and leads to a lavish richness that is almost port-like. It has been a very dear project of Director of Winemaking, Dave Nagengast.
The grapes were sourced from our estate San Lucas Vineyard and specially farmed for this Old World style of wine. Made in a style similar to northern Italy’s celebrated Amarone, it displays a lavish richness that is almost port-like. Appassimento, or the drying of the grapes, is an ancient technique that promotes dehydration in the grapes so that a higher concentration of sugar develops inside the berries. To achieve this, we cut the canes when the grapes were at 22° brix. Cutting of the canes doesn’t allow any water to move into the berries and doesn’t allow sugars to move out. We left the clusters hanging on the vines for an additional three weeks until they reached 33° brix. It is not possible to produce an Appassimento-style wine every vintage, but ideal harvest conditions allowed for the extended drying time needed for this unique wine.
The result is worth every extra step in the process: a wine of tremendous depth and complexity. This is a full bodied and brooding beauty with generous aromas of dark plum, dried fig, cedar, coffee and cloves. On the palate, loads of dark candied fruit give way to a decadently rich mouthfeel finish with surprising elegance. Drinking beautifully now, this is one to lay down for a decade or more. Again, this wine has been produced in a limited quantity of just 100 cases. Reserve club members will receive it in their shipment, and all club members are welcome to order it until it’s gone!
Here at Scheid, we adore Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but we’ve also been known to work with a plethora of slightly more obscure grape varieties, and we feel proud to be able to show off the wonderful diversity of the Monterey growing region. The many varied soil types and micro-climates of Monterey County allow us to produce close to 40 different varietals in all. Our newest darling is Dolcetto, which hails from the famed Italian region of Piedmont (Piemonte). The name translated, means “little sweet one,” which doesn’t refer to the sugar content, but rather is an endearing moniker for this much loved yet lesser-known variety. The moderate climate and coastal fog that define our estate Riverview Vineyard provide a favorable local site for what is one of Northern Italy’s premier varieties.
Our inaugural vintage exudes dense, dark fruit and a medium body made for early enjoyment. Flavors of ripe black currants and red cherries lead to a hint of pepper and finish with juicy, supple tannins. The 2015 growing season delivered a stellar vintage in terms of quality although yields were down in almost all of our vineyards. Despite a lighter crop from one of the earliest seasons on record and a fourth year of drought, quality was high across the board. A mild winter caused early bud break and was followed by protracted bloom, and cool, cloudy weather in May—impacting berry set and contributing to smaller grape clusters and crop size. The silver lining to the lower yield was the exceptional quality, with vivid, intense flavors. The wine is part of our November Vin’s Club release and small quantities will be available in our tasting rooms. With just barely over 100 cases produced, this “little sweet one” will disappear rather quickly. Visit us soon to try this limited bottling before it’s gone. Salute!
To celebrate the recent release of our 2015 Late Harvest Riesling, we are excited to share a unique cocktail idea perfect for summer!
It is well known to many of our club members that Tasting Room Manager Scott Tidd is a gifted home chef and grill master. He regularly regales both guests and coworkers with his tales of family dinner menus and holiday meal productions. Our office staff anticipates Monday mornings for the opportunity to hear what weekend-warrior feasts he whipped up. Stories of his middle school-aged sons amuse us with their sophisticated palates for delicacies such as raw oysters which they choose as their special treat for good grades and little league championships—a far cry from pepperoni pizza! We finally realized that his recipes and food pairing ideas are just too good to keep to ourselves and we have launched a new series in which to showcase them called Tidd-bit Tuesday. We will have demonstrations and samples in the tasting rooms on select dates to help you break up your work week and we will be featuring the recipes in our newsletters and here in our blog. The first Tidd-bit is this heavenly cocktail, the inspiration for which, Scott describes below:
"I created this drink a few years back to entertain my wife and her friends. We have a swimming pool and every summer we do a lot of entertaining with friends and family. Instead of making stronger drinks like a Margarita in the middle of the day, I wanted to find something lighter for the adults to enjoy. For the first timers to our house it is always a fun conversation piece as well. Finally, one day, one of my wife’s friends asked what the drink was called. My wife responded with, 'it’s his get-out-of-jail-free card—when he makes it he can disappear with his friends!'"
1oz Ice Cube Tray
Scheid Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling
Scheid Vineyards ‘Isabelle’ Sparkling Wine
1. Pour Late Harvest Riesling into ice cube tray 2/3rds of the way to leave room for the raspberries. Place in freezer for 30 minutes, pull from freezer and add 1 raspberry per cube. Place back in freezer until frozen. Make 1-2 days ahead of time for best results.
2. In a glass of your choice (I would recommend a Champagne flute) add one cube of Late Harvest Riesling to 2 or 3 ounces of Scheid Vineyards ‘Isabelle’ Sparkling.
3. Enjoy! As you drink this great summertime cocktail it will start off dry and as the ice cube melts you will get subtle hints of sweet apple and pear. As you finish the sparkling, you will be left with a sweet slushy and a fresh bright raspberry to cleanse your palate.
Roussanne is an intriguing and versatile wine that doesn’t get enough time in the spotlight. Although Roussanne is common as a component in blends, it isn’t often bottled on its own. We were so excited with the quality of the 2014 Roussanne, however, that we had to share it in a limited production bottling of 125 cases. And then we immediately went about finding the perfect recipe to match its light and refreshing character.
We finally settled on this deliciously healthy (and quick!) recipe featuring scallops seared and then placed on a bed of roasted cauliflower with a balsamic glaze. The scallops hold up well to the Roussanne without overpowering the delicate flavors, and the sweetness of the balsamic glaze and currants balance the earthiness of the cauliflower.
1 large cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Scheid Vineyards Rousanne
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 jumbo sea scallops
1/4 cup tarragon leaves
Preheat oven to 425° and generously coat a glass baking dish with olive oil. In large bowl, toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast in prepared dish for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe bowl, combine the currants, balsamic vinegar and water and microwave at high power for 1 minute, then steep while cauliflower roasts. Strain the soaking liquid into a small saucepan, setting currants aside in a small bowl, then simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Whisk in ¼ cup olive oil and chopped shallot; season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add them to skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 1½ - 2 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops on the other side for about 1½ - 2 minutes. In a large bowl, gently toss the cauliflower with the pine nuts, currants, tarragon and balsamic reduction. Adjust seasonings and transfer to four plates. Top each plate with two scallops and serve immediately.
2012 PINOT NOIR RESERVE
Terroir is a French word meaning that certain something that exists because of the unique combination of climate, soil, aspect, rainfall, grape variety, clone and other critical factors that exist in a very specific locale. It is, in essence, the taste of place. And no other varietal reflects its sense of place more than the temperamental Pinot Noir grape. It’s a fascinating wine that, as Miles in the movie Sideways rhapsodized, has flavors that are “the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.” The 2012 Reserve is a blend of our best barrels of the 2012 vintage. Comprised of Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 667, and 777, it is an elegant wine with enticing aromas of ripe strawberry, cherry, rose petal and truffle, effortlessly balancing richness and finesse.
VINEYARDS The cool temperatures of Monterey County present ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Our 2012 Reserve was sourced entirely from our Viento and Riverview Vineyards. Both of these estate vineyards are located in the Greenfield area. The morning fogs, cool winds and longer-than-average growing season translate into intense black fruit flavors, full structure and excellent varietal character.
VINTAGE The 2012 growing season was picture-perfect. The spring months were temperate and uneventful, with no significant frost threats and ideal temperatures. Cool nights and overcast mornings followed by breezy afternoons made the summer months perfect for even ripening and good flavor development. Excellent harvest-time conditions allowed us to let the grapes hang until optimal ripeness was achieved.
WINEMAKING We picked our delicate Pinot Noir grapes by hand at optimum ripeness in the cool, very early morning hours. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak for three days, (cold soaks are used to help stabilize color and enhance flavor). The juice was then fermented in small lots in open top fermenters and punched down three times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for two weeks before pressing. The must was drained, pressed to stainless steel tanks and, after settling the heavy solids, the juice was racked clean to barrels for secondary fermentation and aging. Aged for 20 months in 100% French cooperage, the wine was bottled then laid down for an additional 18 months prior to release. Our goal in selecting the very best barrels was to attain an ideal balance of tannin,