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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%
Scheid Family Wines was named "Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation" for 2018 by the Central Coast chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at the annual National Philanthropy Day event held at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, CA.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals Monterey Bay Chapter was founded in 1993. Its purpose is to advance the professionalism of individuals working in all fields of development and fundraising, especially at the administrative decision making level, through local networking, education and training, and national and statewide lobbying efforts. The local Chapter offers workshops and programs in conjunction with the Community Foundation for Monterey County, hosts networking opportunities and offers a mentorship program.
Scheid Family Wines is very active within the Monterey County community. Each year, we donate over 300 cases of wine to local, non-profit organizations. We also organize the Annual Scheid Writing Contest, a writing contest that awards scholarships to local high school students.
The Scheid Writing Contest was originally created by Al Scheid in 1984 for his high school alma mater, Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Ohio. He launched the contest as a way to give back to the community and provide assistance to motivated high school students who wanted to attend college. Four years later, convinced that the local schools in the Salinas Valley could benefit from the contest, Al brought it to King City High School. Greenfield High School—built on land that was formerly vineyards owned by Scheid—was added to the program in 2001.
Al has always believed that being able to communicate ideas effectively is the key to success. He created the writing contest to give students the opportunity to fully delve into a subject. Each year, the winners are chosen based on their ability to research and write a 3-5 page essay on a given topic. Separate scholarships are awarded for each grade level. Past topics have included Guantánamo Bay and interrogation techniques, the Ground Zero mosque, the impact of social media on society, the death penalty, immigration reform, global warming, the USA Patriot Act and its effect on an individual’s right to privacy, the use of military tribunals in terrorist cases, and the pros and cons of the Electoral College.
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary in Monterey’s Salinas Valley, the program has donated more than $320,000 to scholarships for local high school students.
As a family-owned winery, we are committed to sustainability throughout the operations at Scheid Vineyards. From our founding in 1972, we’ve held firm to the belief that this can only be achieved through following the three E’s of sustainability: Environmentally sound practices, social Equity and Economic viability. When the land is respected and the people who farm it and live in our community live well, true sustainable quality can be attained.
All 4,000 acres of our estate vineyards are officially certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. 100% of our wastewater is recycled and all our grape must is composted and spread as nutrition in the vineyards. We use 100% drip irrigation and low impact farming methods. We even have 250+ owl boxes to control rodent populations naturally. Our commitment to environmental stewardship and equitable treatment of our employees is woven into the fabric of Scheid Vineyards. We are dedicated to adhering to sustainable farming practices every day and investing in our workforce through real, meaningful programs.
Installing a new wind turbine is yet another facet of our desire to be good stewards of the environment. In July, we erected a huge wind turbine on our estate property in Greenfield. The windmill’s blades reach 396 feet into the sky and will generate 100% of the power needed to run the winery and bottling operations—185 megawatts annually. It’s the perfect power source for the inexhaustible winds of the Salinas Valley and a new reason to feel great about pouring yourself a second glass of your favorite Scheid wine!
We hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. On behalf of all of us at Scheid Vineyards, I would like to extend warm wishes for a very happy New Year! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your membership and support and share a very special new offering with you. Those of you who celebrated with us last month at our annual Holiday Party in the Hangar had the first opportunity to join our new Vin’s Library Club. This exclusive club is now available by invitation only to our Estate and Reserve Club Members.
Al Scheid first planted vineyards in Monterey County in early 1972 and then started making Scheid Vineyards wine with the 1989 vintage. Throughout 45 years of hard work, with more than a few challenges along the way, we’ve always taken time to savor the proverbial fruits of our labor. We never forget how blessed we are to do the work we do—we get to make an amazing product and share it with people like you!
It’s that sharing part that got us thinking about opening up the Scheid cellar and ultimately inspired us to create our new Library Club. You see, several times a year our winemaking team sits down and tastes through older vintages of our wines. It’s both an intriguing process of tasting how a wine changes as it ages and also seeing the viticultural and winemaking decisions from previous years play out in the glass. Frankly, it’s really fun too!
Properly cellaring wine takes patience, but the good news is that we started doing this more than 20 years ago and through the years have determined which wines are truly age-worthy. While we don’t have a lot of wine, we do have enough for about 100 guests to join us in tasting through the decades with a quarterly shipment of three bottles each. We also have some special Library Club events and tastings planned for the upcoming year featuring vertical flights and winemaker insights. Please contact us directly to be added to this exclusive list. We hope you’ll enjoy this journey as much as we have!
Wine Club Manager
For more information, or to reserve your spot in our Library Club, please contact Michelle McDaid by email at email@example.com or by phone at (831) 455-9990.
Pinot Noir: a mysterious, beautiful and elegant wine. An ancient varietal, Pinot Noir is estimated to be only one or two generations removed from wild Vitis sylvestris vines and Pinot Noir grapes have been vinified (turned into wine) since the 1st Century AD. The name "Pinot Noir" - black pine - refers to the pine-cone-like shape of the grape clusters and the color of the grapes.
Pinot Noir is one of the seven "Noble Grape" varieties, so named for their popularity and world-wide acclaim: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. There are approximately 40,000 acres of Pinot Noir in California, 9,000 of which are in Monterey County.
Monterey County's unique climate, with coastal fogs and moderate temperatures that extend the growing season, are particularly suited to Pinot Noir's growing cycle. Our extended growing season allow Pinot Noir to mature slowly, developing complex flavors without ripening too quickly.
What is a clone? A clone is a specific genetic variation of a type of varieties of grape. Pinot Noir mutates easily, and there are over 1,000 different clones of Pinot Noir, the most of any varietal. A typical bottle of wine labeled "Pinot Noir" will actually be a blend of a number of different clones.
At Scheid Vineyards, we grow 17 different clones of Pinot Noir and have selected four to bottle and release as their own wines: Pommard, 667, 777, and 115 (Insider's Scoop: we will be releasing a new vintage of the 115 and 777 spring of next year). Bottling the clones seperately gives us the unique opportunity to taste the individual characteristics of each clone. Let's take a closer look:
The Pommard Clone was brought to the U.S. in the 1950's from Château de Pommard in the Burgundy region of France and is known for its earthy, fruit forward characteristics, as well as structure and density. Known as a great “stand-alone” clone, it can display a meaty, gamey character with dark fruit.
A dramatic and vibrant wine, our Scheid Vineyards Clone POM has aromas of black cherry, raspberry, cola and vanilla mingled with a hint of clove. It is a classic Pinot Noir, with soft tannins and round, rich, red fruit on the palate.
In the 1980's Dr. Raymond Bernard from the University of Dijon, conceived the idea of “clonal selection” or taking buds from vines showing no evidence of viral disease and possessing desirable characteristics. These clones, named the "Dijon Clones" after the return address on their shipping container, were imported from Morey St. Denis to the University of Oregon and quickly grew in popularity in the United States. Some of the most popular clones of Pinot Noir, including 115, 667, and 777 are Dijon clones.
Clone 667 tends to be structured and works as a great backbone in a blend. High-toned and bright with quality aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and spice and soft tannins.
An elegant wine, our Scheid Vineyards Reserve Clone 667 is silky in texture and complex in flavor, with black cherry and raspberry fusing perfectly with an exotic undertone of licorice and black spice.
Clone 777 (pictured above) is known for being dark, rich, and structured with an intense color. Earthy, dense, and complex. Clone 115 is one of the most widely planted clone of Pinot Noir. Round, rich style. Noted for great balance and aromatics and one of the most common to be bottled as a single-clone wine. We're looking forward to releasing our 2013 Reserve Clone Series 777 and 115 next year.
The Santa Lucia Highlands are a very special part of the Monterey County growing region. Designated as an AVA (American Viticulture Area) in 1991, the ancient, glacial alluvial soils pair with the morning fog and afternoon winds to create a true Region I climate, perfect for the Burgundian Pinot Noir grape. The loose, nutrient-depleted foundation makes vines struggle to produce wonderfully complex fruit flavors with vibrant acidity. Marine influenced mornings and afternoon breezes coming off Monterey Bay are the foundation for Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot.
Our Reserve SLH Pinot Noir comes from grapes at Doctor’s Vineyard, planted on the Southeast facing terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range, overlooking the Salinas River Valley. Intense and complex, this Pinot Noir is rich with black fruits, cherry and anise with a hint of cola. Layers of flavor subtly unfold with a silky, elegant texture and a lingering dark fruit finish.