June 25, 2012
Dear Friend of Farmstead:
Finger Lakes Wines. The Finger Lakes region of New York has produced what many feel are the best Rieslings on this side of the Atlantic, which up until recently were nearly impossible to find in California.
We've brought in five wines from the acclaimed Hermann J. Wiemer winery of Finger Lakes. Hermann emigrated to the Finger Lakes from the Mosel in the 1960's, bringing with him a family tradition of 300 years of winemaking.
The winery has been recognized for as one of the world’s Top 100 Estates by Wine & Spirits Magazine; Wine Spectator listed the winery on the top 100 Wines in the world in 2010; and critics and connoisseurs such as Robert Parker, Eric Asimov, Stuart Piggott, consistently mention Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard as the top Riesling producer in the US.
Rieslings are the perfect Summer wine - they are refreshing with citrus to apple notes, have great minerality, and have lots of mouth watering acidity that make them perfect companions with many summery foods like salmon, chicken, or asian flavored foods (try with a lemongrass BBQ pork or shrimp!).
Here's what we've brought in:
- 2010 Dry Riesling
- 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
- 2010 Riesling Reserve
- 2010 Gewurztraminer
- 2008 Cabernet Franc
We have a limited supply, so these very special wines won't last.
Muga Prado Enea Gift Pack! We've got in a special package of Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2004! Three bottles, a nifty engraved Muga decanter, all dolled up in a customized presentation box.
Great wine, that is drinkable now, but will age and gain complexity for many years. $190. Limited
94 points Parker: "a complete effort that should prove to be one of the best Prado Eneas Muga has produced."
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Dark ruby. An intensely perfumed nose displays cherry-cola, cassis, licorice and woodsmoke, with a sexy floral quality and very good focus. Juicy, penetrating dark fruit flavors are given spine by tangy acidity and pick up bitter chocolate and spicecake nuances with air. Supple tannins add shape to the very long, sappy, smoke-accented finish. This is still a baby."
Cheese of the Week - Fourme d'Ambert - This week's cheese was selected by Rod - but this is truly a staff favorite, cuz it's so tasty and versatile!.
Legend has it that Fourme d'Ambert was already made at the time of the Druids and the Gauls. It is certainly one of the oldest cheeses in France along with Roquefort. Fourme d'Ambert is made in the Monts de Forez of Auvergne. Named for its shape, Fourme d'Ambert is beautiful cylinder of cheese encased in a natural rind resembling rough stone. It is considered one of the oldest cheeses in France, dating it back to the times of the Romans, and is now protected by AOC regulations.
Fourme is the old French word for cheese from the Latin name forma, and describes its cylindrical shape. Fourme d'Ambert is made with cow's milk. 25 liters of milk for one cheese. Penicillium glaucum bacteria (the same used in Gorgonzola) is added to the cheese which is going to rest in a cave for a minimum of 2 months.
Fourme d'Ambert is one of the mildest of the blue cheeses, and is a creamy cheese with a delicate fruity flavor and mushroom overtones.
Made with pasteurized cows' milk from the Auvergne region of southwestern France, Fourme d'Ambert develops an undeniable earthiness in the aging room, an expression of the unique terroir of the area. A pale, cream-colored paste is flecked throughout with bluing as soft as velvet in both texture and flavor. Dark and savory with hints of bittersweet chocolate, tobacco and damp earth, these wheels lack the biting acidity often found in some blues.
Try it as part of a cheese plate, in salads, souffles, with a tart apple, melted on a steak, or my favorite - with a juicy pear and a glass of Sauternes.
Beverage pairings: For red wine, try with a Côtes du Rhône, Saumur Champigny or other Loire Red; with a white wine, the classic pairing is Sauternes. If you like beer, try it with a Chocolate stout or Porter.
Rosé! We've brought in more Rosé wine , bringing the total number of 2011 rosés that have graced our shelves to over 40! (The most in the East Bay!!)
For the most part, these recent arrivals are wines that I tasted in France back in January, imported by Robert Kacher.
Here's what's arrived:
- Domaines Ott - expensive but worth it. All barrel fermented, exquisite Provençal wines
- Tariquet - organic press wine, Merlot, Syrah, Tannat
- Domaine Gournier - Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
- Mas de Guiot - Grenache and Syrah
- Mas de Bressades - Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
- St Eugenie Corbières - Cinsault Grenache, Syrah
- Le Cengle - a bracing Provençal wine with a great dollop of pink grapefruit in the nose and on the palate. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
And yes, we'll be tasting rosés again before too long.
Melt Massage! Our friends at Melt Massage will be offering free five minute chair massages at our Friday tasting in Montclair.
Dollar Tastings: This week at the tasting Bar, we're featuring our Classic Club selections! That's right, you can taste four wines for a dollar!
We've got four great wines on tap for your edumacational and tasting pleasure!
- Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer
- Sinskey Vin Gris de Pinot Noir
- Tres Picos Garnacha
- Seven Devils Pinot Noir
We pour wine in Alameda on Thursdays 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays 2-5; and in Montclair Village on Fridays from 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays from 2-5. Please note new extended times!
Tastings cost $1 per person per flight (that's right, six wines for a dollar).
By law all wine shops have to charge for their tastings - so since you have to pay something anyways, why not taste at a shop where all of the tasting fee goes to one of your local schools??
Here at Farmstead, all proceeds from our tastings benefit local schools, with this month all moneys going to Edison Elementary in Alameda!! So far this year, we've donated well over $2500 to local schools!