Focus on SMWE – Wines of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar

STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, notably known for being the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the 1976 Judgment of Paris, was founded in 1970, and is considered a Napa Valley first-growth estate.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar’s goal is to create wines of classic beauty — wines with balance, complexity and harmony. Their signature style has often been described as “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” a reference to the artful balance between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure, that yields Napa Valley wines of exceptional beauty and long life. Achieving that style requires a level of attention to detail found only among the world’s best and most dedicated wine producers.

Visit Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars here.


Some of STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS key wines

 

2013 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon

The top wine of the undisputed kings of Californian Cabernet.

 

2013 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon

The wines from this site directly inspired the founding of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Single vineyard Cabernet from one of the best vintages of this century.

 

2014 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay

Hand-picked from the best sites in Napa this wine is elegantly powerful. Balancing fruit, oak and concentration…

Focus on SMWE – Wines of Patz & Hall

PATZ & HALL

Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by four talented individuals – Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz. Together, they have turned Patz & Hall into one of California’s most highly regarded wineries, with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

Great wines capture the essence of great vineyards. For over two decades Patz & Hall has been seeking out the very best small, family-owned Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in California and establishing long-term relationships with the talented winegrowers who farm these world-class sites. Built on real friendships, and a shared commitment to quality, these partnerships have led to the rich diversity of the Patz & Hall wine portfolio, contributing to their acclaimed cuvées and these sought-after single-vineyard wines.

Visit Patz & Hall here.


2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

This single vineyard delicacy, is balanced and mineral whilst still retaining the fruit forward oak we’ve come to love from Sonoma.

Focus on SMWE – Wines of Columbia Crest Grand Estates and H3: Horse Heaven Hills

Columbia Crest

Nestled alongside the Columbia River in eastern Washington, Columbia Crest winery opened its doors in the heart of the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills in 1983. Year after year, the winery maintains its commitment to quality, heritage and innovation in grape growing and winemaking to craft exceptional wines.

Washington State and the Columbia Valley represent the perfect grape-growing climate, from the weather to the soil to the vineyard sites, and Columbia Crest’s 2,500 acres of estate vineyards are some of the best. These growing conditions, along with outstanding viticulture and winemaking practices, allow Columbia Crest to create high-quality wines that are true to their varietal character and represent the unique terroir of the region.

From the vineyard to the glass, Columbia Crest wines are an extraordinary expression of craftsmanship. With a large body of acclaim, Columbia Crest winery delivers a steadfast promise with each bottle—world-class wines from a world-class wine region.

Visit Columbia Crest’s Site


H3 – Horse Heaven Hills

H3 Wines were created to celebrate the winery’s rich heritage in the Horse Heaven Hills in Washington State as well as its innovative spirit with regards to winemaking and viticulture practices. Grapes from this distinctive appellation produce bold, well-balanced and seductive wines. Great care is taken to ensure that the uniqueness of the appellation’s terroir is expressed in each bottle of H3.

Visit H3’s Site


Some Key Wines from these Washington Producers

 

2014 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay

The perfect balance between rich and fresh, boasting melon and apple with hints of butterscotch.

 

2014 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot

This wine is complex, dark and rich with distinct notes of cocoa and black cherries.

 

2014 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

This bold wine displays lush berry fruit and plum with a subtle creamy twist at the end.

 

2015 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah

Rich and ripe, this wine is elegant and smoky with hints of black pepper.

 

2015 Columbia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

Black fruits complimented by earth and mineral notes, framed with creamy hints of vanilla.

Focus on SMWE – Wines of Erath

ERATH

Erath wines are an expression of the land that the winery has cultivated for more than 40 years, longer than any other winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. The red, iron-rich Jory soils, combined with gentle breezes and warming sunshine of a marine climate, have bestowed upon Dundee a terroir of note.

Dick Erath, the engineer-turned-viticulturist, was first inspired to pursue winemaking in 1965 after an early garage experiment. After completing coursework at UC-Davis in 1968, Erath relocated his family from California to the untamed red hills of Dundee. An unheated logger’s cabin on 49 acres would serve as home – and ad hoc winery – for several years.

“Our Oregon wines display the signature Erath profile: fruit- forward, ideal for everyday drinking.”


2015 Erath Pinot Gris

Green Gold, with lifted aromatics singing of this unique slice of Oregon

Meet David Andrews – Brand Ambassador for STE Michelle Wine Estates

David Andrews is the Asia Pacific ambassador for one of the top wine producers in the USA. Inside Ste Michelle’s vast umbrella of stewardship are the likes of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Patz & Hall and Erath to name few.

David Andrews, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ Asia Pacific Representative. Image source: Indian Wine Academy

Originally from Washington, this giant has, in its own terms, a “String of Pearls” stretching down the West Coast.

“Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the ‘String’. Our collection of estate wineries are the ‘Pearls.’ We call this our ‘String of Pearls,’ describing a collection of estate wineries whose vineyards produce some of the best wines in the world.

Significantly, it also highlights our company philosophy: We believe that each “pearl’s” luster is best revealed when the vineyard and wine-making decisions are made on site by the people who grow the grapes and make the wine. The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates company is simply the “string,” providing administrative and financial support for these extraordinary wine properties.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates President and CEO Ted Baseler notes, “With Chateau Ste. Michelle as our first pearl, over the years we have developed or acquired other wineries that meet our high standards of quality and whose wines are distinctive. These wines reflect the place where they are grown.”

From Washington State’s short, warm summers and sparse soil, to the cooler climate and mineral-rich soil of the Willamette Valley to the complex soil and longer, hot summers of the Napa Valley, the terroir of the pearl on our string is as unique as each wine in our portfolio.”

Focus on Andrea Sartori – Wines of Cerulli Spinozzi

Cerulli Spinozzi, run by Enrico Cerulli Irelli, is a prestigious historic agricultural estate aiming to nurture tradition whilst embracing a modern approach.

It was originally formed in the early 1900’s through the merger of two properties, that of the Spinozzi family and that of the Cerulli Irelli family. Out of their common love and passion for agriculture was born the company Cerulli Spinozzi.

Though it’s history may date back more than a century, the current winery that produces the amazing wines we can taste today was built in 2003 by two brothers on the Cerulli Irelli side – Francesco and Vincenzo. 2003 was also the year Cerulli Spinozzi partnered up with the Sartori di Verona brand, with the aim of reviving momentum and the value of the 53 hectares of indigenous grapes. It was through their exquisite and rich ruby-coloured Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that the Cerulli Spinozzi estate caught the eye of Sartori, as it demonstrated the family’s dedication to the viticulture perfectly and aligned with Sartori’s goal of extending itself beyond the boundaries of the Veneto region in the name of exploration.

One of Cerulli Spinozzi’s most prized features is its remarkable location. From every angle you can see the Gran Sasso Mountain, which is home to the southernmost glacier in Europe and which, it is said, Napoleon himself found to be a worthy place to rest. A few kilometers away, past the rolling hills of Teramo that lie to the west, you can reach the Adriatic coast, where in ancient times the low sandy beaches were easy landing places for pirates and fishermen, while today they welcome vacationers.

 

2015 Cerulli Spinozzi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C

Ideally served with roast meats and game, this flagship 100% Montepulciano wine has a robust structure with good fruit, medium acidity. Read More

Focus on Andrea Sartori – Wines of Mont’Albano

Mont’Albano was founded in 1985 in the heart of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, as a result of the intuition of Mauro Braidot who, unlike the majority of the producers of the time, converted his 5 hectares (12.3 acres) of vineyard to organic production.
The company did not take long to grow, thanks to its philosophy and its excellent wines from Friuli, so in 1998 the winery was expanded to form Mont’Albano has (a limited partnership company).

In addition to its own grapes, it began processing grapes grown by other producers, provided by trusted regional producers who respect the strict guidelines that Mont’Albano demands so as to be able to put its brand on its products.
In 2008, Mont’Albano became part of the ‘Sartori di Verona’ group, thus establishing the company Mont’Albano S.p.A. sp. By combining its expertise in organic production with the experience of the historic Verona-based winery, which had already been engaged for some years in an organic viticulture project, the product range was expanded to allow the Mont’Albano brand to offer wines from the Veneto to its customers, as well as wines from Abruzzo and Sicily produced by companies belonging to the Sartori group.

Today, the functions of logistics and administration are carried out in Verona, the wines are produced by certified ‘organic’ winemakers, in compliance with the institutional parameters promoted by the relevant authorities and fostered by Mont’Albano which, in the various regions, carries out surveillance with regard to legal standards as well as checking that producers comply with principles that Mont’Albano has constantly promoted over the past 30 years. The parent company of the project, Mont’Albano Agricola, is still operational in Friuli, where it crafts a range of niche wines that represent the company’s flagship products.


2016 Mont’Albano Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave DOC

This organic Pinot Grigio hails from Friuli one of the most famous regions in the world for this grape. Sweet apricots touched with lemon and minerality are the watchwords of this wine.

2015 Mont’Albano Nero d’Avola Terre Sicilian IGT

From the island off the toe of the boot. This wine sings of its extreme terroir. Rich ripe red fruit balanced with acidity and minerality – truly complex expression of the Mediterranean .

Focus on Andrea Sartori – Wines of Casa Vinicola Sartori

Pietro Sartori

In the last part of 1800s, Pietro Sartori’s trattoria was a place that could not be missed for merchants, small industrialists, and businessmen of the area, for whom Pietro could never lack the best Rosso Veronese, as it called back then. It was this inn and its strategic location that would turn Pietro into a wine merchant: the daily pouring over the counter and the direct sales to the public in demi-johns and bottles made it necessary to have a steady supply of wine that was sufficient in both quantity and quality.

Thus, in 1898 grandfather Pietro bought his first vineyard in Negrar, so that the good wine would always be on the tables of his devoted clientele. In those days, horses had to carry people and goods, and Peter rode like a pioneer determined to find opportunities to expand businesses everywhere job opportunities and growth arose, in Verona, in Brescia, on the shores of Lake Garda, and lower Trentino. A flourishing business definitely did not deter him, however, from his desire to have a large family: he had five children and he made them all study, encouraging them to attain a degree, something that was not too common at that time.

Now among the Sartori family, there stood a lawyer, an engineer, a doctor … and Regolo, the sole heir to exhibit, without a doubt, a calling for wine. It would be Regolo, who would take charge of the company after Pietro’s retirement and re-launch the family’s trademark towards the second half of the last century.

Regolo Sartori

Regolo proves himself a worthy son of his father. He believes in the company, has a great passion for wine, and works tirelessly to consolidate and make Sartori even more respected in the market.

The headquarters is always Villa Maria, an investment grandfather Pietro had probably already imagined as the ideal place to raise his family and his company.

A true gentleman devoted exclusively to his profession and his family, Regolo was regarded as a rather talented wine broker with an extraordinary palate. He loved to care for it as a violinist does his hands.

Regolo used to personally prepare his wines for his customers, who, at the end of the “composition” would affix their signatures on the barrel, confirming their approval of the blend.

Today, Sartori reproduces this way of working on a large scale. Sartori = tailoring, in a name, an omen! Just as a tailor styles, Sartori measures, sketches the design, chooses the fabrics and finally creates the suit–the blend, the wine–which will walk down the world’s most prestigious “catwalks” and shine in a glass of Amarone or Soave Classico, the quintessence of Made in Verona, Italy.

After the Second World War, in 1947 Sartori officially starts to produce and market its wines. The company grows, the numbers become significant, and expansion remains a priority for Regolo. He improves the technology, buys new vehicles, and works without ever accepting and using, in his own vocabulary, the word “holiday.”

But in 1952, Regolo dies, and his two young sons, despite the difficulties, assume control of the company. Pierumberto, in the jargon of the family, becomes Foreign Minister and looks after the business side, while Franco assumes the title, Minister of the Interior, or in other words, production and personnel management.

In the 60’s there is a boom. Italy is a land commercially now “won” and the company follows its own calling for export by taking on new countries like Germany, Britain, and the United States, markets for which there is a natural affinity.

The family estates are their “safe” and celebrate the most important grapes for their wines: Amarone, Valpolicella, Soave.

They became a source of great satisfaction thanks, a constant improvement that was, is, and always will be a key feature of Sartori di Verona. In the late 90s, Regolo’s sons, Franco and Pierumberto, loosen up some of their control of the company.

The hand-over coincides with an event of revolutionary scope, not only for company assets but also for the identity of Sartori di Verona: joining the Board of Directors of the Colognola ai Colli winery.

The occasion was historical: two true champions, Pierumberto Sartori and the Director of the Cantina Sociale di Colognola, Giancarlo Lechthaler, had met, studied, visited each other for quite some time, and eventually established a bond of mutual esteem.

There is the appropriate understanding, personal even before commercial, to combine their business strengths: from Cologna, production capacity and from Sartori, distribution and marketing. The goal is to launch a common project with ambitious objectives for growth in producing and distributing high-quality wine throughout the world.

The venture marks the final exit from the stage of the “senior” Sartoris. They decided to abdicate, this time officially, in favour of the young heirs. In fact, the agreement establishes the beginning of a new era at Sartori, one with a renewed awareness based on a number of previously unknown vineyards, sales with exponential growth, accessibility, otherwise impossible, to people, equipment, knowledge, experience, and organizational skills.

Today, Sartori’s success is in large part due to its international efforts, which represent over 80% of its sales in over 50 countries: throughout Europe, in North and South America, in Russia, in South East Asia.

The motto “di Verona” together with the noble presence of Can Grande della Scala that stands out in our logo, attest to our profound and indissoluble bond with the places, history, beauty and elegance of one of the most visited cities in the world. Sartori, as we like to say in the company, has always fought for Verona, focusing exclusively on the classic Veronese wines: Valpolicella, Soave, Bardolino, Bardolino Chiaretto.

Wines elegantly reinterpreted and personalized to meet the tastes of consumers from the four corners of the world, thanks to dedicated wine-making trips, but above all to the precision of our master blender and his international team of winemakers.

The labels on which the company is now focusing on are Regolo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC and Marani Bianco Veronese IGT (a.k.a. Ferdi in the U.S.), two wines that are extremely representative of the Sartori portfolio.

With these two wines, Sartori stretches the borders of the established rules or discipline, always using Veronese vines and varietals, but doing so with a freer hand in order to create a style and characteristic identity–an identity that the company would, one day, like to see regarded as the direct expression of its elegant style and of its personality as a wine producer.

Since 2003 Sartori has focused heavily on organic practices on all their sites. In conjunction with this, there is a focus on tailoring the best wines and not being swept around on the wings of fashions.


The Wines of Casa Vinicola Sartori

NV Sartori Erfo Prosecco

One of the most elegant and complex presentations of Prosecco.

 

2015 Sartori Marani Bianco Veronese IGT

Garganega; one of Veneto’s traditional grapes. Complex and tropical with an acid studded spine.

 

2012 Sartori Regolo Rosso

Named for the son of the founder, this wine highlights Sartori’s devotion to tailoring stunning wines from the vines and varieties found in Veneto.

 

2009 Corte Brà Amarone della Valpolicella DOC

This is a true classic Amarone from the hill north of Verona. Intensely spiced and perfumed this wine gives way to ripe tannins and dark fruit culminating in a mouth wateringly unctuous flavour bomb of a wine.

 

2013 Sartori Rerum Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

This sweet representation of the vines north of Verona is a balancing act of red fruit driven sweetness balanced beautifully with acid and delicate tannins.

 

NV Sartori Grappa di Amarone della Valpolicella

Distilled exclusively from the grapes that make the famed Amarone. Aged for 2 years before bottling, it’s round and floral with a palate touched with dried fruits.

Introducing Demeter Zoltán – Legend of Tokaji

A brief history of Zoltén Demeter in his own words.

“My winery was founded in 1996 with the intent to take a full and active part in the recognition and rediscovery of Tokaj terroir and its wines. I obtained the professional basis partly in the Budapest University of Horticulture, partly in the United States, France and Great Britain. I have participated in the life of Tokaj-Hegyalja since 1993, launching and running foreign-owned wineries. In the first years of my venture, I made wine from the family owned a plot in Boda vineyard in Sátoraljaújhely with the traditional tools of our cellar. In the following years, I purchased lands in different parts of Tokaj-Hegyalja: Szerelmi vineyard in Tokaj, Veres, Betsek and Ősz-hegy vineyards in Mád, Hold-völgy and Új-hegy vineyards in Rátka and the Kakas and Lapis vineyards in Bodrogkeresztúr. Today I produce wines from 9 different vineyards in 5 settlements, totalling 7 hectares. Wine fermentation and maturation takes place in the cellar of a historic house built in 1790 in the town of Tokaj. Using up my opportunities I strive to make single vineyard selections each year. I produce wines in 3 categories, which are, Dry, Főbor (principal wine) and Aszú wines, which I am inclined to think are most clearly able to reflect the uniqueness of Tokaj-Hegyalja.Through conscious yield restriction, one can understand the optimal maturity and uncover the diversity and richness of each vineyard. I eagerly try to promote Tokaj’s revised position on the world map of wine.”

 


2015 Veres -Tokaji Furmint

This dry wine is scented with heady white flowers, green apple with a palate to match with the addition of lime.

 

2013 Eszter -Tokaji Cuvée

Ripe stone fruit jump out of the glass. The wine is a beautifully crafted balance between fruit and vineyard. Honeyed and oily with a crisp acidity playing ying to the fruit weights yang.

 

2007 Aszú – Holdvölgy Vineyard Selected

Complex spice and savoury notes from Botrytis rich fruit at harvest. Well integrated and balanced.

Andrea Sartori – The Driving Force behind Sartori di Verona

Blonde, blue-eyed Andrea Sartori, president of Sartori di Verona enjoys Cuban cigars, has a mean golf swing, and even speaks with a slight Midwest twang. All three characteristics were honed over two decades of travelling throughout the US – but belie his heritage as a scion of one of Italy’s most influential winemaking families.

Andrea is the great-grandson of Pietro Sartori, who founded the Sartori di Verona winery in 1898. Today one of the Veneto’s “Big Five” wine producers, Sartori di Verona has expanded significantly under Andrea’s leadership. It is a testament to Andrea’s success and to the reputation he enjoys throughout the Italian wine industry that he was called upon to serve an unprecedented two terms as president of Italy’s principal wine producers’ trade group, the Unione Italiana Vini (Italian Confederation of Vine & Wine), from 2004 through May 2010. The UIV represents some 60% of the Italian wine industry by turnover. In his dual capacity as owner of a major Italian winery and former head of the UIV, Andrea has benefited from an eagle-eyed view of the wine business in Italy and the world. “There is little demand for good quality wines. Today they have to be very good indeed!” Sartori drily observes.

Andrea’s global perspective started early. After three years studying business at Verona’s University of Economia e Commercio and attending the Cuoa business school in Vicenza, Sartori perfected his English while attending classes at New York’s Columbia University. Back home Andrea started selling Sartori wines in the Italian market, but the world beckoned. Before long he hit the road, helping to expand markets in the US, Canada and Europe. In 1998 he was appointed Managing Director of Sartori di Verona and was named President of the company in 2000.

Soon after assuming the reins at Sartori di Verona, Andrea embarked on an ambitious range of initiatives designed to help Sartori stay ahead of the global competition. Early in the new millennium, Sartori di Verona joined forces with Cantina Colognola to assure a reliable supply of high-quality grapes. The high-profile enologist, Franco Bernabei, was recruited to consult. Sartori and Bernabei collaborated on the launch of a new premium collection of wines from a Sartori owned estate in the Mezzane Valley, followed by the acquisition of the pioneering Mont’Albano winery in Friuli to act as the anchor for its collection of organic wines.

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