PJ s Wine of the Month Club - DOC by fjhuangjun

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									                          PJ’s Wine of the Month Club
                                        April 2006 Selection

White Package

2002 Nugan Estate Coonawarra Chardonnay “Alcira Vineyard”
Australia
Suggested retail price $19.99 PJ’s Retail price $16.49

Location: The Nugan Group began when Alfredo Nugan, a young
enterprising and visionary fruit exporter from Valencia, Spain, came to
southwestern Australia’s New South Wales region. He settled near the
town of Griffith, about 400 kilometers west of Sydney, because of its
abundant sunshine and the availability of irrigation water.

History: Alfredo’s company quickly built a reputation as a national and
global supplier of high-quality produce. Over the years, Nugan became
known as the largest supplier of superior grapes to Penfolds (Penfolds
Koonunga Hills) and Southcorp (Kalimna Bin 128). In 1999, Nugan
diversified into winemaking. Their humble beginnings in winery
equipment were just three fermentation tanks and six aging barrels in
Nugan’s Juice Plant. Today, there is a dedicated, high-tech winery complete with over 100 fermentation
tanks and over 2,000 aging barrels with the capacity to process 10,000 tons per vintage. Nugan’s philosophy
is summed up by their motto: "hard work, innovation, and 100% commitment to the future".

Vineyard: Nugan owns their own vineyards in the McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra, King Valley
and Riverina regions. The vineyards employ a sophisticated irrigation system that monitors moisture levels
to ensure that the vines receive only a specified amount of water and that the watering is as "eco-friendly"
as possible. Riverina is semi-arid (only 12 inches rainfall/year) so disease is not a problem. Average grape
yields are kept very low (about half that usually seen in the area) to promote concentrated, quality wines. In
addition to Senior Winemaker, Daren Owers, who has been with Nugan’s wine division since the beginning,
Nugan has engaged the consulting services of Brian Light, a renowned winemaker from the McLaren Vale
region. Both men make viticulture and vinification decisions centered o n making the highest quality wines
with complexity, finesse and balance. Proven, traditional winemaking methods are combined with innovative
approaches to produce the finest wines possible in one of most notable, emerging wine regions in the world.

Vinification: From the Coonawarra appellation, the 2002 Nugan Estate "Alcira Vineyard" Chardonnay was
made from grapes picked in April 2002. The vintage was notable for warm days and cool nights, a favorable
day/night temperature difference that promotes grape skin ripeness and phenolic complexity and maturity.
Only "free run" juice (juice obtained strictly from the weight of the fruit in the vat with no pressing) was used
to make the wine. Twelve-day fermentation began in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures to preserve
more delicate fruit aromas and flavors. Once half the must’s sugar fermented, the wine was transferred to
new and one year-old oak tanks to complete fermentation, whereupon the wine was aged on the lees in
casks for ten months. Weekly stirring (Bâtonnage) and topping of the casks was employed to maintain
freshness and to promote aromatic and flavor complexity. This method is frequently utilized by vignerons in
Burgundy to make their white wines. A light filtration preceded bottling in June, 2003.

Description: The 2002 Nugan Estate “Alcira Vineyard” Chardonnay begins with very aromatic notes of
wildflowers, bright honey and a hint of white pepper. On the palate, the fruit is extraordinarily bright and
fresh, with an incredibly clean, round definition helped by a trace of the oak’s buttery, smoky notes. The
wine’s lively, mineral acidity is quite lovely on the palate, and its cleansing nature implores you to reach for
another sip (traditional white Burgundy comes to mind). Both, IWC (International Wine Center, Stephen
Tanzer) and WA (Wine Advocate, R. Parker) Rated it 89pts.

Food Pairing: The Nugan’s snappy mouthfeel makes for a good match with many dishes (shellfish, seafood,
chicken, veal and lighter pork) and, once well chilled, this is a great summer sipper. If the Aussies do
Chardonnay this well, we can’t wait ’til they master Pinot…
                         PJ’s Wine of the Month Club
                                      April 2006 Selection

White Package

2005 Paul & Jean-Marc Pastou Sancerre “Les Boucaults”
Loire Valley France
Suggested retail price $16.99 PJ’s retail price $13.99

Location: Domaine Pastou is located in the village of Sury-en-
Vaux, one of the 14 villages surrounding the town of Sancerre
that constitute the appellation.

Sancerre: Loire Valley has some of the most beautiful villages
of France and Sancerre confirms this fact. Sancerre is a
splendid borough reigning atop a rock hill surrounded by
vineyards. Sancerre is famous for its sauvignon blanc based
wines of course, but it is also now recognized for its reds and
rosés. Sancerre whites have been praised for centuries. The culture of the vines was developed in the
XI century under the desire of the Counts de Sancerre and especially of the Augustin monks of Saint-
Satur. Nowadays, Sancerre totals 2400 hectares of vineyards under AOC since 1936 for the White and
1959 for the Red and Rosé. The vineyards, planted on slopes, profit from moderate microclimates and
very stony (Silex slates and calcareous-limestone), hot, healthy and well drained soils adapted to the
culture of Sauvignon Blanc. Three distinctive terroirs can be found. "Les Terres blanches" located at the
west give vigorous wines whereas "Les Caillottes", located at the foot of the city give light and fruitier
wines. To the east, the soil is richer in flint (Silex) providing wines with a characteristic bouquet, great
minerality and complexity.

Domaine Pastou: Vines existed at the domaine and were vinified at the local cooperative many
generations before the late Paul Pastou created the Domaine Pastou with his 1 st hectare of vines about
45 years ago. It is his son, Jean Marc, who really developed the Domaine. At the age of 18 years old
(more than 20 years ago), he took over the 4 hectares property from his father and decide to extend
the vineyard. He first “rented” a few vineyards that he bought one after another with time and the
desire to produce more. Now, Jean-Marc and his wife Martine run their estate with 11 hectares of vines
planted all around their house.

Terroir & Vinification: The vines are planted on slopes facing south – Southwest on limestone-clay
soils and sub-soils. They have 1 hectare on “Les Caillottes” (small limestone stone) providing fruit and
aromas to the final blend. The vines are approximately 30 years old (in average). Harvest is done with
a machine. The grapes are pressed with the stem. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. A
cold maceration then a light filtration happen before bottling. They produce 3 different Sancerre: “Les
Boucaults” and “la Côte de Sury” sold to the export market and a generic Sancerre for the French
Market. On the side, they craft a small quantity of Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre Rouge and a tiny bit of Rosé
distributed in the French market only.

Description: 2005 Paul et Jean-Marc Pastou Sancerre “Les Boucaults” comes from a unique parcel of
vines called “Les Boucaults” planted with vines older than 40 years of age resulting on the mention
“Vieilles Vignes” on the label. It is characteristic for its minerality, crispiness and freshness rather than
for its opulence and fruitiness. With fresh and inviting aromas of citrus fruits laced with floral and
mineral notes, a rich mouthfeel yet with liveliness, this is a terrific and refreshing spring-summery wine
with nerve, mineral and body.

Food pairing: with seafood, asparagus salad, fresh goat cheese, or simply as a refreshing white wine
to sip on its own.
                          PJ’s Wine of the Month Club
                                        April 2006 Selection

Red Package

2004 Clos de Los Siete Malbec Blend Michel Rolland Argentina
Suggested retail price $16.99 PJ’s retail price $13.49

Location: Vistaflores (name of the estate where Clos de los Siete is produced) is
located in the Tunuyan commune, 80 km south of the city of Mendoza. The estate,
covering 847 hectares of vineyards (2093 acres), is one of the biggest wineries in
Argentina and in the world.

The Clos de los Siete project: Two friends, both wine specialists, Michel Rolland
and Jean-Michel Arcaute (winegrower, recently deceased) were the initiators of the
Clos de los Siete adventure. In 1998, they decided to go into business. Argentina
offers space, the possibility to plant without restriction, and promising results: a
quality wine from fine soil at an excellent price. Their arguments were strong enough
to unite seven investors, all winegrowers (Catherine Péré-Vergé, owner of Château
Monviel at Pomerol; Laurent Dassaut, owner at Saint-Emilion; Bertrand Otto, representative of La
Compagnie Vinicole E. Rothschild; and Bertrand Cuvelier) to a remarkable viniculture project in the province
of Mendoza. Seven friends and investors, all wine-producers, meet in Argentina to plant grapevines together
on an exceptional estate, which melds harmoniously into the exquisite environment. Furrows, aqueducts,
dikes, and underground cabling: The creation of this vineyard is a massive undertaking in which each stroke
of the pick is meaningful. It is divided into seven wine cellars, and so is named Clos de los Siete (Vineyard of
the Seven).

Michel Rolland, Wine globetrotter: Nicknamed the "flying winemaker" in the wine industry, Michel Rolland
                      is an oenologist and expert witness for courts. Consultant of several estates in
                      France (Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Fronsac, in the Medoc...), this wine globe-trotter is
                      regularly summoned to California, South America, Italy, Spain, Hungary, and
                      Argentina to pronounce a ruling on renowned wines: Alta Vista, Mondavi,
                      Fransiscan, Château Megyer, etc. He knows how to spark success: fifteen years
                      ago, he was already consulting what have become some largest bodegas of the
                      Mendoza region.

Conserving the landscape and managing water: The estate is protected from alluvial waters by dikes.
The ground consists of sand, clay, and stone, and faces northward, the sunniest direction in the southern
hemisphere. But before planting the first wines, the ground's vegetation had to be cleared, gathered, and
burned; stones had to be dislodged and the terrain leveled. Then electricity had to be introduced by 3 km of
aerial cabling to the entrance of the "Campo", and another 4 km of underground cabling was installed in
order to conserve the beauty of the landscape. Next, several wells were bored 190 m deep in order to feed
an underground aqueduct. Dikes and the bolstering of dry "rio" walls defend the estate against the action of
waters, which, while rare, can pour with incredible intensity. Irrigation of the grapevines is crucial to
Vistaflores: water is supplied under consistent pressure at the intake of each plot, thanks to sluice gates and
relay-pumps installed inside the aqueduct, and governed by computer control in a command room.

Vinification: At Vistaflores, grapevines benefit from particularly advantageous climatic and geographical
conditions. Winemaking is practiced in respecting the great traditions of viniculture: handpicked harvesting,
absence of fertilizers, and above all the use of gravity for processing grapes. Ageing in French oak barrels.

Description: From the foot of the Andes Mountains, comes Clos de Los Siete a blend of Malbec, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. “Good full ruby-red. Laid-back nose features black cherry, minerals, licorice
and dark chocolate. Suave, silky and light on its feet, with claret-like black fruit, spice and menthol flavors.
Very fine-grained in the middle palate and on the aftertaste. Finishes with ripe, pliant tannins and lingering
black cherry and spice notes.” IWC 89+

Food pairing: Argentinean steak of course!                   Info taken from www.monteviejo.com
                        PJ’s Wine of the Month Club
                                      April 2006 Selection

Red Package

2002 Chateau Mondorion Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Bordeaux France
Suggested retail price $19.99 PJ’s retail price $16.97

Location: The Château Mondorion is located 46km Southeast from Bordeaux
city, in the village called Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens. Located south west of Saint-
Émilion, Sulpice de Faleyrens is one of the 9 villages that constitute the
appellation.

The man behind: Château Mondorion was fairly unknown to the US market until
Patrick Léon, ex-winemaker at Château Mouton Rothschild, took over the
property in 1999. Patrick Léon studied enology at Bordeaux university of
Oenology under two famed professors: the late Jean Ribéreau-Gayon and the
late Emile Peynaud. He worked with négociant Alexis Lichine & Co. from 1972 to
1985, when Baron Philippe de Rothschild hired him. He produced outstanding
wines from Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Clerc-Milon and Château
d’Armailhac in Pauillac, Opus One in California and Viña Almaviva in Chile. After
nearly two decades as the technical director and winemaker at Mouton crafting
some of the best vintages, like 1985, 86, 88, 90, 95, 96, 2000 and 2003, he
retired after bottling the 2003 vintage and decided to craft his own wines.

His dream came true when, about 10 years ago, he and his wife bought
Château Les Trois Croix, a 37 acres (15 hectares) estate in Fronsac (where he is
no longer making the wine) now run by his children Bertrand and Stéphanie.
Always aiming to push his own limits and willing to craft more wine, he bought
Château Mondorion, a 27 acre (around 11 hectares) property close to the
Dordogne river in the valley of Saint-Émilion.

Terroir & Vinification: Patrick Léon brought a new life to Château Mondorion
and renaissance to its wines. The 11 ha of 35 years old vines (76% Merlot and
24% Cabernet Franc) are planted on slight sandy soil atop a mix of clayey-chalky and gravel subsoil.
The harvest is done by hand in small baskets, complete sorting and de-stemming of the crop before
fermentation in temperature regulated concrete vats and aging in French oak barrels. Château
Mondorion produces approximately 45000 bottles per year including their second wine: Étoiles de
Mondorion, St-Emilion (around 500 cases).

Vintage: The 4th vintage since the rebirth shows the skill and experience of Patrick Léon. Despite a
good month of September with enough sun to obtain a good maturation, the vintage was a bit difficult
due to earlier rain and the harvest was done in 2 periods to ridge the maximum ripeness, specially for
the Cabernet franc. The crop was small and Patrick’s knowledge was useful to produce such a wine in a
lesser year. The wine was aged for about a year in 33% new and 77% used French oak barrels (1-2
years old).

Description: 2002 Château Mondorion is a blend of 80% Merlot & 20% Cabernet Franc. In the glass, it
is dark with crimson-violet rim. The nose is pure extraction of blackberry, blueberries, oaky vanilla,
toffee and spicey notes. Although new world in style, the palate is rooted in the old world with deep
flavors of old prunes, ripe red berries and more spicey-coffee notes lingering in a long, earthy and quite
complex finish, which should ensure good cellaring potential. It is enjoyable now after a decanting and
will be even better over the next 5 years.

Food pairing: Steak topped with shallots served with green beans, Rabbit stew or grilled veal.

								
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