Archive for the ‘International Series’ Category
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
A new quarter brings a new featured country in our International Series! We’ve “travelled” to Chile to bring you three stellar wines from Matetic Vineyards, located in the San Antonio Valley. The valley is located about seventy miles west of the capital of Santiago. This favorable location provides incredible Meditteranean-type climactic influence that results in temperature variations of more than 50 degrees and is ideal for the maturation of grapes. Historically, San Antonio Valley’s cool climate vineyards have produced flavorful, spicy red varietals that increasingly turn heads in international competitions.
The Vina Matetic Winery was founded in 1999 and came into existence when the Matetic Family decided to diversify its businesses and invest in a winery operation. When they did this, they decided to make their new winery a biodynamic entity. Biodynamic farming insures that the principles and practices of biodynamics are based on a spiritual/practical philosophy, called athroposophy, which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature. This type of viticultre views the farm as a cohesive, interconnected living system.
“We chose this path because we love nature and the outdoors,” Matetic recently stated. “This sytem involves harnessing the forces of nature to act with positive enerty. For example, if a bug is bad for crops, find another bug to eat it. When you treat the plants that are naturally good this is evidenced in the vineyard, because when our neighbors are affected by frost we are not.”
The wines we featured this quarter speak for themselves, but have also garnered great accolades!
Matetic “EQ” 2007 Pinot Noir – 90 Points, Robert Parker. 89 Points, Wine Spectator
Matetic “EQ” 2008 Syrah – Chilean Syrah Trophy, International Wine Challenge 2010
Matetic “EQ” 2008 Sauvignon Blanc – 89 Points, Wine Spectator.
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
It’s that time of year again. The twinkly lights are out, the décor is up, the festive music is on, and the malls are packed – everyone is out and about and searching for that perfect gift for everyone on their gift list. It’s the Holiday Season, and time to do something special for the loved ones in your life. If you’re tired of resorting to the cliché gift ideas (or if you have no idea where to begin), then why not step outside the box and surprise your friends and family with something different?
This year, Gold Medal Wine Club helps solve the dilemma with an assortment of new gift packages and wine clubs designed especially for everyone from the wine novice to aficionado. Wine makes a great gift because it’s not something that will be put away and forgotten about – it will immediately be opened, shared, and enjoyed with friends and family. What’s more is with a wine club gift, your recipients will have something to look forward to not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
Wine Clubs also make a great gift for your boss in the office – or if you are the boss, think about giving wine to your best accounts, employees, and business partners. The Holiday Season is a time to look back on the success you’ve had over the past year, and thank those important people who helped you get there. What better way to show your appreciation and commemorate the year than with a special bottle of award-winning wine?
With a multitude of wine clubs out there, it can be hard to decide which one is the best fit – maybe your Dad is into those really prestigious wines with small production and top-of-the-line ratings, whereas your Son or Daughter might benefit from a wine club more catered to featuring “everyday wines” that still introduce their palates to nicer wines, but without the intimidation factor. With five different wine clubs to choose from, ranging in price point, wine varieties, and quality level, Gold Medal Wine Club is a one-stop-shop for everyone on your holiday gift list.
The most popular gift choice from Gold Medal Wine Club is the Gold Series wine club, featuring hard-to-find, medal-winning wines from small, family-owned California wineries. Each month, your recipient will receive two outstanding bottles, beautifully presented in gift-wrapped tissue and bows and a full color newsletter publication called “The Wine Press.” This exclusive publication presents information about the wines, the fascinating backgrounds of the winery owners, a behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyards, and special food pairing recipes direct from the winemakers themselves. Starting at just $35 per month, the Gold Series is a great value and truly an impressive gift.
Gold Medal Wine Club also offers upper-level and international wine clubs to help you find the right fit for everyone on your gift list. The Platinum Series features 90+ rated, ultra premium wines from California; the International Series highlights a different country with each shipment and offers a special add-on option of gourmet imported food items; the Pinot Noir Series is the perfect choice for the Pinot lovers in your life; and the Diamond Series selects only those most prestigious bottlings with legendary 93+ rated marks and serious “wow” factor. Sure to be enjoyed by any wine enthusiast on your list, the wine club offerings from Gold Medal Wine Club are just plain hard to beat.
For a limited time, find FREE Bonus Gifts (stainless steel corkscrews, neoprene totes, and Vinturi Aerators – just to name a few) included with various wine club gift options (www.GoldMedalWineClub.com/gift_guide). It’s an easy way to make that holiday gift extra special.
In business since 1992, Gold Medal Wine Club has the reputation as one of the leading independent wine clubs in the world – and for good reason. With unbeatable standards for quality and customer satisfaction, and consistency in offering simply incredible wines to their members at unbelievable discounts, this wine club gift is the choice for this year’s Holiday Season.
Place your orders by logging on to www.GoldMedalWineClub.com or calling 1-800-266-8888 to be sure your gifts will arrive in time for the Holiday.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to scout out different wineries while in New Zealand. My main focus was in Hawke’s Bay, a coastal region in the North Island particularly known for its Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays. While sampling at the various wineries, we found much more than full bouquets and fabulous wines! We picked up a very interesting fact about the use for sheep in a vineyard, and thought I’d share!
We took this trip back in late January, the height of New Zealand’s summer. The air was warm but not overly humid, and the grapes were showing but not overly ripe. As we drove through the beautiful countryside, marvelling at all the fantastic vines, one thing in particular caught my eye. Vineyard after vineyard was full of meandering sheep, cruising through the rows and nibbling on the vines. I couldn’t believe it! Surely someone left a gate open and unintentionally let the sheep into the vineyard? Were they eating this year’s crop??
We asked one of the vintners at the next winery about this discovery. His reply was so matter of fact, yet endearing, that I fell in love a little bit more with New Zealand. In mid to late summer, the grapes reach a critical point when the disastrous Botrytis could potentially wipe out an entire crop. Botrytis is the effect when moisture, worsened and locked in by leaf cover, creates a devastating fungus on the fruit and is also known as “bunch rot”.
There are a variety of preventative measures for handling this fungus, including the use of pesticides and spraying early in the season. A well managed canopy to prevent the moisture cover will help as well. Often, vintners will employ a crew to circulate the vines and hand pull the leaves off the precious fruit. However, growers in this region (and perhaps others) have discovered a window of approximately three weeks in the year when grapes are too bitter for sheep’s tastes but succulent leaves are tasty and attractive, thus providing an excellent formula for the use of sheep to do this job!
Vintners must keep a watchful eye over the sheep that they don’t over-pluck the leaves and that they work evenly throughout the vineyard, but the final outcome is more than economical, providing quite a few benefits to the vintners. The sheep work and eat for free, and even fertilize the fields, ahem, “naturally”. In a country where sheep outnumber humans 13 to one, I say good on you, New Zealand, for your forward thinking and economical solutions!
We are featuring New Zealand wines in this quarter’s International Series. All three of our selections come from Clearview Winery, located in Hawke’s Bay. The winery itself is a mere 70 yards from the ocean…arguably one of the closest vineyards to a large body of water anywhere! We are lucky enough to feature three medal winning wines from Clearview: 2008 Reserve Chardonnay, 2008 ‘Des Trois’ Pinot Noir, and 2007 Old Olive Block Red Blend. These wines are absolutely superb and we’re very happy to be able to offer them to you!
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
What do we love? We love wine, of course! But we also love viticulture. We love the stories that develop over a bottle of wine. We love visiting wineries. We love food and wine. We love the living, breathing qualities of wine. We love that feeling we get after a frazzling day of work and finally having the chance to plop down on the couch with a glass of wine. But what we really love, what truly makes our hearts sing, is sharing these experiences with others! Its why we do what we do – because sharing wine with others can be one of the most rewarding experiences out there, especially when what we’re sharing is a truly fabulous bottle. We’re in the business of bringing high quality wines to your door; this much is obvious from our website. But what’s not so obvious is the amount we’re willing to bend our memberships to make them something that suits your needs. Which brings us to our last love, giving you what you really want.
I’ll use the Gold Series to set an example of the kind of tweaking we can do to your membership. The Gold Series is the most popular of our five wine club memberships. It is the least expensive of the selections, but the wines are high quality and very versatile. The website explains that the standard membership consists of two highly sought after small production, California wines, sent out on a monthly basis. Generally, it is one red and one white, but sometimes two different reds. The website also offers a Red only or White only option. But, what’s not advertised are alterations to this: if it is your preference, we can make sure that we always send you one red and one white, even in the months when “two reds” is the standard mix. Or, maybe you like red wine, but only Cabernet and Merlot, and in terms of white, you want to avoid Chardonnay and Viognier? (This is all hypothetical, of course. I can’t imagine why anyone would limit himself or herself in this way, but I do understand people have their preferences, and sometimes you just know what you like!) Well, to sum it up, we can accommodate these requests as well. Perhaps location is your thing. We can send you a shipment only when we feature wines from a particular area like Napa Valley. We’ll work with you to find out your particular preferences. In months that we feature something you’d rather not receive, we can send you something from a previous month’s selection, or we can skip that month entirely, or maybe there’s something else you want to do. Fine by us!
And what if two bottles each month just isn’t enough for you? (Now, we’re speaking my language…) The website offers a four bottle membership, which is essentially two of each of the featured wines from the month. But, believe me, by no means does it have to stop there. If you’d like to have four bottles each month but want three reds and one white, we can do that. Or three whites and one red? Yes! Like to try six wines each shipment? Yep, we can do that too. There is virtually no limit to the number of bottles we send you in a month.
And here’s another thing. Moving from the topic of wine selection to frequency of shipments, the website offers monthly, every-other, or quarterly shipments. But we actually can send shipments any time and as often as you like. If you want to have shipments only in months ending in “y”, we can do that. Or, only with the months with a major holiday, we can do that, too. As often as you would like a shipment, we’ll send one your way.
Want to save a few bucks on shipping costs? How about joining a club membership on a quarterly basis, but receiving all the wines from that quarter at once? Keeping to the example of the Gold Series, you could receive the wines we featured in January, February and March all together in March (totaling 6 different wines in March), then continue on a quarterly basis from there. It will save you money on shipping, but the only downside is that you’ll have to wait two months in between shipments…
Like the look of two of our Series, but can’t decide which one to choose and joining both is going to be too much wine? How about alternating? You could join the Gold Series every other month of the year, and in the alternate months, receive one of our premium clubs, like the Platinum or Diamond Series. You could even receive the Platinum Series on a monthly basis, but in your and your partner’s birthday months, treat yourselves to our highest rated wines club membership, the Diamond Series. Don’t let us stop you…Go wild! Get creative!
What I’m trying to make obvious for you is that this is YOUR membership. Don’t let the website fool you – we are YES people and we want you to have a great experience with the wine club. If that means you want only 92+ rated wines from Monterey and Napa Valley and you want them only in the months of the year when you visit your Aunt Sadie at her home in Boulder, Colorado, well, that’s just peachy with us. We’ll send ‘em your way. Just tell Aunt Sadie to share!
Call our Customer Service phone number to customize your membership or to talk about your options for a gift: (800) 266 – 8888.
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Up to 40% off Winery Direct Prices with FREE SHIPPING on orders of 2 Cases or More!
Welcome to the Wine Sale 2010! This year, its bigger and badder than ever, with up to 40% off winery direct prices! If that wasn’t enough, you can also save more by ordering 2 or more cases to receive FREE SHIPPING! The wines included in this sale were recent features of the club’s Pinot Noir, Platinum, Diamond, and International Series — the upper level memberships that feature 90+ rated wines. There’s a three bottle minimum per wine to achieve the sale price, but at these amounts, you’ll want to order much more than simply three of each, which is why there is no maximum per wine (inventory pending, of course!)
You won’t want to miss out on the sale; it is your chance to stock up on some fabulous wines. But, you’ll have to hurry! Inventory is moving quickly and the sale will be over by the end of the month!
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Earlier this year, we sent lucky winners Michael and Stacy Gallagher to Peso da Régua, Portugal to soak up the culture and enjoy some fabulous wines from winery Quinta do Vallado. The seven day, six night adventure included accommodations at the winery’s own bed and breakfast and a night’s dining experience with the world renowned winemaker. The peaceful and scenic town is the hub of Portugal’s premium wine region and specializes in Port as well. It is backed by the Serra do Marão mountains and overlooks the tranquil Douro Valley at the site where the Corgo and Douro rivers converge. Traditionally, this town transported their barrels of wine and port down the river using Rabelos (wooden sailing ships) to the town of Vila Nove de Gaia. Tourists can still experience this journey upon river boats that carry passengers through the locks of two dams to Régua.
The Gallagher’s were kind enough to send us notes about their trip, as well as a few pictures. Here’s what they had to say and show about their experience:
Our trip to Portugal and Quinta do Vallado was fabulous. Stacy and I enjoyed every minute. We spent several days in Lisbon sightseeing and then hired a driver to tour the country. We went to Nazarre, Batalia, Combre and Porto to name a few places. The castles, monastaries and Port houses held so much history. A thrill to view something six centuries old. The Quinta do Vallado was beautiful. Paula and Rafael were very gracious hosts. The property was spectacular and infinity pool awesome. We also took the train to see a number of different towns. The Portuguese are very friendly to Americans and proud people. Thank you for arranging a great trip. We will never forget it. We highly recommend visiting Portugal and Quinta do Vallado. Attached are a few photos from our trip…
Have a great day and hope to see you in the near future.
All the best,
Mike and Stacy
Infinity Pool, Quinta do Vallado
Think you’d enjoy travelling to an exotic country to sample some of the finest wines the region has to offer? If so, we’ve got great news. There’s still time to sign up for the opportunity to win our Italian Wine Country Trip for two. Visit “Super Italian Giveaway” to enter. We’ll be accepting enteries until March 15 for this seven day, six night stay at the famous Hotel Hermitage, just outside of Florence. You’ll enjoy winery tours and five winery dinners with this adventure. Good Luck!
Friday, September 18th, 2009
The South African wine export business is an industry that has generated much enthusiasm for the international wine community in the last fifteen years. With the demise of Apartheid in the early 90′s, which kept the country’s exports highly restricted, there has been an explosion of renewed interest and a new wave of very contemporary wineries have sprung up in essentially every wine-growing region in the country. However, with wine-making traditions over 300 years old in some of these areas, many of the top producers are finding promise by straddling both the elegance of an Old World style and the more fruit-driven style of the New World.
The country’s most significant wine regions are located in the Western Cape, a location of varied topography and a moderate, Mediterranean climate, close enough to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans to give vineyards the benefit of maritime influences. An area comparable to California’s Napa Valley, and considered among the world’s most highly regarded wine producing areas, the Western Cape may be broken down into over a dozen specific wine regions. We’re happy to bring to you three excellent wines from three very promising regions from the Western Cape: Sequillo 2005 Red Blend from Swartland, Jardin 2005 Syrah from Jordan Winery in Stellenbosch, and Paul Cluver 2008 Chardonnay from Englin Valley.
Sequillo Winery was formed in 2001 by two families with a deep history in wine-making circles: the Sadie Family and the Cornet Spies Family Trust. Winemaker Eben Sadie elects to use an organic approach for the vineyard and as such, the unfiltered and non-refined wines are as natural tasting as possible. He utilizes wood barrels only to the most minimal degree, and his methods involve using cement vats to make the wines, and then ages in a variety of ancient oak barrels. The Sequillo 2005 Red Blend was awarded 89 Points by Wine Enthusiast, who cited, “The nose offers raspberry, red berry and spice, and on the palate, integrated flavors of red cherry and dark fruit, spice and minerality… Good acidity and balance, and a fresh overall character add to the interest.” It will pair well with barbecued chicken and South African Sosaties.
Jordan Winery, of the notable Stellenbosch region, is unique to South Africa for two reasons. A true “Mom & Pop”, it is the only winery in the country that is owned and operated by a husband and wife team. And secondly, the vineyard has the rare luxury of facing all directions-North, South, East and West-giving a balance that most vineyards do not have access to. Gary and Kathy Jordan developed their knowledge on wine-making while attending UC Davis in California, and returned to their South Africa home to become prominent wine-makers. Gary has received numerous awards producing under the Jordan Winery label and is steadily continuing to make his mark on the international wine scene. Wine Spectator awarded an outstanding 91 points to the Jardin 2005 Syrah, noting, “Dark and plenty fleshy, with fig, hoisin sauce, warm currant confiture and bittersweet ganache flavors that glide along fine-grained, coffee tinged tannins.” Pairs well with beef curry, lamb, or try with Braised Chicken with Peppadew Peppers.
Paul Cluvery Winery, of Elgin Valley, not only generates high quality wines, but grower Dr. Paul Cluver has been acknowledged amongst South Africa’s most respected vintners, and has become the regions most important figures in the industry. A progressive institution, the estate is partner in the first wine and biodiversity route in the area, is an active member and contributor to Thandi black economic empowerment wine producing project, promoter of eco-tourism, and is highly involved with project Slowine, an entity that empowers those “moments in between” and encourages connections amongst humans and quality over quantity, combining modernism with the best traditions from the past. A true family run business, Paul Cluver’s wines have landed both international and national acclaim and his 2008 Chardonnay was awarded 5 stars by Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2010. This classic Chardonnay erupts with aromas of citrus and floral tones with hints of pineapple, peaches, oak and toasty nuttiness. It is gentle yet complex with a long and elegant finish. Pairs well with creamy pastas, pork, salmon, or try White Fish with Fennel.
We hope you enjoy this quarter’s selection. Let us know what you think! Judge The Wines today!
Sunday, July 19th, 2009
Spain is a large country geographically and has more acreage under grape cultivation than any other country in the world. Overall, Spain is the third largest in terms of world-wide wine production and grapes are grown throughout every region of the country. Since the 1950′s, Spain’s winemakers have worked steadily to improve quality and with their entry into the European Union, new legal standards for wine were put in place. Today, a new generation of winemakers have quietly begun crafting spectacular wines and experimenting with varietals that would have been unthinkable only a short time ago. Wine remains an important commodity and an integral part of Spanish culture.
Gold Medal Wine Club is pleased to present wines from three up-and-coming growing regions of the country as part of the International Series Wine Club.
The Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel is one of the new boutique-style wineries in the region of Ribera del Duero DO. The winery’s first release came in 2003 and has catapulted the winery into international prominence with exceptional scores and awards. Resalte de Peñafiel’s 2004 Crianza is 100% Tempranillo grape and was awarded 3 Gold Medals, 2 Silver Medals, and 89 Points at various international competitions.
Bodega Pardo Tolosa’s emphasis is on its old vines (some are 60-80 years old) and the incredible quality juice the grapes produce. Guided by noted Spanish winemaker Luis Jimenez, Bodega Pardo Tolosa has already made a mark on the international scene with excellent scores and top awards. The 2007 Senda de las Rochas is 100% Tempranillo and is designated as a ‘very high quality’ wine.
Bodega Alvarez y Diez is an old timer having been built in 1941. The winery is mostly planted to the venerable Verdejo grape that traces its ancestry back to the 11th Century and the reign of King Alfonso VI. A 1997 renovation installed new equipment and modern techniques and allowed Bodega Alvarez y Diez a new lease on life. The 2005 Mantel Blanco is entirely comprised of the Verdejo grape.This This delicious interpretation of the grape comes from old-vines and takes on a full-bodied, round mouth feel from the French and American oak barrel fermenting.
We hope you will enjoy these three excellent selections. Please let us know what you think.