Two Outstanding Selections from Carmichael Vintners

This month, Gold Medal Wine Club has selected the 2006 Sur Le Pont, and the 2007 Grigio Bianco from Carmichael Vintners to deliver to our Gold Series members.

Carmichael Vintners was born out of a desire by its original owner to produce a number of blended wines that were European by design and Californian by nature. Carmichael, started by Michael and Carmen Levin was sold to the current owner Richard Spencer in 2003. Spencer has continued the tradition of the original vision. "We are aiming for an old world feel for our wines, a feel that also includes a fruit vibrancy that the wines might not enjoy were they made in Europe." says Debra Morris, the general manager and two-decade wine industry veteran.

Immediately after buying Carmichael, Spencer, whose background is in construction, built an impressive 20,000 square foot winery in Madera, California. Carmichael is one of the few smallish boutique wineries in Madera usually known for large wineries who rely primarily on Central Valley grapes. Madera is centrally located within California's wine country, allowing the Carmichael to easily pick and deliver from a variety of grape sources from all over California's best gr ape regions: the Central Coast, Napa Valley and the Sierra Foothills. This allows for cost effective production of well-priced blended wines-a niche in the wine marketplace. "We wanted to utilize grapes from a number of sources that would provide us the ability to make our Euro-style blends. We have managed to stick with that philosophy and it seems to have worked out quite nicely," added Spencer.

The 2006 Sur Le Pont is a Rhone-style cepage (a French term describing wines made primarily from a single grape variety) made from 77% Syrah. This wine showcases old world Mediterranean influences while achieving the characteristic fruit-forward varietal style that thrives in California. Look for red rasberry aromas, and dried herb earthiness (typical of Syrah) coupled with peppery notes from the Grenache that makes up a good portion of this red wine.

The 2007 Grigio e Bianco is a beautiful, unusual white wine blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay emphasizing melon, herbal, fruity and floral notes with hints of mango, sweet pea, lavendar and lanolin. This fresh and tantalizing wine is very versatile for sipping or pairing with light summer dishes.

Stylistically, these unique proprietary blends are structured for immediate drinkability and their attractive prices make them exciting
selections for our Gold Series members this month. Enjoy these wines and re-order them through the Gold Medal Wine Club at 22-25% off winery-direct prices for Gold Series Members.

Please let us know what you thought of these wines from Carmichael Vintners. What dishes did you enjoy them with?