Greetings members! Since the holidays are such a popular time to share wine with friends and family, we are sending you a holiday shipment! Our next shipment is not planned until late February or early March so this will have to last you until then. Of course, you can re-order any of our wines at a discount while supplies last. And, we’ve included a special gift in this shipment as a thank you for being members.
For this shipment, we’ve selected wines from a very special winemaker, Clarissa Nagy. Clarissa is a well-known winemaker in the Central Coast with an extensive pedigree, starting in 1995. She worked her way through a variety of wineries you may know: Firestone Vineyard, Curtis Winery, Byron Vineyard and Winery, Longoria Wines, Rancho Arroyo Grande Winery, Bonaccorsi Wine Company, honing her skills throughout the years. She is currently the winemaker for Riverbench Vineyard and Winery, a favorite stop along the Foxen Wine Trail, specializing in beautifully-crafted Pinot Noir and Sparkling Wines. We’ve included a 2015 Riverbench Cork Jumper Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine in your shipment to kick-off your holiday celebration. If you’re not a sparkling wine fan, it’s the perfect gift to share with friends! Riverbench is an award-winning, beautiful, boutique winery at the top of Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Maria Valley. Clarissa recently launched her own wine label, CNagy Wines. The tasting room is in quaint Old Town Orcutt near Santa Maria. Clarissa sources her grapes from some of the best vineyards in the area. In this shipment, we’re sharing her 2013 CNagy Garey Ranch Pinot Noir and 2013 CNagy White Hawk Syrah – something for the Pinot-lovers in the group and a bolder wine for those who enjoy the big reds. Syrah is one of the most common Rhone varietals. Last shipment, it was part of a cuvee’, and in this shipment it stands alone. Clarissa’s wines are very polished and smooth, artfully combining primary fruit characteristics with secondary aromas and flavors. Tasting notes are included below.
Clarissa was kind enough to invite us up to see her in action, processing one of her 2018 grape selections. What amazed us is the amount of work that goes in to making the wine. We observed the press, and the measurement of sugar (brix) in the wine. Also, the meticulous cleaning and sanitization that ensures no unwanted bacteria gets in the mix. The larger wineries with names you’ve heard of have teams of people and large equipment to process their wines, but Clarissa and many of the small wineries we’re featuring in the Club do it all themselves with minimal assistance, and pay very close attention to every detail, sorting the grapes by hand. This is what ensures that the wines you receive are the very best.
Have a wonderful holiday season.
Mike and Mary
Riverbench Cork Jumper Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine: This sparkling wine is crafted using the traditional French Champenoise method, like the great French Champagnes. This wine is deep, complex, and suitable for the most elegant occasions. This vintage is full of deep rich tones of pear mixed with a hint of tangerine and orange zest. It’s clean and refreshing with zippy acidity and triple crème brie on the finish. Pair this wine with…almost anything! One of our family favorites is to have sparkling wine on Christmas morning while opening presents, and transitioning to my Mom’s favorite eggs benedict – cuts right through that rich, yummy hollandaise sauce!
CNagy 2013 Garey Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir – only 91 cases were made of this special wine and you are lucky enough to have some! Look for notes of potpourri, blueberry, hints of blackberry, raspberry, and cranberry aromas lend to chalky, mineral, and spicy notes on the nose. Brown spices, smoky, toasty, and silk tannins finish with hints of walnuts. Great to drink on its own, or pair with lighter meats or heavier fish – Clarissa suggests pork loin with balsamic vinegar reduction and carmelized onions, or barbecued salmon.
CNagy 2013 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah - Black and white pepper, purple violets, with blackberry and black cherry notes. Silky and savory, with touches of coastal sage and crushed wet stone on the finish. Only 192 cases produced. We drink Syrah on its own sometimes, but it’s best with heavier meats. Clarissa’s ideas are rack of lamb, steak with blue cheese sauce, or scallops wrapped in bacon!