Brown Bag Tasting at Wine Watch Saturday January 12th 7:30pm

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 People spend too much time tasting wine; not enough time drinking it. -
            André Tchelistcheff


Hey – we drink the wine also here at Wine Watch but this event is a formal Brown Bag tasting so there will be some serious tasting going on tonight.  We will have a winner but there will not be a loser as we will all be drinking wine.

Let me explain this event further…

Brown Bag formal sit down tasting at Wine Watch
Saturday, January 12, 2019 and Saturday, January 26, 2019
7:30 PM


This event is for the “brown bag” contingency that invades the Wine Watch every Saturday afternoon.  One of our best friends/customers Dr. Richard Esack started this madness at the store nearly 20 years ago and now it has become a weekly ritual.  Every Saturday at approximately 4pm friends/customers of the store arrive with their wines covered in brown bags eager to stump the wine guy (me).  Well, I think it’s time to take this little game to the next level.  This time we will taste through 12 wines in a sit-down formal style in the Wine Cave at Wine Watch and these wines will not only be blind to the tasters, but they will also be blind to the person conducting the tasting (me).  Tomas the wine “Graduate student” will be making the selections and you can be assured that there will be some eclectic wines represented as I am giving him a healthy budget for this evening.  The tasters (you) will be awarded one point for guessing: varietal, vintage, region of origin and producer (a total of four points for each wine).  If you get all four questions correct you will receive an additional point giving you a total of five points for your answer.  And here is the kicker- the person that gets the most points doesn’t have to pay!  Toni Lampasone will be sending out a few small courses to accompany the wines and there will be cheese and Charcuterie on the table.



Charcuterie and Cheese Selection

Burrata and Prosciutto di Parma wrapped in Grilled Romaine lettuce drizzled with Balsamic and Ciacci Piccolomini Olive Oil

Sous Vide tenderloin of beef with truffle mashed potatoes and carrot souflee


The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $75 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail  Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have any dietary restrictions.


 Just to make it easier for first timers we are giving you a chance to buy and get to know two of the wines that we will be serving tonight.  It's not cheating if you do your homework and we understand that it's not cheating if you take advantage of opportunity and we are giving you a great price and a chance to taste two of the wines that we will be serving before the event and we will be showing these wines at both of these events.



2012 Puro Uno Malbec Limitado Mendoza

Price: $30.00       Sale $15.00          Quantity in Stock: 290

This project started in the head of Frank Baroudi over 20 years ago, while attending college at USC, Los Angeles. During his freshman year, Frank's roommate’s grandfather passed, and he being a connoisseur of all things fine, left him a 45,000 bottle wine cellar and a few hundred boxes of pre-embargo Cuban cigars to enjoy. The boys learned quickly about first growths as that was 90 % of the cellar and discovered the best of Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Petrus, Haut Brion & Y’quem – the great vintages – 29’s, 45’s, & 61’s. This was only 1976 and little did they know, they still had the 82’s to discover. Although Frank's buddy had a few extra years of exposure, Frank quickly caught up. He enjoyed concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with bottles of fine vintage Champagnes followed by magnums of ‘45 Petrus… not too tough to take. This was Franks's early exposure to the rarefied world of fine vintage wine and cigars that started his yearning to create his own extraordinary wines and cigars. At the time, Frank was in college to become an engineer and that is indeed what he accomplished. After five years at USC, he left with a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computers and went out to tackle the real world. Frank eventually worked for one of the largest computer companies in the world, had an amazing expense account and was extraordinarily successful at his job.

Fast forward thirty years…Frank finally had the opportunity to realize his lifelong dream… to make incredible, world class wines by blending varietals that had never before been combined. Frank used the best grapes possible and considered the individual virtues of eachvarietal and how these attributes would be affected by combining them as he created his blends.

By that time, Frank had been to all the well-known growing and production regions in California, France, Italy and Spain to learn the secrets of “wine making”. It all came together just over a decade ago when he went to investigate the Chilean and Argentinean wine culture. Frank discovered Mendoza, Argentina – a place that really turned him on. It had such an intriguing environment, with rich, complex fruit of amazing depth and quality and an economy that would not take millions of dollars to start a modest winemaking project.              

The Puro Uno Limited is made from 100% Malbec from the Lujan de Cuyo region of Mendoza the vineyards lie at an Altitude of 3450 feet.  This wine is aged for 18 months in 70% New French Oak and 30% New American Oak, the average age of the vines is 35-60 with some up to 100 years.  There were only 600 cases of the 2012 Limitado produced. OUR TASTING NOTES:  Some nice roasted coffee and sweet tobacco spice blackberry and black cherry plum like fruit on the nose light smoky toasty oak notes. Plush and smooth texture on the tongue ripe black and red cherry fruit on the tongue, nicely balanced leaves the tongue salivating for food very drinkable style with pretty floral and light spice notes on the finish. Finish 40+

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2014 Charles Krug Generations Napa

Price: $67.50       Sale $49.00          Quantity in Stock: 124

Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s first winery, founded in 1861 by Prussian immigrant Charles Krug. He came to America at age 22 with nothing but willpower and proceeded to become a major player in establishing the entire California wine industry. 

When Krug died in 1882, the winery was purchased by his close friend, James Moffitt, a San Francisco banker.  Moffett was a big city banker and loved the thought of retiring to the countryside and starting a family business, but his daughters and their husbands were not interested in Krug or the wine business.  Moffitt owned the winery through prohibition, then began looking for a winemaking family to carry on the Krug tradition.    Both Robert and Peter drove down to meet their father at Crocker First National Bank, where Moffett was the director, and the Mondavi’s were mere bumpkins from sleepy little Saint Helena.  It only took a few minutes to convince Moffitt that the Mondavi’s were a perfect fit to carry on the Krug tradition.

Cesar Mondavi was sixty years young when he and his wife, Rosa, purchased the winery for $75,000.  His two sons, Peter and Robert, were both attending Stanford at the time, when they finished with school they came back to run the winery.  Cesare died in 1959 and Rosa became president, then passed the torch on to Peter in 1966.  With obvious differences of opinions Peter and Robert decided to take separate paths in the wine industry.  The two brothers could not have been more different in terms of personality, Peter is private and relaxed and Robert inevitably attracts publicity and is constantly fired with energy.  Peter was content to tend the family business, while Robert was driven by a need for attention and bravado.  Peter avoids making waves; Robert rocks the boat.  Peter and Robert barely spoke to each other for the better part of twenty-five years.  One of the major disputes they had in the early seventies was lost in court by Peter and cost him some of his most prized Cabernet vineyards in Oakville. 

On June 13th 1985 two wine collectors Tawfig Khoury and Barney Rhodes staged an improbable reunion of the two Napa Valley winemaking brothers.  The two collectors had amassed a historic retrospective of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons form Charles KrugWinery, 1944 to 1965, and Robert Mondavi Winery, 1966 to 1984, and invited both Mondavis to attend.  This not only brought the two powerhouse California vintners together under one roof, but had also apparently helped ease the tension that existed between the two since their breakup in 1966. 

The Mondavi family is responsible for some of the most important innovations in California winemaking history.  Way back in 1937 peter Mondavi, Sr. developed cold fermentation, this enabled winemakers to produce exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines.  Charles Krug Winery was one of the first to use vintage dated varietal wines.  They are credited with the first winery newsletter Bottles and Bins.  Today, Napa Valley is the second largest tourist attraction in California, the first winery to initiate tastings on the lawn was Krug back in 1951.  Peter Mondavi Sr. was the first to adapt sterile filtration to winemaking.  He was also the first to use small French Oak barrels and glass lined tanks, providing safe, neutral storage for young wines.  It’s no wonder to us how they became one of the twenty largest wineries in the United States.

Today, Peter’s two sons, Marc and Peter, Jr. have taken over the responsibilities of running Charles Krug and C.K Mondavi.  Marc attended UC Davis, he oversees the vineyard management and winemaking duties.  While Peter, Jr. went to Stanford and manages the marketing, sales and general winery functions, sound farmiliar?  The two have no doubt seen their father and uncle’s life change due to their differences as young men.  They have learned that there is great importance in being a family winery first, but you should always follow your dreams.  This family has a history that is unparalleled in the California wine industry. 

Charles krug has focused on the major varietals grown in California.  They make a Sauvignon Blanc from the home ranch in Napa, a Chardonnay from Fracchia and Willow Lake Ranch in Napa, a Pinot Noir from Willow lake Vineyard in Carneros, a Zinfandel from both Napa and Sonoma fruit sources, a Merlot from Krug Ranch, Voltz Ranch and Mondavi/Lincoln Ranch, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Mondavi/Lincoln Ranch and Stinsen Ranch, a Sangiovese form Krug Ranch, and a line of reserve wines in all of the above varietals when vintage permits.  The “Vintage Select” designation for the best lots of Cabernet was introduced in 1946, at that time the wine was aged in old oak barrels and sometimes even in whisky barrels.  In 1991 Krug introduced a wine called “Generation” this is a blend of three of the traditional Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  The term generations signifies the continued tradition of innovation and excellence of the Peter Mondavi family. 

The press has always been somewhat lukewarm on these wines.  Some of the first vintages of Krug “Vintage Select” Cabernet Sauvignon were considered among the finest red  wines coming from California in the late forties and early fifties.  In James Laube’s Book entitles, California’s Great Cabernets, Krug gets several pages of tasting notes but only 2 scores over (90) points.  After tasting through the entire line-up of Krug wines earlier this summer we scored all of the wines (88) points or more and were shocked by the incredible value that these wines present. 

Northern California experienced another excellent to outstanding vintage in 2014, here is a brief description of the harvest by Decanter magazine.  “2014 will be remembered as the year a powerful earthquake rocked Napa Valley in late August. It was also the second in a series of drought vintages, making for an accelerated growing season, which began with early flowering after a mild winter and culminated in an exceptionally early harvest. As in 2013, later ripening varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon were picked hard on the heels of earlier ripening varieties, placing wineries under logistical pressures. The summer of 2014 was cooler than 2013, and largely uninterrupted by the heat spikes. Thanks to those cool conditions, the wines have retained fresh fruit and bright acidities.”

The real success story in 2014 was Pinot Noir, whether in Mendocino, Sonoma, Santa Barbara or the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wines are deep, supple and site-expressive, structured around ripe tannins and bright acidity. Indeed, for Pinot Noir this is a five-star vintage, potentially the best since 1994—though only time will reveal its true stature. Chardonnay also excelled in the same appellations, producing wines similar in style to the 2013s but if anything more intense and nervy.

Cabernet Sauvignon also produced a strong set of wines across the state, both in its Napa Valley heartlands and in Sonoma and the Santa Cruz Mountains. In general the 2014 Cabernets have supple, dark fruit, without the formidable concentration of the 2013s, but with more depth and energy than the often rather diffuse 2012s: these are drinkable, charming wines, and though the 2010 vintage was very different, it may be 2014’s closest recent stylistic analogue. Yields were below average. Rhône varieties were more variable, with Paso Robles wineries in particular suffering in the drought; Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara fared rather better.”  Decanter

Generations is a Bordeaux-style blend from our Napa Valley estate vineyards, created to honor our family's past, present and future.  OUR TASTING NOTES:  Dark currant and plum like fruit with notes of toasty oak spice coco, nice richness and complexity a big and chewy wine on the tongue with layers of dark berry fruit, an array of spice and earthy notes through the long layered finish.  Finish 50+     Most Excellent

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