I just had an opportunity fall into my lap!
An Australian winemaker!
Lindsay Stanley is a legend in Australian winemaking!
So, we're having a winetasting!
Featuring winemaker Lindsay Stanley of Stanley Lambert
& Rodrigo Alcalde from Chile's Vina Los Maquis
Friday, Sept. 26th
Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Park Street, Freeport
(the Hilton is just around the corner from my store - going away from LL Bean on Bow Street, cross the railroad tracks and turn left onto Park Street and there is the Hilton!)
$10/person to taste a flight of these wonderful wines
Please call the store (865-3993) to register and reserve a place!
Remember, this is not a seminar. You may come at any time between 5:00 and 7:00pm.
Also, we are doing this tasting outside of the store because Maine law limits retailers to 1 wine tasting in the store per month.
We have to charge a small fee (and $10 to taste 12 wines, especially these wines, is a pittance!) to cover the costs at the Hilton. Many thanks to Jeanne Carpentier and her awesome staff at the Hilton Garden Inn for making this happen at the last moment!
The Wines and the Background Story on both wineries
The Hurtado Family has owned the Vina Maquis vineyard for more than a century. 10 years ago, the family decided to make their own wine out of the terrific grapes in their own backyard. They built a gorgeous, modern, state-of-the-art gravity flow winery and set out to make a "Super Chilean" blend from the vineyard's best grapes. "Super Chilean" is just a play on "Super Tuscan" and really means "red wine made from the grapes we want to use" - that's what it means in Tuscany!
VIna Maquis is located in the Valle de Colchagua! The Tinguiririca River and the Chimbarongo Creek - two large streams - brought tons of alluvial sediments down from the Andes. Today, these streams act as pathways for cool coastal breezes that help moderate the hot summers in Colchagua. This helps produce better grapes.
Rodrigo Alcalde is hear from Chile representing Vina Los Maquis with 2 wines, Maquis Lien and Calcu. He's the marketing director at Vina Los Maquis.
Lindsay Stanley has been making award-winning wines for over 30 years in the Barossa Valley. Early in his long career, he started working with the legendary father of Penfold's Grange Hermitage, Max Schubert. Penfold's Grange is Australia's most famous and esteemed wine! You can see Schubert's influence on Lindsay's winemaking today with wines such as the "Family Tree" Shiraz and "Silent Partner" Cabernet.
After leaving Penfolds in 1991, Lindsay started Stanley Brothers (now Stanley Lambert). Since 1991, he has produced award-winning wines that are widely distributed across Australia, Asia and Europe. Recently, the wines have come to the United States
Jim Lambert made a fortune in business in Denver and decided to "retire" to Australia and buy a winery. While in the Barossa Valley, he stopped in a local pub and asked the bartender who was the best winemaker in the area. The answer - Lindsay Stanley. Lambert asked where he could find Lindsay and the bartender pointed at a nearby table! Over several beers, Stanley Lambert was born.
In 2003 Jim Lambert purchased a premium 100-acre old-vine vineyard. Most of the fruit in that vineyard was sold to Turkey Flat Vineyards and Peter Lehmann Wines for their premium wines. Jim and Lindsay decided to create their own wines from that superb vineyard.
Barossa is unique in that it has never had an outbreak of phylloxera - so it is sitting on the proverbial motherlode of old vine vineyards - some of the oldest original rootstock vineyards in the world!
Jim Lambert is farming his vineyard sustainably and using environmentally-friendly practices. He is in the process of creating an ISO Certified "Green Vineyard (it'll be one of the first in Australia).
Winemaking at Stanley Lambert is pure - no centrifuge to spin the solids out, no "toys" to "help" the wine and the winemaker.
The Stanley Lambert wines
Pristine Chardonnay 2005 - $11.99 - called "pristine" because of the use of no oak or malolactic fermentation. Aromas and flavors of ripe melons and green apples. 1,500 cases made. Food pairing - Perfect wine as a cocktail wine for a party or with lighter dishes.
Thousand Word Chardonnay 2007 - $18.99 - Aromas and flavors of green apples, pears, nuts, cashews and maybe even anise. From the oldest vines on the Lambert Estate Vineyard. Slowly cold fermented over 6 weeks to retain the natural fruit characteristics of the grapes. Aged on lees for 8 weeks to add character and complexity. Gentle use of oak - only used wood from the heart of the tree from Limousin, France (you're going to have to ask Lindsay why). It's this oak that lends the nutty, cashewy flavors. 600 cases made. Food pairing - chicken, oysters, seafood creamy pasta dishes. Silver Medal, 2007 Barossa Wine Show
Mustang Sally Shiraz 2003 - $11.99 - a soft, spicy Shiraz with nice earth and dark fruit. Sweet, soft tannins (this doesn't mean the wine is sweet). This is a "drink now" Shiraz - it's made to drink young. 2,500 cases made. Food pairing - drink with grilled meats or just when sitting around with friends!
Dundee's Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2001 - $11.99 - The Cab adds rich black currant and dark berry notes. The Merlot adds violets and red berries and a silky texture. Medium-bodied wine. This is the wine I know the least.....so, it'll be an experiment for all of us!
Black Sheep Shiraz-Malbec-Merlot 2002 - $16.99 - easy drinking blend. The Shiraz adds ripe blackberry and raspberry flavors, the Malbec adds weight and depth and dark cherry flavors and the Merlot kicks in with violets and a silky texture to soften the wine! Blend of 60% Shiraz, 25% Malbec and 15% Merlot. Aged for 8 months in previously used oak barrels. Drink now or cellar for 2-3 years. Food pairing - great with lamb, quail, veal, duck and pasta dishes. Pizza.
Thoroughbred Cabernet 2002 - $21.99 - One of the wines Lindsay loves to make is Cabernet Sauvignon. Well-structured wine that is more about elegance rather than trying to overpower you! Aromas and flavors of blackcurrants and plums, vanilla. Fine-grained tannins and a rich finish. This will age well for a number of years. Aged in French and American oak casks for 30 months! This was the first wine Lindsay Stanley made under his own label in 1991 - that vintage walked away with the "Cuno Pacific Trophy" at the Barossa Wine Show. Food pairing - steak, lamb, grilled meats.....drinks well without food. Wine Enthusiast, 90 points, "Best Buy"
Three's Company GSM 2006 - $19.99 - GSM is shorthand for Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre. Handpicked grapes from the oldest vines on the Lambert Estate Vineyard which surround the Lambert's house. Grenache adds strawberry and red berry notes, the Shiraz adds dark berries, the Mourvedre adds plummy notes and leather and smoke. Medium-bodied wine. Each variety was harvested and vinified separately and then blended to make the final wine. After blending, the wine aged 6 months in barrels used for the "Family Tree" Shiraz. 1,000 cases made. Food pairing - any foods, barbecue, meat, appetizers, etc.
Family Tree Shiraz 2004 - Reg. $49.99 Sale $39.99 - Excellent Australian Shiraz! Silky and soft. Aromas and flavors of baking spices, black cherries and blackberries. Long finish. 60-year-old vines. 350 cases made. Single vineyard wine from the best blocks on the Lambert Estate Vineyards. This will easily age for another 7-8 years. This is the FIRST release of ultrapremium wines from Stanley Lambert. Lindsay hand-picked the best new American oak, where the wine aged for 15 months. Wine Spectator, 90 points
Silent Partner Cabernet 2005 - Reg. $49.99 Sale $39.99 - Delicious! The 2nd wine in a series of ultrapremium wines from Stanley Lambert. Rich and elegant wine. Smooth, lush finish. Hand-picked grapes. Single vineyard with low-yielding vines (they suffer growing on higher rocky soil - and vines that have to work hard produce the best grapes!). Aged in fine-grained American oak hogsheads for 18 months. Lindsay Stanley considers the Cabernet Sauvignon grape to be the best wine grape in the world. 1,000 cases made. Food pairing - rich foods. Bronze Medal, 2007 Barossa Wine Show
Choc-o-bloc Port $26.99 - Tawny Port infused with chocolate. Delicious! Rich dark chocolate flavors with a luscious mouthfeel. Food pairing - great sipping with friends or serve with strawberries or raspberries.....or pour it and the berries over vanilla ice cream!
Vina Los Maquis Wines
Both wines are reds.
Maquis Lien 2004 (Chile) $18.99 - "Super Chilean." Concentrated and rich wine! Aromas and flavors of mocha, toast, ripe plums, blackberries and blueberries. Fleshy, ripe and rich. Hints of loamy earth. Not tanninc. Low-yield vines. Only the ripest grapes are used - all of the grapes are hand-sorted at the winery. 50% Syrah, 23% Carmenere, 8% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Franc and 7% Malbec. Barrel aged for 12 months in French oak. In the local "Mapuche" language, "lien" means "silver metal" - a reference to colonial Spanish coins that were once melted to make fine jewelry, like the lizard on the Maquis label. Food pairing - grilled meats, steak, etc. Pasta dishes. Drinks well without food. Wine & Spirits, 90 points; Michael Franz, Wine Review Online, 90 points; "Four Glasses," NYC WIne Report, "Savvy pleasure seekers should discover this super value now;" Wine Spectator, "...silky and almost sumptuously flavorful....You'd have to look long and hard to find a richer, more dimensional, better-quality red wine for the money."
Calcu 2005 (Chile) $13.99 - Tasty little blend! Nice minerals, ripe tannins, red fruit and subtle oak in the flavors and aromas. Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere blend. In the local "Mapuche" language, "Calcu" means "healing doctor" or "magician." And, indeed, the winemakers have created another magical "Super Chilean!" Food pairing - pasta, grilled meats, mushroom dishes, etc. Drinks well without food. Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, "Bargain of the Week....an excellent Chilean red blend."
That's the line-up.
Freeport Cheese & Wine