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Cellar Club – December 2015

By December 1, 2015Cellar Club

I had the pleasure of getting out to California wine country this past November with my husband, Torrey, and I wanted to share a bit of that experience with you for this months’ club. We had a wonderful stay at the farmhouse on one of Robert and Maria Sinskey’s vineyard holdings in Carneros, and we also took a morning to visit their winery and other property in the Stag’s Leap district of Napa Valley. With a background in design and not farming, Sinskey’s father pulled him into the world of wine growing and he never looked back. He was an early adopter of organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard, starting these practices in 1991! His lovely wife, Maria, is an acclaimed chef who has worked a Michelin starred restaurants around the world, but now calls the winery kitchen home. She has published two lovely cookbooks, and she also releases wonderful recipes to pair with their wines (available on their site). Their POV (Point of View) red is a Bordeaux-style blend from their vineyards in Carneros. It is a right-bank style Bordeaux, meaning that the blend is predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A contrast to big, extracted Napa Cabs, this more restrained wine exhibits notes of blackberry, green peppercorns, cigar-box and well-integrated cedar. See Maria’s recipe here for Lamb Pacherri to pair with the POV:


And of course we have to have a Champagne to celebrate the holidays and New Year! I’ve chosen Champagne Oudinot, an estate which started in the late 1800’s in the region. It is located in Epernay, which is one of three major towns in the Champagne regions (Northeast of Paris), along with Reims and Ay. True Champagne comes from just from this region, but Champagne has become synonymous with sparkling wine. Interestingly, only one in twelve sparkling wines produced around the world comes from Champagne! The bubbliness was originally considered a flaw and was an accident due to the fact that fermentation would stop early because it became so cold in the region – and then it would continue fermenting in the spring and create the bubbles! The process has been continually improved with new techniques and technology since the early 1800’s to create what we know today as Champagne. The method champenoise refers to the fact that the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, as opposed to a tank (as in Prosecco). The second fermentation is what creates the bubbles – the extra CO2 created from the fermentation has nowhere to go, so it is dissolved into the wine! Enjoy this lovely Oudinot Champagne this holiday season, and toast to a great 2016!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Cru Crew!



Jancis Robinson



Robert Sinskey POV – 38.99
Champagne Oudinot – 36.99

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