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Red Wine Release – Brunello

April 19, 2016 by vonstiehl

Brunello

While Brunello may be a great Italian mobster name in a one-act play, it takes on a much more serious tone when applied to the Sangiovese grape. It’s highly regarded in the Italian wine world where very few vintages rise to the esteemed name. Brunellos are rare in the U.S., but one of them resides in Algoma. We released the Brunello vintage in the April 16 futures tasting, and it is now available for sampling on our Select Tasting list.

How does a Brunello take the stage outside of a one-act? In the U.S., it starts with the vcr6 clone of Sangiovese. In the beginning, it can be called Sangiovese. After two years, it grows into Sangiovese Grosso. After one more year all of those intense, condensed flavors develop into our beloved Brunello.

What are the characteristics of this 2012 Sierra Foothills red? Visit our tasting room to see how time has revealed aromas of black cherry and red fruits with a subtle hint of sweet pipe tobacco and barrel spice. Spending 26 months in French oak imparts a beautiful smoothness. After those 26 months, the Brunello earned yet another 12 months of bottle aging. There is no bottle shock to worry about with Brunello!

If you make the journey to Algoma for a taste of Brunello, you’ll discover the opportunity to sample even more new varieties. Right below Brunello on the Select Tasting list are two newly-released 2012 Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels. Both come from the same vintage fermented from California Zinfandel grapes, which were trucked fresh to us in the fall of 2012. Both were aged in French oak, and we’re very happy with the results. There is a difference. The second holds a special place in our hearts, as it was aged in a distinct French Gamba family barrel. The Gamba family hand splits the oak which is grown in the legendary Allier Forest. Since a saw blade never touches the wood, certain naturally occurring green phenolic components stay bound to the wood. They never come in contact with the wine, creating an even smoother aging experience.

Sample Brunello and the Mendocino Ridge Zinfandels on your next visit to von Stiehl. Starting May 1, we’re open longer hours and offer daily tours.

 

 

Gamba Barrel Tastings

July 3, 2013 by Brad Schmiling

OV Merlot

One of the Gamba barrel-aged wines awaiting your taste buds!

The Gamba Barrel

In the heart of Monferrato, France, the Gamba family has been handing down the ancient art of the master cooper from father to son for decades. Their unique wood aging and barrel building process takes considerable patience and capital, in keeping with the Gamba family tradition. White oak is sourced from the prestigious Allier Forest, then split to preserve continuous fibers through the entire length of each stave. The wood is then weathered in the microclimate of the French countryside for a full thirty-six months. This seasoning process polymerizes tannins and eliminates green phenolic components. Gamba Cooperage’s main objective is, as it has always been, to select the best wood so that the wines will have nothing but premium quality after aging. The treasured Gamba barrel ultimately leads to an incredibly soft, silky mouthfeel.

On the Wisconsin lakeshore just before the edge of Door County, the  produces red wines to age in the prestigious Gamba barrel. The three varieties offered this summer by the winery are Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Clarksburg Old Vine Merlot, and Sierra Foothills Zinfandel. Each varietal is offered from French hybrid barrels and Gamba barrels, giving guests an opportunity to do a side by side tasting. If these same wines were offered from a California winery, their value would easily reach to just below $100/bottle. The Algoma winery offers all for less then $50/bottle.

Guests will often comment that the Gamba barrel-aged reds are smoother, and have more fruit aromas. Come taste the difference at von Stiehl!

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