If you’ve spent a few minutes in our wine section, you’ve probably noticed that we’re big fans of Chris Brockway and his wines, produced under the Broc Cellars label. Named the SF Chronicle’s Winemaker to Watch in 2012, Chris has quickly made a name for himself as a champion of low-alcohol, food-friendly Californian wines. He’s constantly sourcing grapes from unique vineyards, often seeking out less often used grapes than the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Broc Cellars is the first of our new Winery of the Month that we’ll be highlighting both in our wine aisle and with tastings and events at 18 Reasons. Be sure to sign up soon for next week’s Producer Dinner with Chris Brockway, which will consist of a four-course meal paired with a lineup of Chris’ wines and his expert knowledge of each. Here are two of his newest releases:
Cabernet Franc is most often found in blends from Bordeaux or in Loire Valley reds like Chinon. However, it’s slowly gaining in plantings and popularity here in California. Thriving well in cooler climate areas, it’s a bit unusual that Chris chose a warm area such as Paso Robles to source his Cabernet Franc. Yet, he was careful in picking early to avoid overripeness. He fermented whole cluster, meaning with the stems, which adds a bit of spicy depth to this red. Medium in weight, this red is aromatic with scents of pepper, cranberry, and plums. Great peppery and spicy depth, and ABV of only 13.2% make this a great red to pour alongside a variety of dishes!
Perfect Pairing: Cider braised pork belly
After the success of his Cuvée 12.5 in 2010, Chris sought to produce another modest alcohol level Syrah from this vineyard site in the Santa Lucia Highlands. A higher elevation and cool mountain breezes in this region of Monterey County lend themselves nicely to a style of Syrah that’s lighter on its feet. The ‘13.1’ refers to the alcohol percentage, which is quite modest compared to many other California reds. Bright wild berry aromas and scents of thyme and pepper lead to a berry-full, minerally, and peppery medium bodied palate with great acidity. You can certainly enjoy this wine on its own but it’s equally as friendly with food.
Perfect Pairing: Andeerer Schmuggler cheese
We’re excited to feature a variety of Alpine cheeses this month and even more excited to offer this Alpine gem, Andeerer Schmuggler, for the first time! Produced by husband and wife cheesemakers Maria Meyer and Martin Bienerth of Andeer Dairy in Grisons, Switzerland, this cheese is made of raw cow’s milk sourced from five local farms. Aged for about six months, the wheels receive several washings, giving them great depth of flavor. The name of the cheese comes from a German friend of Maria and Martin’s who loved the cheese so much that he would smuggle a few wheels back over the border with him on every visit. No need to smuggle some to your home though; just come ask us for a taste!!
Upcoming Tastings at 18 Reasons:
Thursdays, Every week, 6-10PM, Drop-in: 18th Hour Cafe , Tonight Featuring Alpine Wines and Cheeses with Cory Cartwright of Selection Massale!
Friday, January 18, 6-8:30PM, Ticketed: Stichelton and Hafod: Modern/Traditional British Cheese
Saturday, January 26, 7-9PM, Ticketed: Producer Dinner: Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars