Greetings from the California wine country,
Our good friends from Baroda, MI were nice enough to send us three bottles of your wine for the holidays. When I saw the label it reminded me that we had a bottle left over from a previous gift in our cellar. I went to lay down the three that they sent and retrieved a bottle of your 2003 "Crown of Cab". I realized immediately why we had saved it; 57% Franc! I guess we thought it could use some time to mellow. We were correct.
Sandra Silfven is a noted columnist for the Detroit News.
Here is a small excert from a recent on-line blog. Click here to read the entire review of our award winning wines! She says, and we agree, "Domaine Berrien Cellars has the best red wines in Michigan."
Domaine Berrien Cellars is one of the Southwest's gems — and in my estimation makes the best red wines in the state.
This week, owners Katie and Wally Maurer are getting plenty of face time with their fans. Monday night: Wally poured wine at a sell-out tasting dinner at Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room in Shelby Township, Mich.
Wednesday and Thursday: Wally and wife Katie are pouring wine at the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting and Winemaker Dinner in Chicago, Ill.
Wally and Katie Maurer have made a commercial success out of the vineyards that Katie's late parents Thomas and Abigail Fricke planted in 1992 — mostly Rhone varietals (whites Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne, and the red grape Syrah) in Berrien County. They also planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, Pinot Noir and Merlot, plus hybrids. They sold the grapes to other wineries until founding their own business in 2001.
With its early emphasis on Rhone varietals, Domaine Berrien Cellars became the first winery in the state to release a commercially grown and vinified Syrah — Shiraz if you are hooked on the Australian wine.
Today, Wally's wines, especially the reds, are intense with earthy, robust Old World character. They often are brooding wines with good aging potential. Whether it's the age of the vines — or could it be the age and experience of the winemaker? — they are unique and have developed a wide audience.
"I don't make recipe wines," he commented recently. "Every year is a new, clean canvas. I keep the vines happy and stress them when they need stress," he said. He routinely drops green, unripe bunches, if there are too many of them, to enhance the ripening of the remaining clusters.
Gorgonzola Cheese Dip
1 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
2 tsp chopped shallots (chopped scallions in a pinch)
3 – 5 oz Gorgonzola
1/8 tsp Kosher salt (more if you like)
1/8 – ¼ tsp dry mustard, depending on taste (Coleman’s preferred)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Soften cheese (20 – 25 seconds in the microwave or 30 minutes at room temp). Combine with other ingredients and stir. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
Serve with breadsticks or crackers and your favorite Domaine Berrien Cellars red wine – especially good with Wolf’s Prairie Red!
(Recipe courtesy of DBC Cork Pullers Wine Club members Ralph & Toni Cook, Evergreen Park, IL)
Bill St. John is a columinist for the Chicago Tribune. He has been writing and teaching about wine for over 40 years. We are honored that our 2011 Marsanne (only two US white wines received this honor) has recently been listed in his article "20 wines under $20.00", below is an excert from the article. Click here to read the entire article.
In a broad sweep, there are wines from several winemaking regions. I list the nine white wines first, then 11 reds, everything by vintage. In the U.S., every wine sells for $20 a bottle or less; however, prices do vary by state. Anything generally less than $15 is so noted. I finish each wine note with something to eat.
2011 Domaine Berrien Cellars Marsanne, Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan: The cool climate helps keep acidity high in this oft-flabby variety; pretty aromatics; roast pork. $14
If you live in the Chicago area you can find our 2011 Marsanne at:
Binny's (9 locations)
Foremost Liquor Center - Chicago
Macy's Old Orchard
Mariano's (3 locations)
Provenance Food & Wine (2 locations)
Whole Foods - Halsted
The complete location list can be found here on our website.