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Budbreak is the beginning of the growing season and a celebration of what is to come. It’s fascinating to watch as the shoots emerge from the dormant vines and start subtly painting the vineyards green. The bud is where it all begins. The clusters and leaves are wound up in the bud and will mature over the next six months for harvest in the Fall.
At the Sonoma-Loeb vineyards winemaker Phillip Titus keeps up with the vineyard development, though he is still working with the 2010 wines set to release in a few months. Following the accolades from the 2009 vintage he has a lot to follow. The 93 and 94 point scores from Robert Parker and the 92 point score from the Wine Spectator have created great interest for the 2010 wines.
For now we are enjoying the 2009 wines and hope you are as well.]]>
We learned this week that Mr. Parker in his Wine Advocate publication has rated our 2009 Envoy Chardonnay from Carneros vineyards with 93 points and the 2008 Private Reserve Chardonnay from Carneros with 94 points. We are excited but not surprised as these wines have done extraordinarily well at tastings.
In Mr. Parker’s words.” The 2008 Chardonnay Private Reserve is a sensational Chardonnay, with notes of white peach, brioche, honeysuckle an subtle oak that emerge forcefully but elegantly from its light greenish gold color. Rich, full-bodied, and a really sensational, this terrific Chardonnay is reminiscent of a premier cru from Chassagne Montrachet. A brilliant effort for sure!”
The 2009 Envoy Chardonnay was described as,“A contrast in style, the 2009 Chardonnay Envoy has a much more primary character, given that it’s a year younger, but there is a lot going on, as this is an excellent vintage for Burgundy varietals. Loads of white currant, quince, honeysuckle, citrus oil and peach notes jump from the glass of this light golden-colored wine. Rich, full-bodied, and dense, it is another impressively endowed, concentrated Chardonnay that should age nicely for 4-5 years.”
We enjoy the accolades almost as much as we enjoy sharing our wine with friends and family. Join us in a toast to the joys of a good bottle (or two) of wine!]]>
When Ambassador Loeb was searching for a winemaker to produce Burgundy style wines, Phillip was the perfect fit with the right experience, temperament and passion for the project. Phillip was the winemaker at Napa Valley’s Chappellet winery and brought his skills and experience to Sonoma-Loeb. He now produces award-winning wines for both wineries and for Titus, his family’s label.
Phillip lives in Napa, California with his wife, Laura, and their two sons.]]>
To John Loeb, looking at the past leads to better ethical choices today.
The former ambassador to Denmark and investment adviser is giving $200,000 to New York-based nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves to create a project promoting religious tolerance in schools.
Called Give Bigotry No Sanction: The George Washington Letter Project, the program is centered on a letter written in 1790 by George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I., one of the oldest synagogues in the U.S. now known as the Touro Synagogue.
In the 300-word letter, Washington assures synagogue leaders that in the newly formed United States they would not be persecuted for practicing their religions.
Washington writes: “For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”
Mr. Loeb wants to incorporate this letter as part of a circuit of lesson plans and symposiums, the first to be held next month in conjunction with New York University. The letter will also be included as inspiration for a letter-writing campaign run by more than 3,000 teachers to talk about the importance of religious pluralism in a democracy.
If he program is successful in its first year, Mr. Loeb says he will renew the grant for two more years to a total of $600,000.
“This letter applies more today than ever,” says Mr. Loeb. “The idea of treating people equally and with respect is something that goes back to the beginning of this country’s history.”
Pam Haas of Facing History says this grant comes at a time when religious tolerance is at the forefront of the American psyche.
“Look at what happened with Park 51, where people were so quick to take sides without having a conversation about the nuances of what it all means,” she says, pointing to this year’s controversy over the Lower Manhattan Islamic culture center and mosque known as Park51.
Through the George Washington Letter project, Ms. Haas says, Facing History can help teachers raise these kinds of issues in their classrooms and “have a productive discussion, rather than a polarizing shouting match.”
For Mr. Loeb, this project is just one on a quest to educate the nation on George Washingon’s letter and religious plurality. Recently he completed the building and opening of the Loeb Visitors Center on the campus of Touro Synagogue where he currently serves as founder and chairman of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom
“We live in a diverse world and its more important than ever to teach people and remind them again and again about the importance of respect and how treating people equally is a value that began with George Washington himself,” he says.]]>
The low priced Sonoma County 2009 Chardonnay earned a Silver medal beating out many other high priced wines. The under $20 wine has been a big success for winemaker Phillip Titus. He describes it as a wine “with pineapple, pear and ripe citrus flavors, with nutmeg and cinnamon and a nice rounded oak and fruit finish”.
The 2009 “Envoy” Chardonnay along with the 2009 Private Reserve Pinot Noir, took home the double gold awards. The wines are available at fine retailers and online.]]>
John Loeb has spared no effort to produce the highest quality wines possible. “I recall being introduced many years ago to the greatest dry white wines in the world, the wonderful Montrachets of the Burgundy District of France,” said Ambassador Loeb, “and I resolved that one day my vineyards would challenge the Montrachet vineyards.”
“We are thrilled that Ambassador Loeb has joined us at Versailles,” said Versailles’ owner Ingrid McMenamin. ”We are awed by the beauty of his art collection and constantly impressed with the quality of his wines.”]]>
Total Wine proudly displays and sells Sonoma-Loeb, including our newly released 2009 Pinot Noir from the Russian River Appellation. Check out the Find Our Wine page that lets you find a store by state and city, and even has store locations mapped for your convenience. Total Wine stores can be found in New Jersey, Delaware, Texas, Georgia, North & South Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, California and Florida. Enjoy!]]>
The wine is made from the Dutton Ranch located in the Russian River Valley appellation. Nestled in the cool, foggy hills above the Russian River Valley in Western Sonoma County, the Pinot Noir block is perfectly located on an east facing slope with shallow soils and full sun exposure. Yielding only 2.5 ton/acre of clone 777 Pinot Noir, this impeccably farmed vineyard was the perfect place for Sonoma –Loeb to start its journey with making world class Pinot Noir.
This inaugural vintage was picked at full ripeness, gently placed in open top fermenters and fermented using only the indigenous yeast which the grapes carried from the vineyard. Early extraction during the fermentation showed the promise and potential of this exceptional lot of grapes. The wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
We are taking orders now if you would like to have this wine grace your table. We are offering free shipping and if you are part of our Ambassador’s Circle Wine Club you will also save 20%. Enjoy!
We have added a new listing to our website showing retailers and restaurants where Sonoma-Loeb wine is available. We are now found in 17 states and dozens of cities. Under the Buy Wine menu is the Find Our Wine tab that takes you to a state list with links to hundreds of locations that sell our wine. We have included maps and websites of these establishments. Take a look and check out where you can pick up a bottle or two of Sonoma-Loeb wine.
With the harvest completed and the 2010 wines fermenting the winery is a busy place, thick with grape aromas, tanks, hoses and barrels. We look forward to sharing our wines now and in the coming vintages. Cheers!]]>