Casa is proud to introduce its newest creation: Quixote. Modeled after the renowned clarets of Bordeaux, Quixote is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Nine years ago, we set out to create a wine in the tradition of Chateaux Cheval Blanc – a coveted Bordeaux wine that emphasizes Franc and Merlot, rather than Cabernet Sauvignon. Though “Meritage” blends have become increasingly available – particularly on the high end, e.g. Opus One (bottle price $67) – none we know of emulates the wines of Pomerol and St. Emilion, where Cabernet Franc is the major fraction of the blend.
Loyalists of our Cabernet Franc will recognize its charming velvety texture and berry-fruit flavors in the Quixote. In addition, Quixote enjoys the deeper tones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – like adding the base notes to the symphony. Quixote is truly a dream realized. $16/bottle. Until 12/31/94 we are offering a 20% case discount.
Not to be forgotten in the excitement around Quixote, Casa is also offering a new addition of Johannisbertg Riesling. The ever-popular ’89 JR (two gold medals) has been sold out for almost a year. Since 1989, Casa has committed its Riesling fruit to Stag’s Leap Winery, which has been reluctant to release any of the small yields from this vineyard. In response to all the requests, we negotiated the release of a small portion of the crop so that we could make the JR again.
Ordinarily we would not bottle this wine until next year but it proved so seductive and charming we just couldn’t resist getting it ready as a Christmas present for you. With apologies for the cliché, this wine is too wonderful for words. Its chemical profile is almost identical to the ’89 off dry (RS 1.4%) with strong but not overbearing acidity. The Muscat like aromas and flavors are even more pronounced than the ’89, particularly at this youthful moment in its life. Quite unbelievable!
We stopped offering visitors tastes of this wine from the tank because having tasted the Riesling (not yet in bottles) they were uninterested in any of our other wines! If you are among the many who believe that the ’89 cannot be improved upon, just wait and see. We have gone to some heroic lengths to get this bottled in time for Christmas. There are only 150 cases more or less. $12/bottle. Until 12/31/94 we are offering a 20% discount.
It may not be self-evident but we have always had a marketing plan. From the beginning, over fifteen years ago, we assumed that if Casa Nuestra offered highest quality wine at modest prices we would find a thousand people in the greater bay area (of seventeen million), who would look forward to buying a case (or maybe two) each year. We set out to offer our customers true craftsmanship, great value, and a personal relationship with the winery – a little like having your own winemaker.
In truth, it has been far more difficult to find that inner circle than we ever imagined. Is this because there has been such a future-shock expansion in the number of wineries and the number of mail order marketers? Or is it because the production process from the vine to the bottle is so all consuming that there is little resource leftover for promotion. Making something by hand is time consuming and labor intensive. Not surprisingly, our customers are our most effective marketing too, advertising that money can’t buy; and although it takes a little longer that way, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
1991 Quixote: The Casa’s most ambitious undertaking, Quixote is a “meritage blend” of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fashioned after the renowned clarets of St. Emilion, it is a dark ruby in color with appealing floral and oak aromas. It is complex and full-bodied in the mouth. It is not too young to enjoy now but its promise is of the future. $16/bottle. Until 1231/94, Quixote brings a 20% case discount: $153.60/case
1990 Cabernet Franc (Kirkham/Renoir label): We made a special bottling of this wine for a wholesaler who was charmed by its light, fruity, and aromatic qualities. It has received no oak treatment. It turned out so nicely that we held back two pallets for ourselves. $14/bottle. $151.20/case
1989 Cabernet Franc: 100% Cabernet Franc, this wine has a delightful cotton candy aroma, mixing pleasantly with intense plum and cherry flavors. More oak (and French oak) than in previous vintages. Drinking very well now. $16/bottle. $172.80/case.
Composing meaningful descriptions for wine is always challenging – sometimes bordering on high comedy. In the Journal we try to capture some idea of the wine, but we could use your help. Fortunately, our customers provide the most inspired descriptions, unimpeded by the vagaries of professional winespeak. For example, it was a customer who first made the comparison of Tinto to Chianti, a likeness which has been appreciated by many since. Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, likens our Cabernet Franc (his favorite wine) to the tone of a Martin 0018 guitar, emphasizing the finesse and subtlety of the wine in contrast to the aggressive base tones of the Martin Dreadnought. So play on. Please send us your descriptions of your favorite Casa wines. We promise to reward your effort and creativity in a manner that will amaze you.
Next to the vineyards themselves, our mailing list is our most important business asset. It began as the invitation list from our annual Halloween party. It is still a list of friends. Though Casa is diversified, our mailing list is the most stable source of business for us. Over the past fifteen years, while other markets have gone their mercurial ways, our mailing list orders have consistently grown – slowly but consistently. You are part of the family. It has become commonplace today for wineries – large and small – to maintain mailing lists, “insider clubs”, and so forth. Lists are frequently bought and sold. Our list is different. We feel a special relationship with our mailing list people. It follows, we never share our list with anyone – no more than we would sell our Christmas card list. We diligently try to avoid mailing to any but those who truly want to hear from us; and although we need your telephone in case of delivery problems, we will not invade your privacy with unsolicited “telemarketing”.