Newsletter Vol. 4 No. 1

  March 2012      

2012 Wine Shares Include Our First Sparkling Wine
2011 80304 label In 2004 we started a tiny vineyard at our house in North Boulder. During good years we harvest about 150 pounds of grapes from this vineyard, enough to make about 2 cases of wine. Beginning with 2012 we've changed the production style of the 80304 to a sparkling Rosato and we're pretty excited with the results. A beautiful rose color and a light sparkle suit our small Boulder vineyard well!

There are several methods to produce naturally sparkling wines: the transfer process, méthode champenoise (or traditional method), and the Charmat process (or Metedo Italiano) as we used for the 2010 80304. The grapes for sparkling wine are often grown and harvested with lower alcohol goals (picked earlier with lower sugar levels). This base wine, or cuvée, is fermented in a manner similar to what we would do to produce a rosato or white wine. Once the primary alcoholic fermentation is complete the cuvée is then introduced with the tirage, additional sugar and yeast, within a closed tank; this secondary alcoholic fermentation produces the bubbles responsible for the carbonation (and additional alcohol). The amount of carbonation is a function of how much sugar is added. A Frizzante, or lighly sparkling wine typically has 1 - 2.5 atmospheres of pressure while a Spumante contains over 3.5 atmospheres, and there are often 5-6 atmospheres in a full sparkling wine. The carbonation impacts both the texture and balance of a wine, not just how many bubbles are produced. Once this secondary alcoholic fermentation is complete one may add a dosage, or sugar, to sweeten the wine and achieve the final balance. Our 2010 80304 is a Brut Naturale, as we have added no dosage.

How does Metedo Italiano differ from Champagne you ask? First, Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne Region of France (if it's not grown in Champagne France, it's sparkling wine, not Champagne). Secondly, the secondary fermentation for 80304 is done in a tank while the secondary fermentation of a Champagne is carried out in the bottle. The result of méthode champenoise is generally more 'yeast' character in the finished wine, and a greater liklihood of bottle-to-bottle variation. Perhaps when Oliver's Vineyard at 63rd Street Farm is in full production we'll experiment with the suitability of these grapes for the traditional method. If you'd like to get your own bottle of our 80304 sign up for a 2012 Wine Share.

In The News
The man behind the Colorado Wine Press Blog, Kyle Schlachter, contributes to Jeff Leve's The Wine Cellar Insider: a review on the history and Geography of Colorado Wine with a nice review; and Settembre Cellars is included in Kyle's list of wineries producing some of the best wines in the state. The Colorado Wine Press has also been doing an enjoyable series of interviews with Colorado Winemakers: you can read Kyle's interview with Blake in this edition of Meet the Winemaker.

Our 2009 reds and 2010 whites have been resting in bottle for about 9 months and are almost ready to share. Look for new releases coming this summer.

The 2010 red wines have made the migration out of French Oak barrels and back to stainless in preparation for bottling this spring. Beginning with 2009 we began producing a 'Reserve' series of wines, which see a longer barrel aging program. Our first reserve, the 2009 Reserve Syrah is also ready for bottling. This is a beautiful wine. We plan to bottle age for at least 6 - 9 months, but you can reserve yours now by purchasing futures in the wine shop.

The 2011 vintage has just been transferred into barrel and it looks like a great one. We had some nervous days with the potential for frost in the fall while waiting for the fruit to reach our maturity goals, but the weather cooperated and 2011 looks to be an outstanding vintage.

With proper cellaring our current releases continue to improve. If you choose to drink now, and we can't blame you, we recommend that you consider decanting. Decanting is often used to 'aerate' young wines and remove sediment from older wines. Whether to decant, or not, is an art and results vary from wine-to-wine. Cellar worthy young wines often benefit from decanting. One needs to be careful with with very old wines as decanting may cause the wine to 'fall apart'. There is much speculation, and little data, as to the fundamental mechanisms of decanting but little dispute that it often makes a difference (either positive or negative). We've been experimenting with decanting our current release of red wines and recommend decanting our 2008 Syrah as we find the mouthfeel of the wine turns to silk. The 2008 Mesa Cabernet Sauvignon is a restrained complex wine, and we find the complexity expands even further with decanting. The 2008 Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shows the most subtle change with decanting, though a noticeable increase in 'spice' does occur. Although white wines are rarely decanted, certain age-worthy whites, Riesling and Chardonnay included, may benefit from decanting. Our 2009 Riesling in particular improves with vigorous aeration in the glass and is potentially a good candidate for decanting. For all of the decanting experiments, we single decanted the wine through a funnel that dispersed the wine about the surface of a decanter, the decanter itself provided the wine a very large surface area. We tasted both prior to decanting and from 30 minutes to 2 hours after decanting. Give decanting a try, and enjoy, it's a fun experiment to explore the evolution of wine!


We have an exciting variety of events planned this spring and summer beginning Saturday March 31st we'll be at Oliverde, just a few doors from our former Boulder tasting room. Once again, you can enjoy Settembre Cellars wine and Olive Oil tastings.

On April 22nd one of Boulder's finest tasting opportunities returns: The Taste of Pearl. Some of Colorado's finest wineries and Boulder's finest restaurants join forces on Pearl Street Mall. Get your tickets soon as this event always sells out!

Taste of Pearl

On Thursday April 26th we're excited to join Wine Women & Chocolate at the Dove House in Lafayette.

Summer marks the return of Thursday evenings at 63rd Street Farm: Wine, Wood Fired Pizza topped with farm fresh veggies, and this year we're excited to include live music performances including: The Artful Dodgers, Victor Andrada, Katey Laurel.

See our website for more information on these and announcements of future Events that are in the works.

Select Boulder Restaurants offer our wines by the bottle on their wine list; next time you're in Boulder, consider dining with Settembre Cellars Wine at some of Boulder's Finest Restaurants.

If you'd rather pair our wines with your own culinary creations we offer Bicycle Delivery to most Boulder addresses. In addition, we ship wine throughout Colorado and California via FedEx. Visit our WineShop to see our current releases and order today!

CSW: What is a Wine Share?
Our CSW (Community Supported Winery) share is inspired by CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Many local farms offer CSA shares to community members. Members 'join' a farm by purchasing a share of the harvest, to be picked up each week, often at the farm where the vegetables are grown. CSA is great for everyone. The community shares the risk of the season with the farmer, in return members get the best fresh vegetables, get to know their farmer, and if visiting the farm to do pickup, get a breath or two of fresh air.

Our wine shares are offered in conjunction with the farm share at 63rd Street Farm in Boulder. Benefits include a bottle of the 80304 (currently the only way to get this wine), discounts on wine by the glass at the farm, 10% off on additional bottles purchased, and significant discount on pricing for the larger share sizes.


Your wine share will be distributed throughout the season, scheduled according to your share size (with the largest share providing about a bottle a week). The wood fired pizza oven will be turning out pizza made with ingredients from Laudisio Italian Restaurant in Boulder and topped with farm fresh vegetables from 63rd Street Farm. We'll be there select Thursdays with wine available by the glass and bottle (CSW Members receive additional discounts); bring a blanket and enjoy one of the most relaxing outdoor dining experiences in Boulder. We'd love to have you join us for what is undoubtedly one of the most unique local CSA experiences around.


Pairing Suggestion
Each once in a while a pairing eludes one's intuition and the first time we served this dish we picked the wrong wine to pair, it worked but there was no magic. The second time we got it right: try this dish with our 2008 Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Based on a recipe in Bon Apetit Magazine, this dish is delicious and easy to prepare.

2008 Settembre Cellars Valley Cabernet Sauvignon & Garbanzo Bean Feta Egg Dish
Grilled Mushrooms: Buon Apetito!
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • 28 oz can chopped fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. hungarian sweet & spicy paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425F. Chop the onion and garlic. Seed and chop the jalapeño pepper. Heat the Olive Oil in a skillet and add the chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Drain the garbanzo beans and add to the pan along with the paprika and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, with their juice, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the sauce thickens (about 15 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta over the sauce. Crack the eggs and place them over the sauce. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes being careful to not overcook the yolks, they should remain runny. Garnish with parsley and cilantro. Our 2008 Valley Cabernet Sauvignon pairs nicely with this dish accentuating the spice in the wine. Buon Appetito!

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Do you Tweet? Follow us at: @SettembreVino (Blake) and @BoulderWinery (Tracy) we look forward to following your tweets too!

Once again we hope you've enjoyed the latest edition of Settembre Cellars Newsletter and are having a wonderful start to 2012. We look forward to seeing you all at one of our summer events or under the stars enjoying a glass of fine Colorado Wine.


Blake, Tracy, & Oliver