2011 Claiborne & Churchill Central Coast Dry Muscat

SKU #1125623

Founded in 1983 by Claiborne (Clay) Thompson and Fredericka Churchill, former teachers at the University of Michigan (Clay specialized in Old Norse Languages and Literatures and Fredericka taught German), the winery focuses on Alsatian varietals in the first straw bale winery in California. Grapes are purchased from premium growers around the cool Edna Valley, with 2/3 of the production being Dry Riesling and Dry Gewürztraminer. At Claiborne & Churchill, traditional European winemaking techniques prevail, including extensive use of barrel-fermentation and barrel-aging (even with Riesling and Gewürztraminer), minimal manipulation of juice and wine, "natural" or spontaneous fermentation using indigenous yeast, and limited use of SO2, all in the belief that the winemaker's task is to bring out the flavor and character that is latent in the grape. San Luis Obispo native Colby Parker- Garcia came on board in 2004 as Claiborne & Churchill's winemaker, learning from Clay all of the techniques required for the success of the unique varietals which are the winery's signature.

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Price: $24.99

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/28/2013  | Send Email
The current releases from Claiborne and Churchill, a small family winery located outside San Luis Obispo that specialize in Alsatian-style white wines as well as Pinot Noir, include some truly outstanding expressions. Vinified dry, this distinctive Muscat leads with intriguing aromas of stone fruits and blossom with a savory herb component (I instantly noted apricots and sage). The orange Muscat character comes out on the palate, as floral and herb notes move toward orangey citrus flavors, with creamy undertones that are kept in perfect balance by acidity. The finish lingers with flavor and a mineral note - terrific stuff!

By: Sarah Covey |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/26/2013  | Send Email
Founded in 1983 by Claiborne (Clay) Thompson and Fredericka Churchill, former teachers at the University of Michigan (Clay specialized in Old Norse Languages and Literatures and Fredericka taught German), the winery focuses on Alsacian varietals in the first straw bale winery in California. This Dry Muscat may just be better than anything coming out of Alsace. A lovely expression of Dry Muscat! All the pretty varietal characteristics- orange blossom, citrus, spice, cardamom, apricot- with perfectly balanced medium plus acidity and a clean, bright finish. No flab or syrupy fattiness here. Just 13.5% alcohol- perfect for warm spring & summer evenings on the terrace, with perhaps a little grilled shrimp or chicken satay! Delicious!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other White Wines

Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.