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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Wine, Frankly: Tortoise Creek

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Frank Pagliaro
Frank Pagliaro
Frank Pagliaro has been a Wilmington wine merchant since 1986 – Frank’s Union Wine Mart. He is the Team Host & Chief Wino of the FranksWine.com Marathon Team which gets fellow winos and runners together to train for a yearly Fall Marathon while raising money for children’s charities.
Tortoise Creek Wines

Tortoise Creek Wines

Tortoise Creek was created by a British couple, Mel and Janie Master who lived much of their lives in the wine business in the South of France as well as California. During their time in France, they developed close relationships with many of the top growers and winemakers in the Languedoc and have been producing wines from this area since 1990.

Tortoise Creek

The concept with Tortoise Creek was to work more with the individual grower and less with the large cooperatives as they understood that the key to any good wine, whether it is from the Languedoc, California or any other wine region was low yields. With that in mind, Tortoise Creek wines have been selected and blended from growers who understand this philosophy.

I tasted through the entire lineup with Christina Morris who represents the wines… each and every one of the eight wines was legit and varietally correct.  These wines are $10 a bottle!  It’s tough to locate quality juice for a ten dollar bill.  These guys nailed it!  Here’s the trio that I chose as their strongest wines…

Tortoise Creek 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
“Cherokee Lane” ~ Lodi, CA

Tortoise Creek 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

“Cherokee Lane” pays tribute to the old stretch of Highway 99 running through the town of Lodi and surrounding vineyards.

Origin/Location

The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was sourced from a single sustainably farmed vineyard in Lodi which is located near Sacramento.

Winemaking

Extended maceration was used to add depth, structure and complexity to the wine. The red fermentation tanks are specially designed to give winemakers complete control of the fermentation and rate of extraction. Forty percent of our blend spent a year in a combination of American and French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes + Food Paring

“Cherokee Lane” Cabernet Sauvignon is loaded with aromas and flavors of red and black cherries supported by vanilla and cedar nuances. It is beautifully balanced with both fruit and tannins. An ideal pairing with grilled meats, sausages or stews.


Tortoise Creek 2010 Zinfandel
“The Chelonian” ~ Lodi, CA
  Tortoise Creek 2010 Zinfandel
“The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles.

Origin/Location

This 100% Zinfandel comes from a beautifully maintained sustainably farmed vineyard in Lodi which is near Sacramento.

Winemaking

Gravity flow handling is used where the fruit is destemmed (but not crushed) and whole cluster fermentation maximizes flavor and color extractions. Extended maceration was used to add depth, structure, complexity and to stabilize the unique color of Zinfandel. To fill in the mid-palate and add softness the wine was aged in oak for 6 months.

Tasting Notes + Food Paring

No other variety represents the region of Lodi like Zinfandel. Over 100 years ago European settlers believed it to be the best fit for the climate and soils and their keen insight paid off.  “The Chelonian” is 100% Zinfandel and has a lovely spicy, cherry like bouquet and is bursting with sweet, berry flavors. There are also delicious overtones of black currant and plums, with a welcoming finish of vanilla and cinnamon toast. The wine is also very elegant and would be perfect with any spicy foods, game or beef.

Tortoise Creek 2011 Pinot Noir
“Les Oliviers” ~ Limoux, France
Tortoise Creek 2011 Pinot Noir 
“Les Oliviers” refers to the olive trees that surround the vineyards that produce our Pinot Noir.

Origin/Location

The village of Limoux is located about 35 miles west of the medieval town of Carcassonne in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the south west of France. The cooler climate, with sunny days and low overnight temperatures along with the chalky soils, make it an ideal location to grow quality Pinot Noir.

Winemaking

A small portion of Pinot Noir crop is harvested quite early and fermented at low temperatures to enhance fruity aromas. The remaining grapes are picked at their optimal sugar and ripeness in order to obtain a full-bodied and complex wine loaded with fruit. The grapes were destemmed and then crushed and fermentation and maceration took place in stainless steel tanks for between three to four weeks. They age about 30% of the wine in new French oak barrels for 3 to 4 months.

Tasting Notes + Food Paring

The Pinot Noir “Les Oliviers” is less jammy than its Californian cousins. It is perhaps more Burgundian and and delicate. It has lovely aromas of violets and shows ripe raspberry characteristics on the palate. It is a gorgeous food wine and works well with roast meats, tuna and cheeses.

 


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Latest News

Despite momentum shifts, Ursuline women take down Woodbridge, 51-41

Ursuline's Emily Rzucidlo had a game-high 22 points, including 10-13 from the free throw line.

State cases continue to decline as mass vaccinations start; here’s where to be tested

State Walgreens have given 100,000 tests to Delaware residents.

Back-and-forth game ends with St. E beating Sanford 62-57

The two powerhouse teams haven't played each other since January 2015.
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