Alexander Valley Vineyards

Winery of the Month: 
Alexander Valley Vineyards:

In 1962, Harry & Maggie Wetzel purchased the Alexander Valley vineyards when the Alexander heirs decided they no longer wanted to keep the land in the family. The Wetzels had traveled to many of the world’s great wine regions and dreamed of being in the winemaking industry. They had 24 hours to make a decision and Harry knew the Alexander Valley area of Sonoma County had untapped potential. Even though they hadn’t seen the property, it was a deal they couldn’t pass up. 

 

They got to work, even the children, replanting the vineyards and learning about winemaking. They bottled their first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1968 and kept working to grow the property and improve the vines. Alexander Valley Vineyards wasn’t officially created until 1975 by their son, Hank. The Wetzel family and the Alexander Valley vineyards continued to grow over the years and in 1984, the region received an official appellation status. The area is now home to more than 100 wineries and some of California’s most respected wine labels.

 

Wine of the Month: CYRUS

Showcasing the best of our vineyards and the best of the vintage. In 1840 Alexander Valley namesake Cyrus Alexander rode into the valley and called it the “brightest and best spot in the world.” He chose this spot to build his home and raise his family, and many years later the Wetzel family would do the same. This wine is a tribute to the man, the region and the very best of the vintage.  

 

In 1995 Hank Wetzel produced the first vintage of CYRUS, today winemaker Kevin Hall has selected ten distinctive lots of estate Bordeaux grapes, anchoring the blend with three complex lots of Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

After harvest each lot was fermented and aged separately for 12 months, then blended to showcase the vintage and aged for an additional 12 months in French oak barrels to meld the flavors. Additional bottle aging results in a seamless blend. With a dark purple/red color and layered aromas of cassis, black cherry, black plum, cedar, dark chocolate, and hints of toasty oak and vanilla, this is a silky wine with flavors of cassis, dark chocolate, dark fruits, black cherry, barrel spice and cardamom. It has a smooth texture, excellent balance and a long structured finish. As this wine sits in the glass it keeps building on itself, hinting at the complexity that will occur with additional cellar aging.

 

Food Pairings: Red Meat, Dark Sauces, Aged Strong Cheeses

Recipe:

Whole Beef Tenderloin with Blackberry-Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 (3 to 4 lb) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 Tbs steak seasoning
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup sliced wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh sage, for serving 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Rub the meat with steak seasoning. When pan is hot, add the oil and the meat. Sear on all sides until browned and place in the oven. Cook to medium rare/medium for 20 to 30 minutes. (Around 140 degrees internal temperature with an instant read meat thermometer.)

 

To make the sauce, in a sauté pan melt butter. Add mushrooms and seasoning and sauté until browned. Add wine and reduce slightly. Add cream, berries and sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

 

Remove meat from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Add sauce and garnish with fresh sage leaves.

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