Jeff’s Corner

Once again, it’s time to say howdy!

Since the start of the year, we’ve been bottling our new 2015 white and sweet wines, and our 2014 reds. This means lots of new releases are right around the corner, and I’m going to be abused and overworked by having to taste these new wines and write notes about them. As always, my faithful sidekick, Kathy, will be at my side offering opinions and advice.

Today, let’s kick off the season and check out our 2015 Cuvee Blanc. First, however, we should revisit some cool info regarding its history and name.

“Cuvee” means blend, and it’s a derivative of the word “Cuverie” which is the French word for the production facility. Cuvee is most often associated with Champagnes, which are typically a blend of wines from different vintages.

Cuvee Blanc has been part of our portfolio at Grape Creek for at least 16 years. In the past, it has been blends of many different grapes, and I remember one from years ago that was Chardonnay, Semillon, and Chenin Blanc.

The 2015, as it has been for much of Jason’s tenure, is Pinot Grigio (45.5%), Viognier (29.4%), Muscat Canelli (13.8%), and Sauvignon Blanc (11.3%). Being very different percentages of these four grapes than the ’14 Cuvee, it is to me quite different in style.

The color of the new ’15 is a classic pale yellow with intense, bright clarity. The aroma is subtle yet complex, and shows soft caramel and butterscotch in delightful contrast to lemon peel, tangerine, and Granny Smith apples.

On the palate (due in part to the high percentage of Pinot Grigio), we see an austere wine, delicate and lean in fruit, with a strong backbone of acidity. The citrus dominates, and transitions into an elegant clean and crisp finish. It’s a delightful spring and summer wine.

Last night, I prepared a Chicken Piccata (super simple) and it was a great pairing with our new Cuvee. So, as a bonus, I included my recipe. Try the two together when the wine is released, maybe in a week or so. I liked it between 45 and 50 degrees.



* 2-6 oz boneless chicken breasts
* 1/2 cup grated Romano, 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, mixed
* 2 Tbs Grape Creek Citrus Cilantro Grapeseed Oil
* 4 Tbs butter
* 6 oz GCV 2015 Cuvee Blanc (get a bottle, drink the rest with dinner)
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 small lemons)
* 1/4 cup capers


* In a large, sealed zip-loc pound the chicken to where it is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
* Rinse the chicken, and dredge it in the Romano and bread crumbs until well coated.
* Heat the olive oil and 1/2 the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Brown the chicken on each side until it releases from the pan, 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.
* Still on medium high, deglaze the pan with the wine and lemon juice, add the capers, and reduce by half. Whisk in the remaining butter and reduce the heat so the sauce thickens, but not too much.

I’d definitely serve this on hot plates to help keep the food warm. Wild rice would be a great side, but I like linguine. Be sure to sauce the pasta as well as the chicken. Add a baby spinach salad with mixed greens, garlic bread, and maybe some Spumone for dessert. Enjoy, everyone!!