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En Garde Virtual Tasting

“Tökéletesség.”

The Hungarian word for Perfection embodies En Garde’s rich family heritage spanning two continents, a passionate artistry for making world-class wines, and the masterful patience of their winemaker Csaba Szakál, who is steeped in four generations of Hungarian winemaking. 🍷

If you hadn’t already guessed, it’s time for another installment of the Bacchus & Venus virtual tasting series, and we’re very excited to have Csaba Szakál of En Garde winery join us this time around!

A $155 value, yours for Only $135!!

All wines are delivered right to your door with access to our online tasting room. It couldn’t be any easier.  📦

We’ll be featuring the following wines:

  • 2018 Santa Barbara Viognier
  • 2018 Russian River Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

This tasting happens on 9/3/20 at 6pm PST and will last one hour.


Zoom is required to participate in this evening spent learning about the history and artistry of En Garde Winery. These wines are not to be missed. 🍷


Registration deadline is 8/24/20, so be sure to get your orders in soon! 📅

Send us a message to sign up!

Cheers! 🥂

Hobel “The Figure” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The story of Hobel Wines began in 1998, when owner Cameron Hobel first met friend and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown in Napa. Cameron was working as the Director of Business Development at Winebid.com and Thomas was working as Assistant Winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars. Their mutual love of great wine led to many shared dinners and glasses of wine, where they discussed the prospect of finding a project that would allow them to work together in producing a world-class wine. The opportunity finally arose eleven years later, with the 2009 Hobel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hobel, their family name, is also a traditional woodworking plane that has been used for centuries by skilled craftsmen to smooth, balance and finish wood surfaces, which is depicted on their label.

Award winning winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown is an artist you’ll surely recognize from our selections here at Bacchus & Venus. He began his career at Turley Wine Cellars in the late 1990s, and as his talent grew so did his resume and accolades. Today, in addition to his own label, Rivers-Marie, Thomas serves as winemaker for several other exceptional wine brands including Outpost, Maybach and Schrader. Food and Wine magazine named him Winemaker of the Year in 2010 and his wines have been awarded multiple 100 point scores by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator and Wine advocate. They say he has the “Midas Touch.”

This lush Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception to that touch. The 2018 Figure shows initially understated notes of earth, wood char and vanilla on the nose, which are quickly enveloped by aromas of warm blackberry compote. The palette is defined by dense dark fruit – blackberries and boysenberries – laced with a touch of salty brown sugar. 

For this unforgettable wine, we recommend a very decadent Thanksgiving Dish: Baked Mac & Cheese with Bacon and Cabot Cloth-Bound Aged Cheddar. Cheddar and Cabernet are a classic pairing, because the high fat content in the cheese lifts up the mouth-drying tannins in the wine and matches it’s bold intensity. You’ll definitely go back for seconds. 

Michelle “Mecha” Michelbook – November 2020

Addax Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018

Another Russell Bevan home run, Addax is an artisan wine brand led by Brian Kearney and Josh Peeples. The brand began with a few friends and 4 barrels of Cabernet back in 2009, and has evolved into a phenomenal portfolio of wines, including Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir, and a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

Bevan is one of the most sought after winemakers today and one of the world’s most acclaimed. A superstar with critics, colleagues and consumers alike. Wine critics regularly praise his wines, providing correspondingly sky-high scores.  You would recognize his work from a number of our past wine club favorites such as Elyse, Belden Barns, Morgado, and his own label, Bevan Cellars. 

Russell’s approach to winemaking was perhaps best summarized by the words of Robert Parker:  “In many respects, the impressively talented visionary Russell Bevan produces wines very much in his own bigger-than-life, boisterous image. With his serious insider knowledge, which gives him access to some great sources that other producers somehow have missed, he seems to magically transform his wines into personality-filled, savory, intensely flavored efforts.”

This 2018 Sonoma Coast Pinot was crafted from the Pfendler vineyards in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast. Aged in 100% new French Oak, this powerhouse Pinot Noir is packed with spring flowers, black raspberries, kirsch, and licorice with subtle notes of forest floor. Deep purple in color, this is truly a Cabernet drinker’s Pinot Noir. 

Lucky for us, it’s also a mushroom lover’s Pinot. Every Thanksgiving in my home we make a side of Wild Rice and Mushrooms. It’s one of my favorite parts of the holiday meal. This dish is filled to the brim with beautiful crimini and oyster mushrooms, and this wine is the perfect pairing. The mushrooms are beautifully accented by the earthen tones in the wine. Savory never seemed so sweet. 

Michelle “Mecha” Michelbook – November 2020

Field Recordings Central Coast Hock White Blend 2018

Winemaker Andrew Jones has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. He strives for unique wines loaded with personality and a one-of-a-kind experience.

Field Recordings is Andrew’s personal catalog of the people and places he values most. He quotes: “Our wines are all about the flavor — with none of the pretension.”

He spends most of his days as a vine nursery fieldman, planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, and is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he’s all about finding those underdogs with untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards.

This beautiful blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer is a special project for Andrew. Something that allowed him to embrace his love of Alsatian wines:

“The 2018 Hock is my play on a Eldezwicker (an Alsatian wine term taken from the German words edel (noble) and zwicker (blend) dating back to 1944.) My favorite table wines are Alsatian Blends and it’s one of my favorite old world wine regions. This wine is pretty much dry, with just a touch of residual singular in it to balance the acidity. There are no rules for making this wine vintage after vintage- it’s a regional white blend to represent the area and the varieties that are allowed there. This year there is way less Gewurztraminer and a lot more Pinot Gris in it, which gives it a lot more of an aromatic, crisp and refreshing feel.” 

In the glass you’ll also find mouthwatering notes of apricot, lemon zest, bartlett pear, freshly cut hay and just a hint of petrol from the Riesling.

We all know how filling Thanksgiving dinner can be. Find the lighter side of the holiday and start your night with a Winter Citrus Salad (think mixed grapefruit and oranges) with Honey Dressing, paired with this gorgeous Alsatian Blend. Bright and zesty and refreshing. We promise you’ll still have room for Turkey.

Michelle “Mecha” Michelbook – November 2020

Halleck Russian River Valley Dry Gewürztraminer 2019

Halleck Vineyard was planted in 1993 in the hills of Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Jennifer and Ross Halleck, owners and vintners began Halleck Vineyards as a college fund for their sons. In 2002, they earned #1 Pinot in the United States for the first wine from the Estate. 

The one acre site of Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked by the west by the slopes to the Pacfic Ocean. It commands an expansive view of rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast and at 900 feet, it is one of the highest vineyards in Sonoma County. During the second half of the growing season, coastal fog invades the landscape every afternoon. This cool weather allows the fruit to mature slowly and the flavors to intensify. The Indian Summer heat in late September through October spikes the ripening and sugar levels at the last moment for perfect harvest conditions. 

Halleck Vineyards is not a stranger to award winning wines. In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was again judged “BEST OF CLASS” in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is the largest in North America. Sunset Magazine anointed the Sauvignon Blanc “BEST OF CLASS” in the United States and the California State Fair judged the Dry Gewurztraminer #1 White Wine in California. 

The 2019 Dry Gewurztraminer is a wine of beauty. Crafted from highly aromatic white wine grapes this wine carries a floral nose. I fell in love with this wine the minute I tasted it. Gewurztraminer is commonly known for its sweetness but this Russian River Valley verison is crisp and dry. The flavors of lychee, rose petals, and a hint of vanilla start off your palate. There are bright gentle acids that blend with minerality offering a touch of floral and ginger with a lingering cleansing finish of fine spice. 

This is the perfect wine for white wine lovers to pair with their Thanksgiving Turkey. The spice and nutty flavors in your turkey will pair amazing with the Dry Gewurztraminer. As you enjoy your bird you will be tantalized with touches of chestnut and fine spice. I mean, the German word gewurtz literally means spiced! 

Jennie Kaplan Woodson – November 2020

Straight Out of Paso Red Rhone Blend 2018

“Straight out of Paso” Red Rhone Blend is created by Edgar Torres with his winery Bodega de Edgar. Bodega is the Spaniard term for winery or cellar. Considering his Hispanic heritage and passion for Spanish wines, the brand name seemed a natural fit. Edgar’s wine journey started as a waiter in Paso Robles. It was there he was exposed to many great wine producers. Several became friends and eventually opened their doors to Edgar’s learning desires. He began his journey as a Cellar Rat, and moved on to learn the many different aspects of the wine industry. Encouraged by his friends and having maintained a real fervor for the grape, Edgar and his wife Erika founded Bodega de Edgar in 2007. 

Bodega de Edgar began producing just 250 cases and are now approaching 3,500 cases with the 2018 vintage. His focus is and always has been sourcing the highest quality fruit to produce the best wines, while still maintaining an affordable price point. If you’re a fan of Spanish wines, inquire about his Tempranillo and Priorato, they are a must try!

“Straight out of Paso” is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel, and Mourvedre. This juicy, ready to enjoy now wine dials down the tannins and spotlights the black fruit flavors of blackberry and plum. It has a very bold mouthfeel and notes of fine black pepper, anise, cherry, strawberry, and butterscotch. It is smokey, savory, and rich. Very complex but very smooth. This wine can age for up to 10 years but we are enjoying it now.

The red fruit flavors in this blend mimic the tartness of cranberry sauce and match well with autumn spices such a clove, allspice, and cinnamon. The cranberry sauce will dance across your palate during dinner with this wine matching the bright acidity and bitter edge to the Rhone flavors in the wine. The dark fruit in this wine also creates a savory quality that would complement the warm autumn spices in your pumpkin pie. 

Jennie Kaplan Woodson – November 2020