Announcing our May wine box collaborator, Blake Cleveland, Auburn local and owner of the legendary Amsterdam Café. John Mark and I have been going to Amsterdam Café for years. John Mark even worked there under Chef Pat Gallagher, who is now the chef at Hamilton’s in downtown Auburn. There have been many current chefs passed through this infamous kitchen like Rob McDaniel of Helen in Birmingham, David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn, and Adam Evans of Automatic Seafood & Oysters in Birmingham, to name a few. Blake has added food trucks to the restaurant’s repertoire in recent years, and from my experience working on campus, the Amsterdam Food Truck and the Dam Taco Truck are two of the student’s favorite places to eat on campus. This summer the Amsterdam Food Truck will be at Harbor Pointe Marina located inside Stillwaters on the weekends!
Blake is an Auburn native and lives in Auburn with his gorgeous wife Sydnee and two children. Blake spends his days managing all aspects of the Amsterdam restaurant ventures, including the construction of TWO new locations that will be “fast-casual” style and will serve many of the Amsterdam staples and favorites. The location at the Shug Jordan/North Donahue Wal-Mart shopping center should be open later this year! Blake is also a successful realtor in the area with extensive knowledge of the area and vast connections within the community.
In his free time, Blake enjoys playing golf at Moores Mill Club, spending time with his family & friends, traveling, and playing his guitar. Blake also can appreciate a good glass of wine. After discussing with Blake his wine tastes and preferences, John Mark got together and put together this tasty case of wine, The Cleveland Case! This case includes a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, a ‘baby Brunello,’ a Spanish red blend, and a Napa Valley Cab! All of these wines are being served by the glass (or bottle if you prefer) at Amsterdam Café in Auburn!
Each case (12 bottles; 3 of each selection) is $250 + tax.
OR a 4- pack (1 bottle of each) $115 + tax. **Please indicate in your request if want to go with this option.**
2020 Les Roches Sauvignon This Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine in the Loire Valley of France displays an intense, classic nose of cut grass, pepper, pineapple, lemon, and plenty of minerality. It is very crisp and refreshing. The grapes are grown in an area located between the Loire and Cher Rivers and sandwiched between the towns of Tours and Blois, the wine shows the classic characteristics of the rich clay soils that are fortified with flint and limestone. This wine is a perfect pairing with seafood, but it is also great by itself on a warm Alabama afternoon.
2019 Caparzo Rosso di Montalcino Caparzo was listed by Wine Spectator as one of Brunello di Montalcino’s ‘Cream of the Crop’ producers. The estate is comprised of 475 acres, with 125 total acres planted to vineyards on all 5 sides of the hill of Montalcino, the only estate with this benefit. This gives owner Elizabetta Gnudi Angelini, with her winemaker Massimo Bracalente, access to all of the different terroirs of the appellation, from soil differences to unique microclimates to varying altitudes of vineyards. This is an incredibly delicious Tuscan Sangiovese, in essence a ‘baby Brunello’. Rosso di Montalcino opens up with notes of rose, bright strawberry and cherry. Peppery florals and a hint of savory spice evolve in the glass over time. It’s soft and focused on purity with ripe cherries and sweet inner herbal tones. Zesty acids keep the energy high, making for a juicy expression, while this tapers off to minerals and a hint of red licorice.
2018 Jose Pelacios ‘Petalos’ This Spanish red blend is from over 90 hectares of vineyards in Bierzo, 20% of the grapes from their own vineyards in Corullón, including some 4% white grapes. The rest is purchased from 180+ families with whom they have a long-term relationship. Some of these vineyards are not yet certified organic, but the objective is to achieve it in the next five years. It’s mostly Mencía, but there are other grapes varieties in the vineyards; they estimate about 3% of other reds, Alicante Bouschet, Gran Negro, Pan y Carne, Negreda, etc. and around 4% whites, Valenciana, Jerez and Godello, half from Corullón and the other half from other villages. The grapes were partly destemmed and fermented in open-top stainless steel and oak vats with 25 days of maceration where the wine underwent a slow three-month malolactic fermentation. It matured in oak barrels for 12 months. The nose is pure, elegant, and captivating with a faint flinty background, a cherry essence, and a touch of tomato plant. It has a silky texture, soft and caressing, with very fine tannins and the faint bitter dark chocolate twist in the finish.
2020 Thistle and Thorn Cabernet Sauvignon Stewart Cellars was founded in 2000 is the collaborative project of founder Michael Stewart, his son James Stewart, daughter Caroline Stewart Guthrie, and son-in-law Blair Guthrie. Together, the family oversees all aspects of the winery’s operations. Thistle and Thorn is a second label of Stewart. This Cabernet is made from 100% estate bottled fruit in the Napa Valley. Whole-cluster pressed and settled overnight then fermented 100% in stainless steel tank and stirred weekly for six weeks post fermentation to create texture and weight, this Cabernet has a deep, dark nose of ripe plum, vanilla, and a hint of blueberry. Flavors of blackberry, blackcurrant, and toasty, French oak line the palate of this classic, full-bodied Napa Valley Cab. The fine-grain and velvety tannins lead into the long and lingering finish.