Tortoise Creek Wines
Tortoise Creek is a range of very fine varietal wines from the Languedoc district of the South of France and California.
The French wines of Tortoise Creek include many of the principal varietals grown in the region, such as Viognier and Carignan, but in addition, we also produce newer varieties successfully introduced to the region such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
From the South of the Rhône Valley, the "Le Charmel" is sourced from a superb vineyard in the Costieres de Nimes. Sustainably farmed with only limited fertilizers allowed, this red wine benefits from the bright fruit of the Grenache and the richness of the Syrah, combining into a smooth wine that is ready to drink.
“Le Charmel" refers to the father-son partnership of Charlie and Mel Master that produced this wine.
Our Pinot Noir “Les Olivieres” is less “jammy” than its Californian cousins. It is perhaps more Burgundian and is delicate. It has lovely aromas of violets and shows red berry and cherry fruit characteristics on the palate. It is a gorgeous food wine and works well with roast meats, tuna and cheeses.
“Les Oliviers” refers to the olive trees that surround the vineyards that produce our Pinot Noir.
Our Sauvignon Blanc “Cuvée Jeanne” is beautifully balanced and aromatic with suggestions of passion fruit and grapefruit. The palate is crisp and dry but not too acidic with a good depth of flavor. The wine is perfect as an aperitif or with chicken, fish or creamy pasta dishes.
“Cuvée Jeanne” refers to “Janie’s Blend”
So often Viognier is over oaked and loses it wonderful delicate charm. Our Viognier “Le Verger” is completely unoaked and therefore bright with lovely aromas of peaches, pears and honeysuckle that lead to a palate that is fresh and crisp but packed with fruit. Wonderful as an aperitif or with any fish or pasta dishes and excellent with a great chicken dish.
“Le Verger” refers to the beautiful apricot orchard that is close to the vineyards that produce our Viognier.
Our old vine Carignan has a deep, red color and lovely aromas of wild herbs and red berries. On the plate it is rich and full bodied with hints of spice and leather. Excellent with beef, barbeque or firm cheeses.
In 2008, Mel and Janie Master joined forces with the Sager family who own the national importing company, Winesellers, Ltd., and together they have extended the Tortoise Creek range to include a superb range of sustainably grown Californian wines from the Lodi region. They include a superbly rich and perfumed Cabernet Sauvignon, a soft and elegant Merlot, a delicious and crisp Chardonnay and, new for 2010, a rich Zinfandel. The Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot are all certified Sustainable. A portion of the profits from the Zinfandel go to benefiting the Chelonian Research Foundation—a foundation that supports worldwide turtle and tortoise research.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon “Cherokee Lane” 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.
“Cherokee Lane” pays tribute to the old stretch of Highway 99 running through the town of Lodi and surrounding vineyards.
The “Jam’s Blend” Chardonnay boasts bright, fresh aromas and flavors of citrus, pear, apple and white flowers. Its creamy texture is supported by fresh acidity and a long, clean finish. Ideal as an aperitif or with poultry, salads, cream based pastas and softer cheeses.
“Jam’s Blend” refers to Janie and Mel Master, the creators of Tortoise Creek
This Merlot “Schoolhouse Cuvée” is full of fresh, bright aromas and flavors of red and black berries, cherries and herbs. It is round, rich and ripe with soft tannins. An ideal pairing with grilled or smoked meats, burgers and pastas.
“Schoolhouse Cuvée” refers to the old schoolhouse built by the Mokelumne settlers in 1859.
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. Our Zinfandel “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 blackcurrant 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.
“The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles.