July’s Collectors Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubClos du Clocher

About Clos Du Clocher

Clos du Clocher wine estate is located in the Pomerol wine growing region in France. With three parcels of vineyard and just 300 yards south of the church in Pomerol, it is surrounded by the most famous growths of the appellation.   Founded in 1924, when the first parcel of vines were bought by a successful Bordeaux negociant,  Jean Baptiste Audy.  Today, the estate is owned by his grandson Pierre Bourotte and his great-grandson Jean-Baptiste.  The soils are composed of the famous dense iron-rich clay that is found in Pomerol.  The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with an average age of 39 years old. Grapes are hand harvested into small baskets and double sorted.  Winemaking is traditional and carried out in stainless steel and cement thermo-regulated vats.  After 4 weeks in the vats, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels or vats, depending on the parcels and the vintage.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels (two thirds new and one third one year old).

Clos du Clocher PomerolBold wine Style logoClos du Clocher
Pomerol
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

This month’s Collector’s Club includes both the 750ml and 1.5 Magnum bottle of Clos du Clocher.

In the very center of the famous Pomerol plateau, under the shadow of the eponymous bell tower of the neighboring church, this vineyard is home to some truly ancient vines that translate into a tremendous wine in bottle. This is without a doubt “A beauty from the high plateau of Pomerol” to quote Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. 

Clos du Clocher is an elegant Pomerol style and a wonderfully pure expression of the vineyard’s terroir. Perfect for short-medium term drinking for the vintage.  Annual production at Clos du Clocher is about 2000 cases and the legendary consultant Michel Rolland consistently produces wines of real elegance from a modest 7 hectares. In a diminishing field, this elegant style is one of Pomerols very best values. 

“Has a lightly roasted feel, with ganache and espresso notes lining the core of plum and blackberry fruit. Roasted alder hints fill the finish, while the roasted edge provides the texture. Shows more guts than refinement.” Wine Spectator

Appellation: Bordeaux (right bank), Pomerol, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Aging: 18 months French Oak barrels
Winemaker: Michel Rolland

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.

Domaine Chante CigaleBold wine Style logoDomaine Chante Cigale
Rouge 2016
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Today, the Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Bright violet. Ripe cherry and raspberry on the deeply perfumed nose, lifted by suggestions of pungent flowers and cracked pepper.  Nicely concentrated but lively as well, offering sappy red berry, candied cherry and lavender flavors that show very good clarity and smooth, seamless texture.  Finishes sweet and silky, displaying spicy persistence and gentle tannic grip.” – 91 pts. Vinous 2018

It boasts silky tannins, plenty of cherry fruit and a dusting of ground pepper and all spice on the long finish. Drink 2018-2028.” – 91 pts, Robert Parker 2018

Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Varietal: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvédre, 5% Cinsault
Analysis: 15.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: 12-14 months in 35% new French oak

 

 
 
 

September Wine Club pairing recipe

risotto with mushroomsBarley Risotto with Mushrooms and Gremolata

GREMOLATA INGREDIENTS:
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
• 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic

BARLEY RISOTTO INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
• 1 cup hot water
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms (such as morels, shiitakes, oyster, or chanterelles), sliced ¼ inch thick
• 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 6 to 7 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
• 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups pearled barley

DIRECTIONS:

• To make the gremolata—In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
• To make the risotto—Soak the porcini in the hot water for at least 30 min. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reserve. Chop the porcini into small pieces.
• In a large sauté pan with straight sides, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Sauté the sliced fresh mushrooms until they release some liquid and are browned, about 5 min. Stir in the porcini and the reserved liquid, scraping up any browned bits. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms and liquid to a bowl.
• In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover, and hold at a simmer.
• In the pan used for the mushrooms, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 min. Add 2 tsp. coarse salt and the barley, and stir until the grains are coated with butter. Add 1 cup of the hot broth, reduce the heat to low, and stir frequently until the broth is absorbed. Stir in another cup of broth. Once it’s absorbed, add 1 more cup, stirring until it’s also absorbed. Add 2 more cups and simmer the barley, stirring frequently, until it softens but isn’t completely tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 10 min. Stir in the cooked mushrooms and their liquid and 1 to 2 more cups of broth. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 10 min. more, stirring frequently and adding hot water or broth if needed. The total cooking time for the barley can range from 30 to 60 min.
• Stir in the gremolata and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve hot.

Plantey wine bottle imageMellow style logoChâteau Le Plantey
Merlot Cabernet Franc
Castillon – Cotes de Bordeaux
Bordeaux, France

Founded in 1878, this family property has been managed by Paul and Lorette Valade for over 30 years. Originally located in the Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, the vineyards expanded into St. Emilion in 2007. On this property, every effort is made to ensure that the wines produced have impeccable quality. Traditional expertise, handed down from generation to generation, combined with long hours of hard work in the vineyards and a meticulous approach to each task, enables the Château to produce outstanding wines from Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux.

Valade Family wine makers

Valade Family wine makers

“Red and black fruit on the nose, along with very fine oaky notes. Lively on entry, full on the palate. Château Le Plantey is a wine combining power and elegance with soft tannins.”

Winemakers: Valade Family
Appellation: Belvès-de-Castillon, France
Varietal Blend:  85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14.2% alcohol / volume

RSVP Early!

ThomasBarton_winesThomas Barton Portfolio Tasting Event

Please join us to taste the epitome of CLASSIC BORDEAUX French wines, powerful, fruity and elegantly oaked, the modern equivalent of the great wines of the 18th century, those that Thomas Barton might have enjoyed and chosen himself.

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP,
limited seating available!

THOMAS BARTON: The Spirit of Wine

Thomas-BartonThis range of wines is the ultimate homage to Thomas Barton, who traveled to Bordeaux from Ireland in 1725.  He quickly became the most important wine merchant in Bordeaux having built a solid reputation among prestigious customers all over Europe.  The spirit of Thomas Barton has been perpetuated in this unique and prestigious range of carefully selected wines from the heart of the Bordeaux region’s greatest appellations.  These wines are the epitome of classic Bordeaux; rich, fruity and elegantly oaked, the modern equivalent of the great wines of the 18th century, those that Thomas Barton might have enjoyed and chosen himself.

BartonBottles

Everything starts out in a the vineyard, with a drastic selection of the best terroirs and strict vine-growing rules in order to guarantee high quality fruit.  Yields are low, sorting rigorous, and the wines are traditionally fermented before aging in oak barrels to enhance each terroir’s authenticity.

The Renaissance of Bordeaux Wines:  All these efforts and attention are richly rewarded by the quality and generosity of Thomas Barton Réserve wines, whose powerful, opulent style and excellent aging potential represent the quintessence of the finest wines of Bordeaux.

A Renewed Elegance: The Thomas Barton range’s packaging also reflects the founder’s personality and his times: a heavy 18th century-style Bordeaux bottle with a short colored capsule.  The label combines the sobriety of Thomas Barton’s character and the unique, classic elegance of the 18th century.

Reserve your Seat Early!

Our national tasting event in January will sell out fast!
Contact your participating WineStyles for local details and reservations!