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