October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBarolo_Via_Nuova_DOCG_Wine_BottleE. Pira e Figli
Barolo Via Nuova DOCG 2018
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

This classic Barolo blend combines structure with elegance and complexity, emphasizing the particularities of each vineyard site. Though a bit timid when first opened, some time in the glass (or decanter) will reveal Via Nuova’s alluring ethereal floral and fruit perfumes. This wine is clear and lively garnet red in color. It is dry, savory and harmonious; soft in flavor but full with a lasting persistence due to the tannin.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo, certified organic grapes
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Vineyard: Terlo and Liste in Barolo, Ravera and Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba, and Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba
Yield: 450 kg/ha
Aging: Aging for 24 months in lightly toasted 30% new French oak barriques
Average age of vines: 30 years
Acidity: 6.37 g/L
Production: 4,500 bottles
Soil: Calcareous clay, Sant’Agata marl (sandstone)
Average Altitude: 340 m (1,115 feet) above sea level
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with daily punch downs and pump-overs
Harvest: Mid-October
Cellar: E. Pira Chiara Boschis, Barolo
Bottling: Aged an additional 1 year in bottle
Release: Spring, 3.5 years after harvest
Critical Acclaim: 

  • James Suckling 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Wine Advocate 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Vinous Media 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • See previous vintage scores here.
Chiara_Boschis_E. Pira & Figli_Vineyard_and_winery

© Chiara Boschis, owner of E. Pira & Figli

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Via Nuova (New Road) was the name of a small vineyard on the edge of the historical center of Barolo, the name coming from its proximity to the road (new at that time) connecting Barolo to Novello. All that remains today of the road is a small walking path through the vineyards. The wine was produced as a single-vineyard Barolo for many years until, in 2010, this small Cru was incorporated into the larger Terlo subzone. And so, as a sort of homage to tradition, Barolo Via Nuova is now produced as a blend of 6 different vineyards: Terlo and Liste in Barolo, Ravera e Mosconi in Monforte d’Alba and Gabutti and Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba. – E. Pira e Figli


Barolo_Mosconi_DOCG_Wine_BottleCollectors Wine ClubE. Pira e Figli
Barolo Mosconi DOCG 2018
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

Garnet red in color, this wine is complimented by open perfumes of flowers and mature fruit with some spicy notes. This is a long-lasting wine of power and concentration with firm, velvety tannins.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo, certified organic grapes
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Vineyard: Mosconi (a single-vineyard property acquired in 2009) in Moforte d’Alba
Yield: 450 kg/ha
Aging: Aging for 24 months in lightly toasted 30% new French oak barriques
Average age of vines: 30 years
Acidity: 6.37 g/L
Production: 4,700 bottles
Soil: Calcareous clay marl soils from the tertiary period, with areas rich in calcium carbonate and iron
Average Altitude: 400 m (1,312 feet) above sea level
Vinification: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature with daily punch downs and pump-overs
Harvest: Mid-October
Cellar: E. Pira Chiara Boschis, Barolo
Bottling: Aged an additional 1 year in bottle
Release: Spring, 3.5 years after harvest
Critical Acclaim: 

  • Wine Advocate 96 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • James Suckling 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • Vinous Media 94 pts. – 2018 vintage
  • See previous vintage scores here.

WINEMAKER NOTES:
The most recently acquired parcel, the famous Mosconi Cru in Monforte d’Alba was purchased in 2009. The vineyard’s particular heavy clay soil (in some areas calcium carbonate and iron give the soil a reddish-gray color) lends considerable structure to this wine, making it a Barolo ideal for aging. – E. Pira e Figli 

Chiara_Boschis_Barolo_Wine_Cellar

© Chiara Boschis, owner of E. Pira & Figli

ABOUT E. PIRA E FIGLI WINERY:

E. Pira e Figli is a key player in the history of Barolo. The Pira family, whose members have been vignerons since the seventeenth century, started producing and bottling wines by the 19th century, and received immediate praise for their work. 

In late 1980, the Pira lineage came to a tragic end with the death of the legendary, Luigi (Gigi) Pira (one of the last remaining winemakers to carry out the pressing on foot and the production without the support of any technical means). The estate was then sold to the Boschis family, who had deep family ties with the Pira family. By the end of the 1980’s, Chiara Boschis took the reins of the winery, becoming one of the first women producers in the Langhe. She quickly became a ‘Superwoman’ of the region with her daring and innovative decisions – garnering much acclaim from international publications.

Since 2010, Chiara has been joined by her brother, Giorgio, who shares her same great passion for work in the vineyard and in the cellar. Learn more about their story here.

Photos and Information © E. Pira e Figli – All Rights Reserved.


Donatella_Colombini_Rosso_di_Montalcino_Wine_BottleCollectors Wine ClubDonatella Cinelli Colombini
Rosso di Montalcino

Sangiovese
Tuscany, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

This wine is “Brunello’s younger and smiley brother”. Obtained from the same Sangiovese grapes and the same Montalcino area, but designed to be consumed sooner. This young red wine is very intense and brilliant ruby red in color. The nose is fine, rich, and well expressed; there are notes of ripe small red berries, spices and dark flowers, such as violets. The palate is full, harmonious and pleasant. The tannins are silky and well balanced by the richness of the fruit. The persistence is pleasant and lengthy.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Serving: Serve at a temperature between 60.8ºF-64.4ºF, in a balloon shapes wine goblet. Those who wish to open and drink immediately will find it useful to use a decanter.
Food Pairing: Versatile and perfect for the table. Opt for important first courses, roasts, tasty cheeses and cold cuts. This wine requires food that is intense in taste, but not too fatty or greasy.

Critical Acclaim: 90-91/100 from some of the most prestigious international wine magazines 

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS:
The vineyards at Casato Prime Donne are cultivated following the organic regime and cover a total of 16 hectares, three of which are always designated to the production of Rosso di Montalcino. These vineyards are on the northern, and coolest, area of Montalcino, on a hill about 225 m. above sea level, where the soil is made up of clays and sea sands. Each vineyard is divided into 6 small parcels and contain about 5,000 vines per hectare. The grapes are cultivated with the spurred cordon method, and the average production is about 6 tons of grapes per hectare.

HARVEST AND VINIFICATION:
The grapes are harvested by hand between September 15th and October 10th (depending on the climate of the year). The clusters are chosen right in the vineyard and then the berries are selected on an automatic sorting table where two women work. Generally the grapes for Rosso di Montalcino arrive first and then those for the Brunello. To learn more about the vinification process, click here.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini_Women_Staff_Vineyard

© Photo from Donatella Cinelli Colombini

AGING:
After the racking/separation of the wine from the lees, the Rosso di Montalcino begins its aging in oak barrels around February. The oak barrels are chosen according to the characteristics of the vintage – from 5 to 40 hl in size – with or without toasting.  Duration of barrel aging also varies according to the wine, and can go for some months. As for home aging, aim for 3-4 years, and not much more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place to keep the Rosso di Montalcino perfectly harmonious and pleasant, rich in taste with soft tannins and great finesse. 

ABOUT DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI WINERY:

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-cantina-storica-Fattoria-del-Colle-640x640

© Owner, Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Born in 1953 to a family of producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Donatella Cinelli Colombini founded her own estate in 1998 comprising of Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino.

Casato Prime Donne is about a 40 hectare property on the northern slope of Montalcino. This estate has belonged to the Colombini family at least since the end of the 16th century and was originally used by Donatella’s maternal forefathers for hunting and to host brides for their honeymoons.

The last three generations, the farm has been passed from mother to daughter – it belonged to grandmother Giuliana Tamanit, then mother Francesca Colombini, now Donatella Cinelli Colombini, who will give it to her daughter, Violante. Donatella has given this location a special meaning, as it is the first winery in Italy to be all female staffed, a flagship for women who work in wine. She has received countless awards and international success for her achievements within the industry. Learn more about their story here.

Photos and Information Information © Donatella Cinelli Colombini – All Rights Reserved.


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July Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubRobert-Craig_Stick_Blend_2017_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2017 “The Stick” Red Blend
Candlestick Ridge Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

This Cabernet Sauvignon blend is dense, powerful and beautifully concentrated. The nose is perfumed with luxurious  aromas of black currant, boysenberry, cedar box and Herbes de Provence. The intensely layered palate excites with cassis, plum, and graphite. It is rich and seductive with a velvety texture that finishes long and perfumed.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.77
Maturation: 18 months in 70% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price
Critical Acclaim:
93 pts. JamesSuckling.com

VINTAGE:
The 2017 harvest was the first in the area following a 5 year drought. The soils and water table had been replenished and the vines took off early in the season and weather patterns were about normal until late August. In early September, heat spikes hit the valley and set record or near record temperatures. With plenty of water available most vineyards were heavily irrigated and the temperatures cooled in mid-September to more normal levels. The quantity of grapes was quite low, but quality looked to be excellent. A huge wildfire at the end of harvest threatened vines that still had fruit, but luckily the vast majority of grapes were already safely in the winery for the year.

TERROIR:
Just down the road from the estate, Candlestick Ridge is the northernmost vineyard in the Howell Mountain AVA and is slightly warmer than the summit ridge where the Winery Estate vineyard lies. Candlestick is influenced by warm air from Pope Valley to the east and is protected from the constant wind that hits the ridge line. The big subsurface boulders were removed during the replanting, leaving thin tufa soil on top of a rocky volcanic bedrock.


Collectors Wine ClubRobert_Craig_Winery_Howell_Zinfandel_2018_bottle_imageRobert Craig Winery
2018 Howell Mountain Zinfandel
Black Sears Vineyard
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

True to the Howell Mountain, the 2018 vintage is beautifully clean and focused with boysenberry and bramble berry wrapped in a subtle pepper spice on the nose and palate. This Zinfandel is balanced and elegantly structured through the finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Zinfandel
TA: 6.3 g/L
pH:
3.57
Maturation: 18 months in 60% new French oak
Appellation:
Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker: Jason Price

VINTAGE:
February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in the spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.

TERROIR:
Black Sears has “King of the Mountain” bragging rights on Howell Mountain – topping out at 2,400 feet, making it officially the highest vineyard on the mountain. The vineyard is located just past the gate of the Howell Mountain estate, and now the winery surrounds it – literally – having purchased the vineyard just on the other side of it as well. For 25 years, winemakers have clamored for the Zinfandel grown here: both biodynamic and organic, the site is dry farmed and the vines are pruned in the old world style with no trellising. Zinfandel thrives in the mountain’s well-drained, rocky, volcanic soils and moderate climate.

ROBERT CRAIG WINERY:
Bob Craig always had a passion for Napa Valley Mountain Cabernets, so naturally, he founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three of his friends from business school. In 2004, the team was joined by CEO Elton Slone, who later became a full partner in 2007.  After Bob’s retirement and departure from the wine business in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Today, the winery is still known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards. Robert Craig Winery consistently receives high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery here.



Hess Collection Allomi Cabernet SauvignonThe Hess Collection
2018 Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
Allomi Vineyard

Napa Valley, California
375 ml (half bottle)

BOLD WINE STYLE

“The combination of steady heat and well-drained clay loam soils in our Allomi Vineyard allows fruit to ripen evenly, gaining welcomed complexity and layers of flavor. We consistently see beautiful yields from the Allomi Vineyard, and this vintage was no different. On the nose, this wine delivers delicious aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and elegant expressions of lavender alongside a touch of vanilla. Allomi Cabernet is concentrated upon entry with dense, but well-integrated tannins that provide a round, plush mouthfeel. Layers of juicy black fruit, notably black cherry and black plum, lead to elements of espresso supported by a subtle oak spice that adds to the personality of the wine and reminds us why this is one of our most popular Napa offerings.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
TA: 0.58 gms/100ml
pH:
3.76

Harvested: October 8 – November 2, 2018
Maturation:
18 months in 27% new American oak
Appellation:
Napa Valley, California

Winemaker: Dave Guffy
Food Pairing: Chocolate Lave Cookie Recipe >

 

VINTAGE:
Budbreak began on schedule at the end of February, and Spring brought moderate temperatures that progressed into a warm Summer without any disruptive heat spikes. Steady, consistent growing conditions provided the perfect environment for the fruit to mature and develop. As the moderate, even temperatures continued into the Fall, harvest started slightly later than normal, and in some areas, extended long into the first week of November. With such lengthy hang time, the fruit matured consistently and was picked when it was at its peak, promising exceptional flavor in bottle.

VINEYARD:
A pioneer by nature, Donald Hess was determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking in the far reaches of the Napa Valley. In 1995, he sought out the Allomi Vineyard with a vision to uncover its potential. Once a dormant beauty, the Allomi Vineyard now gives life to luxury Napa Valley wines. The estate vineyard is located in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley. The 210-acre vineyard is focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones that add diversity of flavors and complexity to this wine.

THE HESS COLLECTION WINES:
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse micro-climates and soils uniquely suited to wine grape growing. It is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. The Hess Collection wines are family owned, sustainably farmed and dedicated to reflecting a true sense of place. There wines are recognizable for their elegant, rich and complex flavors and a tradition of excellence. Learn more about the Hess story here >

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe – pairs with Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon


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April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Cabernet Sauvignon_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and dark with aromas of black fruit, coffee and toast. On the palate, it highlights flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry with toast, coffee, and spice; with a long velvety finish.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley
Certifications: Sustainable Practices, Certified Sustainable, Napa Green, Vegan, and Non-GMO
Food Pairing: Enjoy with a classic sirloin, beef short rib or other braised dishes such as grilled lamb, or portobello mushrooms.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points, CS WE
  • 91 points, JS (2017)
  • 91 points, EC WE
  • 91 points, WS
  • 92 points, W&S (2016)
  • 92 points, WS
  • 92 points, WE (2015)

Collectors Wine ClubMerryvale_Profile_Bottle ImageMerryvale Vineyards
Profile
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Merryvale Vineyards Profile wine has aromas of savory herbs, dark chocolate, roasted notes, black and red fruits. On the palate, there are complex fruit and herb flavors, with velvet texture, fine grained tannins, and a long savory finish.

This iconic proprietary red represents the pinnacle of Merryvale vineyards and winemaking. Intensity, refinement, and balance define this Cabernet Sauvignon dominant red blend. Sourced exclusively from the steep slopes of the Profile Estate Vineyard at the eastern edge of the St. Helena AVA. Exceptional terroir, vine-by-vine viticultural practices and small lot artisanal winemaking. Consistently awarded and highly-scored by critics.

“A terroir selection, the flagship 2017 Profile offers a classic nose of ripe blackcurrants, scorched earth, tobacco, cedar, and dried spices. This carries to an elegant, beautifully balanced 2017 with plenty of mid-palate depth, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish.  It’s a classic, more savory, nuanced 2017 that will evolve for two decades.” – 94 points, Jeb Dunnuck, January 2021

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal:
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
TA: 5.7 g/L
pH: 3.87
Certifications: Napa Green, Sustainable
Vineyard: Profile Estate Vineyard
Cooperage: 80% new from the center of France
Élevage: 23 months
Harvest Dates: September 11th through 18th
Food Pairing: Beef, lamb, duck as well as rich, savory pasta dishes with portobello or shiitake mushrooms and roasted shallots.
Critical Acclaim:

  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE (2017)
  • 95 points WA
  • 94 points JS
  • 92 points W&S
  • 91 points WS
  • 91 points WE (2016)
  • 93 points WA
  • 93 points JS
  • 92 points WE
  • 90 points WS (2015)

ABOUT THE REGION:
Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world and America’s most celebrated region. Defined by the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges and influenced by its proximity to San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the Napa Valley enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate, long dry summers and cool evenings, perfectly suited to the growing of fine wine grapes. The resulting wines are richly flavored with vibrant fruit flavors and texture.

Andrew-Wright-Winemaker

© Merryvale Vineyards, Winemaker – Andrew Wright

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Winemaker, Andrew Wright, grew up in the Sonoran Desert, knowing very little about wine and the winemaking industry throughout his early life. It wasn’t until a random trip to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York that Andrew uncovered a passion for the winemaking industry. He consumed volumes of wine literature (and of course, the wines they described), expanding his palate and shaping his philosophies today. Andrew began his winemaking career at Callaghan Vineyards, planting vines in the high desert outside of Sonoita, Arizona – he worked several growing seasons here before entering the cellar of Arizona Stronghold.  Andrew is thankful for these early experiences in the frontier, as they forged a deep appreciation for his hard work, experimentation and winemaking with intention.

In 2012, Andrew moved to Napa Valley and worked in the vineyards and cellars of Harlan and BOND Estates, Promontory, The Napa Valley Reserve, Fruition Sciences, and their clients (which included Merryvale at the time). Today, as the Winemaker at Merryvale Vineyards, Andrew is in charge of the production at the St. Helena winery. He oversees all of the winemaking operations for Merryvale wines and deeply believes that winemaking is the synthesis of philosophy, agriculture, science and art. Learn more here.

ABOUT MERRYVALE VINEYARDS:
Home to the first winery built following the Repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Merryvale Vineyards was part of the early fabric of the Napa Valley Wine Industry. Their collection of hand-crafted wines elegantly express the heritage, terroir, vineyards and subregions of Napa Valley. Learn more about the winery here.


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January Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubLaurent-Perrier_HarmonyLaurent-Perrier
Harmony
Demi-Sec NV
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Demi-Sec was the most popular style of Champagne in the 18th century. Laurent-Perrier continues to make this authentic style with the same pride and care as the rest of their Laurent-Perrier wines.

The Harmony Demi-Sec wine is rich, golden-yellow in color. The nose is robust and expressive, it opens with aromas of candied fruit, almonds and hazelnuts, followed by notes of fresh brioche. Rich on the palate, this Demi-Sec is full-bodied and generous with an elegant, clean finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier. More than 55 crus with an average ration of 94% are used in the Demi-Sec base wine blend. Between 10-20% of reserve wines are used to ensure perfect consistency.
Vinification and Aging: Following a minimum of three years of cellar aging, Demi-Sec receives a dosage of 45 grams of sugar per liter dissolved in wine from the same cuvée. The dosage level results in a Demi-Sec that is pleasantly sweet without being cloying.
Serving Temperature: Serve between 43ºF and 46ºF
Food Pairing: Rich desserts, especially cakes and tarts
Critical Acclaim:

  • Wine & Spirits – 91 Points

Collectors Wine ClubLaurent-Perrier_Grand-Siecle-N24Laurent-Perrier
Grand Siecle
Itération Nº24
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Launched in 1959 by Bernard de Nonancourt, Grand Siècle is Laurent-Perrier’s prestige cuvée and the epitome of the art of blending. Grand Siècle’s elegant bottle was inspired by the work of early 18th century master glassmakers. This cuvée namesake means “Great Century” from the illustrious period of French history during the reign of King Louis XIV, called the Sun King. At that time, art de vivre reached its pinnacle and French gastronomy was born, ushering in the concept of vins de terroir and the first effervescent wines from Champagne.

The Grand Siècle is bright pale, gold in color with a very fine effervescence, persistent sparkle and stead stream of fine bubbles. The nose is fresh, intense and complex with notes of candied citrus developing into aromas of fresh pastry and toasted almonds, with subtle hints of honey and gingerbread. The palate is complex, marrying structure to finesse, resulting in a perfect balance between power and delicacy. This textured wine continues to develop on the palate and in the glass, showing notes of honey, hazelnut, and toasted brioche.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir:

  • Grand Siècle Iteration Nº24 is made exclusively with 100% grand cru grapes from eleven of the most outstanding villages. These grapes are from exclusively hand-picked plots, selected from exceptional years and chosen for their complementary traits to provide structure, freshness and finesse in perfect harmony; Chardonnay always being the majority, with the balance being Pinot Noir:
    • Chardonnay Grands Crus: Avize, Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
    • Pinot Noir Grands Crus: Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay, Tours-sur-Marne and Mailly
  • Grand Siècle Iteration Nº24 is always a blend of three complementary years, which have been declared vintages by Laurent-Perrier: 2007 (60%), 2006 (20%), and 2004 (20%) vintages:
    • 2007: noted for its freshness, the Chardonnays are complex with aromas of white fruits and citrus and the Pinots Noirs open and fruity with a dominance of yellow fruit
    • 2006: noted for its finesse with rich, complex Chardonnays and Pinots Noirs with red fruit aromas
    • 2004: noted for its freshness and structure with fine, balanced Chardonnays and high quality Pinots Noirs

Vinification and Aging: The best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines are kept in reserve tanks in the dedicated Grand Siècle cuverie at Laurent-Perrier. After the base blend is crafted, it is put into bottles that will mature for up to 11 years on the lees in the cellar before disgorging.
Serving Temperature: Serve between 50ºF – 53.6ºF
Food Pairing: The creaminess and complexity of Grand Siècle perfectly complements refined dishes such as noble fish and lobster, or any dish with truffles or mushrooms.
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling – 97 Points

ABOUT LAURENT-PERRIER:
Laurent-Perrier is the largest independent, family-owned, woman-owned House in Champagne. Passed down from generation to generation, the house is now managed by Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt and Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt, daughters of the emblematic Bernard de Nonancourt. In 2014, Stéphane Dalyac joined the daughters as Chairman of the Management Board, and in 2019, Alexandra’s daughter, Lucie Pereye de Nonancourt joined the team representing Grand Siècle in France and worldwide. This successful hand-over between generations has given the winery the ability to craft traditional and elegant champagnes for over two centuries. Laurent-Perrier suits every occasion and offers a unique experience for all senses through their innovative and comprehensive range of champagnes. Learn more about their history here.


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October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Bold wine Style logoPina-firehouse-bottlePiña
Firehouse
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford AVA
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Firehouse Cabernet Sauvignon is an ethereal wine that showcases fragrant aromatics of blackberry, blueberry and black currant liqueur intermixed with layers of crushed volcanic rock, wild flowers and licorice. The mouth-coating and sweet, ripe, slightly rustic tannins perfectly represent this unique hillside in a great vintage. The intense structure coupled with the purity and texture of this Cabernet make a seamless and alluring wine.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Aged: 100% French Oak (70% new oak) for 20 months
Winemaker: Anna Monticelli


Bold wine Style logoPina-valley-Howell-bottlePiña
Grant 1882
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain AVA
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

WineStyles is excited to be the first retailer to bring Piña’s new 1882 Grant Cabernet from Howell Mountain AVA.  Perched above the Silverado Trail, Piña is truly one of Napa’s secret wineries and one of only a handful of eight generation farming families in the valley.

WINEMAKER:
Anna Monticelli began her winemaking career at the University of California Davis earning her degree in Viticulture and Enology. During her fourth year of school, she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris France. After graduation, Anna worked in France and Napa Valley before becoming the lead winemaker at Piña Napa Valley. At Piña, Anna focuses on making big and bold, yet elegant and approachable Napa Valley Cabernets. Learn more about her story here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Coming from a family of wine making, the history of growing grapes and making wines stretches back to the 1850’s when the Piña brothers’ great-great-great-grandfather settled in Napa Valley. Passed down from generation to generation, John Piña Jr. and Arline (Glos) Piña (parents of the four sons – the current owners), started Piña Vineyard Management in 1960, while their sons started the winery in 1979. Piña Winery focuses heavily on the production of incredible Cabernet Sauvignons. Learn more about the winery here.

Pina Valley

Pina Napa Valley

Piña brothers today.

Pina Napa Valley

Piña’s family history of growing grapes in Napa Valley goes back to 1850’s.


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July Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Bold wine Style logoAmulet CabernetAmulet Estate
2017 Amulet
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The 2017 Amulet Cabernet is deep purple in color is aromas of black cherry, cranberry, cardamom, and bay leaf. It is smooth yet expansive on the palate and highlights flavors of crushed ripe strawberry, graphite, and warm clove. Firm tannins give this wine volume in the mouth, and notes of tobacco linger into a fresh and refined finish.

Analysis: 15.4% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Napa Valley; 77% St. Helena, 23% Oakville
Winemaker: Shawn Johnson
History of Accolades:

  • 2014 – 93 pts Wine Advocate
  • 2015 – 93 pts Wine Advocate, 91 pts Vinous
  • 2016 – 95 pts Jeb Dunnuck, 93 pts Wine Advocate

Bold wine Style logoDancing HaresAmulet Estate
2017 Dancing Hares
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The 2017 Dancing Hares has heavy aromas of plum preserve, crème de cassis, and spice box. It is velvety on the palate, evolving into deep flavors of warm licorice, black fruits, and olive tapenade. It finishes with great volume and length.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot
Appellation: St. Helena, Napa Valley
Winemaker: Shawn Johnson

ABOUT THE WINE:
In 2000, five acres of Bordeaux varietals were planted on rocky, porous soils at the base of Howell Mountain, called Dancing Hares. Now known as Amulet Estate but with a more distinct focus on a portfolio of single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  With an appreciation for the past, Amulet continues to honor the traditions of Dancing Hares and produce a wine of elegance and grace, aged for nearly two years in new and neutral French Oak barrels.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The word “amulet” comes from the Latin word “amulētum”, meaning an object that provides good fortune or a good luck charm. However, the true mark of the Amulet portfolio comes from their deep respect for the land and the pioneering spirit expressed in early Napa Valley viticulture. Each single vineyard is carefully selected to create a varietal that expresses the elegance of the Napa Valley terroir. Learn more about their history and philosophy here.


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April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa


Bold wine Style logogoldschmidt-alexvalley-plus-yoeman_2015-webGoldschmidt Vineyards
PLUS Yoeman Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Goldschmidt PLUS Yoemen Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a small mountain vineyard just east of the town of Geyserville, California. It’s a superb vintage for Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Nick Goldschmidt hand bottled it directly from the barrels. It’s very refined with deep, almost opaque, purple-black color and outstanding flavor development. Showcasing bold aromas of dusty plum, black cherry, graphite and flint nuanced with black pepper. There are hints of blueberry and black licorice, which lie in perfect balance to its generous structure and very dense, yet silk tannin profile. This wine is very concentrated but marvelously flavorful.

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Alexander Valley, CA
Vineyard: Yoeman
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH: 3.6
TA: 6.9 g/L
Clones: Heritage, 337
Average Vine Age: 35 years
Harvest: Hand-picked
Harvest Date: October 1, 2015
Yield: 2.5 tons per acre
Filtering: Unfined/Unfiltered
Aging: Allier Oak, tight-Grain, 43 months, 100% new
Production: 99 cases
Critical Acclaim:

  • 2011 – 94 Points, Anthony Diaz Blue
  • 2008 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2007 – 94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2006 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2005 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2004 – 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
The vineyard slopes to the southeast and is comprised of well-draining glacial loam. Soft morning sun promotes slower grape maturation and longer “hang times” in this secluded micro-climate. Rarely do vineyard conditions afford a winemaker the opportunity to make a wine such as this.

VINTAGE NOTES:
“We were challenged this year by a warm winter, a cool spring, and three summer heat waves, but the gorgeous fruit at harvest released our worries. Yields were down we were blessed with great quality and consistency. Small clusters with some of the smallest berries we’ve ever seen. Very concentrated but marvelously flavorful!” – Nick Goldschmidt and the Goldschmidt winery


Bold wine Style logoGoldschmidt-Forefathers-Cabernet-webGoldschmidt Vineyards
Lone Tree Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The magnum bottle is signed by winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt. Forefathers Lone Tree Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a 3 acre parcel just north of Geyersville. Deep ruby-black in color.  It highlights blackberry, cassis, and plum aromas with nuances of malted chocolate and tobacco. On the palate, there are savory tastes of black cherry and black currant with smooth, finely-structured tannins. This wine is beautifully weighted and will continue to develop complexity well into 2025.

Bottle Size: Magnum 1.5 L (equivalent to two standard 750 ml bottles)
Analysis:
14.3% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Alexander Valley, CA
Vineyard: Lone Tree
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH: 3.6
TA: 6.8 g/L
Yield: 1.8 tons per acre
Aging: Demptos Allier, 70% French, 30% American; 16 months, 18% new
Racked: Gravity racked three times
Production: 660 six-packs
Critical Acclaim:

  • 2017 – Best of Class, LA Wine Competition
  • 2015 – 93 Points, North Coast Wine Comp.
  • 2014 – 95 Points, The Tasting Panel
  • 2012 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2010 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2009 – 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2008 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2007 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2006 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2004 – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
  • 2003 – 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
This mountain vineyard faces east avoiding hot afternoon temperatures. East-facing slopes are a relatively rare occurrence in the Alexander Valley, as most are either heavily forested or too steep to plant. Up 800 feet in elevation, this vineyard runs cooler than others along the valley floor, allowing grapes to ripen very slowly at first. Starting in September the morning fogs roll in and cover the valley completely. Lone Tree is above the fogline and gets abundant sunshine for the remainder of the season. The overall season is longer than the others though and the longer hang-times translate into more complexity and depth. Learn more about the vineyard and its production here.

VINTAGE NOTES:
“Bud-break occurred three weeks ahead of normal but March and April remained warm with no signs of frost. In May, however, the weather changed considerably. Unusually cool and somewhat damp days lingered for the first two weeks during fertilization of the vines’ flowers. This caused a lot of shatter in the developing clusters, which led to fewer flowers and ultimately less berries. Warm weather returned through the rest of the season with a heat spike in early September. A tiny crop ensued and with it tiny berries. Some of the berries were the smallest we’d ever seen! Definitely a vintage for the record books in terms of yield but equally noteworthy for its depth of flavor and extraordinary concentration.” – Nick Goldschmidt and the Goldschmidt winery

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Nick Goldschmidt was born and educated in New Zealand and trained in Australia.  In 1989, after spending 18 months of winemaking in Australia, New Zealand, California and South America, Nick returned to California with an amazing range of winemaking experience.  In 1990, Nick and his wife Yolyn settled down in Healdsburg, California becoming Simi’s Chief Winemaker and then Vice President in 1996.  In 1998 Nick and Yolyn established their own line of wines with the release of Goldschmidt Vineyards and Forefathers, with the goal of focusing on site specific vineyards from around the world. Having produced so many world-class wines around the globe, Nick knew exactly the vineyard sites he would choose for his wines.  The wines are all single vineyards, 100% varietal, handcraft, small production artisan wines. Learn more about Goldschmidt Winery here.


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January Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Dead ArmBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2014 Dead Arm Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus ‘Eutypa Lata’ that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

This is one of the more pure fruited versions of this iconic wine that we have seen in recent times. Highly aromatic in the early stages of its life, the nose is dominated by an array of perfectly ripe berry fruits and spicy notes. The dark, earthy and savory characters that we are well accustomed to, whilst present, seem to be taking a back seat. Nonetheless, they play an integral role in adding depth and complexity here. The palate is similarly positioned, showing almost restrained fruit weight but great depth of flavor and wonderful brightness. What hasn’t changed is that line of fine, lively tannins that present themselves early and drive the wine from start to finish, drawing fruit flavor along with them.

Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz 100%
Residual Sugar:
0.9 g/L
pH: 3.48
Titratable Acid:
7.4
Oak Maturation:
18 months
Harvest Dates:
February 12th – April 17th
Chief Winemaker: Chester Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Critical Acclaim:

  • 91 pts. on Wine Enthusiast
  • 97 pts. Tony Keys, The Key Report
  • 97 pts. Ray Jordan, The West Australian
  • 96 pts. Patrick Eckel, Wine Reviewer
  • 95 pts. James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion
  • 94 pts. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
  • 92+ pts. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
  • 92 pts. Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com
  • Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Awards ‘Best Value’ 2017
  • 5 Stars Winestate Magazine Mainfreight World’s Greatest Shiraz Wine Show

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Darry and Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Darry and Chester Osborn

VINTAGE:
A wet winter ensured good sub soil moisture and set up the vines well with healthy canopies. Spring was very dry with above average temperatures, a heavy downpour in January was a welcome relief. Mild conditions during the ripening period produced wines that show an abundance of spicy fruits with great color, richness and balanced tannins. Vintage started on 30 January, the earliest start on record by one day.

THE WINEMAKING:

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:

The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.


Shipsters'-Rapture-ShirazBold wine Style logod’Arenberg
2010 Shipsters’ Rapture Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

Shipsters’ Rapture is named in honor of Henry Shipster and his family who owned the vineyard before the Osborn family. The Shipsters are said to have delighted in their small plot of land, lovingly planting it to vines, an orchard and Needle Pines that still line the vineyard today.

Upon release, The Shipsters’ Rapture has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. The nose is dominated by deep, dark purple fruits. Initially a little tight, with air there is the appearance of spice and flowery, mulberry notes.

Deep, rich mulberries and plums are the feature fruits on the palate. There is also a very appealing volume of spice on the finish. The cooling influence of the steep vineyard has created a more focused, linear wine. There is a real density to the wine with lovely long, mineral tannins that really linger. This wine epitomizes elegance but power. It will benefit from cellaring and decanting prior to serving is recommended.

Analysis: 14.2% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Shiraz
pH: 3.42
Titratable Acid: 6.6
Oak Maturation: 20 months in new and old French and Old American Oak
Harvest Date: 5 March 2010 
Chief Winemaker: Chester d’Arenberg Osborn
Senior Winemaker: Jack Walton
Additional Info: Vegan Friendly
Altitude: 70m Above Sea Level
Aspect: Southern
Size (area): 1.5 Hectares
Soil: Sandy Loam/Limestone
Age of Vines: 43 years
Critical Acclaim:

  • 92 points on Wine Enthusiast 
  • 91 points on Wine Spectator
  • 97 points from Huon Hooke
  • 91 points from Vinous Antonio Galloni
  • 91 points from Stephen Tanzer

VINTAGE:
Above average autumn rains set the vines up well. There was some heat during flowering which reduced crop levels in but with no ill-effects on quality. There was some more warm weather in January as the reds were going through veraison, this did no damage, but did encourage an early start to vintage. The day time temperatures were mild through out ripening with mild to cool nights. 2010 was a very strong vintage in McLaren Vale with the reds in particular showing excellent varietal characters and balance.

THE VINEYARD:
This very steep south aspect vineyard (depicted front) was planted to Shiraz in 1969. This aspect promotes the flowery fruit characters of the wine. The floweriness is further enhanced as the vines are situated in a steep gully where considerable cold air drainage occurs at nightfall. The geology is Blanche Point formation (limestone based), promoting the powerful structure of the wine.

© Photo by d'Arenberg Winery - Winemaker Chester Osborn

© Photo by d’Arenberg Winery – Winemaker Chester Osborn

THE WINEMAKING:
Walking the vineyard rows and tasting grapes, Chester Osborn classifies and determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard. Small batches are crushed in the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber toothed crusher and then transferred to five-tonne headed-down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. When tannin extraction is just right the wine is basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete primary and secondary fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees to keep the wine fresh while also reducing the oak influence. There is no racking until final blending. Chester and the winemaking team undertake an extensive barrel tasting process for the ‘Amazing Sites’ range and only the best shiraz blocks from each vintage are selected.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
The youthful exuberance and purity offers itself up for relatively early consumption (in Dead Arm terms that is). However, the lovely balance between acid and tannin along with the depth of fruit promises greater things to come. Watch patiently as the earthy vineyard expression grows with time. This wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10°C and 15°C.

ABOUT D’ARENBERG:
Since 1912 the Osborn family have tended vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia. It is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d’Arenberg’s first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale’s old bush-vine Grenache. Today fourth generation family member, Chester, makes distinctive wines using traditional methods both in the vineyard and the winery. Recently, Chester has converted all of the family’s vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed – all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottling every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Hall of Fame for earning place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d’Arenberg’s revered reputation worldwide. To learn about the history of d’Arenberg, click here.


Bold wine Style logoSteyning-cabernetPenley Estate
2014 Steyning Cabernet Sauvignon
Coonawarra, Australia

BOLD WINE STYLE

The 2014 Steyning is an excellent example of a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a concentrated aroma of leather, olive, dark blueberries and plum. The densely concentrated fruit is supported by cedar French oak, and is a wine of complexity and length bolstered by brooding savory tannin. Drink fantastically now, or well into the future. Suggested to decant before drinking.

Analysis: 15% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
pH:
3.54
Titratable Acid:
6.74 g/L

© Photo by Penley Estate

© Photo by Penley Estate of Hans

Viticulture:
Hans is a natural in the Vineyard. He’s a Viticulturist and a Geologist who has always been keen to understand the interaction between the vine and its own local geology. A visit to Portugal’s Douro Valley helped him realize his two fields of knowledge were a perfect match and since then Hans has been busy applying his geological mapping skills to the mapping of vineyards around Penley Estates. Hans’ aim is to always identify the small parcels of fruit in each vintage that will enable their winemakers, Kate and Lauren, to bring the ‘season to your glass’.

Winemaking:
Kate is one of Australia’s best contemporary winemakers. Wineries such as Wirra Wirra (McLaren Vale), Tim Kanppstein (Clare Valley), Seppelt (Great Western), Punt Road (Yarra Valley) have all benefited from Kate’s brilliance. There is no denial of talent and absolute harmony when it comes to Kate and the winery, which the Penley Estate has witnessed each year since she started in 2016.​ Her investment in Penley is what has fed their evolution into creating some spectacular contemporary varietals. Coupled with the addition of winemaker, Lauren Hansen, it’s as though Penley Estates have taken an almighty breath of fresh Coonawarra air. Learn more about their team here.

Penley Estate_Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen

© Photo by Penley Estate – Winemakers Kate Goodman and Lauren Hansen


About Penley:
The Penley Estate wine-making history dates back to 1844, but it really began with a red sports car in 1945. It was a collision of hearts and minds, a collision that had been 100 years in the making – refined and distilled from two pioneering winemaking families When Reginald Lester Tolley rolled up to a function in his red sports car, Judith Anne Penfold Hyland was suitably impressed by the car and rather taken by the man behind the wheel. Sparks flew, romance blossomed and Penley was conceived (as a business name) in 1947 after Reginald and Judith married. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the Penley name came to life, when the children of Reginald and Judith decided to create their own wines and put a label on tradition. They bought a plot of land in Coonawarra, planted cabernet grapes and called it Penley Estate. In 1995, they built a winery at Penley Estate – a full on, all the bells and whistles, impress me with your red sports car winery. Their reputation had grown by then, and it made sense to have everything on site. They planted more vineyards, added some Shiraz to the Cabernet, and increased their range of wine, producing classic Coonawarra reds that were full-bodied, to be kept and savored. To learn more about the history of Penley Estate, click here.

“Our history is a rich mix of endeavor, passion and vision with a touch of scandal and madness thrown in for good measure. We could write a book about it. Instead, we’ll leave you with the words of our glamorous mother; words that we hope you’ll taste in every bottle of our contemporary Coonawarra wine… ‘Grow up and be fascinating.'” – Ang and Bec Tolley


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October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBandeau Cave

Extrait BlancDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Blanc
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

Rich WineStylesRICH WINE STYLE

Vinified, aged in an ovoid concrete vat and selected from an outstanding terroir: this wine is truly “Haute Couture”. This Blanc Extrait has a very pure nose, mineral and saline coated by a fruit white white flesh; powerful, elegant and creamy mouth feel. Pairs well with Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine, foie gras, lobster, scallops, and king prawn.

“Freshly cut pear, fairly full in body. with a pear juice texture and flavor. Acidity is low but balanced, with a little positive bitter twist accentuating the freshness. Fairly long finish, not hugely deep, but very well put together Organically grown on clay soils in lieu-dit Palestor to the north of the village. Fermented then matured for 10 months, half in demi-muid, half in concrete tank.” – 93 pts, Matt Walls – 2018 En primeur tastings, Rhône Valley

“The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc Extrait is 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc, with roughly half made in demi-muids and the other part in concrete. A bit reticent right now, with just hints of pineapple and tangerine, it’s full-bodied but tightly wound and tense, seemingly in need of time to unwind. It’s by no means unapproachable now, but it should be better in a year or two and will drink well for close to a decade.” – 91+ pts, Joe Czerwinski – The Wine Advocate 2019

Terroir: Clay – Limestone 70% (lieu dit: Palestor), Rolled Pebbles 30% (lieu dit: Cabrières)
Age of Vineyard: 40 years old
Varietal: 70% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc
Aging: 9 months on fine sediments
Aging Potential: 10 years
Serving Temperature: 50-53.6° F
Production: 1,700 Bottles

About Domaine Chante Cigale

Domaine Chante Cigale has been in operation in Southern Rhone Valley for more than 150 years. Founded in 1874, Hyppolite Jourdan named roughly 28 hectares of family property Clos Chante Cigale. In 1936, the same year the Chateauneuf de Pape AOC was created, the estate was renamed to Domaine Chante Cigale.

Today, 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. 

Domaine Chante Cigale VineyardsDomaine Chante Cigale Harvest

 

Bold wine Style logoExtrait RougeDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Rouge
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

A genuine and rustic wine that will go through decades. Showcasing a deep, red color, with a complex nose of black fruit and licorice. The Extrait Rouge has a very powerful mouth, that is fleshy and concentrated, with very fine and dense tannins. Pairs well with roasted meat, pigeon, lamb, pecking duck and sheep’s cheese.

A broad, muscular style, with chestnut and tobacco leaf notes and roasted cedar accents framing a large core of lightly dried plum, red currant and blackberry fruit. Cuts a broad swath on the finish, offering a long echo of humus. Will likely age toward a more rustic profile. For fans of the style.” – 92 pts, JM 2017

The smallest production cuvée is the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Extrait. An uncommon blend of 70% Mourvèdre and 20% Grenache, aged in demi-muids and older barrels, its deep ruby color is followed by rich, concentrated and ripe aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, toasted spice, licorice and roasted herbs. This big, mouth-filling and structured 2015 will need to be forgotten for 3-4 years and will have two decades of overall longevity.” – 92-94 pts, Jeb Dunnuck – The Wine Advocate 2016

Terroir: Rolled Pebbles (lieu-dit: Le Calada)
Age of Vineyard: 100 years old
Varietal: 80% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache
Aging: 30 months in demi muid
Aging Potential: 15-20 years
Serving Temperature: 60.8-64.4° F
Production: 800 Bottles

Bandeau DomaineAbout 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.


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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