August Sweet Club Iowa

Sweet Wine ClubQuinta de la RosaQuinta de La Rosa
Extra Dry White Port
Douro, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This Extra Dry White Port is a first class aperitif wine with a beautiful amber/honey color. It showcases excellent fruit, as well as hints of pear drop, on the palate, all while maintaining the quintessential La Rosa long, dry finish.

Varietal: Mainly Viosinho, Gouveia, Rabigato and Malvasia Fina
Analysis:
19.5% alcohol / volume

Total Acidity: 3.00 g/dm3
Residual Sugars: 20-30 g/dm
pH: 3.8
Aging: 2-3 years in large ‘tonels’ (large 550L pipes)
Production: Regularly

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Enjoy on its own as a chilled aperitif.  Or serve with roasted almonds and olives, terrines and pâtés. Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an aged cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

TERROIR:
Still largely unexplored, the terroir in the Douro offers incredible opportunities. La Rosa’s vines rise dramatically out of the river with the imposing Vale do Inferno vineyard, and climb majestically up to an altitude of 500m. The estate’s grapes are category A – the very best the Douro has to offer. The remarkable freshness and minerality that Quinta’s unique terroir provides, along with a steadfast desire to ensure their brandy is will integrated, means that all of Quinta de la Rosa’s Ports are made in drier ‘house style’ without any overpowering sweetness.

PRODUCTION:
The first pressings of the grapes are fun off and used in their white wines. When then pH starts to rise, the last approximately 10% of the juice is drawn off into stainless steel vats, to be made into white port, stopping the fermentation by adding brandy. The Extra Dry White Port is blended from stocks held at La Rosa and is aged in large “tunnels” for an average of 2-3 years.

Qunita De La Rosa White Port

ABOUT QUINTA DE LA ROSA:
Located along the river, a short distance from Pinhão, in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro, Quinta de la Rosa is a Single Quinta winery famed for its premium wines and ports. Having been family owned and run since 1906, La Rosa is committed to respectful innovation in its pursuit of excellence. All of the estate’s grapes are category A – the very best the Douro has to offer. La Rosa’s wines and ports continue to receive 95+ points and they have been invited to join the top 273 wineries in the world at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience. Quinta de la Rosa has a commitment to sustainable farming and winemaking, as well as sustainable tourism, that shows in their efforts at their hotel and restaurant. Learn more about their story here.

© Information provided by Quinta de la Rosa


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March Premium Wine Club

Bold wine Style logoMaterra Cunat Family Vineyards
Midnight Red Blend
Oak Knoll District

Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Midnight Red Blend is deep purple in color with aromatic notes of cranberry, red currant, and vanilla cola.  Up front, there is a zingy acidity with a bit of nice spice on the palate.  The wine is medium-weight, but finish is powerful and persistent.

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 46% Malbec, 31% Petit Verdot, 23% Merlot
Appellation:
Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
Oak Aging: 45% new French Oak for 19 months
Production: 802 cases
Serving: This wine will drink beautifully upon release, or will age well up to 7 years in your cellar. It is incredibly versatile with food pairings.

ABOUT MATERRA:
Proprietor Brian Cunat, grew up on a Midwest farm, developing a passion for agriculture and farming. He and his wife, Miki, found themselves traveling extensively, touring wineries and enjoying the cuisines of the local countries. In 2007, Brian and his brother purchased a 50-acre property in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. By 2014, they hired an expert team of vineyard managers and winemakers and transformed their property into a state-of-the-art winery capable of producing 150,000 gallons of wine. The Materra winery maintains ongoing efforts to improve their sustainability and since 2017, they have been Napa Green certified. Learn more about the winery here.


Mellow style logoWorks and Days Pinot NoirCoursey Graves Winery
Works and Days
Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

This Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is elegant and refined. There are notes of fresh cherry, a hint of strawberry, star anise, dried flowers and crushed stone. The long, persistent finish makes the second drink next to impossible.

Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
100% Pinot Noir
Production:
252 cases
Serving: Drink now or regularly over the next 12 years.

VINEYARD:
This wine is a blend of Dijon, California Heritage, and Swiss clones from two Sonoma Coast vineyards planted in 1999 and 2007. Spring Hill is located near the Pacific Ocean on light, sandy soils in western Sonoma County; while the Hill Justice Vineyard is located 5 miles inland on volcanic soil, 1200 feet above sea level. 

VINTAGE AND WINEMAKER NOTES: 
A warm winter with good rainfall led to slightly early bud-break. Early shoot growth was normal and excellent weather encouraged flowering. This led to a larger-than-average crop with great fruit uniformity. 2018 avoided the heat spikes of years prior, meaning even ripening and developed tannins. Vineyards were handpicked and clusters were pressed whole. Wine was native yeast fermented and sur lie aged 12 months in Terracotta Amphora vessels. An additional 5 months of stainless steel barrel aging occurred on lees. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and free of additives. Minimal amounts of SO2 preserve freshness.

ABOUT COURSEY GRAVES WINERY:
The Coursey Graves Winery operates under the philosophy that farming and winemaking are one practice. Their vineyards are organically farmed without any herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. They are dedicated to preserving their estate with a clean eco-conscience and nurture the essence of the fruit to reflect the time and the place in which it was made. Learn more about their winery here


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February Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubClara-Vie-Brut-NatureClara Vie
Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This Bubbly blend of Mauzac, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay is crystalline yellow in color with golden hues as it pours. The nose is intense with delicate scents of hawthorn and crisp green apple offsetting the nutty, pastry-like richness imparted by the extended tirage. A freshness sweeps over the palate with waves of citrus fruits, tart apple, Mirabelle plum, and golden flowers all lingering into a harmonious finish.

Varietal: 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin Blanc, 5% Chardonnay
Terroir: 20-40 year old vines grown on gently sloping hillsides formed of calcareous clay in a Mediterranean climate

Elevation: 650 feet
Farming: Sustainable Farming
Aging:
24 months in stainless steel tanks
Bottled: At the winery

Certification: Certified Terra Vitis
Serving Temperature: Serve between 44ºF – 45ºF
Food Pairing: Enjoy as an aperitif or throughout the meal

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Clara Vie is a custom cuvée between JP Bourgeois and Françoise Antech, the sixth-generation member of Maison Antech-Limoux, a family-owned winery in France for over five centuries. Since the late 19th century, the family has been invested in the winemaking traditions of their region, taming their magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. In 1996, Françoise stepped in to carry on the family traditions, while raising Antech to the ranks of the greatest sparkling wine makers. The secret of their character comes from a combination of Limoux’s three terroirs (the backbone of their cuvées): freshness from the Pyrenees, minerality from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. Learn more here.


Von-winning-brutVon Winning
Riesling Extra Brut
Pfalz, Germany

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This Riesling Extra Brut has a soft, citrus aroma with an elegant spiciness on the palate.

“Based largely on vintage 2016 and on grapes from Ruppertsberg (especially Linsenbusch), this offers a mouthwatering and remarkably Chablis-like evocation of salted, herbed chicken stock and oyster liquor. Walnut and peach kernel piquancy stimulate further on a brightly lemony, buoyant palate. The mousse is admirably fine, the long finish both cheek-pinching and salivainducing, irrepressibly juicy and loaded with animal as well as mineral savor…” – Vinous, Antonio Galloni; 92 points.

Varietal: Riesling
Vineyard: Selection of different vineyards in and around Deidesheim

Soil: Chalky, loess-clay soils and red sandstone
Farming: Practicing Organic
Fermentation: Stainless steel tanks used for first fermentation, then secondary fermentation in the bottle. Left on the lees for 24-28 months.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Formally called the Dr. Deinhard Estate, (now Von Winning) was founded in 1849, producing unique wines reflecting their vineyards in Ruppetsberg, Deidesheim and Forst. In 1907, Leopold von Winning, son-in-law of Dr. Andreas Deinhard, dedicated his life to creating the highest quality of wines with respect to the vineyards passed down to him. Today, Stephan Attmann and his ambitious team uphold this visionary’s tradition.  Learn more about their story here.

 

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January Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubLaurent-Perrier-Cuvee-webLaurent-Perrier
La Cuvée Brut Champagne
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This wine comes from the purest grape juice and allows Laurent‑Perrier to craft “La Cuvée”, a champagne of great finesse and a beautiful freshness obtained after a long ageing process in their cellars. Laurent-Perrier’s style and personality are defined by its very high proportion of Chardonnay. Purity, freshness and elegance – essential characteristics, expressed in this champagne which embodies the spirit of the House.

La Cuvée is pale, gold in color with fine bubbles that feed a persistent mousse. It has a delicate nose with hints of fresh citrus and white flowers, while on the palate the wine’s complexity is expressed with successive notes of vine peach and white fruit. There is a perfect balance between freshness and delicacy with fruity flavors that are very present on the finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: La Cuvée is a blend made from over 100 Crus selected by Laurent-Perrier

  • A majority of Chardonnay, over 50%
  • Pinot Noir, between 30% and 35%
  • Rounded out with Meunier, between 10% and 15%
  • + Reserve wines between 15% and 30% to ensure perfect consistency in style

Vinification and Aging: For blending, only the musts of the Cuvée are used, so only 80% of the grape juice is extracted from pressing. The ideal aging is around 4 years in the cellar, and its balance and freshness are enhanced by a light dosage.
Serving Temperature: Serve between 46.4ºF – 50ºF
Food Pairing: Perfect as an aperitif or paired alongside poultry or the finest fish.

ABOUT LAURENT-PERRIER:
Laurent-Perrier is a Champagne house founded in 1812. Nestled in a Grand Cru village at the crossroads of three main winegrowing areas, Laurent-Perrier is the largest female-owned, family-run, fiercely independent estates focusing exclusively on champagne. Passed down from generation to generation, Laurent-Perrier continues to offer unique experiences for champagne lovers all over the world. Learn more about their story here.

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January Premium Wine Club

Mellow style logoRuffion-modus-wine-bottleRuffino
Modus Toscana IGT
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, and complex, fruity and intense on the nose. The initial aromas are of mature black fruits, such as cherries, plums, and small blackberries typical of Sangiovese. There are also floral notes that are complimented by hints of spiced cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is full-bodied and harmonious with modern Super Tuscan finesse and style. This wine is rich with soft tannins and flavors of mature blackberry fruit that lead to a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 37% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano Estate
Soil:
Hilly land with clay, limestone, and a small percentage of silt
Micro-climate:
Variable with good diurnal temperature swings, especially during summer
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
12,000 per acre
Age of vineyards:
Recently planted
First Year of Production:
1997
Food Pairings: Wonderful on its own, or serve with bold dishes such as duck with olives and pancetta, beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce, or aged cheeses such as T
aleggio, Pecorino and/or Gouda.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Only the best grapes are selected in the vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness when picked. They are again sorted prior to pressing. Due to a warm and dry growing season, the harvest began earlier than usual, as the high summer temperatures led to beautiful fruit maturation.
Fermentation: Each varietal was vinified independently, fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 10 days. The wine was then allowed to macerate on the skins for another 2 weeks.
Aging: After completing malolactic fermentation, the 3 varietals were blended and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of first and second use.


Ruffio-riserva-ducale-wine-bottleMellow style logoRuffino
Riserva Ducale
Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, the nose has an elegant bouquet characterized by violet, cherries, wild berries and plums. There are hints of tobacco, clove and eucalyptus. On the palate, the Riserva Ducale is balance and constant with delicate tannins. The vibrant acidity characterizes this wine, which is typical of Sangiovese’s grapes. The finish is persistent and a good structure completes the entire taste sensation.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
The Riserva Ducale grapes came from owned vineyards and selected growers vineyards located in the traditional Chianti Classico production area, stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence. Ruffino traditionally works with a small stable of hand-selected growers, chosen as carefully as the Ruffino vineyards.
Soil: Typical of the Chianti Classico area; a mix of clay and limestone with an abundant presence of “Galestro” rock.
Altitude:
Variable from 951 to 1,476 feet above sea level
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
about 12,350 vines/acre
Bottle Aging:
A minimum of 3 months
First Year of Production:
1927
Food Pairings: Enjoy this timeless Tuscan gem with Italian favorites such as prosciutto and other antipasti, mushroom risotto, pasta Bolognese, and chicken cacciatore. Or, pair it with simple grilled meats and roasted vegetables for a classic Tuscan meal.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The vintage was characterized by a very hot season with a good maturation of the grapes, which led to a slightly early harvest.
Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and maceration were aided by pumping over, which took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats for approximately 16 days.
Aging: The Riserva Ducale aged for 24 months, 12 in big oak casks and the rest in concrete vats.


Mellow style logoRuffino Riserva Ducale OroRuffino
Riserva Ducale Oro
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Riserva Ducale Oro is also Ruby Red in color with hues of garnet. It is powerfully aromatic with cherry, plum, and violet with notes of eucalyptus, chocolate and spicy black pepper. The complexity is an authentic expression of Sangioveses and Classic Chiantis. The wine is full-bodied and powerfully fruity with elegant tannins, perfectly supported by a good acidity. The finish is characterized by pleasantly sweet tobacco, plums, and balsamic herbs. This Riserva Ducale Oro will age gracefully for decades.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
83% Sangiovese, 12% Merlot, 5% Colorino
Grape Sourcing:
Selected from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame estates, located in the heart of Castellina in Chianti.
Soil: Hilly land with poor, rocky, ‘galestro’ soils of mixed clay and sand
Microclimate:
Characterized by hot, dry summers with high diurnal temperature swings, which allow for optimal grape maturation.
Altitude:
820-1,300 feet above sea level
Sun Exposure:
Predominantly south, southwest, and southeast
Growing System:
Cordon-trained
Vine density:
10,000 per acre
Age of Vineyards: 
Vine yield: 12 tons per acre
First Year of Production:
1947
Food Pairings: Traditional Italian dishes pair exquisitely with this wine. Try with a pasta Bolognese, wild boar ragu, or eggplant Parmesan. It also pairs beautifully with American dishes such as grilled rib-eye and roasted vegetables.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced with grapes meticulously selected during harvest. The picking started the third week of September and ended the first week of October. The vintage 2015 shows a vivid fruity notes, with spicy hints of great elegance.
Fermentation: Aided by racking and délestage, fermentation took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 21 days. Post-fermentation maceration on the skins continued for an additional 10 days. The wine was transferred to concrete vats for malolactic fermentation.
Aging: A total of 36 months: the first 12 months in concrete vats, followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels (about 925-2,000 gallons), and finally 12 months in barriques that are four or more years old.

ABOUT RUFFINO WINERY:
In 1877, cousins, Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve, near Florence. Natives to Tuscany, they knew this region already had century-old traditions of growing exceptional wine grapes, but cousins felt that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Word eventually grew about the quality wine the Ruffino cousin’s were producing and the winery began to flourish. Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines. They became nationally and internationally known when their Chianti won Gold Medals and other prizes in 1881, 1884 and 1885 Wine Exhibitions. In 1890, the Duke of Aosta became intrigued by the winery’s reputation, and after trying it for himself, he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian Royal family. In 1927, the winery released their first vintage of Riserva Ducale – named after the Duke of Aosta to acknowledge his esteemed patronage.

Today, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany’s most important wine appellations. They continue to take a traditional approach when making their wines to allow their wines to reveal themselves without manipulation. Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, as they have become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Learn more here. 


Mellow style logoFrescobaldi-Nipozzano-RiservaFrescobaldi
Castello Nipozzano
Nipozzano Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Nipozzano 2017 conveys the intense, harmonious character of the vintage with personality, translating the heat of the season into the glass. The ruby-red color is bright and intense. The usual notes of red fruits and citrus are expressed in a seductive combination of elegance and intensity. Tertiary notes due to aging, such as spices and vanilla, enhance the aromas and balance the tasting experience. The palate is rich, dense and balanced, with a great expression of maturity, polyphenolic elegance and final persistence.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Sangiovese and complementary varieties
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling: 92 Points
  • Gambero Rosso: 3 Glasses
  • Luca Maroni: 90 Points

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The winter was mild and dry. In the spring, the early sprouting of the vines brought the growing season forward. During spring, the arrival of sporadic rains restored the vineyards’ water table, guaranteeing a good blooming, still ahead of time with respect to the previous season. The harvest began at the end of August/first few days of September, after a hot, dry summer that led to the harvesting of well-ripened grapes, qualitatively rich in body and color. As soon as the grapes were harvested, they were taken to the cellar.
Fermentation: Once de-stemmed, the natural fermentation process began in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine remained in the vats to complete maceration. After racking, malolactic fermentation took place in steel as well.
Aging: At the end of the year, the wine was transferred into barriques, where it was aged for further months. A further period in the bottle brought Nipozzano to its full expression as a wine with exceptional balance.

ABOUT FRESCOBALDI WINERY:
Beginning in the early 1300s, the Frescobaldi family has been producing wine in Tuscany for over seven hundred years. That family history is filled with illustrious ancestors, from literary figures, explorers, and musicians, to financiers, bishops, and statesmen. Over the years, the Frescobaldi family had established commercial contracts and relationships, and had the opportunity to share their wine with numerous historical names and courts such as the Court of England, the Papal Court in Rome, Donatello, Michelozzo, Michelozzi, and Filippo Brunelleschi.

The winery has been passed down in the family from generation to generation, building many different sub-family estates over the years. Today, the President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, aims to strengthen the uniqueness of the wines of each family estate. The Frescobaldi family believes each family estate, and their vineyards, should express the diversity and individuality of their Tuscan terroir while always respecting their nature and authenticity. Learn more about the family history 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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December Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine Clubpiquitos moscato sweet wine clubPiquitos
Moscato
D.O. Valencia, Spain

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A fizzy moscato dedicated to wine lovers without complexes looking for fun and to get a party started.

This Moscato is bright lemon-gold in color with a light pearliness in its appearance. The nose is clean and youthful with heavy floral and fruity notes of mandarin peel, honeysuckle and sweet orange blossom. The palate has a sweetness that coats the mouth, then refreshes itself with the airy bubbles. It is luscious and harmoniously balanced.

Analysis: 11% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscatel
TA: 5.47 g/L
pH: 3.23
RS: 51.2 g/L
V. Acidity: 0.15 g/L
Region: D.O. Valencia, Spain
Vineyard:
Valley Valentino & Alto Turia in the heart of Valencia
Age of Vines: 15-20 year-old vines
Yield: 50 hl/ha
Altitude: 200-650 m.
Climate: Warm Mediterranean
Harvest: First fortnight of September
Vinification: Cold Maceration
Fermentation: 53.6-60.8ºF
Aging: Stainless Steel

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an aged cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY: 
Piquitos is intended to mean “little kisses” in Spanish, as their wines are designed to share their love. Sourced from sunny Mediterranean Coast in Valencia, Spain, Piquitos is made by the team from Hammeken Cellars – an innovative producer and exporter of Spanish wines. Their philosophy is to gather the best local grapes and traditions in Spain and pair those with the “New World” winemaking techniques and styles to produce high quality, fruit forward and fresh wines. Learn more about their company here.


Tintero moscato wineCantine Elvio Tintero
Moscato d’Asti ‘Sori Gramella’
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Delightfully fizzy and slightly sweet, an irresistible combination.

The third generation Tintero family continues the traditions of winemaking in Gramella. “Sori” in Piedmontese indicates the south-facing slope of a hill, that pampers the grapes with 20% more sunshine. Cantine Elvio Tintero are the only producers to sustainable farm and commercially bottle from this striking single-vineyard, limestone amphitheater. Vines were planted in the late 1980’s. Grapes are harvested and pressed, then kept at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks to provide the freshest wine possible.

Analysis: 7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato

Appellation: Moscato d’Asti, Langhe
RS: 110 g/L
Vine Age: Average 30 years
Soil Type: Clay, limestone with rocks
Vineyard Area: 25 hectares
Producer: Marco Tintero
Founded: 1900
Annual Production: 41,000 cases
Farming: Sustainable

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The winery’s legacy began in 1900 when a Frenchman named Pierre Tintero set out to Piedmont in search of work. Here, he found a job helping a widow, Rosina Cortese with her small estate, and just a few years later the couple fell in love, married and continued to grow their estate. Passed down from generation to generation, the family eventually took over the adjacent vineyard plots and began growing a small production of Moscato. It wasn’t until 1980, when grandson, Elvio, began experimenting with frizzante wine production, allowing the family to take advantage of the grape’s special affinity to the local terroir. Today, Elvio help’s his son and daughter-in-law run the estate producing fresh, easy and fun wines to drink with friends. Learn more about their story
here.


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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Skillet Cranberry Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter, the potatoes, carrots, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, deglazing the pan and scraping up any browned bits off the bottom. Simmer the wine for 5 minutes or until reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and nestle the chicken into the potatoes. Add the lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl, toss together the cranberries, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the cranberries over the chicken. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Plate the chicken and potatoes and drizzle with the sauce left in the pan. EAT!

© Recipe courtesy of Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

fleurie chateau des dorees wine bottleHenry Fessy
Fleurie Château des Labourons

Burgundy, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color with light hints of purple, the nose has intense flavors of blackberry and blackcurrant. On the palate, the Fleurie “Château des Labourons” is concentrated, with supple and silky tannins. It has a beautiful finish with slightly peppery and violet notes.
 
Château des Labourons dominates the beautiful hillsides of the Fleurie appellation. It is located three kilometers further up the hill from the hamlet of Les Labourons. The combination of the altitude, slope, exposure and quality of the soil have created a promising terroir in the heart of the Fleurie Cru. Château des Labourons’ current architecture dates from the 19th century. It was rebuilt from ashes after a devastating fire, but still retains some of its original architectural character. This Château has a long history, over five generations of the “de Lescure” family, and it was already producing wine by the 18th century.
 
Varietal: 100% Gamay
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Beaujolais, France
Soil Composition: Igneous rock – mainly pale pink granite that breaks down into coarse “blockfields”
Harvest: Manual
Average Vine Age: 40 Years
Pruning: Gobelet
Density of Vines: 10,000 vines/ha
Critical Acclaim: 
  • James Suckling – February 2017 – 92 pts
  • Wine Spectator – July 2017 – 88 pts
  • Wine Enthusiast – May 2017 – 88 pts
  • Jancis Robinson – UK – January 2017 – 16.5 pts
  • Guide Bettane & Desseauve – Septembre 2016 – 14 pts
  • Concours Général Agricole – Février 2016 – Médaille d’Or
Suggested Food Pairings: Roasted chicken, grilled meats and cheese
Serving Temperature:
57.2-59°F
Winemaking: The château selects the best grapes, then carries out non-carbonic vinification in open vats. Afterwards, the grapes go through pneumatic pressing and fermentation, the wine is matured in old oak tuns before bottling.
 
ABOUT HENRY FESSY:
The Fessy Family has been based in the heart of the Brouilly appellation since 1888. They have purchased parcels of vineyards in most of the Crus and Beaujolais-Villages over the years, creating an enviable domaine of nearly 70 hectares of vineyards. Their philosophy is to work with sensitivity and intelligence to produce highly characterful wines with little to no intervention. Learn more about the winery here.
 

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November Sweet Club Iowa

 

Sweet Wine Clubmeneres-rubyPorto Menéres
Porto Fine Ruby
Douro, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The Porto Fine Ruby wine is rich and full bodied with notes of red fruit, such as plums and raspberry.

Analysis: 19.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao
TA: 3.7 g/l
Residual Sugar: 100 g/l
pH: 3.79
VA: 0.4
Vintage: NV
Wine Type:
Ruby Port DOC
Origin:
Portugal
Appellation:
Douro, Portugal
Elaboration:
Handpicked in small bins. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged in large oak casks.
Production:
500 cases
Winemaker:
Alvaro Van Zeller

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
Grapes are sourced for the company estates of Quinta do Saião (220 acres) and Quinta de Zom (200 acres). The grapes are hand cut, harvested in baskets and delivered to the Quinta to be sorted and crusted with the stems. Prior to fermentation, they are cold macerated for a full day, then fermented with native yeasts in open top stainless steel vats under temperature control until about half of the grapes’ nature sugar is consumed. The fermenting wine is drained off its skins and stems when it reaches about 100-120 g/l of residual sugar; it is then fortified with a fine, 150 proof grape brandy from Spain. After the harvest, the wine stays at the adega (or winery), in the Douro. Here, it is left to settle until the following spring before it is taken to the lodges at the Vila Nova de Gaia (next to the Atlantic coast and Porto) where it is matured, blended and bottled. The Menéres Ruby Port is a blend of selected young ports matured in large oak vats (or “tonels”) keeping a young fruit character.


Sweet Wine Clubmeneres-tawnyPorto Menéres
Porto Fine Tawny
Douro, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Small oak barrel aging has lent the Porto Fine Tawny to have a softened mellow texture with an intense complex nose. This softness complements the raisiny fruity flavors.

Analysis: 19.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao
TA: 3.5 g/l
Residual Sugar: 106 g/l
pH: 3.68
VA: 0.2
Vintage: NV
Wine Type:
Fine Tawny Port DOC
Origin:
Portugal
Appellation:
Douro, Portugal
Elaboration:
Handpicked in small bins. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged in large oak casks.
Production:
500 cases
Winemaker:
Alvaro Van Zeller
Critical Acclaims: 95 pts, Wine & Spirits

WineStyles Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section also pair well with an aged cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
The Tawny Port follows the exact same harvest and production steps as the Menéres Ruby Port. The one key difference is that the Tawny Port is made of a selection of aged ports from small oak barrels, blended to obtain the house style before it is bottled.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Fernando Van Zeller owns and operates both the largest and fastest growing independent Port companies in Portugal today. The family operated company comes from 14 uninterrupted generations in the Port trade, making them the longest continual run family in the region. The company in its current form was created when the family sold Quinta Do Noval in the 1990s, a transaction made to gain additional funds to expand the estate vineyard holdings and to maintain/expand the library stocks the Van Zeller family has long been associated with. During this sale, the Van Zeller family was able to hold onto thousands of barrels of aged wine, making them the deepest and most sought-after stocks of aged tawny in Portugal. Today, Menéres is one of the four Port brands this independent firm produces, named after their family ancestor, Arnaldo Menéres. The Menéres house specializes in 20 Year Tawny, 40 Year Tawny, and heirloom Colheitas. It is the highest quality line of Port that the Van Zeller family produces. The wines are classic in style, complex and true to character. 


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October Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubMAYLA-ROSE_PETILLANTAlella Vinícola
Mayla
Rosé Petillant
Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This attractively colored rosé has a sweet nose of red fruits. On the palate, the mouthfeel is light and fresh with flavors of red fruits.

Analysis: 11.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: 6 months on lees
Yield: 35 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 22 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 5,000 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 3 years
Food Pairing: Ideal as an aperitif or with fresh pasta, rice dishes, or grilled snails
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 87 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.14 points

WINEMAKING:
“The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks on its own fine lees from November to February in order to give the wine more volume, and to prepare it to improve its evolution throughout time . The second fermentation has taken place in bottle for two months more to attain the sparkling point that we wish.” – Alella Vinícola


ona-blanc-brut-natureAlella Vinícola
Ona
Blanc de Noir Brut Nature
D.O. Alella, Spain

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Although the Ona Blanc de Noir is a black grape variety, the color is golden with soft reflections. On the nose, there are intense, yet delicate aromas of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and clean cut grass. On the palate, the bubbles are crisp and well integrated into the wine. The wine is refreshing and highlights all of the flavors of white and red fruit with a honeyed, long finish.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Red Grenache
Vineyard: Viña Rials
Aging: Minimum of 12 months in bottle
Yield: 25 Hl/Ha
Vine aged: 15 years
Farming: Organic without herbicide, insecticide and inorganic fertilizers
Pruning: Royat doble
Height and exposition: 100m, EST
Soil: Granites (“sualó”)
Climate: Maritime Mediterranean
Winemaker: Xavier Garcia
Annual Production: 2,500 bottles
Aging Potential: Drink now or mature for up to 8 years
Recent Awards:
  • Guía Peñín 2018: 89 points
  • Robert Parker: 88 points
  • Guia de Vins de Catalunya 2018: 9.15 points
  • Great Premi Vinari 2015 Reserva Sparkling Wines

Alella Vinícola logoABOUT ALELLA VINÍCOLA:
Family owned and operated, Alella Vinícola has been operating in the heart of the D.O. Alella, Spain since 1906 – just over 9 miles north of Barcelona. Brothers Samuel and Xavier Garcia perform all of the tasks of managing the winery from planting the vineyards to the commercialization of their wines. The winery’s wines are characterized by the Mediterranean climate and are always produced free of herbicides, insecticides and inorganic fertilizers. Learn more about the winery here.

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