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

 

 
 
 

Soupe au Pistou

Soupe au PistouA Provençal version of minestrone, this is a hearty vegetable soup with summer vegetables, herbs and pasta. Delicious served hot or at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup dried white beans (navy or cannellini), soaked in cold water overnight and drained.
• 1-ounce of pancetta
• 1 small onion, halved
• 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, 2 whole and 2 smashed
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 quarts plus 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small fennel bulb, cored and coarsely chopped
• 2 red potatoes (10 ounces), peeled and halved
• 4 small zucchini (1 pound), cut into ½ inch pieces
• ¾ lb green beans or Romano beans, cut ½ inch pieces
• 3 medium tomatoes-peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice
• 1 table spoon unsalted butter
• 1 cup small shaped pasta, such as elbow or Ditalini
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup Classic Pistou (see below)
• basil sprigs, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Put the drained white beans, pancetta, halved onion, whole garlic cloves and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the pancetta, onion, garlic and bay leaf.
• Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the fennel, potatoes, chopped onion and smashed garlic. Cover the pot and cook the vegetables over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel and onion are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the 2 quarts of water and gradually bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. © Photo Quentin Bacon and recipe courtesy of Paula Wolfert, FoodandWine.com

Corbieres wine bottleBold wine Style logoAbbotts and Delaunay
A Tire D’Aile
Grenache, Syrah
Corbieres, France

A Tire d’Aile is a range of delectable, balanced and elegant wines from the Languedoc region’s classic appellations. Respecting both the soil and the vines, healthy grapes are produced with good concentration much to the delight of the birds that live in the plots.

The grapes come from three terroirs: 65% from the eastern Corbières (coastal vineyards yield grapes that lend freshness and elegance), 20% from the edge of Fitou (a terroir located further south whose grapes offer lovely aromatic richness) and 15% from the Corbières Boutenac cru which give this wine its depth. The grapes are handpicked and brought to the winery in tubs and immediately transferred to tanks without crushing or pumping. Maceration lasts 15 days. The press wine is added to the free-run wine. The wine is aged in barrels (40%) and stainless steel tanks (60%).Laurent Delaunay WineMaker

“Very intense black color. Floral nose reminiscent of violet along with fine spices (white pepper), black olive and notes of humus and tobacco. Rich and full-bodied on the palate with lovely substance and smooth tannins. Flavors of jammy fruit and baked goods on the finish.” – Laurent Delaunay, winemaker

Winemaker: Laurent Delaunay
Appellation: Languedoc, Corbieres, France
Varietal Blend:  Grenache, Syrah
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume

CLASSIC PISTOU

Pistou

From the south of France, Pistou is similar to pesto sauce. It’s an olive oil based basil sauce and made by hand.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups basil leaves, torn into pieces (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely grated Mimolette or slightly aged Gouda (3 ounces)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mortar, pound the garlic with the salt to a paste. Add the basil by the handful and grind the leaves against the side of the mortar until almost smooth. Stir in the tomatoes, then gradually stir in the olive oil until it’s incorporated. Stir in the cheese and refrigerate until ready to serve. © Photo Quentin Bacon, recipe by Paula Wolfert of FoodandWine.com