February Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubGustave_Lorentz_Cremant_dAlsace_Brut_Rose_Fact_new-format_JCGustave Lorentz
Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Cremant d’Alsace Rosé is made from Pinot Noir, which is full of charm and elegance. It makes a refined aperitif and an ideal cocktail or reception drink. Fresh and discreetly fruity, it inspires a host of gastronomic matches. This refined wine also works with hot and cold seafood appetizers, chicken, pork and other white meats & game, as well as some desserts. Serve chilled.

Analysis: 12.3% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Residual Sugar: 7.8 g/l
Producer: Gustave Lorentz
Region: AOC Alsace
Country: France

WINEMAKING:
The grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to “Methode Champenoise.” After traditional fermentation “vin de base” in tanks, a second fermentation (“prise de mousse”) takes place in the cool cellars. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Aging is done “sur lie” between 14 and 18 months, with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle. At the time of “degorgement,” the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1836, Maison Gustave Lorentz owned 33 hectares of land on the hillsides of Bergheim in the heart of the Alsace wine region, 12.8 hectares of which are classified Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, and 1.75 hectares Grand Cru Kanzlerberg. The first mention of the Lorentz family in the commune of Ribeauvillé dates back to the end of the Thirty Years’ War in the second half of the 17th century. They were innkeepers or coopers as well as ‘gourmets’, the old name given to wine merchants, which afforded them an important status in the local community. In 1748, winegrower and blacksmith Jean-Georges Lorentz was the first to settle in Bergheim, which later became the heart of our domaine. His son, Pierre Lorentz, was married to the youngest daughter of the Mayor of the time (Nicolas Schmitt). Generations passed with the birth of Jacques Lorentz in 1798 and Charles Lorentz in 1836. This same year, Maison Lorentz was founded in the commune of Bergheim. Today, Georges Lorentz has the honor of managing the estate, seven generations later.
To learn more about Gustave Lorentz Winery and family, click here.

Gustave Lorentz Vineyard

© Photo by: Gustave Lorentz Winery


Alma 4 Alma 4
Blanc de Blanc
Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Alma 4’s Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay is greenish yellow in color with slight tints of gold. It has persistent and delicate chains of small bubbles. The nose is quite shocking. It has strong flavors of fruits, such as fresh pear, as well as some citrus notes of mandarin peel and Kinoto. The fruit is balanced, the yeast is subtle, and the wood flavor is complex. On the mouth, it is creamy and fully. There is a harmony of sugar to acidity with an exotic fruit finish. It is long and complex. Intense and fresh. This sparkling wine is tasted with the 5 senses.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Residual Sugar: 4.7 g/l
Acidity: 7.05 g/l
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Appellation:
Uco Valley
Vineyard: Sustainably farmed – 1200-1550 meters in elevation
Production:Traditional method (Champenoise) using direct pressing. Fermentation begins at 59-64.4ºF for 20 days. 15% of Chardonnay is fermented in French oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. The second fermentation is in bottles between 57.2º F and 60.8º F.
Disgorgement:
Performed manually
Time on Yeasts: 40 months

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Alma Cuatro (or Alma 4) began in 1999 as an experimental sparkling wine-making project led by four young people from Mendoza, with a strong investigative spirit: Mauricio, Agustín, Marcela and Sebastián. With passion, perseverance, friendship and work, these four friends came together to create a line of sparkling wines made by second fermentation in the bottle — combining innovation with the avant-garde method.
Learn more about these four friends and owners here.

Alma 4 Friends

© Photo by Alma 4

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Winery Spotlight Series: Feb. 24th E.Guigal

Guigal Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

E. Guigal

Rhône Valley, Ampuis, France

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring E. Guigal wines from Rhône Valley, with guest speaker Patrick Will, Vintus VP of Brand Management. During our virtual event, Patrick will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Côtes du Rhône Rosé
  • Côtes du Rhône Blanc
  • St. Joseph Blanc
  • Crozes-Hermitage Rouge​
  • Côtes du Rhône Rouge
  • Gigondas
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Patrick with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Guigal WinesAbout E. Guigal:

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis; a small, ancient village at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It is overlooked by unique vineyards where vines and wine have been celebrated for over 2,400 years. The founder went on to make wine for 67 vintages in the Côte-Rôtie appellation. Today, Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe Guigal, along with their families, are the guardians of this exceptional domain which combines history, devotion and a sense of togetherness. A breath of inspiration for generations to come. Learn more about E. Guigal here.

Vineyards:

The Maison Guigal upholds the highest level of respect for their vine through their relentless commitment to the preservation of each ancient plot. In each season, growers pay close attention to the maturation of the grapes. From budding through to harvest in September, they tend the vines to ensure that each plant survives the winter months unharmed and are nourished by the sun and the rain once spring arrives. Every measured and precise act of care and attention has been handed down through the generations who have looked after this first-class terroir. Learn more about their vineyards here.

About Patrick T. Will,
Vice President, Vintus Brand Management and Development

Patrick T. Will

Patrick T. Will

Patrick joined Vintus in late 2010 when Vintus purchased his national importing company Ex Cellars Wine Agencies, Inc., and merged two dynamic portfolios.  Prior to joining Vintus, Patrick had extensive experience in the wine trade, including time in both retail and winery production. From 1988 to 1996 he was General Manager of Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, CA, where he worked with consultant André Tchelistcheff.  Patrick served as President of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association from 1991-1994.  In late 1996 he formed Ex Cellars with Fred Ek, and spent nearly 15 years developing and managing the US sales as the exclusive importer of E. Guigal, Domaine des Baumard, D. Milhade, Domaine Talmard, and Dog Point Vineyard, among others.  In 2008 Patrick was inducted into the Echansonnerie des Pâpes, the wine brotherhood of Châteauneuf du Pape, and he was honored as “Person of the Year” by Hospice du Rhône in 2011, recognizing his long association with the wines of France’s Rhône valley.  He is a frequent guest lecturer on the Rhône Valley and other topics at the CIA Wine School in St. Helena, California and he currently serves on the board of World of Pinot Noir.  Patrick wears “multiple hats” at Vintus: he oversees sales in 5 states, manages 10 brands within the Vintus portfolio, and supplies educational assistance as needed. Patrick lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Donna.  He reports to company President Michael Quinttus. 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

E. Guigal
Ampuis, France

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

January Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBlumenkäse
Switzerland

An alpine cheese covered with wildflowers from the meadows of Switzerland. This floral beauty isn’t just pretty on the outside, it’s packed with flavors of French onion soup and sweet carrots on the inside. The rind is decorated in a long list of herbs and flowers, including: winter savory, dill, garlic, caraway, lovage, marjoram, mint, leek, chive, parsley, juniper berries, onion, marigolds, cornflower, roses, and strawberry leaves. 

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Chardonnay, Viognier, Bubbles or Fruity Red Wines; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter, such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Fruity, and Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy and Bitter

Blumenkases


Marcel Petite
Sagesse 24-Month Comté
France

Selected by Essex St. Cheese Co., Sagesse Comté (formerly “Symphony”) represents the highest level a wheel of Comté can achieve at Marcel Petite; only 2% of all production reaches this point. Sagesse Comté is selected in line with the Essex flavor profile, but is bigger and broader in taste with a darker paste and immense tyrosine crystallization. This is an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese with a powerful depth of flavor, similar to a great piece of dark chocolate. Sagesse Comté is available only once a year.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Champagne, aged Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir; for beer, look for something Malty & Sweet such as a Milk Stout.

WINESTYLES: Rich, Mellow, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet

MarcelPetiteSagesse

© Photo by Comté Marcel Petite


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

January Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubAntech EspritAntech
Esprit de Bulles
Limoux, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This Cuvée offers a unique taste and is a local symbol, allied to traditions and history of Limoux. Its straw yellow color with swirling bubbles and sparkling reflections is already a call to party. The palate is lively with the sensation of biting into apples and grapes. Honey, scents of acacia and very ripe pear notes bring softness and voluptuousness. Serve chilled at 41- 43 °F. 

Food Pairing Recommendations: Its lightness and freshness are ideal as an aperitif or to accompany desserts with apples, pancakes, fruit pies and French King cakes.

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

Analysis: 6.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Mauzac
Residual Sugars: 80 g/L
Vinification:
All grapes are handpicked, carried to the fermenting room in cases of at most 660 pounds, and then immediately pressed pneumatically. The juices selected are then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats set at low temperatures. The juices are then fermented until they reach a degree of 5 percent alcohol content. Effervescence is produced by the Méthode Ancestrale using only the natural residual sugars in the juice after the first fermentation in their temperature controlled cellars (57°F) over a 14 week period. Effervescence occurs and the alcohol content rises to 6-7 percent.

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
Hillsides and terraces have gently sloping clay-limestone soil with Mediterranean climate and an oceanic influence. The vine age is on average 20 to 40 years old and y
ields less than 50 hectares. To move further ahead in their quest for finesse and elegance, the Antech Winery conducts advanced experiments on the vines. In their family vineyard, they try out new methods on their old vine-stocks on the appellation’s highest land — stony, south-facing hillsides nearly 400m above sea level, opposite to the Pyrenees. To learn more about the Antech Vineyards, click here.

© Photo by Antech Winery

© Photo by Antech Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Family owned and independent for six generations, The Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of Sparkling wines in Limoux’s legendary sparkling area. The Antech Estate distinguishes itself with their distinctive style – from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action. To learn more about Antech Winery’s history and their team, click here.


Les_Arroucats_Cuvee_VirginieChâteau Les Arroucats
Cuvée Virginie
Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, France

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A fleshy, powerful, elegant wine with beautiful aromas and a good length. To drink now as an apéritif, with fat liver, poultry or apricot tarts; or to lay down for 5 years.

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

Analysis:
13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 87% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon, 3% Muscadelle
Harvesting: Hand picked by successive sorting 
Yields: 35 hl/ha
Winemaking: Traditional winemaking in cement and stainless steel vats
Aging: In vats during one to two years
Annual Production: 20,000 bottles per year for this cuvée

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
The Vineyard sits on about 22 hectares of land. The soil is on a panoramic plateau composed of fossilized oysters, located at 110 meters from the sea – called Clayey-calcareous soils. The average age of the vines is about 40 years old.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in the district of Sainte Croix Du Mont, the estate was created after the war by Mr. Labat. From 1990 to 2000, his daughter, Annie Lapouge committed to develop and modernize the estate. Annie’s daughter, Mme Virginie Barbe now runs the estate.

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Sweet Club

January Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubAntech Brut NatureAntech
Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Limoux, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our Brut Nature wines are made with “zero dosage”, which means that no “expedition liqueur” (sugar) has been added to the bottle. They respect and reveal the purest expression of our painstakingly selected grapes and our blends — berries, linden tree flowers, crisp green apple, anise, etc. — depending on the cuvées.” – Antech

This wine has not received any dosage and thus it expresses the purity and liveliness of the wine. With a crystalline yellow color and golden highlights, the fineness of the bubbles are delightful. The intense nose offers delicate aromas of hawthorn and a pretty fresh mouth of citrus aromas with a very harmonious finish, where the wine can express itself. Taste it as an aperitif or along with the meal. Serve chilled (45-47°F).

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin, 5% Chardonnay
Vinification: Traditional Method, exclusively handpicked harvest. Direct pressing of the grapes and selected musts are set for a first fermentation in inox vat under controlled temperature. Finally, blending and a second fermentation are completed in capped bottles on lattes for around 18th months in air conditioned cellars.
Critical Acclaim: 90 points from Decanter

VINEYARD:
This wine is grown with an oceanic influence in a Mediterranean climate on hillsides and terraces with gently sloping clay-limestone soil. On average, the vine age is about 20 to 40 years old and yields less than 50 hectares. For over five centuries, Antech has tamed this magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. The secret of their character lies in the wise combination of Limoux’s three terroirs, which form the backbone of their cuvées: freshness from the Pyrenees, vinousness from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. Limoux is a lovely little Languedoc town in the heart of Cathar country.  Learn more about their vineyards here.
ABOUT THE WINERY:

Family owned and independent for 6 generations, the Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of sparkling wines in Limoux, legendary sparkling wine area. Forerunner in the regional anchoring and the revival of the traditions, the Antech Estate distinguishes itself by a distinctive style, from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action.

Do you speak bubbles? Learn the lexicon >


CollectionDomaine Charles Baur
Crémant d’Alsace Brut
Eguisheim, Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Crémant is a style of sparkling wine from France, with strict regulations that govern the production methods. Alsace, as a Crémant producing region, dates back to the 19th century and typically have fine mousse (bubbles).

This Crémant, or Brut sparkling white wine, offers a complex nose of apples, pears, white flowers, and a touch of melon. On the palate, this sparkler is fresh, delicate, well-balanced, and provides a fantastic mouthfeel. It pairs nicely with seafood, oysters, and desserts, but can also be enjoyed on its own any time.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 80% Pinot Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
Appellation: AOC Crémant d’Alsace
Harvest Method:
Manuel harvest with sorting
Vinification:
Pneumatic pressing of whole grapes with selection of juices. Prize de Mousse in bottles at low temperature. Stored, then disgorged.
Critical Acclaim:
92 points Wine Enthusiast 

VINEYARD:
The vines are located in Eguisheim and the surrounding area. Predominately clay-limestone, the slopes of Eguisheim have weak to steep slopes. Protected by the Vosges, rainfall is low, which promotes maturation and limits disease. To learn more about Domaine Charles Baur’s Vineyard, click here.

Alsace wines Charles Baur Eguisheim_ Crémant d'Alsace Brut

Photo by Domaine Charles Baur

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in Eguisheim, in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the Charles Baur family cultivates vines located on the slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate surroundings. Their beautiful wine heritage is made up of several plots located on the Grands Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg. With the aim of producing great Alsace wines, they seek moderate yields and harvest and sort all of their production by hand. In order to ensure a high level of quality every year, they exclusively produce wines with their own harvest grapes. The Charles Baur Winery develops the entire range of Alsace wines, a very wide range of Grands Crus and several Crémants d’Alsace.

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December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

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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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August Cheese Club: Iowa

cheese_club_logo-1240x1240Abondance CheeseAbondance AOP
Rodolphe Le Meunier
Haute-Savoie, France

Abondance, is a semi-hard, traditionally French, mountain cheese produced in the Abondance Valley of Haute Savoie, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. The cheese is made exclusively from unpasteurized cow’s milk sourced from its own breed of cattle, Abondance, as well as Taurine and Montbéliarde. Abondance features a slightly grainy and creamy paste with floral, vegetal, and nutty aromas. On the palate, there’s a beautiful balance of sweetness to acidity; it tastes intensely fruity and buttery with a hazelnut flavor.  Before eating, remove the natural rind its gray layer underneath.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Abondance cheese pairs wonderfully with a dry white wine from the Savoie region; or a light red, such as a Gamay Beaujolais or a light Pinot Noir.  Additionally, this cheese pairs well a crisp, pale lager or a kolsch.

WINESTYLES: Crisp and Fruity
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
Abondance cheese has had an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) designation since 1990.  AOC designations were created to ensure products with long histories and strong senses of terroir will guard their identity and uniqueness in the marketplace. With this designation, a cheese producer cannot call a cheese Abondance if it is not made within the confines of a singular region, or according to traditional methods and specifications, similar to wine AOCs like Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne.

Abondance was originally made by monks at the Abbaye d’Abondance (Abondance Abbey) in the 12th century. In the late 1300s, the monks were the official supplier of cheeses to the Avignon popes. This rich, ivory-yellow cheese is made in the area’s mountain chalets from batches of raw milk that combine morning milk with milk from the previous evening. The milk is heated in a copper cauldron to 90° F to warm the curd that is formed, without cooking it. The curd is then cut, drained, put into a round wooden mold, and pressed for a day with a weight on it. It is then salted either by hand, or soaked in brine, then cave aged on spruce planks for six months at a temperature of 54° F and a humidity level of 95%. The cheese is brushed with brine and turned while aging.

Tomme d’Abondance

Comté Fort Saint-Antoine CheeseComté Fort Saint Antoine
Marcel Petite
Jura, France

Comté Fort Saint Antoine is a semi-firm, unpasteurized, aged, cow’s milk cheese from the Jura and Franche-Comté regions of Eastern France. Century-old techniques are used to make Comté, which is the most produced and consumed cheese in France. Made with unpasteurized cow’s milk, from Montbeliarde Cattle or French Simmental (or crossbreeds of the two), the taste is complex, nutty and caramelized with a lingering, but not sharp, flavor. The combination of sweetness and saltiness give this cheese an intriguing flavor. This mature Comté is firm but supple, with a buttery and oily texture. It is traditionally sold in huge blocks and matures for a year before it is ready for sale. The natural cave atmosphere of the fort allows this longer aged Comté to have a rich, nutty, fruitier and more flowery taste than its younger aged counterparts. Considered one of the finest cheeses in the world, a wedge of Comte reveals a pale yellow interior and a texture that can vary from silky, flabby to crystalline.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Comté Cheese is very versatile and pairs beautifully with a Chablis (Chardonnay), a Champagne, or a Pinot Noir. It also pairs well with a light lager, a blonde ale, or a pilsner.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Bubbly and Mellow
BEERSTYLES: 
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:

In 1966, Marcel Petite discovered a defunct military fort in a forest of Haut Doubs, at 3600 feet altitude. The fort’s structure of cut and vaulted stone, covered with a thick layer of soil, providing ideal conditions for “affinage lent” (slow maturing). Petite realized that his Comté cheeses should be aged in their natural environment, near the mountain cheese dairies where they are made. This hard mountain cheese is matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese gets its unique taste, texture and color. There are several maturing cellars in the region where Comté is ripened for a minimum of 4 months to 18 or 24 months. Comté generally will get its name from the cellar where it was ripened, such as Comté Fort Saint-Antoine. Today, over 100,000 wheels are ripened for 10 to 20 months, in the Cathedral of Marcel Petite Comté.

Comté was one of the first few kinds of cheese to receive an AOC status in 1958. It is one of the most popular AOC cheeses in France with around 40,000 tons of annual production.

Comté Cheese Production

© Comté Marcel Petite

Comté Production

© Comté Marcel Petite

 

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

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