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