November Bubbly Club Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubPhilippe_Fontaine_Champagne-brut-millesime-bottlePhilippe Fontaine Champagne
Brut Millésime 2015
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

A bright yellow hue with subtle reflections of copper, this elegant and fine Champagne offers aromas of lychee and peach. On the palate, this wine is lively and bright with a soft texture of almond paste, brioche, and subtle notes of blueberries.

Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume
Terroir: Balnot sur Laignes and Les Riceys: 30 year old vines and marly soils from the superiors Jurassic era
Elevation:
590 feet
Farming:
Sustainable farming
Aging:
48 months sur latte
Bottled:
At the estate, minimum 3 months before release
Food Pairing: Enjoy with this Smoked Salmon Tart recipe. Or serve as an apéritif, with sushi, Oaxacan food, or desserts.

ABOUT PHILIPPE FONTAINE:
Located in Balnot-sur-Laignes in the Côtes des Bar region, Champagne Philippe Fontaine is all about history of family and tradition.  The Fontaine family has indeed been cultivating their land for centuries.  Nowadays, Philippe, his daughter Salomé, and her husband Louis-Antoine run the estate.  Most of the vineyards are located in the prestigious Les Riceys part of the region.  All of Philippe Fontaine Champagnes are handcrafted at the estate, small production, sustainably farmed, and represent a tremendous value in the Grower Champagne category.

Information ©  Philippe Fontaine and JP-Bourgeois – All Rights Reserved.


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Anne de Joyeuse Original Cabernet Sauvignon

Stuffed Mushrooms, BreadcrumbsStuffing-Stuffed Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
    • 24 large Cremini mushrooms (about 1¼ pounds), each about 2 inches wide
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
    • kosher salt and black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped (about ⅔ cup), plus 1 tablespoon minced celery leaves
    • 2 sarge shallots, minced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
    • 6 ounces cornbread, crumbled into small pieces (about 2 loose cups)
    • 1 to 1½ cups grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
    • 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • 2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS:

    1. Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly brush a large rimmed sheet pan with olive oil.
    2. Using barely moist paper towels, wipe the mushroom stems and caps clean. Carefully tear off the mushroom stems, setting them aside in a medium bowl. Set each mushroom cap on its side and slice off the excess mushroom cap that curls over the gills. The goal here is to create a flatter surface area so the mushrooms caramelize instead of steam, and so you can pile more stuffing on top. Transfer the mushroom scraps to the bowl with the mushroom stems, then transfer the trimmed mushroom caps to the sheet pan, cut-side up.
    3. Brush the tops of the trimmed mushrooms with 3 tablespoons oil. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper; sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the mushrooms. Flip the mushrooms so they are cut-side down, and roast until they have released their liquid and are starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Remove sheet pan from heat, and set aside.
    4. While the mushrooms roast, prepare the filling: Finely chop the mushroom stems and scraps or transfer them to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (about 2 cups).
    5. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped celery, shallots, garlic, rosemary, poultry seasoning and celery seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl to cool, at least 15 minutes.
    6. Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, stir in the cornbread, cheese, celery leaves and 3 tablespoons chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl, then stir into the cornbread filling until combined (makes about 4 cups).
    7. Wipe the sheet pan clean, then brush again with olive oil to coat. Mound about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling into each mushroom cap, patting them gently without packing them tightly, then transfer to the sheet pan, spacing them evenly apart. Bake until mixture on top is warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Broil until browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon minced parsley to serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Alexa Weibel of NY Times Cooking.

NOVEMBER WISCONSIN WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoAnne de Joyeuse Original Cabernet SauvignonAnne de Joyeuse
Original Pays D’OC
Cabernet Sauvignon

Languedoc, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Intense red in color with shades of violet and purple. The nose is elegant with notes of red fruit. Full bodied on the palate with fine, precise first impressions, evolving towards a wide palate of savors of wild blackberry fruit. This Cabernet Sauvignon will accompany traditional local dishes such as cassoulet from Castelnaudary or the Limoux fricassée. Spicy dishes will also go well with this intense red wine.

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume

WINEMAKER’S NOTES
Cabernet Original is vinified in a traditional way, fermented at controlled temperatures, the must is pumped over the crust each day. 50% of the wine was matured in stainless steel tank vats and 50% in oak barrels (1/3 new barrels, 1/3 barrels of one wine, 1/3 barrels of two wines).

ABOUT ANNE DE JOYEUSE:
The Anne de Joyeuse cooperative is named after a well-known 16th-century figure, the Duke of Joyeuse, who was bestowed the lordship of Limoux by Henry III. The producers of the Anne de Joyeuse have constantly worked on the evolution of their vineyards since 1929. The ‘originality’ of their soils and climates drove them to plant Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the 1970s.  The vines are cultivated with great care, following the guidelines of the Project Planet program on the slopes facing the nearby Pyrenean mountains.  The vineyards are planted on clay and limestone soils, which benefit from the fresh climate of the Pyrenean foothills. Learn more >

© Information provided by Anne de Joyeuse


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October Bubbly Club Iowa

Bubbly Wine Clubgerard_bertrand_cuvee_thomas_jefferson_BottleGérard Bertrand
Thomas Jefferson
Cremant de Limoux Brut
France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Chenin and Chardonnay grapes bring texture and balance, with the Chardonnay also providing the fine bubbles. The Chenin adds vivacity and enhances the impressive longevity of the Cremant. This wine reveals a beautiful, golden yellow robe. It has a complex, aromatic nose with hints of white flower, honey, green apple and toast. It is crisp with elegant structure on the palate, where the fine texture of the bubbles complements the wine naturally.

Varieties: Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir, Mauzac
Analysis:
12.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: AOP Crémant de Limoux, France
Serving Temperature: 50ºF
Pairing: Enjoy as an aperitif or with goat’s cheese (Cabecou, Pelardon, Rocamadour), and sweet desserts.

VINIFICATION AND MATURING:
The grapes are harvested early by hand, in order to retain a good level of acidity. Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit is immediately pressed in a pneumatic pressing machine. The must is transferred to the vats for alcoholic fermentation, using the same process used for still wines. The wine is then transferred to sealed bottles for fermentation, in accordance with the champagne method. To finish, the winemakers will disgorge the bottles and perform the traditional dosage, which is very precise in order to keep a real freshness and wine balance.

SPECIAL NOTES:
Limoux is the area where sparkling wine originated. In 1531, the monks of Saint Hilaire discovered the first wine with bubbles. Situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, these vineyards benefit from the cool conditions required to make sparkling wines of quality. This exceptional quality had even found an echo across the Atlantic at the White House. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson, was Limoux’ greatest admirer, and he discretely cultivated his love for France and for Limoux sparkling wine. Actually, wine from Limoux was the only sparkling wine to be found in his personal cellar. –  Gérard Bertrand Winery


gerard_bertrand_cremant_rose_825Gérard Bertrand
Heritage Cremant de Limoux
An 825 Brut Rosé
France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This wine is beautiful, salmon-pink in color with glimmering reflections. The nose has a complex bouquet with long-lasting aromas of red fruit (such as strawberry and raspberry), backed with hints of toasted bread. The bubbles are delicate with an extraordinary vivacity on the palate, with a rich, indulgent texture.

Varieties: Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir
Analysis:
12.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: AOP Crémant de Limoux.
Serving Temperature: 50ºF
Pairing: Perfect served as an aperitif, or accompanied with delicately smoked fish, both savory, sweet or spicy dishes, or even with red fruit desserts.

VINIFICATION AND MATURING:
The grapes are harvested when their acid-sugar balance reach their best. The fruit is transferred to the winery and immediately pressed in a pneumatic pressing machine. In addition to the reinforcement of the perception of freshness and balance, the dosage is very precise. The Pinot Noir grapes are not macerated, in order to preserve their color. The must is transferred to the vats for an alcoholic fermentation, using the same process used for still wine. After the malolactic fermentation in the vats, the wine is blended and then transferred to the barrels to mature for 8 months.

SPECIAL NOTES:
Gérard Bertrand reveals the history of the great terroirs of the South of France. The first written trace of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire date back to 825. The Abbey is located near Limoux and is famous for having housed the monks who discovered the secrete of effervescent wines. Gérard Bertrand Winery

ABOUT GÉRARD BERTRAND WINERY:
Now in the fourth generation of winegrowers, in 1987 Gérard Bertrand took over the family business at Domain d Villemajou after the unexpected death of his father. Five years later, Gérard founded the Gérard Bertrand wine company to develop a range of wines from the South of France. Today, the Gérard Bertrand group is comprised of 15 different wine estates. Since 2002, Gérard Bertrand has been committed to biodynamic viticulture, as it allows him to reinforce the balance of the vine and its environment. Learn more about his story here.

Information © cheese.com and igourmet.com – All Rights Reserved.


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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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Maison Louis Latour Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées

Rack of LambGarlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of garlic (cloves peeled)
  • ¼ cup rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 racks of lamb, frenched (2 pounds each)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary and olive oil and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Season the lamb racks with salt and pepper and rub the garlic-rosemary oil all over them. Set the racks fat side up on a large rimmed baking sheet and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roast the lamb in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the racks and roast for 10 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. Transfer the racks to a carving board, stand them upright and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Carve the racks in between the rib bones and transfer to plates. Serve right away.

© Recipe courtesy of Kenny Rochford from Food & Wine.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

pinot noir les pierres dorees
Louis Latour
Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées
Burgundy, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Les Pierres Dorées Pinot Noir has an intense, bright red color with red-garnet hues. On the nose, there are notes of flowers, red berries and soft spices. On the palate, it is round and full-bodied. It has a great deal of freshness with long under notes of black fruits.

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Analysis:
13-13.2% alcohol / volume
Region: Beaujolais, France
Village: Les Pierres Dorées
Appellation: Burgundy
Average Vine Age:
7 years
Soil: Clay and limestone with Iron-oxide
Harvest: Mechanical
Fermentation: Traditional in open vats
Aging: 10 to 12 months aging in stainless steel vats and oak barrels
Barrels: Louis Latour cooperage, French oak, medium toasted
Cellaring Potential: 5-7 years
Serving Temperature: 57.2-60.8ºF
Food Pairing: Rack of lamb, quail with grapes, red tuna tartare, sea bass, goat cheese, red fruit soup
Critical Acclaim:
James Suckling 2018, 89 pts

WINERY NOTES:
Maison Louis Latour once again exports its Burgundian know-how outside of the Côte d’Or. After the great successes of Ardèche and Var, they decided to repeat the experience in the heart of Beaujolais with the planting of 20 hectares of Pinot Noir. The calcareous soil rich in iron oxide gives a very particular ochre color, and the high altitude contribute to produce a surprising wine which associates richness and freshness with a beautiful aromatic complexity. This region offers beautiful argilo-calcareous soils, the plots selected by Maison Louis Latour form two islands and are situated on the villages of Morancé and Theizé. With a continental moderate climate, vineyards benefit from an ideal period of sunshine but the temperatures are relatively fresh due to an elevation between 280 and 400 meters.

ABOUT MAISON LOUIS LATOUR:
Founded in 1797, Maison Louis Latour has been apart of Burgundian history for more than two centuries. Authentic and independent, the winery is now run by the 11th generation of the founding family. The family is determined to preserve the winery’s unique heritage. Today, the Latour’s family Domaine spreads over 50 hectares of exceptional vineyards. Learn more about their history here.

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Pierre Jean Sauvignon Blanc

maryland-crab-cakes

© Photo by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Maryland Crab Cakes 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Large egg
  • ¼ cup (60g) mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (up to 1 and ½ teaspoons for a spicier kick)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound fresh lump crab meat*
  • 2/3 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (about 14 crackers)
  • Optional: 2 Tablespoons (30g) melted salted or unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, lemon juice, and salt together in a large bowl. Place the crab meat on top, followed by the cracker crumbs. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, very gently and carefully fold together. You don’t want to break up that crab meat.
  2. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C). Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet with butter or nonstick spray or line with a silicone baking mat.
  4. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, portion the crab cake mixture into 6 mounds on the baking sheet (don’t flatten). Use your hands or a spoon to compact each individual mound so there aren’t any lumps sticking out or falling apart. For extra flavor, brush each with melted butter. This is optional but recommended!
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. Drizzle each with fresh lemon juice and serve warm.
  6. Cover leftover crab cakes tightly and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

© Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Silky styleJean-Pierre-Sauvignon-Blanc-bottle-webPierre Jean
Sauvignon Blanc
Côtes de Gasgone, France

SILKY WINE STYLE

Classically French with lively aromas of wildflower, lemongrass, apple and pear with a nuance of flint.  Delicious flavors of mandarin orange, peach, apple and pear lead to a crisp, long finish with racy acidity and more of that flinty terroir.  This wine is an ideal aperitif or will complement almost any light summer cuisine.

Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis:
11% alcohol / volume

Appellation: Côtes de Gascogne
Closure: Screw cap
Pairing: Serve between 50˚F-53.6˚F with aperitif, fresh fish, haddock, seafood, or salads

Côtes de Gascogne is located just south of Bordeaux, in the Gascony district and specializes in white wines. Most are local grape varieties but better-known varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc are borrowed from Bordeaux (to the north). About 60% of its wines are exported and young sommeliers have recently rediscovered this wine region. In 1979, an association of  Vin de Pays (country wine) was established and today includes 1400 wine farmers. The Pierre Jean brand is named after one of Yvon Mau’s grandsons, who developed the design for the bottle. The Pierre Jean series consists of very accessible wines that are a party every day. The beautifully styled bottle of course also contributes to this. 

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October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBandeau Cave

Extrait BlancDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Blanc
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

Rich WineStylesRICH WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

About Domaine Chante Cigale

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

Today, Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Domaine Chante Cigale VineyardsDomaine Chante Cigale Harvest

 

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

BOLD WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

Bandeau DomaineAbout Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.


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July’s Collectors Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubClos du Clocher

About Clos Du Clocher

Clos du Clocher wine estate is located in the Pomerol wine growing region in France. With three parcels of vineyard and just 300 yards south of the church in Pomerol, it is surrounded by the most famous growths of the appellation.   Founded in 1924, when the first parcel of vines were bought by a successful Bordeaux negociant,  Jean Baptiste Audy.  Today, the estate is owned by his grandson Pierre Bourotte and his great-grandson Jean-Baptiste.  The soils are composed of the famous dense iron-rich clay that is found in Pomerol.  The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with an average age of 39 years old. Grapes are hand harvested into small baskets and double sorted.  Winemaking is traditional and carried out in stainless steel and cement thermo-regulated vats.  After 4 weeks in the vats, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels or vats, depending on the parcels and the vintage.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels (two thirds new and one third one year old).

Clos du Clocher PomerolBold wine Style logoClos du Clocher
Pomerol
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

This month’s Collector’s Club includes both the 750ml and 1.5 Magnum bottle of Clos du Clocher.

In the very center of the famous Pomerol plateau, under the shadow of the eponymous bell tower of the neighboring church, this vineyard is home to some truly ancient vines that translate into a tremendous wine in bottle. This is without a doubt “A beauty from the high plateau of Pomerol” to quote Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. 

Clos du Clocher is an elegant Pomerol style and a wonderfully pure expression of the vineyard’s terroir. Perfect for short-medium term drinking for the vintage.  Annual production at Clos du Clocher is about 2000 cases and the legendary consultant Michel Rolland consistently produces wines of real elegance from a modest 7 hectares. In a diminishing field, this elegant style is one of Pomerols very best values. 

“Has a lightly roasted feel, with ganache and espresso notes lining the core of plum and blackberry fruit. Roasted alder hints fill the finish, while the roasted edge provides the texture. Shows more guts than refinement.” Wine Spectator

Appellation: Bordeaux (right bank), Pomerol, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Aging: 18 months French Oak barrels
Winemaker: Michel Rolland

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.

Domaine Chante CigaleBold wine Style logoDomaine Chante Cigale
Rouge 2016
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Today, the Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Bright violet. Ripe cherry and raspberry on the deeply perfumed nose, lifted by suggestions of pungent flowers and cracked pepper.  Nicely concentrated but lively as well, offering sappy red berry, candied cherry and lavender flavors that show very good clarity and smooth, seamless texture.  Finishes sweet and silky, displaying spicy persistence and gentle tannic grip.” – 91 pts. Vinous 2018

It boasts silky tannins, plenty of cherry fruit and a dusting of ground pepper and all spice on the long finish. Drink 2018-2028.” – 91 pts, Robert Parker 2018

Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Varietal: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvédre, 5% Cinsault
Analysis: 15.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: 12-14 months in 35% new French oak

 

 
 
 

Hanger Steak with Grilled Fennel Salad

hanger steak fennel salad

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 TBS crushed garlic
• ¾ cup olive oil
• 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
• 2 TBS fresh thyme, roughly chopped
• 1 ¼ cups parsley leaves, roughly chopped
• ¾ cup mint, roughly chopped
*Please note herbs are used in 2 parts of this recipe
• 1 ½ pounds hanger steak (butchers steak)
• 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp honey
• 4 TBS olive oil (split into 2 TBS each)
• Kosher salt to taste • freshly cracked pepper
• 2 fennel bulbs, cored and cut into wedges
• 2 large tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
• 3 ounces feta large dice

DIRECTIONS:
• Blend garlic, olive oil, cilantro, 1 cup parsley, thyme and ½ cup mint in a blender until smooth, pour over steak and let marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl. Gradually drizzle in 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade; season with salt and pepper. Grill until nicely browned and thermometer reads 125℉ for medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
• Meantime, toss fennel and remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl; season with salt. Grill fennel on cut sides until charred and slightly soft, about 2-3 minutes per side. Return to bowl, drizzle with vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Let cool slightly, then gently toss in tomatoes, feta, and remaining ¼ cup parsley and ¼ cup mint. Serve salad alongside the steak.© Recipe courtesy of Vintners Alliance.

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB PAIRING:

Robert Eden Cabernet SauvignonMellow style logo
Robert Eden Collection
Cabernet Sauvignon
Languedoc, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Robert Eden, co-owner and winemaker of Château Maris, is recognized worldwide for his commitment to sustainable and organic viticulture. The Robert Eden Collection is his latest project, made with organic grapes from the Languedoc region in the South of France. Year-round sunshine and high winds provide a dry environment, naturally keeping away pests and vine diseases. This makes for perfect conditions for organic agriculture and beautifully balanced, ripe grapes. Robert selects the best vineyards and hand-crafts each wine to bring out the purest expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. The organic grapes were de-stemmed and then fermented in concrete tanks under temperature control. Aging involves some large wooden tanks for part of the blend.

Winemaker Robert Eden“Dark ruby color. Sweet aromas of creme de cassis, kirsch, orange zest, and magnolia with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-body and a silky, medium-length herbal tea finish with light oak flavor. A pure and simple cabernet sauvignon with sweet aromatics and a lightly herbal palate. Supple and generous wine, will go well with pizza, pasta, and everyday food.” – Robert Eden, Winemaker

Winemaker: Robert Eden
Appellation: Languedoc, France
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: Silver Medal, 2019 World Wine Championship

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases, 4 free tasting tickets and special discounts to attend wine tasting events, classes and more!

 

Mediterranean Baked Halibut

Mediterranean baked halibut

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 1/3 lb halibut cut in 4 pieces or baked whole
• 2 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 1 TBS)
• fresh ground black pepper
• Kosher salt to taste
• ¼ cup red onion finely diced
• 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
• ¼ cup Spanish olives halved
• ¼ cup Kalamata olives halved
• ½ cup parsley chopped
• zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat the oven to 425°F.
• Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brush the fish on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
• Place the fish in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the fish is opaque in the center.
• While the fish cooks, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
• Add the red onion, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes.
• Add the tomatoes, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes until it just started to wilt and release juices.
• Stir in the olives, parsley and lemon zest and transfer the sauce to a bowl.
• To serve, place the halibut on a plate, top with the olive and tomato mixture. Serve immediately. © Recipe courtesy of Vintners Alliance.

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB PAIRING:

Robert Eden ChardonnaySilky style
Robert Eden Collection
Chardonnay
Languedoc, France

SILKY WINE STYLE

Robert Eden, co-owner and winemaker of Château Maris, is recognized worldwide for his commitment to sustainable and organic viticulture. The Robert Eden Collection is his latest project, made with organic grapes from the Languedoc region in the South of France. Year-round sunshine and high winds provide a dry environment, naturally keeping away pests and vine diseases. This makes for perfect conditions for organic agriculture and beautifully balanced, ripe grapes. Robert selects the best vineyards and hand-crafts each wine to bring out the purest expression of Chardonnay grapes.

Winemaker Robert Eden“Yellow straw color. Aromas of baked apple, phyllo pastry, butter cream, dried pineapple, and dried sage with a satin, soft, dry yet-fruity, light-to-medium body and a smooth, buoyant vanilla, cream finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. An easy-drinking Chardonnay with toasty notes of pastry and baked apples. Pairs well with everyday cooking, grilled food, mixed salads, Asian-inspired dishes or enjoy as aperitif.” – Robert Eden, Winemaker

Winemaker: Robert Eden
Appellation: Languedoc, France
Varietal: Chardonnay
Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: Silver Medal, World Wine Championship 2019

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases, 4 free tasting tickets and special discounts to attend wine tasting events, classes and more!