2004 Marchetti, Rosso Conero – This wine is the last of our 2006 series of wonderful wines directly imported by our friends at Small Vineyards Imports here in West Seattle. Made by Maurizio Le Marchetti, known to our customers for his impeccable Verdicchio, it’s 100% Montepulciano, but from the region of Le Marche, a somewhat cooler climate than the grape’s normal home in Abruzzo. We learned at the Collector’s Club tasting that it’s best to decant this wine or open it at least 30 minutes or so in advance. Once decanted, it’s soft, smoky, and spicy – a great match for roast beef or any Italian dish. It’s $14.00, and there’s a bit more left.
2004 Colvin, Walla Walla Red – Bear’s recent visit to Walla Walla over Thanksgiving weekend confirmed the excellence of Mark Colvin’s current releases. His 2004 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot had to be sourced from Columbia Valley vineyards due to the big freeze in Walla Walla in January 2004. Delicious and smooth, with restrained tannins, good acidity and moderate alcohol, this ready-to-drink wine will go well with both roasted and grilled meats. It’s $18.00 and in good supply.
1999 Sequoia Grove, Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Sequoia Grove has been making balanced, elegant wines since 1980, and this is one of their best releases. Still a bit austere, this rich and full wine will continue to develop for another three to five years. Serve it with steak or game. We cleaned the distributor out and have a tiny amount left at $45.00.
NV Bernard Rondeau, Bugey Cerdon Sparkling Rose – Bernard Rondeau makes this fruity, pink sparkling wine from the Gamay grape in an obscure part of the French Alps. He uses the same process and tanks employed by the makers of Moscato d’Asti in Piedmont. It’s somewhat sweet on the finish and so would be a wonderful complement for red fruit desserts. It’s $18.00 and we have a few bottles left over from the holidays.
2005 Domaine de Bernier, Chardonnay – Many of the newcomers at our Collector’s Club tasting were quite surprised to learn that this crisp, lively wine is 100% Chardonnay. It comes from the Nantes region of the Loire Valley cooled by Atlantic breezes and more known for the wonderful summer wine Muscadet. Light and refreshing, it’s worth trying either as an aperitif or with any but the heartiest of seafood dishes. It’s $9.75, and there’s a reasonable amount left.
2005 Domaine de la Ferrandiere, Viognier – This fragrant, fruity Viognier comes from a 100% organic estate in Languedoc, between the appellations of Corbieres and Minervois. The estate is one of the few left in France not plagued by the dreaded phylloxera bug, and so its rootstocks are ungrafted. Full and creamy, it is a good match for chicken or seafood. It’s also $9.75, and there’s a good supply left.