Collector’s Club – April 2007

2004 Abeja, Cabernet Sauvignon — If it’s April, it must be time to feature the Abeja Cab in the club. Once again, we were able to get just enough of this amazing wine for our Collector’s Club — the extra bottles we had completely sold out at the Thursday tasting. No surprise there, since John Abbott makes some of the finest and most nuanced wines in the state. This one is supremely opulent and balanced and everything you’d expect from a master craftsman like John. Abeja is also one of the most beautiful wineries in Walla Walla and has overnight accommodations if you’re planning a visit to the area. The cost for the Cab was $39.75 but, alas, there is no more. Enjoy.

2004 Pascual Toso, Reserve Malbec — We love it when we are able to get great wines at fire-sale prices and this is one of those cases. It’s a big, powerhouse of a Malbec, but very smooth and inviting. We sold a fair amount at the tasting but there’s still some left, at $18.75. It’s ready to drink any time and will pair perfectly with grilled meats, pasta dishes, or other hearty fare.

2004 Bodegas Balbás, Tinto Roble — Bodegas Balbás has been making wine in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain for over 200 years. That’s four generations, dedicated to crafting wines in the traditional style. This one is made from 100% Tinta del País — a local variant of Tempranillo — which produces rich, deep-colored wines that pair especially well with meats. This one would be perfect with lamb or sausages. It’s $13.00, is still in good availability, and is drinking well now.

2004 Domaine la Bastide, Merlot — Domaine la Bastide is the second label of Corbières-based winemaker, Guilhem Durand. This value-priced Merlot is rich and smooth, with a touch of earthiness. A bit more modern in style than the wines he produces under his own label, this is an easy drinking alternative to big New world Merlots and, at $9.75, easy on the pocketbook, too. There’s a bit more around.

2006 Colombelle, Côtes de Gascogne — We’re always happy to include wines that historically just haven’t gotten much respect. This wine is a blend of two indigenous grapes from Gascony: 70% Colombard — the Rodney Dangerfield of grapes — and 30% Ugni Blanc. Both of these grapes are more commonly found in distilled wines, such as Brandy and Cognac, so it was exciting to find this well-made crisp, clean and refreshing white blend from the south of France that lifts these grapes to new heights. It’s ready to drink now, is only $8.00 and is in relatively good supply. Try it as an aperitif with crackers and mild cheese, or with seafood, poultry or pasta dishes.

2006 TerraNoble, Sauvignon Blanc — How often do we see a good Sauvignon Blanc from Chile? Not very. But Bear tried this one at a recent trade tasting and knew he had to get some for the club. It’s fresh and clean with nice, citrusy flavors. At $9.00, it’s a no-brainer for a picnic or to go with fish or other light dishes. It was a big hit at the Thursday club tasting and is in good supply.