Collector’s Club – February 2008

2001 Tre Donne, Logos Rosso—Here’s another wine from the famous three Lequio sisters, via our friends at Small Vineyards. Blends of Nebbiolo and Barbara are rare, and adding Cabernet to the mix, even more so. This wine, at 60% Nebbiolo, 20% Barbera, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, is unique indeed. (A “super-Piedmont,” if you like.) It was a big hit at our Thursday tasting, for its terrific complexity, alluring spiciness and great structure. They chose the name Logos—so important in Greek philosophy—to represent the great importance of wine, the vines and the family, in their lives. This is a limited import, but there’s still some available. It’s delicious now (great with game, or hearty dishes. Herbed meatballs?) or it could be cellared for 3 to 5 years. $19.75.

2005 Ehlers Estate, Meritage, Chairman’s Selection—Once again we’re featuring a Napa red in our club—this month, a Merlot-based blend from Ehlers Estate. With a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the mix, this one is drinking beautifully now and is a steal at $15.50. And, if fabulous flavor isn’t enough for you, think about this: Ehlers Estate is owned by the Leducq Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic entity, whose sole purpose is to support international cardiovascular research (notice the heart embraced in the “E” on the label). Enjoy this one in good health, and good conscience, on its own or with your favorite…just about anything. It should be in good supply for a while.

2006 Wild Rock, Pinot Noir, “Cupid’s Arrow,” Central Otago—Continuing the “heart” theme (well, it is February, after all) we offer the “Cupid’s Arrow,” a lovely, silky, approachable Pinot Noir from possibly the world’s most southerly wine region, the Central Otago in New Zealand. This region has some of the best climate and soil for growing this finicky grape, and 2006 was one of the best vintages in years. At $19.75, this is one has lots of dark berry and cherry fruit with pretty herbal and floral overtones and is still available. As the label points out, “Love and Pinot Noir have been together forever, and they say, once bitten by the love of Pinot Noir, there is no going back.” Happy Valentine’s Day!

2006 Bodegas Naia, Verdejo, Rueda—The Verdejo grape is the pride and joy of the Rueda region which lies to the northwest of Madrid. It produces wines that are aromatic and herbaceous and this one is true to character. It’s bright and aromatic, with hints of citrus and great acidity. It would be a natural for seafood dishes, especially with lime or ginger marinades, or it would also pair well with poultry. This wine is the big brother to the Las Brisas which we featured in the October 2007 Club. It’s $11.00 and should be in good supply.

2005 Bodega Renacer, Punta Final, Malbec Reserva—We’ve been finding great values in Malbecs lately—sometimes it seems like the under-$10 bin is being overtaken by Argentina. We’re also finding some incredible Malbecs of a more serious nature, such as this one from Bodega Renacer in Mendoza, at the foot of the Andes. These are the sort of wines that are giving Argentine Malbec its excellent reputation. This reserva, at $19.75, is rich and dense and full of delicious berry, chocolate and mocha flavors. It could benefit from a few years of bottle age, or time in a decanter, and is a perfect wine for beef dishes. We got all that was left in the market, which was just enough for the club.

2006 Domaine de Pouy, Côtes de Gascogne—This delightfully fresh, crisp, easy-drinking wine is 60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Colombard. It is light-bodied and dry, but full of flavorful fruit. With citrus flavors and a nice, sharp acidity, it would be a perfect match for tapas, or richer poultry or fish dishes. It would also make a great spring or summer sipper, if you can wait that long. Domaine du Pouy is in the foothills of the Pyrénées. This Bobby Kacher Selection should be in good supply, at $9.75.