Specialty Club – January 2009

2005 Bodegas Lan, Rioja Edición Limitada
For the second year in a row, we were able to get enough of this acclaimed and very limited wine for the club. It is sourced from 30-year-old vines in Lan’s elite Pago El Rincón vineyard, fermented in new French oak casks, and then aged in new Russian oak barrels. Mostly Tempranillo, with a little Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graziano added, the Limitada always carries its substantial power and tannins with grace and finesse. Its ripe red fruits are nicely balanced by the spicy, roasted flavors and aromas of the oak. Bodegas Lan recommends enjoying this wine in the near term, over the next couple of years. Pair it with stews, game, meat dishes in general, or cured cheeses. We have a few bottles left at $49.75.

2007 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc
Year in and year out, this wine is consistently rated among the top two or three white wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Brunier family’s winery, founded in 1898, derives its name from an old telegraph station that stood on the Plateau de la Crau, now considered the most elite vineyard site in the area. Last May we were able to put in the club this wine’s “little sister,” the 2005 Télégramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, and it was one of the most popular whites of the year. This bottle is even more lovely, if that’s possible — a full-bodied, rich wine with soft floral tones, crisp acidity, superb purity, and an elegant mouth feel. It is an unusual blend this year, with 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, and 15% each Bourboulenc and Rousanne. Enjoy it now, with anything from tomato salad to goat cheese to salmon to roasted chicken, or follow the Brunier’s recommendation to cellar it for up to ten years. It costs $49.75 and we can still get a bit more, although Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites are always in short supply.