Specialty Club – August 2011

2007 Edi Simčič, Duet
In our continuing quest to find the best wines from all over the world (for example, the Vinoterra Selektion Saperavi from Georgia in last December’s club), we now bring you a red wine from Slovenia. That’s not as unusual as it might seem, since Edi Simčič’s winery in Goriška Brda is just 500 yards from the Italian border and his wines are imported by our dear friend Josh Hanson of Small Vineyards. Edi is a third-generation winemaker, whose family had to sell all of their grapes to the state under the Communist regime from 1948 to 1989. While his elite white wines are controversial because of their heavy oak treatments, his reds are admired for their boldness and purity of fruit. Duet is a blend of the Bordeaux grapes, 80% Merlot and 10% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which have been grown in this region for so long that they are considered native. The cool northern winds that blow across the stony Goriška Brda plateau keep the tannins quite silky, and the combination of hot Adriatic summers and oak aging help produce a lush, ripe, full-bodied wine. Traditionally, the elite Slovenian reds are meant to be aged for 20 years, but this wine is quite enjoyable already. It is $49.75, and very limited, as it is a Small Vineyards direct import.

2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé
It’s finally summer, maybe, and that means one thing: Rosé! And Rosé from Domaine Tempier is the classic; the real deal, the top of the heap. Although it is made from the same grapes as many of our other southern French rosés, Mourvèdre (50%), Grenache (28%), Cinsault (20%) and Carignan (2%), this one is in a class by itself. At $42 this is a wine to savor and enjoy, whether on the patio this summer or as a Thanksgiving starter. (One of my best wine memories is having a bottle of the 2005 Tempier Bandol Rosé with barbecued chicken after a long week producing a folk festival.) For the first time in four years, we got enough for the club and if, by some chance, there is any left after that, there will be the usual serious arm wrestling in the back room for them. Enjoy!