Collector’s Club – May 2014

2011 Celler Dosterras, Vespres Montsant — The Montsant region in northeast Spain more or less surrounds the much smaller but more prestigious Priorat. Dosterras was founded in Montsant by Josep Grau who was able to purchase some excellent vineyard sites there, some of which contained the coveted licorella soils (decomposed slate) for which the Priorat is so famous. This wine is mostly old-vine Garnatxa (Grenache) with 20% Samsó (Carignan), grown in some of his top parcels and it shows the intense mineral character that licorella soil imparts to wines. Its elegant structure, pure fruit flavors, and dark, earthy minerality, are even better the second day! The wine name refers to the prayer services of the Carthusian Monks, the first winemakers in the Priorat region. $25.75

2012 Stark-Condé, Pepin Condé Elgin Pinot Noir — You may remember this wine from our February 2013 club. It comes from Stark-Condé, located in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Previously sold only in their tasting room and in local restaurants, last year they shipped one pallet to Seattle and we got just enough for the club, plus an extra case which sold out at the club tasting. Now it’s back and we’re excited to put it in the club again. The Pepin Condé line sources fruit from outside the valley, in this case, from a small block in the cooler Elgin region which produces wines with soft, elegant, red fruit flavors. Like the previous vintage, this is an utterly balanced, pretty, and feminine Pinot Noir. The distributor has a few cases left, but they won’t last long. Try it with grilled fish. $15

2009 Domaine Moltès, Reserve Riesling — Although many people associate Riesling with Germany, it is also one of the most widely grown grapes in Alsace, in northeast France. Alsatian Riesling tends to be bone dry and very fresh. And, like German Rieslings, it gains complex flavors and aromas as it ages. Domaine Moltès was founded in 1925 by Antoine Moltès. They have 13 hectares of vines along the hillsides in the district of Pfaffenheim and they make only about 1,000 cases of their Riesling annually. Their Reserve Riesling, now with some age on it, is still fresh and racy, but has developed enticingly complex flavors and aromas. This wine would be great with shellfish dishes, or coq au vin. $15

2012 Broglia, Gavi “La Meirana” — The Italian white wine, Gavi, hails from the northern Piedmont region where, by law, it must be 100% Cortese in order to be labeled Gavi di Gavi DOCG. The Broglia family focuses almost exclusively on producing Gavi, and La Meirana, their signature wine, is their most classically styled. La Meirana is the name of the family’s vineyards and farm, but also has great historical significance: the first mention of Gavi winemaking, in a document dated 971, describes production of the wine on this very site, called Meirana. The fruit for this special Gavi bottling comes from older vines and is fermented and aged in stainless steel, giving the wine its fresh, fruity character. With a touch of citrus and a hint of almond, this is an excellent wine for fish or white meat dishes. $22

2010 Borie de Maruel, Nature! — Is it a red? Is it a Rosé? It’s Nature! This blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Grenache from southern France’s Minervois region is similar to a Clairet, from Bordeaux: full bodied and dark pink in color, it’s a red you could enjoy slightly chilled on a sunny day after mowing the lawn or with burgers hot off the grill. It comes to us from Small Vineyards who were down to their last few cases, and since it’s not being made anymore (the son who created the wine moved away to pursue other projects) they slashed the price to clear it out. When we poured it at a recent tasting, we sold cases of it. So, of course, we bought all that was left and clubbed it. Not meant to be too serious, it’s a fresh and tasty quaffer and, at only 12%, quite quaffable. As it says on the case, “Savour it, devour it, drink it.” $9

2010 Kiona, Zinfandel — It’s easy to overlook what’s right been right in front of you all along. Case in point: Kiona. Back in 1975 the Williams family planted the first vineyards in what would later become the Red Mountain AVA. The name Kiona comes from the original Yakima Nation term for the area (Red Mountain is neither red, nor a mountain; the name Kiona means “brown hills.”) Today Red Mountain produces some of the most sought-after (and most expensive) fruit in the state. But, being a family operation from day one, Kiona has always produced solid, well-made, and relatively affordable wines from their estate-grown fruit. This one comes from a one-acre block of Zinfandel grown in a site protected from the cold winds, and warmed by the extreme southwest sun exposure. Here the fruit develops lush flavors and juicy ripeness, with bold, spicy, dark fruit flavors. Perfect with heartier dishes, or on its own. $19.75