Collector’s Club – October 2016

2008 Dehesa La Granja, Tempranillo — La Granja is a historic estate in Spain’s northwest Castilla y León region, with 1800 acres of vines and enormous hand-carved 18th century cellars. In 1998 it was acquired by the founders of Ribera del Duero’s highly renowned Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza who renovated and expanded the property, transplanting some of their old-clone Tempranillo vines from Pesquera. This wine is 100% Tempranillo from those clones. It is aged two years in barrel and two in bottle before release and now has even more mellowing age on it, being from the 2008 vintage. A quick decant or some time to breathe really opens up the complex flavors and aromas of this wonderfully concentrated and expressive wine. Enjoy with any grilled meat, pulled pork, or a hearty paella. $18.75

2013 RoxyAnn Winery, Honor Barn Red — The Willamette Valley tends to get most of Oregon’s wine-related attention. But there is a thriving winemaking region much further south, with a very different focus. This area is hotter and drier than the Willamette Valley, perfect for growing warmer-climate grapes, such as those found in this blend from RoxyAnn. The Medford winery was founded in 2002 at a site that had been growing fruit for over 100 years. Their estate vineyard is located in the Rogue Valley AVA on the southwest slope of Roxy Ann Peak, with shallow limestone-clay soil and perfect southern exposure. This wine is a blend of 65% Syrah, 18% Malbec, and 17% Cab Sauv, aged 21 months in new and used oak. It is soft and inviting, with dark fruit flavors, a bit of dusty cocoa, and a touch of oak. Ready to drink now. $18

2012 Quinta dos Roques, Dâo Tinto — The Dão region of northern Portugal produces some of that country’s best red wines and Quinta dos Roques is one of its leading producers. The estate is run by Luis Lourenco who was in the shop recently to pour us some of his current releases. They were all very impressive and his Roques Tinto is an excellent example of the style and quality of his wines. It is about half Touriga Nacional, blended with Jaen (known as Mencía in Galicia), the local grape Alfrochiero, and Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) aged in used oak for nine months. It is rich and elegant, with flavors of dark brambly fruit and a bit of spice. While deep and intense, it has a lovely silky texture and balancing freshness. It is ready to drink anytime with cured meats, burgers, or other hearty fare. $15

2012 Domaine de Magellan, Pézenas — Winemaker Bruno Lafon didn’t start out in southern France. He grew up in Burgundy on his family’s legendary estate, Domaine des Comtes Lafon. But he has chosen to produce his own wines, along with his sister-in-law, Sylvie Legros, in Pézenas, a sub-appellation of Languedoc located midway between Narbonne and Nîmes. His vineyards, with vines up to 60 years old, are located at about 600 feet in elevation on various soil types and with different exposures. He handpicks all of his fruit and ferments in used white Burgundy barrels. This wine is unusual in that it is a co-fermented blend of Grenache and Syrah. This typically doesn’t happen as the two grapes don’t ripen at the same time, but his vineyard sites are situated such that the Syrah ripens a bit later and the Grenache a few days earlier. The resulting wine is dark and rich, with a bit of spice and full of rustic Mediterranean charm. $18

2015 Villa Sparina, Gavi di Gavi — Gavi is a small, but renowned zone in Italy’s northern Piedmont region centered around the town of Gavi. It is known for its refreshing, aromatic white wines based on the indigenous grape, Cortese. Villa Sparina is located in the heart of the Gavi area, with large wine cellars dating back to the 18th century. Their focus is on indigenous varieties (Cortese and Barbera) and their winemaking employs great respect for the traditions of the past, while adopting new and innovative approaches. Their Gavi di Gavi (Gavi from Gavi) has been a perennial favorite in the shop. It is produced from vines averaging 26 years in age grown on the local clay and marl soil and is vibrant and clean, with fresh stone fruit flavors that would pair perfectly with white meat and fish dishes. $16

2014 Meyer Family Vineyards, Okanagan Chardonnay — Although people ask about them a lot, we don’t see very many wines from Canada, so we were delighted to discover this lovely, clean Chard from the Okanagan Valley. This semi-arid region with its unique micro-climates is ideal for growing grapes, especially Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which is the focus of this winery. The wines are made by Chris Carson who spent eight years in New Zealand at a number of top wineries, as well as in Burgundy and California. His Okanagan Chard is sourced mostly from their two estate vineyards and was fermented in stainless steel and older, neutral barrels, resulting in a wine with nice richness, balanced by a fresh, stony minerality. It’s ready to drink now or over the next few years and would be perfect with fresh halibut. $15