Collector’s Club – March 2017

2012 Château de Ségriès, Lirac Cuvée Réservée — This estate is based in the southern Rhône appellation of Lirac and currently has about 100 acres of older vines located in Tavel, Lirac, and the Côtes du Rhône. This offering, from their Lirac plantings, is 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Mourvèdre. It is dark and expressive with a touch of earth and black pepper, and smooth, food-friendly tannins. Ségriès wines have always represented great value, especially given their excellent fruit sources, but as the distributor was moving on to the next vintage, we got an excellent deal on this wine, making it an even better value. Plus it has a bit of mellowing age and is ready to drink right now, with stews, grilled meat, game, or aged cheeses. $22

2014 McPherson Wine Co., MWC, Shiraz-Mourvèdre — This Australian winery got its start back in 1968 when Jock McPherson began making wines in New South Wales. Today his son Andrew continues the family tradition at their Victoria-based facility, where the talented Jo Nash has been head winemaker since 2011. She makes the “MWC” wines with food in mind—rustic, with complex character. This one is 93% Shiraz with a dash each of Mourvèdre and Viognier. The Shiraz is sourced from two distinct sites in Central Victoria with cool-climate fruit adding spice notes, and fruit from a milder site contributing body and richness. The Mourvèdre adds a nice earthy character to this savory, elegant wine. The winemaker says it’s a “perfect dinner party wine,” great with char-grilled steak, rich red meat dishes or hearty pastas. $16

2015 Bodegas Muga, Rioja Blanco — Rioja is the leading wine region of Spain, best known for its elegant, earthy red wines based on Tempranillo. But this northern Spanish region also produces delicious whites, nowadays made mostly from the grape Viura. The family-owned bodega of Muga, based in the historic district of Haro, has been crafting wines since 1932 in facilities over two centuries old. They are known for both their reds and whites and are one of a very few wineries in Spain that makes their own barrels, with three in-house coopers. This oak-aged white is mostly Viura, blended with a bit of Malvasia. It has loads of fresh fruit flavor—think citrus and green apple—balanced by a soft texture from the fine lees and oak aging. This is a great wine for full-flavored fish dishes or paella. $15

2013 Poggio Bonelli, Chianti Classico — The Tuscan estate of Poggio Bonelli is located in Siena, in the heart of Chianti Classico. It dates back centuries during which time it has seen a number of owners. Today they have about 80 hectares of vines and, while their winemaking traditions date back to the sixteenth century, the winery has modernized over the years and their talented winemakers continually strive to convey the unique characteristics of their terroir in each of their wines. This may be their “basic” Chianti, but it is an amazing expression of Sangiovese (here blended with 10% “other” grapes) from this region. It is bold and dense, with fresh aromas of wild berries and herbs and delicate nuances from the French oak. The winery suggests pairing it with cold cuts, grilled meat, or medium mature cheeses. $15

2015 Château de Brézé, Clos du Midi, Saumur — Brézé lies in the Saumur appellation of the central Loire Valley. It is a relatively cool site, with a base of limestone rock underneath topsoils of clay, at the bottom, and sand, at the top of the hill—a combination that imparts exceptional acidity and minerality to the wines. It is such a unique site that, back in 1957 when the Saumur-Champigny AOC was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to have his vineyards included, believing his site should have its own AOC, Brézé. He was denied, but to this day many agree that these vineyards are some of the best in Saumur. This 100% Chenin Blanc from those calcium-rich soils is fresh and clean, with mouthwatering raciness combined with inviting softness and charm. Perfect for shellfish! $18

2012 Vivanco, Rioja Crianza — The charming label on this wine shows a painting of a corkscrew by Joan Miro. The painting is on display at the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine, part of this third-generation winery in the Rioja region of northern Spain. Dedicated not only to the production of wine, Vivanco strives to “give back to wine what wine has given us,” through their foundation and museum. Even the bottle shape is unique, inspired by an original eighteenth century bottle in their collection. They have 440 hectares of estate vineyards, located throughout Rioja Alta. Their crianza, 100% Tempranillo, is aged for 16 months in previously used French and American oak barrels, followed by at least six months in bottle. It is full-bodied and very accessible, full of fresh, ripe red fruit flavors with a touch of spice and smoke. It is ready to enjoy now or over the next five years and would pair well with any Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. $19.75