Collector’s Club – April 2017

2013 Idilico, Monastrell — Javier Alfonso, originally from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region, now makes his home in Washington where he is the owner and winemaker at Pomum Cellars in Woodinville. He also produces wines under the Idilico label, focussing on the Spanish grapes of his home which happen to grow very well here. His 100% Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre) is sourced from two Yakima Valley vineyards: Upland, near Sunnyside, and Marcela, in Zillah, and is aged 15 months in 500 liter neutral French oak barrels. Monastrell is known for its meaty flavors of dark fruit and black pepper. This one is soft and approachable, with a hint of cocoa. Javier made only 176 cases, so it won’t be around long. $19.75

2015 Bodegueros Quintaesencia, Toro Silbon — This wine comes from the Toro region of northwest Spain, courtesy of Bellingham importer, Casa Ventura. Toro is a high-altitude region (around 2,000 to 2,800 feet) with particularly harsh growing conditions. The principal grape that thrives there is Tinta de Toro, aka Tempranillo. A relatively young winery, Quintaesencia was founded in 2006 by Ramiro Carbajo, who had worked with many top wineries over the years, along with his friend, Florentino Ferrin. With their vast experience, knowledge of their local soils, and passion to create amazing, terroir-driven wines, they set out to produce the wines of their dreams. This one comes from vines ranging from 27 to 44 years in age and is lush and dark, with notes of ripe black fruit, spice, and minerals. With its firm, structured tannins, it would be a great match for cured meats, roast lamb or pork, or tacos. $19

2014 Domaine Jomaine, Aligoté — This small, family estate was established in 1992 in the Burgundy village of Puligny-Montrachet, by Philippe, Christophe, and Catherine Jomain. They inherited vineyards from their father including four Premier Cru parcels in Puligny and about a half an acre in Grand Cru Bâtard-Montrachet. They grow mostly Chardonnay, which they farm by hand and as naturally as possible. They also have about five acres of Aligoté—the “other” white grape of Burgundy, which tends to produce aromatic wines with good acidity. Extended lees contact and aging in neutral oak adds texture to their wines and their Aligoté, from vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet, is fresh and clean with notes of white fruit. We suggest enjoying this wine only slightly chilled, to get the most out of the aromatics and complexity. Perfect for grilled fish or oysters, or mixed with a dash of Cassis to make the classic aperitif, Kir. $17

2015 Santa Barbara Winery, Sauvignon Blanc — Founded in 1962, Santa Barbara is the oldest winery in the county and the first commercial winery to be established there after Prohibition. They are based in the Santa Ynez Valley, which stretches from the foggy cool climate western portion, where the winery’s estate Lafond Vineyard is, to the warmer eastern side, where grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc are sourced. 85% of the fruit is from the aromatic Musque clone, and 20% of the wine was aged in neutral oak puncheons to add texture to the lean character of the wine, without overshadowing the inherent racy acidity naturally found in Sauvignon Blanc. The result is a fresh, clean, yet aromatic wine, with a silky mouth feel and inviting depth. It would pair well with moderately spicy foods, seafood, or salads. $17

2015 Laurent Gauthier, Grand Cras Morgon — This estate that dates back to 1834 in Morgon, an important cru in Beaujolais that tends to produce denser, richer wines than most of the other Beaujolais villages. This one is sourced from a plot called “Les Grans Cras,” situated at the foothill of the Côte du Py, the famed slope of an extinct volcano near the village of Villié Morgon. The decomposed blue granite soils produce complex wines with notes of spice and dark fruit flavors. 2015 was a superb vintage in Beaujolais, producing rich, smooth wines with great depth and none of the “green notes” that you sometimes find in cooler vintages. This one is very accessible and ready to drink anytime over the next five years with, as the winery suggests, cassoulet, grilled meat, lamb, or rooster cooked in red Beaujolais. $15

2014 Château de Montfaucon, Côtes du Rhône — This southern Rhône estate dates back to the 11th century, when a castle was built on a strategic site along the banks of the Rhône River. A winery was added in the 1500s. Current winemaker Rodolphe de Pins took over the estate in 1995, after agricultural studies in France and at California’s UC Davis. Although he rebuilt much of the winery, the old 16th century vaulted cellars are still used for barrel aging. His vineyards, some over 90 years old, lie just across the Rhône from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This unoaked Côtes-du-Rhône blend is 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. Its elegant red fruit flavors are accentuated by soft spice and a bit of licorice. Great for red or white meat dishes, or even with barbeque. $14