Collector’s Club – July 2018

2017 Marchetti, Tenuta del Cavaliere Verdicchio — Once again we present Small Vineyards producer Maurizio Marchetti’s “later harvest” Verdicchio. Based in Italy’s Marche region near the Adriatic coast, he has been making Verdicchio for generations and his “basic” version is superb. But for this wine he leaves the fruit on the vine an extra month, which adds inviting body, structure, and a soft richness. He makes only about 300 cases a year so it is not in Small Vineyards’ portfolio year round. But when we can get it, we grab it! It has the fresh acidity and minerality typical of a Verdicchio, but with more depth and complexity. Perfect for richer seafood dishes, such as lightly seared scallops with lemon and olive oil or calamari. $17

2017 Lovo Wines, “Blossom Rosso” Veneto — The Lovo family have been grape growers in Italy’s northern Veneto region since the eighteenth century. Today Salvatore Lovo and his daughter Silvia grow the classic grapes of north central Italy on their estate at the western end of the Colli Euganei, a group of volcanic hills south of the town of Padua. But they also love to experiment with international varietals. Their “Blossom Rosso” is a blend of 45% Cab Sauv, 45% Cab Franc, and 10% Carmenère. It is soft, smooth, and very approachable, with fresh, juicy flavor and a bit of peppery spice. It is a red you could serve slightly chilled, with a summer barbecue or perhaps with your Thanksgiving dinner. $13

2013 Naches Heights Vineyard, Malbec — When Phil Cline poured his wines in the shop last April, this was the big hit of the tasting. Phil comes from a long line of farmers in eastern Washington. He was the first to plant grapes on the high-elevation Naches Heights, and was later responsible for getting AVA status for that unique site. He sources wines from other, mostly higher elevation sites as well, and this wine comes from Conley Vineyard, west of Yakima in the Columbia Valley AVA. It is 100% Malbec, organically grown in ancient soils at 1,500 feet, high above the Yakima Valley. The high elevation and the well-drained south-facing slope provides a perfect place to grow Malbec, producing a rich, dark wine with notes of spice, tobacco, and cherry. Enjoy it now through 2022 with beef, barbecue, or spicy food. $25

2014 Bodegas Ordóñez, Zerran, Montsant — This wine comes from northeast Spain’s Montsant region. Montsant basically surrounds the smaller Priorat region, prized for its llicorella slate soil which imparts a unique minerality to wines grown there. Some parts of Montsant, not included when the D.O. Priorat was formed, share that same llicorella soil. This wine is a blend of three grapes, planted on different soil types, vinified separately, then blended to bring out the best characteristics of each site. It is 50% Garnacha, grown on llicorella slate, which contributes complexity and concentration; 40% Mazuelo (aka Carignan) grown on sandy clay soil, adding a fruit forward quality; and 10% Syrah, grown on limestone, bringing further structure to the wine. It is aged ten months in French oak and is complex and aromatic, with dark fruit flavors and notes of damp earth, wet stones, and a hint of licorice. Enjoy through 2020. $16

2016 Viña Reboreda, Godello — This wine comes from Spain’s northwestern Ribeiro region, in Galicia, just across the Miño River from Portugal’s Vinho Verde region. Founded in 1940, Viña Reboreda is one of the largest private producers in the region. Today is it run by José Luis Méndes and his daughter Ana. Together they have been instrumental in promoting quality over quantity and championing the reintroduction of traditional regional grape varieties in the region. This wine is 100% Godello, made from 40-year-old vines grown in chalky soil on steep slopes overlooking the Miño River. It is fresh, complex, and aromatic, with ripe, juicy, savory fruit flavors and a touch of saltiness that makes it a great wine for seafood such as sea bass, scallops, or Dungeness crab. $15

2014 Shooting Star, Blue Franc — Jed Steele has been making wine in Lake County California for over 40 years. He produces a wide array of wines, sourced from around the state and even from Washington. While his line-up is broad his overall production is relatively small and always well executed. This wine is 100% Lemberger. He was first inspired to produce a wine from this grape while on a trip to Austria, where it is known as Blaufränkisch. This one is sourced from Destiny Ridge Vineyard in eastern Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills. It sees little to no oak and is smooth and inviting, with flavors of blue fruits, almonds, and a hint of baking spice. Perfect for grilled burgers, you could even serve it slightly chilled. The label depicts a (blue) French Franc note, and features a different person in the watermark each year. $14