Collector’s Club – February 2019

2013 Tranche Cellars, Sangiovese — As most of you know by now, Tranche is the sister label of Corliss, producer of some of the top wines in Washington state. The Tranche line explores varietals and styles beyond the more focused scope of the Corliss offerings. But they continue to refine the focus of their Tranche wines as well. This is a good thing, but sadly for many of us, it means they will no longer be producing some of the wines we’ve loved in the past from such grapes as Barbera and Tempranillo (which we’ve featured in this club) or this wine, a 100% Sangiovese. It is sourced from their estate Blue Mountain Vineyard and is dark and juicy, with rustic red and black fruit flavors, notes of crushed pepper and dried herbs, and a bit of savory spice. Because this is the last vintage of this wine, they are offering it at an excellent price (it had been $25). But when it is gone, it is gone. $19.75

2017 Franck Décrinisse, Côteaux du Lyonnais “Mes Vieilles Vignes” — The Côteaux du Lyonnais is a young French appellation, created in 1984 near Lyon (“the world capital of gastronomy”). Its red wines are always 100% Gamay, as in its neighbor to the north, Beaujolais. The wines have historically been consumed mostly locally and rarely exported. We put the previous vintage of this wine in the club, and this one was so popular at our recent Beaujolais tasting we decided to include it again. Sourced from 60- plus year-old vines grown on limestone and schist soil, it is delightfully expressive and savory, with a nice balance of fruit and spice. A bit richer than Cru Beaujolais, you could enjoy it with poultry dishes, charcuterie or, as they suggest, “the rich foods of Lyon.” They make only about 415 cases a year. $15

2016 Château des Eyssards, Bergerac Sec Cuvée Prestige — The Bergerac region is in the Dordogne Valley in southwest France, just east of Bordeaux. And while Bergerac produces very similar wines, they are often overshadowed by those of their highly esteemed neighbor. Lucky for us, Bergerac wines can be equally good and are typically much more affordable. This one is 40% Sauv Blanc and 30% each Sémillon and Muscadelle, a classic Bordeaux style white blend. But being from a slightly warmer micro-climate, it is a bit fuller and richer in style than many Bordeaux whites. The higher percentage of Muscadelle in the blend and extended lees aging adds further depth and character to this delicious, complex wine. It’s a lovely wine to enjoy on its own, or to pair with light pasta dishes or seafood. $16

2016 Fraga do Corvo, Mencia — Fragas do Lecer was founded in northwest Spain’s Monterrei region in 2005 by the Boo-Rivero family who have been winegrowers in the area for over 30 years. Today they have 28 different estate vineyards, totaling 45 acres, on various soil types. They practice organic viticulture and are committed to growing indigenous varietals, such as this 100% Mencia, sourced from older vines grown on slate and limestone soil on the slopes of the Monterrei Valley. It sees about seven months in French oak and is smooth and elegant, with dark fruit flavors, spice, and a touch of meatiness. It’s a great wine for game birds, mushroom dishes, or mature cheese. They make only about 180 cases of this wine a year and the name, fraga do corvo, means “crow forest,” or “a murder of crows.” $18

2017 Evesham Wood, Blanc du Puits Sec — Erin Nuccio has been at the helm of Evesham Wood since 2010. We got to meet him recently when he brought a line-up of his wines to the shop for us to try. We were particularly taken with this white blend. It is labeled 85% Pinot Gris and 15% Gewürztraminer, but Erin said it is actually a field blend, with a bit of Pinot Blanc, Kerner, Rieslaner, Traminer, and Grüner Veltliner in the mix as well, all sourced from their dry-farmed Le Puits Sec Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. Since these grapes all ripen at different times, Erin picked a point when the subtle differences in ripeness of each varietal would add the most complexity, then co-fermented them all in stainless steel. The result is an intriguing wine, with complex floral notes, citrus and spice, and zippy acidity. $18

2017 La Lomita, Discreto Encanto Tinto — The first ever Mexican wine we’ve featured in our club comes from Valle de Guadalupe in the northern Baja region, just 75 miles south of San Diego. La Lomita is one of over 150 wineries in this region with its Mediterranean-type climate tempered by the marine influence of the Pacific Ocean, where winemaking dates back over 200 years. The winery farms their 17 acres organically, with some vines over 70 years in age. Their Discreto Encanto (“discrete charm”) is a blend of 52% Cab Sauv, 30% Grenache, and 18% Ruby Cabernet (a cross between Cab Sauv and Carignan developed at U.C. Davis in 1949). The wine is smooth and deep, with inviting savory notes and is a great introduction to what is sure to be more offerings from this exciting region. $18