Collector’s Club – June 2019

2009 López de Heredia, Viña Cubillo Crianza — López de Heredia is one of the oldest and most traditional houses in northern Spain’s Rioja region. They produce all of their wines from their own fruit, with no filtration, use only barrels crafted by their own in-house cooperage, and age their wines up to 20 years before release. 2009 is the current vintage of this wine, although they are moving to the 2010 soon. It is a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo (aka Carignan) from their Cubillas vineyard. Aged three years in barrel with further time in bottle, it has complex aromas and flavors of ripe, red fruit and toasty oak spice. A bit of decanting will help open it all up. This is a great introduction to the wines of López de Heredia and perfect for meat dishes, tapas, or charcuterie. $24

2017 Marc Brédif, Vouvray — Marc Brédif is based in Vouvray, in the Touraine region of France’s Loire Valley. The estate has been a highly respected producer of Vouvray and Chinon since 1893, with no change in style or quality after being purchased by Baron Patrick de Ladoucette in 1980. Their Vouvray is 100% Chenin Blanc, sourced from 25- to 30-year-old vines, grown on lower slopes of the valley, on chalky, clay soils. The wines are aged in the winery’s cool, humid cellars, dug deep into the tuffeau (soft chalk) hillsides. These caves, some of the largest and most beautiful in the region with some dating back to the eighth century, offer excellent conditions for aging wines. This one has a full, rich mouthfeel, with aromas and flavors of peach and pear and a lemony freshness that leads to a long, fruity finish. $23

2012 Dante Rivetti, “Mara” Barbera d’Alba — This winery is based in Neive, in the province of Cuneo in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. The Rivetti family has been living and working here since the mid 1800s and the estate is now headed by Dante, who meticulously tends all of the vineyards, as naturally as possible and with minimal impact on the environment. Their Barbera d’Alba “Mara” is named for the youngest daughter in the household, and expresses the youthful, easy-drinking character of the grape. It is fermented and aged in stainless steel (plus some time in bottle), which lets the bright flavors of ripe red fruit shine through. Soft and savory, with smooth tannins, nice depth, and a long finish, it’s great for meat dishes or, the winery suggests, mussels with pasta topped with Pecorino cheese. $19

2013 Châtaeau du Grand Caumont, Cuvée Tradition — Corbières is one of the most highly regarded AOCs in France’s southern Languedoc region. It is also the source of some of the country’s more innovative and value-oriented wines. Château du Grand Caumont is based in Lézignan-Corbières, a warm, dry region, with mild winters, bordering the Mediterranean. The estate has about 100 hectares of vineyards, planted on rugged, stony, terraced slopes. This wine was a big hit at our most recent French tasting and is a blend of 45% old vine Carignan, 40% Syrah, and 15% Grenache. It is dark, juicy, and supple, with a nice bit of rustic spice. Being from the 2013 vintage, it has some nice, mellowing age on it and is ready to drink now, with grilled meat, game dishes, lamb, or cheeses. $12

2015 Xanadu Wines, DJL Cabernet Sauvignon — Most of the Australian wines we see come from South Australia—Barossa, McLaren Vale, etc. So we were excited to discover this producer from Margaret River, in Western Australia. Xanadu was established by Irishman Dr. John Lagan (the “DJL” in the wine’s name) in 1977 on a site about two miles from the coast. The winery was purchased in 2005 by the Rathbone family, of Mount Langi Ghiran fame, who continue to produce distinctive, award-winning wines that reflect the character of the region. Margaret River has a Mediterranean-type climate, especially well suited to growing Bordeaux varietals. This Cab, blended with 6% Petit Verdot, is made from select parcels of fruit from older vineyards and aged in French oak (30% new). It is elegant and structured, with plenty of depth and body, and flavors of dark fruit, mocha, and a savory touch of earth and spice. $17

2017 Masseria del Fuedo, Inzolia — Francesco Cucurullo recently visited the shop to pour his wines for us. He and his sister Carolina represent the fourth generation to oversee their family winery, based in the province of Caltanissette, in the heart of Sicily. They aim for a balance of tradition and innovation in their winemaking and, while they sometimes experiment with international varietals, their focus is on traditional Sicilian grapes such as this refreshing, clean 100% Inzolia. The grape thrives in their certified organic vineyards planted on a hilly site 450 meters above sea level. Inzolia typically produces fresh, citrusy wines with notes of orchard fruit. A bit of lees aging adds lovely texture and a bit of nuttiness to this vibrant, medium-bodied wine. Very Mediterranean in feel, it’s a great seafood wine. $14