Collector’s Club – September 2019

2017 Romuald Petit, Bourgogne Blanc — After viticulture studies in various regions of France, Romuald Petit returned to his home in Saint-Vérand, in the Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy, in 2005 and founded a small, six-hectare estate. His holdings have grown a bit since then, but his commitment to producing authentic, artisanal wines remains unchanged. His Bourgogne Blanc is sourced mostly from a single vineyard, Champ Rond, in the village of Chasselas, at the southern end of the Saint-Véran appellation. The unique red limestone soil here is perfect for growing Chardonnay. Aged on its lees in stainless steel, this wine is fresh and aromatic with lively fruit flavors. It was very popular at our recent French tasting and would be perfect with any type of fish or shellfish. $18

2016 Matchbook, Petit Verdot — The Giguiere family planted the first grapes in what is now California’s Dunnigan Hills AVA. The area north of Sacramento has a Mediterranean-type climate, with hot days but cool nights so the grapes retain their natural acidity. Petit Verdot, a small, thick-skinned grape valued for adding depth and color to classic Bordeaux blends, grows well here, producing concentrated, well-structured wines. Matchbook was founded by brothers John and Karl Giguiere and this is the inaugural release of their Petit Verdot, blended with 11% Malbec and 1% the northern Italian grape, Teroldego. The grapes were aged separately in barrel for 13 months, plus an additional 13 after blending. It is smooth and complex with soft spice notes and juicy flavors of plum and mocha. Try it with lamb or roasted pork loin. $15

2017 Château de Villeneuve, Saumur Chenin — This historic property in the Saumur region of France’s central Loire Valley dates back to 1577. The estate, with its beautiful Romanesque church and walled vineyards, was bought in 1969 by the Chevallier family, winegrowers from a nearby village. Today their son Jean-Pierre oversees the winery and his wines are a reference point for both red and white wines from Saumur. (He is training his two daughters to eventually take over.) The winery has been certified organic since 2011 and they use very low sulfites (Jean-Pierre is allergic). This 100% Chenin Blanc, grown in the local limestone soil, is fermented in new French oak with native yeasts and lees contact, then aged in stainless steel and new and used French oak. It is focused and bone dry, with aromas of white flowers, notes of citrus and stone fruit, and great minerality. Perfect for seafood, shellfish, or poultry dishes. $19.75

2016 Bodegas Alvear, Palacio Quemado, La Zarcita — Palacio Quemado was founded in 1999 by Alvear, a long-time highly regarded Sherry producer, who wanted to explore the unique terroir and grapes of Spain’s southwest Extremadura region, on the border with Portugal. They planted the estate in 1999 on rolling hillsides about 1000 feet in elevation, and manage all the vineyard plots individually, using no harmful chemicals. They produce just two wines. La Zarcita, named for a small stream running through the vineyards, is a blend of indigenous local grapes Trincadeira Prieta, Touriga Nacional, and Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), plus Syrah, all sourced from individual sub plots and aged mostly in large, second- and third-use barrels. Their goal is to produce an authentic wine, expressive of the local terroir. La Zarcita is floral and fresh, with notes of ripe fruit and spice. Great for grilled meats, fish, or vegetables. $19

2017 Cantina Tombacco, Aglianico del Beneventano — Cantina Tombacco was founded by Giovanni Battista Tombacco in 1919 in Italy’s northern Veneto region. It is now in the hands of the third generation and they produce wines from other regions as well, including this 100% Aglianico, a dark-skinned grape grown almost exclusively in the mountainous southern regions of Basilicata and Campania. This one comes from the Benevento province in Campania and is aged partly in stainless steel and partly in 500-liter tonneau. It is juicy and complex, with savory flavors of red fruit and spice, especially once it’s had a little time to open up. We sold out of it at our recent Italian tasting and took orders for more, so it was a no-brainer for the club. Try it with red meat, lamb, or chicken, barbecued fare, or roasted mushrooms. $16

2014 Quinta do Pinto, Lasso Tinto — This wine comes from the Alenquer region, north of Lisbon and part of Portugal’s larger Extremadura region. It is made by a family winery with a long history in the area and a strong passion for the land and its wines. Their Lasso Tinto is a blend of 60% Aragónez (the local name for Tempranillo), with Touriga Nacional and Castelão, aged nine months in second- and third-use French oak barrels. The marine influence from the Atlantic Ocean adds freshness and minerality to this aromatic, juicy, well-structured wine. With its red fruit flavors, hints of earthy spice, food-friendly acidity, and robust tannins, it’s a great partner for a wide range of meats, or with hearty legume dishes. $13