Collector’s Club – October 2019

2016 Antídoto, Ribera del Duero — Bertrand Sourdais is the fifth generation winemaker and owner of Domaine de Pallus in Chinon, in France’s Loire Valley. But it is the wines he makes in Ribera del Duero in northern Spain that have brought him international attention. He is particularly drawn to Soria, a remote sub-zone in the eastern part of the region, still relatively unexplored by Spanish winemakers. The poor sandy soil here has kept phylloxera (a louse that attacks vine roots) at bay for 150 years, making it one of the largest concentrations of ungrafted vines in Europe. Wines from Soria combine the aromatics of Rioja, just to the north, with the power and structure of Ribera del Duero. This 100% Tempranillo comes from over 300 small parcels, many over 100 years old. Aged one year in 600-liter barrique, it is dark and elegant with rich aromas and good acidity. Give it time to open up, then enjoy with grilled meat, chorizo, or polenta. $23

2015 La Quercia, Montepulciano Riserva — Here is the new vintage of a shop favorite from our friends at Small Vineyards—the Riserva Montepulciano from La Quercia, a small estate in Abruzzo on Italy’s rugged east coast. Their 40-year-old vines grow in the family’s windy hillside vineyards overlooking the sea and are pruned to a miniscule yield of about two thirds of a bottle per plant. Winemaker Antonio Lamona ages this wine for 12 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and an additional year in stainless steel. As always, it is dark, rich, and full of flavor, with soft grip, juicy tannins, and a touch of vanilla. It’s a great match for roast pork, olive tapenade, or other savory dishes. They made only 900 cases 400 of which came to the U.S. $19.

2015 Weingut Felsner, Rohendorfer Leiten Grüner Veltliner — Manfred Felsner farms 15 hectares of vineyards in Austria’s Kremstal region. The terraced vineyards of his family estate overlook the Danube River and over half of his wines are classified as old vine, or alte reben. This wine is 100% Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white grape, known for producing dry, minerally wines with notes of white pepper and excellent acidity. This one is sourced from the best, most full-flavored grapes, hand harvested from a single vineyard, Leiten, in the village of Rohrendorf. The older, low-yielding vines average about 50 years in age and root deep into the soil (mostly bedrock covered with a layer of wind-blown silty loess), producing a surprisingly powerful Grüner with all the fresh, tropical fruit character you’d expect, plus a touch of spice and amazing complexity. Perfect with Asian food, chicken, or seafood. $19.75

NV David Hill Vineyards and Winery, Farmhouse Red — David Hill is one of the oldest and northernmost wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The original farmstead dates back to the 1880s when homesteaders were already producing wine from vineyards planted on the site. In 1965 Charles Coury arrived with rootstock from Alsace and Burgundy and began planting what is now David Hill Vineyard. Current owners Milan and Jean Stoyanov bought the property in 1992 and began restoring the farmhouse and vineyards. Today, in addition to wines made from some of the oldest vines in Oregon, they also produce this non-vintage, non-appellation red blend, sourced from vineyards in both Oregon and Washington. A big hit at a recent tasting, it is medium bodied and fruit forward, with juicy fruit flavors. It’s a great everyday wine. $13

2016 Château de Montfaucon, Côtes-du-Rhône — This southern Rhône estate dates back to the 11th century. It was one of a line of castles and fortresses along the Rhône River, then the border between the French Kingdom and the Holy Roman German Empire. A winery was added in the 1500s. Rodolphe de Pins, previously with Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf du Pape, took over in 1995. He rebuilt much of the winery but still uses the 16th century vaulted cellars for barrel aging. His vineyards, some over 90 years old, lie just across the river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This wine is half Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, and Counoise. It is elegant and silky, with red fruit flavors, notes of spice, and a hint of garrigue, characteristic of the appellation. Enjoy it anytime, with red or white meat dishes or hearty fall foods. $15

2016 Talamonti, Trabocchetto Pecorino — This wine comes from the Abruzzo region on Italy’s eastern central coast near the Adriatic Sea. It is 100% Pecorino, a white grape that is making a comeback in its native Marche and Abruzzo regions, grown on stony, calcareous soils at 350 meters above sea level. The wine honors the region’s fishing tradition—the name Trabochetto refers to the large fishing nets used in the area. The label design echoes this theme, and it’s no coincidence that it is a great partner for seafood. It is refreshing and aromatic, with flavors of white fruit and ripe pear, with mouthwatering acidity. The name pecorino means “little sheep” and, while better known as a cheese, Pecorino grapes are apparently a favorite treat for the local sheep. Try it with grilled fish, tempura, or calamari. $15