Collector’s Club – February 2020

2018 Serge Laporte, Les Boursicottes Sancerre — Les Boursicottes is based in Chavignol, one of the most esteemed villages in the Sancerre region of France’s Loire Valley. The estate dates back generations and today is run by Guillame Laporte, who took over from his father, Serge, about ten years ago. Fruit for this 100% Sauv Blanc is planted on two distinct soil types: “Terres Blanches,” calcareous clay with Kimmeridgian limestone, which adds power and body to the wines; and “Les Caillotes,” mostly gravel and limestone, which imparts delicate, fruity notes. Guillame harvests and vinifies the fruit from these sites separately, then blends them carefully to produce a classic, balanced Sancerre that highlights the flavors and aromas of each site. It is an expressive, savory wine, with citrus, flint, and floral notes, fresh, crisp acidity, and excellent minerality. Perfect with seafood, shellfish, poultry dishes, or fresh goat cheese. $23

2018 Quintaesencia, Silbon, Toro — This wine comes from the Toro region of northwest Spain. Toro is a high-altitude region (around 2,000 to 2,800 feet in elevation) with particularly harsh growing conditions and the principal grape grown there is Tinta de Toro, aka Tempranillo. Quintaesencia was founded in 2006 by Ramiro Carbajo and Florentino Ferrin. With their combined experience, knowledge of their local soils, and passion to create superb, terroir-driven wines, they set out to produce the wines of their dreams. This one, from the hot 2018 vintage, is sourced from several vineyards, with vines ranging from 30 to 47 years in age. It is dark and complex, with juicy notes of ripe black fruit, spice, and a touch of oak. With its firm structure and hints of forest floor, it would pair well with cured meats, roast lamb or pork, or tacos. $19.75

2014 Lafond Winery and Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills Syrah — Several years ago we put a wine in the club from Santa Barbara Winery, the oldest winery in Santa Barbara County and the first commercial winery to be established there after Prohibition. The winery was founded in 1962 by Pierre Lafond who began planting vines in the Santa Rita Hills AVA at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley beginning in the early 1970s. In 2000 he established his own eponymous winery, now the sister winery of Santa Barbara. His SRH wines are all sourced from that AVA. The valley runs west to east and is tempered by the cooling effect of marine fog. The warm days and cool nights allow Syrah grown here to develop rich, spicy, complex flavors. This wine is delicious now, or you could enjoy it over the next few years with lamb or other hearty fare. $19

2016 Château Tour des Gendres, Bergerac Rouge — Bergerac lies in the beautiful Dordogne Valley of southwest France, just east of Bordeaux. And while the region produces similar wines, they are often overshadowed by those of their highly esteemed neighbor. But they can be superb values. This estate was founded in 1925 but it wasn’t until 1986 that they began to produce their own wines. They were the first in the region to farm organically and today are certified biodynamic. Their wines, grown on a mix of limestone and clay soils, are known for their balance, power, and freshness. This spicy, approachable wine has juicy, black currant flavors from Merlot (60%) along with the chewy tannins of Malbec (40%), with subtle hints of vanilla. Enjoy it over the next few years with beef stroganoff, roast duck, or French onion soup. $14

2016 Château de Mattes-Sabran, Corbières “Le Viala” — Mattes-Sabran is located in the heart of the Corbières region of southern France, on the Mediterranean coast. The estate, once the seat of the Duke of Narbonne, is now a quiet, welcoming winery with vineyards situated on steep, terraced vineyards with stony soil similar to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This blend takes its name, “viala,” from a word in the local dialect meaning a community, or group of people living and working together. It is 60% Grenache and 20% each Syrah and Mourvèdre, sourced from 30- to 50-year-old vines grown high in hills of gravel-rich soil. Juicy and full-bodied, with dark fruit flavors, a touch of earth, and food-friendly acidity, it is a classic wine for grilled red meat or game, or Mediterranean dishes, especially those flavored with black olives. $17

2018 Poggio Anima, “Uriel” Grillo — This winery is a joint venture between Tuscan winemaker Riccardo Campinoti and his U.S. importer. Their goal is to produce “real” wines that convey a sense of place, using their long-standing relationships with top growers throughout Italy. The label, Poggio Anima, means “hill of soul,” and they aim to capture the soul of each vineyard and grape in every wine. This one is 100% Grillo, a grape indigenous to the hilly, volcanic island of Sicily off the southern tip of Italy. The fruit is grown on sandy clay soil at around 1,600 feet above sea level, and the proximity to the sea imparts a nice, crisp freshness to the savory flavors of orchard fruit and citrus. Stainless steel aging preserves the clean, grassy flavors, while several months lees aging adds nice overall texture and a long finish. $15