Collector’s Club – June 2020

2017 Holloran Vineyard Wines, Stafford Hill Tempranillo — Oregon is best known for its Pinot Noirs and the Willamette Valley is a perfect place to grow that grape. The few Tempranillos we’ve seen from the state have always come from southern Oregon. So we were surprised to find this delicious offering from a winery in Dundee. Stafford Hill is the second label of Holloran, producing wines from the same biodynamically farmed vineyard sites by the same winemaking team, but at a more budget-friendly price. This wine comes from their La Chenaie Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, where they grow five different clones of Tempranillo on volcanic soil. It is elegant and well structured, with brambly red fruit aromas and smooth, savory flavors of fresh ripe fruit with a touch of earth and spice. With its balanced acidity it’s an excellent food wine. $16

2018 Landhaus Mayer, Grüner Veltliner — We’ve always had a special place in our hearts for Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white grape, known for producing dry, minerally wines with notes of white pepper and excellent acidity. This one comes from a cooperative in Niederösterreich (lower Austria) that works with passionate, dedicated growers who have farmed their prime vineyard sites in the Weinviertel for generations. The grapes are grown on silty, clay soils and the wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel. It has the classic peppery notes of a good Grüner, along with a touch of citrus and herbal spice and a fresh, lively finish. Grüner Veltliner is a superbly versatile food wine and one of the few that pairs well with vegetables. You could also enjoy this one with white fish or Asian fare. $15

2018 Romuald Petit, Bourgogne Chardonnay — Romuald Petit is based in the village of Saint-Vérand in the Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy. He farms all of his vineyards organically and is committed to producing authentic, artisanal wines. We put the previous vintage of this wine in the club last year and found this one every bit as delicious. It 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, and produces fresh, aromatic wines with lively fruit flavor. Aged on its lees in stainless steel, it has beautiful depth and texture, and a long, lovely finish. The richness shows best when the wine is not too cold. It’s ready to enjoy anytime, with fish, shellfish, or roast chicken. $18

2018 Mastroberardino, Mastro Aglianico — The Mastroberardino family has been growing and producing wine in southern Italy’s Campania region since the mid-18th century. When Antonio Mastroberardino returned to his family estate after World War II he found it in ruins. He set to work restoring the property and vineyards and, while other winemakers were planting international grapes, he focused on preserving the region’s indigenous varietals, Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico. Today the family is credited with preserving these once nearly extinct grapes and is considered one of the most important producers in the region. Their “Mastro,”100% Agalianico, is aged four months in French oak and is smooth and medium bodied, with fresh notes of strawberry and cherry and food-friendly acidity. Great for Mediterranean fare such as lemon-roasted branzino, tomato-based dishes, or roasted chicken. $14

2018 Elephant 7, Syrah “Mix” — Elephant 7 is a small, relatively young winery in Walla Walla. The name was inspired by a group of musicians known as “Elephant 6,” who were dedicated to making meaningful, independent music, regardless of any commercial success. Elephant 7 is dedicated to making genuine, honest wines that reflect a distinct sense of place. Their focus is on Rhône varietals, sourced from premium vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. It was founded by Joshua West, who previously worked at Figgins, Cadaretta, and Dusted Valley in Walla Walla, as well as in New Zealand. His winemaking philosophy emphasizes simplicity, intervening as little as possible to let the fruit, sourced from premium vineyards in the valley, shine through. This one is soft, elegant and very inviting. $22

2012 Francos-Españolas, Bordón Reserva — This Spanish winery was founded in Rioja in 1890 as a partnership between France and Spain following the phylloxera epidemic, which had devastated much of the vineyards in France. When the French sold their holdings in 1920, the winery became wholly Spanish-owned. Their Bordón label represents their most classic wines, made with traditional grape varieties. This one is 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, and 5% Mazuelo, sourced from the three sub-regions of Rioja, with distinct soil types. It is aged in French and American oak for 18 months. This vintage is deliciously Old World in style, with intense aromas and flavors of dark red fruit, cocoa, and cedar. It is medium-bodied, with great structure and mature tannins. Enjoy it with pulses, hearty soups, or grilled or roasted meats. $22