Collector’s Club – July 2020

2018 Simpatico, The Fanatic — Cassie Wistrom interned at the shop in 2012 while she was a student in the Wine Academy at South Seattle College. After graduating, she worked at Lewis Cellars in Napa and then at Washington’s iconic Betz Family Winery, before founding her own winery, Simpatico, along with two former classmates. Their Fanatic is a blend of 90% Albariño and 10% Viognier. Albariño is a cool-climate white grape native to northwest Spain, where it produces clean, refreshing wines that are perfect with seafood. This one is sourced from Dutchman Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. The cool, high-elevation site with limestone soil produces a fresh, aromatic Albariño with hints of Meyer lemon and stone fruit, and surprising richness and complexity, further enhanced by the addition of Viognier. Right now they are generously donating ten percent of all sales to the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. $19

2017 Fitapreta, A Touriga Vai Nua — This wine comes from the Alentejo region of southern Portugal. The area has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry days and cool nights, moderated by Atlantic breezes. Fitapreta was founded in 2004 by English transplant-turned respected Portuguese viticulturist, David Booth, and António Maçanita (current winemaker). Vai Nua is 100% Touriga Nacional, a grape known for its aromatic, floral character. This one is sourced from several small subzones with rocky, schist soil, that produces low yields, concentrating the fruit flavors. It is unoaked (Vai Nua is Portuguese for “go naked”), so the pure flavors of the grape shine through, resulting in a smooth, expressive wine with notes of licorice and deep aromatic intensity. Great with white or red meat dishes. (We got all that was left of this vintage.) $19.75

2018 Judith Beck, Beck Ink — Judith Beck is based on the eastern side of Lake Neusiedl, in Austria’s warm, eastern Burgenland region. She farms bio-dynamically and practices low-intervention winemaking, noting, “For me this is not about a trend, but a deeply held commitment.” Although Austria is best known for its white wines, about 85% of her vineyards are planted to traditional red varieties. Beck Ink is a juicy, vibrant blend of 70% St-Laurent and 30% Zweigelt (a crossing of Blaufränkisch and St-Laurent), fermented in stainless steel and aged in large casks. The warming effect of the nearby large, yet shallow lake helps ensure that the red grapes ripen fully and achieve optimum structure, character, and flavor. This wine is light and fresh, with notes of sour cherry and spice. Enjoy it slightly chilled on a warm summer day! $17

2018 Cascina del Pozzo, Montemeraviglia Arneis — This wine comes from the commune of Castellinaldo, in the rolling hills of Roero in Italy’s northwest Piedmont region. The area is known for its red wines based on Barbera, and for its whites, produced from Arneis, a once nearly extinct variety that is notoriously difficult to grow, earning it its name which is said to mean “little rascal.” This one is made by Cascina del Pozzo, a winery run by the third generation of the Marchisio family, who farm their vines as naturally as possible, respecting both the environment and traditions. 100% Arneis, it is aged six months in stainless steel with periodic lees stirring and shows the classic characteristics of the grape, with floral aromatics, orchard fruit notes, a hint of nuttiness, and inviting texture. With its refreshing acidity, it pairs wonderfully with fish dishes, vegetables au gratin, creamy pastas, or poultry, especially with fresh herbs, such as tarragon. $15

2017 Pedroncelli Winery, Sonoma Classico, Barrel Select — Pedroncelli began in 1927 when John Pedroncelli Sr. purchased a vineyard and small winery in Sonoma Country’s Dry Creek Valley. Today the winery is run by the third generation of the family and the wines are made by Catalonia native, Montse Reece, only the third winemaker in the nearly 90-year history of the winery. Their Sonoma Classico is a proprietary blend of Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah, all from Dry Creek Valley and aged 14 months in American oak (25% new). The wine is juicy and tasty, with rich flavors of dark cherry, plum, and a touch of spice, with inviting complexity and softness from the judicious oak aging. To pair with it, their website has recipes for grilled sausages with fig and onion jam, lamb Navarin, tamale pie, and more! $17

2016 Château du Donjon, Grande Tradition, Minervois — This wine comes from Minervois, one of the oldest wine-producing appellations in the Languedoc region of southern France. The winery has been in the Panis family for 500 years and is housed in a 700-year-old donjon, a fortified château with underground cellars with walls two feet thick—providing excellent insulation for aging their wines. Their Grande Tradition, their flagship bottling, is a blend of 40% each Syrah and Grenache, with 20% Carignan. The vines range in age from 20 to 55 years and are grown on gravel terraces and clay-limestone slopes along the Clamoux River. It is rich and full-bodied, with great texture and structure and aromas and flavors of ripe, dark fruit. Perfect for grilled meats or vegetables or rich poultry dishes, such as duck. Or cassoulet. $17