Collector’s Club – April 2021

2017 Fattoria Uccelliera, Ginepraia Rosso di Toscana — This family-owned winery, located about 14 miles south of Pisa, was founded in the 1960s by Antonio Bulleri and Maria Elena Poggianti who wanted a place to enjoy in the countryside. Today the second (and even third) generation help work the family farm where they also produce olive oil and run a holiday camp. Their Ginepraia Rosso has become quite popular in the shop lately, so we decided to put it in the club. It is a “super-Tuscan” style blend of Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and is smooth, well-structured, and very aromatic, with notes of dark fruit, light spice, and a hint of underbrush. Accessible now, or over the next five to six years, it’s a great wine for red meat or chicken dishes, mushroom-based fare, or pasta, especially with tomato-based sauces. $24

2019 Luigi Baudana, Dragon Bianco — This small winery is based in the Barolo commune of Serralunga d’Alba in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. In 2009, after 30 years of loving care, Luigi Baudana and his wife entrusted their winery and vineyards to G. D. Vajra who faithfully carry on their tradition. While the Barolo region is known for its powerful reds, this wine is an intriguing field blend of white grapes: about half Chard, with Sauv Blanc, Nascetta, and a touch of Riesling. (Nascetta is a nearly forgotten indigenous local grape, prized for producing fresh, aromatic wines with good minerality.) The organically-grown grapes are vinified together and aged six months in stainless steel, resulting in a fresh, dry wine with bright notes of citrus and aromatic orchard fruit and an underlying balancing warmth. Great for poultry, seafood, or Asian fare. $19.75

2019 Jané Ventura, Vinyes Blanques — This family winery was founded in 1914 in the Catalonian Penedès region of northeast Spain. They are located in the Lower Penedès (Tarragona), southwest of Barcelona, and the estate is now run by the fourth generation who farm all their vines organically. The region is influenced by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees, with warm summers cooled by maritime breezes, and cold winters, perfect for growing their indigenous grapes. This delightful white wine is a blend of Xarel·lo (one of the main grapes in Cava), Macabeu, Sauv Blanc, and Malvasía de Sitges, aged four months on the fine lees in stainless steel. It is fresh and clean yet quite complex, with nice texture and depth, notes of Mediterranean fruit, and a lingering finish. It’s a great wine for seafood. The label depicts the local maritime landscape, with the boat and floating barrels representing the old port of San Salvador beach. $15

2018 Château de Minière, Rouge de Minière — Château de Minière is an 18th century estate in the Bourgueil appellation of central France’s Loire Valley. It has been owned by Kathleen Mareels-Van den Berghe since 2010. Today she has about 18 hectares of vines averaging over 50 years in age, with some over 100 years old. They are planted in several different parcels with a variety of soils, from gravelly, to a mix of clay, limestone, and silica. The vineyards are certified organic and are entirely planted to Cabernet Franc. This wine is produced from 15- to 30-year-old vines and is fermented in stainless steel with natural yeasts. It is light, fresh, and very expressive, with layers of red fruit and a nice touch of peppery spice. Enjoy it over the next year or two with charcuterie, poultry, or duck. $16

2016 Bodegas Ramírez de la Piscina, Rioja Crianza — This winery is located in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in the province of La Rioja, Spain. Julio Ramírez inherited his family’s vineyards here and carried on their viticultural tradition. In the 1970s he began bottling wines under his own name and thus Ramírez de la Piscina was born. The winery has grown over the years and is now overseen by his children, but their focus is still on producing classic, traditionally-styled Riojas from all estate-grown fruit. This Crianza is 100% Tempranillo, aged 14 months in French and American oak, followed by five months in stainless steel and at least eight months in bottle. The red fruit aromas are characteristic of Sonsierra fruit and combine beautifully with the notes of ripe plums, spice, and touch of vanilla. It is a rich, very accessible wine that would pair well with steak and grilled mushrooms, paella, or you could try it with pintxos (tapas). $15

2018 Bodegas Tagua Tagua, Gran Reserva Carménère — This winery, located in Chile’s Central Valley region, has been owned and operated by the Correa family for over a century. They are regarded as one the pioneering families in the Chilean wine industry and today the fifth generation oversee the estate, including Tomás Correa Lisoni who makes the wines. They have vineyard holdings in the Maule, Colchagua, and Rapel valleys, all farmed sustainably. Their Gran Reserva Carménère is sourced from Rapel Valley fruit and is aged 12 to 14 months in French barrels, a mix of first- to third-use. It is dark and well-structured, with ripe fruit flavors and notes of spice and black pepper. The oak aging adds complexity and nice, balancing tannins on the long finish. Great with most meat dishes, you could pair it with carne asada or chicken mole. $19