2017 Andrew Januik Wines, Southern Sojourn, $49.75
Winery Info: Andrew Januik’s winemaking journey began at the age of thirteen, when he started spending weekends and summers helping in his family winery. Lucky for him, his father was highly-acclaimed Washington winemaker, Mike Januik, who founded his eponymous winery in 1999, after working as head winemaker at Château Ste. Michelle. In 2009 Andrew joined his father full time and two years later he launched his own label. Thanks to his impeccable training and his own innate skill, Andrew was named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” tastemakers, just five years after making his first wine under his own label. But he has taken his Washington winemaking one step further. Having worked harvest in Argentina, he developed a passion for luxury Malbec, especially from high-altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley. This wine, he says, is the result of his desire to make wines that “merge the principles of Washington State and Argentine winemaking, staying true to my roots from home while embracing the things that make wines from Mendoza so special.”
Grapes: 75% Malbec and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, from vineyards planted at 3,600 feet elevation in Mendoza’s Uco Valley. Aged 22 months in new French oak barrels.
Flavor Profile: This wine shows the classic dark cherry and plum character of Malbec, with expressive aromas of dark fruit and earth. With fine texture, robust structure, and balanced minerality, all of which linger on the finish.
Availability: 400 cases made. This vintage is still in decent supply.
Drinking window: While approachable now, you could enjoy it anytime through 2027.
Food Pairing: This is a great wine for red meat dishes such as roasts, stews, or braised meats.
2017 Domaine du Clos des Rocs, Pouilly-Loché, Monopole, $45
Winery info: Pouilly-Loché is a small white wine appellation in the Mâcon region of southern Burgundy. The entire appellation is only about 32 hectares in size (roughly 79 acres), and nearly a third of it belongs to Domaine du Clos des Rocs. Mâcon native Olivier Giroux acquired his domaine in the mid 2000s and now has vineyards in seven parcels, principally in Pouilly-Loché. He renamed his winery after the three-hectare Clos des Rocs monopole (a vineyard site controlled entirely by a single winery) from which this wine is sourced. He uses no chemical products in his vineyards and is committed to organic processes. As farmer, winemaker, and owner, he says, “It is just me here—I tend the vineyards. I make the wine. I take care of the marketing.”
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, aged about a year in barrels and stainless steel tanks of various sizes.
Vineyard: A three-hectare walled vineyard located next to the winery and one of the best sites in the entire region. The soil is iron-rich red clay and limestone and the vines average around 70 years in age. Wines from this site tend to have excellent minerality, robust structure, and a hint of earthiness.
Flavor Profile: Like the previous vintage, which we featured in the club last year, this wine is utterly elegant, with beautiful texture, depth, and complexity, and impeccable balance. The minerality from the unique vineyard site really shines through, especially as the wine opens up.
Availability: The distributor still has a small amount of this vintage left.
Drinking window: It is drinking beautifully now, or you could enjoy it over the next few years.
Food Pairing: Perfect with roast chicken, grilled fish, sole meunière, or sautéed scallops.