2019 Lyrarakis, Vidiano — Crete is Greece’s largest island, situated at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea. It is a mountainous region with a mostly Mediterranean climate and Lyrarakis, a family winery, has been producing wine here since 1966.
Their focus is on local varietals and they are credited with helping save several from extinction. One of those grapes is Vidiano, a rare white variety native to the island that has recently seen a small revival but is still relatively hard to find. So we were excited to discover this one in enough supply to include in the club. It is made from fruit grown at about 1,500 feet in a cool, north-facing vineyard where the fruit ripens slowly, preserving the grape’s natural freshness. Vidiano wines tend to be medium-bodied with lovely texture and flavors of orchard fruit, citrus, and a touch of herbs, with balanced acidity. Enjoy over the next few years with seafood, especially grilled fish, perhaps in a white sauce. $18
2017 l’Architypo, Litrotto Rosso — L’Archetipo is a family winery based in the southern Italian region of Puglia. Farmer and agronomist Francesco Valentino Dibenedetto began converting his land to organic farming in the 1980s, and later to biodynamic farming before settling in on the “synergistic agriculture” approach he follows today. Originally developed in Japan by Masanobu Fukuoka, it focuses on how the synergies within the ecosystem are all linked. This wine is a blend of Montepulciano, Merlot, Cab Sauv, Primitivo, and Susumaniello, a relatively rare Puglian variety. It is aged 36 months in stainless steel, with minimal sulphur dioxide added. It is a ripe, juicy, medium-bodied wine, with plenty of fresh fruit aromas and flavors. Great anytime, with pasta, meat dishes, or focaccia. Even better: it comes in a liter bottle! $19
2018 Soos Creek Wine Cellars, King Cab — Like a number of successful Washington winemakers, David Larsen got his start as a member of the Boeing Wine Club and he was one of the first of those members to establish his own winery. His first commercial vintage was 1989 and today Soos Creek remains a small, family-owned winery specializing in Washington State red wines. As a Boeing Wine Club member he had access to some of the best fruit in the state right from the beginning and he still works with some of the most coveted Washington vineyards. This Cabernet (blended with 10% Merlot) is sourced from the McNary Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and is aged in French oak barrels. It is rich and complex, with flavors of black cherry, chocolate, and notes of subtle spice. Enjoy it anytime over the next few years. $19.75
2019 Domaine La Domitienne, Carignan Vieilles Vignes — Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is an IGP near Montpelier, in the Languedoc Roussilon region of southern France. Considered one of the most beautiful medieval villages in France and steeped in Roman history, it is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also located along the Way of St. James route of the Camino de Santiago. As a wine region, it produces red, white, and Rosé wines from vineyards located at the foot of the Cévennes Mountains. The climate here is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and plenty of sunshine. This wine is 100% old vine Carignan, sourced from select plots and aged in neutral oak. It is a smooth and supple wine, with notes of red berries and briar, and a nice hint of earth. Enjoy it any time over the next few years with savory foods. $13
2020 J. Mourat, Chenin de Jardin — France’s Loire Valley stretches from Sancerre in the east to Muscadet, where the river empties into the Atlantic. This wine comes from the less well known Fiefs Vendéens, a small zone located south of Muscadet, about 20 kilometers from the Atlantic with a cool, maritime climate. Vignobles Mourat was established here in 1974 and since 2000 it has been run by Jérémie Mourat, who has converted most of the property to organic viticulture. His Chenin/Chard blend that we put in the club last September was a huge hit. This month we feature this playful 100% Chenin Blanc. It is crisp and refreshing, with bright orchard and citrus fruit flavors, and stony minerality. Fun and light hearted, yet surprisingly complex, it’s a great wine for seafood (perhaps lobster tacos or crab cakes), vegetarian fare, citrus-grilled chicken, or your favorite take-out Thai. $18
2019 Bodegas Caro, Aruma Malbec — Argentina is home to a number of joint ventures between European and local wine producers. This one brings together Nicolás Catena [the “Ca” of Caro], who has been producing wines for four generations in Mendoza, and France’s Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) [the “ro”], who brings a long history of growing and producing wines from Bordeaux varietals. This jointly produced Malbec comes from vines ranging from 12 to over 50 years in age grown at 3,600 to 4,500 feet elevation. It is aged in tanks to allow the varietal character of the grape to shine through and is very elegant and aromatic, with savory red fruit flavors, smooth texture, soft tannins, and nice earthy notes. Argentinean Malbecs are always great with meat—from a blue cheese burger, to a succulent steak with chimichurri sauce. $17