Collector’s Club – January 2022

2018 Finca Torremilanos, Los Cantos, Ribera del Duero — Created in 1903, Torremilanos is the second oldest winery in Ribera del Duero, in the Castilla y León region of northern Spain.

Their vineyards, some of which are up to 180 years old, are located about a half-mile from the Duero River, with varied soils, orientation, and microclimates and are certified Biodynamic. Their Los Cantos is 95% Tempranillo and 5% Merlot from vines averaging 35 years in age, planted in five different parcels, known for their round river stones, or cantos, which add character and minerality to the wine. Aged 12 months in French and American oak, this wine is savory and complex with fresh, red fruit flavors, subtle herb and spice notes, and a hint of chocolate. Pair it with roasts, meat or vegetable stews, or legume-based dishes. $19.75

2017 Hillersden Estate, Pinot Noir — Located at the northeast tip of the South Island, Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s most important wine regions. Hillersden Estate is a family-owned winery in Marlborough’s rugged Upper Wairau Valley with sustainably farmed vines planted between two mountain ranges at about 2,000 feet elevation. The large diurnal temperature variation here allows the fruit to ripen slowly and develop added complexity and balance. This Pinot is a blend of Dijon clones from the lower section of their estate with stony gravel and clay soils. Aged ten months in French oak (25% new) and two years in bottle, it has vibrant fruit flavors with notes of spice, earth and mocha and great structure that combines both elegance and power. Enjoy now or over the next few years with roast meat, duck, or wild mushrooms. $19.75

2020 Château Laulerie, Bergerac — Bergerac is located just east of Bordeaux in southwest France’s beautiful Dordogne Valley. While the region produces similar wines, they are often overshadowed by those of their more famous neighbor. But there are many hidden gems to be found that can be great values. The Dubard family founded Château Laulerie here in the 1970s. Their vines grow on hillsides overlooking the Dordogne River where the excellent exposure and moderate climate allows the fruit to achieve balanced ripeness. They farm traditionally using sustainable methods, and maintain a hands-off approach in the cellar in order to let the character of their terroir shine through. This tasty 100% Malbec is warm and savory, with flavors of dark fruit and wild herbs and great minerality. Enjoy it with duck, charcuterie, or poule au pot. $18

2017 Domeniile Săhăteni, Artisan, Fetească Neagră — We put our first Romanian wine in the club back in February. This one also comes from the southern Dealu Mare region, where archaeological evidence shows winemaking dating back to the 14th century. The region is located in the southern Carpathian hills and has a variety of diverse soils and microclimates. This wine is 100% Fetească Neagră, one of the oldest and most important indigenous red grapes in the country. Domeniile Săhăteni is a family winery founded in 2003 by oenologist Aurelia Visinescu with a goal of producing wines that reflect the inherent character of the grapes and the influence of the unique terroir. Aurelia’s Artisan line focuses on indigenous local varieties and the label bears her fingerprint. Her Fetească Neagră is juicy and savory, with flavors of dark fruit and baking spice and smooth, round tannins. As the label suggests, it’s perfect for lamb, pork, beef, or fried chicken. $18

2020 Domaine Eugène Carrel et Fils, Jongieux Vin de Savoie — Jongieux is a named cru in the Vin de Savoie appellation in the eastern French Alps, at the upper reaches of the Rhône River. The vines are planted at an average of about 1,000 feet on the slopes of the Mont du Chat and Mont de la Charvaz where the grapes are able to ripen well thanks to the sunny exposure and rocky limestone soils, which absorb the daytime heat and warm the vines during the night. Eugéne Carrel is a six-generation winery based in the village of Jongieux. This wine is 100% Jacquère, the most widely planted white grape in the region, known for producing clean, alpine fresh wines. It has subtle aromas of citrus and orchard fruit, great acidity, and a nice touch of warmth on the finish. Enjoy it with grilled trout, raclette, or fondue. $16

2020 Brotte, Esprit Barville, Côtes du Rhône Blanc — The Barville family has grown grapes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1880. M. Charles Brotte, a descendent of the Barvilles, founded Maison Brotte in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1931. Today the house is run by his grandson, Laurent, who has four separate estates, three of which are in the southern Rhône. This white Rhône blend comes from their Barville property and is a blend of predominantly Grenache Blanc, along with Roussanne and Viognier. It is rich and complex with inviting depth and character along with a balancing sense of freshness. With aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus, a touch of spice, and great minerality. Enjoy it anytime, especially with shellfish, seafood, chicken dishes, or mushrooms. $15