2017 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, “Les Hespérides,” $59
Winery Info: La Bastide Saint Dominique is located in the heart of the southern Rhône Valley, near Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where they have been producing wines for over 35 years.
The estate was created by Marie-Claude and Gérard Bonnet in a former 16th century chapel but has expanded over the years to include vineyards throughout the region. Their son Eric has worked with them since 1999 and now oversees operations. They farm organically.
Grapes: 50% each Grenache and Mourvèdre. Aged 18 months in vat and 600-liter oak barrels.
Vineyard:Sourced from a northern hillside site planted in 1950 on sandy marl soil.
Flavor Profile: Full bodied and concentrated, with good tannin structure that softens as it opens up. Aromas of spice and licorice lead to flavors of cherries and dark chocolate accented with nice peppery notes.
Availability: There is a small amount of this vintage left.
Drinking Window: Ready to drink now or over the next three to five years.
Food Pairing: They suggest roast duck with figs, or terrine of pheasant with dried fruits.
2018 St. Innocent Winery, Freedom Hill Chardonnay, $35
Winery Info: Oregon’s St. Innocent Winery was founded in 1988 by Mark Vlossak who is still at the helm today, overseeing both the production of the wines and the vineyard work. His winemaking goal is to create wines that display their provenance: the site’s terroir, the character of the vintage, and the personality of the winemaker. He is passionate about food and crafts his wines to be enjoyed with meals.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wine completed malolactic fermentation naturally and was aged on its lees for 11 months in used French oak barrels.
Vineyard: Freedom Hill, located in the foothills of the Coast Range, about ten miles southwest of Salem. The vines were planted in 2006 and 2007 on marine sedimentary soil.
Flavor Profile: This Chard is aromatic, complex, and textured, with flavors of stone fruit and a hint of savory baking spice. Cool air flowing in from the Pacific Ocean through the Van Duzer Corridor moderates the temperature in Freedom Hill Vineyard, helping the fruit retain fresh, natural acidity that balances the richness of this wine with bright citrus notes.
Availability: 1,102 cases produced. This wine is still in relatively good supply.
Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next three to four years.
Food Pairing: The winery suggests white meat and vegetarian dishes with complex sauces and rich flavors.