Collector’s Club – December 2022

2019 Wölffer Estate, Finca Red — Wölffer was founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer and is now owned and operated by his sons.

Their original estate is located in the Hamptons, on Long Island, but they also own property in Spain, France, and Argentina where this wine is from. The sustainably farmed vineyards are in Mendoza’s Lujan de Cuyo sub-region, at 4,100 feet elevation at the base of the Andes. The wines are made under the direction of Wölffer Estate, with the assistance of renowned Argentine winemaker Susanna Balbo. This fun, fruit-driven blend of 52% Malbec, 29% Cab Sauv, 11% Torrontes, and 8% Syrah, sees no oak, but was aged six months on the lees in concrete, producing an easy, juicy wine with flavors of ripe fruit, inviting texture, and vibrant freshness. They designed it to be a chillable, versatile red to enjoy with barbecue, grilled flank steak, or even fish. $19

2019 Bodega de Forlong, “Le Petit” — This wine comes from Andalucía—the southernmost and hottest wine region in Spain, known especially for its fortified Sherries. Bodega de Forlong is based in the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria in Cadíz province. All of their wines, grown on chalky limestone “Albariza” soil, are certified organic and treated bio-dynamically. This one is a rich, savory blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Merlot, and 10% Tintilla de Rota, an indigenous grape related to Graciano. It is named for the coastal town of Rota, also home to a U.S. naval base (one of the reasons many of the vineyards disappeared, and why the grape is so rare today). Aged in clay pots and French oak, it is full bodied and juicy, with ripe fruit flavors and a hint of cocoa. $19.75

2015 Cramele Odobeşti, Monşer, Zghihara de Huşi — We’ve put several wines from Romania in the club since we were first introduced to them back in 2020. Both were reds, made from the grape Fetească Neagră. When we were finally able to have our first tasting of Romanian wines in the shop in October, we discovered this delicious white, made from the grape, Zghihara de Huşi. This ancient indigenous varietal is found only in Huşi, a region of soft, rolling hills on the border with Moldova. It produces delightfully fresh wines with crisp flavors of citrus, apples, and pear. This one has a nice fruity richness that lingers on the finish. It’s a great match for any kind of seafood. $16

2021 Mas des Bressades, Costières de Nîmes, Blanc Cuvée Tradition — Mas des Bressades was founded by Roger Marès in the 1960s in Costières de Nîmes, in France’s Rhône Valley, about 35 miles southwest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Their vineyards are filled with the same round galet stones that give Rhône wines, especially Châteauneuf-du-Pape, their distinct character. Roger’s son Cyril has since taken over and has converted the estate to certified organic viticulture. His Tradition white blend, 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, and 10% each Marsanne and Viognier, has complex and inviting aromas and flavors of ripe white peach and almonds with good minerality and a touch of fresh citrus. Enjoy with grilled chicken or shellfish, or other seafood dishes. $15

2020 Daughters and Sons, Cabernet Sauvignon — Daughters and Sons was founded by a group of winemakers who have collectively been involved in winemaking for several decades. Their inspiration came during the two years spent sharing holidays and happy hours with friends and family over video calls. They realized that they wanted to recapture the joy of coming together, and to pass those traditions on to the next generation. Their focus is on producing delicious, fruit-driven wines, sourced from top vineyards in the region—wines made for family gatherings. 2020 provided a long growing season, allowing excellent flavor development. This Columbia Valley Cab is soft and elegant, with savory flavors of dark fruit and black cherry. Great with food. And with friends and family. $17

2018 Domaine Saint Andéol, Cairanne, Prestige — The hilltop village of Cairanne was officially elevated to Côtes du Rhône Cru status in 2016, putting it in the same classification level as Lirac or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This winery is situated on a beautiful hillside here, on the site of a former monastery dating back to 1123. The property has been in the Beaumont family for four generations and now has about 35 hectares of vines averaging 40 to 50 years in age, planted on steep, sunny slopes with clay-limestone soil and the round galet stones characteristic of the region. This blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan is aged in concrete and is dark and complex with savory notes of black fruit, olives, spice, and a hint of earthy minerality, all of which continues to evolve as the wine opens up. Perfect for herb-crusted lamb, roast chicken, or cassoulet. $19.75