Club Wine Notes

Your July 2023 Club Wines

2021 Little James’ Basket Press, Sauvignon-Viogner

About the Producer

Château de Saint Cosme is the leading estate of Gigondas and produces the benchmark wines of the appellation. The property has been in the hands of the Barruol family since 1490. Louis Barruol took over from his father in 1992 making a dramatic shift to quality and converting to biodynamics in 2010.

The estate lies in the heart of Gigondas where 15 hectares of vineyard grow in the shade of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain. In addition to the estate-grown wines labeled “Château de Saint Cosme,” Louis Barruol buys grapes from contracted growers, labeling these “négociant” wines simply as “Saint Cosme.”

This is an unconventional blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc are traditionally grown in different regions but Louis Barruol believes them to be complementary, and we agree.

Tasting Notes

Sauvignon Blanc brings acidity to the blend while Viognier provides fleshiness and attractive notes of stone fruit and flowers. Blending the two varieties results in an aromatic and fresh-tasting wine with aromas and flavors of peach blossoms, fennel, apricots, grapefruit, lychee fruit, and mangos.

This wine can be used at the table like a crisp Pinot Grigio or a zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, featuring crisp and fruity flavors that work well with a wide range of foods. Try it with garden salads, ceviche, and grilled fish.

2020 Le Vigne di Zamo Venezia Giulia Zamo Rosso

Sitting happily in Manzano, Italy in one of the foremost winegrowing regions in Friuli-Venezia Giulia is Le Vigne di Zamò, a family-owned winery where brothers Pierluigi and Silvano and Brigitte (SIlvano’s wife) work the chalky clay and sandstones soils they inherited from their father, Tullio.

Their wines are top notch and their red wine “Tre Bicchieri del Gambero Rosso” has the distinction of being the first winery from Friuli to win the award for a red wine, Ronco dei Roseti, in 1988. And in this bottle, you’ll get to experience a muscular red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Refosco—a rare and indigenous grape that adds density and power to this ideal table wine.

About the Wine

An equal blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Refosco harvested mid-September, macerated in stainless steel for 10-12 days. During fermentation in tank, the must is punched down, and pumped over. The wine is pressed in tank and malolactic is completed in steel. The wine is then moved to used French barriques for 8-12 months, and bottled one month after blending.

Tasting Notes

Delicate notes of earth and leather with intense berries soaked in spice on the nose. Followed by more intense dark fruits and tobacco on the palate.

Serve at 65º. Excellent with beef, mushrooms, roast duck, duck confit, roast lamb, roast pork, mild blue cheese, short ribs, couscous, and turkey.

2021 Domaine Tourbillon Cotes du Rhone Villages “Plan de Dieu” Querelle de Clochers

About the Producer: Benjamin Tourbillon is the latest in a long line of winemakers in Gigondas. In the exceptional site and soil of Les dentelles de Montmirail, he is making exceptional wines in the footsteps of his ancestors.

The vines are grown on vast alluvial terraces with rolled limestone pebbles from the 4th century, resting on blue clay that keeps temperature and humidity in balance.

About the Wine

The harvest is entirely sorted by hand in the cellar. Vinification is carried out in thermo regulated vats, grapes slightly pressed and scraped before aging. Vatting time from 18 to 21 days, at 82° maximum.

Tasting Notes

This one impressed me right away. Ruby-purple color, expressive nose of jammy red fruits, citrus and sweet spice notes, palate with volume and structure, coated slightly chalky tannins, sweetness on the finish and lingering aromas on the nose.

Pair with grilled meats, complementing rich smoky flavors with the wine’s ripe juicy profile. Also pairs well with grilled or roasted vegetables, pasta dishes and rich sauces. Serve around 65º.

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