Cellars Wine Club
Learn the finer points to many of the wines we offer each month. Our club wines are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness and every one has an interesting history. Here are some of the wines we are offering this month:
Sassetti Livio - Italy
2004 Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
In northeast Montalcino, the Sassetti family has produced wine for more than a century. On the hill known as Montosoli, Pertimali’s wines are renowed for representing the perfect balance between the fruit-forward wines of southern Montalcino and the dense, structured, mineral wines of the north. In the vineyard and in the cellar, father Livio and his two sons work in observance of time-honored traditions, including hand harvesting, giant oak botte, and spontaneous fermentations, all in accordance with the phases of the moon and organic farming regulations. The wines are rich, deep, and perfumed, reflecting a very genuine style of Sangiovese. The label, while emphasizing the name of Livio Sassetti, the prioprietor, also bears the estate’s historical name, Pertimali. Robert Parker says it best: “If I had only one Brunello to drink, it would be Pertimali. This producer has been making spectacular wines since 1982.” – The Wine Advocate. The 2004 delivers again with highly complex, slightly musky aromas of red berries, spices, minerals, incense, iron and graphite; quite Burgundian. It is silky on entry, then sharply delineated and vibrant in the middle, with a sappy, rather imploded character suggesting more to come. This young and structured wine finishes with excellent grip and slowly emerging notes of leather, chocolate, iron and underbrush. It's a shame that more 2004 Brunellos can't match this wine for clarity of flavor or back-end thrust. A decadent style. Drink now through 2018. 93 Points Wine Spectator. 92 Points Stephen Tanzer. 90 Points Robert Parker.
Force Majeure Vineyards - Kirkland, Washington
2008 Collarboration Series IV Red Blend Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
Force Majeure Vineyards was originally launched as "Grand Reve Vintners" by entrepreneur Paul McBride and vineyard manager Ryan Johnson in 2004. Grand Reve quickly achieved critical praise and a loyal following for both its wines and vineyard efforts. Now with a new name, Force Majeure seeks to build on its initial success with continued innovation in winegrowing and winemaking. The term "Force Majeure" is used to describe the relentless, powerful elements of Nature that form the terroir of their vineyards. It is also the unstoppable force that occurs when the highest level of viticulture combines with an all-star ensemble of Washington State winemaking talent. Their goal is to present a portfolio of wines that compare with the finest in the world. These rare, vineyard-designated wines are created in extremely-limited quantities and are only available via mailing list, as well as a few select retailers and finer restaurants. This is why Cellars Wine Club was so lucky to acquire this wine to feature in the club. By utilizing winemakers with prowess in different winemaking styles, we achieve world-class quality across multiple genres. This effort, which began in 2004, is called the Force Majeure Collaboration Series. Winemakers include: Ben Smith of Cadence, Mark McNeilly and Mike Macmorran of Mark Ryan Winery, Ross Mickel of Ross Andrew Winery, Carolyn Lakewold of Donedei, Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery and James Mantone of Syncline Cellars. Collaboration Series IV is a Merlot-dominant blend, with judicious amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) and Cabernet Franc (12%) with a dash of Petit Verdot (2%). Winemaker Carolyn Lakewold brings her joie de vivre and flair to a project that incorporates her passion for artisanal winemaking with the oldest Merlot vines at Ciel du Cheval. Using only 100-percent free-run juice, Carolyn crafted a wine that presents a powerful nose of ripe fruit, cherry cola, forest underbrush, sage and savory herbs, baking spices and chocolate. On the palate, it brings loads of ripe black and red fruits, licorice, cola and spice notes. This is artisan winemaking at its finest. It will continue to improve with 3-5 years of cellar time. We recommend a two hour decant if opened within the next couple of years. Only 187 cases produced. This wine has yet to be rated while the previous vintage received 94 Points from Robert Parker.
Lewis Cellars – Napa, California
2009 Chardonnay Barcaglia Lane Russian River Valley
Former Indy Car driver Randy Lewis and his wife Debbie started Lewis Cellars in 1992. They are truly "Driven... to create world-class wines." Along with their son, Dennis, they are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution. They thrive on the challenges and the relationships cultivated in the process. It is their continuing goal to greate small lots of exciting and unique Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. The Lewis wines begin as numerous small lots of fruit vinified by vineyard block, varietal, clone and rootstock. The Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged sur lies with batonnage in 100% French oak for 11-15 months, undergoing 100% malolactic fermentation. They taste through each lot regularly to track the evolution of individual wines and to fine tune barrel selections. Ultimately, every single barrel is tasted and evaluated before they put their final blends together for bottling. The wine is then bottled unfined and unfiltered. Like the Reserve Chardonnay, their Barcaglia Lane bottling receives four additional months of barrel aging on the lees resulting in broad texture and fine detail. It is sourced from a single rolling vineyard in the Russian River Valley, part of the famed Dutton Ranch. Planted for Lewis Cellars in 1998, the site consists of 3 sloping blocks planted to three different clones. Touches of creamy, toasty oak fold in with a range of ripe, intense apple, pear, honeysuckle, fig and honeydew melon flavors in this full-bodied white, which is still a bit pithy yet gains subtle flavor nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2016. 350 cases made. 91 Points Wine Spectator.
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