Cellars Wine Club - September 2012
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:
Domaine Clape - France
2008 Cornas Cuvee Renaissance
For the unloved years of decline following the second world war, Auguste Clape was a lone pioneer, benchmark and flag-carrier for the small appellation of Cornas, at the southern end of the northern Rhône, the best of which wines are said to rival those of Hermitage. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the Cornas star started rising again, with the likes of Jean-Luc Colombo and Thiérry Allemand helping to put the cor back in Cornas. But Domaine Clape remains the appellation’s flag bearer. Having steadfastly held true to the family’s traditional way of making this 100% Syrah wine, the reputation of this estate remains impeccable. Nothing is big scale in Cornas, the only one of the northern Rhône appellations to stipulate it must be made solely from Syrah. With 116 hectares planted in total, and 40 to 45 wine businesses – negociants, domaines, winemakers – operating, the average plot size is not great. Part of this is because vines are planted on steep, east, south and south-west facing granite slopes and terraces, so everything pretty much needs to be done by hand. The Renaissance pours a bright ruby. It has lively aromas of raspberry, cherry, spice cake and flowers. Sweet red fruit flavors give way to deeper blackberry notes on the palate, with gentle smokiness and a touch of licorice adding complexity. Nervy acidity adds definition and cut to a long, energetic finish. This lively 2008 might surprise people with its ability to age. Best from 2012 through 2018. 92 Points Wine Spectator. 90 Points Stephen Tanzer.
Bertani - Italy
2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena Villa Arvedi
Located near Verona in the province of Veneto in northeast Italy, Casa Vinicola Bertani is one of the region’s most important and influential wine producers. Bertani produces a full spectrum of the classic wines of the Veneto and has enjoyed a reputation for quality from the start. Bertani was founded in 1857 by brothers Gaetano and Giovan Battista Bertani. Prosperous wine merchants who believed that quality winemaking held the key to the future, the Bertanis invested their funds in buying some of the finest vineyards in the province and making their own wines. Consequently, unlike most other local producers, Bertani owns its own vineyards and so is able to oversee the entire winemaking cycle from start to finish. Their Villa Arvedi Amarone is made from 70% Corvina Veronese and 30% Rondinella grapes that are carefully selected and hand-harvested from top vineyards planted in the hills of Valpantena, north of the city of Verona in northeast Italy, in the communes of Quinto, Grezzana and Santa Maria. The color is an intense purple. The nose is dense and deep, with aromas of raisins, ripe cherries, wild berries and spice. The aromas carry through onto the dry, full-bodied and well-structured palate; approachable, with vibrant red fruit flavors, soft, supple tannins and a memorable finish. It would make an outstanding match with roast meat and game, as well as hearty, flavorful cheeses served with figs and nuts. Drink now through 2020. 91 Points Wine Spectator.
Cantina Terlano - Italy
2007 Gewürztraminer Alto Adige Lunare
In Terlano, the wine-making tradition dates back more than 2000 years. Mild microclimatic conditions give the wines certain unique characteristics, thus adding a special flavor to them. Terlano’s unique position at the foot of Mount Tschöggel is a key to the development of the vineyards. The south-facing slopes are ideal for grape growing. The porphyry rocks accumulate warmth and the porous soil allows the water to drain, keeping the soil dry around the roots of the wines. Incredibly, the 2007 Lunare was just released! Made from 100% Alto Adige Gewürztraminer manually harvested with careful selection of the grapes. Gentle whole cluster pressing and clarification of the must by natural sedimentation was followed by slow fermentation at a controlled temperature and aging on the lees for nine months partly in big wooden barrels (50%) and partly in stainless steel tanks (50%). The result is a wine that boasts fabulous depth and richness in its varietal fruit. This shows marvelous intensity in a full-bodied style. Shows almost exotic fruit character, with dried apricot, pineapple, flowers and a light, fresh spice underlay. Full-bodied, with lovely fresh acidity and lemony freshness driving through the long finish. Powerful and fabulous. Drink now through 2021. It would be an attractive combination with the sweet and sour dishes typical of Asian cuisine, grilled scorpion fish or swordfish, and pink-roasted pigeon breast as well as squash gnocchi with walnuts and Alba truffles with a Balsamico dressing. Also ideal with rice pudding with cinnamon or with mild blue cheese, like a mild gorgonzola. 93 Points Wine Spectator. 92 Points Robert Parker.
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