Summer 2021 CRUx6 Quarterly Reds
A really nice mix from all over our portfolio this quarter. A pair of pure Syrah lead the way, one French and one Italian. And speaking of Italy, I think you'll love the micro-production Dolcetto, and the mountain Nebbiolo that are included. Rounding out the mix our two fan favorites--the a gorgeous cru Beaujolais, and a teeth-staining Portuguese red.
Here they are:
Clos de Mez Fleurie Mademoiselle M 2018--I wouldn't call this anything close to resembling the teeth-coating, slightly spritzy, cotton candy kinda Beaujolais that is dominating the market. Marie-Elodie Zighera's wines are always lively, finely-layered, and filled with finesse. I find this bottle to be made more like Pinot Noir, and less like tooty-fruity Beaujolais.
Contrada di Sorano Dolcetta d'Alba Autin 2018--This Dolcetto is brimming with blue and black fruit, is succulent to its core, and has what seems like a faint crack of the pepper mill in the finish of each swallow. I contend it's the wine the locals prefer to drink with their tajarin and ravioli, leaving the Barolo for expensive restaurants and multi-course dining events. Out of their whole range, from the lively Favorita white, to their super sexy Barolo, this was the wine that really stands out. A pure Dolcetto that comes from just 2000 plants that make up a solitary vineyard plot called Autin (a small vineyard in Italian). That parcel yields just 1000 bottles. Think of that for a second--2000 plants, 1000 bottles. How's that math?
La Perla Valtellina Rosso La Mossa 2014--I had an A-HA! moment a few years ago in a secluded valley about 100km northeast of Milan in the region of Lombardy. We were just 10 minutes from the Swiss border, in a seemingly very UN-Italian place, and here is where I tasted the most delightfully pure, complex, and all-around memorable Nebbiolo I've come across in years. This wine, called La Mossa, is aged up to 3-4 years in older oak barrels. It is as pure as the Alpine wild herbs found just up the steep mountainsides, and will reward you in a really large glass alongside a pasta dish with fresh wild mushrooms.
Si le Vin Vin de Pays Syrah 2019--A pure Syrah such as this has eluded me for years. Sylvain Badel acknowledges how difficult and finicky the grape can be in the winery. But his attentive eye, and dislike for "off" and "dirty" flavors, means that he is coaxing a neat and clean into the bottle--ripe, generous, lush, and brimming with fruit. Saint-Joseph and its neighboring vineyards is one of the lesser known appellations of the northern Rhone--suffering an inferiority complex to its more famous cousins--Cornas, Cote-Rotie, and Hermitage. But for me, Sylvain's wines are on par. The granitic soils and steep hillsides give his wines an alluring, rich, pepper-filled backbone. This wine for instance could be drunk young, yet one could easily imagine happily finding a bottle or to lost in their cellar 5-7 years from now.
ZF4 IGT Veneto Rosso Syrah 2016--It was during one of those typical moments of not knowing what the hell was about to happen next, that along with a small group of other Cru travelers a few years ago, we found ourselves trodding up a long driveway that overlooked the fantastic Lake Garda. We had just finished one of those stupidly epic lunches in the lakeside village of Lazise with Giovanna Tantini and Marco Zanoni. The plan was to walk off some calories and also take in the view. But only in the end did we realize what was happening. Not only were we at the highest point above the village, and yes the view was magnificent, but we had also arrived at their most prized and hidden vineyard--a 1 acre, garden-like parcel of Syrah. This is that wine.
Adega Monte Branco Alento Tinto Portugal 2018--The Adega Monte Branco is everything I love in the spirit of a young winemaker with energy, passion, and a determination to create something special and long lasting.We'll go back again and again to Monte Branco but for now maybe you'll settle for this wine, Luis' Alento Red, a veritable primer on Portugeuse grape varieties, and and a table setter for what's in store. I just love this plump, wild-fruited, opaque wine. The schiste soils give a haunting minerality, but the warm, dry sun of the Alentejo makes for a rich, succulent, saturated wine. A beautiful bottle to enjoy year round.
I hope you enjoy them all!