July 2022 | Enthusiast Wine Clubby Caileen Brison
Brooks 2021 Pinot Blanc
From the Producer
Rain events at the beginning of bloom diminished yields, and a dry summer was punctuated with unprecedented heatwaves. The timing worked in our favor since the heat happened pre-veraison, and the vines handled it well. Harvest started in early September, but lower temperatures across the state allowed for a long and measured harvest season, with harvest extending into mid-October. No disease, high sugars, balanced acids, and great flavors. 2021 will undoubtedly rank as one of the top Oregon vintages.
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Vineyards: 81% Crannell, 19% Bellevue Cross
Brooks makes some of the most enticing and playful white wines I’ve had out of Oregon. In the glass there are intertwined aromatics of gardenia, sunflowers, delicate Meyer lemon oils, and playful green notes like the green jellybeans (the solid green ones, not the green ones with the spots that are pear flavored). The palate has nice acidity with some obvious lees contact that expresses as focaccia bread and later croissant. On the palate are more fruit notes of white peaches, kiwi, underripe pineapple, and lemon pith. As time progresses the wine turns more into a warm profile of pollen, fresh butter on croissant, and a more prominent salinity. On day two the wine retains essentially the same profile, but perhaps a touch less lush and more tense. Regardless, the wine is a joy to drink. The wine is relatively dynamic and could pair with a range of foods, but this wine screams summer beach picnic to me. Drink now – 2024 (I think it shows so well young and we all need wine to drink now) and serve at refrigeration temperature in all-purpose stemware.
Saraziniere 2020 Claude Seigneuret Macon-Bussieres
Father and son Philippe and Guilaume Trébignaud are the 3rd and 4th generations to farm a selection of well situated parcels in the southern Mâcon with a swathe of older vines, including single old vine parcels of Chardonnay and Gamay planted in 1926 by Philippe's great uncle Claude Seigneuret. The domaine's entry level bottling averages 60 year old vines. The vines dig deep into the limestone bedrock and allow the duo to hone the racy and vibrant qualities that make their wines so compelling.
They have always worked with the conviction that the only way to farm is with living soils, regularly plowed and not treated with pesticides and herbicides and fermentations are always done with native yeasts. In 2018 they began transitioning to organic certification through Eco Cert. Domaine de la Sarazinière is in the village of Bussières, one of approximately 40 recognized villages in Mâcon-Villages. Sarazinière is the name of a small river and the surrounding lieux-dit where the domaine was created at the beginning of the 20th century. The first vines were planted in 1926 by Philippe's uncle Claude Seigneuret and those vines still go into the domaine's leading old vine cuvées – among them, "Cuvée Claude Seigneuret".
Grape Variety/ varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Site & Vines: 4 separate parcels on limestone with a southern exposure planted by Claude Seigneuret in 1926. Own rooted.
Vinification & Elevage: Fermented and aged in Burgundy barrels, 10% new and the remainder from 1 to 8 years, for 12 to 18 months before fining and light filtration, if needed.
Age-ability: 10 years
Notes: Vibrant and mineral driven while gaining in complexity and depth from the old-vine fruit.
If you’ve walked the Burgundy section with me before, you’ll know well that Saraziniere is a producer that I speak highly of across the board. Of the two Macon from Saraziniere that I carry now, Claude Seigneuret is certainly the more forward of the two. If “Le Pavillon” is lean and tight, the “Claude Seigneuret” here is generous, round, and warm. On the nose are enveloping aromas of almond skins and marzipan, riverbed rocks, and preserved lemon. From a savory and more umami perspective there are notes of sourdough water, lees, and wet cedar, which makes for an intriguing interplay between the more lifted citrus notes. The wine has soft but evolving acid that carries notes of pollen, daisies, and lemon curd. This wine could certainly benefit from some time in the cellar, but exhibits so much depth right now. For food pairings, I would consider anything you’d be tempted to pair Cru Burgundy with – think roast chicken, quiche, and roast potatoes. Drink now – 2032/4, serve at cellar temperature and in all-purpose stemware.
Poderi Colla 2019 Costa Bruna Barbera d’Alba
From the Source
Poderi Colla is one of the cornerstones of our entire business. As an importer, I can’t imagine not representing this historic family and their fabulous wines. Even their modestly priced selections are made with extraordinary care in the vineyards and the cellar. In wine, pedigree is important, and when one has an inferior terroir, there are limitations. But when the terroir is world-class, there seems to be nothing to restrict the potential of a wine. That pretty much sums up the very modestly priced Poderi Colla Barbera "Costa Bruna". Grown inside of one of Barbaresco’s great crus, Roncaglie, these eighty-year-old Barbera vines (the majority in the blend of vines) are in a perfect south exposition, a privileged spot almost exclusively planted to Nebbiolo, the grape that makes up the entirety of both Barbaresco and Barolo. When asked why this particular spot remained planted to Barbera, Tino Colla, the family’s youthful elder, responded that the ancient people simply knew winegrowing better than we do and if they planted Barbera here then it was for a good reason; and when we replant, we will replant with Barbera! There you have it: history in a bottle and one that everyone should try. It shows the depth and wisdom of the old vines and the natural freshness of the grape. All wines from Colla are musts for me, but if this is to be your first bottle, it’s a great start.
I have tasted several wines from Poderi Coll and everything across the board is exceptional. Right off the open this wine is almost abrupt and explosive in expression. After a few minutes, the wine gently eases into a lovely warm texture of cacao, carob, clove and warm freshly baked plum cake. Structurally, the wine is prevalent and bright acid with noticeable tannins that express as desiccated rose petals. The aromas are round, warm, and retain a great rocky feeling. On day two the wine shifts to a bright, tense, and more angsty profile. I enjoy both days differently and – if you can – it’s worth saving a bit for day two to see how it changes. If you wanted a wine to age for a while (and save $$ doing so), this could be a good candidate. It drinks well now right out of the gate, but should you age it for another 8-16 years I can only imagine it will sink more into that rocky minerality. For food pairings I wouldn’t be afraid to stand this wine up to something like ragu or braised beef. Drink now – 2036, serve in all-purpose stemware, and serve at cellar temperature.