In August, The International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series is proud to offer four exceptional wines from around the world, including an exclusive offering of Artesana’s 2017 Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva. This newly released wine marks another milestone for this boutique winery. In the hands of two highly skilled women from Uruguay, Analía Lazaneo and Valentina Gatti, this unique offering combines two of Bordeaux’s most prestigious varietals to create a bold flavored wine that is both complex and polished. The 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva comes endowed with a deep purple complexion, yet, it is what captures the nose and fills the mouth that deserves the greatest laud. An impressive array of savory scents and flavors in the form of crushed blackberry, cassis, and mulberry infused with hints of dark chocolate, unsmoked tobacco, and an intriguing herbaceous note grace the nose and mouth. Underlying the fruit and savory aspects of this wine is a solid core of ripe tannins that provide real energy and lift in addition to the promise of a long, flavor-filled life.
Our next Premier Series feature is the strikingly beautiful and downright eye-catching 2018 Château Sainte Eulalie Printemps d’Eulalie, a wine that sets a high bar for rosé. Redolent with the scents of ripe strawberries, raspberries, melons, and herbs, one is immediately enchanted. Better still, the 2018 Printemps d’Eulalie offers juicy flavors and a real mouthful of wine to satisfy the palate, without sacrificing delicacy or freshness. A true crowd pleaser from start to finish, the 2018 Château Sainte Eulalie Printemps d’Eulalie captures the savory scents of spring and evokes the allure of southern France. Drink this flavorful rosé early and often. But have no fear; there is plenty of stuffing in this wine to carry it through until well into next year and beyond.
Next in August’s world tour of wine is the 2017 Rayen Monastrell from the heartland of Spain – a wine that lives up to Monastrell’s reputation for yielding deeply colored, bold flavored wines. Purple with a bluish tinge, this scion from the sun-splashed land of Castilla makes a statement even before one’s nose or mouth can greet the glass. Forceful and tannic, but not hard-edged, this youthful Monastrell from Castilla La Mancha delivers plenty of savory berry and black fruit scents and flavors along with hints of clove, vanilla, and other spices. Although not overly complex, Rayen’s 2017 Monastrell is nonetheless unctuous, mouth filling, and satisfying.
Completing this month’s Premier Series portfolio is the 2017 Domaine de la Racauderie Gautier Vouvray Sec, a truly exceptional Vouvray that exemplifies the role fine weather plays in determining the quality in France’s Loire Valley. The 2017 Domaine de la Racauderie Gautier Vouvray Sec sports a cheerful sun-kissed robe and sensual aromatics in the form of orchard fruit blossoms, ripe pear, dried honey, and Vouvray’s distinctive minerality born of the region’s limestone-rich tufa soil. In the mouth, this wine bursts with flavor and mouthwatering acidity at the same time that it highlights a core of textured fruit that hints of pear and quince. This Vouvray’s finish is long and vivacious, suggesting that it has many more excellent years ahead of it. Enjoy!
The International Wine of the Month Club’s Collectors Series is delighted to reveal three special offerings in August. Beginning this month’s tour is the 2016 Josep Grau Vespres Montsant from an outstanding vintage. Born of old vines of Garnacha (80% Grenache) and Samsó (20% Carignan), many of which are 100 years of age, the 2016 Vespres sports an opaque purple robe, an enticing, sensual aroma, and a boatload of flavors that flow joyfully from the glass. Fragrant with an alluring bouquet of freshly picked raspberries, woodland blackberries, and wild violets infused with touches of exotic spices and a hint of wood smoke, the bouquet of the 2016 Josep Grau Vespres is nothing short of alluring. The wine’s palate appeal is equally gratifying as layers of ripe fruit unfold in the mouth, bolstered by firm, juicy tannins that provide energy and freshness. Add a pleasant minerality and just the right amount of oak from 10 months in barrel and the 2016 Josep Grau Vespres positively sings from the glass.
Our next August Collectors Series offering is the 2018 Domaine Moreux Les Bouffants Sancerre, a wine that emanates from a small, steep hillside parcel rich in limestone and rock next to Les Damnés, the “Grand Cru” of Chavignol. The exceptional 2018 vintage, which many in Sancerre are already calling legendary, has yielded a classic energetic Sancerre. The 2018 Les Bouffants exhibits Sancerre’s telltale pale yellow color, striking aromatics, and ripe fruit flavors infused with the appellation’s mouthwatering minerality. In short, 2018 has allowed the Moreux brothers to fully work their magic, crafting a Sancerre that is resplendent with citrus and passion fruit flavors infused with melon, fig, and a juicy, mineral-rich acidity. Balanced, flavorful, and delightfully dry, Domaine Moreux’s laser-like 2018 Les Bouffants Sancerre is the wine of choice when only the finest Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre will do.
Rounding out this month’s Collectors Series is the 2013 Pasanau Finca La Planeta Priorat. Albert Pasanau has fashioned an exceptional and complex Priorat in the estate’s 2013 Finca La Planeta. Emanating from Priorat’s highest vineyard, this special offering exhibits a deep, nearly impenetrable color from the preeminence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Add Finca La Planeta’s beautiful and distinctive bouquet of black fruits and graphite and a resemblance to classified Bordeaux, and the great Château Lafite springs to mind. And much like a young Château Lafite, the 2013 Finca La Planeta is initially reticent upon emerging from the bottle, but not for very long. The wine’s deep berry flavors, graphite, thyme and hints of cedar quickly come to fore. Full-bodied, intense, and endowed with an iron core, the 2013 Finca La Planeta retains a combination of Bordeaux hauteur and Spanish warmth, a wine that is both sleek and immensely flavorful.