The CELLAR Wine Club 2023 Winter Release!

As everyone slowly defrosts from a cold winter, it’s time to warm up with a fresh selection of interesting and top quality wines. This quarter has a lovely combination of wine from around the world, featuring authentic wine styles that represent the highest and best examples of wine from their respective regions. Happy to present this quarter’s wines: 2020 Viniferia Cabernet Sauvignon, 2020 Lahat Wines Adom Red Blend, and 2021 J-P Marchand “Hautes Cotes de Beaune” Pinot Noir. 

Lahat Wines is making consistently high quality wines from the Upper Western Galilee that are unique and distinct every release. I am continually impressed by the precise, flavorful wines, with clean lines and fresh flavors, and this release is no different. The 2020 Adom Red Blend is another great example of the potential of Israeli terroir. The wine is the most full bodied release we have tasted from this series, so much so that I thought it was best to let it develop in our own cellars for another half year before release. This is a complex, fruit driven, spicy, and elegant blend that is well balanced with moderate alcohol. I just love how these wines are not trying to fit into any particular trend or style, but rather the best expression of the natural beauty of the Upper Western Galilee region. 

I am excited to be able to include another authentic Burgundy Pinot Noir at the Club level. We have been working with the long established French winery Domaine Jean-Philippe Marchand for almost five years. This was an exciting vintage and there was a lot of intensity building up in the early stages. We resolved to produce 2021, but plans were nearly derailed when a massive, unseasonable frost descended from Siberia and froze many vines to death. Many producers lost most of their holdings, and the vintage was nearly written off. In the end, the limited amount of fruit allowed the remaining clusters to be quite concentrated. It just took one month of good weather to even the score and allow the fruit to ripen beautifully. While many producers were emotionally drained from the season, we are lucky to have some very high quality and classically styled wines that are of terrific quality, and even more limited than past vintages.

This is an exciting, powerful Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed while young, but will really turn on the magic after a few years in the cellar. The Hautes Côtes de Beaune provides a glimpse of what you can expect from the higher end versions. 

As the saying sometimes goes, one good Italian wine deserves another. Following last year’s Viniferia “Super Tuscan” release, I was eager to try the newer batches to see what would be most suitable for our members. A couple of the blends stood out, but this was the perfect full bodied complement to the medium bodied companions that make up the balance of this quarter’s Club box. The Cabernet Blend is a delicious, burly young wine that carries an unmistakable elegance and herbal note that, to me, is one of the most pleasing aspects of Italian wine. Italy is an incredibly diverse wine region, and that diversity is what makes it incredibly hard to understand. However, I don’t think it takes away from the authenticity of the experience to have familiar varietals that are grown in ideal conditions with traditional winemaking methods, and which truly represent the beauty of a region such as the Tuscan Coast. 

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