December Wine Club 2021

No Brainer

Grochau- Commuter 2020

John Grochau was first introduced to wine and the winemaking landscape in his early 20’s, while racing bicycles for a French team in the Loire Valley. For several years, he raced through some of France’s most revered winemaking regions including Champagne, Burgundy and the across the Loire Valley. When he returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, he went to work in the restaurant business and quickly discovered an even greater appreciation for wine. Grochau strives to make wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place. Inspired by the diversity of the Willamette Valley’s soils and microclimates, Grochau sources fruit from organic and sustainably-farmed vineyards.
According to the winemaker “This wine is all about the bright fresh purity of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir! The Commuter Cuvée is our first release Pinot Noir each year and is a blend from multiple Willamette Valley vineyards that capture the essence of each vintage.”

Field Recordings- Salad Days

​​Field Recordings is winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. “Our wines are all about the flavor — with none of the pretension.”Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he’s all about finding those underdogs with untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards.
According to underdog wine company “Salad Days Pet Nat is an insanely crushable blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc & Colombard)...Super bright & fresh - on the nose it's all about crisp pear, green apple, lemon & green herbs - the palate is light & refreshing with a soft kiss of Pet Nat bubbles. As a point of reference, if you enjoy bright white wines with lively acidity & some verve, and you trust us - you are going to love this. It's the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, aperitif wine”. 

Yalumba- Y Series 2019

Fruit for the 2018 Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from distinguished South Australian red growing regions such as Wrattonbully and the Barossa Valley.Deep magenta with a crimson hue. The nose opens with rich, ripe red and purple berry lift, such as dark cherries and Satsuma plums, balanced by savory, dried Mediterranean herbs. The palate is sweet fruited and full, with distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon tannins – like a “just” ripe plum, sweet but slightly crunchy. This is a bold and friendly wine that shows why Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s best known and enjoyed varieties.

Savvy Sipper

Vincent- Bjornson 2017

According to the winemaker “Vincent makes natural wines from vineyards around the northern Willamette Valley farmed at minimum sustainably, if not organic or biodynamic. What is natural? For us that means working with a most basic intent in the winemaking – to be very gentle in the cellar, to move the juice or wine minimally and gently, to allow the wine to become itself without much input from the winemaker (truly, not just marketing talk).
The Bjornson vineyard is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, just across the way from the famed Seven Springs vineyard. It’s owned by Mark and Pattie Bjornson. This is an exceptional neighborhood for Pinot noir grapes, and we’ve been delighted to work with this fruit since 2011. The volcanic soils here give a elegance, with less tannin, more acid and floral aromas. We work with Pommard and Wadenswil clones of Pinot Noir, as well as Gamay Noir.”
Aromatics of mixed berry, plum, sandalwood, herbs de provence, and cinnamon lead with the palate showcasing blackberry, nutmeg, clove, camphor, and leather on a tightly-wound frame. Fine tannins add detail. This wine can age gracefully for over a decade.


Long Meadow Ranch- Chardonnay 2016

In the late 1800’s, the majestic Long Meadow Ranch property thrived with vineyards, apple orchards, olive groves, hay and a goat milk dairy until farming fell dormant during Prohibition. Over the following years, the property became swallowed by the encroaching forest until the Halls bought the property in 1989.
The Hall family carefully breathed life back into the land, nurturing it back to its glory, and then some, by cutting back the abandoned olive trees and replanting the vineyards and apple orchards as you see them growing today. Home to the Mayacamas Estate, the rugged 650-acre landscape nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains also gave way to a long, sweeping meadow, thus the name Long Meadow Ranch was born.
 Pale green with light golden hue. The nose is enticing and striking with powerful stone-fruit and floral aromas of ripe apricot, jasmine and honeysuckle. One the palate, a lively minerality displays the citrus and floral side. Complex and elegant, the wine remains fresh and focused layered with citrus, peach, pear, and clove. The palate is driven through to a long finish by vibrant and steadying acidity

Bottle Popper 

Clos de la Roilette- Fleurie 2020

Considered one of the finest producers in Beaujolais, Clos de la Roilette has 9 hectares in Fleurie, with one of the top slopes in all of the ten Beaujolais crus. The Clos has an eastern exposure, borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and yields remarkably age-worthy Gamay. In the 1920’s, when the Fleurie appellation was first created, the former landowner was infuriated with losing the Moulin-à-Vent appellation under which the estate had previously been classified. He created a label using a photograph of his racehorse Roilette and used the name Clos de la Roilette, without mentioning Fleurie. By the mid-1960s, the owner’s heirs had lost interest in Roilette, and a large portion of the land had been allowed to go untended and wild. In 1967, Fernand Coudert bought this poorly maintained estate and replanted the vineyards. His son Alain joined him in 1984 and has been the winemaker since. The Couderts feel that their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese) and the age of their vines (30 to 80 years old) account for the richness and intensity of their wines. They are deeply colored, richly perfumed and seriously structured wines of relatively small production.
According to John McIlwain from Chambers Street Wines “The robe is dark ruby/royal purple. On the nose aromas of candied violet, blackberry, and plum skin dominate with after aromas of spice, bramble, and a faint whiff of bracken. The palate is racy and lithe with dark cherry and pastille flavors, underlain by deep soil notes and a hint of anise. This veers more Fleurie than secretly Moulin-À-Vent and is imbued with a compelling snappy freshness that begets the next sip. And if that doesn’t cry Beaujolais, then what does? Delicious juice and highly recommended. Drink now with a quick decant or hold for 7-10 years.”

Pianogrillo -Grecanico 2019

For centuries the manor has towered above the “Pianogrillo” hill. It is a true manor house amid cypresses and olive groves, overlooking a green plain known as “Piana dell’Acate”, within the ancient county of Modica and Chiaramonte (nowadays Province of Ragusa). Originally, during the Middle Ages, the building on the hill was a watchtower to lookout for and defend against the Saracens.
In the 1700 it was transformed in a manor house in the style of Ragusa, with a family chapel and tuff vaulted cellars. It enjoys a scenic location on the edge of the archeological area of “Akrillai”, an ancient Greek colony, and a site surrounded by mysterious tales lost in the mists of time given that the earliest settler were Neolithic.
To these days in Pianogrillo we keep an ancient oil mill in lava stone, dating from the third century A.D. and inside the farm there is even an ancient early Christian necropolis in an area known as “San Nicola”, close to the oil mill.
The manor was an ancient feud of the barons Piccione di Grassura e del Molino d'Immezzo, from Acireale and today has been transformed into modern farm from the baron Lorenzo Piccione di Pianogrillo, the last descendant in a straight line, who deals with the management.
This wine has an intense straw yellow color with golden notes. The nose has an immediate impact, with floral notes, white fruit, apple, pear, pineapple, tropical fruit and bitter almond. The taste is warm enriched by a soft and quite savory structure.