Cart 0 items: $0.00
Cheryl Hunt
July 2, 2024 | Cheryl Hunt

July 2024 Wine Club Wines

Charles de Fère ‘Cuvée Jean-Louis’ Brut Blanc de Blancs NV – France (Gold)

As confusing as a wine with two names might be, this offering is pure and true. Jean-Louis Denois has been the winemaker of Charles de Fère, a sparkling house in Fère-en-Tardenois, northeast of Reims (the unofficial capital of Champagne) since 1980. Denois hails from a Champagne winegrowing family, and he wanted to open a boutique winery that made exceptional sparkling wines based on “five generations of savoir-faire and skills.” Using white grapes that could include Airen, native to Spain; Ugni Blanc, also known as Trebbiano and widely used in Cognac; and Durello, originally from Italy; as well as Chardonnay, this sparkling is the Every Person’s Champagne. With searing but balanced acidity and pleasant bubbles, it conveys pear, apple, citrus, and apricot, plus a creamy sensation from 3 months’ lees aging. For the perfect meal, pair a glass with Oysters on the Half Shell from Frilly’s Bayou Kitchen.

OC & CO French Rosé – Languedoc-Roussillon, FR (Gold)

It is hard to go wrong with a rosé in the summer, especially if you are poolside. This blend is crafted from Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, varieties that are commonly found in the Rhône Valley and south of France. The OC & CO is even branded as a “French” rosé, in case there was any doubts about its origins! Due to almost unlimited sunshine in this Mediterranean climate, the grapes were harvested early in the cool of the morning to preserve aromatics as much as possible. After destemming, the varieties were vinified separately in stainless steel, thus ensuring that the fruit flavors will be maintained. Three months’ lees aging with gentle stirring adds to the body of the wine. Technical information aside, this is a delicious wine, brimming with strawberry, raspberry, citrus and tropical flavors like mango. A Niçoise salad would make an excellent accompaniment.

Edge of the Lake Vineyards ‘Freedom White’ – Texas High Plains (Gold)

Dr. Fred Cummings, a practicing OB-GYN in Denton, was determined that he would leave his children a legacy; thus, he opened the Edge of the Lake Vineyards on thirteen acres of lake-front property on the northside of Ray Roberts in Valley View. Memories of his own grandmother Ruby cultivating produce in her garden propelled him to grow something of his own, and in 2010, he planted grapes on the south end of the property. After some trial and error, mainly Spanish grapes flourish on the estate with some other fruit sourced from the Texas High Plains. Dr. Cummings, his son Chris McIntosh, and vineyard master Greg Davis all went through the Grayson College Viticulture and Enology program, and now the winery is producing internationally award-winning wines! The ‘Freedom White,’ a blend of 66% Viognier and 34% Albariño, is a medium-plus bodied wine with aromas of rose and honeysuckle plus flavors of blood orange, peach, and citrus zest. A plate of Chicken Satay from Thai Ochoa will taste delicious alongside the ‘Freedom White.’

Parajes del Valle Monastrell – Jumilla, SP (Platinum)

María Jóver started her journey at the famed Vega Sicilia before joining Parajes del Valle as head winemaker. Jumilla presents harsh conditions—limited rainfall, stringent irrigation restrictions, and bush-trained vines in stony soils that require special care. Amidst mountains and dry riverbeds, called ramblas, they experience cold winters and very hot summers (like Texas hot). Parajes del Valle believes in minimal intervention and respect for the land, so the wines that Jóver produces are unique and unlike other Spanish wines you have tasted. This Monastrell, which we know as Mourvèdre, is fruit-forward and lighter-bodied than a typical Mourvèdre. With characteristics of cherry, raspberry, redcurrant, pomegranate, blueberry, and “herbs of the mountain,” the Parajes del Valle is enchanting with a chill, making it a wonderful summertime red wine. It has a lingering finish and is well-suited to an immense platter of paella.

Toad Hollow Merlot – Mendocino County, CA (Gold)

It’s hard to imagine a personality as big as Robin Williams’, but apparently his older brother Todd was larger than life as well. Todd, affectionately known as Dr. ‘Toad’ Williams, was a wine aficionado who just wanted to make wine less snobby and more fun. In fact, their mission is to “produce quality wines that are delicious, interesting and accessible. We’re an amusing and friendly bunch and believe drinking wine should be as FUN as the whimsical art on our wine labels.” Todd teamed up with wine legend Rodney Strong in 1994 to open a small boutique winery, and it has been family-owned and operated ever since. With violet on the nose, red and blue fruits zing the palate, including plum, cherry, and blueberry, followed by a cool mint and a hint of dark chocolate. Savor this 100% Merlot masterpiece alongside the Veggie Quiche at The Chestnut Tree.

Frey Biodynamic Field Blend – Mendocino County, CA (Gold)

Frey Vineyards is the first organic and biodynamic winery in the United States, founded in 1980. The Frey family has been instrumental in setting the standards for what these terms mean, through active lobbying, taking site trips, and co-drafting guidelines with various farming groups. By the end of the decade, the National Organic Project was approved by the USDA, of which the Frey family helped to construct. They have continued to push the boundaries of natural winemaking and will open a brand new, state-of-the-art, carbon-neutral tasting room next year. In line with their sustainability priorities, this Field Blend is an amalgamation of estate organic grapes and what they term a “rustic red.” With cranberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, and cacao, this is one dynamic wine. It will drink beautifully with the Mediterranean board, filled with grilled veggies, from Barley and Board.

Cantine Colosi Nero d’Avola – Sicily, IT (Platinum)

Nero d’Avola, an ancient grape, is an arid-tolerant, heat-loving variety almost exclusive to the Aeolian islands, including Sicily; vines there are head-trained low to the ground to ward off high winds. Locally, Nero d’Avola is called Calabrese, and it is a full-bodied red that can be compared to Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. The term ‘heroic viticulture’ can be applied to Cantine Colosi: their vines are terraced by hand on small plots of calcareous and volcanic stone walls, a difficult and hard-to-navigate operation with a payoff of beautiful wines that express terroir. On their webpage, they identify wine as “light, perfume, warmth,” which is a poetic way of saying their products are truly special. Inky in the glass, the Colosi presents dark cherry, blackberry, black plum, prunes, and pepper. A go-to dish to enjoy with the Colosi would be Spaghetti Marinara from Napoli’s Italian.

Tapiz ‘Alta Collection’ Malbec – Uco Valley, ARG (Platinum)

The Tapiz ‘Alta Collection’ Malbec is another offering from Patricia Ortiz, a name we have seen before. She is the president of both Fincas Patagónicas and Bodegas de Argentina, and Wine Enthusiast named her as Wine Executive of the Year in 2023. We have previously had her Zolo line on the club, and it’s exciting to branch out and put the elegant Tapiz on. The viticultural pedigree of this wine is outstanding: Fabian Valenzuela, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, and legendary Claude Berrouet of Petrus fame collaborated to make this high-elevation Malbec. At first sniff, there’s violet among other floral aromas, and then the fruit takes hold, from plum to blackberry to raspberry on the palate, morphing into vanilla and oak. Order a bowl of the Spicy Beef Soup from Korean fusion restaurant The Taste to relish with this Malbec.

Clay Shannon ‘The David’ Red Blend – Lake County, CA (Platinum)

The name Clay Shannon might conjure up several different associations: maverick spirit (Buck Shack is one of his brands), champion for sustainability, and/or winemaking guru. His philosophy is to grow the best fruit possible, but “wanted to do it in a way that made us happy living there’; the ‘there’ in that quotation is Lake County, which is about two hours north of Napa. He has transformed 1000 acres of his estate into a regenerative organic farming system he calls Project Ovis. Assorted animals roam his property, from including ducks, geese, deer, raccoons, quail, golden eagles, bald eagles, wild turkey, chipmunks and bobcats. In his words, “the western spirit is still alive” on his estate. This red blend, affectionately named ‘The David’ after Shannon’s late grandfather, is composed of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. Raspberry, black currant, black cherry, cacao, sage, and dark chocolate coalesce to form a thirst-quenching, lingering sensation on the palate. Imbibe with the Mesquite Grilled Steak from Prairie House in Cross Roads and feel the bliss take hold!


Commenting has been turned off.