Premier Wine Club Sampling: May 2018

Your personalized wine tour of Spain, France & Italy!



Tornatore is located in northeastern Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island where there is ample sunshine and warmth. Together, the cooling sea breezes and high-elevation preserve acidity, enhance the structure and bring complexity to Tornatore wines. The volcanic soils are both fertile and well drained making the region ideal for viticulture.

The family-owned winery is in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia on the northeastern slopes of Mt. Etna, Europe’s biggest and most active volcano. While the family is relatively new to winemaking, they have been growing grapes for more than 150 years.

“My first commercial vintage was 2012,” said Founder Francesco Tornatore. “However, it was my great-grandfather who was the first in our family to plant vines here in 1865.”

Having grown up among the vines on Mt. Etna, Francesco had access to the best lots for planting. All the lots today are located within just a few kilometers of his childhood home and the winery.

Quickly recognized for its outstanding wines, Tornatore recently joined Allegrini, Argiano, Jermann, Pieropan and Renato Ratti, six exceptionally highly pedigreed Italian properties creating the LUX portfolio.

Critical Acclaim:
Wine Enthusiast | WE93 - A few swirls of the glass release this white's heady stone fruit, Spanish broom and Mediterranean brush aromas. Mirroring the nose, the vibrant palate delivers green apple, lemon, tangerine and white peach flavors framed by crisp acidity. It has nice length and a hint of ginger that caps the finish.

James Suckling | JS90 - Lots of pear drops and apples as well as pomelo. Full, dense palate with tangy acidity and a fruity finish. Drink now.

Varietal: Carricante 100%
Designation; Etna DOC
Region: Sicily, Italy
Alcohol: 12.5%
Vineyards: Site on terraces at 650 meters above sea level
Winemaking: Destemming, soft pressing, alcoholic fermentation in concrete vats and fining on the lees for3 months in the same vats
Aging: concrete vats for 4-6 months

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Another stellar import from Mel & Janie Masters, English ex-pats that have been sourcing extraordinary value wines since 1990. The idea for Mont Gravet arose when their winemaker found some amazing “terroirs” spread on hills. These hills are called “Mont” in French. So as a tribute to the terroir from where the wine comes from they created Montgravet, “Gravet” being the name of an oval shaped rock commonly found in the area.

The Herault region of the Languedoc is in the South West part of France. The climate here combines both Oceanic and Mediterranean influences. The calcareous soil with a sandstone base rich in nutrients and minerals that is found in this part of France is ideal for the Carignan grape, and many of the vines are 75 years or older!

Varietal: Carignan 100%
Designation: IGP Pays d’Hérault
Region: Languedoc, France
Alcohol: 12.5%
Vineyards: Site on terraces at 650 meters above sea level
Winemaking: Although this wine is made with the old vines, the vinification was carried out in a modern style. The grapes are destemmed and crushed. The fermentation works at controlled temperature to keep the wine’s fruity aromas. The ageing is carried out in tanks with a small amount of French oak to add more complexity and roundness to the finished wine.



The winery is situated in Cacabelos on the road to Villafranca del Bierzo. the best possible access to the production zone of most of the quality grapes produced in Bierzo, a small wine appellation located to the west of the León province. It is one of Spain’s rising stars, producing high quality red wines from old Mencía vines, Bierzo’s traditional, indigenous grape variety.

The area under vine covers over 2,600 hectares (around 6,400 acres) of small plots of the Mencía variety planted in valleys protected to the north by the Montes de León and to the south by the Cordillera de los Aquilianos.

With their low pH, the soils are well suited and are made up of two types: slate and sandstone on the one hand and rich clay on the other. The vines are planted at an altitude of between 400 and 800m (1,300 and 2,600 ft).

The semi-humid, continental climate provides over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, average rainfall of 750mm (30 inches) and a mean temperature of 12.3?C (54?F) with a high day/night swing in temperatures. This combination provides perfect conditions for quality grape production, as foreseen by Emile Peynaud and subsequently confirmed by the most influential wine critics.

Aiming to make an elegant new wave Bierzo wine, Losada Vinos de Finca boldly sought out old Bierzo vineyards traditionally planted on clay soils, a terroir which had been relatively overlooked by the Bierzo’s new wave.
As a result, Losada was established on the outskirts of the village of Pieros, on the St James pilgrimage route, midway between Cacabelos and Villafranca del Bierzo.

Wine Maker:
Amancio Fernández Gomez is in-house winemaker-oenologist at the Losada Vinos de Finca bodega, a young venture whose philosophy is to extract the maximum expression from the region’s terroir via the painstaking selection of estates and vineyards, capable of producing elegant and complex Mencía.

The elegance Losada has brought to the new Bierzo is a very easy-drinking style and expresses the more tender and juicy side of the Mencía variety.

Critical Acclaim: Wine Spectator | WS92

Varietal: Mencia 100%
Designation: Bierzo
Region: Castilla y Léon, Spain
Alcohol: 13.5%
Vineyards: Clay slopes
Ageing: Crianza, 10 months French oak