Flatiron on TV: Beau’s Valentine’s Day wines

Beau was on TV this morning sharing some Valentine’s Day picks: Champagne, Muscadet (for oysters), Bedrock (for Steak) and port for dessert. The wines looked great and so did Beau!

In case Beau’s piece made you thirsty for some of these wines, here they are, all in the San Francisco store. Looking for something similar in NY? Call us (212-477-1315) or chat now using the button at the bottom of the page!

Lallement Champagne Rosé, $64.99

Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Classique, 2015 $14.99

Bedrock Red Blend Heritage, Bedrock Vineyard, 2015 $49.99

Quinta do Tedo, Porto Rose, NV $27.99

Produttori del Barbaresco 2013–Better than 2010 Barbaresco?

Bottles of Produttori 2013: great to drink now and great for the cellar!

Three years ago we offered the Produttori del Barbaresco 2010 to our newsletter friends and suggested buying it by the case: an under-$35 wine that is delicious to drink on release but that just gets better and better for year or even decades.

And we took our own advice–but even at that, we didn’t buy enough. Don’t you wish you still had cases of the 2010 lying around now? We do!

But with the release of the 2013s, nature has given us another chance. Vintages this great usually come only once in every generation or so. But this time, they’re only three years apart. As Jancis Robinson puts it (in her clinical British prose), “The prognosis is for a vintage similar in quality to the already legendary 2010s.” Antonio Galloni gushes: “Two thousand thirteen… is shaping up to be an epic vintage of classic proportions and superb pedigree.”

If anything, the 2013s—from Barbaresco at least—are a little better than the 2010s. In 2010 it rained just before the harvest, diluting the grapes slightly (in Barolo the later harvest allowed the grapes to dry out). So where some of the 2010s displayed a bit of flatness, a slight dullness, the 2013s all seem to pop with life and energy.

When we first offered the 2010, we said that there was no better value in cellar-worthy wines. Three years later, virtually everything else has gone up in price, but the Produttori del Barbaresco has remained the same. It’s a better value now than ever, and a very budget-friendly addition to your cellar in 2017.

Buy now and buy deep! Use the code PROD2013 at checkout to get 10% off any order of 3 or more bottles!

You can buy it from the NY store, here, and from the San Francisco store, here.

Sang des Cailloux: NYC meet-the-winemaker tasting tonight!

Serge Férigoule is at Flatiron Wines NY, 929 Broadway tonight from 5-7pm

Serge Ferigoule and moustache

Serge and his mustache are visiting Flatiron NY tonight only!

It’s a cool autumn day—perfect for the gnarly, wild, warming and delicious Rhone wines Serge makes on the “plateau des garrigues” in Vacqueyras.

Garrigues, of course, is the wild herb blend that grows everywhere in this part of France. And you can taste it in Serge’s wines. You can also taste layers of dark fruit, minerals and animally goodness.

The wines are intense and deep, but balanced and drinkable. Serge works organically, by hand, in a traditional manner. The wines show it, expressing the clay, mineral and “galets roules” soils, the Southern Rhone’s summer sun and cold, mountain winds, and the ancient traditions.

Join us tonight to meet Serge, share his wines, learn about how he does what he does, and (last but by no means least) check out his legendary moustache. And of course, Serge’s wine will be available at a special discount to Newsletter subscribers!

And pro tip: we’ll have fellow Kermit Lynch producer, La Vieille Tour, in the shop Wednesday from 5-7. No RSVP required and we hope to see you at both!

 

The More Serious Side of Rosé: Pradeaux Bandol

PradeauxBandol Rosé just about says it all. Especially if the Bandol Rosé in question is Pradeaux. Like any self-respecting rosé it’s great for when you’re just sitting out in the sun or by the water.

But Pradeaux has got so much more. It has complexity: the nose is savory with wild herbs as well as enticing with berries; and the palate has a mineral backbone (there’s limestone under those vines!) that easily supports the fruit. And it has staying power; the wine opens and develops with time in a glass or a decanter, and will age beautifully if you lay it down.

Vine age helps make a wine of both delicacy and power. Like a lot of domains, Pradeaux uses their younger vines in the rose. But unlike most domain’s, Pradeaux “young” vines average 25 years old! The soils (reddish clay and limestone) with rocky outcroppings are perfect for Mourvedre, which makes up 50% of the blend and helps to explain the wine’s complexity, depth and length.

And of course, the Portalis family does everything they can to transmit this wonderful terroir, farming as naturally as possible (in reliance on organic methods) and making the wine with a very light hand and traditional approach (a short maceration on the skins before fermentation and aging in concrete).

We couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to offer this great wine in a vintage like 2015, full of all the Provencal sunshine and energy you could hope for in a rosé. And if you have any space to store some wine, we hope you’ll consider laying a few bottles down. Nothing compares to the thrill of seeing a bottle of summer’s pleasure develop over time into a savory, minerally wine of contemplation.

Cheers, Josh

Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rosé $28.99

Abbatucci: Benchmark Corsican Wines

Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s wines are both spectacular and increasingly rare”
—Jon Bonné

Kermit Lynch says, “Corsica is the most exciting wine region in France.” Think we’re going to argue with Kermit? Not likely!

Corsica’s a special place: a tiny, mountainous island with varied soils (granite, schist, limestone) and microclimates, as well as an incredible heritage of indigenous grapes that were nearly wiped out by phylloxera and industrial winemaking of foreign varieties.

But in the early 1960s, just as the industrial juggernaut was gearing up and the mountain farms emptying out, Antoine Abbatucci decided the old grapes and ways were worth saving. He planted 18 nearly-extinct varieties on 2 hectares of land in the southern, granitic Ajaccio appellation. Today, Antoine’s son, Jean-Charles, is Corsica’s super-star, a steward of the land and tradition, and one of the world’s great winemakers.

Jean-Charles propagates these varieties on his own land and gives cuttings to vignerons all over the island to advance tradition (if you’ll pardon the oxymoron). But most important, he makes some of the most thrilling wine in the world. He was an early convert to bidodynamics and his wines show the attention he pays the vines: they have pure fruit and a clear sense of where they come from, of the mineral and the island sun and breeze. In their balance, joy, and complexity you find an expression of this island that is neither entirely French, nor Italian, but very much itself.

As recently as 2013, Kermit said that “Americans haven’t really discovered Corsican wines.” But since then there have been NY Times features, Decanter articles, and even Wine Spectator pieces. America is discovering these wines right now, and they’re only going to get harder to find. But we are thrilled to be able to offer as much of the following rarities as we can!

Cheers, Josh

VDF Rouge Frais, 2014, $25.99
Sciaccarellu, the pride of southern Corsica, is sometimes called “Corsican Pinot Noir.” At its best it makes wines with fresh fruit, mountain herbs, and a mineral backbone. This is the best inexpensive example: light enough to serve with a chill and a plate of pasta, but also substantial enough to go with roast meat. 

VDF Gris Imperial Rosé, 2015, $27.99
Direct press of young-vine Sciaccarellu and Barbarossa (10%), fresh and fruity and perfect summer wine, with a thread of the Corsican savoriness and minerality.

“Cuvee Faustine‚” Rosé, 2015 $35.99
From lower-yielding Sciaccerellu, this is a step up from the Gris Imperial in complexity and minerality. Top, top quality rosé. 

“Cuvee Faustine‚” Rouge, 2012, $39.99
Sciaccarellu with Niellucciu (a local form of Sangiovese). It’s got the Corsican wildness (KL says myrtle) with a refinement, maybe from the (30%) Niellucciu? This is a seriously delicious wine that will hook you on what Abbatucci does.

Cuvée Collection Blanc “BR,” VDF “Barbarossa,” 2013, $66.99
This is from the early-’60s plantings that saved the indigenous grape. The grape is red, but Abbatucci presses quickly, preserving the fresh white juice. A taste of fruit, sun, soil, and history.

Cuvée Collection Rouge “CN,” Carcaolu Nero, 2013, $82.99
Carcaolu Nero may make the deepest, most profound red wines of southern Corsica. Thank goodness Antoine saved it! Today Jean-Charles crushes the the fruit by foot and makes a small amount of a wine that is a key both to Corsica’s past and its future.

General de la Revolution Blanc, 2013, $94.99
If you like to compare great white wines to Burgundy, you’ll probably compare this one to Chablis. The folks at Kermit Lynch do. It’s a blend from the original plantings of Carcajolu Biancu (25%), Paga Debbiti (25%), Riminese (20%),  Rossola Brandica (15%), Biancone (10%), and 5% Vermentinu.

Ministre Imperial Rouge, 2012, $109.99
Again, a blend of near-extinct indigenous grapes from the original plantings, this is incredibly rare and delicious. A blend of Sciacarellu (22%), Niellucciu, Carcajolu-Neru (15%), Montaneccia (15%), Morescono (12%), Morescola (10%), Aleatico (8%).

If would like to inquire about placing an order for Abbatucci Wines please email us at orders@flatiron-wines.com

 

New York Times Fall Wines: 20 under $20

Eric Asimov’s New York Times “Fall Wine: 20 under $20” column is out, and he’s singing our song!

It’s not just that, once again, “You can find that wine here” (we work with virtually all of these wines regularly and have three quarters of them in right now). It’s that, again, he’s hit on one of our key points: there’s a ton of truly delicious wines in the $15-$25 range that “snap you to attention, fill you with wonder or simply move you by their sheer deliciousness.”

Eric’s picks are for drinking now. But I’m going to hit another of our favorite themes: many of these wines are also perfect for the reasonable cellar. The same qualities that make them delicious now (elegant structure, superior balance, painstaking farming and careful winemaking) also make them great candidates for cellaring.

Now, you probably don’t want to cellar Ooka’s Canon (a newsletter and blog favorite of ours since we first opened)–and you definitely shouldn’t consider cellaring any unsulfured wine unless you have, like us, refrigerated storage. But some of the other wines will amaze you. At a dinner with Clos de la Coutale’s winemaker a few years ago, I had the surprise and pleasure of enjoying a 30-year-old bottle that was mature but still fresh and amazing with dinner. Likewise plenty of the whites: old bottles of Muscadet from a producer like Pepiere are always going to be fun to have around, to say nothing of what happens to a Savennieres as it matures.

So consider buying some extras and putting them away for a bit!

Lots of these wines are currently available on our website, and you should feel free to buy them now. But if you have the patience to wait til tomorrow, sign up for our free newsletter (just above this post) and tomorrow (Sunday, October 25, 2015) you’ll get an email offering these wines at a special discount of 15%, and it will include some wines that we have to little of to list on the internet right now.

Happy fall drinking!

Domaine de la Pepiere Clos des Briords, 2014, $17.99 — And we have mags, too! ($38.99)
Hirotakie Ooka, La Grande Colline, “Le Canon,” 2013
Emitage Pic St. Loup, “Tour de Pierres,” 2013
Domaine Maestracci Corse Calvi E Prove 2013, $19.99
Peter Lauer Saar Riesling Barrel X, 2014, $18.99
Domaine Vincent Dureuil-Janthial Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2013 $17.99
Ferrando Erbaluce di Caluso, 2012, $17.99
Alain Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Christal, 2014, $19.99
Fattoria di Sammontana Chianti, 2012, $18.99
Château d’Epiré Savennières, 2013, $19.99
Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras Cuvée Classique, 2012, $19.99
Shinn Estate North Fork of Long Island Mojo Cabernet Franc, 2014, $17.99
Clos la Coutale Cahors, 2013, $16.99

Drink wine for kids’ tennis!

King’s County Tennis League is an amazing organization, devoted to teaching tennis to kids living in and around Brooklyn’s housing projects. It was started at Bed-Stuy’s Marcy Houses in 2010, and has grown to five teams. It’s more about getting kids out on the courts and enjoying the game than trying to create the next U.S. Open Champion.

We love tennis and we’re just blown away by the work that the KCTL and its team of volunteers is doing to bring the joys and lessons of the sport to kids who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to get coaching. So we’re thrilled to be able to help out by donating the wine for their Annual Fundraiser (Interested? Get your event tickets here.), which will be Wednesday September 9th at MI-5 Lounge in Tribeca at 7pm.

We’ll be pouring some tasty summer favorites and there will also be food and beer. And while you’re drinking and eating “for the kids,” you can also watch the Open. How often do you get the chance to have so much fun doing good?

Hope to see you there!

-Josh

1958 Barolo from Azienda Agricola Dott. G. Cappellano

Cappellano is one of the great traditional Barolo producers of our time, and their old wines are spectacular. It’s always a thrill to get fully mature Cappellano Barolo, but the haul we just got from Europe includes some particularly interesting bottles.


This most recent shipment of (amazing) Piedmontese classics includes nine bottles of Cappellano’s 1958 Barolo.  Three of them are in the traditional (Bordeaux) bottle of the time, with the classic label.  But we also got a few Cappellanos in the crazy, old, bottle shape that the Turin merchant, G. Troglia, used for the Barolos they bottled and sold (see below). The fills are great and I wish I had an excuse to crack one.

 


Like the Cappellano-bottled Barolos, these came with a Cappellano neck tag bearing a write-up on the history and service of Barolo.  But where the Cappellano-bottled tags are in Italian and French only, the tags on the Troglia-bottled wines are also translated into German and English; an interesting insight into Barolo’s local and export markets back in the ‘60s! (If you’re interested in the text of the neck tag, please see bellow).

 


We were curious to know how Cappellano’s Barolos aged when merchant-bottled, so we decided to check one out with dinner.  Short answer: great!

But the longer answer seemed worth sharing. At first, I was actually pretty worried. I pulled the cork (no problem, thank you Durand) at home and tasted a drop. The nose was musty-to-dead and the palate seemed shot. Even the color seemed off, super light. I decided to decant the wine off the sediment and see what happened.  And what happened was like magic.

The wine sat in the decanter while I washed the dried Barolo-precipitate from the bottom of the bottle and went to pack a bag for my flight the next morning.  When I came back to the wine, maybe forty minutes later, it had picked up color and the nose was showing a little something.  

I poured the Cappellano back into the bottle and took the train to dinner. We drank a couple of bottles of white wine and I told everyone not to worry, I’d tasted the ‘58… and brought a back-up. But while Jeff was getting his kids to bed we decided to check in on the Cappellano, which had been open, at this point, for “a few hours” – exactly as the neck tag recommends. And oh my goodness, there was no need for a back up!

The color was beautiful, the nose was perfumed, and the palate was incredible: seamless in the way fully mature wine can be, but still with a backbone of pure primary fruit.  A very special treat.  As I mentioned, this shipment from Europe includes a bunch of other special, fascinating and delicious wines. We’ll blog about a couple more, and be offering them by email soon.  So stay tuned…

 

As for these ’58 Cappellanos, we now have seven left, which we’ll be offering to email subscribers who are on our Italian or Rare Wine lists on Monday, August 3rd.  If you’d like to be on the list – or aren’t sure whether you already are, please drop us a note susannah(dot)smith(at)flatiron(dash)wines(dot).com.

In case you want the text of Cappellano’s 1958 neck tag, here it is in the English translation of the time:

In the XIX century, the Marchesi Falletti created and made the Barolo wine well known.  Its fame became greater and greater all over the world.  The Barolo wine is produce in a limited area of the Langhe Hills (Piedmont) the main centres of which are Barolo, Castiglione Faletto, La Morra, Monforte, Verduno, Perno, Serralunga nd Grinzane.  The Barolo wine is made with the grapes of the Nebbiolo vine and it is bottled after three years’ storage in barrels.  During this period it acquires a granate [sic.; garnet]-red colour with yellow-amaranth reflections and emanates a perfume similar to the violet on the surface and the withered rose at the bottom, with a dry velvety taste.  It is to be served at the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere, from bottles opened a few hours before as only in this way it can thoroughly reveal its characteristics and good qualities; it is the ideal wine for roast meats, game and such like. 

 

Free BYOB at Danny Meyer’s Restaurants through Wednesday

The storm may have over-promised and under-delivered, but here’s one great thing it brought to town: the chance to BYOB free of charge at any of Danny Meyer’s restaurants — but for a very limited time only (check out the EaterNY article here).  Just stop by, give us a call at (212) 477-1315, or take a look at our online store to find the perfect (retail-priced) bottle to go with your meal, whether you need a ready to drink barbaresco to take to Martha, a classic Cali Cab to take to Grammercy Tavern, or all of the above for Union Square.

 

 

New York Times Wine School Vouvray Sec with Eric Asimov

Eric’s newest New York Times Wine School is out (read it here), and this time we’re tasting Vouvray Sec, from our favorite unheralded white grape, Chenin Blanc.

Eric recommends two wines, and again, You Can Get that Wine Here!  We have (and love) both: Champalou’s 2012 and Huet’s 2013 “Le Haut-Lieu” Sec.

These producers are both favorites of ours.  Domaine Huet is, of course, generally considered one of the appellations benchmark producers.  They produce the entire range of Vouvrays, from petillant through Sec and up to the decadent dessert wines, including the legendary Cuvee Constane.  They work in three very special single-vineyards, including Le Haut-Lieu.

We’ve had the great pleasure of visiting the domaine (you can read Jeff’s blog post here and we’ve also had amazing tastings and dinners with domaine owner, Sarah Hwang.

We’ve been selling – and drinking – Champalou as long as we’ve been in the business.  The wines are everything we love: delicious, terroir specific, honest.  And most amazing, they’re a tremendous bargain!

Eric also recommends Jasnieres as an alternate source of delicious Loire Valley Chenin Blanc.  And we have some amazing stuff!

Eric Nicolas’ Domaine de la Belliviere makes some of the most amazing Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis in the Loire Valley right now we have his young vine cuvee, Premices ($29.99)  The wine is their entry-level cuvee, but is made with the same love and attention to detail as their more expensive bottlings.  The vines are undergoing conversion to organic and biodynamic farming.

We also have two cuvees from Kermit Lynch’s Jasnierre producer, Pascal JanvierThe entry-level Jasnieres is a delicious introduction to the appellation, and at an incredible price ($19.99 — shhh, don’t tell anyone or they may raise it!).  The vineyard is clay and limestone and the wine is supposed to be at its best after serious bottle aging: like ten years.  Unfortunately, I always drink mine too young because it’s so delicious!

We also have Janvier’s Cuvee du Silex, which is only a couple of dollars more, and has a little more length and a distinct, flinty, mineral note.

All these Jasnieres are delicious, and share many of Vouvray Sec’s charms: the combination of fruit, dry honey flavors, floral notes and, of course, mineral notes.  But they’re distinct.  The micro-climate is different (it’s cool) and the traditions, of course, are different.  But the wines are good!

Ready to start!? Browse our selections now!

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