Boulay Vertical

For years, we have been advising that Sancerre should be added to your list of must-cellar categories. I recently had the privilege of attending a vertical tasting of Gerard Boulay's single vineyard Sancerre "Clos de Beaujeu", going back almost 60 years, including the last bottle of 1959 in Gerard Boulay's personal cellar. It was truly gratifying to experience such stunning confirmation of our advice. It's funny, but followers of Boulay have a tendency to overlook the wine from this Clos. Of Boulay's three single vineyards, it has the least name recognition. This is surely because his other vineyards, Mont Damnes and Le Grand Cote, are also made by the famous Cotat cousins. And let's face ... Read More »

The Reasonable Cellar: Fontodi Chianti Classico

Fontodi's Chianti Classico is a remarkably fine and elegant expression of Sangiovese for a very reasonable price that will drink well for years to come. It's the kind of wine you should have in any reasonable cellar, and when we visited Fontodi in the fall we tasted examples that went back decades and were still delicious and full of life. 2013 is already considered to be a spectacular and classic vintage by both Tuscan wine-makers and the critics; and we agree that this is a wine and vintage you don't want to miss! Fontodi is not a "new" name to fans of great Tuscan wine. In fact they have been known and celebrated for decades. But there was some concern among Chianti purists that the wines ... Read More »

2014 White Burgundies from Lafouge

Auxey-Duresses has always been in the shadow of its better-known neighbors, Volnay and Meursault. We like to talk about the "Edges of Burgundy"—places just off the beaten track of famous villages. These Edges provide tremendous value. Auxey-Duresses, quite literally at the edge of one of the most famous white wine villages in the world, may provide the greatest value of all. Auxey-Duresses, flush up by Meursault, is one of those magic places in Burgundy that grows both great red and white grapes. White is the focus on the Meursault side of the village. Wines made by Auxey's top growers can rival great Meursault, and we think Lafouge is at the very top of the heap. (D'Auvenay does make some ... Read More »

The Reasonable Cellar:  Savary Chablis

Keeping a cellar may seem fussy, complicated and expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Just a year ago, I purchased a case of Savary Chablis 2012. With a 10% case discount, it was about $22 per bottle. I took the case, and I put it in my basement. It was not a refrigerated space, but it never gets that warm in the summer, probably never above 70. This is not ideal for long term storage, but just fine for a year. Recently I was stumbling around the basement looking for my kid's ice skates, and there was the case. We are selling the 2014 right now in the shop, and online. It's a great vintage, but not yet quite where I like my village-level Chablis. Young Chablis is fresh and piercing, and I ... Read More »

2Naturkinder: Wunder Nature Kids from Franconia

"The majority of wine drinkers aren't aware of all the additives used to give wine the right taste, color and mouthfeel. Natural wines can look & taste unusual & crazy but it makes the wine a lot more authentic and individual. Our mission is to produce and bring natural wine from the vineyards of Franconia to the glasses of people appreciating pure wine." - Melanie Drese & Michael Voelker The natural wine movement began in Beaujolais with the work of Jules Chauvet. From there, it spread to a few other corners of France, like the Loire, the Rhône, and the Languedoc. It then took a trip to Italy, especially Sicily. Bits of it are now showing up in California, Australia, and ... Read More »

The Chablis-Like Red Wines of Dominique Gruhier

It was, of course, a thrill and an honor to host superstar Burgundy producers Lafarge and Mugnier at our store for a free tasting the other night. And it was no surprise that their wines are awfully good. The biggest revelation of the evening for just about everyone was Dominique Gruhier.  And "everyone" includes Freddy Mugnier, who had never tasted the wines before and was supremely impressed! [caption id="attachment_11024" align="alignnone" width="640"] Wines of Dominique Gruhier[/caption] You see, Mugnier, like so many U.S. Burgundy drinkers these days, admires purity and clarity over power and ripeness. And Gruhier's wines are so pure and clear that they seem to shimmer, like the water ... Read More »

2007 Cantalupo Ghemme: The Thrill of Something That’s Been Around

I'm as guilty as every other wine geek in America, and get super excited about the latest thing. A new vintage of my favorite Haute Cote de Bourgogne from Digoia-Rohyer shows up, and I have to bring it home and drink it immediately.  Because it's new.  Even though I have a bottle from two vintages earlier that are readier to drink. But I don't make that mistake every night. Last night, my wife and I drank Cantalupo's 2007 Ghemme. At Flatiron, we have been happily buying and re-ordering this wine since 2015. It's now 10 years old, and it's astonishing to think that we still have it on our shelves at its original release price. Ghemme is one of those villages up above Barolo in the area called ... Read More »

Brovia’s Barolo — Not so Normale?

Single vineyard vs Blended wines in Barolo Most of Barolo's top wines these days are made from single vineyards. We love this micro-terroir focus, but it is actually a fairly modern trend. Traditional Barolo is a blend from a number of different vineyard sites—each contributing different elements—to make sure that the final wine has a "completeness" to it. Of today's top Barolos, only Bartolo Mascarello is still made in this way. The result is that many wine drinkers, even some Barolo lovers, think of the term “normale,” often used to refer to a winery’s non-vineyard-designate Barolo, as almost a pejorative. But in the case of many of our favorite producers, like Brovia, the ... Read More »

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 Read More »

Now entering Piedmont’s Golden Age… for drinking!

The dark age of Piedmont was the early 1990s. Fresh off the twin victories of 1989 and 1990, things just seemed to fall apart. The 91s and 92s completely sucked. The 93s were drinkable, but not great. The 1994s were worse. The 1995s were actually considered good, but only because the Piedmontese were dying to have something to celebrate. Then suddenly, everything changed. 1996 was a great Piedmont vintage. And since then every vintage has been either good or great, with the sole exceptions of 2002 and 2003. It’s not just Mother Nature that’s been kind. Producers have been steadily upping their game as well. Farming improved dramatically. Green harvests were introduced. Sorters were ... Read More »