Tasting 2013 and 2012 Raveneau with the Raveneaus: Truax begins his Burgundy Trip at the top

Chablis is an iconic wine.  Chablis is one of the most famous names in wine.  For a long time Chablis was misused and abused as a generic name for dry white wine - especially from California.  This drove the poor growers in Chablis crazy. Just like Champagne is constantly fighting to defend its world-renowned appellation.  The poor growers of Chablis do not have the financial resources of their Northern neighbors, but thankfully the days of California Chablis seem to be over.  I wonder how Champagne and Chablis feel about the legions of exotic dancers who have also misappropriated their appellations? On a recent trip to Chablis, Fabien Moreau told me that like Champagne, Chablis belongs ... Read More »

Edges of Burgundy, Part 1

Your guide to Burgundy's Unknown Gems: Great wines and rare values Is Burgundy going the way of Bordeaux?  Prices certainly are going up every year.  The top producers’ wines are now out of reach for the vast majority of us.  In famous villages (Vosne Romanée, Chambolle Musigny), even relatively unknown producers don't come cheap. And in some ways, the situation is already worse than Bordeaux.  If you're willing to pay the price, there's always another case of, say, Leoville Las Cases that you can buy and put in your cellar.  They just make so much wine in Bordeaux. But not so in Burgundy, where bottles of top wines are now often allocated just two or three per customer... ... Read More »

New Sauvignon Blanc in the Old Style

Back in the '70s and '80s Kermit Lynch was one of a tiny handful of pioneers that roamed the French countryside, discovering wines to bring to America. Now there are literally hundreds of Americans doing exactly that. But surely all the great wine has long been found? Every now and then I'm surprised to learn that's not the case. I learned it on Monday evening with a bottle of Quincy from a producer who is completely new to us: Domaine Trotereau. It was a truly delicious bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. The temptation in Quincy is to make Sancerre. Sancerre, after all, is a very famous name, and the easiest thing in the wine business is to tell people "this is just like Sancerre but it's $2 cheaper." ... Read More »

Value and Tradition from St. Emilion

After recently writing about trends in Cote-Rotie, I thought it would be appropriate to turn my attention to St. Emilion.  Of course, the Northern Rhone isn't the only place in the world that abandoned its traditions in order to earn higher Parker points.  This is a trend that you saw in many parts of the world.  But one of the regions that is perhaps most afflicted is St. Emilion, the great right-bank village in Bordeaux famous for its Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Unfortunately, unlike the Northern Rhone, where interest in tradition seems to be rebounding, the same cannot yet be said for St. Emilion.  In fact, just in the last year, one of the last great traditionalists, Chateau Magdelaine, ... Read More »

Just Your Every Day Nebbiolo…

Nebbiolo, the powerfully tannic  grape associated with the great -- and formidable -- wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, isn't what usually springs to mind for pairing with lighter summer meals. Even in its native Piemonte, most Italians prefer the juicy acidity of an easygoing Barbera for drinking on a regular basis. Aside from being expensive, the best Nebbiolo-based wines are known for their commanding tannins and it can be ten years or more before they've relaxed enough to reveal those haunting flavors of truffle, tar, and violet. There is no disputing that with a great producer and a great vintage, this is a grape that is well worth the wait. With its tremendous aging capacity, most wine ... Read More »

Tasting of Equipo Navazos Sherries and Peter Liem book signing!

Thursday July 25, 2013 5:00 – 8:00 PM We are throwing a sherry party! This Thursday evening Peter Liem, author of Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla will be in the store to talk and taste sherry with you. We’ll pour delicious and transporting sherries from the esteemed Equipo Navazos project, including the new #42 Manzanilla, a revisit of the #30 Manzanilla Pasada, and even the infamous #41 Palo Cortado.  We’ll have copies of Peter’s book available, too. This is an incredible opportunity to taste an extensive line up of rare sherries in the company of one of the foremost (and most down-to-earth) Sherry scholars in the world. If you’ve never met Peter, you’ll be astonished not just ... Read More »

Secrets of the Italian Mountains: Monsecco Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo with fish?  Yes, it is possible!  Hidden in the mountains to the North of villages you've heard of, like Barbaresco and Barolo, are planted a smattering of Nebbiolo vines in less-known communes like Sella and Lessona.  Here, Nebbiolo does not produce the large-scaled wines that have made Barolo famous.  Instead, you get the beautiful fragrances of fine Nebbiolo, bright red cherry fruit, and much softer tannins.  And it's the softness of the tannins, when combined with a thirst-quenching acidity that comes from mountain freshness, that results in a pretty good fish red. I'm not talking about Ghemme or Gattinara.  Those Alta Piemonte classics are still steak wines.  But Monsecco's ... Read More »

Secrets of the Loire: Patrick Corbineau

We are pleased to welcome the wines of Patrick Corbineau to our shop. The following bio was written by Camille Riviere, the French importer who discovered him. We have re-printed it here with her permission.   The world no longer makes people like Patrick Corbineau. In a hide away quarry overlooking the Loire, the last winemaker in the village of Candes St Martin makes uber natural wines without even knowing that Paris (and NY) are drinking them. What’s important for Patrick is that his neighbours enjoy them. Candes-Saint-Martin is often pictured in Loire wines campaigns. It overlooks the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers from a steep hill on the left bank of the Loire. On ... Read More »

Secrets of the Loire: Domaine de Reuilly

If you’re on the hunt for wine bargains, lift just about any stone in the Loire Valley and you will find one.  Today we uncover the Domaine de Reuilly, the leading domain in the virtually unheard of AOC of Reuilly.  In the western portion of Sancerre, in and around the hamlet of Chavignol, incredibly expressive Sauvignon Blanc is produced from soils that are locally called terres blanches.  These soils are kimmeridgian – limestone embedded with marine fossils – and it’s considered holy grail terroir for white wine. What is much less well known is that these kimmeridgian soils extend to the west of Sancerre and down into the eastern corner of Reuilly, where the Domaine de Reuilly ... Read More »