What about that cheap wine in Europe?

In New York we have a lot of European visitors. Some of them complain about our prices. Not: "Oh, I can get this same wine back home for 30% less," which would sometimes be true (though often not). Rather, it’s more of a blanket statement like: "At home wines cost just 5 or 6 euros.” I happen to be in Europe for a few weeks so I decided to investigate. You may remember Turin, a very sophisticated city in Northern Italy, from the Winter Olympics a few years back. But it’s more important to us a center for the wine trade just a few miles from the Langhe, one of the world's greatest wine regions and home, not only of (expensive, age-worthy) Barolo and Barbaresco, but also of more humble ... Read More »

Minière Champagne

“If I hadn't met Anselme [Selosse] I would not be making the wines I make today.” - Fred Minière So many of today's great Champagne growers trace their roots back to Anselme Selosse. It's amazing that some of them still fly under the radar. But it's likely the case that you haven't heard of Fred Minière, who worked for Selosse in the 1990s before deciding, with his brother Rodolphe, to convert the family domaine into an all-organic grower-producer working in Selosse's Burgundian style. You are not to blame for your ignorance. It was only after their father retired in 2007 that the brothers could take over and run things like they wanted. And it's only recently that their wines ... Read More »

Germany 2013 Vintage: The Beauty of Contrast

There's been some intense discussion about the 2013 vintage in Germany. Reviews and notes from reputable sources have been published—try View from the Cellar and Mosel Fine Wines—and prominent importers Terry Theise, Rudi Wiest, and Vom Boden have all offered their perspectives. These are all very good resources offering balanced perspectives on the conditions of the vintage, and how the wines appear to be out of the gate. Empirically, it takes time to taste and evaluate a vintage, and oftentimes the market demands we skip to conclusions far sooner than what is ideal for a fair assessment. Challenging vintages like 2013 give me pause to wonder whether the concept of a "perfect vintage" is ... Read More »

Coming Up, This Week’s Newsletter….

Just a reminder that our weekly newsletter comes out tomorrow.  Among other things, we'll be offering a library release from Mayacamas and the great but increasingly hard-to-find Champagnes of Agrapart.  Please sign up at the top of our home page if you haven't already done so!  Newsletter subscribers get special discounts and a first crack at hard-to-get wine that will probably sell out even before it appears on our web site... Read More »