Top 5 Reasons to drink Cru Bourgeois

Why to drink Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois In my first post on Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois I explained: what they are: great Chateaux that didn't sell for enough to be classified as Bordeaux Cru Classé in 1855 how they came to exist: a bunch of the best non-Classé Chateaux banded together for marketing purposes, and why it all stopped working: it was too complicated and bureaucratic! In this, my second post on Bordeaux' Cru Bourgeois, I want to give you five reasons to look beyond Bordeaux' Grand Cru Classé–more specifically, five reasons to look at the Cru Bourgeois wines for delicious values that do everything we want our wines to do. 1. The Virtual Circle of Good Money Making Great ... Read More »

Don’t miss out on the 2014 Red Burgundy Vintage!

2014 was one of those rare vintages in Burgundy that was equally good for red and white wines.  Most of the hyperbole was directed to the fantastic quality of the white wines.  Indeed it is true that from Macon, through the Cote Chalonnaise and in the great growths of the Cote de Beaune - even all the way up to Chablis - the 2014 white Burgundies were hailed by everybody as the greatest vintage since 1992 and so on and on.  They are undeniably marvelous. However - 2014 Reds are being overlooked and this is a sad state of affairs.  Because of the hoopla over 2015 red Burgundy, people are forgetting about one of the best red wine vintages we have seen in a long time. The 2014 red burgundies ... Read More »

Free Tri-State Wine Delivery to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Nobody likes to pay shipping charges, so we are thrilled to be able to announce that the New York store now offers free shipping on all online orders above $129 to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut! Yup, whether you need a case of rosé for a party, a special bottle of Cabernet for a dinner, or a special gift for a client, we will get it there for you, no extra charge. We’re going to try to keep tweaking and expanding this program, so please let us know how you like it and what we could do to improve it here or in the note of your order. And if you do like it, please share it with your friends! Here are some details: · Your online order must be over $129, before tax and after ... Read More »

The Twilight of Small Family Owned Domaines in Burgundy?

It's a story that has been told again and again in France ever since Napoleon l.  The head of a successful family dies and the estate is divided equally between all of the children.  It used to be that the eldest son got everything, the second son joined the military, the third the priesthood, the daughters were married off.  If you were the fourth son, well - you might have to work for a local landowner tending his vineyards. So to this day in Burgundy the vineyards are divided equally between the heirs.  Not everyone wants to be a country winegrower, the work is relentless, unforgiving and at the mercy of capricious weather.  What's more, almost every successful family want their sons ... Read More »

The Crazy Market in Bordeaux and How to Take Advantage

As we've explained before in our newsletter, the market in Bordeaux is upside down. New releases are expensive and often over-priced. But mature bottles -- bottles that are actually ready to drink -- represent some of the best values in the world of wine today. I'm not talking about First Growths, Cheval Blanc and the like. Those wines have powerful brands and you will always have to pay for that. However, look beyond the famous names and you find plenty of great Bordeaux that are just, well, great. And many of them are superbly priced. We are finding more and more opportunities working with negociant partners in Bordeaux itself. Because release prices for Bordeaux are so high, it is rare that ... 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 »

Top 5 Wine Categories for Collectors to Focus on in 2017

This year promises to have a lot of very exciting releases. Here's what collectors need to watch out for: 1.  2015 reds from Burgundy.  This is the big one, a vintage that promises more than any since 2005, and it might even be better than that. Yes, the trophies will be extremely expensive and very hard to get. Do your best to ignore them, and stick with the 100s of other great Burgundies that will be finadable and affordable. Look for Hudelot-Baillet or Sigaut rather than Roumier. Look for Lignier-Michelot rather than Ponsot. Look for Regis Forey rather than Rouget. And so on. 2.  2013 reds from Piedmont. Usually a vintage like 2010 only comes along once in a generation. Mother nature ... 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 »

Chambertin for Coq au Vin?

A chef friend we work with wanted a case of Burgundy for a stew he was making. I pointed out that a case of Cotes du Rhone would be a lot cheaper and, after hours of cooking, pretty close in flavor. But he insisted on Burgundy, “I’m following a 19th century recipe that calls for a case of Chambertin!” Nowadays, of course, a case of Chambertin costs well over $3,000. That would be a pricey chicken dish. Besides, supplies are so limited you would need to go to several sources to cobble together a 12-pack. It’s probably been a very long time since that particular recipe was followed! Amusing, yes. But it also raises an important historical point that surprisingly few people are ... Read More »