Grower Champagne 101: Class is in Session!

Champagne is rediscovering itself through the eyes of the farmer, but what does that mean? Traditionally, small farmers didn't make their own wine. Instead, these grapes were sold to  houses, who would blend grapes from across the region to create a "house style". Very often many excellent wines were made, but very few had any traditional sense of terroir. With help from passionate Importers, and a cultural shift towards authentic experiences, the region has been transformed. Now, thousands of growers keep grapes for themselves and make their own unique expressions of terroir. Because holdings are often tiny it is now possible to experience site specific wines, of extraordinary ... Read More »

John’s Dispatches from Burgundy

A new generation is shaking up Burgundy. Mathilde Grivot, Amelie Berthaut, Charles Lachaux, Charles Van Canneyt have all reinvigorated their family domaines. Then, there are a handful of new producers like Nicolas Faure, Armand Heitz of Heitz-Lochardet and Maxime Cheurlin of Domaine Georges Noellat. It's hard to believe that another incredibly talented class from the Lycee Viticole de Beaune are now seasoned veterans with many vintages behind them. This trip I arrived early Friday March 9th on Swiss International to Geneva.  On the same flight was Maxime Cheurlin of Domaine Georges Noellat. He offered me a ride to Beaune - lucky me. Max's Swiss importer met us at the the airport and drove ... Read More »

This Wednesday — Meet the Winemakers: Austrian Edition

Not sure about you, but here at Flatiron, we cannot get enough Austrian wine. We love Gruner Veltliner, and Riesling, of course, but we also love the lesser known grapes of this great winemaking nation. We are very excited to have two fantastic Austrian winemakers in the shop this Wednesday, April 11th, from 5 until 7pm. From the Wachau, we have Josef Fischer, pouring two single vineyard Grüner Veltliners and one Riesling. These wines sing with precision -- they show you exactly what they are and where they are from. When a winemaker focuses all of his or her energy on one or two varieties, it is a beautiful thing. From Styria, further South, we have Christophe Neumeister, who makes wines ... Read More »

Alto Piemonte’s Cantine Garrone In-Store This Monday

Join us this Monday, March 12th, from 5 to 7pm, as we welcome some of our favorite Alto Piemonte winemakers to the shop. Just like their neighbors to the south, this winery focuses on the Nebbiolo grape and all that it can do. They produce one wine that is 100% Prunent Nebbiolo, a regional clone of Nebbiolo, from vines between 60 and 80 years old. They also produce two blends, still primarily Nebbiolo but with other indigenous grapes -- Barbera and Croatina -- that add lightness and juiciness. The Ca d' Mate  is 20% Barbera, while the Munaloss is a blend of Barbera, Croatina and that beautiful Nebbiolo. These are serious wines, yet they are replete with joy and pretty red fruit. The winemakers ... Read More »

Pre-Rieslingfeier Tasting in NYC

Rieslingfeier is upon us! The annual celebration of what some consider to be the world's greatest white wine is happening this Saturday, January 27th. We are getting the party started early with a selection of wines from the event's organizer, Vom Boden, an importer with strong German roots. We're very excited to have the incredibly knowledgeable Bryn pouring a selection of Riesling this Thursday, 1/25. We'll have a diverse group of bottles, ranging from a bone dry Riesling Sekt to an off-dry Feinherb style. We're featuring a few of our favorite producers, and we may even have a special bottle or two you'll only taste if you drop by to the shop in NYC from 5-7pm. Weiser-Kunstler, Riesling ... Read More »

Cuvée Caprice: Extraordinary Value From Classic Terroir

Milon’s Cuvée Caprice The “great” viticultural regions are most famous for their grandest wines; they usually take decades to mature and also cost a fortune. But these same venerated regions also produce fresh and delicious wines that can be drunk young- the kind locals choose for everyday expression of their local terroirs and traditions. Such pleasures are key to the enjoyment and understanding of wine itself. We drink Piedmontese Dolcetto, and Burgundy’s Bourgogne Rouge and Passetoutgrain. Yet for some reason, when it comes to Bordeaux we focus almost exclusively on the grand vins of the most famous châteaux; these giants need decades of cellar time before they are ready to drink. 2018 ... Read More »

Australia!

Australian wine is often viewed in a negative light in the United States, largely because of the big box exporters that flooded the market with less than spectacular critter wines in the late 90s and early 2000s. I was lucky enough to spend several weeks down under recently and am happy to report that there is some truly amazing wine coming out of the driest continent. Australia is a large country, split into 6 states and 2 territories. There is a lot of great wine coming from many regions, but the states producing the most wine are Victoria and South Australia. Other regions of note producing great wine are Tasmania, Margaret River in Western Australia, and the Hunter Valley and Canberra ... Read More »

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 »

Cru Bourgeois Part 1

I’ve been drinking a lot of Bordeaux lately. Mostly, this is because I was in Bordeaux. But not for a fancy trip; I didn’t visit a single Grand Cru Chateau. I was there to explore and drink Cru Bourgeois. If you love wine, especially Bordeaux, you need to pay special attention to this category. It provides some of the very best values in the world for red wines in the $20 - $50 range. And I’m going to explain why in a short series of posts. This first post is for a little background.  What is Cru Bourgeois? To be a Cru Bourgeois a chateau must come from one of the Medoc’s eight AOC’s: Medoc, Haut-Medoc, Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac, St. Estephe, Moulis, and Listrac-Medoc. ... Read More »

Herri Mina

Pétrus is at the absolute apogee of the wine world. And it isn't just a trophy wine for people with far too much money, although it is that, in part. Just like some other untouchables (DRC comes to mind) the château actually makes utterly sublime wines that show the utmost respect for local tradition and terroir. That the wine is so honest and true to itself is in no small part thanks to Jean-Claude Berrouet, who oversaw 40 vintages there, including many of the great wines that put Pétrus into the wine world's pole position. But Berrouet wasn't satisfied playing only at those rarefied heights: he also craved that quintessentially French experience of working on more modest, humbler wines—country ... Read More »