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 »

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 »

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 »

Top Five Steak Wines

Grilling season is now upon us, and a good grilled steak is just about the only excuse you need in warmer weather to open up a big red wine. But some red wines work with steak better than others.  Here is a top 5 list, in no particular order: 1.  Brunello di Montalcino.  Anyone who has had Steak Florentine in Tuscany knows that Sangiovese is the perfect partner for steak, and Brunello is the grandest and noblest Sangiovese. Keep it on the young side, to ensure good fruit vigor and lively tannins. Consider giving your steak full Tuscan treatment: cook it rare but with a crusty exterior (which should be coated in salt, pepper and if you like some minced rosemary or sage), and then dress ... Read More »

VIDEO: JR Breaks Down the Last 10 Bordeaux Vintages

[embed]https://youtu.be/ZYeNsODJeZI[/embed] For some time now, we've had a goal of shooting videos to educate and entertain wine enthusiasts near and far. Though we are now out of January, the month when all resolutions typically begin and end, we found a way to persevere and are proud to share our inaugural effort with you today! As it turns out, even amongst our multi-talented staff there was no one who happened to moonlight as a professional cinematographer...so apologies if our first release is less than Oscar worthy. It can only get better from here, right? So, without further ado, please press play (if the video hasn't started already)! -Your Friends at Flatiron Wines P.S. ... Read More »

Les Allees de Cantemerle

Not growing up drinking fancy wines (often it was wine from Niagra, Ontario!), I have a strong memory of tasting the first bottle that was really something special. It was a Cantemerle, the 5th Growth from Haut Medoc, from a great vintage. Usually, as you get into wine, your tastes will change over time. The story that you hear from a lot of people these days (at least in New York) is that when they were younger they liked Chateauneuf-du-Papes and Californian wines, but now they’ve “moved on” (though I bet I could show them plenty of wines from both categories that they would still love!). And my tastes have changed too. But one taste has not, and that is my love of Cantemerle. Every ... Read More »

A Tale of Learning and of Two Bordeaux

Sometimes it is fun to go to a dinner with lots of different wines to taste. It can be a good learning experience. In one fell swoop you can compare and contrast a bunch of different bottles. But sometimes we learn most about wine when we limit the number of bottles we open. The other night a group of us had a casual dinner and opened just two delicious bottles of red wine. One was Gruaud Larose, St. Julien, 2001. The other was a magnum of Cos d'Estournel, St. Estephe, 1999. When you open only two bottles lots of useful things happen. You get larger pours. You drink more of the wine so you get to know it better. You can focus. On that tenth sip of wine you'll see nuances that you missed on ... Read More »

1958 Barolo from Azienda Agricola Dott. G. Cappellano

Cappellano is one of the great traditional Barolo producers of our time, and their old wines are spectacular. It’s always a thrill to get fully mature Cappellano Barolo, but the haul we just got from Europe includes some particularly interesting bottles. This most recent shipment of (amazing) Piedmontese classics includes nine bottles of Cappellano’s 1958 Barolo.  Three of them are in the traditional (Bordeaux) bottle of the time, with the classic label.  But we also got a few Cappellanos in the crazy, old, bottle shape that the Turin merchant, G. Troglia, used for the Barolos they bottled and sold (see below). The fills are great and I wish I had an excuse to crack one.   Like ... Read More »

5 Big Trends in the World of Wine

Here in New York City we often see what’s going on in the wine world before the rest of the country. This is where a lot of the celeb-somms are, where a lot of collectors locate, where you find the big trade tastings…and where wine stuff just happens. And here is what I’m seeing right now:   (1) Burgundy, Just Starting To Lose It’s Cool. The big story since the 2005 vintage has been Burgundy’s ascendance. For years now, the general agreement in the wine community was that Burgundy was best. This was a bit like the view of Bordeaux before 2005. But then Bordeaux raised prices to take advantage of demand in emerging markets, especially in the Far East. Americans didn’t like the ... Read More »