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 »

Foillard’s New Wine

In my book, Foillard is the absolute king of Morgon, akin to Rousseau in Chambertin, or Roumier in Chambolle. Foillard hits all the right notes, and more so than any other producers in his village, he achieves, what in my book, are four very crucial factors: deliciousness, consistency, age-worthiness, and terroir accuracy. So I consider it a very big deal when Foillard adds a brand new wine to his line-up. Foillard already has two wines in his "classic" line-up of Morgons, his Cote du Py, and his Corcelette. (I'm excluding his Fleurie here, which is from outside Morgon, and his Cuvee 3.14, which seems stylistically different to me than classic Foillard.) The Cote du Py is Foillard's signature ... Read More »

The More Serious Side of Rosé: Pradeaux Bandol

Bandol Rosé just about says it all. Especially if the Bandol Rosé in question is Pradeaux. Like any self-respecting rosé it’s great for when you’re just sitting out in the sun or by the water. But Pradeaux has got so much more. It has complexity: the nose is savory with wild herbs as well as enticing with berries; and the palate has a mineral backbone (there’s limestone under those vines!) that easily supports the fruit. And it has staying power; the wine opens and develops with time in a glass or a decanter, and will age beautifully if you lay it down. Vine age helps make a wine of both delicacy and power. Like a lot of domains, Pradeaux uses their younger vines in the rose. But ... Read More »

Abbatucci: Benchmark Corsican Wines

Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s wines are both spectacular and increasingly rare” —Jon Bonné Kermit Lynch says, “Corsica is the most exciting wine region in France.” Think we’re going to argue with Kermit? Not likely! Corsica’s a special place: a tiny, mountainous island with varied soils (granite, schist, limestone) and microclimates, as well as an incredible heritage of indigenous grapes that were nearly wiped out by phylloxera and industrial winemaking of foreign varieties. But in the early 1960s, just as the industrial juggernaut was gearing up and the mountain farms emptying out, Antoine Abbatucci decided the old grapes and ways were worth saving. He planted 18 nearly-extinct ... Read More »

Alsace Terroir and the Wines of Albert Boxler

Few wines in the world shimmer with energy like Albert Boxler’s do. The Cremant, Pinot Blanc and Muscat are all pure joys to drink. The Reserve and Grand Cru bottlings are on another level: world-class wines of terroir, presence, depth and aging potential. All the way back to the 1600s, generations of Boxlers have worked these 10 (or so) hectares, much of it Grand Cru, in Niedermorschwihr. They have estate bottled since 1946. Their village is known for the famous Sommerberg Grand Cru, the border of which is just steps from Jean Boxler’s front door. Sommerberg is a commanding hillside, mineral-rich with the classic Alsatian granitic sand over the solid granite and mica that makes Riesling ... Read More »

Suitcase Wine and the Enduring Legacy of Monsieur Levent

Some of you who have been following us for a while will remember Marc Levent.  Marc was the very first in a string of French nationals to work with us here at Flatiron (the list also includes Martin Texier and Candice Perrone and we will soon be welcoming Ludivine Souhaut).  Marc has gone on to do great things:  He is currently helping Freddy Mugnier make Musigny! One of Marc's lasting legacies at Flatiron Wines is an obscure producer of Bandol called Gaussen.  One of Marc's assignments was to "figure out Bandol and teach the rest of us about it".  The next time he was in France he went straight to Provence and started exploring. On his return, he hosted a Bandol seminar for staff. ... Read More »