What sets good wine apart from great? It's a confluence of factors, but the most important element for me is elegance. Elegance is hard to describe, as it's obviously not a specific flavor or scent. Wines of elegance draw you in, they are beguiling. Nothing epitomizes elegance like the wines of Burgundy, and today's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Paul Pillot are some of the finest examples. Simply put, they are Burgundian elegance at its' very best.
There is a little domaine in Beaujolais which we love every aspect of and buy all we can from every vintage. the wine itself: an old-school, no-nonsense Gamay that can age for decades or be drunk with abandon in its youth. A rare and special combination found in so few wines. Clos de la Roilette, located in the village of Fleurie, covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus.
I couldn't be happier to debut Frerejean Frère today. It's not only a wine I adore, but an exclusive cuvée in partnership with my old sommelier friend, Kyle Ridington. Years of travel, networking and hard work culminate in a special, LIMITED release which Kyle helped shape, down to the final blend. His goal is to provide an exceptional Champagne at a sharp price. A rival to the mass-produced, big-brands. Kyle wants everyone to drink Champagne EVERYDAY! And so do we!
Italy does it again! Yet another new red wine discovery that stopped me in my tracks and amazed me with its singularity. Francesca and her husband Roberto Bruna cultivate their tiny 7.5 hectare estate in a river valley just 15km from the Mediterranean. Production is a mere 3000 cases spread over seven different wines. "Pulin" means "last born" in local dialect, as this wine is aged longer than any other Bruna wines and released later. This is their smallest production wine and therefore extremely limited.
For Burgundy nerds like me, watching the climbing prices for bottles from this storied area has been shocking. One of my greatest joys as a buyer is sourcing and discovering wines for the shop that over-deliver. Wines that possess soul and meaning without breaking the bank. The wines of Céline and Laurent Tripoz are one of my most exciting finds of the year. Their wines are everything I adore about Burgundy, without the sticker shock.
It's not just that this wine comes from a mere 10 rows of vines. It's also a wine of unmatched beauty, elegance and detail. Regardless of the less than 700 bottle production, this is still one of the most distinct and complete wines I have ever tasted from Italy. Perfumed, silky and utterly beguiling. If you have any doubt about wine's ability to transmit beauty, I encourage you to try this wine. It will change your mind.
Legendary wines aren't made every vintage. There are a dizzying array of factors that must go right in order for a winemaker to craft something truly special. However, about once a decade, the stars align and all facets fall into place. The result is a wine from a certain vintage that even outshines itself.
There are few more captivating wines than those of Claudio Vio, not just in Italy, but anywhere in the world. My first taste brought me back to the first time I tried Domaine de la Pépière's Muscadet, as they both transmit their land so clearly and so directly. When you drink Claudio's wines you experience something so singular, so unique, there is no equal.
Situated on the hillside of Carriane, Ingrid and Jean-Philippe Bouchet work close to 40 hectares of vines, creating diverse reds, crisp whites and delicate rosés. All farmed by hand and with out chemical intervention. The couple have instilled their love of land and vines to their children, who help with the day to day operations at the winery.
Those of you who had a chance to meet Eric Texier at the Louis/Dressner tasting last year probably learned quickly that he doesn't mince words. Eric is as direct and forthright with his opinions as they come. It's no surprise then, that this is exactly how he makes his wines.
These are wines I adore. They left their mark on me, as I can still remember the first bottle I ever tasted. These are not only some of the best Côtes du Rhônes, but some of the best red wines in all of France.
Trois Chardonnay is sourced from the Johan Vineyards on the coastal edge of the Willamette Valley. Biodynamically grown on marine sediment over granite bedrock. Native yeast fermented in a combination of used and one new French oak barrel
These steep, granitic vineyards are some of the most labor intensive anywhere in the world. To make wine anywhere is a challenge, but here it is back-breaking. These wines transport you to their rugged landscape with one with whiff.
Certain wines made me fall in love with wine. They were wines that dilated my pupils and took my breath away. They showed me wine was so much more than just a beverage. I couldn't help it, I needed to know more! Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet was one of those wines. These are wines with a clear and direct link to place. Wines of pure terroir.
Undoubtably one of the most exciting, young winemakers in the Loire. The speed at which he has garnered so much praise speaks to the remarkable quality of his wines. Originally from Bordeaux, Thibaud refined his craft while working for Burgundy's historic Domaine Charlopin. In 2009 he landed in the Loire and eventually started making wine under his own name from a tiny 3.5 hectares of Chenin Blanc.
We were first introduced to Les Dolomies by Rajat Parr over a casual dinner with friends at Bibi Ji, his restaurant in Santa Barbara. There were some incredible wines shared that evening. But one stood out, striking like a bolt of lightning. That wine was from the tiny estate of Les Dolomies.
Eleni & Edouard Vocoret have been generating buzz overseas since 2012, but their wines are finally hitting our shores. These are classically styled Chablis, all vitality and balance. But there is a youthful energy to these wines that I can't get enough of.
All spring we've been tasting rosés in every style, shape and hue culminating in todays' delightful 4-pack of our favorites! These are the most refreshing pink (and red!) pet-nats we have had to date. Crisp, delicate and light, these all feature a thirst-quenching acidity sure to cool you to the core!
Lucky for us, we have managed to lock down an outstanding allocation from Burgundy's rising stars, the Bret Brothers. Working with a mere 8 hectares (19 acres) of old vine plots, they produce top-notch, terroir-driven, biodynamic wine.