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          Take a look through our past articles pertaining to wine, tastings, and events. These will help you become a well-rounded wine-o!

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          April 16, 2021

          Salena’s Flavor of the Week – Garage Wine Co. País

          Garage Wine Co. was actually started in a garage in 2001 by Derek Mossman and wife Pilar Miranda. Ever since, the dynamic couple have dedicated their life's work to resurrecting old vineyards, working with farmers in the Maule and Itata regions. Quickly rising from making a few barrels for friends and families to internationally recognized and coveted bottles. Their Single Ferment Series was founded on the premise of reviving historic, native varieties, hence the name '215 BC', an hommage to País, which was being cultivated here some 215 years before Cabernet Sauvignon.
          April 14, 2021

          Exclusive: 2016 Maison Blanche Le Colombier

          I love Bordeaux, even though it has sadly been considered "not cool" in some wine circles for quite some time now. There is some truth to it, as a large portion of Chateaux from this historic and paramount region have fallen pray to 'Parkerisation.' Instead of sticking to their roots and favoring nuance, freshness and drinkability, many have succumbed to the American market and its' preference for big, oaky, fruit bombs; bearing no resemblance to the wines they once were. We should also mention the pricing, which tends to match the behemoth nature of the wines. Today's St-Émilion is the antithesis to those 'modern' beasts.
          April 6, 2021

          Exclusive: 2019 Whitcraft Faite de Mer Pinot Noir

          There are so few examples of successful, second-generation winemakers in North America. Drake Whitcraft has not only carried forward the standard set by his father Chris, but he has also envisioned new sites and varieties that continue the adventurous work his father started in 1985. This old world tradition of a family winery, and the wisdom passed from father to son, is what is most compelling to me. The vineyard is organic, biodynamic and dry farmed. Drake is the only person the vineyard owners sell grapes to and he is crazy pumped about this site. They sold him 1 ton, so he sold us 1 case.
          March 22, 2021

          Salena’s Flavor of the Week – Gaspard Sauvignon Blanc

          Known for many years in NYC's natural wine scene as the other half of pioneering wine importer, Jenny & François, Francois Ecot gave up city life and moved back home to become a vigneron. Working closely with several farmers and vignerons in the Loire Valley to produce a wine specifically for J&F Selections, he chose the name Gaspard, meaning treasure. It is the perfect name to describe these darling wines that capture the essence of Tourraine's terroir at an approachable price.
          March 19, 2021

          Exclusive: 2018 Cascina delle Rose Langhe Nebbiolo

          Of all the descriptions for wine, the one I love most is BEAUTIFUL. Yes, it's subjective (as are most things in wine) and hard to describe, but to paraphrase Justice Stewart "I know it when I taste it." Beautiful wines share a few common characteristics. Clear, defined aromatics with perfumed flowers and spice. They are balanced and detailed, with flavors that meld together yet are distinct from one another. Elusive wines that are both concentrated and lithe. Today's wine, from Cascine delle Rose, embodies all of these.
          March 8, 2021

          Producer Spotlight: Mathieu Coste

          Mathieu Coste has an impressive history in education, including Professor and Winery Director at the Beaune Viticulture School in Burgundy. After a short stint in the military, he began working for a co-op in the tiny, almost forgotten appellation of Coteaux du Giennois, just a stones throw from Sancerre. The influence of his pedigree is without a doubt reflected in one's first sip of his wines. Farming a mere five and a half hectares split between Gamay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, he grows everything biodynamically on the region's classic limestone soils. Matthieu is making some of the most breathtaking wines from this nearly forgotten land.
          March 3, 2021

          Exclusive: 2018 Pepiere Gras Mouton

          Situated in the village of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre, in France's Loire Valley, Domaine de la Pépière's Marc Olivier has been producing stunning wines for nearly 40 years. The domaine is named for the small village of La Pépière, where Marc was born and raised. La Pépière has its root in the word pépie, meaning thirst, a nod to the vibrant and thirst quenching wines that Olivier has dedicated his life to making. They take their time at Pépière. Everything is hand harvested (a rarity in the region) and only natural yeasts are used for fermentation. The vineyards are all old vines with a superb exposition on original root stock. Olivier is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards. These wines are true Muscadet.
          February 24, 2021

          Exclusive: 2018 Les Dolomies Boutanieres Chardonnay

          Last summer I sent an email offer about how I had to beg and plead for these wines. The response was overwhelming and unfortunately I didn't have enough to satisfy all of the requests. The wines from Les Dolomies are made in such tiny quantities, and allocations are so scarce, I never thought I'd be able to offer wines from this estate again. But sometimes lightning strikes the same place twice.
          February 11, 2021

          Producer Spotlight: Chateau Yvonne

          When I contemplate why most of you (hopefully!) read our emails, one of the main reasons would be for the insider tips. Wines and producers we feel are some of the greatest wines being produced today, yet fly under the radar. I was introduced to the Loire's Château Yvonne just over five years ago. The wines blew me away then, and their projection to one of the top estates in the Loire Valley (and France overall) has come as no surprise. What does surprise me is their recognition outside of the wine community, has yet to catch up to the quality of the wines. The Château, after all, is the heir apparent to the legendary (and recently sold) Clos Rougeard estate.
          January 29, 2021

          Monarch Exclusive: Foradori Fuoripista/Nosiola

          If you're a wine nerd like me, drinking various wines from the same wine maker, side by side, is thrilling and fascinating. Picking up on the similarities and differences between two wines, made by the same person, allows me to really get to know a producer on a deeper and profound level. Today's offer showcases two wines with stark variances, made by one of my favorite Italian winemakers, Elisabetta Foradori. What really makes this an interesting duo is that they are both white wines, so while it would be obvious to offer a white and red in a contrast study of style, these two white wines stand out on their own. Both unique and delicious, for completely different reasons.
          January 24, 2021

          Exclusive: 2019 Mas Coutelou Classe

          Mas Coutelou was one of the earliest estates in France to be officially certified organic (back in 1987). Nowadays, Jeff Coutelou is renowned as one of the foremost producers of natural wine in the Languedoc. This extends to using virtually no sulphur (very rare in the region) in order to preserve the purity and elegance of the old-vine fruit.
          January 19, 2021

          Producer Spotlight: Thomas Perseval Champagne

          Great wine elicits a wide range of positive emotions in me. When a wine really checks all my boxes, it can make the hair on my neck stand up and pupils dilate but I can't remember ever having an audible vocal reaction like the one I had when trying these Champagnes. 'Wow!' I exclaimed to myself in an empty, quiet store the first time I tasted a bottle of Thomas Perseval Champagne. It was exuberant and exciting, brilliant and delicious, living up to all its' praise and hype. I couldn't have been happier to finally have some on Monarch's shelves.
          January 12, 2021

          Exclusive: Tunia

          Tunia was born in 2008 when Chiara Innocenti and Francesca Di Benedetto purchased 25 hectares of ancient vineyards that had been abandoned and left fallow since the 1970s. Situated in the rolling hills near Arezzo, Tuscany, their land is remarkable. The 40 year-old vines soak in warm sunlight throughout the day and are cooled by persistent winds from nearby Lake Trasimeno. This is THE definition of a viticultural Camelot. We are thrilled to offer the ONLY bottles of Tunia available in South Carolina!
          December 11, 2020

          Exclusive: Domaine Paul Pilot

          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.
          December 11, 2020

          Producer Spotlight: Clos de la Roilette

          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.
          December 1, 2020

          Exclusive: Champagne Frerejean Frères ‘Ridington Selection’

          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!
          December 1, 2020

          Exclusive: 2012 Bruna ‘Pulin’

          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.
          November 10, 2020

          Exclusive: Domaine Tripoz

          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.
          October 3, 2020

          Exclusive: Nusserhof ‘T……o’ 2014

          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.
          October 3, 2020

          Exclusive: Gerard Duplessis ‘Montmains’ Chablis 2015

          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.