Insights

2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: The Beat Goes On

BY JOSH RAYNOLDS | JULY 18, 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings. If exuberant ripe fruit, harmonious tannins and […]

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Burgundy Under the Radar

BY NEAL MARTIN | JULY 17, 2018 Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur farms 12 hectares around the village of Volnay and Meursault, including a clutch of serious Volnay premier crus. I tasted a small selection of 2016s that had been recently bottled with winemaker François Bitouzet, the son of Vincent Bitouzet and Anne Prieur. Bitouzet practices organic viticulture […]

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Domaine Rollin and the 2015 Vintage: Power Made Graceful

We at Rosenthal Wine Merchant have been working with the Rollin family in Pernand-Vergelesses since 1982. Over the years, first with Maurice and his son Remi, and today with Remi and his son Simon, this rock-solid domaine has provided us with wines of finesse, character, and startling purity—and at prices that put to rest the […]

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2014 Ferrando Carema “Etichetta Bianca”

For us at Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Ferrando Carema is more than a wine; it’s an emblem—a one-wine encapsulation of our history, our aesthetic sensibilities, and our most deeply held values. Back in 1980, when Neal and Kerry were still lugging boxes around their Upper East Side shop themselves, it was the very first wine they […]

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2014 Brovia Barolo “Unio”: Going the Distance

Great vintages are a tango. Nature leads the grower, and the dance is certainly strenuous, but she seems ultimately to want to create something beautiful. Some growing seasons, however, are 15-round boxing matches, with Nature doing her damndest to leave her much smaller opponent utterly crushed. And in 2014 in the Langhe, Mother Nature was […]

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Domaine Chezeaux’s 2015s: Power and Harmony

For a former rugby player, Jerome Chezeaux produces some surprisingly sleek and elegant wines. Following up on a reference from Regis Forey, we began working with Domaine Chezeaux in the mid-1990s, having been immediately smitten by Jerome’s egoless, extraordinarily precise renderings of some of the finest sites in the southern sector of the Côte de […]

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Enoteca Bisson and the Bounty of Liguria

Enjoying the raw beauty of Liguria is a breeze, but making wine here is no mean feat. As with Cassis (spotlighted in last month’s piece on Domaine du Bagnol), Liguria produces scant quantities of wine that are dispensed of in large part by tourists who flock here to partake in the psychedelic gorgeousness of its […]

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These Provençal pours are not the rosé you expect

BY THE GLASS || By Ellen Bhang || GLOBE CORRESPONDENT || MAY 28, 2018 || The Mediterranean-hugging region of Provence in the sunny French South is arguably the most rosé-associated place on the planet. And while there is plenty of pink to be had, don’t let glossy ad campaigns lull you into thinking that’s all […]

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Light and Darkness: Danilo Thomain’s 2016 Enfer d’Arvier

Danilo Thomain talks like a tornado—the conversational embodiment of the boundless energy it takes to tend vines in such a steep, difficult terrain as the Enfer d’Arvier. The second-highest zone of the Valle d’Aosta in northwest Italy (only Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle—home of our renowned Ermes Pavese—lies above it), the Enfer d’Arvier […]

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Friuli Venezia Giulia: A Wine Smorgasbord

BY IAN D’AGATA | MAY 17, 2018 | No other region in Italy offers as large a selection of outstanding white wines from so many different grape varieties as Friuli Venezia Giulia does, while the region’s native red grapes yield wines that are equally distinctive. Make no mistake about it: Friuli Venezia Giulia is the […]

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Ghislaine Barthod’s 2015s: The Vintage of a Lifetime

The release of a new vintage from Ghislaine Barthod is always an eagerly anticipated and joyous occasion. There is perhaps no grower with a wider range of great vineyard holdings in Chambolle-Musigny, and Barthod’s lofty status in the current pantheon of top Burgundy estates is firmly established and beyond well-deserved. As the old adage goes, […]

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JACQUES CARILLON: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016 Frost: If you can’t imagine what a smaller Carillon allocation might look like, you are about to find out. Production was down about 50% from normal levels. No Chassagne Village was produced.

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JEAN-MARC PILLOT: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016 Bourgogne Blanc “Hauts des Champs”: because of frost damage in “Les Grands Champs”, Pillot used a nearby surviving parcel to make his Bourgogne Blanc. The location and character of this wine is very similar to our normal cuvee. 2016 Frost Loss: Jean-Marc lost about 70% of his chardonnay from the spring frost. Fortunately for […]

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BITOUZET: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016: Because of the limited production of Meursault, he blended “Clos du Cromin” and “Corbins” to make one cuvee. Rougly 60% Cromin and 40% Corbins. This one time cuvee will be named “Climats de Glace”.

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CORNU: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016 Bourgogne Blanc: Because of frost damage to this white grape parcel, Cornu combined all his surviving Chardonnay from Chorey, Ladoix, and Meursault and made 8 barrels (usually, he would have had 30 barrels of his three different whites) of Bourgogne Blanc. 2016 Savigny Rouge: not made because of frost damage. 2016 Ladoix “La Corvee”: […]

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ROLLIN: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016 Frost: Rollin joins Barthod as perhaps the worst affected by the spring frost. Production is down about 70%. They made no Aligotè and no “Ile des Vergelesses” (first time they haven’t produced this wine since they purchased the parcel in 1932). Also, they were permitted to purchase grapes for the Hautes Cotes de Beaune […]

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GHISLAINE BARTHOD: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather Conditions

2016 Frost: Among the hardest hit with frost among our vigneron in Burgundy, Ghislaine experienced the smallest harvest of career in 2016. Yields are down roughly 70% for the year, and she failed to produce “Combottes” and “Chatelots”. Prepare your clients who are lucky enough to receive allocations of the ’15 that there is going […]

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GEORGE LIGNIER: 2017 & 2016 Report on Consequences of Extreme Weather

Marsannay Rouge 2016: this wine was not made in 2016 due to the frost. The small number of grapes he was able to harvest were added to the Bourgogne Rouge. Marsannay Blanc 2016: did not make Marsannay Blanc due to frost damage. Aligotè: 2016: this wine failed to finish its fermentation and is still carrying […]

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GRAPELIVE: WINE OF THE DAY MAY 2, 2018

2015 Domaine de la Petite Mairie, Bourgueil Rouge “Butte de Tyron” Loire Valley, France. A new domaine to me, Domaine de la Petite Mairie, is owned and managed by Corinne and James Petit, an enthusiastic couple who passionately care for their vines in the Bourgueil region of France’s Loire Valley, making studied and elegant versions […]

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Domaine Prudhon’s 2015 Whites and 2014 Reds

The combination of 2015 white wines and 2014 red wines produced by Domaine Prudhon comprises a rock-solid source of Burgundy of incredible-value.. While the natural richness of a solar vintage like 2015 had the potential to yield unwieldy, unbalanced white Burgundies for those growers who favor a more heavy-handed approach, Prudhon’s chiseled, acid-driven style counterbalanced […]

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Cappellano’s Haunting 2013s

Each year, a rapt audience of Piemonte die-hards eagerly awaits the release of a new vintage from the Cappellano family in Serralunga d’Alba. In a zone so seduced by modern methods over the past few decades, Cappellano is the rare estate that never made concessions to technological trickery, never changed their wines to suit the […]

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Hubert & Laurent Lignier’s Triumphant 2015s

We look with great anticipation toward the end of April, when we will receive the 2015s (plus three 2016 regional-level wines) from the domaine of Hubert and Laurent Lignier—the source of perhaps our greatest and most awe-inspiring red Burgundy since the 1978 vintage. Last year, there was much to celebrate with the arrival of Lignier’s […]

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Wineaux: Collecting nun stories and nun wine

  Wineaux By Susana Leonardi My high school biology teacher, Sister Mary Justine (or maybe it was Sister Mary Martine — I confuse them) made the class spell aloud, in unison, the name of our current unit: S-E-X. I have no idea why shouting the letters was somehow more acceptable than her just saying the […]

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Chateau Le Puy New Releases | Spring 2018

We began our partnership with the inimitable Chateau Le Puy only about a year and a half ago, but our aesthetic and philosophical alignment makes it feel like it has been decades. And, given the voraciousness and enthusiasm with which our clientele has embraced the estate’s wines, the market was more than ready for Bordeaux […]

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Introducing San Fereolo’s “Vigne Dolci”

A New Face of Dolcetto Dolcetto is regularly treated as a second-class citizen in the high-dollar, high-prestige district of Barolo, with growers relegating it to unfavorably exposed parts of their holdings and producing it in a quick, straightforward fashion. Barolo is Nebbiolo country, plain and simple, and while one can hardly fault its producers for […]

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New Releases from Paolo Bea Featuring the Blockbuster 2011 Vintage

For Rosenthal Wine Merchant’s longtime clients, the wines of Azienda Agricola Paolo Bea likely need no introduction. Since the mid-1980s, the bold, unpolished, yet intellectually stimulating and singular wines from this beautiful family farm in Montefalco, Umbria, have delighted and challenged a steadily growing fan base in the United States. Now, each new series of […]

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Your Next Lesson: Rosso di Montalcino

By Eric Asimov March 1, 2018 Back in the early days of Wine School, we focused on Chianti Classico, the signature red of Tuscany. Now we head to a different part of Tuscany to drink Rosso di Montalcino. Rosso di Montalcino is the younger sibling of Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello must be aged for at […]

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In Pomerol, Wines of Grandeur From Modest Estates

excerpt from: THE POUR By Eric Asimov Feb. 26, 2018 POMEROL, France — The word Bordeaux connotes magnificent chateaus, aristocratic (or at least wealthy or corporate) landowners and wines that occasionally live up to their pretensions. But in the vine-covered countryside surrounding this sleepy village, where the tiniest undulation of the land constitutes a hill, […]

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THE 2017 ROSE REPORT PART IV

LOIRE VALLEY …. LOIRE VALLEY Although the Loire Valley’s wine regions experienced a few episodes of frost during the 2017 growing season—a calamity that seems to becoming de rigueur in these post-climate-change pseudo-winters and early flowerings—they were thankfully spared many of the stressors that plagued the deep south. None of our five rosé-producing growers throughout the region […]

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THE 2017 ROSE REPORT PART III

LANGUEDOC AND CORBIERES …. LANGUEDOCA huge variety of terroirs exist within the Languedoc’s vastness, and one particularly great one is having its moment: the Terrasses du Larzac, a zone just north of Montpellier and inland from the Mediterranean. The number of wine-producing domaines there has ballooned from 30 to 110 over the past decade, as […]

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THE 2017 ROSE REPORT CONTINUED

A QUARTET FROM THE SOUTHERN RHONE …. In the ever-thirsty global rose marketplace, it is Provence that is held up as the gold (or, shall we say, pale salmon) standard—for color, for texture, for flavor profile, and for ease of use. There are many consumers who look askance at any rose that isn’t ultra-pale and […]

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Eight Star Producers in France’s New South

FEBRUARY 7, 2018 story: JON BONNÉ Meet the winemakers leading the revolution in dry, mineral-driven wines in the Roussillon. When anyone thought about the southern French region of Roussillon, it was as the latter half of the awkward geographic mashup “Languedoc-Roussillon,” which was mostly known for stylish, ripe wines. A few informed souls might have […]

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THE 2017 ROSE REPORT:

ON THE ROAD WITH JEREMY, NEIL AND CLARKE VISITING THE GROWERS AND REPORTING FROM THE FIELD PROVENCE AND THE LUBERON As was the case throughout the south of France, the defining characteristic of the 2017 growing season in Provence was the profound drought. Our growers in the Cotes de Provence, Bandol, Cassis, and the Cotes […]

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2014 Barbarescos: Triumphs and Question Marks

WINES OF THE TIMES By Eric Asimov Feb. 8, 2018 Oakiness was not an issue in the bottles we liked best. Our top wine, from De Forville, was a classic Barbaresco of the old school, with beautiful floral and anise flavors and an earthy minerality. It was a complete wine and, though accessible now, will […]

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New Releases from Jean-Marc Pillot

With his impressive array of holdings throughout Chassagne-Montrachet, complemented by parcels in Puligny-Montrachet, Santenay, and Montagny, Jean-Marc Pillot is among our most important suppliers of Burgundy. Since our first vintage together nearly twenty years ago, we have watched Jean-Marc—a fourth generation vigneron—find his way and become a true master of his craft, and today his […]

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Your Next Lesson: Value Bordeaux

By Eric AsimovFeb. 1, 2018 For our next topic, let’s return to what may now be familiar ground, Bordeaux. Previously, we’ve looked at two very different appellations within Bordeaux, Haut-Médoc and Pomerol. This time, the topic will be defined by value rather than place. The dominant image of Bordeaux is one of imposing chateaus, patrician […]

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Red Burgundy 2016 and 2015, Part 1: Two Terrific but Very Different Vintage

BY STEPHEN TANZER | JANUARY 25, 2018 Despite extreme weather conditions in both 2016 and 2015, Burgundy’s Côte d’Or has produced an outstanding pair of back-to-back vintages studded with hauntingly beautiful reds. Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur || Domaine Georges Lignier || Domaine Ghislaine Barthod || Domaine Fourrier/Jean-Marie Fourrier Ten years from now, when their painful memories of […]

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Introducing Les Matheny The Enduring Magic of the Jura

Twenty years ago, no one could have predicted the Jura’s current popularity. Twenty years or so ago, when we first crossed the threshold of Jacques Puffeney’s cellar door, there was nary a true Jura wine present in the US market. The oxidative whites and perplexing reds produced from the unheard of Trousseau and Poulsard varieties […]

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Introducing Domaine du Nozay

A New Face in Sancerre Our market here in the United States seems to possess an unquenchable thirst for Sancerre. A clean, fresh wine with plenty of character; a lovely and easy-to-pronounce name; a grape variety everybody knows; what’s not to like? Unfortunately, much like Provençal rosé, the lion’s share of Sancerre is produced from […]

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Six Affordable Bordeaux Worth the Hunt (Seriously)

Proof it’s possible to find charming expressions of the region’s native grapes, without undue manipulation and around $30. JANUARY 17, 2018 story: Jon Bonné photo: Lizzie Munro. Bordeaux may be big business, but this most influential of wine regions exists far outside today’s currents. At times, with its baked-in sense of superiority, it can come […]

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2014 Montevertine “Le Pergole Torte”

“Great producers make great wines even in tough vintages”: it’s almost a cliché at this point, but few prove that as forcefully as the legendary Montevertine estate in Radda-in-Chianti. Montevertine as we know it today began back in 1967, when Milanese steel magnate Sergio Manetti acquired the property as a summer home. Within a few […]

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Chateau Pradeaux: New Wines, Old Spirit

One must search ever harder in the great viticultural regions of France these days to find examples of long and unbroken tradition. Market pressures and the conveniences of technology have lured so many growers, even in hallowed areas, to sculpt their wines more obsessively, to shorten their aging regimens, and to soften them up for […]

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New Releases from Chateau Simone: January 2018

With its dazzling geological diversity, its ideal latitudinal situation, and its long, proud winegrowing history, France is an embarrassment of vinous riches. It is no accident that it was the French themselves who coined the term terroir—the magical union of soil, climate, grape variety, and knowing human touch which produces that elusive but undeniable sense […]

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Regis Forey’s 2015s: A New Milestone

For the vigneron, even great vintages carry with them potential pitfalls. The 2015 growing season in Burgundy was a relative breeze, with even ripening, ample sunshine, little disease pressure, and stellar conditions at harvest time. As with other “solar” vintages like 2005 and 2009, the temptation to really lean into such healthy, beautiful fruit in […]

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New Releases from Michel Gahier (Arbois, Jura)

Amidst the lush, verdant, rolling hills of the Jura, surrounded by plentiful cattle, occasional vineyards, and little else, one can still profoundly feel the ancient agrarian heartbeat of old France. Here, unlike almost anywhere else in the Old World, persists a robust winemaking tradition of careful, intuitive vineyard management, confidently unobtrusive cellar work, and a […]

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New Northern Rhône Releases from Yves Cuilleron

Around January 8th, we will receive a monumental set of wines from the tireless Yves Cuilleron, encompassing his red wines from the majestic 2015 vintage and his appellation white wines from 2016. These represent the 30th vintage we have been working with Yves, and we have witnessed with amazement his development and expansion since his […]

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Monastero Suore Cistercensi

New Releases: 2016 “Coenobium” and “Ruscum” It’s hard to believe that we are about to receive our twelfth vintage from the sisters of Monastero Suore Cistercensi. Led by Adriana and Fabiola (pictured left), these nuns have been organically farming their five hectares of vines in Vitorchiano (an hour or so north of Rome) in the […]

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Some Thoughts About Our Friulian Trio

The Gravner operation is serene, simple, spotless, and small. The tour of the facility is quick, and each space is intelligently designed and spared of clutter or unnecessary objects. There is a holistic feeling throughout the endeavor. Josko was very cheerful and talkative (Mateja is traveling). The wines are as Neal described, and are totally […]

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Bubbles, Bubbles: No Toil, No Trouble With Our Bubbly List

Raise a glass for holiday wines. By Andrea Clurfeld | | November 27, 2017 It’s the time of year when almost everyone’s thoughts turn to gift giving. Yes, ’tis the season to be giving. There’s hardly a situation when giving a gift is wrong. The rub, it seems, is what to give. I’m going to […]

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Sicily’s “Il Censo” New Releases

Arriving December 16th Giampiero Bea, one of our dearest friends and collaborators, has an uncanny knack for finding and cultivating talent. As co-founder and president of ViniVeri—a well-respected consortium of winegrowers dedicated to producing wine as naturally as possible—he has introduced us to numerous growers whose ethos and aesthetics align with our own (Giovanna Morganti […]

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Last-Minute Buys for Thanksgiving Wines

By Eric AsimovNov. 16, 2017  Thanksgiving is just about here. Preparations are well underway, everything seems to be in order, except … we forgot about the wine. This is not a drill. Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other outsized entertainment situation, it is entirely possible that crucial but peripheral elements to the feast are lost […]

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The Dragonfly: A Sign Of A Healthy Environment

A REPORT FROM THE ROVELLOTTI FAMILY IN GHEMME I received a note yesterday from my good friend, Antonello Rovellotti, who was brimming with good cheer because of the healthy state of his vineyards in Baragiola, recognized as the top “cru” in Ghemme. He recounted that back when he was a young boy (and he is […]

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New Supplier in Southern Rhone

Our first encounter with Mikael Boutin occurred last February in the tiny and charming village of Rasteau. Mikael, who was directed to us through an acquaintance from New Orleans, solicited us out of the blue, via email. Intrigued by the details of his small domaine and excited at the prospect of adding this appellation to […]

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Domaine Jean Chauvenet’s 2014s

Power, Precision, and Purity Nuits-Saint-Georges is rarely the first village mentioned when Burgundy enthusiasts begin to wax rhapsodic about their favorite appellations. With their assertive, articulate nature, their ability to deliver visceral mineral intensity, and their sometimes tough and savory flavors, they possess neither the seductive lusciousness of Chambolle-Musigny nor the warm earthiness of Gevrey-Chambertin—and […]

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Caves Jean et Sébastien Dauvissat Vinous

From Chablis Gets the Côte de Beaune Treatment from Mother Nature (Jul 2016) by Stephen Tanzer Caves Jean et Sébastien Dauvissat Despite the hailstorm and significant rainfall in the early morning hours of September 1, the grapes were very healthy and ripe in 2015–12% potential alcohol for the village wines and 12.2% to 12.5% for […]

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Jean-Marc Pillot Vinous

From 2016 & 2015 White Burgundy (Sep 2017) by Stephen Tanzer Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Jean-Marc Pillot told me that based on the frost in 2016 and the date of the flowering he should have picked on October 3, but in the end he started on September 22 owing to the sustained hot weather from mid-July […]

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Domaine Jacques Carillon Vinous

From 2016 & 2015 White Burgundy (Sep 2017) by Stephen Tanzer Domaine Jacques Carillon Carillon’s 2016s were barely starting their secondary fermentations at the beginning of June and thus were untasteable at the time of my visit. Carillon told me he was surprised by their natural acidity levels considering the lateness of the harvest. “The […]

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20 Wines for Under $20: Weeknight Pleasures for Relaxed Evenings

Eric Asimov THE POUR Sept. 21, 2017 The requirements for weeknight cooking are easy to understand, but weeknight wine? It’s a bit more conceptual. The last thing anyone wants after a long day of work is to put in another few hours over a cutting board and stove. But where is the labor in opening […]

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Domaine du Gour de Chaulé & Domaine Lionnet – Josh Raynolds

2015 Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Gigondas Cuvée Tradition Brilliant ruby. A heady bouquet evokes ripe red and blue fruits, Indian spices and smoky minerals, along with a hint of candied lavender in the background. Deeply concentrated yet energetic black raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors unfold slowly, picking up a licorice quality that expands on […]

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Rewriting the Right Bank Rules – 2014 Releases from Chateaux Le Puy and Belregard-Figeac

In the year we’ve been working with Chateau Le Puy, this singular and idiosyncratic Right Bank estate has made a multitude of fans—and even changed the way many people think about what Bordeaux can be. In a region known for its conservatism, where a fixation on polish, extraction, and control often straitjackets its wines, Bordeaux […]

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The 2013 Cru Barolos from Brovia

Each summer, as we approach Labor Day and make final preparations for the autumn shipments, one early-October arrival is always circled as perhaps the highlight of the season from our Italian growers: the single annual release of the majestic cru Barolos from Brovia. The 2013 vintage hardly needs an introduction, as it has already been […]

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Two Vintage Expressions from Montevertine:

2015 Pian del Ciampolo and 2014 Montevertine “Montevertine” Few releases garner as much interest and excitement as those from Montevertine. Ever since we announced our partnership in 2006, Martino Manetti’s wines have been touchstones of the RWM portfolio. Fittingly, the duo of wines arriving this September—the 2014 Montevertine “Montevertine” and the 2015 Montevertine “Pian del […]

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Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois A Sunny 2015 Vintage

In the decade since we first encountered Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, Chantal and Eric Coudert’s classically styled Beaujolais have filled an important niche in the Rosenthal Wine Merchant portfolio. Humble yet exuberant folks, Chantal and Eric provide us with sensational cru Beaujolais that stand proudly among the best wines in the region. While […]

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Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy’s 2014 Vintage A Gevrey-Chambertin Master Class

Gevrey-Chambertin accounts for the largest surface area under vine in the entire Cote de Nuits, and it can be challenging to get a handle on its broad range of terroirs. How fortunate we at Rosenthal Wine Merchant are, then, to work with Harmand-Geoffroy—a long-established domaine whose enviable holdings lie entirely within the limits of Gevrey, […]

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The 2015 Vintage from Jacques Carillon

With its inherent richness and density, the 2015 vintage posed a challenge to the Burgundian vigneron: how to make wines of balance and elegance that harness the power of the vintage without succumbing to it. At Domaine Jacques Carillon, one senses the touch of a true master operating at the peak of his powers. In […]

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Domaine Fourrier – Report on the 2015 Vintage

It is with much anticipation that we await the release of the 2015 vintage from Domaine Fourrier toward the middle of August. Our tastings of the 2015s with Jean-Marie Fourrier last September (out of barrel) and this past March (just after bottling) revealed another impressive vintage from one of our most exciting and reliable growers. […]

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Summer/Autumn Sparkling Wine Program

An ideal time to become familiar with our exceptional growers We at Rosenthal Wine Merchant have championed great and distinctive sparkling wines for the entirety of our near-forty-year existence. Since 1981, we have imported the elegant, classical Champagnes of Guy Larmandier in Vertus—long before there was even a “grower Champagne” movement to speak of. We […]

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Rosenthal Wine Merchant’s Ciro producer prominently mentioned

Robert Camuto: Letter From EuropeWine SpectatorJuly 24, 2017 Calabria Rocks Can Cirò be Italy’s next big thing? A new generation is on the move. Cirò is the kind of wine place I want to root for. This ancient Calabrian wine region in sun-baked southern Italy offers a gorgeous countryside of ancient olive trees and undulating […]

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Domaine Hubert Lignier – Report – Hail damage in the vineyards

We received a note from Laurent Lignier today, detailing the extent of the damage from a severe hailstorm last week. Both Morey and Gevrey were hit, with particular severity in Clos de la Roche, Charmes Chambertin and Gevrey 1er Cru “Aux Combottes”. The premier crus of Chaffots, Riotte and the Vieilles Vignes holdings were also […]

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New Releases from the Mountains: Joseph Dorbon, Domaine Overnoy Crinquand and Domaine Louis Magnin

Just in time to mark the beginning of July, we are all set to receive an impressive group of wines from the cool mountains of France. Specifically, we expect new arrivals from Joseph Dorbon and Mickael Crinquand in the Jura and Louis and Béatrice Magnin in the Savoie. It is no secret that we at […]

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Domaine Henri & Gilles Buisson’s 2015s: Saint-Romain’s Sweet Spot

It was clear with the 2014s we brought in toward the end of last year that brothers Franck and Frédérick Buisson had truly hit their stride. Having gradually assumed control of the family vineyards and cellar over the past decade, these young men—the eighth generation of Buisson in Saint-Romain—have sharpened and refined the impeccable vineyard […]

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2017 Rosé Roundup: Drink Now, Drink Later

BY JOSH RAYNOLDS | JUNE 27, 2017 Among the oldest of many wine cliché’s is that Rosés don’t age well and, like seersucker suits, are out of style after the Labor Day following the vintage. While wearing summer suits out of season might not be in good taste, drinking the best pink wines year-round is […]

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20 Wines Under $20: The Savory Side of Rosé

Eric Asimov THE POUR JUNE 22, 2017 If for no other reason than popular demand, summer is rosé season. These wines, once pitilessly disparaged as dull and anemic, have been hotter than July for a decade, a climactic shift that shows no signs of letting up. In the past few months, three books on rosé […]

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New Releases from the Northern Rhône.

Etienne Becheras * Domaine Lionnet * Bernard Levet Guillaume Gilles * Xavier Gerard By: Neal Rosenthal & Neil Rosen We will soon receive our most significant shipments of the year from our producers in the Northern Rhône. Recently, we have made substantial additions to our Northern Rhône portfolio; thus, this annual offer has grown to […]

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Bordeaux Estate Makes Fine Wines Naturally

Eric Asimov THE POUR JUNE 16, 2017 ST.-CIBARD, France — The French have a notion that has no real counterpart in English for discussing a delicious wine. It is digestibilité, digestibility in English, a single word that, like terroir, connotes something far more complex. Digestibilité begins with deliciousness, but it also indicates wines that are […]

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In the Cellar with Augusto Cappellano

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2013 Carema from Ferrando

Whenever we think about the idea of terroir, we think of Carema.  The word terroir is frequently used casually when talking about wine. Often a wine is labeled “terroir-driven” if it is viewed as a quality wine that has balance and a pure, unbroken expression of its agricultural beginnings. When asked to give a definition, […]

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New Arrivals from Chateau Le Puy:

2013 “Emilien” and the debut of Duc des Nauves The very existence of Chateau Le Puy almost defies belief. In, of all places, Bordeaux—a region that fell especially hard for the oak-and-muscles approach favored by certain critics and point-chasers over the past few decades—there exists a sizable and historic estate that has never made even […]

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The Carso: Stone and Sea

Benjamin Zidarich and Paolo Vodopivec Terroir, of course, is more than the soil beneath our feet. It is the air around us, and the sky above us. It is the people who work the land, and the cellars in which the wines come to life. It is the distinct soul of a distinct place—a spirit, […]

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The Obamas Drinking Gravner in Italy

I don’t know if you saw the news—I only saw it reported in Italian outlets—but the Obamas were in Italy last weekend and participated in a wine tasting and dinner where they drank the 2008 Gravner Ribolla Gialla.  There was a neat quote about the wine in Corriere della Sera: “Perché questi vini italiani mi […]

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The 2014 Vintage from Jérôme Chezeaux

Working in his dark and simple cellar on a side street in the sleepy village of Prémeaux-Prissey, Jérôme is a rare sight today in the Côte de Nuits. The overwhelming interest in the Côte de Nuits (and its subsequent pricing) that we have seen in recent years has changed the landscape of this esteemed sector […]

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Domaine Ghislaine Barthod’s 2014s: A Chambolle-Musigny Master Class

The release of a new vintage from Ghislaine Barthod is always an eagerly anticipated and joyous occasion. There is perhaps no grower with a wider and more enviable range of great vineyard holdings in Chambolle-Musigny, and Barthod’s lofty status in the current pantheon of great Burgundy estates is firmly established and beyond well-deserved. As the […]

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Domaine Lignier: Clos de la Roche 1978-2014

BY ANTONIO GALLONI | MAY 2, 2017 Domaine Lignier’s Clos de la Roche is one of Burgundy’s most renowned wines. This remarkable vertical of twenty vintages went back to 1978 and encompassed three distinct eras of the domaine’s distinguished history. Historical Background Domaine Lignier was founded in the late 1880s, but its modern-day history begins […]

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New Arrivals from Cappellano: Spring 2017

A new round of releases from the fabled Cappellano estate in Serralunga d’Alba is always a cause for celebration. We began our partnership with this family five years ago, and each year we and our clients eagerly await the arrival of these soulful, personal, ultra-traditional expressions of one of Barolo’s greatest terroirs. In a region […]

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A Wine with the Rhythm of Beaujolais and the Soul of Burgundy

What if Beaujolais and red Burgundy had a love child? Megan Krigbaum on Passetoutgrain, a historic but little-known appellation in Burgundy responsible for high-quality, affordable wines made from gamay and pinot noir. PUNCH: APRIL 19, 2017  story: MEGAN KRIGBAUM  photo: LIZZIE MUNRO Could there be any wine more ideal than one with the pedigree of […]

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The 2015 Vintage from Philippe Foreau: The Vintage of a Lifetime

Tasting wine in the dark, cool cellar at the fabled Domaine du Clos Naudin is one of the greatest pleasures of our grower visits. Philippe Foreau’s ambient cellar was dug beneath his vineyards and formed from the same tuffeau stone that donates its mineral complexity to these remarkable wines. Philippe always comes prepared and sets […]

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Yves Cuilleron – 2015 Northern Rhones: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

April 2017Vinous By Josh RaynoldsYves Cuilleron “Since I like Syrah that’s powerful and expressive, 2015 is a fantastic vintage where nature basically made the wine,” Yves Cuilleron told me. He pointed out that ’15 is “an extremely unique year because it’s like a mix of the best qualities of the best vintages of the last […]

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Xavier Gerard – 2015 Northern Rhones: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

April 2017Vinous By Josh Raynolds François et Xavier Gérard Wine Tasting Notes Score Saint-Joseph Le Blanchard Youthful purple. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of dark berries and violet on the expressive nose. At once fleshy and lithe, offering appealingly sweet blackberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors, plus a building suggestion of smokiness. Shows very good clarity […]

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Bernard Levet – 2015 Northern Rhones: Outstanding Wines for the Long Haul

April 2017Vinous By Josh Raynolds Famille Levet With a mere three and a half hectares of vines, all of them in Côte-Rôtie, the Levets’ wines will never be especially easy to find, but they have become a beacon for fans of traditional renditions of the appellation. Made with a high percentage of whole clusters (100% […]

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Raise Your Glass: Small French Vintner Makes a Splendid Red

La ManarineCotes du Rhone, Red, 2014Travaillan, France, $13.99 In the world of wine, Domaine La Manarine is a relatively minor player — about 89 acres of vines, 60,000 bottles of wine a year — and that’s a good thing. Good, because the wines made there by owner Gilles Gasq are well-crafted and a great value, […]

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Domaine Hubert Lignier’s 2014 Releases

Over the ages, through marriages, births, deaths, retirements, leases, and purchases, stewardship of the finely-rendered grid of hallowed terroir that is the Côte d’Or shifts constantly. It is the roving lens by which we have come to know these vineyards over many hundreds of years–the ever-moving human counterpoint to the relative permanency and fixedness of […]

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New 2013 Releases from the Cote d’Or

It has been our custom in recent years to let many noteworthy releases arrive at our NY warehouse without any fanfare. Within any given year, there are a throng of important and extremely limited wines that we are compelled to offer and allocate to our clients. We often call your attention to wines that are […]

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Introducing Château La Fleur Garderose

Over the last few years, we have witnessed a small revolution among the vignerons in this historic region. Rising from the ashes of over-oaked, over-marketed, and often uninspiring wines, we find a group of thoughtful and talented individuals who are determined to bring terroir to a region that has almost entirely obliterated this ideal over […]

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La Torre 2012 Brunello di Montalcino

93+ pts La Torre 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Montalcino, Tuscany Red wine from Italy Drinking window: 2023 – 2032 Bright red-ruby. Nicely ripe aromas of raspberry, red cherry syrup, minerals and rose petal are concentrated but fresh. Then juicy, intense and sharply delineated, with lovely lift to the very pure flavors of redberries, minerals and […]

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New Arrivals from Domaine Henri Prudhon: Tradition, Harmony, and Value

Those who decry the lack of access to fine Burgundy need look no further than Domaine Henri Prudhon in Saint-Aubin. While it is undeniably true that the prices of many wines from the most battled-after growers have reached the level of pure commodity, there are still areas of this hallowed region where one can find […]

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Switzerland’s Liquid Assets: Wines of the Valais

Wine & Spirits Decades of high tariffs kept the country’s wine producers from exporting abroad. But at long last, Swiss bottles are popping up on menus and merchants’ shelves. By Anthony Giglio on February 07, 2017 Any adventurous skier who has the temerity to take four cable cars from the Swiss resort village of Verbier […]

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La Manarine 2016 Rosé

This afternoon we enjoyed the delicious 2016 Cotes du Rhone Rosé with the always friendly Gilles Gasq.  He describes the 2016 vintage as powerful with great balance and finesse.  Compared to the equally strong 2015 vintage, the 16’s for him have a greater balancing acidity which delivers a dynamic freshness. The 2016 Rose is 50% […]

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Chateau Pradeaux 2016 Rosé Report

Our visit on the last day of the trip with Etienne Portalis—the 14th successive generation at Chateau Pradeaux in Bandol—was uplifting and encouraging. Etienne is a smart, humorous young guy who clearly understands the uniquely old-school position Pradeaux holds within an appellation that has been modernizing and softening itself up over the past decade or […]

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Chateau Simone Rosé Wrap-up

As befits such a singular estate, Chateau Simone’s Palette Rosé transcends the category itself. Whereas, nearly every other rosé entering the market this upcoming season is from the just-harvested 2016 growing season, we will be premiering Simone’s 2015. And those who know the wine know that it can age and improve effortlessly for a decade […]

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Chateau Peyrassol 2016 Rosé Report

There was no better end to our rosé tour than a visit to the bucolic hills of Provence to visit with our most significant provider of rose, Chateau Peyrassol. Our relationship started in 1981, when Neal first visited Francoise Rigord and purchased the first rosé in the Rosenthal Wine Merchant portfolio. Peyrassol has evolved over […]

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Great Wines to Discover

88 Ermes Pavese – Valle d’Aosta Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle 2014 $30 Apple, straw and lemon flavors mark this juicy white, which features a chalky underpinning, finishing with a touch of grip. Prié Blanc. Drink now. 7253 bottles imported. – B.S. (Bruce Sanderson)

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Domaine du Bagnol 2016 Cassis Rosé

We had an amazing afternoon by the sea in the stunning village of Cassis to taste the 2016 vintage rosé and grab a quick lunch with the Genovesi family. It was the perfect setting to take our first look at the Domaine du Bagnol 2016 Cassis Rosé.  Jean-Louis describes the 2016 vintage to be very […]

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Bastide du Claux Rosé Wrap-up

In 2002, then-28 year old Sylvain Morey branched out from his native Chassagne-Montrachet to found Bastide du Claux–in (of all places) the Luberon, in the rugged hills of northern Provence. Sylvain has an intimate understanding of the terroirs of his place of origin (as the wines from his newly founded Domaine Sylvain Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet […]

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Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Rosé Wrap-up

One would never expect such a racy, nuanced, vibrant rosé to come from such a warm and rugged appellation as Gigondas–then again, Domaine du Gour de Chaulé is not your average Southern Rhône estate. Run today by the searching, intelligent Stephanie Fumoso, Gour de Chaulé produces a Gigondas Rouge almost shocking in its spicy complexity […]

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Chateau Valcombe 2016 Rosé

We just finished up a phenomenal tasting with Luc Guenard of Chateau Valcombe and we’re heading south to the Luberon.  Luc is doing incredible work at the domaine, making wines with great personality and energy — without a doubt some of the best values in our portfolio. The 2016 Chateau Valcombe Rosé “Epicure” is outstanding.  […]

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Fenouillet Ventoux Rosé

Happy Valentine’s Day from Beaumes de Venise–a fitting day to bring you news of the first of four rosés we will be tasting today. Wearing a pale salmon color, the Domaine de Fenouillet 2016 Ventoux Rosé is vibrant and balanced compared to the richer rosés you often find in the Southern Rhone.  It is a […]

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Mas Jullien Rosé Wrap-up

Olivier Jullien‘s rosé, from the craggy high-altitude vineyards of the Terrasses du Larzac, sits alongside Chateau Pradeaux and Chateau Simone in that very slim category of rosés that improve and develop with a few years of bottle age. Whereas, saignée rosés sometimes suffer from heaviness and unnecessary fruit weight, Olivier’s offers the same fresh, lifted […]

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2016 Mas Cal Demoura Rosé

2016 looks to be a promising vintage for Mas Cal Demoura.   The dry weather during July and August stressed the vines so as to produce low yields (22 HL per hectare) but, as a result of relatively cold nights in July and the strength of the vines due to the hard work of Isabelle and […]

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Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie rosé

On this cold, rainy day in Douzens, we  enjoyed the 2016 Faillenc Sainte Marie Rosé des Glacières, partially thanks to the fire that the Gibert family had going to keep things warm. This rose is always 100% Syrah, made in the saignée method, from a 2-hectare parcel that is always picked early (in this instance […]

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Dolcetto: Italy’s Overshadowed, Underestimated Wine

Dolcetto has long been in the shadow of Piedmont’s much more famous Nebbiolo grape. But for wine lovers, that’s good news: Top Dolcettos are among the best bargains around By LETTIE TEAGUE Updated Feb. 8, 2017 SOME GRAPES, through no fault of their own, are the perennial plus-one, the second banana, the vinous add-on. That’s […]

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La Rame rosé wrap-up

Although Chateau La Rame is most renowned for its impeccable botrytized sweet wines (arguably the greatest producer in the appellation of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont), they produce dry wines of terrific balance and outstanding value. Their 2016 Bordeaux Rosé is a trace lighter in color than previous vintages–more a shimmering silvery salmon than a bright pink. Produced from […]

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Chateau de l’Eperonnière rosé wrap-up

Mathieu Tijou’s Chateau de l’Eperonnière Rosé de Loire this vintage is–well–PINK… Not salmon, not copper, not silvery, but the pure Platonic ideal of pink. Mathieu explained to us that he presses the grapes under a blanket of inert gas in order to prevent any trace of oxidation and to preserve that electric hue. Primarily Cabernet […]

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BOURGUEIL 2016 ROSÉ

The  Bourgueil Rosé, as always, is 100% Cabernet Franc, produced via equal parts direct press and saignée.  In 2016, James Petit suffered shocking losses due to the severe April frost.  Production is down about 85%, but fortunately he was able to reserve roughly the same amount of rosé for us that we typically receive (the […]

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Chateau Soucherie Rosé Wrap-up

The first thing that struck us about Chateau Soucherie’s 2016 Rosé de Loire was its color: incredibly delicate and pale, hinting at a wine of total lightness and elegance. Indeed, Soucherie typically produces one of our most racy, evanescent rosés, and 2016 is no exception. Made from 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Gamay from a […]

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Philippe Gilbert, Menetou-Salon – a nice start to the journey today

We left our afternoon visit with Philippe Gilbert marveling at how far he has come as a vigneron. In the late 1990s, Philippe left a promising career as a dramaturge to take over his father’s estate when he was on the brink of retirement. Philippe  gradually converted to biodynamic viticulture (certified in 2013), eschewed the […]

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Crochet rosé wrap-up

We started the day bright and early in Crochet‘s teeth-chatteringly frigid cellar, but the dense, electric 2016 Sancerre Rosé quickly snapped us to attention. Long a standout in our stable of classic rosés, this 2016 is shaping up to be among the finest vintages we’ve yet encountered. Gilles produces this wine from younger Pinot Noir […]

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Dinner chez Crochet

Some photos at the dining table of Gilles, Laurence and Esther Crochet. Pot au feu, root vegetables, goat cheeses of different ages and lots of Sancerre Rouge 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2012 Prestige, 2009 Prestige, 1997 Prestige. NIR

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Guy Larmandier

Today, in Vertus on the Cote des Blancs, we visited with Francois Larmandier of Champagne Guy Larmandier. The current release of his Vertus Brut Rose 1er Cru is from the 2013 harvest with a dosage of 6 grams for the USA, essentially the same cuvée as the Vertus Brut but with the addition of 10% […]

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Champagne Roger Coulon

As a preliminary to the field reports on the 2016 Roses which are now in the process of being bottled , we are sending along comments on the duet of Roses produced by our two Champagne growers. Here is the newest cuvée of “Roselie” from Champagne Roger Coulon with the next generation of the family, […]

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Cornalin Les Bernunes 2014

To all:  We drank the Cornalin “Les Bernunes” 2014 from Caloz this evening with total satisfaction.  This red gained strength and depth throughout the course of the meal.  Beautiful color; racy, alpine aromas that move to smoky, meaty, Syrah-like (northern Rhone locale); long finish, very fresh with spice and licorice components; starts simple, clean but […]

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Jean-Marc Pillot: The Brilliant 2014 Vintage

None of our cellar visits in Burgundy last June were as bittersweet as our tasting with Jean-Marc Pillot. Even while experiencing the greatest set of wines we have tasted in his cellar over our 15-year relationship, we were confronted with news of his catastrophic losses to the April 26th frost that devastated much of Burgundy. […]

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Gravner’s Spellbinding 2008 Vintage

When telling the story of Josko Gravner, it’s tempting to fixate on his use of extended skin-contact and his employment of buried terra-cotta amphorae—after all, he was among the very first growers in Italy to revive these ancient techniques, and he is justly celebrated today as a pioneer and a living legend. A less-emphasized—but no […]

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Domaine Rollin: The Elegant and Classic 2014 Vintage

2017 marks the 35th year of our partnership with the Rollin family in Pernand-Vergelesses. Over the years, first with Maurice and his son Remi, and today with Remi and his son Simon, this remarkable domaine has provided us with wines of finesse, character, and startling purity—and at prices that put to rest the notion there […]

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Regis Forey: The 2014 Vintage

On February 6th, we will receive the impressive 2014 vintage wines from Regis Forey. Our visit to his cellar this past September unveiled one of the best lineups we have experienced, perhaps since the great ’89/’90 vintages.  Both the 2014 and 2015 vintages show enormous potential, though we were particularly captivated with the purity and […]

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The 2015 Red Burgundies: You Are So Going To Want Them

BY STEPHEN TANZER | JANUARY 26, 2017 Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur François Bitouzet described 2015 as “a very silky, balanced year for Volnays” despite the challenging conditions. “It was a very dry year with strong oidium pressures, even worse than the last bad oidium year, 2004,” he told me in mid-November. “We had to treat the vines […]

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Simone Blanc and Rouge

First, experience shows that the “oiliness” that is so typical of top quality Simone Blanc develops slowly and intensifies as the wine ages; texturally the mineral drive one divines in the youthful stages and which makes for a more linear sensation recedes as the density of the wine increases, a development which, in turn, yields […]

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Can Northern Rhône Syrah Survive the Spotlight?

Both Côte-Rôtie and Cornas have entered the spotlight after decades in the shadows. Jon Bonné considers how the rush of fame has affected these regions, and what it signals for the future of northern Rhône syrah. JANUARY 19, 2017  story: JON BONNÉ As I walk along the muted streets of Ampuis, one July afternoon, it’s […]

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Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2011

Drank the above-captioned wine last night at dinner with immense satisfaction. Anyone should be comfortable recommending this bottling to someone looking for classic, compelling Cote de Nuits at the village level.  Still with a touch of youthful edginess but scintillating bouquet, deep robe, dense texture, deeply dark-fruited with excellent length … head and shoulders above […]

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Renowned Château Simone: January 2017 New Arrivals

In a just world, Chateau Simone would be as renowned and coveted by Americans as the greatest Bordeaux and Burgundy are. As it stands, the wines from this singular estate in Provence remain something of an insider’s secret in the United States—hugely respected and beloved by those in the know, but known by far too […]

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2011 Conti Boca: wow…

Hey gang, I had a very impressive half-dozen wines in my bag yesterday, but one in particular really reached out and throttled me… I’m sure you’ve all had similar experiences as I have with young Conti Boca being somewhat reticent and closed-in on itself–a beautifully muscled runner that still needs to warm up before she […]

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Cappellano: the first and greatest Barolo Chinato…

The tiny Cappellano estate in Serralunga d’Alba is beloved worldwide for its steadfastly traditional, charming, and profound Barolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. But did you know the family invented the sublime elixir known as Barolo Chinato? That’s right: Dr. Giuseppe Cappellano, a pharmacist by trade, developed this uncanny mixture of vintage Barolo with herbs and spices steeped in […]

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a dialogue on Arboreus, Michel and Pradeaux

Clarke, Beautifully said … bravo! I am an ardent admirer of the 2009 Arobreus which, I believe, is Bea’s best effort to date of this particular wine.  There is a persistence to its attack and finish that is subtle but remarkable.  I, for one, am not at all surprised by its tenacity over a four-day […]

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A revelatory moment with 2009 Arboreus

Neal I’ve been on a skin-contact kick lately. I think that beginning our relationship with Gravner and diving into those wines in a serious way triggered a perspective shift in my brain. While I had always enjoyed “orange wines” and found them interesting, I was never able to “see into” them the way I felt […]

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Villa Sant’Anna

Antonio Galloni reviews the following three wines from Villa Sant’Anna Click here to read the full review

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Domaine de la Petite Mairie, Bourgueil “Butte de Tyron” 2014

There are few more immediately reassuring sights in an Old World wine cellar than a wall of large, weathered wooden casks. Besides being beautiful to behold, they imply a continuity of tradition—an unbroken resistance to the sleek, technical winemaking practices that have stripped so many modern wines of their souls. The way of the foudre […]

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New Arrivals from the Cote d’Or!

Mid-November ushers in a group of noteworthy new arrivals from the Cote d’Or from the 2013 and 2014 vintages.  We are incredibly fortunate to work with vignerons who understand the importance of time.  So much wine today is rushed into the marketplace for the sole purpose of a quicker return on the investment of its […]

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2014 Poulsard Pêcheur

Drinking this exquisite version of Poulsard (2014) from Pêcheur tonight. Elegant, clean, so very ALIVE and a perfect companion to so many different types of cuisines. What a joy! NIR Neal: I, too, have been taken with this wine having had the opportunity to taste it now stateside.  Every bit as you describe:  star-bright; autumn […]

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Ca’ du Leria 2013 Clerico

Married this wine tonight to a grilled magret duck breast. The wine is brilliant, showing a vibrant ruby color, evocative nose of fresh crushed wild berries and a spicy, fresh finish. Surprisingly complex for its price, it bristles with a lovely acidity. I would say that we should give the Ca’ du Leria 2013 a […]

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Arbin Mondeuse (Magnin) 2011

Drinking with exquisite pleasure this classic Mondeuse from Louis Magnin. When we first brought this wine into the States last spring, it was tight as a drum with its high acid tension. To my surprise,  this wine has turned the corner much more quickly than I had thought it would. It is wonderfully aromatic with […]

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Clerico Spanna 2012

Drinking this wine tonight. At a beautiful spot right now. Structured, perfectly balanced , savory with spice, lithe and long on the palate. A near-perfect example of Alto Piedmontese Nebbiolo. Confirms for me, once again, that Clerico is right behind (perhaps equal to) Rovellotti as the best of our producers from that region. Highly recommended! […]

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2016 Vintage Report After A Vineyard Visit: Burgundy, The Jura, Alsace

A winegrower’s job is never easy, and every vintage presents its own unique challenges. Be it excessive rain, some new pest, severe drought, heat, or mildew, environmental obstacles necessitate constant diligence and creativity on the part of the vigneron. Having heard reports of a widespread and devastating spring frost in France, we headed into our […]

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An Exploration of St. Romain

Generational shifts in Burgundy can be fraught with anxiety for both winegrower and consumer. The younger generation of vigneron attempts to balance a sense of duty toward tradition and history with a desire to execute a personal vision and philosophy. And the consumer waits with bated breath to see if wines she’s cherished in the […]

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2013 Gilles “Les Peyrouses”

I had quite a few wines open in Philadelphia this past week as part of a portfolio tasting we did with our distributor there. I’ll send more detailed notes on some of the other wines under separate cover, but I wanted to take a minute to spotlight a wine that was an absolute show-stopper: the […]

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Jaugaret

Drinking 2012 Jaugaret tonight. A perfect wine in the purity of its expression of its terroir. Every wine should be this “correct”. In the background there is an enchanting herbal, weedy, tobacco rich flavor and bouquet, the tannins are bright yet with a pleasant grip; only 12.5% alcohol which is when Bordeaux from Cabernet is […]

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Drink Rosé All Day

The south of France produces fantastic rosé. The Cotes de Provence west of St. Tropez is a great place to try both innovative versions (at Chateau Léoube) and ultra classic ones (at Commanderie de Peyrassol and Domaines Ott). There are other sublime experiences at these properties, too-from laid-back beach cafés to contemporary art set along […]

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1980 Haut Segottes

1980 Haut Segottes

We are drinking the last bottle in the cellar of 1980 Haut Segottes. It is magic!  This wine stretches the bounds of believability: 36 years since the harvest in a vintage that is considered one of the least ripe in memory; yet, this wine is fine, elegant, still fresh with a silky texture, savory, actually […]

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Chassagne Rouge ’85 Prudhon

Drank this wine tonight with pleasure. At 30 years plus a modest village burgundy is still alive and bright with its typical grainy tannins. Color deepened with aeration. Might it have been even better 5 or 10 years ago? Probably but this wine is a “gamer”, a sturdy little fellow. Last bottle in the cellar!

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St Aubin Murgers Dents de Chien ’13

Drinking the subject wine tonight with sautéed shrimp and a risotto made with a sample of a carnaroli rice from the Novara region of Piedmont. Classic white Burgundy, Meyer-lemon like acidity, beautifully dense with a long, clean, lively finish. The Prudhons are a class act and are cranking out truly superb wine. We also drank […]

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The full range with the Rougiers

I had the good fortune to taste the full range with the Rougiers in Chicago in November (including from my cellar, 2000, 1999, 1969 and 1961 white and 2000 and 1961 red). Recall what the Rougiers said, that for the first five years in bottle their wines are on the fruit; for the next five […]

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Tellus Vinea

The Tellus Vinea recently made a full three-vintage jump from 2011 to 2014.  The Pueyos did not make the wine in 2012 or 2013 due to an exciting array of climatic phenomena, and ultimately were forced to look for a new source for this wine.  The site on the border with Lalande-de-Pomerol was no longer […]

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Chateau Simone Blanc 2009

Enjoying this wine immensely this evening. Best when opened an hour in advance. Ultimately drinks “suave” … oily, sensuous texture, pine – quinine – chamomile flavors, great length, so very sophisticated, perhaps the finest white wine from the south of France. NIR

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Bois De Boursan Felix ’11

Drank this beauty tonight with dinner. This vintage, somewhat suspect in the general perception, is showing brilliantly. The ripe and spicy Grenache takes center stage with a touch of tannic kick from Mourvèdre. A wine that is shedding its quietude and finding a classic expression of Chateauneuf – with stems!  NIR

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Loire Valley Wines

Kerry and I continually assess our wines by putting each to the ultimate test: drinking wine with our meals.  Over the most recent weekend, we explored, with much satisfaction, several wines from the Loire Valley that do not appear regularly at our home table. On New Year’s Eve, our quiet celebration was toasted with the […]

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Etienne Becheras Saint Joseph Blanc 2011

Drinking the above captioned wine tonight. We have a small allocation of this wine every year which is, by and large, ignored once it arrives. That is a shame. The wine is rich, speaks with a booming voice and is blessed with a joyous perfume full of exotic flora. This wine should fine a home […]

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Auney L’Hermitage Cana Rouge ’12

Drinking this wine tonight. Delicious. One of the best values in the portfolio. Perfect balance, dignified, an adult wine of class and breed. Photo will follow.  By the way, the proprietors are two of the most intelligent and charming vignerons in our universe. NIR

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Lionnet Cornas 2012

Drinking this wine tonight (see photos). Classic Cornas. May be the best Cornas in stock right now. Powerful, dramatic, severe, every element of the appellation is on display … The granite soils, the non-destemmed grapes, the raw ferocity of Syrah in the northern Rhone.  So good right now but with a brilliant future of 10 […]

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Dolcetto d’Alba ’14 DeForville

Once again our friends, the Anfosso family of Barbaresco, have produced one of the singular great values in our portfolio of wines. We are drinking tonight the 2014 Dolcetto d’Alba which is simply delicious, actually thirst-quenching, vibrant, fresh, so very much alive! One wonders sometimes how it is possible to produce a wine of this […]

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NOAH Coste della Sesia Croatina 2011

a brief note about one of our newest wines… To our delight, this wine from young Andrea Mosca’s cellars in Brusnengo in the Alto Piemonte is developing nicely and shows, with a considerably higher degree than I anticipated, a true sense of terroir. In fact, this wine from Croatina is much more fine than it […]

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2000 J Dauvissat

Drinking this wine drawn from the cellar tonight. Rather astonishing for its freshness  (15 years old, village wine!). Classic Chablis – aromatically and gustatorily true to its Kimmeridgian origins. My only quibble is that it shows just a touch too “warm” on the palate despite its declared 12% alcohol. Lovely density … As we used […]

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Barbera d’Asti “Ca’ del Buc” 2013 from DeForville

On a beautiful spring evening in Shekomeko‎, we are enjoying a favorite wine of ours: the Barbera d’Asti 2013 produced by the Anfosso family from their “Ca’ del Buc” vineyard in Costigliole d’Asti. Although the family is based in Barbaresco, they have owned this special site for many years, using it to produce this formidable […]

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Aging Dolcetto – An Example

Having tasted through the series of older Dolcetto Dogliani (an appellation with a certain deserved renown for producing age-worthy Dolcetto) recently, it was a revelation to drink a bottle of Dolcetto d’Alba “Vignavillej” 1998 from Brovia, a wine drawn from our private collection. It is an astonishing wine – deep in color, robust, still fresh […]

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A Bordeaux Moment – Pauillac front and center

Just finished drinking a bottle of Chateau Chantecler, Pauillac, 2010 (while listening to the Brad Mehldau Trio) which experience drove our memories to the earliest days of our career in wine when we had the pleasure of indulging in another Pauillac by the name of Château Latour in vintages like ’61, ’62 and ’64, wines of […]

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Several Visits to the Cellar

The nicest aspect of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is that it gives us a bit of “down-time” to explore the cellar and dig up a few wines to drink at our leisure. So, here is a brief report on a few wonders that have been hanging out underground for awhile … We had the pleasure […]

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Working the high mountain passes of the Valle d’Aosta

It’s thrilling to work the high passes of the Valle d’Aosta searching for wines in places that are home to the chamois and mountain goat as much as they prove to be fertile ground for a fascinating array of local grape varieties.  Our love affair with this area started 35 years ago in January 1980 when we first […]

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A Grand Cru Experience

We sat at the dinner table tonight and drank, over a simple dinner (leftover pork tenderloin, roast potatoes, endive and blue cheese salad), a bottle of Mazis-Chambertin produced by our grower Harmand-Geoffroy in the 2006 vintage. This bottle offered vivid testimony of its breed and answers the question: do certain vineyard locations truly provide a […]

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Saint Emilion

On November 23, 2013 Neal wrote: “Just wrapped up a lovely morning in Saint Emilion and am now on the train from Libourne to Bordeaux (to catch a connection to Montpellier this afternoon). I was delighted by what I tasted at both Haut Segottes and Belregard Figeac. First of all, I am happy to report […]

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A Morning in Vouvray

        “Wednesday (20 Nov 2013) morning was dedicated to Vouvray with stops at Peter Hahn’s Clos de la Meslerie and Philippe Foreau’s Clos Naudin. 2013 was not kind to the appellation: a devastating hailstorm in summer and a rainy late season and cold spring reduced yields and made the growers struggle mightily […]

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Neal’s Report from the Eastern Loire

“The afternoon of Tuesday, Nov 19 2013 was spent in the Eastern Loire visiting with Marc Deschamps, Gilles Crochet and Philippe Gilbert. In Pouilly-sur-Loire, Marc Deschamps reported favorably on the results of the current harvest, better results than might have been anticipated considering the up-and-down conditions during the growing season. He predicts a wine with […]

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Report on Dauvissat and Defaix

Last week Neal traveled from Champagne to Chablis before making his way to the Loire.  Here are his notes from domaines Dauvissat and Defaix. “I visited with Sebastien Dauvissat early in the morning of Tuesday November 19 – a hint of snow was in the air. Our stocks of the Dauvissat wines are dwindling rapidly […]

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Notes from Champagne

On Sunday, Neal departed for his final grower visits of the season.  He continues to chronicle them here on the blog. 11/21/13 “I am on the train departing from Nantes destination Bordeaux – finally a free moment to pen a few words about my current visits with our growers. On Monday of this week, I […]

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Visit to the Valais

After a couple of days in the Alto Piemonte and the Canavese, Neal crossed over the mountains via the Gran San Bernardo pass to visit our growers in the Valais in Switzerland … herewith his initial comments: “We arrived in the Valais on Tuesday evening, I introduced our newest colleague, Ross Mattis, to the traditions […]

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The Report from Ferrando

A day in Carema, October 2013: “Our visit with Luigi, Roberto and Andrea Ferrando was spent mostly in discussion of the “crisis of quantity” in Carema and whether there is some way to increase access to, and control the production of, grapes within the appellation. There is no easy answer to this conundrum but, at […]

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Neal’s Visit to the Alto Piemonte (Oct 2013) continued

Neal’s visits in Alto Piemonte continued with a trip to Castello Conti: “Tuesday morning Oct 22 we visited with Elena and Paola Conti. Four wines were the subjects for the day.  The wines had just been bottled 10 days prior. The Nebbiolo Colline Novaresi 2012 was the most affected by the bottling, showing the dryness […]

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Updates from Alto Piemonte

We will continue posting Neal’s dispatches from his producer visits.  Over the next few days he will be in Italy and Switzerland.  Here is the first update from Italy. “A quick “wrap” of yesterday’s activity in the Alto Piemonte, 10/21/13 … Monsecco: Greeted by Giorgio and Fabio, as usual. This duo presents a charming and […]

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A Day in the Jura

Sunday, Sept 22, 2013 Neal spent the day visiting our producers in the Jura.  Here are his notes: “I spent last Sunday (September 22) visiting each of our four producers. The first issue to discuss is “reduction” in certain wines from our producers in the Jura. Of course, we had this problem raise its ugly […]

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Northern Rhone Part I

Late last week, Neal spent time visiting producers in the Northern Rhone. Here is his report on Guillaume Gilles: September 20, 2013 “On Friday Sept 20, I visited with each of our five producers in the northern Rhone. I am pleased to report that the wines from both the 2011 and 2012 vintages are exceptionally […]

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Northern Rhone Part II

Neal’s update on our Northern Rhone producers continues with Domaine Lionnett and Etienne Becheras: September 20, 2013 “The Domaine Lionnet is really coming into its own. Ludovic is finding his stride. My notes are replete with praise. There is no doubt that 2012 will be a top vintage here and, interestingly and somewhat in contrast […]

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Northern Rhone Part III

This is Neal’s final dispatch from the Northern Rhone: September 20, 2013 “To wrap up the Northern Rhone…I had a pleasant encounter with Yves Cuilleron. Yves continues to expand his holdings. There are now 55+ hectares that he exploits as owner and sharecropper. There is now a nice Crozes Hermitage Rouge being produced. The Levets […]

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Chateau Haut Segottes – A History Lesson

As you can see from the attached photo, we drank a bottle of 1980 Chateau Haut Segottes (Saturday Aug 31, 2013), one of the few older vintages that remain in stock from the collection that we purchased from Mme Meunier, the proprietor, several years ago.  Of course, this vintage was left behind in our stock while […]

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A Mountain Red

The exuberant reds from our growers in the Valais scream out their mountain heritage. Drinking the 2011 Cornalin from Romain Papilloud tonight makes the point brilliantly. A wine of vibrant, deep color, its bouquet brings the Alpine atmosphere directly to the table like a fresh, cool breeze rustling through the low bushes of berry and […]

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Old Originals

This week [June 2 – 8 2013] we raided the cellar again.  Without planning it, we drank two wines that share an interesting history: the 1983 Cote Rotie from Bernard Levet and the 1982 Brunello di Montalcino from Luigi Anania’s La Torre estate.  Two distinct wines with one dramatic similarity: both wines were the first […]

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Brunello “La Torre” 1982 + Chet Baker !

People always talk about food and wine matches but not so often of the marriage of wine and music. Tonight [June 6, 2013] we experienced the ideal: listening to Chet Baker (singing + playing trumpet) while drinking Brunello “La Torre” 1982. Both are the ultimate in sophistication, elegance and class.  

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Badebec – Our Newest Addition to the Portfolio

Standing in the kitchen as we prepare dinner and taste the first bottle of “Badebec”, a Rosso from the Vallé d’Aosta, to come to the States.  It’s always exciting to test these recent arrivals once they are Stateside.  We do all of our selecting overseas in the cellars so that initial bottle opened at home […]

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Exploring the cellar (again) – a perspective on Hubert Lignier and wines with a bit of age …

It seems that, more often than not when contemplating a new blog post, I am drawn to comment on the joys of exploring wines that we had tucked away in our private cellar many, many moons ago.  I do this, I think, because there appear to be so few opportunities now for those who are […]

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Beaujolais: An Essential Part of Burgundy

We have argued for many moons that some of, if not the, best values in red wine can be found in Beaujolais.  Certainly, when one cruises the “cru” vineyards of this region, the grapes of which have been cared for and transformed into wine by the serious and quite traditional growers, the notion that Beaujolais […]

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Chianti Classico, Sangiovese, Castelnuovo Berardenga

We recently indulged ourselves with a trip into our past as experienced through several older vintages of Chianti Classico Riservas from Castell’in Villa, one of our first sources of superb Italian wine (and no longer part of our portfolio for a complex of reasons).  Most specifically, we drank on separate occasions the 1988 and 1985 […]

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DeForville Barbaresco

Tonight (August 23 2012) we drank a bottle of Barbaresco “Vigneto Loreto” 1997 from De Forville.  This estate, with which we have been working for the past 33 years, has always flown a bit under the radar … in  a commercial sense.  Perhaps this is because the Anfosso family, the owners of De Forville, are […]

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What We Have Been Drinking …

A brief note about some of the wines we have consumed over the past few days … Coteaux Champenois Blanc (Coulon) 2008: the “deposit” or “veil” that was present when we first released this wine seems to have disappeared; the wine is scintillatingly replete with the terroir of Champagne – stony to its core with […]

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Villa Sant’Anna Chianti Colli Senesi 2005 and Thoughts on Assembling a Cellar

We stumbled across a bottle of Chianti Colli Senesi 2005 from Villa Sant’Anna the other day while cruising our personal cellar; so, we drank it that evening.  A simple but satisfying wine this modest Chianti from the hills just north of Montepulciano with a rustic, earthy bouquet, lots of presence on the palate and tannins […]

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EXPANDING OUR ITALIAN PORTFOLIO: ALTO PIEMONTE AND CALABRIA:A QUARTET OF GROWERS

For years we have longed to expand our footprint in Italy,  most specifically in Piedmont but also with an eye to southern Italy which heretofore was completely absent from our coverage.  With much good fortune, beginning with a casual encounter last December in Rome and continuing through an intense four day exploration we conducted in […]

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ABISSI 2009

When Piero “Bisson” Lugano told me about his fantastical plan to submerge his nascent Spumante deep beneath the waters of the bay of Portofino where it would undergo its second fermentation, I thought he was kidding.  Then, when he actually did make the arrangements, I tossed it off as nothing more than a brilliant publicity […]

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The Meursaults of Bitouzet-Prieur

Tonight, on the spur of the moment, Kerry descended into the cellar and brought up a bottle of Meursault 1er Cru “Charmes” 1990 from Bitouzet-Prieur to enjoy with our dinner (a couple of steamed lobsters). It is a remarkable experience to enjoy a fine white Burgundy at the age of 22 years, one that is […]

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La Torre: A rare release of Brunello Riserva

In several weeks, we will be releasing the Brunello di Montalcino RISERVA 2006 from Luigi Anania’s estate “La Torre”. Luigi produces a small amount of Riserva from time-to-time depending on the quality of a particular vintage. Even then, he severely restricts the amount of Riserva that he makes so that he does not affect in […]

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Our Foray into Lessona

Yesterday, March 19, we arrived in Milan and headed directly to the northeastern sector of Piemonte to prospect for growers in the appellations of Lessona, Ghemme and Gattinara. In the small town of Lessona, which is the smallest in size of the subject appellations, we met with Massimo Clerico. He is the third “largest” producer […]

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Drinking Montbourgeau and Listening to Billy Holliday

We are in the midst of a special moment, a quiet dinner at home on the evening before we leave to prospect in the Piedmont and Calabria. The atmosphere is cool, calm and crystalline – listening to Billy Holliday sing and drinking the L’Etoile Cuvee Speciale 2006 from Nicole Deriaux’s Domaine de Montbourgeau, a brief […]

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The 2006 Vintage from Bea

The first shipment of the wines of the 2006 vintage from Paolo Bea arrived last week. Yes, five plus years after the harvest the wines have been released. Contrary to the generally high quality wines produced in 2006 from the neighboring zone of Tuscany, the ’06 vintage in Umbria was problematic with grapes struggling to […]

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Domaine du Gour de Chaulé

thoughts about Gigondas

It was rewarding to discover the favorable comments in Eric Asimov’s reflections on Gigondas in this week’s NY Times “Dining” section.  The notes about our Domaine du Gour de Chaulé highlight our taste profile, that is our preference for wines of balance, grace and complexity over the mere show of force that often is the […]

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Jaugaret 2007

Jaugaret 2007

Tonight (1 Feb 2012) we are drinking a bottle of Domaine du Jaugaret 2007, a wine from a weak vintage (or so it is said). Satisfying – a true wine of Saint Julien, as clear an expression of this particular terroir as exists in today’s world of Bordeaux. Yet, this splendid wine may be the […]

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La Torre’s Brunello 2003

I walked into the kitchen tonight after a session working on revisions to our new website to find a just-opened wine in a glass waiting for my attention. The bottle was hidden – a test for my aging palate, I suppose. One taste and an immediate expression of “Wow”! It was an immense wine, thick […]

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Saint Aubin Rouge 1er Cru “Sur le Sentier du Clou – Vieilles Vignes” 2007 by Prudhon

Proved to myself once again tonight that this is my favorite red from the Prudhon family. It has the most “grip” and those tannins, rustic for sure, are compelling and in perfect balance. The vintage 2007 lends a lot of grace to this wine and makes the argument for elevating this vintage in ranking amongst […]

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