Recent Posts

New Loire Valley Rosé: $11

The Loire Valley is a pastoral land of magnificent chateaux and humble goat cheese makers. The range of wines made here is just as expansive: sparkling and still, dry and sweet, and everything from almost-clear Muscadet to deep purple Chinon. There’s a wine here for almost every taste. Today we’re introducing a new rosé from this land of extremes: Pinot Noir Rosé 2013 from Jean-Baptiste Thibault.

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Grand Cru Red Burgundy: Advance Order

Today’s wine is the Domaine Ravaut’s Corton Grand Cru “Les Bressandes” 2012. Corton-Bressandes is among the most famous and sought after of the climats on the hill, and Ravaut renders this terroir beautifully. Our notes from a May barrel tasting describe a wine that is spectacularly dark and deep, with a beautiful cassis nose and very fine tannins. With notes of dark chocolate and a mouthfeel that lasted for several seconds, it was the only wine of the tasting we couldn’t bring ourselves to spit out.

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Old-Vine, Golden White Burgundy.

“If gold were a flavor,” Matt Kramer once wrote, “it would taste like Meursault.” Though limited to just premier cru and village levels, the wines of Meursault are some of the most sought after in the world. The gold analogy extends to cost as well, and buying Meursault can feel like investing in fine jewelry. Just west of Meursault lies the appellation of Auxey-Duresses, a town of lesser fame and better prices.

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Red for Summer Grilling.

The Languedoc has long been a source for inexpensive wine, but it has only recently become a source for value. There’s still plenty of uninteresting wine made in the vast region, but if you make good choices $12 will take you farther here than just about anywhere else in France. The best bargain we have found here may come from the Clos Bagatelle.

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A Sparkling Blend from Burgundy.

Blending rules.  Each region in France has its own rules for winemaking. The rules dictate, among other things, which varietals may be planted, the ripeness at which they can be harvested, and whether they may be blended. In Burgundy blending is rare, and the vast majority of wines are unblended and made from Pinot Noir, […]

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Cool dry white for hot muggy weather.

It’s often hard to find wine to drink in hot weather – high alcohol levels and muggy weather are a poor match. In July and August we look to low-alcohol wines with good acidity. Our latest favorite is the dry Riesling from Francis Muré.

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Red Burgundy and the French Revolution.

Today the French celebrate Bastille Day to commemorate the storming of the Bastille in Paris and the start of the French Revolution. In Burgundy, the decline of the Monarchy marked a profound change in vineyard ownership. Napoleon’s 1804 Code Civile abolished primogeniture, forcing all sons into inheritance and producing the complicated patchwork of estates found today.

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Nature vs. Nurture in Bordeaux and Sancerre.

We like to think of terroir as an example of nature vs. nurture. If the “nature” of a wine is its grape varietals, the “nurture” is the soil, climate, and vigneron. The most exciting French wines are studies in nurture – take the same grape, raise it differently, and you have vastly different wines.

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Alsace: a Sparkling Blend of Grapes and Cultures.

In honor of last Friday’s France-Germany World Cup match, we’re offering one more wine from Alsace. This remarkably beautiful region is wedged between the two countries, and has changed hands four times since the 1930s. Its inhabitants identify as Alsatian more than either French or German, and today Alsace incorporates the best traditions – cultural, culinary, oenological – of both nations.

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Summer Tomatoes and Sangiovese.

July is here and tomatoes are finally back in season. Whether cooked and tossed with pasta and parmesan, or sliced raw and served with mozzarella, olive oil, and crunchy salt, they’re a staple of summer. But tomatoes (and in particular, tomato sauce) can present a wine-pairing puzzle.

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