Recent Posts

09 Red Burgundy to Contemplate.

Next to a dense, extracted New World Pinot, a Morey-St-Denis might seem quiet or reserved. But extraction isn’t its game. This is a wine concerned with finesse and elegance; a wine to sit with and to contemplate rather than to gulp during conversation.

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GROS Morey-St-Denis 2009: $62/bot

A Blend of Grapes and Cultures

Located along the German border, the Alsace has changed sovereignty with some regularity, including four times between 1871 and 1945. All this makes for a fascinating mixture of cultures, architectures, languages, and most interestingly, cuisine.

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MURE Anémones: $14/bot

A Sunny Syrah for the Long Winter.

We’re told that spring will, in fact, one day, arrive. Until then we’ll be drinking Côte Rôtie.

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BONNEFOND Côte Rôtie 2011: $49/bot

Old-vine Chablis. $20

We’re big fans of the Domaine Gautheron. We have featured three of their wines in our posts over the last few weeks, and all three represent the classic style of Chablis: pure chardonnay that’s crisp, fresh, and unoaked. Today we’re releasing a fourth wine from Gautheron.

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GAUTHERON Chablis VV 11: $19.95/bot

Pure, Unfiltered Grenache

It’s easy to know what grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay taste – they’re most often bottled in pure, unblended form. But others are almost always blended with other grapes, and it’s tricky to identify their individual characteristics. One such often-blended grape is Grenache.

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FOULAQUIER Petit Duc 11: $22/bot

08, 09 Michel Gros: Advance Offer

Buying Burgundy is a tricky game. Many wines take years to mature, and early on it can be difficult to know what they'll become. But tiny quantities often mean only one chance to buy each vintage. We swallow hard, make our best guesses, and then wait.

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GROS ADVANCE ORDER

An Unmistakable Crozes-Hermitage

Five years ago, while working in the family flower business, Denis Basset was nearly killed by touching a high-voltage wire. Upon leaving the hospital, Basset decided to pursue his lifelong dream of making wine. Lucky for us.

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ST. CLAIR Crozes-Hermitage 2010: $22/bot

Old-Vine ’09 Red Burgundy.

Dijon may be the largest city in Burgundy, but Beaune is its heart. This ancient city dates to prehistoric times, and for centuries its culture has been steeped in winemaking. Today it’s a vibrant town full of bustling markets and busy sidewalk cafes.

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BOILLOT Beaune 09: $25/bot

The World’s Best-Value Chardonnay.

Beside Chablis, the best secret in a white Burgundy lover’s cellar is his stash of St. Aubin. The village is easy to miss, wedged in a valley between Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. And though it rightly plays second fiddle to these two giants, it’s still a source for what Rajat Parr calls “some of the best-value Chardonnays in the world.”

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THOMAS St. Aubin 1er cru 2011: $29.95

Blackberries and Cloves. $14.95

It is said that grapes find their highest expression at the northern-most end of their range – Burgundy Pinot Noir and Mosel Valley Riesling are two examples of this. A third example, and perhaps the best example in comparison to its other homes, is Syrah from the Northern Rhône.

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MONTEZ Syrah 11: $14.95/bot

Smoke, Pear, and Apple Tart. $13.5

The classic style of German Riesling, though a bit of an endangered breed these days, is a touch off-dry and full of racy acidity and minerality. Sommeliers universally praise Riesling’s ability to communicate terroir, and we found a striking range of wines in our visit last year.

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DAHM Riesling Halbtrocken 11: $13.5

Sparkling wine from across Burgundy.

The Louis Picamelot family, sparkling wine producers in Rully, make different wines in both of these styles – terroir-specific and region-specific. Today we’re focusing on their region-specific style: Picamelot’s Crémant Blanc de Blancs Brut.

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PICAMELOT Blanc de Blancs: $18.5

Grapefruits and Gourmands: Sancerre

Wine writer Lettie Teague describes Sancerre as a wine about “pleasure and not profundity.” And though we’ve certainly had memorable bottles of Sancerre, it’s true that the wine shows a certain joie de vivre – more gourmand than gourmet.

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BELLECOURS Sancerre 12: $25/bot

Crisp, Stony Chablis. $19

In some winegrowing regions, the visual landscape is an echo the wine it produces. From baked orange stones in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, to slate-covered hillsides in Germany’s Mosel valley, to the salty air of Muscadet, with some wines it’s easy to identify the source of their character. And such a wine is Chablis.

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7-year-old Red Burgundy.

Though it’s certainly important to know your vintages in Burgundy, vintage hype is often taken too far. We’ve found the best winemakers produce top quality wines each year - the trick is knowing when to drink them.

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AMIOT MSD 1ER 2007: $58/bot

Of Tomatoes and Sangiovese.

Most home cooks noticed the marinara article in the New York Times last week. Because of their acidity, tomato-based sauces can be tricky to pair with French wines – we find the best solution is to cross the southeastern border into Italy.

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POGGERINO Labirinto 11: $15/bot