Vincent Gross is a fourth generation winemaker just outside Colmar in Alsace. He crafts exquisite, biodynamic cuvées from a handful of grapes, each a precise expression of terroir and technique. Ranging from dry to sweet, and from red to white or orange, Gross’s wines are exciting and bursting with life.
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We’re often apprehensive when a new generation takes over a domaine. Young winemakers often implement needed modernization, but sometimes get caught chasing trendiness. No winemaker in our portfolio has more expertly balanced these impulses than Gautier Desvignes.
The soils of Sancerre are famous for their flint. This unusual mineral gives the region’s wines a note of smokiness and stones — a perfect foil for Sauvignon Blanc’s lush grapefruit notes. This unique balance has made Sancerre one of the world’s most popular wines.
After years of searching, we at last found a source for Chambolle-Musigny last spring. With a stellar reputation and miniscule size, it hasn’t been easy to find a domaine without existing importing relationships. But this spring we finally stumbled upon the Domaine Boursot, a humble family of winemakers right in the heart of Chambolle.
The Salomon-Undhof estate dates to 1792, and is currently on its 7th and 8th generation winemakers, father and son Bert and Bert Salomon. Their terraced vines overlooking the Danube have long been an excellent source, with the country’s preeminent wine guide calling them a “figurehead of Austrian wine history.” Their style is what you’d expect after 225 years of history — clean, polished, and refined.
Cornas is a tiny appellation. It covers 145 hectares (compared with Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s 3,000+), and is home to fewer than 50 vignerons. The name comes from the Celtic word for “burnt earth,” and it’s an appropriate moniker: Cornas is pure Syrah like the rest of the Northern Rhône, but the feel is of something sunnier from further South.
We work with many winemakers with low profiles, but Jean-Marc Monnet might be the least visible. He has no roadside, no website, no employees, and no other American importer. Jean-Marc himself is as humble as his winery is hidden, but the wines themselves are a wholly different story.
The Domaine Ravaut is the ultimate local wine source. For over a century the Ravaut family has cultivated a loyal clientele of friends, neighbors, and local workers — our tasting visits are frequently interrupted by neighbors stocking up their cellars. The domaine continues to sell nearly half its wine to folks who walk in their front door.
When we shape our portfolio, we look for wines that “punch above their weight.” These are wines that exceed expectations based on the price tag and the name on the label. For overperforming white Burgundies, many of our favorites come from the towns of St-Aubin and Santenay.
The Perrachon family has made wine in Juliénas since the 1870s. Perrachon makes the most complex and sophisticated Beaujolais reds we’ve had. Raised carefully in oak barrels, their pure Gamay wines compete with entry level Burgundy Pinots on complexity and value.
The Salomon-Undhof estate dates to 1792, and their terraced vines overlooking the Danube have long been an excellent source. The country’s preeminent wine guide calls them a “figurehead of Austrian wine history.” Their style is what you’d expect from 225 years of history — clean, polished, and refined.
The wine writers’ notes on 2018 reds are full of qualified enthusiasm. The best are said to be ripe, rich, mouthfilling, bold, and delicious — Vinous’s Neal Martin found “a sense of nascent joie-de-vivre” across the vintage. But wines picked too late can be overripe — “very ripe wines of highly variable quality,” concluded Allen Meadows (Burghound).
Chiroubles may occupy the lightweight end of the Cru Beaujolais spectrum, but in a vintage as warm as 2019, that means it offers elusive balance. There’s nothing lightweight about today’s cuvée, which combines bright floral precision with inky, juicy gamay density.
Burgundy is where Chardonnay finds its finest expression. In cold climates, the grape can be acidic and thin; in hot climates, it runs the risk of high alcohol and over extraction. But in Burgundy, Chardonnay has the potential to strike its most elegant balance between soft, mouthfilling fruit, and crisp, refreshing acidity.
Our final Futures issue of the year comes out next week. It includes some of our most popular winemakers — Goubert, Boyer-Martenot, Desvignes, Bardoux and more — but one favorite in particular: the Domaine Michel Gros. His entire lineup of 2018s will be available next Sunday, but today we’re focusing on one wine that is always in short supply.