Not far from the mouth of the Loire, where France’s longest river meets the windswept Atlantic coast, sits the appellation of Muscadet. For centuries its signature product – a classic, bone-dry white wine – has appeared by the carafe in the oyster bars of Paris, London, and New York. It’s refreshing, abundant, and inexpensive — a perfect glass to wash down a plate of crustaceans.
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As hot, dry summers become the norm across much of France, winemakers in the south in particular are constantly in search of freshness for their wines. Some have adjusted viticulture techniques, others have altered their blends to re-balance freshness.
“Oak is good… but wine is better.” That’s how one of our vignerons answered a question a few years ago about how he uses oak. We know what he means, and we still see too many winemakers fall into the trap of overoaking.
Patrick and Christophe Bonnefond’s wines somehow keep getting better. They’ve enjoyed a string of excellent recent vintages in the vines, but they also seem to be hitting their stride in the cellar. Once firmly in the ripe, oaky, “extroverted” camp that made them a darling of Robert Parker, the domaine has shifted towards subtler expression in recent years: less time in oak, larger barrels, and earlier harvests.
Most Americans limit their sparkling wine consumption to holidays and celebrations. But doing so means missing out on a world of good wine, particularly for food pairing. And, if you know where to look, increasing your diet of bubbles doesn’t even require Champagne-level investment.
White Burgundy is an easy wine to pair with food. At the high end, an ageworthy bottle Meursault or Puligny can be as subtle and magnificent as a red. But white Burgundy also answers the call for something uncomplicated and reliable — a Monday night pasta dish, or a hearty bowl of mussels.
The Domaine les Goubert is among the most consistent winemakers in our portfolio. No matter the vintage – warm or cool, sunny or wet, easy or difficult — the Goubert wines are reliably outstanding. The winemakers allow the vintage to influence the character of the wine, but never the quality.
Riesling continues to be a criminally underrated varietal. Its sweet examples can be transcendent and delicious, but it’s also capable of excellence in dry form. Pound for pound, dry Rieslings make up some of the best values in our portfolio.
Step into a breezy meadow or a shady forest, close your eyes, and breathe in — the smells and sensations are countless, complex, and awe-inspiring. Natural wines, when they’re made carefully, channel a little slice of nature’s limitless vitality like little else can. And nobody in our portfolio does this more skillfully than the Mas […]
Tomatoes have always been one of our favorite parts of summer. Whether raw and chopped into a bruschetta, baked into a tart, or cooked down into a rich tomato sauce, an in-season tomato is an entirely different fruit from the out-of season variety.
White Burgundy is synonymous with Chardonnay. But in fact one of every ten white vines is Aligoté. This less prestigious varietal generally produces simple, refreshing wines meant for enjoyment rather than contemplation or cellaring.
Volnay has always been among Burgundy’s most prized appellations. King Louis XI (1423-1483) liked the wine so much that in 1447 he bought every ounce the town produced. Thomas Jefferson collected Volnay, and today it’s considered, along with Chambolle-Musigny, the source for Burgundy’s most elegant and seductive red wines.
Cornas is a tiny appellation of only 50 growers. By rules and heritage, it’s the Northern Rhône: its wines are pure, unblended Syrah. But in spirit and character, it’s not far from the South. Cornas (which means “scorched earth” in Celtic) harvests a week earlier than Hermitage (just 20 minutes north), and the vertiginous slopes produce wines with a southern, sunbaked character.
Last week we wrote about Michel and Estelle Prunier, a father-daughter winemaking team in the heart of Burgundy. Tucked away in a valley off to the west of the Côte d’Or, their hometown Auxey-Duresses is often passed over for famous nearby names such as Meursault and Volnay. But hot summers have turned these towns on the margins of ripeness into sources for real value.
Michel Gros is best known for his brilliant red Burgundies from towns like Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle Musigny, and Nuits-St-Georges. But he also holds quite a bit of land in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, a patchwork of rolling hills to the west of the Côte d’Or.