- Item #: i_351858Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96The wines from Domaine de Bila Haut are undoubtedly some of the greatest values coming out of France. In a region increasingly known for producing crowd-pleasing wines at fantastic prices, these stand out. This is a project from well-known Northern Rhone producer Michel Chapoutier. The Chapoutier team takes full advantage of the abundant sunshine and lower land cost of the Roussillon to deliver an incredible value.
The deeply fruited Rhone blend, L'Esquerda delivers the goods with lush, perfectly ripened grapes showing off what this legendary producer is capable of. L'Esquerda showcases the stunning quality of the 2016 vintage with uncommon depth and complexity. The Wine Advocate awarded this a potential score of 96 Points and stated "there are not many values like this out there today."
This outstanding wine is based on Syrah and Grenache grapes sourced from granitic soils. The term, "L'esquerda" is derived from Catalan and means "the fault in the rock." The result is a faithful expression of the personality and identity of a region which provides great pleasure.
This wine from Bila Haut by Chapoutier is a no-brainer which over-delivers at a fantastic price. It is a great wine to stock up on and would make an excellent purchase by the case.
WINE ADVOCATE 94-96 POINTS - "Sporting a deep purple—almost blue—color, the sensational 2016 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde l'Esquerda has a northern Rhône-like minerality as well as notes of classic black and blue fruits, crushed flowers, ozone and licorice. Made from 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, all from granitic soils, it’s a rich, structured, full-bodied and age-worthy red that will drink nicely through 2026. The quality of this release continues to soar and there are not many values like this out there today."
- Item #: i_350098Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ENTHUSIAST 92 POINTS-EDITOR'S CHOICE: "Black in color, this dense wine has power, concentration and a hugely tannic structure. Still in its infancy, it is darkly dominated by its dry, firm texture, the black fruits still hiding behind the framework and the acidity. Give this complex wine until 2018 before drinking."
- Item #: i_334210Bottle Size: 750MLDeep purple color with aromas of black cherries, dark berries, figs, and hints of black tea, tobacco and pepper. Bright and youthful, medium bodied but fruit forward and friendly without being over-extracted. Excellent tannin intergration and very food friendly.
- Item #: i_352104Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING- 93 POINTS - "This is the best wine I had from this producer. Shows such finesse and depth with a linear focus and intensity. Medium to full body, dense fruit and a beautiful finish. Fruity and tight. Gorgeous. A blend of syrah, mourvedre and grenache. Drink or hold."
- Item #: i_351555Bottle Size: 750mlCyriaque Rozier, vigneron at Château La Roque, makes his own wine under the label Château Fontanès in Pic St-Loup. Being rebellious seems to come naturally to a man of such innate talent, and the elegance of his wines are proof enough in a region where bigger is often considered better. Make no mistake, raw terroir and spicy garrigue abound in these wines, with rich, juicy fruit and silky tannins. 40% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, 10% Carignan
- Item #: i_351650Bottle Size: 750mlCostières de Nîmes has more in common with the Rhône across the river than it does with the wines of Languedoc immediately neighbouring it. Château Guiot lies just outside the city of Nîmes, in the heart of this appellation. Deep purple hue, a beautifully scented nose with herby aromas, lashings of juicy forest fruits and spicy, rich berry flavours on the palate and a good, smooth finish. Equally good with anything from shepherd’s pie, meatballs or moussaka style vegetarian dishes.
- Item #: i_345482Bottle Size: 750MLWith cellars dating from the 16th century near the village of Castellet, Chateau Vannieres is one of the great domaines in Provence. It consists of 47 hectares, 33 of which are planted to vines, with clay-limestone soil and an average age of 35 years. Agriculture is sustainable.
- Item #: i_345481Bottle Size: 750MLSmoldering charcoal and bay leaf notes start this off, followed by a core of melted black licorice, steeped black currant, pastis and baked plum flavors, all carried by a well-integrated roasted alder note. Shows terrific range and character, marrying old-school elements to a polished feel.
95% Mourvedre 5% Grenache 35 year old vines on clay/limestone soil Hand harvested Fermented in epoxy-lined cement tanks Elevage in foudre and barrique for 20-24 months Dense black purple color Aromas of black fruits, cassis, pepper and spice Layers of juicy black fruit and fine tannins on the palate truffles, spice, great length ages exceptionally well and will develop sweet, spicy tobacco and old leather character
- Item #: i_351419Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS: "Slightly more modern in style, the 2012 La Clape Grand Vin is sensational blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 5% Carignan. Completely destemmed, it saw a whopping 50 day maceration before having the Syrah and Mourvèdre moved to 225-Liter barrels (33% new) and the Grenache to vat, where it stayed for a year. At that point, it was all blended together, and moved to vat for another 12 months before being bottled with no fining or filtration. It exhibits lots of crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with subtle oak (which fades with time in the glass), melted licorice and graphite. This gives way to a medium-bodied, pure, elegant red that has gorgeous purity of fruit, a great mid-palate and fine tannin that emerges on the finish. This is high quality juice that can be enjoyed now, or cellared for 4-5 years, possibly longer."
- Item #: i_374762Bottle Size: 750MLToday, Cahors’ jack-of-all-trades and Renaissance man, Philippe Bernede, continues the family tradition with both heart and ingenuity. Philippe’s vines rest upon the gentle slopes that rise up from the Lot River. He farms sixty hectares of land along the alluvial terraces of the Lot Valley that are rich in siliceous, clay, and limestone soils. A.O.C. Cahors is known as the "black wine" of the Southwest-the deeply inky, earthy wines that seem to complement the regional fare of duck (and duck fat!) so wonderfully. Cahors is also the birthplace of Cot, the grape more commonly known as Malbec-a fascinating contrast to its South American brother. Today, the blend consists of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, creating an intense wine that juggles elegant rusticity with everyday drinkability. In fact, the '59 Clos la Coutale is still drinking beautifully, especially with cassoulet, but his wines also pair just as well with a simple steak and potatoes.
- Item #: i_351891Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC
"Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon up to ninety years old make up this cuvée. The alcohol clocks in at a very reasonable 13%—how about that for a Provençal red? Gamey notes mingle with velveteen dark fruit, the whole showing elegance and restraint. A limestoney freshness ensures great balance whether you choose to uncork it now or in a decade. Importer Notes
- Item #: i_352079Bottle Size: 750mlLocated at Espira, a few kilometres away from Rivesaltes, Domaine Danjou-Banessy is an old family estate that was producing only fortified and dry rancio wines until Benoit took over from his father 10 years ago. His brother, Sebastien, an English teacher, joined the domaine full time 5 years ago. They are now producing dry whites and reds from very old vines of local grapes such as their rare and original carignan gris. Their soil has always been free from any chemicals; their father and grandfather were bio before anyone else. They are as non-interventionist as possible in the cellar. Benoit and Sebastien are Catalans but friends with many neo-vignerons that came from all over the world to Roussillon to produce great wines. Tradition and open-mindedness could explain the quality of their wines.
80% mourvèdre, 15% Grenache and 5% syrah - Intense nose of black fruits, fig, olive and lead pencil. The attack is soft and silky. The wine is powerful, intense, with a good vivacity and elegant tannin. The length is amazing.
- Item #: i_333947Bottle Size: 750MLMade mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon, this classic red also brings forth most of the red varietals of the world that M. Guibert de la Vassière has spent the better part of the past 25 years collecting in his unique vineyards. Because of the dominant role played by this Bordeaux grape varietal, it follows that the structure and aromatics of the wine lean in that direction. However, the other grape varietals combined with the Mediterranean climate and unique terroir bring something unique to this wine. The vineyards, surrounded by the garrigue of the Languedoc pick up the aromatics during flowering, which in turn gives the wine flavors that are unique to this area. Dark, intense color with some notes of chocolate, iron, dark berry and wild herbs lead into a wine with firm, ripe tannins and good tension. In its youth, the fruit dominates, easily coating the structure, but with time, it will turn into a classy, claret styled wine that can hang with the best.
- Item #: i_351112Bottle Size: 750mlOur Best Value French Rose!
August in North American culture has traditionally been a time for summer vacations and overall heat in terms of weather. We'll see if it beats the sweltering temps we felt in July this year. One way to bolster defense against the dog days of summer is to enjoy the right wine-- and do we have the perfect pour for these heated times-- Think Pink!
We know you know about dry French roses from the South of France because we have to order more and more each year. These clean, crisp, dry rose wines have helped to change the perception of all pink wines-- these are not White Zinfandel from the 1980s! They are ideal companions to summer foods, warm nights and good company. This wine, the De Chansac 2017 Rose from the Pays d'Oc appellation in Languedoc-Roussillon, hit all the right buttons when we tasted it against a strong field of other dry roses and thirst-quenching wines in late July.
The vines used for De Chansac are located in the northern mountains of the Pyrenees and the Cevennes. The Mediterranean Sea in the south offers hot and dry summers, with various terroirs. The soil is dense which gives perfect medium-bodied fruity wines. The grapes are harvested at night when the temperature is cool, in order to prevent oxidation. The juice is directly pressed for an elegant pale color. Low temperature fermentation enhances the aromatic profile. The wine stays on its fine lees at least two months and is stirred periodically, offering a smooth texture.
Made from 100% Cinsault, De Chansac has a nose filled with soft, ripe orchard fruits. White peach and melons lead to a touch of cream, citrus, mixed tropical fruits and a hint of spice. The flavor profile reflects the nose well, leading with a lush texture layered with tropical fruits and stone fruits, peach and pear, with light acidity keeping it lively. The finish reiterates the ripe fruits, finishing with a flourish of flavor and texture. Enjoy with tapas, fish, fruits and cheeses, good friends and the warmth of the sun.
- Item #: i_350940Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93-96WINE ADVOCATE 93-96 POINTS - "A new cuvee from Dan Kravitz, the 2015 Maury Sec First Things First is a blend of 60% Grenache, 22% Carignan and 18% Syrah that had 75% of the crop brought in at the “correct” time, and 25% brought in over a week later due to broken equipment in the cellar. Scheduled to be bottled in August or October, it offers sensational notes of black raspberries, cassis, violets and graphite as well as full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin and an undeniable sexiness that makes it already impossible to resist. Count me a fan and I’d suggest breaking more equipment during harvest in the future as well (or just harvest later)"
"These are terrific wines that show the classic fruit and minerality of the region, yet also possess a beautiful sense of elegance and purity. They should be on any wine lover's short list." - Wine Advocate
"Full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin and an undeniable sexiness that makes it already impossible to resist." - Jeb Dunnuck
"These blockbuster efforts are made by Dan Kravitz at the co-op in Tautavel. They more than over-deliver and offer classic Roussillon flair and texture, yet back it up with solid mid-palate concentration and sound structure. Don't miss them." - WINE ADVOCATE
We are excited to offer another fantastic red from Domaine Cabirau. As you may know, we recently featured their entry level wine as our wine of the month and have twice selected the Serge and Nicolas cuvee as one of our top wines of the year. Now, for the first time, Domaine Cabirau has released a prestige bottling which is appropriately named "FIRST THINGS FIRST." This is a full-bodied stunner loaded with rich, dark fruit flavors which seduce the palate and is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Jeb Dunnuck of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate reviewed this wine and loved it! He gave the wine a 93- 96 point score based on his initial tasting and called the wine "impossible to resist." He also described First Things first as having "sensational notes of black raspberries, cassis, violets."
Importer Dan Kravitz had been importing wine for nearly three decades and became aware of a vineyard in the Roussillon with excellent potential. He took the plunge and purchased the vineyard in the town of Maury, where one can grow high quality grapes at a reasonable price. The attention to detail and focus on quality show in this wine which showcases perfectly ripened fruit, amazing freshness and a very long finish.
This wine has tons of flavor and represents an outstanding value which satisfies both the palate and the wallet. Don't miss it!
- Item #: i_345007Bottle Size: 750ML"Marsanne (51%) is the dominant grape variety complemented by Clairette Blanc (31%) and some Ugni Blanc (18%). The vineyards to produce the white wine at Bagnol cover a bit less than 9 hectares and are planted on a gentle slope of clay and limestone soil with a north – northwest exposure. After a manual harvest, the grapes are destemmed and pressed; the fermentation continues for three weeks in cement cuves at a temperature controlled 18 degrees Celsius; the wine is vinified completely dry. The malo-lactic fermentation is blocked to preserve the freshness of the wine and the wine is normally bottled at some point between May and July of the following year. Total annual production is on the order of 40,000 bottles; somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 bottles per year are dedicated to the US market." MADROSE.COM
Domaine du Bagnol Cassis offers intense minerality.The fresh mid-palate possesses a gracious, ample and silky, coating texture enhanced by beautiful, focused acidity and generous yellow fruit flavors, unripe white peach, touch of apple and zesty, lemon peel notes. The finish is racy, polished, intense and long.
- Item #: i_344226Bottle Size: 500MLWine Spectator: 90The ancient art of Banyuls is disappearing at a frightening pace. One of its great champions and longest-standing practitioners is the wonderful, charismatic Vincent Cantié. He is the spirit of Catalan culture personified, and he makes the best Banyuls money can buy. Made from ripe Grenache picked from steep, stony hillsides above the Mediterranean on the Spanish border, Banyuls is muted with neutral alcohol to stop fermentation and preserve some residual sugar to produce a glorious after-dinner drink. Its best friend is probably a walnut tart or a flourless chocolate cake. Thomas Jefferson loved Banyuls and so can you.
- Item #: i_350596Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92"A sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price." Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
"I've raved time and time again about the quality -and value - coming from Domaine Lafage's Jean-Marc Lafage." Robert Parker
"Buy it." Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
Domaine Lafage is on amazing roll where everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Creating custom cuvées with its importer Eric Solomon, they are producing absolutely gorgeous wines. Lafage first came upon our radar with Bastide Miraflors, Narassa and Tessellae which have been huge hits with our customers. We recently emailed out the previous vintage of Novellum Chardonnay and our customers went nuts for it. We really enjoyed that wine, but this wine is even better!
Both Robert Parker and Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate have high praise for the wines of Domaine Lafage including Novellum Chardonnay. It is remarkable for Dunnuck to state that Novellum competes favorably with wine selling for more than $50.00 per bottle! Even more noteworthy is his comparison of Novellum to boutique Sonoma producer Mark Aubert. Aubert crafts amazing and very expensive wine available only to his mailing list customers.
The beauty of Novellum is it combines the perfectly-ripened fruit and richness you might find in a high quality California Chardonnay with the brightness and minerality you expect in Burgundy. This combination makes it the perfect crossover wine which appeals to those who enjoy either California or French Chardonnay.
This is an excellent "Everyday Drinker" that you can open up during the week to enjoy with dinner or serve with confidence at parties, knowing all in attendance will be happy. Domaine Lafage's Novellum is a delicious wine, which would make a terrific case purchase. And as the review from Wine Advocate simply says, "Buy it!"
ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS - "A sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price, the 2017 Novellum Chardonnay is the real deal and actually reminded me of a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert in California's Sonoma County. White peach, crushed rocks, spice and brioche notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has depth, layered texture and length. Buy it."