- Item #: i_333925Bottle Size: 750MLCERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC
his cuvée is planted in the decomposed granite terroir of Ajaccio in southwestern Corsica and is named for vigneron Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s daughter. He left the appellation of Ajaccio a number of years ago, because they refused to evolve their laws to accommodate the ancient grape varieties he had planted that were native to Corsica and pre-date the appellation system itself! In the 2017 vintage his Sciaccarello vines produced less, and there is a touch of Carcajolo Nero in the blend, along with Nielluccio (his father’s spelling for these grapes!). This medium-bodied red is a stunner with intense aromas of the local myrte that grows wild on this part of the island, great freshness, energy, and crunch, and the type of versatility that can accompany fish or meat and everything in between.
- Item #: i_352133Bottle Size: 750mlCERTIFIED ORGANIC
Natural fermentation, low doses of sulfur, cement cuve, no wood; long fermentations, then wines are aged for 6 to 8 months on fine lees.
Antoine set out on a solo mission that consisted of a return to natural farming and winemaking, and getting Patrimonio drunk by those who care, away from the tourists and off the island. Mission accomplished, to put it mildly. After all these years, Arena is the reference point of wine merchants the world over for great Corsican wine. It has done more for Corsica and Patrimonio than anyone could have dreamed of. So what makes Carco so special? The path to greatness is wrought with trials and tribulations. In the early days, Antoine’s rouges were inconsistent—at times great, at other times hot and funky, as he experimented with various ways to battle the island’s excessive heat. The Carco blanc, though, was perfection from the start: timeless Vermentinu imbued with salt, sun, and rocks year in and year out. Through it all, Carco kept steady and won Corsica its proverbial seat at the table. Chris Santini, Kermit Lynch wine merchant
- Item #: i_352148Bottle Size: 750mlMade from vines averaging about 50 years old, the Malacare is primarily Syrah (60%) and Grenache (25%) with a small amount of Carignan (10%), and comes from southwest-facing slopes of sandy soil. After a fairly long cuvaison of about 3 weeks, the wine is aged mostly in concrete for roughly a year, with the Syrah partly aged in large barrels before being bottled.
- 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: 94 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 94 POINTS-EDITOR'S CHOICE: "Produced from the best parcels of this biodynamically run estate, this wine is powerful and very rich. Even after five years, it is packed with firm tannins and layers of spice and new wood. But it also has immense fruitiness and will come together impressively."
- 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_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_300108Bottle Size: 750MLA blend of: 40% Marsanne, 30% Ugni blanc, 25% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc
Cassis is not only an active port, but what Kermit calls "an earthly paradise." The vineyards of Clos Sainte Magdeleine are particularly stunning. They jut out on a private cape to meet majestic limestone cliffs, poised spectacularly above the sparkling, azure Mediterranean. With landscapes such as these, it is only fitting that writers and poets alike have found inspiration in Cassis. Only a handful of vignerons today are fortunate enough to produce A.O.C. Cassis, and the small quantities available are largely consumed locally with fresh fish—the best way to enjoy them. The Sack-Zafiropulos family has been making wine here for four generations and has continued to craft wines of grace and finesse, just as they were when founder Jules Savon won the Gold Medal for the domaine at the World's Fair in 1900. That they share their limited quantities with us makes this long-term relationship all the more special.
Viticulture and vinification at Clos Sainte Magdeleine is under the direction of Francois Sack. The domaine bottles both a white and a rose, the latter of which is especially limited. Sack just started the three-year long conversion to organic viticulture, a philosophic progression after years of sustainable farming. Clos Sainte Magdeleine's success lies in an uncanny ability to capture a dichotomous nerve and sun-kissed unctuousness in their wines, making them both incredibly food-friendly and delicious entirely on their own.
- 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_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: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Coming from 100% Chardonnay that was aged on Viognier lees, the 2017 Vin de France Novellum boasts sensational notes of ripe citrus, white flowers, and spice, with loads of classic Catalanes salinity and obvious minerality. Aged in 15% new barrels, it’s medium-bodied, has remarkable purity, integrated acidity, and is a total steal at the price. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years."