Blog: Producer Newsletters

  • Vintage Champagne, Montlouis Petnat & more…

    January 22nd, 2013

    Vintage Champagne, Montlouis Petnat & more…
    New Container just arrived!
    The new year is bringing new producers, additional wines and fresh vintages from Return to Terroir. We will be sure to introduce our new growers from Italy and France when they come ashore in March but we just received a container with a few goodies from current producers that haven’t been seen before.


     The Robert family in Champagne
     Kicking things off with bubbly, Champagne André Robert’s 2005 Le Mesnil sur Oger ($52.50 SRP) is everything I could hope for in blanc de blancs Champagne. Not overly yeasty but with a noticeable brioche aroma, almond cream, lemon rind and an astonishing, long finish, it lives up to its Grand Cru label status in every way. I marvel that we are able to offer it to our customers for what most producers charge for non-vintage Champagne.


    Bertrand Jousset in Montlouis
      Delicious though it is, Robert is sharing the sparkling wine spotlight with Lise and Bertrand Jousset’s NV Montlouis Pétillant, ‘Bubulle’ ($28.50 SRP). Made entirely from Chenin Blanc, this pétillant naturel is full of lively lemon, floral and flint aromas joined by apple, pear and nectarine on the palate. Fresh and complex, it can be consumed with or without food.
     Sylvain Gaudron in Vouvray


    We’re also moving on to some new vintages. Starting where we left off, in the Loire, the 2010’s from Domaine Gaudron in Vouvray are in. Gilles Gaudron, a third generation winemaker, blends his wines from 50 parcels to get a peak expression of fruit without losing the floral, chalky qualities that make up the essence of Vouvray’s terroir. A tricky though good vintage in Vouvray, both the Sec and Demi-sec ($19.50 SRP) are accessible now but will drink well for at least another decade.
    Chantal et Yvon Contat Grangé in Maranges, Burgundy
    Heading east to Burgundy, we have three new vintages from our friends at Domaine Contat-Grangé. Beginning with the 2011 vintage, these wines are certified organic. Lean with hints of pot pourri on the nose and bright cherry fruit, the Contat-Grangé 2011 Bourgogne Rouge ($22.50 SRP) is as charming as ever. We brought on their 2009 Maranges and Santenay late last year just in time to give you a peak and are even happier with the 2010’s. The Maranges ($26.50 SRP) has a small but lingering explosion of red fruits with cola and cloves. Contat- Grangé’s 2010 Santenay, ‘Saint Jean de Narosse’ ($30 SRP) is prettier than Bond girl, Bérénice Marlohe, more vivacious than Sofia Vergara and as graceful as Kate Middleton. With cayenne and black pepper, cloves, tea rose and perfectly ripe cherry fruit, it is superb!


    Laurent Habrard in Croze Hermitage
    Laurent Habrard 2010 St. Joseph ($36) SRP, is the first vintage we have carried from our new northern Rhône producer, and it is now back in stock. Give it 30 to 60 minutes to breathe and then bask in the glory that is St. Joseph. Exhibiting a smoked meat quality that is fairly typical of the appellation, this chewy wine has loads of structure with black and blue fruits to back it up. We also have the new vintage of Habrard’s Crôzes-Hermitage blanc. Like the 2010, this 2011 Marsanne, Roussanne blend ($23.50 SRP) has a full range of flowers, fruit, nuts and minerals. Decant it first though as it is young and a bit stubborn at first.
    Eric Bonnet, owner/winemaker of Bastide Saint Dominique in Chateauneuf du Pape
     Ending our little trip in the southern Rhône, La Bastide Saint Dominique’s 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($40 SRP) has blessed returned to our shores as well. Made for earlier drinking than their signature ‘Secrets de Pignan,’ you can forget it is in your cellar for the next 5-10 years without worry.
    Philippe Pacalet’s iconic Burgundies, some of the additions to our portfolio (available in March)
    Hopefully these new wines and returning favorites will keep you busy and warm over the next six to eight weeks before the next container with our new producers from Beaujolais, Burgundy, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Piemonte arrive!
    Please, ask for our entire California Catalog.