Domaine Comte Abbatucci

by Chris Santini


When Jean-Charles Abbatucci returned home to the family farm in Corsica after a long leave of absence, he found something curious. Here he was, in the heart of Corsica, an island with a distinct language and culture, where just about everything is uniquely Corsican, as opposed to French. He stood overlooking his vineyards, where native wild herbs such as Immortelle de Corse, Népita, and Myrthe thrived, a sight unseen in any other part of the world. Yet in the middle of so much uniqueness lay what Jean-Charles called “the Foreign Legion”: row upon row of French vines, mainly Grenache, Cinsault, and Carignan. While there’s nothing wrong with those varieties, the curiosity was that next to the sprawling rows of French vines were just a couple of short, neglected rows of native, unique Corsican varieties—Carcajolu-Neru, Paga Debbiti, Morescola, and Montaneccia, to name a few.

dsc_0172Jean-Charles’s father had planted the French vines years ago, doing what was necessary to make a living, given that the French varietals were all there was a market for. For Jean-Charles, though, the mission was clear. His father had had the foresight and tenacity to maintain a few plants of all the indigenous varieties that had fallen out of vogue, so Jean-Charles set about sending the Foreign Legion home and replanting the native vines in their proper habitat.

The result was nearly instantaneous. The native fauna and flora immediately reconnected with the vines, each of which found its part to play in the complex ecosystem it was best suited for. Spraying harmful, foreign chemicals seemed counterproductive, so Jean-Charles converted to organic, then biodynamic, farming, applying the principle that if he couldn’t eat it, it wasn’t getting sprayed on his vines. He now uses local weeds and plants to make infusions for homeopathic vineyard treatments.

The Diplomate blanc, Général blanc, and Ministre rouge are from the original Corsican varietal holdouts that spawned the revolution. The Diplomate is rich, exotic, and appealing; the Général is taut and firm, herbal and aromatic; and the Ministre is powerful, smoky, and mineral at the same time. All are monuments to the grandeur of the forgotten Corsican varietals.

per bottle

per case

2014 Cuvée Collection Blanc
“Diplomate d’Empire” >



2014 Cuvée Collection Blanc
“Général de la Révolution” >



2014 Cuvée Collection Rouge
“Ministre Impérial” >




A Guide to the Jura Through the Wines of François Rousset-Martin

By Anthony Lynch

     The Jura wine world is a fascinating, mysterious, and at times confusing one. The region’s recent surge in popularity on American wine lists lies in stark contrast with how strange its wines come across to the uninitiated, with many of its indigenous production methods and quirky winemakers requiring more than an introduction for one to fully savor their virtues. We firmly believe, however, that the pleasure at stake is well worth a slight detour to study the wild world of Jura, so we’ve put together a quick crash course to the region’s wines with a focus on a single producer to guide the way.

     François Rousset-Martin, the newest Jura vigneron to join our team, crafts a number of cuvées covering a range of styles, from the more conventional to texturally baffling wines laced with exoticism. With a creative artistry, François honors the Jura’s traditions while exploring the full spectrum of possibilities provided by terroir, grape, and élevage. He organically farms primarily Chardonnay and Savagnin on grey marl from the family vineyards beneath the stunning cliff-top town of Château-Chalon, then brings the wines to any of his many scattered small cellars dug out of the limestone bedrock. Each cellar, he reveals, is in a sense its own terroir: with variability in temperature, humidity, and native microorganisms, it can cause an entirely unique evolution in identical wines.

     This evolution in barrel will be the main determinant of the resulting style of wine. Jura tradition calls for aging whites sous voile, or under a fine “veil” of yeast that grows over wine in barrel that has not been topped-off (non ouillé) to compensate for evaporation. The voile effectively slows the process of oxidation, while chemical reactions between these microorganisms and the wine below give rise to a highly distinctive and complex set of aromas. Often hinting at walnuts, beeswax, oriental spices, cheese rind, and brine, wines aged sous voile can come as a shock to the unhabituated palate. Their textural and aromatic singularity naturally sets them in a category of their own at table, perhaps the best setting in which to gain an appreciation for such wines. High in umami, they truly shine alongside the Jura’s rich local cuisine. Wild mushrooms, creamy chicken dishes, or smoked charcuterie can be a revelatory pairing; a slab of aged Comté may be the epiphany.


     Many Jura producers also produce more conventional whites in an ouillé, or topped-off style, as is practiced in Burgundy—or for that matter, in essentially all the white wines we are accustomed to. This method preserves fresh fruit flavors without the rather rustic, often funky oxidative notes typical of wines aged sous voile. Rather than being limited to one style, François opts to have a foot in both camps: by manipulating the duration of sous voile aging and blending ouillé wines with non ouillé wines, he creates cuvées that combine attributes of both. Strangely enough, even some of his fully ouillé wines express what seem to be oxidative traits. “The voile yeast is so prolific in my cellar that it will often begin to grow on wines that have been topped off,” he explains. This uniquely Jurassic phenomenon endows his wines with a goût de terroir that no other combination of grape, soil, climate, and native microflora could achieve.

     With this guide in mind, explore the creations of Rousset-Martin for a mouth-watering adventure through the Jura’s wacky world of wine.


per bottle

2014 Côtes du Jura

“Mémée Marie” > 


2014 Côtes du Jura Chardonnay

“Terres Blanches” > 


2014 Côtes du Jura Chardonnay

“La Chaux >


2013 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

“Veine Bleue de Bacchus–Clos Bacchus” >


2013 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

“Cuvée du Professeur–Sous-Roche” >


2014 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

“Clos de Trus” >


2008 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

“Clos Bacchus Sous-Voile 7 ans” >


2005 Côtes du Jura Savagnin

“Sous-Roch Sous-Voile 10 ans” >


September Newsletter: The Humble Artisan of Givry, Provençal Style, Albert Boxler, & more

The September Newsletter is now available.

Click here to download the pdf.

Highlights from this month’s newsletter…



by Dixon Brooke

François Lumpp (pronounced “lamp”) may not be on the list of Burgundy’s most recognized growers yet, but I expect this to change. Lumpp has been quietly toiling his vineyards in the southern Burgundian town of Givry for the past twenty-five years, knowing his moment on the world stage would come eventually. He realized that recognition in his métier would arrive only after a series of difficult but important long-term decisions were made in the name of quality. Virtually all of his vineyards were replanted using old budwood selections (massale), and now they are entering their prime period of production. Lumpp has been responsible for pushing this old-fashioned Côte Chalonnaise appellation forward with the type of approach you find more often farther north in the Côte de Beaune: extensive manual work in the vineyards, low yields, patient élevage. We are excited to add this talented and humble grower to the KLWM family of Burgundies.francois12-1024x683


Though you may search far and wide, you won’t find another Givry blanc with this much class! From a stony, late-ripening hillside parcel 350 meters above sea level, this incredibly elegant and delicious Chardonnay expertly balances fat and minerality. The long, fine, saline finish is exquisitely refreshing and will keep you coming back until the bottle is empty.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case


Remember Henri Jayer’s Vosne-Romanée Brûlées? Lumpp has his own Brûlée at Givry. This terroir is composed of the red clay that is very typical in Givry, with plenty of limestone underneath. A textbook example of velvety, finessed Pinot Noir, it glides and dances across the palate effortlessly. Take this one home and drink it tonight—it is as versatile at table as great cru Beaujolais but with the type of sophistication that only Burgundian Pinot Noir can be expected to deliver.

$50.00 per bottle $540.00 per case


François has spent his career seeking out the top premier cru vineyards atop Givry’s gently rolling slopes, and the results speak for themselves. Clos du Cras Long takes a significant step up in structure from its little brother above. However, this wine is all about fruit and purity: pure pleasure, that is. This gorgeous Pinot Noir will seduce you initially, yet it has just the right bite on the finish to keep you from getting too complacent. Drink or hold.

$56.00 per bottle $604.80 per case


by Dixon Brooke

When we are talking Provençal, we are typically talking Bandol. Are these the best wines of Provence? They are our favorites, I’ll say that much. We find that the best examples capture the essence of Provence in the most complete way: its flavors, its flair, its joie de vivre, its style, and its character.


Reynald Delille’s magical blanc does a lot of things well. Let’s start with the aroma: Imagine yourself strolling down a dirt path alongside one of his vineyards on a beautiful sunny day. Inhale deeply, and you might notice whispers of wild fennel, fresh pine, or salty sea air. It is all there in the bouquet of this charming wine, and if you pay close attention you’ll find even more. In its various shades of color, Terrebrune is first and foremost a wine of refreshment, and a wine of great elegance. The white is, of course, no exception.

Even better, if you lay it down for five to ten years, it will ripen until it smells of golden mirabelle plums, and the flavors of Triassic limestone will become ever more pronounced in its distinctive finish. The Clairette grape should get a lot more attention than it does. It brings freshness and acidity to southern blends, it drinks up its surroundings and imparts them with beautiful clarity, and its anti-oxidative qualities lend themselves to long life in bottle.

$34.00 per bottle $367.20 per case


Our friend and vigneron Alain Pascal produces a wine that is made to work wonders at table with the best of Provençal cooking: garlic, rosemary, thyme, ripe black olives, slow-roasted lamb shoulder, octopus daube, fennel-studded grilled fish, herb-roasted tomatoes, aïoli . . .

Full-flavored and full-throttle, loaded with warmth, joviality, and down-home familiarity, this juicy Bandol is like a big Provençal bear hug from Alain himself. You won’t find a more honest wine. The inky purple juice staining your tongue as you wash down a garlicky morsel of rosemary-studded lamb tastes not unlike it did shortly after the grapes were crushed and racked into Alain’s large oak casks. Gros ’Noré Bandol truly is the definition of Provence in a bottle. Serve it slightly chilled in the warm months to bring out its best.

$40.00 per bottle $432.00 per case


by Chris Santini


Antoine really needs no further introduction in these pages. He’s made his bones and then some, becoming by far the most celebrated and recognizable name in Corsican wine the world over. I find that his flagship, most consistently delicious, and enjoyable wine is his Carco blanc. It has plenty of the sea salt and minerality common in the best Corsican whites, with the added bonus of a rare Burgundy-like richness and complexity. You just can’t go wrong with this.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case


Speaking of not going wrong . . . Ever since we convinced Canarelli to let us introduce his wine to the United States, it’s been a runaway success. He actually makes a good amount of rosé compared to his other tiny micro-cuvées, yet we get so little of it! The rest is jealously guarded and consumed in Corsica. I have an image of Corsica as a man with an angry Heston-like glare, Canarelli rosé magnum raised above his head, declaring, “From my cold, dead hands!”

$36.00 per bottle $388.80 per case


A special dinner guest once told me that he liked his red wine so rich and thick you could put a fork in the glass and it would stand up. While he told me that, I discreetly pushed away the bottle of Lapierre Morgon I was planning to open. And then I wondered what on earth I could offer that would please this guy, as nothing in my cellar comes remotely close to this horrid category of richness. But I got his message: he likes his wine strong and powerful. Why not tune him into something dark and full bodied yet with plenty of finesse? Canarelli’s Figari rouge did the trick. There’s a wallop of fruit, chewy tannins, and that fresh, vibrant biodynamic thing going on in the background. We killed the bottle in record time and he asked for more. Figari may not hold a fork but hopefully has set a new standard.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case


by Dixon Brooke



Jean Boxler’s fanatical attention to detail and master blending prowess combine forces to produce this rigorously selected entry into the world of Boxler. Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer fuse into a sleek, exotic package with depth, complexity, a whole lot of aromatic interest, and a mighty high registe

ring on the deliciousness scale. Think of it as a snapshot of Alsace that includes most of its grape varieties and many of its terroirs.

$25.00 per bottle $270.00 per case


You have to go back to the 2010 vintage to find a year as exciting for Riesling in Alsace, and even then you wouldn’t find the same style as 2014. These are powerful, focused Rieslings, drier and more transparent than 2010 even if a bit less flamboyant. Both will be fantastic agers. Boxler’s Riesling Réserve is a way to experience his grands crus at a fraction of their true worth. This year’s incarnation is sourced primarily from the Sommerberg vineyard, a steep granite amphitheater that you almost need a rope to climb. Drink now or hold for ten years.

$56.00 per bottle $604.80 per case


Here is ample proof that in the right terroir, Pinot Blanc is capable of producing grand cru wine in Alsace. Planted in the granite of the great Brand vineyard, this parcel is always bottled separately from the rest of the Boxler Pinot Blanc holdings. It produces a wine with the type of consistency from year to year that is a hallmark of grand cru sites: seasonal excesses are smoothed. The result is an intensely stony, dry, regal Pinot Blanc that can age and improve alongside the domaine’s Sylvaner, Muscat, Riesling, and Pinot Gris bottlings.

$40.00 per bottle $432.00 per case

The Arena Family of Patrimonio

   by Anthony Lynch

Antoine Arena, who some consider the historic godfather of Corsican terroir, is gradually passing the torch to his two sons. In a typically Corsican spirit of self-reliance, Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste will carry on the Arena tradition through their very own domaines, having divvied up the family holdings so that each may tend to certain parcels independently. With these new arrivals, you’ll see how the two sons continue to push the envelope, ensuring that Antoine’s legacy lives on and the Arena name is forever associated with pioneering excellence in Corsican wine.

2013 Patrimonio Rouge Carco • Antoine Arena>

Antoine couldn’t bear to relinquish the storied Carco parcel, so he will continue to release the wine under his own label for the time being. This 100% Niellucciu is exactly what we love about the Arena reds: dense, chewy, driven, a bit rustic, and brimming with a wild energy that brings to mind the arid, craggy landscape of the Île de Beauté. From the hands of a Corsican legend, this beauty can be enjoyed young from an ice bucket alongside grilled fish just as it can be cellared for many years, patiently waiting to unleash its full spectrum of island flavors.

$45.00 per bottle $486.00 per case

2014 Vin de France Blanc “Hautes de Carco Macération” • Antoine-Marie Arena>

Hauts de Carco is perhaps the Arenas’ flagship vineyard. Sensing its potential, Antoine famously blasted away at the solid limestone and planted Vermentinu on this steep, fossil-laden plot upslope from Carco and just a stone’s throw from the sea. Today, his son Antoine-Marie explores this extreme terroir through a new lens. A one-month infusion of the juice on its skins unleashes another dimension of Malvasia, as the grape is known locally, while maintaining the salinity and herbaceous nuances typical of its terroir. Let the “Maceration” breathe and enjoy its qualities at table—Antoine-Marie served it with freshly caught, pan-seared calamari seasoned with garlic, Espelette pepper, and a dash of olive oil.

$39.00 per bottle $421.20 per case

2014 Muscat de Cap Corse “Grotte di Sole”
Jean-Baptiste Arena>

The Arena sons are as eager to think outside the box and execute novel ideas (see above) as they are to honor the local winemaking traditions that have come to define Corsica. One such tradition, Cap Corse’s celebrated dessert wine, represents one of the most fascinating and intriguing expressions of Muscat in the world. Talk about a sense of place: Muscat grown here seems to soak up the smells of its surroundings to give a uniquely Corsican perfume. It radiates Mediterranean sunshine, suggesting maquis wildflowers along with hints of wild mint and other herbs. Try splashing a dollop of the nectar over a seasonal fruit salad, then pour each of your guests a glass to accompany it—they are sure to be wowed.

$48.00 per bottle $518.40 per case

Introducing Davide Vignato, Domaine Pierre Guillemot, Mighty Alsace

The August Newsletter is now available.

Click here to download the pdf.

Highlights from this month’s newsletter…


by Dixon Brooke

vignatoI am so grateful for having discovered this obscure region, in the volcanic basalt hills east of Soave in northern Italy’s Veneto. I have always loved Venetian whites made from the Garganega grape, and here I came upon an entirely new expression. Gambellara is like Soave but less suave—the basalt and Davide’s biodynamic viticulture give a dry, nervy, stony, citrusy expression of Garganega that is incredibly thirst-quenching and invigorating.


This delicious Italian white offers refreshment, with wholly original flavors. Lemon zest, star fruit, wet stone, and white flowers all coat the palate in a bone-dry, vitalizing, and immensely enjoyable wine. Picture yourself savoring a glass to stimulate your taste buds as you prepare a meal, perhaps with some antipasti, the way you’d enjoy Fontsainte’s Gris de Gris, for example.

$14.95 per bottle $161.46 per case


On our quest to find you delicious, honestly made wines from well off the beaten track, this Champagne-method sparkler made from the indigenous Durella grape ought to fit the bill. You won’t believe the aromatics rising out of your glass with this one! It tastes like you have dipped a straw into the basalt terreno of the Gambellara hills and taken a big, fizzy sip. Uncommonly flinty and stony, Cuvée dei Vignato contains lovely pit fruit and a hint of acacia honey, thanks to the extended aging on the lees.

$27.00 per bottle $291.60 per case



by Julia Issleib

The members of the Guillemot family are without a doubt among the most generous people we work with. Tastings at the domaine always end with an old vintage from the ’70s, ’60s, or ’50s, and for very exceptional occasions from the 1947 vintage, the first that Pierre Guillemot bottled.

Pierre’s grandsons, Vincent and Philippe, are deeply rooted in their long family tradition but curious to learn something new, wanting to make sure to use all the tools at their disposal in order to create their assertively traditional, bright, brilliant wines.


If you’re lucky enough to taste at Domaine Guillemot, the tasting will invariably start with this white: current vintage first, then an unlabeled, dusty bottle covered in mold, freshly fetched from the depths of the cellar. The oldest one I’ve tasted was from 1975, and it was gorgeous—a toasted hazelnut nose, buttery richness on the palate, but still a lot of freshness. So you should buy enough to drink half now and forget the other half for a decade or more.

$40.00 per bottle $432.00 per case


This could be your weekly Burgundy. It’s fresh and thirst-quenching, thanks to its beautiful minerality and red fruit aromas. After a while, notes of leather, violets, and underbrush make the wine gain in complexity and allow it to accompany your entire meal.

$24.00 per bottle $259.20 per case


The family’s flagship premier cru Serpentières vineyard stands out as a Savigny of great elegance, complexity, and profoundness. Blackberries, herbs, dark chocolate, juniper . . . all come together into a multilayered wine of beautiful balance that deserves to be aged for a few years.

$46.00 per bottle $496.80 per case


by Dixon Brooke

domaine OSTERTAG >

André Ostertag’s classic Riesling bottling from his hometown of Epfig has to be one of the purest, most typical bottlings of the variety in the world. The Ostertag Ostertag-detaildomaine, founded in 1966, celebrated fifty years of history this year. André’s father handed him the keys to the family cellars when André was in his early twenties, and he taught himself how to make wine the old-fashioned way: over time, by doing. We are the beneficiaries of his patiently honed expertise.

$28.00 per bottle $302.40 per case

domaine OSTERTAG >

Fronholz is typically the raciest, stoniest of the Ostertag family of Pinot Gris. From the deliciously approachable and impeccably balanced 2012 vintage, this fine-grained, ethereal example is no exception. I have been singing the praises of great Alsatian Pinot Gris a lot lately, and I don’t intend to slow down. There are currently more white Burgundy lovers than dry Alsatian Pinot Gris lovers out there, and I aim to even the score!

$54.00 per bottle $583.20 per case


Dry Muscat is one of Alsace’s most undervalued and least-known treasures, and also one of my favorite apéritifs. Try it with a bowl of fresh strawberries––it sings! Kuentz-Bas-detailDon’t run the other way when you see the word Muscat, thinking you will be buying a dessert wine. In Alsace, they grow several variations of the grape, and they specialize in producing dry wines that have the added benefit of Muscat’s beautiful and complex aromatics. It is considered a noble grape in Alsace, and the grands crus from the best sites can be some of the region’s longest-lived wines. This beauty from Kuentz-Bas doesn’t need to age another day.

$24.00 per bottle $259.20 per case


This vintage will go down in the books as a historic one for Alsatian Riesling. It has the power and intensity of 2010, but with less residual sugar and therefore even more purity. Eichberg is one of two large grands crus located below the town of Husseren-les-Châteaux, which Kuentz-Bas calls home. The other is Pfersigberg. The latter’s wines are known for finesse, while Eichberg is all about power. These are big, masculine wines that you definitely do not need to be in a hurry to consume. Samuel Tottoli at Kuentz-Bas has made some of the greatest wines in his career with his range of 2014 Trois Châteaux Rieslings. I would hate for you to miss them.

$49.00 per bottle $529.20 per case


One of my preferred house wines (especially handy since it comes in a liter-sized bottle), Meyer’s “Edel,” as they call it locally, is wonderfully balanced between fruity and dry. A custom blend every year from all the various grape varieties and terroirs that Félix Meyer works, this delightfully tasty wine has a complexity-to-price ratio that is one of the highest in the KLWM portfolio.

$18.00 per liter bottle $194.40 per case


Powerhouse intensity, concentration, kaleidoscopic flavor, unique terroir: in short, one of the great Riesling terroirs in all of northern Europe, particularly when Meyer-Fonne-detailtranslated by the talented hand of Félix Meyer. Much like the weighty clay and marl terroir itself, Schoenenbourg is heavy stuff. Only ten cases are imported into the United States every year—well, nine and a half after I get my share. Compare its price to that of a top grower’s premier cru white Burgundy and then try to develop a list of reasons not to jump all over this opportunity delivered by the current imperfection of market forces.

$54.00 per bottle $583.20 per case

How to Drink Orange Wines

The Kermit Lynch Guide to Enjoying Macerated Whites

by Anthony Lynch

The phenomenon has spread like wildfire: now on wine lists from Paris to Tokyo to New York to San Francisco, the category ORANGE appears alongside WHITE, RED, and we hope, ROSÉ. Why orange wines? In an effort to obtain a texturally and aromatically distinctive creation in a sly nod to the primitive days of vinification, producers around the world have embraced the practice of fermenting white wines on their skins to yield these so-called orange, amber, or skin-contact wines. Perhaps you curiously ordered a glass in a trendy wine bar and immediately scrunched your nose in revulsion at the flagrant stench of rotting beets, underripe apricot pit, and lukewarm compost pile. While there’s no doubt that many examples of the style come across as surprising, if not outright offensive, it is important to approach such wines with patience and open-mindedness. Before you give up on orange wines for good, take a look at our expert guide to enjoying these most unusual of fermented grape beverages.

  • Make sure there are no faults – This may seem obvious, but the number of flawed orange wines on the market should keep you on your toes. Producers of skin-fermented whites often tend toward the extreme end of the natural winemaking spectrum, and as many bottle with little or no sulfur, off-aromas are not unheard of. However, skin maceration is no excuse for oxidation, reduction, volatile acidity, or other winemaking faults—give it a sniff to ensure it is clean so you do not waste your time trying to understand a wine that is downright screwed up.
  • Give it air – Like red wines, macerated whites possess tannins that may need time to soften. Additionally, unfiltered wines may contain lees (dead yeast cells left over from fermentation) in addition to these tannins—both substances that protect wine from oxygenation, and can favor the development of slightly unpleasant reductive aromas. Fetch a decanter or plan to open the bottle an hour or two beforehand in order to allow the aromas to blossom and let otherwise grippy tannins resolve. Remember, you may even find it tastes best on day two or three.
  • Don’t serve it too cold – Macerated wines are more structured than typical whites, so serving them cold will make their tannins appear hard and astringent. Instead, aim for a cool room temperature.
  • Find the right pairing – While these are certainly fascinating wines to analyze and dissect, they are not meant for casual sipping or quaffing by any means. On the other hand, they offer countless opportunities at table: with the weight and structure of a red wine but flavors closer aligned with the white-wine world, they lend themselves to many unexpected and often tricky pairings. Finding the right one could be the difference between a dud bottle and the revelation of your wine life. Here are some suggestions:
    •   Earthy dishes (bitter greens, mushrooms, root vegetables, etc.)
    •   Fatty fish and seafood (tuna, salmon, sea urchins)
    •   Anything with tentacles
    •   Simply prepared white meats
    •   Patés and terrines
    •   Aged cheeses (but not too strong)

We have two macerated whites in stock at the moment:


In the Corsican cru of Patrimonio, Antoine-Marie Arena sources these grapes from his family’s striking Hauts de Carco parcel, a steep limestone hillside littered with huge stones and marine fossils. A one-month “infusion” of the cap extracts color, aromatics, and depth from the native Vermentinu grape, known locally as Malvasia. Saline and herbaceous, it is a new lens through which we can appreciate this great Mediterranean terroir.

$39.00 per bottle $421.12 per case


Didier Barral of Faugères allows this unusual blend of mainly Terret and Terret Gris to macerate for three days in his ancient wooden basket press. After a spontaneous fermentation, the wine ages in stainless steel and is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no added sulfur. Its fleshiness and textural singularity will incite a tactile revolution on your palate.

$48.00 per bottle $518.40 per case



A Fresh New Sound from Bordeaux

by Anthony Lynch


Bordeaux is typically not a wine that makes you want to shake, rattle, or roll. But that’s about to change, thanks to this new cuvée from Olivier Techer, the youngster running things at Gombaude-Guillot. His idea is to take out the components that make Bordeaux uncool—heavy oak, big tannins, and the pursuit of high scores—leaving just vivid fresh fruit and suave tannins in a radically drinkable expression of this pedigreed terroir. This is Pomerol like we’ve never seen before: delicious, unpretentious, with its hair let down and the amp turned up. Decant it if you’ve got time, then pour yourself a glass and move to the rhythm.


The Organic Vineyards of Gombaude-Guillot                          ©Gombaude-Guillot

July Newsletter: New Arrivals Corsica, Rosé Time Continues, François Rousset-Martin

The July Newsletter is now available.

Click here to download the pdf.

Highlights from this month’s newsletter…


by Chris Santini


I hate to make bold claims, but I gotta say that this is the single greatest pure Sciaccarellu I’ve ever tasted. Once seen as quaint and a bit of a novelty, Sciaccarellu is finally getting its due respect. Monte Bianco has a complexity and subtlety that could rival the greatest Burgundy, and with a strong sense of Mediterranean place. Growers everywhere should take note: in this age of our warming planet, don’t forget the grapes native to your land, as they are best suited to cope. Corsica, as you can imagine, is HOT in the summertime, with little rain. You’d think such weather would be a recipe for jammy and overripe wines, but not with Abbatucci, and not with Sciaccarellu. Don’t call it a comeback—Sciaccarellu has been here for years (millennia, actually). Its DNA is adapted and ready for whatever summer sends its way. It’s learned to live in harmony with the other native flora and benefit from them, too. Then add biodynamic farming to the mix, and voilà! Monte Bianco is incredibly fresh and compelling, with a minimalist structure more akin to a northern climate. If you want to see the new heights Sciaccarellu can attain, this is it right here.

$89.00 per bottle

(Sold Out)

2015 FAUSTINE rosé “vieilles vignes”

Get some of this Sciaccarellu in its rosé form while you can. Every year we beg for more from the estate, and they tell us no. Faustine is no mass-production rosé; it’s from parcels adapted specifically and exclusively for rosé. The result is steeped in terroir.


$35.00 per bottle $378.00 per case


The third and final declination of Sciaccarellu is in this deliberately overcropped, high-acid, light red form. As the label implies, drink it chilled! This perfect summer rouge is made for the ice bucket. There’s a lot of talk these days about red wines made via extraction of grapes versus reds made via infusion of grapes. Here is the textbook version, and showpiece, of the elegance and light touch of the infusion approach.

$28.00 per bottle $302.40 per case


Once you’ve emptied the rouge frais from the ice bucket and are looking to follow up with a little something to sink your teeth into, this is it. While full of wild Corsican brush aromatics, E Prove contains plenty of juice and sunshine, too. Don’t worry, though, about it going over the top, since it has been tamed for more than two years of aging in large oak casks and is released when ready for your table. I call this rouge the quintessential pairing for hearty Mediterranean dishes.

$22.00 per bottle  $237.60 per case


From out in the middle of the barren scrublands Corsicans call their desert comes one of the best values you can find for this quality of Corsican rouge. It’s no simple wine, though; it’s just that this domaine is still under the radar and hasn’t attained the star status of some of its neighbors . . . yet. This vintage marks the first year of organic conversion for the estate, too. Get in on it before you-know-what happens.

$19.95 per bottle $215.46 per case


by Clark Z. Terry


Out of the five Languedoc rosés we have in stock at this moment, this is my pick to take home. It has some stiff competition, as Languedoc rosé delivers incredible value, but the Ravaille brothers of Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup have the touch and terroir to take their wines up a notch. Notes of apricot and garrigue stand out at first taste, but what draws me in is the weight, or perhaps the gravity, of the wine on the palate—it’s mouth-coating and lingering, multilayered and ever evolving. You can taste it long after you’ve finished the glass. All that for just 16 bucks!

$16.00 per bottle $172.80 per case


We have imported the Joguet rosé since the 1970s, but it still flies under the radar, overshadowed by the apparent sexiness of basically any rosé that comes from the south of France. Refreshment is needed in the north, too, far from the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean. They have rivers in the Loire, so grab a bottle of Chinon for the next time you plan a picnic next to a stream. Smoked trout, paté, or a Loire chèvre with a crusty baguette will pair quite nicely with this juicy Cab Franc rosé.

$20.00 per bottle $216.00 per case


Peace and Love. That’s what Agnès Henry, vigneronne at Tour du Bon, will tell you her domaine is all about. Mind you, her property isn’t some hippy commune (but there is a bed-and-breakfast if you’d like to visit). Peace and love for the earth is what she means, from the untamed flower garden that greets you to organic treatments for the vines, and keeping the property’s hilltop forest instead of putting in more vines.

Her 2015 rosé is lithe, delicate, and fresh. Aromas of rosemary and summer peaches couple with pure enjoyment. You’ll find it is best to drink this wine in a garden with a peaceful someone you love.

$30.00 per bottle $324.00 per case


Rose-with-mussels © Gail Skoff


a new jurassic phenom

by Dixon Brooke


This Chardonnay comes from Savagnin country, namely the steep limestone slopes below the village of Château Chalon. This bottling reminds me a bit of Savagnin Vert, a green-skinned version of the grape that is rarely bottled separately. It is racy, with a distinct taste of lime and a pleasant bitter edge. But La Chaux is Chardonnay, after all, and its ample mouthfeel and pleasant fruitiness offset the force of terroir that is Château Chalon. Only two barrels produced!

$39.00 per bottle $421.20 per case


Named after its terroir of white marl or “white earth,” this beautifully detailed Jurassic Chardonnay is made in the ouillé or topped-up style (as is the La Chaux above), meaning the barrels are topped off with wine as the wine evaporates, rather than left underneath a thin veil of yeast (sous voile) that causes the wine to gently oxidize over time. This latter technique is more typical historically in the Jura. Why the ouillé technique has not been employed more frequently has always mystified me, given the unbelievable geological complexity underlying the vineyards of the Jura that can be beautifully translated by the vine and is often masked with sous voile. As intriguingly delicious as the sous voile wines can be (we offer one magnificent example here), these ouillé wines offer more approachability (in taste and price) and a wider variety of possibilities at table.

Terres Blanches is produced from forty- to fifty-year-old vines in the village of Lavigny. Aromatically very fresh, the bottling hints of beeswax on the palate, and the finish is dominated by a strong, stony goût de terroir. With it, I’ll take the rabbit terrine.

$39.00 per bottle $421.20 per case

Chateau-Colon Château Chalon                                                   © Dixon Brooke


Here we have a Savagnin made in the ouillé style from late-harvest grapes that were just beginning to show a purple tinge (Savagnin is related to Gewurztraminer, and both grapes deliver hauntingly complex aromas and flavors at this stage). The equilibrium of this wine is startling: rich, layered, and complex, it is high in concentration and low in alcohol. It has a touch of sweetness in the center and finishes with a salty, dry tang that is uniquely Jurassien. “Sous Roche” refers to the location of this vineyard “under the rock” outcropping that supports Château Chalon above, one of the Jura’s grands crus for Savagnin.

$44.00 per bottle $475.20 per case


The Clos Bacchus is another one of the Jura’s most reputed terroirs for Savagnin. We offered the ouillé version of this vineyard in April with the 2013 Veine Bleue de Bacchus. Imagine if that dry, lemony, saline wine had been left to age in barrel for another five years sous voile. Well, you don’t have to imagine, because this is what it tastes like. Honey and musk emerge from the glass in a deeply complex mélange that is reminiscent of yellow chartreuse. On the palate it is a different animal entirely, with salty comté cheese rind and high treble acidity, finishing with a suggestion of toasted walnuts. I highly recommend finishing off a nice dinner party with a bottle of this and a platter of the Jura’s great cheeses.

$74.00 per bottle $799.20 per case

Northern Rhône


by Dixon Brooke


The collaboration between Louis Barruol of Gigondas and Kermit continues to evolve, and if these most recent releases are a sign of the direction this project will take in the future, we are in for a real treat. As quality-seeking merchants with firm ideas about what Crozes and Côte-Rôtie should taste like, we have open minds, noses, and palates that have led us to Louis’s doorstep—in Gigondas, of all places. What we have here is a winning partnership. Pay attention to this Crozes cuvée: all of the fruit is sourced from the prized hillside terroirs of the appellation. These hillsides represent a very small percentage of its planted surface and bear more resemblance to Hermitage than Crozes Hermitage and Côtes-du-Rhône. You’ll find the classic northern Rhône Syrah floral aromatics, a texture of velvet, and a wine of class, finesse, and complexity.

$35.00 per bottle $378.00 per case


Stepping up a bit to the “Roasted Slope,” La Boisselée is a proprietary cuvée whose blend changes from year to year based on whatever tastes best. In 2013 the wine was sourced exclusively from the lieu-dit of Le Plomb, a mica-schist terroir north of Ampuis, above Nève and Viallère. The aroma of well-made Côte-Rôtie (stems included) is unmistakable. When you smell it, you wonder whether the appellation was named for the sunbaked slopes or the wine’s roasted aroma; suggestions of charred meat and sometimes coffee are usually present. Floral perfumes are also typical, especially white lilies. On the palate, this wine is ample, with a full, mouth-filling texture, and the tannins are smooth as silk—the sun gets the best of the earth. As good as La Boisselée is now, it will be glorious in ten years.

$79.00 per bottle $853.20 per case



This is without a doubt one of my favorite red wines in our entire portfolio. I like its medium body and its corresponding versatility at table. I like its reasonable price and its consistent ability to over-deliver, both young and old. Here are a few more appropriate adjectives, without delving into the aroma wheel: pretty, sleek, gutsy, smart, polished, and fit. Above all, this wine puts pleasure first, yet does so in a way that makes you thoughtfully take notice. It has presence. There are many other wines as good for the price but none better.

$32.00 per bottle $345.60 per case

“Joyous” Gigondas

  by Chris Santini

For me, it’s no surprise—legend has it that Gigondas derived its name many moons ago from jucunda, Latin for “joyous.” I personally associate Gigondas with many joyous occasions, beginning back in the 1980s when as a kid I would accompany my father on trips there, where he would purchase the fresh vintage in bulk, which we would then bottle ourselves by hand. Later, in the 1990s, my siblings and I figured out how to dismantle the lock on the cellar door and empty said bottles over a few (quite joyous) days. How can I forget the 1999 Les Pallières I cracked open ten years ago the day Kermit hired me here in Beaune? Of course, I still recall the palpable excitement and joy in the cellar of Les Pallières back in 2008, tasting through the 2007 vintage with Kermit and the Brunier brothers, the day the code of Pallières terroir was finally cracked and the decision made to bottle “Terrasse du Diable” and “Les Racines” as two distinct cuvées.

A joyous wine, like a joyous person, is one that is bien dans sa peau, as the French say, “comfortable in one’s skin.” Gigondas is small enough, far enough off the radar, to be able to pay no heed to trends and fashions. In neighboring Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for example, with a reputation and a price tag that allow no room for disappointment, winemakers have often turned to consultants to help make wines sure to please the public’s taste of the day. Gigondas, with a loyal and long-term following, can just carry on as usual. Who doesn’t like a little bit of joy in their glass?

The two cuvées from Les Pallières showcase the two facets of Gigondas that have produced such loyalty and transcended changes in taste over the centuries. The Terrasse du Diable is all about the marked minerality and freshness of higher-elevation vineyards, planted in the fallen rocks from the 200-million-year-old Dentelles de Montmirail that tower above. The Les Racines cuvée displays the silky, deep, complex expression of old-vine Gigondas, which is planted around the house, chapel, and winery. The 2014 vintage offers exceptional balance, plenty of violet, lavender, and licorice-infused tannins, and, as always, an abundance of joy.

per case

2014 Gigondas “Les Racines” >


2014 Gigondas “Terrasse du Diable” >


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