Moving right along here. I was severely tempted to have the subject of this email call this wine something it’s not, but homie don’t roll that way. A great part of the reason that this wine falls into its price category is that it is, technically, NOT from Bordeaux. It is Montravel. Montravel is an appellation that sits just east of Bordeaux’s northeastern border. What’s interesting to note here, at the risk of thoroughly confusing not only myself, but all of you as well, is that when I make the drive from Château Couronneau, which is in the Bordeaux AOC, to Château Puy-Servain, which is not, I drive northwest. Okay whatever, right? The point I’m trying to make is that though Daniel’s wines aren’t from the appellation, they exude Bordeaux.

As I just said to our friend and good customer Carl, 2009 is going to be the new 1990; meaning the wines from every appellation in France are superb. 2009 Bordeaux is all that, and then some. Back in April, when Daniel broke out his Montravel Vieilles Vignes and told me it was from 2009,my expectations heightened. Now I am all for managing expectations – one of my “Peteyisms” is, “Planning leads to expectations, and expectations are the harbinger of disappointment. You see a lot more kids crying at Disneyland than you do at the dentist.” So, after 10 days in Bordeaux, tasting hundreds of fantastic samples, the trip to Puy-Servain was my final scheduled tasting. Even with the lofty expectations, the Montravel was singing with class and distinction. The unmistakable 2009 structure was ever-present. The fruit was rich and ripe, the oak was well-integrated giving the wine texture and spice, and the acidity kept the wine fresh and lively. All in all, not a bad way to finish 10 days of tasting.

All of the Château Puy-Servain wines arrived not long ago, but it was this past week when a sample of the Montravel Vieilles Vignes was opened. I speak for our entire staff when I say that this wine, in many ways, sums up what we do here pretty well. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we meet in the middle, and sometimes we have to go to them, but by whichever means, we taste a lot of wines in order to find wines like the 2009 Château Puy-Servain Montravel Vieilles Vignes to bring to your respective tables. The wine is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Vinified in barrique (approximately 30% new), the wine possesses a particular degree of seriousness. As our staff swirled around the tasting table, interjections of praise were lavished on the wine. “Wow, the fruit is so expressive!” “OMG, this could be St. Emilion! I wouldn’t be surprised if you could sneak this into a St. Emilion tasting as a ringer.” “Holy cow, the structure and balance are that of a much more expensive wine!”

Moving along indeed. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, here’s a candidate for your red wine. Easy on the pocketbook, serious and classy in the glass. Thanksgiving? Wow. This is my last Sunday email before the big day. I’ve got quite the checklist of things to do before hand: finish this email, get our 34th Anniversary Sale up and running, get the paper newsletter for the sale mailed out, get in the studio and cut demos for 2 more songs just written, get a Sunday email prepared for two weeks from now (because I won’t be here), and start packing. For this year on Turkey Day, I’ll be on my way to see the Chels play a home game. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!Peter Zavialoff