Celebrate November 20 With CRU Beaujolais

Friday, November 21, 2014 2:13 AM

It’s here! It’s the third Thursday of November.Thanksgiving is ONE week away and today, at bistros and brasseries worldwide, the northern hemisphere’s very first wine from 2014 is being served. No matter where you stand on the issue of Nouveau Beaujolais, the undeniable fact of the matter is that it has become a tradition andsomething to celebrate, for the sake of celebration itself. It gives one the excuse to check into their local Franco-centric establishment and partake in festivity. The wines are light, fruity, and easy to drink. The advertisingfor the unveiling of these wines is plentiful, and even if you’ve never been to France, it’s difficult to not be taken in by the hype. So, if one is open to the simplicity of Nouveau, why not dig a bit deeper and have a look into the finest wines from this region: Cru Beaujolais!

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In the French wine world, “Cru” means “Growth.” You won’t see the fancy (and often expensive) names “Grand Cru” or “Premier Cru” in Beaujolais. There is a lot of wine that comes from Beaujolais, including Nouveau, butthe BEST of these wines come from Beaujolais’ 10 Crus. Killing two birds with one stone here, the names of the 10 Crus were humorously listed today on Twitter, as “List of ten wines that go with turkey.” In no particular order:
 
Saint Amour
Juliénas
Régnié
Moulin à Vent
Fleurie
Morgon
Chiroubles
Chénas
Brouilly
Cote de Brouilly
 
 
 
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It is humorous for us wine industry folks, as we have been known to recommend Beaujolais tirelessly to customers seeking Turkey Day red wines.Thanksgiving is a special occasion, so if you’re looking to open something fancier, by all means do so! But taking the traditional T-Day spread into consideration, if you’re going the red route, something light on its feet, spicy, and fruit-driven is the way to go. Knee-jerk reaction? Bam!Beaujolais. Cru Beaujolais, that is.
 

 

It being November and all, we’ve received several inquiries about a sale that usually occurs around this time. Stay tuned, as we will unveil the Anniversary Salewith a bit of fanfare in the coming days. (Though some of you may want to surf around our website. You never know what you might find.) What if one of the wines on sale were a Cru Beaujolais? Read on.
 
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The 2011 Château de Raousset Chiroubles is the lightest of the bunch, with dazzling aromas of bright cherries, forest floor, and baking spices. It’s a great intro to the world of the Cru. Raousset’s Fleurie Grille-Midi is at its peak right now showing off the complexity, balance, and weight that earned that Médaille d’Or on the bottle.The Morgon Douby is the most structured of the trio; it’s got a dark middle and earthy mineral qualities to it. It’s still Gamay Noir, so it’s elegant and not at all tannic – best part is that it’s on sale! Our other Morgon is from Domaine Pierre Savoye. It hails from Morgon’s Côte du Py, the prime terroir of this famous Cru. Savoye’s version isbrighter and fruitier, call it a little more slurpable.
 

 

Yes, today is the day that 2014 Nouveau Beaujolais hits the shops, brasseries, and tables across the globe. For the other 364 days of the year, if you’re talking about Beaujolais, head on over to the Cru section. For as simple and light-hearted as Nouveau is, Beaujolais’ Crus have so much complexity and elegance to offer. It’s as ifNouveau Beaujolais is made to drink while standing, while the Cru Beaujolais is something you may want to sip and discuss while sitting. Hey, a reason to celebrate is a reason to celebrate. Bon fête!
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2014 Bastille Day Weekend Sale

Saturday, July 12, 2014 12:29 AM

Happy Friday!!! Being importers of French wines, it’s a pretty big Friday around here. For Monday is la fête nationale, the day we call, Bastille Day! Always a day for revelry and celebration, there’s no right or wrong way to participate in the festivities. Just get your French on!There are many ways to do this. You can hit up your local brasserie, or watch your favorite French film. Spin some Edith Piaf … or any French music for that matter. Anything from Charles Trenet to Ben l’onlce Soul. Better yet, cook up your own French dinner with music playing in the background. Ah, but what better way to be festive than to celebrate la fête with French wine!

 

We thought we’d make that part easy on you. For the occasion, we’re knocking the prices down on several of fête-worthy wines from all over France! The sale goes on through Monday. Bon weekend et bon fête nationale!

Alsace

NV Domaine Ehrhart Cremant d’Alsace
Sparkling; White Blend; Alsace;
SALE $12.95

 

Reg. $17.98

  Add to Cart
Perfect for celebrations!
2011 Domaine Ehrhart Gewurztraminer Herrenweg
White Wine; Gewurztraminer; Alsace;
SALE $12.95

 

Reg. $20.99

  Add to Cart
For spicy food lovers.
2010 Domaine Ehrhart Riesling Hengst
White Wine; Riesling; Alsace;
SALE $23.95

 

Reg. $31.49

  Add to Cart
Fancy an Alsatian twist to your Bastille Day festivities? This Grand Cru will be sublime with choucroute.
White Burgundy
2012 Sebastien Dampt Terroir De Milly Petit Chablis
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
SALE $11.95

 

Reg. $15.99

  Add to Cart
From David’s latest Chablis discovery, the wines from Sébastien Dampt represent incredible value. His Petit Chablis ALREADY tips the quality/price scale at its retail price. Guess what? The 2013 is now here, so let’s say bye-bye to the 2012. You’re not going to want to miss this.
2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
SALE $39.95

 

Reg. $55.99

  Add to Cart
Okay, enter the world of fancier white Burgundy …
2011 Domaine Pernot Belicard Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
SALE $54.95

 

Reg. $84.99

  Add to Cart
Made by Philippe Pernot, the grandson of the legendary Paul. It’s Puligny. It’s made by a Pernot. It’s on sale!
2006 Domaine Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Garenne
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
SALE $59.95

 

Reg. $84.99

  Add to Cart
No introduction needed.
2006 Chateau de la Maltroye Batard-Montrachet
White Wine; Chardonnay; Burgundy;
SALE $119.95

 

Reg. $278.99

  Add to Cart
Just in case you want to get extra fancy.
Red Burgundy
2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos du Chateau Rouge (half bottle)
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
SALE $26.95

 

Reg. $34.99

  Add to Cart
2009 Red Burgundy in half bottle on sale?
2008 Chateau de la Maltroye Santenay Rouge 1er La Comme
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
SALE $27.95

 

Reg. $38.99

  Add to Cart
The under-the-radar village of Santennay has been garnering some attention lately. It’s boasts 11 Premier Cru vineyards! Here’s the Premier Cru La Comme.
2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St. Jean Rouge
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
SALE $47.95

 

Reg. $64.99

  Add to Cart
Again, 2009? Maltroye’s Premier Cru Clos St. Jean vineyard is known for its clay soils which allows the fruit to express itself without a long slumber. Coupled with the fact that this is from 2009, you can drink it this weekend or on Bastille Day 2022!
2011 Stephane Magnien Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
SALE $59.95

 

Reg. $92.99

  Add to Cart
Another recent addition to our direct-import Burgundy stable, young Stéphane Magnien has some incredible holdings and lets his terroir do the talking. This Premier Cru Chambolle is special stuff, indeed.
2006 Domaine Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
SALE $79.95

 

Reg. $132.79

  Add to Cart
For those that wish to go Grand Cru. Makes for a great gift also.
Rhone Valley
2011 Tour de l’Isle Cotes du Rhone Blanc
White Wine; other white varietal; Rhone;
SALE $9.95

 

Reg. $14.59

  Add to Cart
Côtes du Rhône blanc made from equal parts Marsanne, Rousanne, Clairette, and Grenache Blanc. Great balance and complexity.
2009 Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee Nadal
Red Wine; Rhone Blend; Rhone;
SALE $17.95

 

Reg. $25.99

  Add to Cart
“The outrageously delicious 2009 Cotes du Ventoux Nadal (50% tank-aged Grenache from 70-year-old vines, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, both aged in barrel) boasts a dense purple color along with sweet, ripe aromas of black currants, black cherries, licorice and camphor. This opaque purple-colored, dense, opulent, medium to full-bodied, stunning wine sells at an incredibly fair price. 92 points” – Robert Parker
2010 Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Rouge Cuvee Persia
Red Wine; Rhone Blend; Rhone;
SALE $19.95

 

Reg. $31.99

  Add to Cart
“The 2010 Cotes du Ventoux Persia, a blend of 90% Syrah (from 50-year-old vines) and 10% Mourvedre from the estate’s finest terroir, is aged in small barrels and 600-liter demi-muids, with at least one year of aging on its lees. Abundant notes of blackberries and cassis interwoven with hints of espresso roast, white chocolate and acacia flowers are found in this tightly knit, full-bodied, impressive 2010. Tasting like a top-flight northern Rhone Hermitage rather than a wine from the Cotes du Ventoux, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and should keep for 15 years thereafter. 93 points.” – Robert Parker
2010 Domaine Belle Hermitage Blanc
White Wine; other white varietal; Rhone;
SALE $45.95

 

Reg. $61.99

  Add to Cart
More fancy stuff. About as fancy as Marsanne/Roussanne can get, actually.
2004 Albert Belle Hermitage
Red Wine; Syrah/Shiraz; Rhone;
SALE $69.95

 

Reg. $99.99

  Add to Cart
Et voila, 10 year old Hermitage. Already cellared for you and ready to drink.
Loire Valley Chenin Blanc
2011 Hauts des Sanziers Saumur Blanc
White Wine; Chenin Blanc; Loire;
SALE $10.95

 

Reg. $14.49

  Add to Cart
Quality Chenin for a great price.
2011 Domaine d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Les Coudraies
White Wine; Chenin Blanc; Loire;
SALE $13.95

 

Reg. $20.79

  Add to Cart
Demi-sec Chenin Blanc from TWH’s Vouvray producer. Great for spicy dishes and cheeses. Believe it or not, this can age much longer than you think!
Sauternes
2005 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; other white varietal; Bordeaux;
SALE $32.95

 

Reg. $42.98

  Add to Cart
2005 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes
Sweet Wine; other white varietal; Bordeaux;
SALE $59.95

 

Reg. $79.98

  Add to Cart
In such a profound botrytis vintage such as 2005, the Suduiraut continues to turn heads with its delicacy and elegance. What an experience!
2007 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; other white varietal; Bordeaux;
SALE $38.95

 

Reg. $48.98

  Add to Cart
2007 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes
Sweet Wine; other white varietal; Bordeaux;
SALE $69.95

 

Reg. $85.98

  Add to Cart
“The nose takes time to coalesce in the glass, very pure with honey, white peach, Turkish Delight honeysuckle, and beeswax. The palate is beautifully balanced, still with some oak to be subsumed, but has great depth and precision. This is a confident, almost ambitious Suduiraut with great power and intensity towards the botrytis-rich, viscous finish that is endowed with great persistency. Lovely. Drink now-2030. 93 points” – Neal Martin
2005 Chateau Climens Barsac (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE $49.95

 

Reg. $65.98

  Add to Cart
2005 Chateau Climens Barsac
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE $99.95

 

Reg. $119.98

  Add to Cart
“97 points” – Robert Parker. No tasting note given.
2006 Chateau Climens Barsac (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE $47.95

 

Reg. $57.98

  Add to Cart
2006 Chateau Climens Barsac
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE $89.95

 

Reg. $109.98

  Add to Cart
“one of the top wines of 2006. Medium gold, with a slightly more advanced color than I am used to seeing in a young Climens, the wine displays waxy honeyed pineapple and delicate marmalade and citrus notes with a restrained use of new oak. The wine cuts a full-bodied swath across the palate with terrific acidity, freshness, and moderate sweetness. This is a beauty, but perhaps on a much faster evolutionary track than some of their greatest vintages. 94 points” – Robert ParkerReady to drink now.
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2011 Macon Villages From Domaine Mathias

Thursday, July 11, 2013 6:52 PM

The 2011 Macon Villages from Domaine Mathias is my newest, favorite Friday Night Fish Fry wine. It has lemon blossom aromatics, crunchy, tart apple flavors and the 12.5% alcohol level assures a refreshing, thirst-quenching, body-cooling quality.  Case in point, last Friday temperatures soared in Northern California. I had rearranged my work schedule here at TWH to be off that day so that I could help my husband with his summer sports’ camp for ages K-8. There were close to sixty kids in 100 plus weather; you can imagine the challenges. Fortunately we had an air-conditioned room that we could use to cool down in between games and finished the day with an epic water fight and popsicles – now that’s summer fun! We came home tired and sweaty only to discover that our kitchen faucet had a leak and water was pooling on our brand new hardwood floors. After addressing the crisis, I was famished and very, very, very thirsty for something bright and crisp, but also something that would work as an aperitif and then carry over to dinner. As luck would have it, a bottle of Domaine Mathias’ 2011 Macon Villages was chilling in the fridge, so I poured a frosty glass for myself. Ahhhh… as my stress dissipated the flavors of the wine became more and more vivid and precise. Steely, but with enough citrus and snappy apple to make it charming and easy. The experience was delicious and restorative. 

 

Domaine Mathias can trace their beginnings to 1894. Today it is the husband and wife team of Beatrice and Gilles Mathias who run the winery. Parents to four children, they are hopeful one of them will one day take over the family business. The Mathias’ 2011 Macon Villages is a classic example from this appellation. Grown on clay over limestone, the vines are on average 25 years old. All stainless steel tank fermented, most of the work for this wine happens in the vineyard where they are transitioning to organic farming. Chardonnay gets most of its attention at the high end of the spectrum in general and deservedly so as sub-$20 Chardonnay is often bolstered and primped to be more than it should be. The market is flooded with oak-chipped, inexpensive Chardonnays with trace amounts of residual sugar. These wines are clearly popular, but I think many wine drinkers who enjoy, dare I say love, Chardonnay are looking for an alternative. Here it is. Clean, precise and authentic, the Mathias’ Macon Villages can go from pre-dinner to main course with little trouble. After my first glass last Friday, grilled bacon-wrapped scallops, prawns and whole-stuffed calamari accompanied the second one. In that blistering heat, a more intense, barrel-fermented Chardonnay would have been too much of a good thing whereas this simple, correct Macon Villages by Domaine Mathias was the perfect choice.
 

 


Driving in to work today, I felt my first bit of cool air having spent the last few days in sweltering Sonoma County. Lazy days on the beach and raucous family dinners in the evenings were a much-needed respite. I’m counting the days until our next trip back up which will include bottles of Mathias’ Macon Villages to go along with the fried calamari we promised to make for my Paps. Can’t wait! —Anya Balistreri

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Pernot Belicard: 2010 Meursault

Monday, January 7, 2013 8:41 PM


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m-m-m-Meursault!!!

The 2010 Meursault from Pernot Belicard is textbook Meursault, in my opinion. It has ripe peach fruit, a lemon citrus kick and a note of hazelnut on the finish that parlays into a super long honey aftertaste. Village-level Meursault is often faulted for being fat and anonymous, this Meursault from Pernot Belicard is quite the contrary. It has acidity and brightness tangled in with the fruit and it is big on personality. In our effort to scout out a broader selection of affordable quality Burgundy, Pernot Belicard became an obvious choice for TWH to import – which happened in short order soon after David visited them in the early part of 2012. The wines come with impeccable pedigree; winemaker Philippe Pernot is the grandson of our beloved Paul Pernot of Puligny Montrachet.

 

Philippe has worked for his grandfather for several harvests, but has now branched out on his own having the further good fortune of marrying into the Belicard family, a family of wine growers. Philippe has 5 hectares of vines in 9 different climats. The grapes for his village Meursault come from a single parcel of 65-70 year old vines in the lieu dit, or named vineyard, of Les Pelles Dessus. In the cellar, Philippe likes to use 4 different barrel coopers, finding favor in the variety of flavors that they bring to his wines. His barrels are all low toast. I point this out, well, because David had written this down in his tasting notes and it explains the light touch of oak present in his wines, especially the 2010 Meursault.


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Much has been mentioned of my declaration that if I could, I would drink white Burgundy everyday. I am not distancing myself from that statement but let’s face it, I’m not in a position (yet) to afford it.The idea of white Burgundy evokes a luxuriousness for me that equates with fine dining in elegant surroundings. At $49.99 per bottle ($42.49 by the case) – with the 2010 Meursault from Pernot Belicard, affordable luxury can be attainable. The other night, my Italian-American mother-in-law reminisced about the Feast of the Seven Fishes in her youth. Most of her relatives were fisherman and at Christmas Eve the table was laden with crab, prawns, calamari, etc. Growing up in my Russian-American household, Christmas Eve dinner was also meatless, but the entrée was fish kotleti, aka fishburgers, with a mushroom sauce. What I wouldn’t do for a glass of nutty golden-hued Meursault to wash down those kotleti!

The other day I asked my daughter if she considered her behavior in general as Naughty or Nice, and whether she thought Santa Claus would be bringing her presents this year. Without hesitation she told me that she was fairly certain she had been better behaved this year than last and since Santa Claus did come last year, she’s pretty sure he’ll show up this year too. Now how can you argue with logic like that?!! To all of you, my sincerest wishes for a peaceful, laughter-filled and joyous Holiday Season, preferably all served up with a tasty glass of wine!Anya Balistreri

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A TASTE OF BURGUNDY MAY/JUNE 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012 4:59 PM


A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and (even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles. Sign up now!
 

 

Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.

Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.

2010 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru “Le Champlot”
The 2010 vintage in Burgundy saw production reduced by some 30-50% compared to 2009; so when Sylvain Langoureau’s 1er Cru landed, we knew we had to act fast to get it into your hands before it all sold. To remind you, Saint-Aubin is a village just west of the several vineyards that all have “Montrachet” in their names, including the Grands Crus themselves. The Premier Cru Le Champlot vineyard sits on a hillside facing southwest just above the village of Gamay. If one were to walk along the same hillside to the east, they would eventually find themselves in Puligny-Montrachet. Langoureau’s 2010 Le Champlot very much resembles his 2008, a benchmark vintage for White Burgundy. The seductive aromas are of blossom, mineral, and spicy pears. On the palate, the wine truly shines with great weight and a full body sensation balanced by dazzling acidity. Drink now through 2020.

2005 Domaine Richard Manière Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Les Damodes”
Once upon a time, we imported the Burgundies from Manière-Noirot from Vosne-Romanée. That was back in the late 1980’s, when Richard Manière’s parents ran the Domaine. Richard has had full control of the property for several vintages now. And what do we have here? None other than a 2005 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes! The Les Damodes vineyard sits on the border of Vosne-Romanée, very near the superstar La Tache vineyard. The 2005 vintage for Red Burgundy is, and will be a highly celebrated vintage for years and years to come. The wines have depth and strength, yet reveal concentrated fruit which will greatly reward a minimum of 10 years of cellaring. Guess what? We’ve taken care of the first 7 of those 10 years for you, so the task is easier. Manière’s style is to let the terroir speak through the fruit. He got good color and flavor from his fruit, no need to over-extract, especially in a vintage like this. Expressive and structured, this wine will be at its peak from 2015 through 2025. – Peter Zavialoff

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