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It’s time to take Beaujolais seriously.

Posted on Mar, 06. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

image_518995_fullIf I had to choose one kind of wine that I rarely reach for, but am most often pleasantly surprised by, it would have to be Cru Beaujolais. We’ve done very little with it in the Guild; there’s a great little Régnié that we have stocked on the shelves (and has enjoyed a sort of mini-cult status among those who try it!), but by and large, I just tend to overlook it. Perhaps it’s just that there’s so much generic Beaujolais AOC or villages-level stuff out there that evokes little beyond bright cherries; perhaps all of our brains have been trained, by the lore surrounding Nouveau, to not take it seriously. In any case, I feel like it’s so neglected that it’s almost criminal, especially when a rep brings around a quality bottle and I’m reminded of how brilliant it can be.

To wit: recently, I tried the Chateau de Jacques Moulin-à-Vent 2011, and was sincerelytaken aback. It had honestly been years since I tried a Bojo with this much power, structure, grace and soul, and I couldn’t let it slip away like so many others.

My first thought was just how Burgundian it was. If there’s one valid criticism of Gamay, it’s that it often lacks the structure and composure that good Burgundy has in spades, and thus doesn’t age well and is less serious. Of course, that goes for Nouveau, and much of the villages-level bottlings, but even a good deal of Crus tend to be drink-now wines with less stalwartness than many villages wines from the Cote d’Or. Well, if you’re looking for Burgundian Gamay, look no further than Moulin-à-Vent. These are the most serious, structured wines of Beaujolais. Vines don’t thrive as well here due to the manganese in the soil, which means lower yields…and thus, more concentration and character.

The Chateau de Jacques (a label under the Louis Jadot umbrella) is certainly one of the best examples of this serious style of Gamay that I’ve had. Almost like Pommard in its power, there are even elements here that you are more likely to find in Bandol than Burgundy: mint, sulfur/iron, dusty herbs and smoked meat. In terms of a core, it’s made up primarily of that trademark red cherry/raspberry fruit, but even that’s not nearly as playful as in your everyday Beaujolais. In terms of weight and texture, this again drinks like Pommard; unlike most Beaujolais, it’s partially aged in oak, adding to the brooding “serious wine” aura and giving it even more structure. There’s bright acid, but it’s not sharp, and the finish is soft yet tannic – all of which leads me believe that this will be even better in 5 or 6 years.

Here’s Wine Advocate’s David Schildknecht on the matter…seems as though we’re in agreement:

Reflecting (as explained in my introductory notes) the inclusion of all of Chateau des Jacques’s fruit from Champs de Cour and Clos des Thorins as well as the usual selected lots from all of their other Clos holdings, a generic 2011 Moulin-a-Vent mingles ripe dark cherry, plum and cassis with marrow-rich savory suggestions of meat stock. Salt, stone, iodine, mocha and toasted nuts add intrigue to a sustained finish in this lovely, tenderly textured and relatively gentle offering that pales slightly only in comparison with the active impingement that characterizes this year’s Chenas and Fleurie tasted immediately before. Incidentally, this was brought-up in one-third each in new barriques, used barriques and tank, in contrast with the nearly 100% new barrels in which the estate’s single vineyard Moulin-a-Vents continue to be raised. An outstanding value, it should reward following at least through 2017 and quite possibly beyond. 91 points.

At retail, yes, an outstanding value. At Guild prices, though, it’s under $20…true “no-brainer” territory. You want wine like this north of Chagny? Prepare to pay double! If you’re inexperienced in how rewarding serious Beaujolais can be, this is your crash course…but if you already know, then you’ve probably clicked the order link by now.

Chateau de Jacques Moulin-à-Vent
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Retail Price: ~$26.00

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We Need To Talk.

Posted on Feb, 20. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

I’ve remained silent, for years, because it’s a sensitive subject. “Let it go”, they said, “let them live their lives their own way”. And so I backed off. I bit my tongue. I watched in silence as great opportunities were squandered. So it goes. 

Inline image 1Well, no longer can I sit idly by.  We need to talk. No, please, sit back down. It’s because  we care. I’ve invited you all here today to talk about the conspicuous lack of sexy tall bottles in your cellars. Riesling. Pinot Gris. Pinot Blanc. Gewurtztraminer. And yes, perhaps even Muscat! We’ve stocked these wines in the past, and they sat on the shelves for an eternity. I’ve offered some of my all-time favorites, and few were interested. And so, for too long, I’d thrown in the towel. Reps would bring by fantastic “sweet” German Spatleses, and I would get goosebumps from them, but as much as I loved it, it was always the same rebuff: I can’t sell it.

But no more. I’m bringing ‘em back. I was inspired by an old favorite last week, the mineral-drenched Spatlese Riesling from Monchhof (a Bavarian powerhouse that makes no bad wine). This needs to be in everyone’s glass, I said to my rep, and so it is my first entry in the “Tall Bottle Intervention” series. The 2012 Monchhof Riesling Spatlese ‘Mosel Slate’ is a perfect balance between the dry, bracing style, and the glycerine-rich Ausleses; I tasted this right after a bright “dry Spatlese” (the German designations are based on potential alcohol, not residual sugar…hence, “dry Spatlese”), and the richness on the palate was like sinking into a pre-warmed bed on a freezing January evening…gahhhhh. It’s a plush, round, juicy wine up front, with plenty of wet stone on the nose (big surprise…it’s called “Mosel Slate” and it’s got a picture of a big old piece of slate on the label!) and a pristine lemon meringue coating.

However, the real genius of this wine, as with all wines of this type, is the balance. For every gram of residual sugar, there’s enough soft citrus-esque acid on the other end of the seesaw to perform the perfect dance on your palate. On the periphery, there’s ripe, mouthwatering fruit like summer peaches and melons, a touch of rich amondine nuttiness, and a complexity that seems to evolve by the minute as it sees more air. The Mosel Slate will also age well for another 5 years or maybe more, as it has plenty of acidity to keep everything structured.

Most of all, though, you need to drink this wine with food. Not just any food, but Thai food. There’s a fantastic little hole in the wall down south of Lovingston called Thai Siam. For C-villians, it’s a trek to be sure, and it’s takeout only, but so worth it. Get the Drunken Noodles with chicken and the green curry with beef, and a few fresh spring rolls. Ask for medium heat if you’re not scared of a little spice. Bring it home, sit down with a bottle of the Mosel Slate, and you will be transported into another dimension of food-wine pairing. The spiciness of the food would obliterate most wines, but the richness of the Riesling coats your palate and the acidity cleans it all up. The bright citrus notes in the wine play so will with the spices in the food, too…you can thank me later.

2012 Monchhof Riesling Spatlese ‘Mosel Slate’
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Retail Price: $29.99

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Good News, Bad News: The Last of the Vergets?

Posted on Feb, 19. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

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For a good while now, some of our favorite French Chardonnay has come from Maison Verget. Their Macon Villages Terres de Pierres was a staple on our shelves until it recently ran out, and we’ve featured other Maconnaise selections from them in the past, with great results. All around, their wines are of remarkable quality and enjoyability, especially for the money.

The bad news is that the estate has gotten increasingly difficult for the distributor to work with, and so they’ve decided to part ways. They may get picked up by another importer, but who knows when or if that will actually happen. Boooo!

The good news is that the distributor is closing out their remaining inventory.

Our rep, knowing how much we love Verget, dropped off a few samples the other day, and so I’m going to write up my two favorites this week. First off is the 2011 Chablis Terres de Pierres.  Now, granted, I’m used to Verget’s Maconnaise bottlings, but this wine made me wonder what else I’ve been missing from their work to the north of Chagny. It would be considered a tremendous value at its normal price, but at this clearance price, it’s the kind of thing you stock up on by the case. It’s driven primarily by crushed seashells, wet stone and soft citrus, but it’s got a touch more body than many sub-$20 village Chablis…with a silky, plush, welcoming texture on the palate. That body and texture are what make this wine so viscerally satisfying – while there are stones and lemons and herbs (thyme or maybe tarragon?) on the nose, the palate is just ripe enough, just soft enough, but with plenty of acidity to keep it balanced and lively.

It’s a perfect counterpoint to the bracing, zippy Chablis that we so often see (and which have their place, of course), because it’s just so open and giving and enjoyable even without food. I consider this a must-buy, not only because it’s on clearance, not only because it’s a perfectly realized sub-$15 bottle of Chardonnay, but also because who knows when we’ll see it again?! I’ve always said that people need to drink more good Chablis, and this is an ideal place to start…

 

2011 Verget Chablis Terres de Pierres
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Retail Price: $23.99

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“I need a place to put all my young Merlot!”

Posted on Feb, 17. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

les amisFor near as long as I’ve been drinking wine, I’ve been in love with Domaine la Bouissiere. Their splendid Gigondas was my introduction into the Southern Rhone Fan Club, and no other Gigondas has come close ever since. Talk about starting out on a high note! Unfortunately, that wine (and their special ‘ La Font de Tonin’ cuvee) have consistently risen in price (the basic Gigondas is near $30 now I believe) – even still, they remain some of the best bottles of wine in the Southern Rhone.

A couple years ago, though, I got to try their everyday blend – Les Amis de la Bouissiere – and was thrilled to find that the heart and soul of their Gigondases (can you pluralize that? I just did!) were alive and well in a brilliant sub-$15 ‘throwaway’ blend. Apparently, the Faravel brothers created this bottling as a way to “get rid” of their younger Merlot juice. Where some producers might just sell it off to cooperatives and the like, these guys have enough faith in even their younger fruit to put their label on it…and the juice, she don’t lie. Now, I have no idea whether this is still an outlet for their young Merlot…my guess is that the wine ended up being so good, and so popular, that it’s now a real focus in their lineup.

In any case, the 2012 that I drank a bottle of the other day is simply delicious. It’s labeled as “Vin de France”, with no further designation, simply because the Faravels wanted to use the Caladoc varietal (don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either) in the blend. It’s still mostly Merlot, with the rest Syrah, Caladoc and Grenache. It’s got a very genuine brightness which draws me in at first sniff/sip – this isn’t the kind of forced acidity and fresh fruit you get from tinkering in the winery, this is honest energy, without ever being nervous or jittery. There’s a definite softness from the Merlot that makes this wine approachable and just weighty enough, while the Syrah and Grenache seem to provide the structure, depth and gruffness I expect from Southern Rhone…er, ahem, “Vin de France”. I honestly have no idea what role the Caladoc plays here, but considering it’s a Grenache-Malbec hybrid, you can fill in the blanks.

It’s like drinking the offspring of their Gigondas, because the structure is always very up front and focused: soft acidity, a touch of tannic backbone, wrapped in velvety texture and a strong spicy/brambly energy. It’s rare that great winemakers like this capture the essence of their greatest wines in their entry-level offerings, but as I said, this has the heart and soul of Bouissiere in it. At under $13, it’s as good an everyday Rhone red as I’ve had, and I’ve had some damn good everyday Rhone reds. We all need wine like this by the case, at arms’ reach.

Les Amis de la Bouissiere 2012
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Retail Price: $15.99

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Another closeout that just makes you shake your head in disbelief…

Posted on Feb, 06. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

This is in the same vein (from the same distributor, in fact) as that crazy Mollydooker deal from a couple weeks ago…but while I know that some people are just generally not into big Aussie Shiraz, there’s really something for everyone to love in the BV Tapestry. I have had some good and some not-so-good iterations of this wine, honestly; the bad ones seem muddled and lacking any kind of depth or delineation; the good ones are (as another member put it) “what Napa claret should be”: well composed, with nice acid and complexity without being too heavy.

The 2009 Tapestry is the latter, of course, and while its normal price tag (upwards of $80 retail in VA) is overinflated in my opinion (WA’s Galloni gave it 91 points, though, so that probably has something to do with it), when the distributor shaves more than half of the cost off the bottle, it’s pretty hard to say no! Like with the Mollydooker, the distributor is apparently trying to move this stuff to make room for the new vintage – and, I’m sure, losing money in the process. So, I thought I’d give you all a heads up on this. As I said, those who have tried it (including myself) have been impressed with it and asked for more, so this is definitely not a case of a distributor trying to unload substandard wine; like with the Mollydooker, I think they just had priced it too high to begin with…and now, we benefit.

As of a couple days ago, there seems to be a healthy amount of it left, so you can order as much as you want. However, I don’t know how long it’ll last at this price (I imagine some of the shops in the area will buy it at this price and then mark it up more than normal, because it’ll still be a better sticker price than normal). So, jump on it now, and we’ll secure it for you this week!

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2009 BV Reserve ‘Tapestry’
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Retail Price: $80+

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Back from the Dead

Posted on Feb, 05. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

georges

Whether you’re a writer, collector, seller or consumer of wine, few things sting as much as when a beloved staple in your wine life goes kaput. Nothing is permanent, of course, but when you’ve been drinking a particular wine for long enough, it just doesn’t seem fair for a winemaker to fold, or just retire, or otherwise decide that their livelihood is more important than your wine fix!

A few years back, this happened to a wine that I consider to be a shoe-in for the inaugural ballot of the Wine Guild Hall of Fame: the Puig-Parahy “Georges” Cotes de Roussillon. Apparently, the owner had a few properties around the world that he couldn’t unload, and was facing bankruptcy because of it, and had to stop his winemaking operation. We were pretty upset, simply because it was one of the best inexpensive reds that we’d tasted. And we sold a ton of it to you all, too. It was a permanent staple on our shelves, and members kept coming back to the well for more. But, we moved on, and accepted the unfortunate demise of a great wine.

Fast forward to late last year: I got great news from our rep that the Georges had come back from the brink! Georges Puig apparently found some buyers for his other investments, and got his winemaking operation back up and running. I had to try the new vintage (2010)! So on our way out of town to visit my mother, we got the bottle; much to our pleasant surprise, she actually still had a bottle of the 2007 sitting in her collection. Oh, how perfect – we could try them side by side!

First, understand that these are very different wines at 3 years apart. The 2007 was the picture of aged Chinon (even though it’s not Chinon, and there’s no Cab Franc in there), with a wonderful interplay between feminine and masculine notes…ripe fruit, pencil shavings, perfume, spice, etc. But it had aged very well, and this gave me great hope for the 2010′s longevity.

The 2010, though, is actually still a baby and has more electricity than I remember from the 2007 when I first had it a few years ago. It’s a truly “loaded” wine, though, drinking better and better the longer I let it air out. Eucalyptus, ripe sour cherries, a faint smokiness, and complex delineation (which is a mark of a great wine in my book) are what do it for me. The wine is powerful, but never confusing or jumbled; the aforementioned electricity (combined with a firm but not-too-grippy tannic presence) tells me that this wine will (like the 2007 before it) only get better and better in the next few years.

And the best part: it’s still super cheap. It’s time to welcome back a Hall of Famer!

Some notes from WA’s Schildnekt, too:

The Puig-Parahy 2010 Cotes du Roussillon Georges – about to be bottled when I tasted it – offers its usual exuberant, infectiously juicy, impeccably-clean, tart-edged fruit, reflecting a blend of Carignan, Grenache, and a smidgeon of Syrah, raised in tank. Blackberry and purple plum are tinged with brown spices, bittersweet herbs, and peat-like smokiness. Given the pricing of past vintages, we can expect that this 2010 rendition of “Georges” will once again offer outstanding value over the next several years. 89-90 Points.

2010 Puig-Parahy “Georges” Cotes de Roussillon
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Retail Price: $15.00

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Porto, Porto!

Posted on Jan, 29. 2014 by

Categories: Wine

We get lots of requests for Port, especially this time of year. Like many, I go in “cycles” when it comes to stuff like Port and Sherry; some of it is just the time of year, and some of it is just what I have a hankerin’ for. Right now, after tasting a few Ports, that’s my hankerin’!  Now, both of these ports are non-vintage, and both of them have been offered out by the Guild in the past…and they remain favorites of ours. Having retasted them both recently, I can say that the fire has been rekindled! Here are my notes from years past:

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The first is the Noval Black (NV) from the world-renowned Porto producer Quinta do Noval…and it’s a beautiful ruby port with body, power and elegance, all for around $15 (ha!). As a ruby, it naturally has less of the resinous, dried-fruit quality, and much more vibrant, rich, red-fruit character. It’s not sappy or oxidative, and unlike the earthy dank-cellar-esque quality of the aforementioned 10-yr Tawny, it has a much-welcomed vibrancy and lightness to it. It’s not all bright, though—there’s definitely a dark, brooding, syrupy character (which defines it as Port, really), but without the overly-raisiny character… and with all the deep-red-blue notes, it’s really a different monster. The acidity is soft but actually refreshing, and on the nose there is palpable energy (I suppose this is for the club scene, right?) buttressed by eucalyptus, garrigue, and graphite. All of this is contained within what is perhaps the most singularly silky texture a wine could ever contain. The tannins are just present enough to hold it together, and the acid just braces the fringes—inside, it’s like liquid silk: so soft, so full, so viscous and coating. 

Look, like I said, I was skeptical because of various preconceptions, but I’m now a believer. I’ve been drinking this stuff here and there for the past couple weeks, and every time I pour it, it seems like a new wine to me. It’s extraordinarily complex (especially for a marketing creation), and while it does have that easily-accessible quality that it was going for, it really is a perfect drink-now ruby Port. The packaging is sleek, classy, and not at all flashy (it even comes in a gift box for those looking for last-minute Christmas gifts). It’s the perfect complement to the other, more raisiny Port discussed above, and for everyone asking for drinkable Port this holiday season, you need look no further!

Quinta do Noval ”Noval Black” (NV)
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Retail Price: $22.00

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Inline image 1The second bottle is a 10 year old (10 years in the barrel) tawny from a new (to the states), small producer, Messias. Dionysos’ Kevin Schultz personally selected this on a recent trip to Portugal, and I can’t say enough about it. It really is the whole package. And look, I love good vintage ruby port, even late-bottled-vintage stuff, but for my money, right now, without worrying about aging or spending a bunch of money, good tawny is where it’s at. It’s not sherry, but it’s in that direction, and that’s what I love—the time in the barrel really brings another class of elements to the table. A brooding, raisiny nose is buttressed by soft aromas of leather and tar, and salty Marcona almonds, and pecans dressed with caramel. The palate starts with sweet cookies, caramel and a touch of smoky charcoal, but it’s never actually that sweet. The alcohol is very well-integrated, as is the oak; the finish is dry, spicy and lingering. “Truly awesome” is how my notes finish out. It is. 

But it doesn’t stop there (but wait, there’s more!) Unlike so many great wines of late, this wine has a classic, romantic pre-Prohibition package that just says “porto!” to me (literally and figuratively). Simple, stenciled white lettering, no frills (see below), and the bottle actually comes in a very sleek, attractive box—making this the perfect gift idea. I’d be thrilled to get this under the tree, myself. Okay, so, remember way back in the subject line, where I used the word “deal”? I think I also said something about it being “the best ever”. I meant it. We’re talking under $19! I think I’ve said enough…this is the only tawny you need. 

Messias 10 Year Tawny Porto
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Retail Price: $26.00

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[DEFCON] Is This Nebbiolo, or Is This Just Fantasy?

Posted on Dec, 26. 2013 by

Categories: Wine

Inline image 2It’s been quite a long time since we broke out the DEFCON label. For the unaccustomed, DEFCON is the designation that we reserve for only the very best deals – those wines that not only are amazing in their own rite, but also have an extraordinary “QPR” (Quality:Price Ratio). In the Guild’s 6 years of operation, there have been only a small handful of wines deserving of the honor, and today, we’ve got another.

One thing you should know here up front: this wine was recommended to me by a wine repwho doesn’t rep this wine. As you can imagine, there’s a strong (and eminently understandable) propensity for bias towards ones own portfolio in the wholesale biz; as such, it’s pretty rare (once you branch out from the “big names” that have near-universal appeal) for a wine rep to call me and tell me to try another company’s product. So you can see why, right off the bat, I was intrigued.

Now, as for this wine, while I feel like screaming “DEFCONNNNN!” might should suffice, I’ll tell you a li’l bit about her. Nebbiolo: the famous Piedmontese varietal that makes up such world-class wines as Barolo and Barbaresco. Unfortunately, those world-class wines often come with world-class price tags. If you can afford to drink great Barolo every night, well, color me jealous, but for the rest of us, most Barolos and Barbarescos worth mentioning aren’t everyday wines. Which is why today’s DEFCON wine is so welcome in my wine rack…

When I first stuck my nose into a glass of the Renato Ratti Ochetti Nebbiolo, it screamed Barolo! to me. How is this stuff under $20? It defies all logic and reason. Pietro Ratti (Renato’s son) is a well-known and regarded fixture in Roero, and makes some truly world-class Barolos. The estate has been producing wine, in fact, since the 15th century – by the monks at the Abbey of Annunziata (the estate’s home) originally. Renato took over in the 60s, modernized some winemaking techniques (while respecting the traditions that matter), and set the estate on a course for greatness. As the Wine Advocate puts it, “you can always count on Pietro Ratti for a fine bottle of wine. He is one of the most consistent and bankable producers in La Morra especially for those who enjoy the softer and more sensual side of Barolo.” If based on nothing more than this Nebbiolo alone, I couldn’t agree more.

While I hesitate to throw around “baby” monikers (i.e. “baby-Barolo”) too often, I would not be surprised or disappointed to pay over $30 for this wine as a Barolo. Up front, there’s power and expressivity in spades; it leaps out of the glass at you, without hesitation or a need to “open up”. Lots of ripe red and black fruit, wisps of herbs, chocolate, tobacco and pencil lead surround a very classic, earthy core; meanwhile, the palate is an incredible concentration of flavors and depth, giving you more than you could want while never being muddy or jumbled. I suppose that’s got much to do with the soft-but-well-placed acidity and tannins that buttress the rest of the wine and provide impeccable balance. It may not have the brusqueness, the massive tannins, or the brute force that many of the “in dire need of 10 years in your cellar just to be approachable” Barolos and Barbarescos do, but that’s to its credit: you can lay your Barolos down and forget about them, and drink a few cases of this stuff in the meantime. It’s drinking that well now, and might develop even more in the next 3-5 years, but you don’t need to age it.

I can confidently say that the Ochetti is one of our great finds of the year: a tour de force in the sub-$20 wine market, giving you so much for so little, and positively exuding what Will calls ”craveability”. Also, DEFCON, baby!

Ready, set, GO!

2011 Renato Ratti Ochetti Nebbiolo
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Retail Price: ~$24.00

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Two Thanksgiving Picks (“Affordable Edition”)

Two Thanksgiving Picks (“Affordable Edition”)

Posted on Nov, 27. 2013 by

Categories: Wine

Before you know it, The Feast will be upon us. And you do not want to be caught with your pants down when it comes to what to drink with your Thanksgiving meal. So, I’ve got for you a couple selections (one red, one white) that are eminently versatile and adaptive for any variation of dishes, and (of course) outperform their price point by a mile:

2012 Avantis Estate White: You might remember this little sub-$10 gem from earlier this year – it’s one of those wines that seems to get lost in the shuffle of other flashier wines (perhaps the price causes people to not take it as seriously as they should?), but every time I go back and try it, I am yet again astounded at how good it is, how interesting it is, how expressive it is. It’s Viognier (which can be great or awful), it’s Greek (which can be great or awful), and it’s in a blue bottle (which can be great or awful). This is great wine. It’s got a spicy herbal punch up front like Muscat or Gewurtz; that leads to juicy fruit like lychee and passionfruit. It’s got a touch of richness on the palate, but there’s plenty of acidity to balance everything out nicely and give you a tremendously refreshing palate experience. A tremendous value anytime of the year, but it begs for the panoply of flavors that a holiday meal offers.

2012 Avantis Estate White
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Retail Price: $12.00

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2012 Domaine Vincent Dureuil-Janthial Bourgogne Passetoutgrain [typ. retail: ~$18.50; Grand Cru: $13.56; Premier Cru: $14.18]: That’s a mouthful, to be sure, but so is the wine. I love this producer…their wines (while often a little pricier) have a real stoicism and attention to traditional details and styles that I really identify with (duh). I’d never had their Passetoutgrain before last week, but I was an instant fan (especially at this price point). Passetoutgrain is a relatively rare oddity in Burgundy – it’s an “AOC” wine, but the AOC covers all of Burgundy, and instead of the typical single-varietal wines that are mandated in most of the region, Passetoutgrain is a blend, typically of Pinot Noir and Gamay (with other stuff like Chard, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris occasionally thrown in there). The Gamay, in this case, adds a bright juicy fruit character and a bit of brambly woodsy depth that is often lost of Pinot-only Bourgogne. It’s also very expressive and even a bit masculine (which is not altogether common for these cuvees), and I chalk that up to the producer. It’s been years, honestly, since a rep brought me any Passetoutgrains, and I couldn’t be happier to find this stuff. Both Will and I were all over it, and with a price under $15, I think it’s one of the steals of the season. Stock up, because you’ll want more as soon as you try it. I know I do.

2012 Domaine Vincent Dureuil-Janthial Bourgogne Passetoutgrain
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Retail Price: $18.50

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The Triumphant Return of Yet Another Guild Favorite

The Triumphant Return of Yet Another Guild Favorite

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

We’ve not been around for that long, but I feel like we’ve definitely found a nice rhythm with a familiar handful of wines…and bringing back new vintages of old favorites (provided they live up to the old standards, of course) is something that brings us a sense of excitement and satisfaction…much like building a vertical in your cellar. It’s not often, because estates sometimes fall off the map or just go in different directions than what we’re interested in bringing to the table, but when it does happen (as with the Mondesir), it just feels right.

Cue the 2011 Familia Mayol Malbec. We offered the previous vintage last August, and it was understandably a huge hit (with many coming back for refills). Well, we’re always on the lookout for good Malbec…but, to be honest, it’s not easy. There’s no shortage of South American Malbec, as it seems to be the easiest varietal to get to produce passable juice in large quantities down there. We’re looking for something more, though: a more pure expression of the grape, without fanfare, too much adulteration, and certainly nothing that breaks the bank (because, in South American wine tradition, oftentimes the more it costs, the more extracted, alcoholic and opulent it is).

Will originally wrote the offer for the 2010, and I loved that wine, but somehow never really got to spend enough time with it. The 2011 brought it all back home for me, though. It’s undeniably Malbec, but there’s something else that screams “northern Rhone Syrah” flitting around the periphery. It’s a meaty wine at its core, a lot to chew on, a lot to savor (spicy cigar box, stewed cherries, and faint autumn smoke), but it’s almost like this is cool-climate fruit (and it’s not…this comes from a frickin’ desert!) That aforementioned ripe center is draped with a restrained, cool sleekness…and that’s what really sells this wine for me. Anyone who’s had steely blueberry-laden Côte-Rôtie knows what I mean. And what else…it finishes with a perfect punch of acid and lingering earthiness. 

As Will said last year (see the original 2010 offer below; we both independently came to “cool climate fruit” in two separate vintages, for what that’s worth), this is a model of consistency, focusing on a particular (particularly intriguing and enjoyable) style, and doing that style well, for a steal. Fans of Malbec need look no further; fans of restrained, composed, yet expressive everyday reds also should pay close attention.

From the first time around:

Heirloom tomatoes with feta, fresh herbs and steamed green black eyed peas. Chicken roasted with garlic and herbs over a small fire. Slow cooked pork, spiced and lightly smoked. Young summer squashes sauteed in butter with fresh thyme. The final mowings. The cool breezes on a hot dry day with the whir of cicadas chanting in the air. It is August and these are a few of my favorite things.

I am drinking Malbec because I found a Malbec that is fantastic for these things. We have featured Argentianian producer Familia Mayol many times here at the Guild as they continuously produce wine at every level that is both exciting and new. The 2010 Malbec has been loaded with juice from the top vine holdings of the estate and is one of the finer everyday priced Malbecs I have come across.  

There is a firm but easy tannin to the wine with cleanly expressed varietal fruit. Mature structure and bright fruit tones evoke an almost Mediterranean style with a cooler climate clarity. Old world in style, which is to say the fruit is in no way overdone and the focus overall seems to be pointed towards nuance and charm, words seldom used for the great black grape. All of this and lacking nothing in power, this is a food friendly Malbec that is drinking perfectly right now, something to be gulped on its own on outdoor porches and an inspiration to grill many wonderful things. 

Gather together with some friends and make certain you have had your fill of all the flavors of summer, fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh light goats cheeses, mozzerellas and fetas. Grilled fishes, roasted chickens, fresh herbs, loads of the freshest olive oils and garlic and plenty of top quality grilled steaks. And above all make sure you have the right wine, in almost any case it will be this Malbec. 

An exciting new find from a consistent Estate.

2011 Familia Mayol Single Vineyard Malbec
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The Heroic Return of our Best-Selling Wine Offer Ever

The Heroic Return of our Best-Selling Wine Offer Ever

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

Pop quiz, hotshot: can you name the last DEFCON wine we offered? Yeah, me either. It’s that rare. 

We see a lot of great wines, with a scant few worthy of the DEFCON label, but this is one that holds a special place in Guild history as “the best-selling offer ever”. The first time we offered the Chateau Mondesir, it was the vaunted 2005 Bordeaux vintage. “Vintage of the Century!”, they cried, leaving the less breathless among us to wonder what happened to 2000. In any case, the ’05s were amazing, and nothing since has compared…but then the 2009 Bordeaux vintage came in and we were wowed all over again. We tasted a score of 09s, and offered plenty of them out to you all, but this is what you would call a classic case of ‘the straggler that overtakes the frontrunner’. 

As I said, the 2005 vintage of this wine was the best selling wine in our history – with roughly half of the members we have now, we roared through about 50 cases of this stuff! People tried it, immediately understood, and returned to the well for more (that includes me!) Well, I have tried intermediate vintages since then, and while they all were quality, nothing really reached that original level of quality and depth of the 2005 until now. This is a return to the glory of 2005, with all the depth, the balance, the “vastly outpacing its cost” of the original. It’s what I’ve been waiting for (not least because I’m running dangerously low on my 2005 Mondesir).

The best news? I do believe inflation alone has outpaced the price of this wine. Over the course of 5 vintages, its cost has gone up a whopping $1. Yes, it’s now all of [Login to see member prices.]pass it up at your own risk. According to the distributor, just like with the 2005s, the 2009 is disappearing very quickly; jump on it now while you still can, because it won’t be here in a few months when you’re stocking up for winter.

Here’s our notes from the original 2005 offer:

Well, I did it: I pulled out the rare and sacred ‘DEFCON’ label for this offer and I, as well as the entire board, feel that this offer is worth it. We have only offered 2 other ‘DEFCON’ wines in the three years that we have been open, so I hope you all understand the gravity of this label.
It was a difficult choice to make this time because the wine we bring to you today is a wine that we have already offered back in March. Not only that, but this is a wine we have kept in stock regularly since we first offered it in March, and one that many members have already purchased or heard us rave about. So why this formal second offer?
The momentum on this wine has been growing and growing. Those who have purchased a bottle or so have been coming back and buying more and more, the Board member discussion on this wine has peeked at comments like, “the best wine for the price we have ever offered” and “This would be a deal at $18 a bottle, cost”. I personally am on my 5th case of the wine and have just placed an order for 5 more, Rives just put in an order for 6 cases of the wine, Kevin has just reordered, Evan has just reordered and just as I went to place these orders I am told by the distributor that they are on their last palate of the wine.
This has happened so many times before and usually I do not catch it until it is too late. The praise and enjoyment of this wine has worked itself up into a fury from those who have gotten into it, and just as that fury culminates, the wine will be out – and there’s no telling when we will next see a wine at $12 that as many people rave about or enjoy. There certainly has not been one yet in the three years we have been doing this, and few in the ten years I have been in the wine business.
So this DEFCON is a warning and an alert that the 2005 Chateau Mondesir, Premieres Cote de Blaye is going to be sold out soon. As Guild members you all see the value in spending upfront to save over the course of the year, and in that light I want to tell you that this is a wine to go 3-5 cases deep on, to keep in your cellar, to have for your next party, to give away at the Holidays, but most of all to have a great $12 wine that you can drink and enjoy every time you open it throughout the entire winter (unless, like me, 3 cases might get you to Christmas if you supplement with other wines heavily).
The price on this wine has been raised by $1 per bottle but I talked the rep into giving us one last shot at it at the old price seen below. This will be the last time. Also we can not emphasize enough that you can not have too much 2005 Bordeaux at any price level, but especially when the wine is this good at this price. Of all recent “epic vintages” this is the one that has stood out as offering the finest quality across the board and in a region so many people can agree on stylistically.
I’ve included my original notes below. These notes, in my way, are written in the spirit of trying not to oversell a wine. I try as often as possible not to be too hyperbolic as much as I enjoy a wine, so that when it really matters I can draw on my hyperbole and you all may know the difference. So, I evoke my hyperbole now; this is a wine to buy by the truckload! No joke!
If you like Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Cab Franc and most especially, good Bordeaux, then you WILL love this wine… 


Hello Everyone,

Ben Martin from Elite wines came by late last week with a stunning Bordeaux at a really good price. Premier Cotes de Blaye is the best of the regions taking the name of the town of Blaye and is a really great area to find deals in Bordeaux. Often these wines can be a bit astringent with the greenness of the younger vines one so often encounters in this area but every so often you come across a gem and in a good vintage everything can come together to make for quite a delicious Bordeaux at quite a stunning price.

“Blaye is a fortified town on the north bank of the Gironde estuary just opposite Margaux in the Bordeaux region which has been exporting wine much longer than the famous Medoc across the water. Today it lends its name to several of the Bordeaux Cotes appellations…Today by far the most important wine produced here is robust red from the Premieres Cotes de Blaye, made on 4500 ha of vineyard, mainly from Merlot grapes supplemented by Cabernet Sauvignon” -Jancis

This particular Blaye is from Chateau Mondesir a relative of Mondesir-Gazin but with the same wine maker. Made up of Merlot and Malbec and taking the best from each grape the Mondesir is extremely full bodied with nice ripe chewy tannins. The fruit is dark berries and cocoa but again those tannins are what really drew me to this wine. There was real substance here and for the price this would be a great Bordeaux to drink over the next 5 years. Those who like their Bordeaux a little softer and smoother will want to give it 3 years anyway or at least an hour or two of decanting.

As a serious wine this Bordeaux trumps any of the inexpensive Bordeaux we have tried or offered since fall and I recommend to anyone who has enjoyed the five or six under $15 Bordeaux to give this one a try. It is a drink by the case steal.

 

2009 Chateau Mondesir, Premieres Cote de Blaye
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Our House Sancerre, She’s Back!

Our House Sancerre, She’s Back!

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

I’ll make this short, because I fully understand that we have inundated you with Sauvignon Blanc this spring. The Patianna, the Cottat, the Bourgeois, all great wines. This one’s a throwback, though…a wine that we have been superfans of since our inception, one that I cannot turn my back on. Doubly so after tasting a brand new bottle of the 2011 this afternoon, so refreshing in the unwelcome afternoon heat and humidity.

The 2011 Cherrier Sancerre. It needs little introduction. Some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc on the planet, and you Guilders have bought enough of it in the past to know that much…but, admittedly, no two vintages are the same. So: 2011. I’ve loved all my 2011 Sancerre, but this…this makes my toes curl, baby! It has less plushness than in previous vintages, and that has been replaced with a succinct, pure citrus component—lime, to be exact. The acid is just so pristine and in your face, much like fresh lime juice, but softened considerably by a touch of richness in the center. All of this wineplay leaves an air of excitement on your palate, and that’s what Sancerre should be about. And, as with our Apremont from a couple weeks ago, this wine is just magnificent when young! Okay, enough of this; here’s my original Cherrier notes from a few years back:

  • The Cherriers have been making classic Sauvignon Blanc near Verdigny since 1927 (the brothers Francois and Jean-Marie are third-generation winegrowers here), and their wines have long been a no-brainer for me. I still have a bottle or two of the ’06 Blanc in my cellar, and it’s aging nicely…but the 2008 Blanc is something else entirely. Often, classically-styled Sancerres are offputting for a lot of people, because they don’t really have any ripeness up front, they lack a soft approachableness (yes, I just made up that word) when young, and they’re often built for food pairing. And while Cherrier does make classic, pure Sauv Blanc, it’s always had a more approachable face to it than many others at this age. The 2008 Blanc, though, has been consistently slaying me with its mix of classic Loire flint and new-world-ey plush attractiveness. It’s got bright, pleasant acid, but it’s never too much—always walking that knife’s edge between bracing and soft. But it’s still Cherrier—still pureSauv Blanc, with all of the haunting soul, the wet chalk and fresh air and lemons, without being haughty or unapproachable. It’s pristine and beautiful; the fact that Dionysos has it on (deep) discount is even more reason to love it. Sancerre this cheap is rare; great Sancerre at this price is but a myth. Here’s your Sasquatch.

If you haven’t saturated your wine racks with Sauvignon Blanc yet, now’s your chance to seal the deal!

2011 Francois et Jean-Marie Cherrier Sancerre Blanc “Les Chailloux” Cuvee Vielles Vignes
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Parallel Paths: The Classic Reds of La Rioja Alta

Parallel Paths: The Classic Reds of La Rioja Alta

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

As Spain has gone from “big wine drinker but not big wine exporter” to “one of the hottest wine producers on the international market” in the past 15 years or so, it’s been fascinating to watch the stylistic evolution of various subregions and producers. Some producers have fully embraced the broad-stroke “international palate” of drink-now unctuousness and accessibility, while a select few have remained steadfast in the ways of old (growing traditional wines that reflect both generations of hands worked to the bone and the unique terroir of their homeland). As you might expect, we seek out the latter whenever possible.

Rioja is perhaps the most well-known red producer of Spain to outsiders, and with good reason: it often produces wines of power, stoicism and brooding depth. What most don’t know is that there are several regions within ‘La Rioja’, producing rather unique styles of wine. Rioja Baja has a very Mediterranean climate and produces perhaps the most familiar Riojas: jammy, rich reds with low acidity and a big punch. The other two subregions, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta, do not see the kind of ripeness of Baja, and thus typically produce wines with much more expressiveness, balance and classicity.

La Rioja Alta (taking its name from its subregion) is the old guard, a house in production since 1890, farming some of the most hallowed ground in one of the oldest recognized wine-producing regions in the world. This is not a position to be taken lightly.  In fact, it appears to be the basic framework of their decision-making.  The longevity of the house and traditional style of the wines is a welcome reminder of good stewardship — a thing done well and carefully tended, to be handed down through the generations. With this very long view, and the massive storage cellar it requires, there is no pressure to create wines to be sold immediately after bottling.  After all, when you’ve been making wine for 120 hundred years, something in the cellar will always be drinking well, which means in the most basic sense, you can always play for time, allowing barrel and bottle age to reveal the true character of the wine.

This is rare, and to be celebrated – this is La Rioja Alta.

We tasted three of their current releases, side by side, and were astounded that these wines are not only available to us with such provenance and age, but also at prices that defy all known convention. These are three brothers, of different eras but aging side by side, and their parallel paths are compelling to drink in – coming from the same estate, the same basic styles of winemaking, but from different sites, different growing seasons, and different blending choices. You owe it to yourself to get at least one of each of these:

  • 2005 Rioja Vina Alberdi [$16.83-Grand Cru,  $17.63-Premier Cru] – the house’s basic rendition of Tempranillo from Rioja:  robust, still muscular, balancing a very Old World style with vibrant fruit and the youthful edges of American oak.  There’s an electricity to it, as it shows off its youth, without being nervy or anxious.  Just more energy than one would expect, crafted in an expert manner.  This wine takes me back to a long sliver of a bar in 1990s New York called ‘Enya’ where on Tuesday nights, traditional Spanish Flamenco dancers stomped and clapped amongst the tightly packed bohemian crowd, mesmerized by guitar and long skirts and boot heels — the whole affair coming to crescendo in one sudden unforgettable flourish of jet black hair and red carnations.

Dark red. Redcurrant, dried cherry and vanillin oak on the nose, with a smoky mineral quality in the background. Lively red fruit and rose pastille flavors are complemented by sweet vanilla bean and cola nuances. The oakiness fades away on the long finish, which is juicy, expansive and seamless. This wine’s lively acidity makes it refreshing and easy to drink now, but it really deserves patience.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar 

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  • 2001 Rioja Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial – “Reserva Especial” and “Gran Reserva” are, like vintage Porto or Champagne, relatively rare designations in Rioja – even more so at the hands of La Rioja Alta. To wit: the 2001 Reserva Especial is only the third time, ever, that the house has issued this crowning label; the last time this wine was made was in 1973! Suffice it to say that you’re getting something very special here. Tempranillo and Garnacha aged in what is perceptibly slightly finer American oak.  Gorgeous fruit on the nose, tempered nicely by vanilla and baking spices, with a dark, brooding palate of berries, chocolates and peppered spice.  Eleven years after vintage, still young, still showing the tannic structure and bite that belies its long future development.  There is unreal depth after it has time to breath, showing off a brightness and brooding darkness at the same time. Full-bodied in the same way Ali was a heavyweight; a showoff, but never without the pedigree to back it all up. You really must drink some of this to understand what genius this estate (and region) is capable of.

“The current release is the 2001 Reserva Especial, a deeply colored wine with a lovely perfume of cinnamon, lavender, incense, balsamic, and black cherry. Medium-bodied, velvety-textured, and already complex, it will continue to evolve for another 5-10 years and offer a drinking window extending from 2016 to 2036. For those seeking immediate gratification, it has the virtue of being approachable now.” The Wine Advocate, 94 Points 

“Deep red. Sexy, intensely perfumed bouquet of ripe raspberry and cherry with suggestions of potpourri, sandalwood and vanilla. Shows more power and darker fruits on the palate, picking up a touch of singed plum that adds a serious quality to the sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors without costing the wine any of its vibrancy. The long, sweet finish hangs on with very good tenacity.” Stephen Tanzer, 92 Points

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  • 1998 Rioja Gran Reserva 904 [39.59-Grand Cru,  $41.39-Premier Cru] – Simply having a wine with this kind of (graceful) age available to us 14 years later, I consider to be a privilege. Soft, subtle and with an understated elegance;  clearly at peak and showing a beautiful, dense tapestry of secondary and tertiary aromas and flavors melding seamlessly with acids and tannin.  Fascinatingly light-bodied and elegant, with a touch of raisiny sap, and brickish signs of pristine age.  The wine oozes old-world ruggedness, red rocks and hot sun and sparse underbrush, all background players to the gnarly old Tempranillo vines just effortlessly doing what they were meant to do.  I would imagine that this wine flows when a prized daughter of La Rioja Alta marries well.

“Beautiful cigar box, orange peel, clove and rose aromas draw you into this mature, supple red, which shows pronounced acidity and dried citrus, tobacco and spice flavors. A bit lean, a reflection of the vintage, but a lovely example of the traditional style. Drink now.” Wine Spectator, 90 Points

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Alpine Purity

Alpine Purity

Posted on Jul, 31. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

If there ever was a quality, a descriptor, of wine that draws me in on a wire, it’s “purity”. For better or for worse, I am a sucker for wines that have a very clear, pure “message”, that express their terroir and lineage and handling in a way unclouded by pomp, by distractions, by unnecessary oak or unctuousness or any other kind of superfluous dalliance. For me, tasting a wine like this in a lineup is like putting on glasses, like that Claritin commercial where a lens washes across the screen and the world goes from muddy to crystal clear. They are rare, and this is not necessarily a bad thing; if all wine was uncluttered, then these few wouldn’t be quite so special.

When I think of this purity in wine, a few particular styles pop into my head, like coastal-flavored Muscadet, or Spanish Viura, or Premier Cru Chablis, or…Apremont. Yes, Apremont, jewel of Savoie (that backwoods mountain region in the east of France)…a village producing some of the most obviously Alpine wine on the planet, and without any of the curiousness of oxidized Juras, etc. Behold, the 2011 Marc Portaz Apremont: a perfect example of this flawless soul. What I frankly adore about wines of this caliber is that the clarity never means compromising expressiveness; this is a pure wine, but it still explodes from the glass with stony crispness and soft lemon/herb, and a precise balance of acidity and velvety softness. What really strikes you with this wine, though, is that it is “mountainous”, to borrow that term – it is like mountain air, like melting snow, like wet rocks and sparse vegetation. It’s a wine that transports you if you’re in the mood for contemplation, or a wine that’s just unflinchingly refreshing, balanced and gulpable if you’re not. 

If you don’t know Apremont, then here’s a perfect chance to acquaint yourselves. If you do, then trust me when I say that this is the absolute freshest, liveliest example you will find right now. It just hit the shores a few weeks ago, and Apremont is something you just need to drink young. In other words, it’s got everything going for it, and you should be drinking it.

2011 Marc Portaz Apremont
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The Best New Bartender in Town: You

The Best New Bartender in Town: You

Posted on Jun, 04. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

As I’m sure you’ve all surmised, I’m into wine. What you may not know is that I’m also an avid homebrewer and craft beer lover. Over the past few years, though, my quest for complete alcohol-geekdom has brought me into a new realm of drink: the artisan cocktail. Hey now, you’re thinking, you guys can’t sell booze! No, unfortunately, we cannot (yet). But if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past couple years of messing around with cocktails, it’s that the spirits are only half the battle. The rest, well, that comes from creative recipes and excellent supporting ingredients. So, I’m trying something new for today’s email. Below, I have three of my very favorite cocktail recipes, which I will explain in detail, and they each include both the booze (which you can buy at any local ABC store!) and the other stuff, which we can sell you (at the typical Guild discount, of course). So, let’s get to this:

The Mole Manhattan

 

A spicy take on the classic.I use either bourbon (Evan Williams, of course) or rye whiskey as my base spirit; rye is generally not quite as sweet, depending on your mood. For the vermouth, I’m in love with the Vya Rouge, a perfectly balanced, expressive American vermouth; however, for a little more rustic, rooty take on things, an Italian Amaro (in this case, Cardamaro) hits the spot. It’s herbal, funky, and makes for a great variation on the typical savory character of vermouth rouge. Beware, though, as it is also a bit sweeter than the Vya, so you may want to go the rye direction here. Last, but not least, is one of my absolutely favorite new bitters: the Xocolatl Mole bitters from Bittermens. It changes this drink into something extraordinary, something that will turn heads. It is modeled on the traditional cinnamon-chocolate mole sauces of Central America, and those two flavors are the most prevalent. I love cinnamon in my dark-cocktail bitters, and the addition of cocoa into the mix is perfect for this drink. The orange rind also adds a fresh citrus zing that is necessary in a drink with so many brooding flavors floating around, but unlike lemon, it won’t clash with the chocolate notes from the bitters.

  • 2oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
  • 1oz Vya Rouge Vermouth or Cardamaro
  • 20 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
  • Orange rind (garnish)

Place ice in a lowball glass. Rub the orange rind around the rim and express it over the ice before adding it to the glass. Add the drops of bitters, then the whiskey and vermouth. Stir gently; enjoy!

The Woodberry Schooner

  

I’m shamelessly lifting this recipe from the cocktail artists at the Columbia Room in D.C.; we recently had our first experience at this backroom mecca, and this drink was certainly one of the highlights. Its base is white/silver Tequila; to that, you add a bit of sweet white vermouth (we’re huge fans of the Dolin Blanc), some lemon juice and simple syrup, and 15-20 drops of Bittermens’ Orchard Street Celery Shrub, which is similar to bitters but with much more herbal, spicy, savory character and less citrus/bitter notes. It’s not for everything or everyone, but I fell in love with it because of this drink. The unmistakable spiciness of the tequila works so well with the citrus and herbal celery, to give you something that is sweet, savory, spicy and downright refreshing.

  • 1oz Tequila silver/white
  • 1oz Dolin Blanc sweet white vermouth
  • <1/2oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2oz Lemon Juice
  • 15-20 drops Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub
  • Lemon rind (garnish)

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass with ice – if you want more celery character, aim for the high end of the range with the shrub…otherwise, 15 drops should do it. Stir, strain into a cocktail glass, express the lemon rind over the top, and add it to the glass.

La Bicyclette

 

Elderflowers, the chief ingredient in St. Germain liqueur, are hand-picked in the Alps and delivered to market via bicycle every year…hence, the name. If you’ve never had St. Germain, then you’re in for a treat. Its flavor profile is complex and intoxicating, resting somewhere between passionfruit and peach; I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its possibilities, but the Bicyclette is my favorite so far. It combines the St. Germain with gin, vermouth rouge (the Dolin and Vya versions are both excellent, with the Vya being a more modern, smoother version), and bitters. The original recipe calls for peach bitters – I used Fee Bros. – but the flavor seemed a bit redundant, so I tried Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate (citrates have a sour base rather than a bitter one), and have been very pleased with the results. A perfect summertime pre-dinner refresher!

  • 2oz Gin
  • 3/4oz Dolin or Vya Vermouth rouge
  • 1/2oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate
  • Lemon rind (garnish)

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass with ice. Stir, strain into a cocktail glass, express the lemon rind over the top, and add it to the glass.

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Dolin Blanc (750mL)
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Dolin Rouge (750mL)
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Vya Sweet/Rouge (750mL)
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Cardamaro Amaro (750mL)
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Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters (4oz)
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Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub (4oz)
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Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate (4oz)
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