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The Holidays Call for Something Special!

'Tis the season for holiday parties, and this past weekend, we hosted a small dinner for family and friends. Wine always takes center stage on our table, as you can see from the picture. For this special night, we decided to indulge a bit and pulled out a 6 pack of 1997 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from our cellar with the bottles still in the original paper. So cool! Robert Mondavi needs no introduction to wine lovers?a trailblazer, a legend and an icon. We always enjoy the back vintages of the Reserve.

The 6 pack OWC doubled as a centerpiece for our food table, and even we don't often see OWCs used for that purpose! But it looked fantastic, and everyone noticed it too. For appetizers, we paired the Mondavi Reserve with various cheeses from artisanalcheese.com, one of our new strategic partners. If you haven't checked them out, we highly recommend you do. Their cheeses are divine! And then for the main course, we paired the Mondavi with ribeyes from Flannerybeef.com, another strategic partner of Sokolin's. They have to be one of the best kept secrets around, but not for long! Robert Parker is a fan of theirs, saying, "I think I just discovered what a 100 point piece of meat tastes like."

Other dishes we served included penne pasta with sausage and olive oil and garlic marinara sauce, potatoes au gratin and sautéed green beans. The wine went incredibly well with each dish of the meal, and to no surprise, the ribeyes and Mondavi Reserve were mind blowing. We heard people at each table just raving about the pairing. The back vintage Mondavi from the heralded 1997 vintage had an amazing nose of dark fruits, Asian spices and even a little toasted oak. On the palate, the wine was medium bodied with an incredible balance of fruit and power and a finish that lasted 30+ seconds. Cheers to Robert Mondavi for another great bottle that turned our dinner into a memorable evening with family and friends.

We've been drinking a lot of back-vintage Cali Cabs lately, and we are huge fans of these wines! We have very tiny quantities of older Mondavi bottles in stock, so if you share our love for the same wines, we suggest you email sales@sokolin.com and scoop these up today! There is no better time than the holidays to enjoy amazing wine with family and friends.

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

Interview with Curtis Dahl of Joseph & Curtis Custom Wine Cellars

Custom Wine CellarsDave Sokolin catches up with Curtis Dahl, proprietor of Joseph & Curtis Cellars, builders of premium, custom wine cellars. J&C brings their clients' wine cellar dreams to life with their handcrafted, one-of-a-kind cellars. Whether working with homeowners or commercial businesses, they exceed expectations and are the recommended and preferred cellar builder of our professional wine team. We're delighted to have them as one of our strategic partners.

You're a former commodity trader. How did you & your business partner meet? And how did you transition into the world of wine and building wine cellars?
Joe and I met at the CME in Chicago. Joe ran the foreign currency desk for Virginia trading, and I was a runner. Joe thought so highly of me he started me at $750 per month! All kidding aside, he has always been a great friend and mentor, and it was his wood making skills that really started the business. We built a cellar for my home, and he built a couple pieces for his, and the rest is J&C history!

What is it that you love about building wine cellars?
The ability to turn a blank canvas into a masterpiece. Our team creates unique designs which are custom-built with the finest materials and expert craftsmanship to reflect the cellar needs and aesthetic tastes of the collector. Whether working with a blueprint or a joint collaboration with architects or interior designers?our clients' 100% satisfaction is our mission.

Is there a central philosophy at Joseph & Curtis?
Yes, Joe & I began this business with an understanding and agreement that unless we separated ourselves with design, quality and execution, there was no point in doing it, because ultimately it would fail. We saw our share of 'stick kits' that most online wine rack sites sell and realized we wanted no part of that. I guess the other (and honestly more fun) part of the Joseph & Curtis philosophy is that we understand that we are not just selling wine cellars, but lifestyles. Joe & I are both passionate about wine and often find ourselves thrown into the sommelier role to many of our clients who ask us for wine recommendations, and we are happy to help, and that is of course where Sokolin comes in!

Have your customers' requests for certain wine cellar features changed and improved over the last ten years? If so, how?
They have added creature comforts such as ice makers, dish washers, flat screens, cellar tracking software, even smoke eaters for cigars. We have been building adult playrooms.

What are the current trends you're seeing in wine cellar construction, and where do you anticipate the industry going in the future? 
Main floor wine cellars. It's been happening for the last couple years, and I am almost surprised when it's not on the main floor. Smart technology and green building?we have been pushing green building products for years.

We know you've built the Cake Boss's wine cellar. Can you share with us any details about his cellar requests? Any other famous or notable persons who you've built cellars for?
Buddy was great?he is a really good guy. He is exactly the way he is on TV. Buddy wanted his cellar to be*%$#@*# WOW! So we made it wow and then some. Brooke Shields, a previous boy band member who has a reality show on Sundays (sworn to secrecy), Kevin Rose, it's a very long and private list.

What's the biggest wine cellar in terms of bottle capacity that you've ever built? The smallest? The most challenging?
9,000 bottles. 290 is the smallest. A cellar we did in a very weird space in a loft in SOHO. It was the previous staircase to the loft which we turned into a 650 bottle wine cellar with cooling?it was like a secret cellar hidden behind a large kitchen cabinet.

Can you tell me a little bit about your own personal collection? What are your most prized bottles? What are your favorite wines to collect? To drink?
I have two wine cellars one of which is featured in the Dec 15th Wine Spectator. That particular wine cellar is located on my main floor. 
Favorite producers: Casa Piena, Kistler, Pahlmeyer, La Sirena, Charles Smith, Quilceda Creek, Gaja, Giuseppe Quintarelli, Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos, Bodega Chacra
Favorite bottles:
Château Margaux 1994; Gaja Sperss 2001; Quilceda Creek 1998; Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red 1996; Fontodi Flaccianello 2004; Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo 1999; Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat 1995; Bodegas Vega Sicilia 2004

Are you expecting a busy holiday season this year?  Are wine cellars a popular investment around this time?
Yes, we build wine cellars across the country but specialize in the tri-state area and of course bonus time is right around the corner?and what's better than a proper wine cellar to celebrate a great year!

What's coming up next for Joseph & Curtis Cellars?  Any new developments we should keep an eye out for in 2013?
We have a couple hospitality projects in Miami and a 6 star residence on Star Island. We should have a couple features in the 2013 Wine Spectator as well. We have just expanded our glass and metal division as well as our contemporary wine cabinets. What has always separated J&C from the rest is our ability to design, manufacture, finish, and even install. Joe has always said design is often the first thing to get cut from a budget, but can never be compromised in order to make something truly great. Hopefully customers agree we are truly making great wine cellars!

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

A New, Exciting Wine Find - 2009 "Garage Wine" from Margaux!

We secured the US exclusive on an amazing "Garage Wine located just meters from Chateau Margaux. The wine is called 2009 Clos la Boheme, and it is a must-try wine for anyone who loves the wines of Bordeaux. Finding this wine is the greatest discovery we've made since finding the 2001 Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon! Hailing from the Haut-Medoc appellation, this is a garage wine - coming from a very small property with an area of only 3 hectares. The chateau is located between two famous classified growth chateaux.

As many of you know, the 2009 vintage will go down in history as one of the greatest vintages EVER, and critics have lauded the early drinkability of the 2009s. The best part about this wine is that it costs just $21.95 per bottle! This is your chance to experience the 2009 vintage for less.

A few days ago, we once again tried this wine, and it's absolutely incredible! We started by decanting this young Bordeaux, which should be standard practice with very young wines. It really allows them to open and unlock all of the flavors and aromas that the wine has to offer.  We tasted the wine immediately, and the fruit was amazing with a great velvet like texture on the palate. After we let the wine sit in the decanter for about an hour as we prepared a wonderful cheese selection, we went back to work. The nose was so aromatic. It had all the wonderful things you would expect from a $100 young Bordeaux. On the palate, we had the classic hints of lead pencil, toasted oak, dark cherries and blackberries. It was medium bodied and had a 30+ second finish. Every cheese we tried paired very well, but the goat cheese made this wine shift into a whole new gear.  

"This 1,100-case micro production "Vin De Garage" is by all accounts a luxury wine, with the exception of the price! It's literally steps from Margaux and tastes like any $60+ Bordeaux, except it could be even more elegant and refined than most. When the staff blind tasted me on it, I was sure that I was being served one of the great wines of the vintage, and in some ways, I was! Enjoy under-paying for a phenomenal Bordeaux that drinks now-2018." - Dave Sokolin

The Clos la Boheme 2009 has an attractive bouquet with blackberry, mint and graphite?The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins?red fruits with good tension on the finish?very well crafted?" -erobertparker.com (Neal Martin)

In stock and ready to ship, this wine is perfect for holiday gifting and entertaining!

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

Wintertime White Burgundy

2009 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne

As wine professionals, we are often asked for the perfect wine and food pairing. Sometimes this is very easy and at other times, not so much. Depends on the time of year, what it is you're eating, who you're with and the setting, etc?  And as often as we can intellectually create food and wine pairings that work well, sometimes it just happens too. For instance, just last week, a colleague of mine and I were at a large wine tasting in NYC. There were over 800 people in attendance and wines from all over the world were poured. Reds, whites, and bubbles from every wine-making continent - and high-quality producers and wines from each region. There was quite an eclectic and delicious array of food available as well, including what came to be our favorite of the evening? the mac & cheese bar.

This wasn't just macaroni and cheese. This was really creamy, homemade, luxuriant macaroni and cheese, with gourmet sides to add to it, like bacon, bread crumbs, and lobster. We found out right away that the best dish of the evening was this mac & cheese, with clumps of fresh lobster meat. And the perfect pairing was certainly white Burgundy! A couple that stood out above the rest:

2009 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne, $89.99/bottle – 97 points

2007 Philippe Colin Chassagne Montrachet les Chenevottes, $47.99/bottle – 92 points

2008 Drouhin Chassagne Montrachet Laguiche, $69.99/bottle – 92 points

Each one of these showed perfect balance of mostly tree fruits (apples/pears), crème brulee, integrated oak, acidity and terrific mouth-feel. And what a great accompaniment to the wonderful, lobster mac & cheese.

I urge you this winter, with the heavier, creamier, stick-to-your-ribs fare, don't hesitate to make one of your go-to wines a nice white Burgundy. Whether it's a Premier Cru, Grand Cru, or a simple village wine, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well these whites will go with your winter fare.

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

A Classic Barolo!

The A Classic Barolo (94 RP/$64.99) is truly a classic Barolo?.big and beautiful!

Made of Nebbiolo grapes from Piedmont, this delicious wine offers all the classics of Barolo, including extraordinary floral scents (roses) and raspberry fruit. There is a hint of spice at the finish. It's a very well balanced wine, and if you're looking for elegance, here it is. It's still young for a Barolo, but should drink for about another 10 years.

This bottle brings it all together - a great wine, amazing producer and an all star vintage that follows the great 2006 vintage. Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate had this to say: "The 2007 Baroli are some of the most viscerally thrilling young wines I have ever tasted. The wines are radiant, intensely perfumed and totally seductive?" Of the producer's wines, Galloni also stated, "I would be thrilled to drink any of these wines any day of the week."

Since Barolo is known as "the wine of kings," you have to be mindful of the sentiment when pairing with food. This Barolo will pair nicely with rich and hearty dishes - beef, venison, etc.

This refined 2007 Luigi Pira Barolo Vigna Rionda is the perfect wine to get you through the cold winter season dinners.

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

1995 Rauzan Segla Half Bottles - In for the Long Haul

Rauzan Segla Half BottlesChateau Rauzan Segla of the Margaux appellation has had a quite a history and continues to make history as they climb to the top of the Bordeaux "Super Seconds" ranks.

Vintage
The 1995 vintage represents a very special time in Rauzan Segla history. One year prior, the Chateau was purchased by the wealthy Chanel group, with general management landing in the competent hands of John Kolasa and David Orr (both of Chateau Latour!). With first-growth knowledge and a clear idea of what Rauzan could be, the two managers fueled a complete renovation that would bring Rauzan to be the staple Margaux Chateau that we know today.

The first and most obvious change was the return to the original spelling to Rauzan Segla (from Rausan). More important, additions of the team included cutting the production in half to focus on quality, implementing 100% manual harvesting, and purchasing new state of the art equipment - most importantly, the sorting tables for ultimate inspection. Much to its advantage, 1995 was the first vintage to see the entirety of the team's major changes. 

Robert Parker also has a great affinity for 1995 Red Bordeaux - quoting: 
"Readers who purchased the 1995s early, before prices began to soar, will be thrilled to know that after bottling, the 1995s, for the most part, are exhibiting more promise than they did from cask. At the minimum, 1995 is an excellent vintage, yet given the high percentage of outstanding wines, a strong argument can be made that 1995 comes close to rivaling such great vintages as 1990 and 1982." - RPWA
 
Tasting
1995 Rauzan Segla is comprised of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. I decanted the wine for about an hour. The dominate Cabernet brings a deep, inky purple color and a robust mouth feel while the Merlot softens the palate with hints of sweet, ripe cassis fruit. The tannins are dark and concentrated. This wine is in it for the long haul - a classic "vin de garde" as Parker would say. Pair this beauty with a big juicy steak from Flannery Beef! While showing lovely right now, this wine still has 20 years ahead of it!!


Format
How many times have you found yourself during the middle of the week craving a GOOD bottle of wine while preparing a nice dinner, but didn't want to open the entire bottle just to potentially waste half of it? Demis (half bottles) are perfect for mid-week occasions. While we'd all like to feel good about drinking a full bottle of wine on any given Tuesday, most of us have to worry about that 6 AM alarm clock! Also, Bordeaux half-bottle OWC cases are very hard to come by, especially at this price!

The 1995 Rauzan Segla showcases the classic characteristics of Margaux, promises to drink for 20+ years to come, and costs well under $100 per bottle. Also, purchasing a case of half-bottles is the way to go for those enthusiasts who'd economically like to taste the development of a 1995 Deuxiémes Cru Left Bank Bordeaux. Simply put - it's a smart buy!

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

2003 Waterstone - Ten Years Later and Still Amazing!

California Cult Juice

When I first started working at Sokolin, there was a buzz in the air about a specific wine.  This wine was inexpensive, secretive, and from what I heard, delicious.  In fact, the first bottle of wine I ever received from Sokolin was this wine.  I am sure you all know where I am going with this?Waterstone!  This was the 2005 vintage, and I saw email after email and maybe more important, order after order from our customers.  

What was this juice all about, I wondered.  I was about to get a crash course from the makers themselves.  It was about 8 months after I started working when Brent Shortridge (winemaker of Waterstone) came to our tasting room to do a vertical and to introduce the 2007 vintage.  I was about to understand the reason for the love of this wine.

I had to get in on the action. I started to amass a collection of this "" bottle of wine for $19.95/bottle.  First, it was a few bottles which turned into a few cases then I decided I wanted to do a magnum vertical. 

I bought a 2004 and 2005 magnum, and I was excited to continue the large format vertical?unfortunately Waterstone didn't make magnums in 2006 or 2007.  Not to worry, 2009 brought the return of the magnum, and I was ecstatic.  Recently, we picked up the 2003 from a private collection.  I had to get some!

What could be better than a night with Waterstone, venison filet, and your fiancé?nothing!  We pulled the cork on the 2003 and were instantly taken back at the cedar nose.  I wondered how in the heck a $19.95 bottle of wine could age so effortlessly!  We poured the juice into a decanter for just long enough to let the 10 years blow off and a glass of exceptional wine followed.  Deep purple with no signs of aging, dark fruits and smooth tannins all for $19.95! WHAT!?!?  It made me realize that I needed to get as many of the 2007s and 2009s as possible. 

Waterstone in any vintage is amazing, but in the 2007 and 2009 vintages, this wine is at its best.  The newest vintage, the 2009, is the highest scoring Waterstone ever, with 93 points from James Suckling. This is one for the cellar, by the case load! Experience the taste of Cali-Cult wine without the Cali-Cult price and pick up some 2007 and 2009 Waterstone today!  

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

1998 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

One of my all time favorite California wineries is Chateau Montelena, which also happens to be one of the oldest estates in California. It dates back to 1882 when it was purchased by a San Francisco entrepreneur by the name of Alfred Tubbs. He heard Napa Valley was the best place to grow grapes in California, so he purchased 254 acres of rugged land, just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The winery got its name from a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena, and it is the seventh largest in the Napa Valley. 

It traded ownership over the years and eventually would be purchased by Lee and Helen Paschich in 1968. They brought in a partner, who at the time was a southern California lawyer by the name of Jim Barrett. Under Jim's leadership, the vineyard was re-planted, and the Chateau was outfitted with modern winemaking equipment.  He assembled a top-notch winemaking team and contracted some of the highest quality grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1972, wines were made for the first time at the Chateau and also that year, he purchased the vineyard from Lee and Helen Paschich.
 
It was in 1976 that Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. At a grand tasting in France, the who's-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered to taste four White Burgundies against six California Chardonnays. It was a blind tasting, so when the scores were tallied, the judges were convinced that the top ranking white wine was one of their own. It was, however, Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay that was the top wine. Some of you may remember that this event was memorialized in the 2008 movie, Bottle Shock.

Today, Chateau Montelena still produces some of the best wines in the world and is one of California's benchmark producers. It is still owned by Jim Barrett, and his son Bo Barrett is the master winemaker. 

Now, with that brief little history lesson out of the way, let's talk about the wine and the reason for this blog. I recently celebrated my birthday, and I'd been saving a bottle of 1998 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Estate for a special occasion, so this seemed like the prefect opportunity to pop it. Some of favorite wines to consume are aged California Cabs, and though I don't get to drink them often, I thoroughly enjoy them when I do.

Even though this wine is 15 years old, I know Montelenas age well, so I poured it into a decanter to let it breathe out. It had a nice plum color to it and after a couple swirls in the decanter, I was getting lots of Bordeaux characteristics. On the nose were black cherries, leather, licorice, graphite, and cedar box. So much going on & very complex. I poured a little in a glass to see where it was while I prepped dinner, and it was still a little closed, but I could tell with time it was going to be amazing. After an hour, I went back for another taste, and it was singing! All of the characteristics that I love about aged Cali Cabs were present - rich and complex with ripe fruit and tannins and excellent balance. Very plush, almost silky in the mouth. Still has plenty of life left - at least another 10 + years.
 
Needless to say, it paired beautifully with a 12 ounce dry-aged porterhouse, and it was a birthday to remember. Lucky for you as well, we still have a few cases remaining in our inventory, and I highly suggest you pick some up!

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

Dry Chenin Blanc from Montlouis: A Value, yet Far From Ordinary

Dry Chenin Blanc from Montlouis

Chenin Blanc is a white grape that can be found in most New World countries, but whose ancestral home is the Loire Valley of France. It is in the Middle Loire that Chenin truly shows its versatility, producing magical dessert wines, sparkling wine, and table wines, both demi-sec (off-dry/semi-sweet) and sec (dry). Some of the greatest examples of these table wines come from Vouvray and neighboring Montlouis right across the Loire River, and one of the finest producers of these wines is Francois Chidaine.
 
Montlouis was actually part of Vouvray until 1938, and though both have similar soil compositions, Montlouis is believed to contain a higher percentage of sand and considered less prestigious. However, a vigneron that properly understands this terroir should arguably be able to produce an excellent example of a dry wine, and Francois Chidaine is just such a person.
 
Hiss always made in a dry style and usually the least expensive in his portfolio. It therefore could be considered his intro wine from Montlouis, that being said it is far from ordinary. Created from a handful of plots throughout the biodynamic vineyard, with vines averaging 40 years of age and the oldest being 80, this is one of my favorite dry Chenins of the region. 
 
I recently enjoyed a 2010 at lunch this winter. He suggests pairing it with grilled chicken or chevre, but it worked pleasantly with my wife's warm couscous salad with shrimp. It had a bouquet of white flowers, orchard fruits, lanolin, and subtle hints of both pine and brioche. The entry was dominated by poached pear and green apples. It then evolved into lime and star fruit, yet finished zesty like ginger with solid grip. A textbook dry Chenin, it had a vein of crisp refreshing acidity that offset its viscous texture. All this for only $23.99.

John Gilman reviewed this wine a year ago giving it 94 points, emphasizing its youthfulness and giving it a maturity to 2040+. The 2011 has recently hit the market so I suggest grabbing up the remainder of the 2010 while you can. That being said, I look forward to tasting the newer release and can't emphasize enough how wise it is to sample all of Chidaine's wines, whether from Montlouis or Vouvray, both sec and demi-sec. He is a wonderful producer.

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.

As Good As Beaucastel at a Fraction of the Price? It Sure Is!

As Good As Beaucastel at a Fraction of the Price

Michel Gassier is definitely on a crazy hot streak with all of the wines he produces in partnership with importer, Eric Solomon, and the Southern Rhone's viticultural aficionado, Philippe Cambie.  He's the same guy that's the driving force behind numerous beautiful Chateauneuf Du Pape wines that everyone loves, such as Clos Saint Jean, Donjon, and Prefert.  Obviously, he also has a very apt hand with his white wines as evidenced by his 2011 Nostre Pais Blanc.

This great find, which incidentally only costs $17.99, is a blend of organically grown, old vine Grenache Blanc (90%), Viognier (5%) and Roussanne (5%), fermented in stainless steel and aged on the lees for 6 months.  "I know some readers will find it hard to believe, but the 2011 Nostre Pais Blanc's aromas and rich, honeyed, full-bodied texture reminded me of the famous white Chateauneuf du Pape made by Chateau Beaucastel, which sells for three or more times the price."  That's a bold statement made by none other than Robert Parker who went on to award the wine 93 points!

When I pulled the cork on this one, needless to say, I was a bit skeptical.  How could this $17.99 bottle even mildly compare to the incomparable white from Beaucastel?  But, as Parker said, "you have to taste it to believe it."

The aromatics were so intense and in-turn complex that I took my time to actually taste it.  I wanted to see if it developed even further.  Sure enough, it did.  Dried floral notes exploded from the glass, and the delicate white peaches and subtle tropical aromas were sublime.  I had to check the label once more to confirm that this gorgeous wine was from the Costieres de Nimes and not from Chateauneuf du Pape.  Yes, it sure was!  I never would have guessed.  I finally tasted it and thought?WOW!   Full bodied, lively, with a length that only comes from wines that cost much, much more.  If any of you are interested in sharing this incredible find, you'll need to act quickly because we only picked up a few cases, and I'm buying some for myself RIGHT NOW!

(Submitted Jun 12, 2013)

Blog Disclaimer - Please note the price and review is as of the date above. Sokolin does not represent, warrant or guarantee the price(s) listed above due to the timing of this blog. Sokolin, in it’s sole discretion, may change the price(s) of this/these wine(s) up or down based on current market conditions and/or availability. Please find the most current price for this/these wines by searching the current inventory. All other terms and conditions apply and they can be found on our website here.