News Update Archive


Gerry Dawes visits Ribeira Sacra

Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes recently visited Ribeira Sacra to explore everything that is going on in this emerging region. In the latest issue to Wine News he explains why Ribeira Sacra "is exhibiting potential more exciting than any emerging region I have encountered over four decades of traveling Spain's wine roads". Read the full article, including tasting notes and reviews, at the Wine News.

The November Question

The November issue of Bon Appetit magazine attempts to answer "The Question" that hits us every November: what to drink on Thanksgiving. Their response is Spanish wine, tempranillos from Rioja and albariños from Galicia, including their recommended pick of Do Ferriero Albariño. Pick up a copy from your local newstand for the full article.

The Secret Sherry Society

Secret Sherry Society is a website dedicated to sharing the wine world's greatest secret: sherry. Visit and gain entrance to learn what they have to say about our favorite wine secrect.

Spain reviewed in the International Wine Cellar

In the latest issue of the International Wine Cellar (Sep/Oct 2009) Josh Raynolds reviews wines from Spain including some De Maison Selections wines from A Coroa, Ameztoi, Xarmant, Do Ferreiro, D. Ventura, Emilio Rojo, Viña Mein, Gurrutxaga, Joan d'Anguera, Luberri, Ostatu, Viña Sastre, Uriondo, Garciarevalo, and Yunquera. Check out all of the reviews at Steven Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

Chéreau Carré reviewed in the Wine Advocate

In the latest issue of the Wine Advocate (#184) David Schildknecht reviews wines from the Loire Valley for "The Loire: The Bargin Garden of France." Included in his reviews where write-ups for Chéreau Carré's Comte Leloup de Chasselior 2004 (90 points) and 2005 (92 points) as well as the 2008 Chesnaie (89 points) and 2003 Le Clos du Chåteau l'Oisiliniere (90 points). Be sure to visit for the full reviews.

Bon Appetit: Dry Cider in The Sipping News

The Sipping News in the October issue of Bon Appetit magazine features dry ciders from Spain and France, hailing them as "food-friendly, low-alcohol alternatives to beer and wine." They called the Isastegi Sagardo "A still, unfiltered, highly acidic cider from the hills just outside Donostia-San Sebastián, where it’s highly prized." Pick up a copy today for the full list of recommended ciders.

LA Times Wine of the Week: Gurrutxaga

On August 19th, the Los Angeles Times chose the 2008 Gurrutxaga Txakoli as their Wine of the Week.

"The current Gurrutxaga vintage is a light, fragrant wine with a snappy acidity and notes of Granny Smith apple and citrus. Low in alcohol (just 10.5%), it also has a slight natural spritz that makes it a perfect hot-weather wine."

Check out S. Irene Virbila's write up for all the details.

An Entourage of Txakoli

In Sunday's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle Jon Bonné takes a look at txakoli and how this little Basque wine has grown from "an obscure curiosity" to the new darling of the wine industry. Check out Jon Bonné's article "Basque wine Txakoli flirts with fame" to catch up on the how and why of this transformation.

Also in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, guest contributor Janet Fletcher joins one of Kevin Hogan's tapeos, or tapas stroll. Hopping from tapas bar to tapas bar, Janet Fletcher chronicles this wholly Spanish event. Read the full article to discover Tapas that are worth the walk.

A Basque cider for summer

Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Chronicle is reminded of Isastegi Sagardo while working on his upcoming txakolina article. Perfect timing too, San Francisco is enjoying some of its hottest days of the summer. Jon Bonné explains just why Sagardo is a perfect summer time drink to quench your thirst on a hot day.

"... it's perfect for a picnic or an invigorating meal-starter. And in weather like this, it will serve that purpose without wiping you out before the main course..."

Read the full article at the SFGate.

Rooted in Rioja, Traditions Gain New Respect

Eric Asimov of the New York Times explores the growing trend in Rioja that everything old is new again in his article Rooted in Rioja, Traditions Gain New Respect. He finishes off his article with a list of some of his favorite wineries in Rioja, including the "delicate and pure" Luberri.

Travel Log: Basque Country 2009.

This past spring I traveled to the Basque Country to contuct research for my upcoming Txakolina book. Here are some recently uncovered notes from that trip: André's Travel Blog: April 2009.

Slate's guide to the importers you can count on.

Mike Steinberger of Slate offers his guide to finding great wines: grab a selection from one of his favorite importers. Read why importers make a difference and which importers to look for in his article: "Never Buy a Bad Bottle of Wine Again" on Slate. Be sure to also download his handy Foreign Wine Cheat Sheet.

A Spring Fling at the San Francisco Chronicle

In Sunday's Thirst column titled "Fresh, lovely bottles add intrigue to any spring fling" Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Chronicle offers recommendations for the perfect wines to serve at your spring dinner party. Among the suggestions: Ostatu Blanco. Read the full article here.

On the Vine in the New Jersey Monthly

Wine expert Sue Guerra shares her experience of a recent Sherry tasting with the readers of her On the Vine blog in the New Jersey Monthly. Read about A Taste Revolution and Tasting a Trio of Sherries to see what she has to say about La Cigarrera, El Maestro Sierra and Gutierrez Colosia.

January 2009: Notes on Spain

Some thoughts on Spain after trekking 4000 miles:

Spain today continues to be one of the most exciting areas for wine in the world. The combination of the varied topography and accompanying cultures creates the dynamics for an incredibly rich landscape. The innovation in vinification techniques and vineyard management (continuing exploration in sustainable agricultural practices) is what makes this incredibly forward thinking country so exciting.

Continued here...

Jon Bonné of the SF Chronicle talks Sherry

The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonné documents sherry's past and its future as well as offering some advice and information for sherry novices.

"We merry band of sherry fans have learned to suffer in silence. I have loved sherry for as long as I've loved wine - its tang and drama invigorate my palate as few drinks can."

Read the article in its entirety at


Jancis Robinson's Red Wines for the Season

In the November 28th edition of the Financial Times Jancis Robinson lists her picks for the best red wines to enjoy this holiday season. Joan d'Anguera's Finca l'Argata 2005 makes the list, and here's what she had to say:

Host Your Own: Fall Sherry Dinner

In my continuing effort to proselytize on behalf of the wonderful style of wine that is sherry, my girlfriend and I organized a sherry dinner at our house this past weekend. Five courses, five sherries, good times. The idea was, of course, first and foremost to have some good food and good wine, but it was also to educate a little about what sherry is and how damn good it is with food. So we spent a whole day between the farmer’s market, various grocery stores, and the kitchen (but mostly the kitchen), cooking up a storm.

Continue reading here...

Tempranillo's Favored Terruño

Check out our new Tempranillo Seminar: Tempranillo's Favored Terruño to learn about tempranillo and the two most famous tempranillo growing regions: Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Download the companion PDF for more detailed information.

In the Press: The International Wine Cellar

Josh Raynolds from the International Wine Cellar has posted part 2 of his Best New Wines from Spain for 2008 on the International Wine Cellar website (coming soon to press). We've compiled all of the De Maison Selections wines here for your reading pleasure.

Decoding the Lot Number

The new lot numbers on our Finos and Manzanillas are not just random codes. Each number has a meaning and knowing the meaning behind the number will let you know how fresh these sherries are. Each winery has its own system of generating a lot number but you can always tell that it is a lot number because it will be prefaced by the letter "L". Using the current lot numbers as examples, here is a breakdown of the meaning of each winery's lot numbers so that you can tell exactly when that sherry was bottled.

[UPDATE] The sample lot numbers used in the below examples are no longer current. These lot numbers in these examples remain unchanged so that they may be used as a reference tool to help decode the current lot numbers. Please also note that the lot number reflects the bottling date of the wine and not the US release date.

La Cigarrera Manzanilla
The current lot number for La Cigarrera Manzanilla is L08120. The number following the L may be the most confusing of the three but it can be broken into two segments: year and day. The first two digits denote the bottling year, in this case "08." The last three digits represent the day within the year; in this case the "120" stands for day 120 or April 29th (2008 is a leap year). Lot number code L08120 means that this lot was bottled on the 120th day (April 29th) of 2008.

El Maestro Sierra Fino
The current lot number for El Maestro Sierra Fino is L0208. The number following the L can be broken into two simple segments: month and year. The first two digits signify the month; for the current lot number that would be "02" or February. The second two digits denote the year, "08" for this lot. Lot number L0208 means that this lot was bottled in February of 2008.

Gutierrez Colosia, Fino Elcano
The current lot number for Fino Elcano is L010508. The number following the L is fairly straightforward: it is simply the date of the bottling. But remember, they're using the European standard format so the day is shown before the month. Lot number L010508 means the lot was bottled on the 1st of May, 2008.

Fresh Sherry

The most commonly overlooked aspect of Fino and Manzanilla sherries is always freshness. While Amontillados and Olorosos are known for their longevity – they initially became popular due to the fact that they would not spoil during a long sea voyage – Finos and Manzanillas are best consumed when they're freshly bottled and served cold. In an effort to ensure that you're drinking the best sherry possible we had our three producers print lot numbers on every bottle of Fino and Manzanilla. So next time you pick up a bottle of one of these fine wines look at the back label and make sure that you're getting the freshest batch out there. Look below for a list of the current lot numbers.


Lot Number

Release Date

La Cigarrera Manzanilla



El Maestro Sierra Fino



Gutierrez Colosia, Fino Elcano



The New York Post looks at the "Other Big Apple"

In the July 29th edition of the New York Post David Appell recounts his experince with Natural Cider in Spain. Check out his article on the New York Post's website.

Slate talks Muscadet

of Slate talks about summer wines. What is Mr. Steinberger bringing with him to the beach this summer? Muscadet. Follow the link to see why he's chosen this livley wine from the Loire as his Perfect Summer Wine.

The Houston Chronicle: What I'm Drinking

In the July 15th edition of the Houston Chronicle Antonio Gianola, sommelier at Catalan Food and Wine, tells us why he's drinking El Maestro Sierra Fino:

"In addition to the bevy of dry rosés that shimmer in the summer sun, I endure the heat with fino sherry. It hails from Jerez in southwestern Spain, between the Strait of Gibraltar and Portugal. Born from palomino grapes that are embraced by flor , a strain of yeast that protects the wine from turning into vinegar, it has a nutty note with the essence of the sea breezes that help make it the quintessential Spanish apéritif. Serve by itself, chilled or on the rocks with a twist of lemon, or with light snacks such as almonds, aged cheese (especially manchego), olives and anchovies — the oily fish just sings with fino. Like a cut flower, fino is best appreciated when fresh, within three months of bottling. Not for the cellar — it is for now. Also, try an ounce added to your gin and tonic"

Wines of The Times:
For Overlooked Sherries, Some Respect

The New York Time's Eric Asimov talks about why "dry sherry is both the greatest value and the single most abused category in wine" in his July 9, 2008 Wines of The Times article. You know how we feel about sherry, so take a look and see what Mr Asimov has to say.

The Economist: Wine and Health

In the July 3rd article entitled "Of sommeliers and stomachs" The Economist reports on a recent study that focuses on the health benefits of red wine. The study, conducted by Dr Joseph Kanner's team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, found that drinking red wine with red meat helps to block toxins from entering your system. Read the full article at The Economist for all of the details.

Alex's Travel Log: Sherry 2008

Why don’t people drink more sherry? This is the question I can’t get out of my head after coming back from sherry country, where imbibing fino seems as natural as breathing.

Take a look at the full article on our Media page.

In the Press: Tres Olmos

In their June 2008 issue, Wine Enthusiast Magazine takes a look at "Old Vine Treasures from Spain's High Plains" and uncovers Garciarevalo's Tres Olmos.

Take a look at the full article on our Media page.

A New Face at De Maison Selections

I am excited to welcome Dani Boxford to De Maison Selections. 

I have known Dani for about six years and have always been impressed by her professionalism and passion for the business. Dani got her start in the business as a pastry chef and quickly got bitten by the wine bug. She worked for four years as a wholesaler in Texas and the last two years Dani worked for a supplier of New Zealand wines.

Dani has personally visited the majority of our producers in Spain. Her enthusiasm for representing these producers is self evident.

André's Travel Log: Spring in Spain, 2008

Spain’s great qualitative momentum continues to lead it forward at a dizzying pace. Having spent 2 weeks in Spain touring the northern areas, I see an amazing country that continues to inspire and surprise me in many different ways.

Continue reading about André's latest trip across Spain. talks about Spain

James B. Steward of asks "Is Spain the New Bordeaux?" He says "the question of Spain versus Bordeaux isn't as far-fetched as it might seem," and puts Spain to the test. See the results of his blind tasting on


New Video of Doniene Gorrondona.

Itziar from Doniene Gorrondona takes André around the vineyards to see their 150 year old vines that produce the Gorrondona Tinto Txakolina.

New Winery Galleries are now online.

Ever wonder what the terraced vineyards of D Ventura look like, or Doniene Gorrondona's 150 year-old Hondarribi Beltza vines, how about soleras of Gutierrez Colosia? Now you can see photos of those and more on our new Gallery pages. Look for the Gallery link on most of our wineries' pages to see a selection of photographs from that winery and their vineyards.

Txakolina hits Bloomberg.

As Txakolina catches on, the complexity and beguiling nature of this little wine continues to intrigue us. At first we were just curious and happy to find unadulterated white wines but then a strange thing happened. We began to see a very diverse landscape of many different styles reflecting the individual DO’s and the philosophy towards the wines as applied by the winemakers. Today it is not possible to speak in general terms about Txakoli. Txakoli is a multi faceted region representing some of the most authentic whites of Spain. Read Bloomberg's article by Elin McCoy.

2006 Vintage Notes: Catalonia

2006 in Catalonia and the Mediterranean coast appears to be a very good vintage and not marred by some of the heat and conditions that North Central Spain suffered. The initial quality of wine from this vintage is good.

2006 Vintage Notes: Northern Spain

The 2006 vintage, which just finished, is strikingly good on the Northern Coast of Spain with the exception of Ribera del Duero and Rioja. In the Basque Country and Galicia the sun shone brightly throughout September and allowed sugars to rise gradually.

Rioja and especially Ribera del Duero suffered from the heat of September. This heat caused some of the grape skins to burn. For Rioja the wines are light and approachable, but lacking in structure of the previous vintages. In Ribera the results will be even more variable.

Bierzo also appeared to have benefited from practically being in Galicia. Overall 2006 will be a vintage to dissect by region with some stellar wines from lesser known regions…right up our alley!