What's New in April
Hidden Gems of France
As an importer known for pushing boundaries in Spain, you might wonder why we would decide to expand our French portfolio. France, after all, has already been thoroughly explored, right?
Not necessarily... In fact, what André and I have been noticing in France is an ongoing (re)discovery of terroirs with huge potential that have not been given their due. By digging into the nooks and crannies of the winemaking regions of France, we are finding some incredible wines. There are plenty of gems to be unearthed.
And there's a personal side to this, too. I spent my childhood in France, near Geneva, at the foot of the Jura mountains and right next to Savoie. André named the company after his French mother. For us, going into France is a very natural expansion, a return to our roots.
I believe that these new offerings reflect the depth of our engagement with the changing French wine landscape. They aren't obscure for obscurity's sake, but only because exciting things are happening in out-of-the-way places. And getting out there to find them is exactly the kind of thing that gets me going.
The first two of these new offerings have landed stateside and should be available nationwide within the next couple of weeks.
Jacques Breyton farms 8 hectares of vines throughout the appellation of Crozes-Hermitage. He utilizes organic and biodynamic practices and his estate, Domaine Breyton, has been certified in both areas since 2000. The grapes are de-stemmed before fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine shows plentiful savory notes of meat, wild garrigue herbs, olives and stones. In the mouth it is surprisingly light and supple, while still maintaining great structure. The 2012 vintage is available now.
Vin des Fossiles
Vin des Fossiles is the result of Jean-Claude Berthillot’s ambitious project to reclaim an ancient viticultural area. Located within the I.G.P. of Saône-et-Loire at the southwestern extreme of Burgundy, his estate is in the Brionnais (the home of Charolais beef). He moved to the region in the 1980s intending to settle in the country, but soon recognized the viticultural potential of the area. He currently farms five parcels spread across eight hectares of vines. He vinifies his wines by soil type and continues to follow his vision of elegant, age-worthy, minerality-driven wines. We have two of his wines currently available: the Gamay Vieilles Vignes “Cuvée Font-Grain” 2011 made from his old-vines Gamay and the Pinot Noir “Cuvée Font-Grain.” Both are grown in clay calcareous soil.
Two more offerings will land later this spring. Along the Rhône, north of Domaine Breyton, is Domaine Badel, which produces three wines: a St.-Joseph, a Condrieu and a very special project in I.G.P. Collines Rhodaniennes. We’re also highlighting André’s ancestral homeland, and Alex’s hometown, in the Savoie with the Cru Frangy wines of Domaine Lupin. We will present more information about these two estates as we approach the release of their wines.