Named for his grandfather, whose father who had a general store in old Savoie on the Annecy Lake, De Maison Selections is returning to its French roots. “A long time ago,” said André Tamers, “we had quite a bit of French wines. But then I realized I had to let it all go and focus on Spain, because Spain, for obvious reasons, was just red hot. And since I’d lived there for three years, I thought I’d take the opportunity and run with it.” Read more
Posts from the ‘France’ Category
We sat with Brendan Tracey to discuss his red wine vinifications and the designing of his labels. Here’s Brendan in his own words:
“Entre deux chaises. It’s like sitting on two chairs at the same time. It’s like the best of both worlds or the worst of two worlds. It’s a blend of rosé, direct press with the carbonic maceration. The idea is to get the excitement, the energy and the thirst wine of the rosé and the carbonic maceration, which is just one-third. It structures and it gives it the color so it won’t be a rosé. Yeah it’s the best of both worlds. A mix between carbonic maceration, which will get the flavors, with the skin contact, and enzymatic extraction of the flavors and the taste. It’s for three of the red wines. I don’t have any left because it gets sold out right away. It’s called Pour Une Poignee de Bouteilles, A Handle for Bottles, and so the label is like the poster for the Sergio Leone film, but I replaced the gun with Capitalisme Rouge. It’s made from Pinot Noir, and that always gets bought directly by the Japanese. Read more
“When I was a child, I wanted to be God,” said Andrea Calek, and laughed. “Not president or a winemaker. President is nothing. It’s so small. I wanted to be God.” And while he doesn’t consider his work in the cellar or vineyards to be god-like in any way, he has found a slice of paradise in Ardèche, living in a trailer amongst his 5ha of Ecocert certified vines. Read more
On Sunday, a few of us rode La Provençale Sainte-Victoire, a 95KM ride in Provence. A stunning course that included three pretty serious climbs (totaling 4,130 feet), and some harrowing descents, it was the most beautiful 95K that I have ever ridden, scented with lilacs, lavender and shrub Provencal herbs. And while my training had been pretty threadbare, I dug the paced commitment required to reach the top of Sainte Victoire, Côte de Bèdes and Col du Sambuc (a 6.5 mile climb). The guys fared a bit faster, pace-lining with some winter training to their legs. But we all loved riding in France, where cycling is a revered spectator sport. Read more
As the vines near budbreak, we stole a moment to catch up with Patrick Burke (#ExPat), our French Portfolio Manager, who’s been living with his ear and palate close to the terroir for the past eight months. “I’ve spent a lot of time with our existing producers and it’s deepened the existing friendships,” he said. “When you see them once or twice a year, it’s business. But being able to see them more often, in a casual setting, it’s allowed me quality time that’s not the standard of a winery visit. It’s strengthened relationships.” Such immediate access has also given Patrick a more intimate understanding of each producer’s winemaking style, he said. “You see how they relate to other people in their villages, you get more insider information.” On the road seven to ten days a month, Patrick recently introduced Chateau de Lavernette, a historic property that straddles Beaujolais and Maconnais, and just joined our ranks. “His family has owned the property since they bought it from the Tournus monks, in 1596,” he said. “They have vineyards all around the chateau and Xavier [de Boissieu] is the latest to take over the estate.” Read more
Big thanks to all who came out to taste. This week’s Rosé Tasting was our best yet, with over 150 in attendance! After a long winter’s crawl, we couldn’t have asked for more – sunny blue skies, an extra hour of daylight, and 40 rosé wines from some of our top producers, from all over the globe. Finally…it’s safe to say, spring is near.
It took Geoffrey Loisel, of Billecart-Salmon Champagne, ten years to find his way home. After working for a small wine-importer that was based in Atlanta, Georgia for a year, Geoffrey committed his life as a Frenchman to selling wine in America. After working for a few years with Mary Brizard, a cordial company that’s based in France, Geoffrey moved onto work with Boisset Wines for a year before he entered the world of Champagne through Pommery. When the recession hit in 2008, he realized the lack of potential for growth, and accepted a position with a distributor that’s very much like The Procter & Gamble of wine .“I stayed for one and a half years and realized it wasn’t my thing,” said Geoffrey. “I realized I had to sell good wine to be happy.” And then he found Billecart-Salmon. Read more
“I remember the early days at Gramercy Tavern,” said Seth Liebman, the spirited Beverage Director at Claudette. “There was a period when we refused to have Merlot on our list because people would come in and instead of asking for red wine, they’d ask for Merlot as the catch all, even if they wanted Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Now, in large part thanks to the New York somm community, it’s exploded into so many ‘others’. Who would have thunk someone would walk into a place and ask for Ribolla?” Read more
2014 was an amazing year for all of us here at TEW. And for this, we offer great thanks to our families and friends, to our winegrowers and buyers, and to everyone who supports us and them. Looking back on the year, our 20th as a company, we’ve a lot to reflect on. Cheers to a beautiful year! We look forward to spending 2015 with you! Read more
Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, traveled from his home in Lyon to meet JP and Pam in Bordeaux, where they visited with a few of our growers. What follows is his assessment of the state of Grower Bordeaux. Thanks #ExPat!
There is, I think, a very valuable association to be made between the growers in Champagne and the dwindling number of small family estates of the Medoc. When a few small growers with good reputations decided to stop selling their harvests to big Champagne houses, in favor of making their very own limited production Champagnes, a movement was born. The Grower Champagne movement ensures itself a sustained place in the Champagne market because buyers around the world love the story of the “little guys” making very good, very rare, Champagnes. Don’t we all love to support the underdog? If one looks to the modern Medoc landscape they will see a seriously speculative wine scene dominated by historic Chateaux owned by multinational mega-companies that are getting bigger at the expense of the small family owned estates. Read more