Thank you to everyone who came out on Tuesday to A Year in Wine at Lafayette! It’s been quite a year since our 20th Anniversary Tasting in 2015. Keeping things fresh, we opted to pour only items that had joined our book since then, including 34 estates and 6 new craft distilleries, totaling over 200 additions to our portfolio! We’ve been busy! We hope you had a chance to taste through everything, from Domaine Arnoux to Xavier Benier and Nicolas Badel. Bodegas RE, Hudson Vineyards, Vodopivec, Pfluger and High Wire Distilling. We also saw new additions from Matthiasson, Forlorn Hope, Teutonic, Rio Maggio and Pierre Frick. Big thanks to our friends André Tamers at De Maison Selections, Bill and Byron at Goatboy Selections, Emily Kunhardt of Craft Distillers and Roberto Ijalba of Bodegas Santalba. We hope to see you all again soon! Read more
While we’re gearing up for fall and soaking in the last rays of summer sun, we’re taking this week to look back at a few highlights from the summer and spring. Happy Labor Day! We’ll see you in full gear next week. Read more
Kristina Sazama of T. Edward Wines
We are thrilled to welcome Kristina Sazama to our family at T. Edward Wines. Starting this month, Kristina will manage our book of Billecart-Salmon, while supporting our French Portfolio in the market. Welcome Kristina!
“Billecart-Salmon farms a large chunk of the vineyards that make up their wines,” said Kristina Sazama, our new Billecart-Salmon Director at T. Edward Wines. “And even as a marques house, they are family owned, not owned by a giant luxury goods company or the like. The Billecart family is involved – I’ve spoken to Antoine Billecart and he knows the wines, he knows the technical details. He doesn’t just happen to have his last name on the label,” she added. Read more
André Tamers with Thierry Tissot in Bugey
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
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
Patrick Burke with Chantal Tortochot
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.
Geoffrey Loisel at Billecart-Salmon, 2010
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