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What a long, strange trip it’s been (and continues to be). July Futures rolls out as the pandemic rolls on and the current Administration announces that they’re thinking, once again, about quadrupling the tariffs they imposed willy-nilly last year. Nothing for it, we suppose, than to go about our business and hope for the best. Over in the vineyards of France, the vines have chosen this course, and indeed are well ahead of even the very early growing seasons of the last two years. For most of the summer, vineyard work is by its nature socially distanced; and we expect that by the harvest the French will have figured out a workaround for les vendanges as well. For our part, we’re glad this isn’t our year to help bring in the grapes at the Domaine Gros — we would dearly miss those crowded, convivial, vinous lunches and dinners in its subterranean warrens.

Even with all the distractions, there should be something for everyone in this offering. We offer delicious 2018 red Burgundies from both the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. There’s white Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune, along with Cru Beaujolais from both our producers there. Then we descend the Rhône toward the sunny south, stopping in Cornas on our way to Seguret and Chateauneuf du Pape. Finally we head to Bordeaux for two fine values from the Left Bank.

White wine has been in such demand this year that we’re just about out. We are planning to do a mid-year restock with this shipment, and we have decided to give our Futures customers the chance to join us.

We hope you will find something to your taste. If anything is of interest, don’t forget to place your orders in case or half-case lots by the Order Deadline of July 26, 2020. We’ll be moving expeditiously to stay ahead of the next disruption, whether from the virus or our government.


Belland (Red/White Burgundy)
Boursot (Red Burgundy)
White Restock (Burgundy/Alsace)
Monnet & Perrachon (Beaujolais)
Malmont (Rhône Red)
Mestre (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Dumien-Serrette (Cornas)
Fleuron de Liot (St-Estèphe)
Salomon-Undhof (Austria)


Roger Belland

Santenay, Burgundy

The Belland family is based in Santenay, but its fine collection of properties stretches out along nearly the whole of the Côte de Beaune. To the south there are two vineyards in Maranges; and to the north, vines in Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny, and Chassagne. Two of the holdings are extraordinary: a large parcel in the Grand Cru Criots Bâtard-Montrachet, and a large monopole in Chassagne-Montrachet along the border with Santenay — the Clos Pitois — which is planted equally to red and to white. With prices ranging from the low end to the high end by a factor of ten, the Belland’s range has wide appeal.

In red, we begin in Maranges with the premier cru Clos Roussot 2018. As we reported in last Sunday’s post, this is the best Maranges we have tasted. It is round and ripe, with plenty of body, blending blueberry fruit with a pleasant minerality. It will be delicious on the day it arrives, and will continue to give pleasure over the next three or four years.

Just to the north in Santenay proper, we offer two premier cru reds to choose from: Beauregard and Gravieres. Beauregard is like a big brother to the Maranges — more to it and richer, but with a similar attractive blend of ripe fruit and earth. You can start drinking this wine right away, and it will continue to show beautifully for many years, depending on how well you store it. (We recently opened a bottle of this from the 2009 vintage and found it hadn’t lost a step.) Burghound awarded 91 points, and named it a “top value for the vintage.” Gravieres is a better known vineyard than Beauregard and it generally finds its peak later. Its pedigree shows up in a very long finish. The tannins are just a bit firmer than Beauregard’s right now — we’d give it half an hour in a carafe were we to open a bottle today — but the added structure will carry it longer and likely offer a glass with more finesse and complexity when its best moment arrives.

Just across the border into Chassagne we find the Chassagne-Montrachet premier cru Clos Pitois. The 2018 vintage is quintessential Côte de Beaune red. The tannins are very fine-grained and dense, and will need some time to round out. But in the ripe 2018 vintage they don’t even begin to get in the way of the perfectly ripe black cherry fruit. The wine is clean and precise, with an unusually long finish. This is red Chassagne at its best, and we plan to put some of this wine in our personal cellars to enjoy over the next decade or so.

Finally, we suggest the Volnay 1er cru “Santenots” 2018. Volnay’s wines own the Côte de Beaune’s highest reputation, perhaps because of their elegance. Writers often contrast the elegance of Volnay with the meaty and powerful wines of Pommard. The French use the term aerien (“airy”) to describe their register. Belland’s 2018 “Santenots” is all of that. Fermentation was with 80% whole clusters, and the ripe stems contribute complexity and airiness. Writer Allen Meadows (“Burghound”) found that “background wood influence sets off the equally floral-infused aromas of very spicy dark berries and exotic tea scents.” This is a wine that will age gracefully and deliver pleasure for many years.

Burghound chose three of Belland’s wines for his list of 2018 reds that are “particularly outstanding for their respective appellations and especially merit your attention”: Beauregard, Pitois rouge and Santenots. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

We often find particular value in whites from villages best known for their reds (and vice versa). Belland’s 2018 Santenay Beauregard 1er cru blanc is decidedly in this category. While it won’t quite match the depth and length of the 2018 Clos Pitois blanc, the Beauregard offers a similar combination of lemon and orchard fruit (white or yellow peaches) with a touch of lemon peel. There is good freshness here, and we think you can enjoy it over the next three to five years.

Chassagne-Montrachet is best known for its whites, of course, and the Clos Pitois produces one of the best premier crus of the village. Clos Pitois blanc 2018 is a big wine, juicy and round with plenty of body. Its fruit is ripe lemon and orchard fruit, which balances well with its noticeable oak. The finish is long. Burghound found the wine “nicely focused” and predicted that it would “drink reasonably well young while repaying short to perhaps medium-term cellaring.”

Belland’s Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Champs Gains” is excellent in 2018. Burghound labeled it “particularly outstanding for the appellation” and praised the “excellent volume, all wrapped in a stony finale that builds in intensity.” We thought the wine very well balanced. Like most Pulignys, this wine will need some time to knit together and show its refinement, but we agree with Burghound that excellent depth should develop in a few years.

If you have the budget for Grand Cru white Burgundy, Belland’s 2018 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet is a good one to consider. The Bellands own 1.5 acres in this vineyard (a huge parcel by Grand Cru standards). This wine is very big, with lots of complexity and plenty of length. For the details, we refer you to Burghound, who tastes a lot more Grand Cru white Burgundy than we do and captured the wine particularly well. He found aromas of peach, apricot, pear and mango, “trimmed in just enough wood to notice. The broad-shouldered flavors are rich to the point of being almost oily, [with] the powerful finish delivering fine length.” He thinks the wine will age well over the next decade.

(case prices)

Maranges 1er cru “Clos Roussot” 2018:   $375
Santenay 1er cru “Beauregard” 2018:   $450
Santenay 1er cru “Gravières” 2018:   $450
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru “Clos Pitois” rouge 2018:   $650
Volnay 1er cru “Santenots” 2018:   $795

Santenay 1er cru “Beauregard” blanc 2018:   $450
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er cru “Clos Pitois” blanc 2018:   $895
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Champs Gains” 2018:   $995
Criots-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2018:  $3,995

Domaine Boursot

Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy

We searched for years for a source in Chambolle-Musigny. The town has both a stellar reputation and miniscule size (population 300), so it wasn’t easy to find a domaine without existing importing relationships. But last year we finally came upon the Domaine Boursot, a humble family of winemakers right in the heart of Chambolle.

The Boursots began making wine in Chambolle-Musigny in 1550. For centuries, like most Burgundy domaines, they sold their entire production each year to the negociants of Beaune. In 1974 Remy Boursot began bottling on his own, and today it’s his sons Romauld and Romaric making the wines as the 15th generation of Boursots.

We found the Boursots in a note from Vinous’s Burgundy reviewer Neal Martin, who wrote of a “foundation for a promising future” and described Boursot’s wines as “superb,” “excellent,” “very fine,” and “worth seeking out.”

Our inaugural importation last year was a smashing success. The wines showed beautifully, and made many friends among our readers — the CDNV and Fuées cuvées sold out when two serious collectors wrote after trying bottles to say “I’ll take everything you’ve got left.” We’ve since sold nearly every bottle of the other two cuvées as well. We’re excited about our second vintage with the Boursots, and look forward to a long and promising future.

Boursot’s Côte de Nuits-Villages 2017 was among the most requested re-purchase wines we’ve had in years. It’s a supremely well-located regional-level wine, and the quality shows through in the glass. Made from vines immediately on the other side of the wall (see photo) from Chambolle royalty Frédy Mugnier’s famous Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru “Clos de la Maréchale,” this greatly overperforms its class. The 2018 is classic Boursot style: the nose is dark and spicy, with classic Côte de Nuits cassis and hints of black pepper and toast. The mouth is punchy and juicy, with a crackling mouthfeel laid over lots of beefy extraction. It’s not exactly elegant, but it’s loaded with character and at $33/bot will run you far less than the $100 stuff from the other side of the wall.

Boursot’s village-level Chambolle-Musigny shows why the town holds mythic status among Burgundy lovers. Even in a lineup of elegant wines, Chambolle is on another level. Made from vines in the Nazoires vineyard near the Vougeot border, this cuvée perfectly combines Boursot’s gnarled, masculine style with tender terroir of Chambolle. The result is a delight — a deep, intensely dark nose with notes of perfume, violets, cassis and wild cherries. The mouth is elegant and broad shouldered, like a rugby player in a three piece suit; look for notes of tobacco, plum, smoke, woods, and blackberry.

Both premier crus from Boursot are a step up in intensity, and will require a bit more patience. The first, Chambolle 1er cru “Chatelots,” is from a small vineyard just next to the town. The vines sit in a creux (hollow) which traps heat during the summer and aides ripening. This is deep and muscled wine, with distilled red fruits and a rugged, full-bodied texture. Right now it’s long and tannic, with perfectly extracted texture and plenty of wood. We expect great things from this wine beginning in 3-5 years, and wouldn’t turn it down in 10.

Finally, consider Boursot’s Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru “Fuées,” which, along with Amoureuses, is considered somewhere between Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Located next to the famous Grand Cru “Bonnes Mares,” the vineyard produces wines showing what Allen Meadows calls “a touch of Morey-St-Denis wildness.” Boursot’s vines here are 75 years old, and Romaric told us demand is so strong they can sell a barrel’s worth of grapes at harvest for the same price as a barrel of fully made wine two years later. The Boursots sell 20% of their grapes off for the quick return, and make the remaining 80% into truly exceptional wine. Fuées marries power and gracefulness in a way that only a Chambolle vineyard can, and the 2018 is magnificent. The nose shows an extraordinary depth of perfume, cassis, violets, and gingerbread. The mouth is huge and intense. In a few years we expect it to be refined, elegant, ethereal, and smooth. At $90 it’s not exactly an everyday bottle, but given the location we think it over delivers for the price.

(case prices)

Côte de Nuits-Villages 2018:   $395
Chambolle-Musigny 2018:   $725
Chambolle-Musigny 1er “Chatelots” 2018:   $995
Chambolle-Musigny 1er “Fuées” 2018:   $1,045

White Restock

Alsace & Burgundy

With people eating at home more often these days, we’ve had a pandemic-related run on some everyday drinkers — versatile wines we like to keep in stock year round. So we’re restocking a few favorites, and we invite you to join us.

First up, two screaming bargains from Alsace. The Domaine Gross has quickly become a favorite among readers, particularly following the retirement of perennial favorite Francis Muré. Young Vincent Gross tends his organic vines with expertise and care, crafting pure, gorgeous expressions of his terroir.  We’re re-offering his Pinot Blanc and Riesling, both from 2018.

We sold out of the 2018 Pinot Blanc in a few hours back in March — it’s everything you want from an Alsatian aperitif wine. It’s a blend of equal parts Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois, a variant found in only the Alsace these days. Vinification is slow, with indigenous yeasts, followed by eight months on the lees before bottling. In the mouth it is soft and round, with a lovely aroma of white peaches and a light citrus touch. This is a great bottle to open when friends stop over and you’d like to pour something more interesting than another bottle of mass market Chardonnay.

Gross’s dry 2018 Riesling is even more appealing. This is dry wine that features a beautiful mineral line and clean, pure fruit. There’s plenty of energy, and the nose adds a touch of spice. We open this wine with everything and nothing at all — favorite parings chez nous include stir-fries, anything with Asian spices, lobster, clams, pasta, and swordfish.

We’re also re-upping on two White Burgundies we sold through faster than expected. Both are at the Bourgogne level, one from the Domaine Ravaut and one from Gérard Thomas.

Even in France’s warmest vintage since 2003, the 2018 Ravaut Bourgogne Blanc smooth and ripe, but with beautiful balance – an effortlessly drinkable glass of wine. The nose is expressive and attractive, showing pear and coconut, with a hint of lemon peel. The mouth is silky but lively, with notes of almond and toast balanced by green apple freshness. There’s more chalky length than you’d expect from a wine of this level.

Thomas’s Bourgogne blanc 2018 is richer and creamier than Ravaut’s, but with added acidity too — it’s less subtle and more gourmand. There’s enough toast to notice, but not so much as to get in the way of the ripe fruit. In the mouth the wine has good volume, and the wine finishes well. Thomas has dialed back the oak, and the fruit showing through is classy and delicious.

(case prices)

GROSS Pinot Blanc 2018: $195
GROSS Riesling 2018: $195

RAVAUT Bourgogne blanc 2018:  $295
THOMAS Bourgogne blanc 2018:  $295

Monnet & Perrachon

Juliénas, Beaujolais

We are particularly proud of our two producers from the Beaujolais, Laurent Perrachon and Jean-Marc Monnet. They have complementary styles and strengths, but their skill and care is uniformly of the highest level. As you may know, our interest lies in the ten villages that are designated “Cru.” Their grape is Gamay — the same as in the rest of Beaujolais, but the Beaujolais Crus all have exceptional terroirs and produce wines of character that are capable of improving with age.

We are Jean Marc Monnet’s only US importer. His holdings are of modest size and when we visit we generally see three wines from two villages. We would have thought ourselves alone in knowing just how good a producer he is, but the Guide Hachette named him a Winemaker of the Year two years ago. In any event, in 2019 the wines are as good as ever.

The village of Chiroubles produces wine with the lightest body of the Crus of Beaujolais, but particularly in recent warm vintages Chrioubles has been a source for excellent ripeness-freshness balance. Monnet coaxes beautifully complete, almost sweet fruit from his grapes and his 2019 Chiroubles is anything but lightweight. The wine offers a complex, elegant nose of maraschino cherries and a fine finish. Served slightly cool in the heat of summer, this wine will surprise you with its sophistication and provide the perfect complement to an early evening outdoor meal.

Julienas is at the other end of the Cru spectrum. Its wines are among the meatiest in Beaujolais, deeply colored and intense, and they stay lively for easily five years, often eight or nine. Monnet’s wines always convey an exceptionally attractive juiciness that reminds us they come from fruit without seeming fruity. In the 2019 Julienas you have a choice between his regular and his old-vine cuvée. The regular cuvée offers ripe, plummy fruit and an open, attractive nose. It is unusually mouth filling and round, made for drinking right way. The Juliénas Vieilles Vignes is just as attractive, but with more stuffing and density — it almost resembles Syrah in weight and texture. Drink this with a hamburger or pulled pork this fall, or with that friend who avoids French wines because they’re not extracted enough. It is Jean-Marc’s pleasure when we visit to pull out old bottles and share with us a sense for how the wines evolve. They’ll be delicious come fall, but feel no rush to drink them right away as you would with a simpler Beaujolais.

Like Monnet, the Perrachon family is based in Julienas; but unlike Monnet they own dozens of parcels in towns all across the Beaujolais. They employ a broader range of vinification techniques, destemming some of the grapes in many cuvées. In addition, the élevage ranges from vats to traditional foudres to Burgundian small oak barrels. We have chosen three to recommend this time around, and two of them are also from Julienas. The similarities with Monnet’s style end with zip code though, and the wines couldn’t be more different. Monnet’s wine is all about the fruit, whether the body is light or dense. The Perrachons’ Julienas is more in the style of the Côte d’Or, with more earthy and mineral notes and more extraction. These are designed with one eye down the road.

Our first suggestion is the Julienas “Clos des Chers” 2018, raised in large oak barrels (demi-muids) that contribute more micro-oxygenation than oak flavor. It is filled with ripe, dark fruit intermingled with soft, earthy notes. Already it is round and mouth filling, and will likely become more so as it integrates its structure over the next year or so. The second Julienas from the Perrachons moves even closer in style to the wines of the Côte d’Or. Their “Vignes Centennaires” comes from hundred-year-old vines. The 2018 vintage is like a denser, more structured version of Clos des Chers, and because it is raised in small oak barrels, its profile includes more notes of oak. This wine, too, is built for the longer haul, and in some vintages can show well for a decade or more after the harvest. Both will be enjoyable with meals this fall with a carafe, and even better for your first spring 2021 picnic.

Finally, consider a Perrachon Moulin a Vent, from the village often regarded as the most age worthy of the crus. We often import the small-barrel-raised “Burdelines,” but in 2018 we were taken with the vat-raised “Terres Roses.” This wine bursts with energy. The Wine Advocate’s William Kelly found aromas of “cherries, berries and plums” and praised its “broad and fleshy” palate. We were delighted with the way the 2015 Terres Roses evolved over a couple of years, and we expect similar good things from the 2018 Terres Roses after a bit of time in the cellar.

(case prices)

Monnet Chiroubles 2019:   $175
Monnet Juliénas 2019:   $175
Monnet Juliénas Vieilles Vignes 2019:   $195

Perrachon Juliénas “Clos des Chers” 2018:   $225
Perrachon Juliénas “Vignes Centenaires” 2018:   $225
Perrachon Moulin-a-Vent “Terres Roses” 2018:  $195

Domaine Malmont

Séguret, Rhône Valley

Nicolas Haeni’s “Malmont” Séguret is no ordinary Côtes du Rhône Villages. His parents, Swiss nationals from Bern, bought the hotel and vineyard of the Domaine de Cabasse in the 1990s. The property lies just below Seguret’s spectacularly picturesque village center, and there Nicolas learned winemaking from his father Alfred, who built Cabasse’s reputation throughout the time they owned it. Nicolas wanted to begin something of his own, and soon after the turn of the millennium built a vineyard from scratch in the steep and rocky hills behind the village. With funding from the UN’s Priorat Project, he used innovative drilling and terracing techniques to plant vines across the face of a steep slope. After ten years of struggle to make the vines thrive, he released his first vintage. The wine is delicious, and seems to get better every year.

The difference in this wine comes from the elevation. It is drenched by the same sun that ripens the big wines of Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas, but the temperature is lower in the day and plummets at night, allowing the grapes to develop full phenolic ripeness without risk of the wine becoming hot or flabby. Even in a year as hot as 2018, this wine clocks in at 13.5% alcohol. The texture also benefits from the cooler microclimate, which delivers elegance and precision. The 2018 is 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, the former delivering aromas of violets, the latter of ripe cherries, all overlaid with touches of pepper. We have moved the timing of our purchases back a vintage, since this wine clearly benefits from some time to develop.

Nicolas makes a declassified version of his wine labeled Côtes du Rhône — it is from the younger vines and those from the lowest part of the slope. The proportion of Syrah comes in a touch lower at 60% and the wine is a bit lighter in body and aging potential. But the lower price offers access to this extraordinary vineyard at a $5 savings per bottle. Many of you will find the discount sufficiently attractive to add this to your cellar as well.

We can’t recommend these wines enough — balance and freshness have become harder to come by these days, particularly in the south. Malmont’s elevated vineyards are well positioned to continue their success.

(case prices)

Séguret 2018:  $285
Côtes du Rhône 2018:  $225

Domaine Mestre

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône Valley

Speaking of Chateauneuf du Pape, we’re going back to the Domaine Mestre with this offering. The Coronavirus caused delay in bottling the 2018 vintage, so we’re getting the 2017 red again; but this news is unlikely to disappoint any of you who bought some of the 2017 last year. If you’re like us, you found it hard to leave the wine alone and your stocks have dwindled greatly. (Ours are out entirely.) Over the course of the year the wine has put on weight and depth, and it’s at least as impressive today as it was when it first arrived.

Christophe Mestre’s wines are distinguished by their great prices and their great generosity of spirit. You may recall that 2017 was a bit atypical across the appellation, with a higher percentage of Syrah than usual. Floral notes of violet join the deep, dark fruit in a beautiful combination just a bit akin to those bars of milk chocolate embedded with dried fruit. Good Chateauneuf can be particularly attractive when the weather cools, but we just paired it with our house-made pizza on a summer evening and found it a delight.

White Chateauneuf du Pape is always a footnote, since it accounts for only 5% of the appellation; but the wine is plenty interesting and deserves your attention. Christophe Mestre’s Chateauneuf blanc 19 is a blend of Grenache blanc, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. This wine is best as an aperitif: it is broad and rich, and a touch warm on the palate. The fruits are white peach and quince, and there’s a bit of honey in the mouth. It will be a nice way to open a dinner party at any time of the year.

(case prices)

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017:  $350
Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc 2019:  $295


Cornas, Northern Rhône

You may remember our Cornas story. After years of searching for a producer in this tiny appellation at the southern end of the Northern Rhône, we suddenly found ourselves with two. We’re glad to have two high-quality sources, though, since our allocations are similar in size to the appellation. The Serrette family farms all of three acres in Cornas and produces two wines there. Their traditional cuvée is called “Patou” for the lieu dit in which their vines are planted. The 2018 is typical new Cornas: deep dark fruit with notes of blackberries, a bit of tar and some oak. There’s plenty of tannin, but very fine-grained, which suggests good evolution and a long life. The grapes for this wine are destemmed between 50% and 80% depending on the vintage, and the wine spends 12 to16 months in barrel. This wine generally needs four or more years from the harvest to knit together and to begin showing well, and the 2018 should follow this pattern. At the domaine we have sampled some of these wines with 7 years or so of aging, we can confidently predict that your patience, though necessary, will be amply rewarded.

Since 2013, a hundred years after the birth of winemaker Nicolas Serrette’s grandfather Henri, the domaine has produced a barrel or two of a second cuvée of Cornas. This wine, called “Henri,” is made from 100% whole clusters and spends 22 months in new oak. It is even inkier and more dense than the traditional cuvée, and needs even more time in the bottle. The length and depth of this wine is extraordinary — look for notes of black pepper, beef jerky, plums, blackberry jam, and graphite. Vinous’s Josh Raynolds gave last year’s (2017) a 94 calling it “outstanding” and “suave.” He hasn’t written about this 2018 yet, but whatever his opinion, we expect great things. (Note: limited quantities.)

Last year the Domaine began producing a Syrah from vines planted just outside the appellation. It should be no surprise that this wine, too, is exceptionally dense, dark, and teeth-staining. It’s expertly extracted — the tannins are coated perfectly, and there’s no harsh dryness to be found. We’re not sure just when this wine will round out and begin to show its best, but less investment is required. Fans of the northern Rhône may enjoy picking some up and watch it evolve along with us.

(case prices)

Cornas “Patou” 2018:  $545
Cornas “Henri” 2018:  $695
Syrah “Moulin” 2019:   $295

Fleuron de Liot

Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux

As prices for the famous names continue to hover above levels that make sense, we continue our project to find and make available well-made Bordeaux wine that reflects that huge region’s virtues. Among our happiest finds are two wines from the Negrier family, whose vineyards are near the northern border of the Haut Médoc on the left bank.

The first wine, Domaine Fleuron de Liot, is from St. Estephe, a commune at the northern end of the Haut Médoc that is home to the likes of Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Montrose. The soils of St. Estephe have more clay than those of Pauillac to the immediate south, and this makes for big wines with a dark color and a long life. They need time to develop, but they are sturdy wines that, as Hugh Johnson put it, “can become venerable without losing vigor.” Fleuron de Liot is from a tiny parcel in this fancy neighborhood, and our 2014s (the first vintage we imported) are following this arc. The 2018 is dominated by dark cabernet fruit that persists on the palate, with notes of cedar. Surprisingly pleasant at this very early moment, it will show its personality better a few years down the road.

More recently we began to import the Negriers’ Chateau Moulin de Blanchon, a cru Bourgeois since 2010 that lies just inside the northern boundary of the Haut Médoc. Its 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot makes a fleshy wine with an attractive mouthfeel and good body, all supported by very fine-grained tannins. The 2018 vintage has a very pleasant nose of dark fruit overlain by violets and classic tobacco box and cedar notes. It is a smooth and supple wine that should drink well soon (we’d suggest using a carafe for up to an hour in the first months after the wine arrives).

(case prices)

Fleuron de Liot Saint-Estèphe 2018:  $295
Moulin de Blanchon Cru Bourgeois 2018:  $225


Kremstal, Austria

Back by popular demand, we finish this issue with white wines from our lone Austrian source: Weingut Salomon-Undhof. The Salomon-Undhof estate dates to 1792, and is currently on its 7th and 8th generation winemakers, father and son Bert and Bert Salomon. Their terraced vines overlooking the Danube have long been an excellent source, with the country’s preeminent wine guide calling them a “figurehead of Austrian wine history.” Their style is what you’d expect after 225 years of history — clean, polished, and refined.

First, we suggest two of Salomon’s Rieslings. Much like Gross’s Alsatian Riesling (see above), both are bone-dry and perfect for food pairing and warm weather. The first, Riesling Terrassen 2018, is delightful and refreshing. The nose shows green apple and notes of stones and grape skins. The mouth is light and crisp, with pleasant dry fruit and excellent freshness. For a summer fish from the grill or a stir fry with some spice, this will pair with ease.

The second comes from the Ried Kögl vineyard — it’s classified Erste Lage (Premier Cru), and we thought the 2018 was a stunner. It offers gorgeous dry fruit rippling with tension and minerals — everything that dry Riesling can (and should) be. We were pleased to discover that the Wine Advocate’s reviewer had a similar reaction. Awarding 93 points, he called it a “perfectly ripe and lush, remarkably balanced Riesling classic,” both “highly attractive and with excellent aging potential.” A wine of this caliber for less than $25/bot is unheard of.

In Gruner Veltliner, Austria’s signature grape, we have three suggestions from Salomon. The first is the classic 2019 Wieden. This is what you think of when you think of Grüner: dry, refreshing white with lime rind and cucumber in the nose, and balanced, attractive fruits in the mouth. At the price it’s a no-brainer for an everyday refreshing sipper.

For a few bucks more, consider Salomon’s 2018 Grüner Veltliner “Wachtberg.” Like the Ried Kogl, this is classified Erste Lage, and we thought it easily earned its higher rank. It shows the same fleshy dryness as the Wieden, but with more depth and complexity. The nose is more spiced, with notes of grape skin and aromatic bitters. The Wine Advocate’s reviewer agreed, awarding 90 points and finding it “round and creamy,…elegant and piquant,” not to mention “intense and gripping.”

Finally a third Grüner, and a different animal entirely. The 2018 Grüner Veltliner “Lindberg” contains all the beautiful dry material of the Watchberg, but with an added splash of fruit. The nose has the elegance and fruit-earth balance of a fine white Burgundy, no doubt a testament to the vineyard’s 70 year old vines. There’s a tad of residual sugar in this wine — the fermentation stopped with 8 grams left, and the winemakers elected to bottle according to Nature’s apparent wishes — but the acidity and minerality handle the sweetness well, and we thought the wine in perfect balance. The Wine Advocate awarded 91 points, finding “remarkable purity and elegance,” alongside “crystalline acidity and lingering salinity.” If (like us) you enjoy an off-dry white every now and then, this is as impressive as they come.

(case prices)

Riesling Terrassen 2018:  $195
Riesling Ried Kögl 2018:  $250

Grüner-Veltliner “Wieden” 2018:  $195
Grüner-Veltliner “Watchberg” 2018:  $250
Grüner-Veltliner “Lindberg” 2018:  $395

If you have any trouble submitting the new order form, you can always email us your order. Or give us a call with questions: 617-249-3657, or

The deadline to place orders for this issue is: SUNDAY, JULY 26.

Questions? Need advice? Call us: (617) 249-3657.

Pick-up in Massachusetts. We store our inventory in a basement in Newton (437 Newtonville Ave), and open it up to the public on Saturday afternoons. Futures customers can pick up their orders here during Saturday open hours, or by appointment.

Pick-up in Delaware. Many of those who aren’t near Boston will choose to collect their wine in Delaware. For such people, we set times for pickup at a temporary storage location and the owners pick their wine up there over the course of the two or three weeks after it arrives.

Shipping elsewhere. In most states we can arrange for shipping at an additional cost that varies by location ($3.50 per bottle to the addresses west of Chicago; $2.50 per bottle east of Chicago). If shipping interests you, let us know the state and we will figure out if it can be done.