Back to Website

Ansonia Wines

View Order Form

October 2021 Futures comes out just as Burgundy’s vignerons are finishing the latest harvest in many years. They’re always tired at the end of les vendanges, but this year they will be forgiven if they are more so than usual. The 2021 growing season was a roller-coaster that began with severe frost, evolved into a lengthy series of battles with the maladies that come from rain, and finished with a luminous period of brilliant sunshine and cooling breezes that brought the grapes to full maturity after all. The Burgundians have a (typically French) name for the season-saving north wind that blesses the region in September from time to time: la bise (the kiss).

In this Futures we offer the final opportunity to cellar just-released 2019 red Burgundies, an exciting vintage that manages to combine complete ripeness with the freshness needed to promise a long life and the magic of bottle age. We have the 2019s from Michel Gros, who owns both fine regional-level vineyards and plots in the wine world’s most storied villages; and from the under-the-radar Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut, whose red wines include both Grand Cru from the Hill of Corton and wines of character from less well known corners of the Côte d’Or. Lovers of white Burgundy will find the opportunity to stock up on Vincent Boyer’s brilliant 2019s across his entire price range.

There is wine from the Southern Rhône as well, including a long list from a perennial favorite Gigondas domaine, as well as nearby wines of more modest pedigree. In Champagne’s Côte des Bar we return to the Domaine Robin, and finally we offer whites from the Austrian producer Salomon-Undhof. As always, we have tried to include something for every taste and budget.

If you find anything of interest, please fill out the order form linked here and submit it by the Order Deadline of Sunday, October 24. We will contact the producers and place the orders immediately thereafter.



Michel Gros

Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy

Michel Gros is among the most recognizable producers in our portfolio. With over forty vintages under his belt at the helm of a famous domaine, Gros is a winemaker with almost unrivaled experience.Through four decades of rapid change – in globalized demand, in viticulture, and in climate – Michel has steered the domaine with careful and steady hand. If his wines are more precisely engineered than current Burgundian fashion, the results are proof of just how skillful a winemaker he is.

Consistency has been a hallmark of the Gros domaine for far longer than Michel’s tenure. The 2019 vintage marks the 160th anniversary of the Gros family’s purchase of its flagship monopole, the Clos des Réas – the only premier cru monopole remaining in the famous terroir of Vosne Romanée. Ten years ago, in honor of the vineyard’s 150th anniversary and in the outstanding 2009 vintage, the domaine reissued their 1867 label, which features the gold medal the wine won at the Paris World’s Fair. This year, with another decade and another superb vintage to celebrate, they’re reviving the label. (See below.)

And as Michel has begun to turn the reins over to his son Pierre, we’ve been thrilled to see this multigenerational tradition of quality continue. The 2019 vintage at Michel Gros is dazzling and delicious. Like much else in 2019, the reds show exceptional concentration. A cool spring delayed flowering to mid-June (once considered normal) and after a warm, dry summer, the domaine harvested perfectly clean fruit under sunny mid-September conditions. Gros’s 2019s are simply beautiful, and a vintage we expect to repay extended aging, particularly among the top wines. But, as usual, the consistency of excellence here extends from Bourgogne to Clos Vougeot Grand Cru.

Gros’s Bourgogne Côte d’Or rouge is always delicious, and 2019 is as good as ever. The wine shows both utterly pleasant youthful fruit and masterfully crafted underlying structure. The tannins are smooth and unobtrusive, but provide a perfect armature on which to display the fruit. Look for notes of red berries, earth, and chalk in the nose, with a clean, refreshing finish. Burghound called the 2019 “fresh and bright,” “vibrant and well-detailed.” As always this requires no patience and should be delicious this fall. But we anticipate this vintage in particular will also cellar nicely over a few years . At under $25/bot with Futures pricing, this is an astonishing value.

We have two suggestions from the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. These vines lie about twenty minutes west of Vosne-Romanée, in hills with higher elevation and breezier air. In recent warm vintages their location has put them in prime spot to achieve balance and freshness – both 2019s succeed in this with ease. Burghound said “be sure to check out the very good range of Bourgogne offerings,” and named both wines “Top Values” and “Outstanding.” The Hautes-Côtes “Au Vallon” is from a sunny plot with 30 year old vines. The 2019 is beautifully floral, with bright red fruits alongside notes of stones, wild strawberries, and wildflower honey. The mouth is smooth and delicious; Burghound found “beguiling intensity,” predicting it will repay up to 5 years of cellaring.

Gros’s other Hautes-Côtes cuvée is the Fontaine-St-Martin, a large 7 hectare plot split between white and red. This is always a step above the rest of Gros’s regional wines, and in 2019 the distinction holds true. The nose shows perfume, toast, red berries, and minerals, with a precision and tension that reminded us of a village Morey-St-Denis. Burghound found “excellent volume,” and called it “big and rather serious wine.” We agree, and think this overperforms its appellation by a mile. Both Hautes-Côtes wines offer real value, and both will reward some time in the cellar. The Bourgogne Côte d’Or should drink well from the start, Au Vallon from next summer; and the Fontaine-St-Martin we’d consider putting aside for a year or two before dipping in. But however much of these you purchase, you’ll eventually wish you had more.

Gros offers a growing handful of wines at the village level, each delicious and true to its terroir. Beginning in the south of the Côte de Nuits, there are two cuvées from Nuits-St-Georges. The appellation spans four miles end to end, making it enormous by Burgundy standards, and as you might expect spans a wide range of terroirs. Gros’s first cuvée comes from the northernmost sector, near the border with Vosne-Romanée. The blend of four plots here always shows finesse and subtlety borrowed from its famous northern neighbor. The Nuits-St-Georges 2019 is a lovely blend of rustic and floral, with a classic Burgundian nose of blackberries, toast and spice. This is concentrated and sleek, with a sturdy young texture that should help it age for years. It will never be bold, but it’s likely to be beautiful. The second Nuits cuvée comes from the center of the appellation, in the “Chaliots” vineyard. The nose is a bit darker and woodsier, and the tannins a beat more rustic and masculine. In both cases the oak is handled beautifully, supporting the fruit without getting in the way. Both cuvées offer excellent value for ageworthy village cuvées from the Côte de Nuits.

In Morey-St-Denis, Gros’s vines are in a village plot that’s about as well located as they come. Perched above the famous Grand Cru Clos de Tart, Michel’s vines in “En la Rue de Vergy” are just coming of age, and seem to produce better wine each year. There’s more than village-level intensity here, and a smooth texture and serious concentration. The nose shows roses and stones, with plum fruit and cassis. The mouth is softer and less rustic than the Nuits cuvées, and finishes longer and fuller. This is Morey precision in a muscular package – Burghound found “unusually good volume and richness,” calling it “already quite pretty.”

The final two Gros village levels are a jump in price, but both easily earn it. Most of the cuvée from Chambolle-Musigny is from “Les Argillieres,” an excellent village plot located just upslope from the Grand Cru Le Musigny. In 2019 the concentration is really impressive, with a very long, very refined finish. More than the other cuvées this will require time to settle into itself, and would make a candidate for a decade or more of aging. In Vosne-Romanée, Michel’s hometown, the village level cuvée is terrific as always in 2019. The nose shows sweet perfume, with very fine tannins packed into a sturdy, concentrated core. Lovely, ethereal notes of perfume and smoke join cassis, violets, and plums. Burghound called it “Outstanding,” finding it “rich, velvety, and seductive… succulent and sappy.” He concluded simply, “this is lovely, and very Vosne.” This too will require (and amply reward) patience.

At the premier cru level, Gros’s two always-stellar cuvées do not disappoint. Gros’s vines in “Aux Brûlées” abut the iconic Richebourg vineyard, and the wine they produce reflects that hallowed address. The nose shows violets, dried rose petals, blueberry fruit, toast and blackberry. The mouth is dense, concentrated, silky, and impossibly long – at once muscled and subtle. Cellaring will be needed to achieve its full potential, but we see this as enjoyable wine in a few years as well.

Gros’s flagship cuvée, the monopole Clos des Réas, rises to the occasion of its anniversary. (Indeed the only work involved in tasting this sample was the effort it took to spit it out.) The nose is Vosne personified – a perfumed blend of spice, violets, earth, woods and black fruits. The mouth is supple and vibrant, full of rippling tension and startling concentration. We’re not sure what the Gold Medal winning 1867 vintage of this tasted like, but it’s hard to believe it was better than this. The new Wilcox family generation sadly missed 2019 as a birth year, but we’ll be collecting a few cases of this in the cellar anyway. A special wine, from a special plot, in a truly special year.

Finally, Clos Vougeot. Gros’s tiny plot here (he’s the smallest of the Grand Cru’s 82+ owners) produced a whopping two barrels of wine in 2019, of which we’re offered a tiny fraction. As usual this is a long distance runner, and one that won’t realize its potential for another few administrations. But if past performance is any guide (and chez Gros it reliably is), this will be a truly impressive wine in time. Burghound found it “suave, round and delicious” with a “build-to-age” finish. (Quantities extremely limited, quarter case orders accepted.)

Gros’s postscript is his only white wine, a delicious pure Chardonnay from the “Fontaine-St-Martin” plot in the Hautes-Côtes. In 2019, the wine is packed with dry yellow fruit, with delicate minerality amid a faint background freshness. The soil composition of this plot is very similar to Corton-Charlemagne, about 10 miles away in the Côte d’Or — and indeed the soft white flowers for which the famous Grand Cru is known are present in this cuvée too. Exotic fruits and apricot dominate the palate, with restrained notes of oak. This is lovely, unusually aromatic white Burgundy that requires no patience.

(case prices)

Bourgogne rouge 2019: $295
HCDN Au Vallon 2019: $350
HCDN Fontaine-St-Martin 2019: $375

Nuits-St-Georges 2019: $659
Nuits-St-Georges “Chaliots” 2019: $695
Morey-St-Denis 2019: $695
Chambolle-Musigny 2019: $895
Vosne-Romanée 2019: $895

Vosne-Romanée 1er “Aux Brûlées” 2019: $1395
Vosne-Romanée 1er “Clos des Réas” 2019: $1495
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2019: $2,095

HCDN Fontaine-St-Martin blanc 2019: $350


Meursault, Burgundy

Vincent Boyer took over his family’s domaine in 2002, and in just under two decades he has transformed it from a well-respected address to one of the brightest stars in Meursault. Blessed with an inheritance of terrific terroirs, Boyer continues to innovate and improve. The domaine’s organic certification will be soon be complete, and Vincent recently added an extra year to the elevage. “The wines just drink better a bit later,” he told us about his plan. He’s right, of course — a prolonged rest in large concrete eggs before bottling gives the entire Boyer lineup a plump richness.

Boyer picked a bit earlier than most in 2019 to retain freshness in a hot year. The move paid off, and all of his wines this year are vibrant and perfectly balanced. Boyer’s 2019 Aligoté is, as always, an unusually good Aligoté. This “other” grape represents 10% of white vines in Burgundy, and traditionally has produced wines high in acid and low in complexity. Boyer’s is raised in neutral oak barrels, giving it extra depth and texture. The nose is bright and lemony; the mouth is crisp but surprisingly round. Burghound called it “unusually refined” and “wonderfully fresh.” It’s far less complex than his Meursault, but we think it’s an outstanding value at under $17/bot Futures.

Boyer’s 2019 Bourgogne blanc is as good as entry level Chardonnay gets. It’s more serious and concentrated than the 2018, showing gorgeous ripe sucrocité packed into a dense and delicious package. It’s longer and richer than just about any wine of its level, and shows hints of the white flowers of Meursault (where its vines are found). Burghound awarded it both his “Top Value” and “Outstanding” awards, calling it “‘delicious and refreshing,” with “fine depth and length.”

We have two village-level Merusaults from Boyer, offering a yin and yang from the widely varying terroirs of the appellation. Ormeau is the traditional, made from vines planted in 1924 in a clay-rich plot on the flat part of the town. It’s classic Meursault – soft, floral, nutty in the nose, with plenty of gras in the mouth. It’s particularly serious this year, with excellent concentration amid the delicious fleshy texture. Burghound called it “a very good Meursault villages that merits your interest.”

Narvaux is a more modern take. In a recent Zoom tasting with Narvaux and Ormeau open side by side, one taster remarked it was hard to believe they were in the same appellation. Boyer’s vines in Narvaux are younger (though still 50 years old) and nearly 200 feet higher in elevation, on the rocky slope above the premier crus. Narvaux always shows more freshness and vibrancy than Ormeau, but in 2019 there’s a particularly nice fruit to accompany the acidity. It’s richer and longer than in some years, and should amply reward mid-term cellaring. Burghound loved this cuvée, awarding 90-92 points and finding “almost painful intensity” with “excellent depth,” concluding “this is a firm and impressive Narvaux.”

Meursault has no Grand Cru vineyards, but boasts three particularly impressive premier crus: Charmes, Genevrières, and Perrières. Boyer has vines in all three, and the wines he produces here are truly magnificent. He doesn’t give them away, but we think they’re worth every penny.

Charmes is the easiest to appreciate young. The nose is deep and lovely, with notes of white flowers and pear. In 2019 the mouth has surprising concentration, more serious and perhaps today less “charming” than it often is. We think this augurs a bright future, and look forward to watching it develop. Burghound called it “classic Meursault,” with “excellent volume” and a “focused power on a beautifully persistent finish.”

Genevrières is even more impressive. It’s more savory and less fruit driven, with notes of herbs, tea, and oyster shells. The mouth is long and very intense, with a mouthful of fruit, flesh, acid, and minerals. This will need a few years to achieve its potential, but should make an extraordinary bottle in time. Finally Perrières, the perennial would-be Grand Cru of Meursault. The 2019 is outstanding, with a nose bursting with white pepper and spice. There’s terrific definition to this wine of focused intensity. Burghound awarded 91-94 points, finding “a superbly long finish,” and concluding “this classy effort should age effortlessly.” This may be the single most impressive young wine we’ve seen from Boyer.

And as if Vincent’s Meursault plots weren’t impressive enough, he also tends vines in neighboring Puligny-Montrachet. A spring frost cost him half of his normal harvest here, but what remains is terrific. At the village level, the 2019 Reuchaux is classic Puligny in the nose: pretty and clean, with dried flowers and stones. The normally angular mouth is unusually approachable in 2019, and while there’s plenty of Puligny’s classic chiseled texture, we think this may only require a few years to drink well. Burghound too noted its “expansive, even generous texture,” counselling a drinking window starting in 2025.

Boyer is one of only five owners in “Le Cailleret,” a premier cru abutting the famous Grand Crus “Le Montrachet” and “Chevalier-Montrachet.” It’s a superb wine, every bit as good as Boyer’s Meursault premier crus, but in sophisticated, reserved Puligny form. Cailleret is packed with dry intensity, with notes of chalk, dried flowers, and herbs. The wine requires both patience and investment, but we have no doubt of its eventual magnificence. Burghound awarded 91-94, finding “outstanding length” and counselling a decade before opening. If you have the budget and the cellar space, this won’t disappoint.

(case prices)

Aligoté 2019: $195
Bourgogne blanc 2019: $295

Meursault “Ormeau” 2019: $650
Meursault “Narvaux” 2019: $650

Meursault 1er cru “Charmes” 2019: $995
Meursault 1er cru “Genevrières” 2019: $1,095
Meursault 1er cru “Perrières” 2019: $1,195

Puligny-Montrachet “Reuchaux” 2019: $695
Puligny-Montrachet 1er “En Cailleret” 2019: $1,295

Domaine Ravaut

Ladoix, Burgundy

By now everyone knows that nature smiled on the red Burgundy vineyards of the Côte d’Or in 2019. What some overlook is that red Burgundies from the Côte de Beaune may have gotten a bigger boost than the other reds of the Côte d’Or. These wines wear their tannin openly in their earliest years, and often need a year or two more than their neighbors to the north to reach the same level of drinkability. Not so in 2018 or 2019. These vintages offer a one-two punch of extraordinary roundness and early drinking. The Domaine Ravaut had particular success in both years, and its reds provide unusual value in both vintages. As elsewhere, the 2019s offer a tick more freshness and a special vibrancy.

The 2019 vintage elevated wines across the range, including the Ravauts’ regional wines: the Bourgogne 2019 and the Côte de Nuits Villages 2019. The Bourgogne 2019 offers a bright nose of reddish fruit (strawberries rather than blueberries). It is very pleasant in the mouth, with juiciness and good energy but no harshness, either in the acidity or the tannins, which are fine grained and ripe. It’s an eminently drinkable wine that will match up effortlessly with a wide range of dishes — short, to the point, and delicious.

The 2019 Côtes de Nuits Villages lies just across the border between the Côtes de Beaune and Nuits. The wine shows that the border was not arbitrarily drawn. Though it is just a stone’s throw from the Ladoix premier cru reds, the fruit is noticeably darker, more akin to blueberries than strawberries. The nose is woodsier, and the mouth is notably smoother than the Bourgogne. It is a wine of medium weight that should drink well from the time it arrives and for three to five years thereafter.

Our choice in red Ladoix premier cru is the Bois Roussot 2019, found on the famous Hill of Corton. It is a wine of much character: aromas of violets join the nose of dark ripe fruit. In the mouth, it is exceptionally pleasant, full and rich with ripe and round, fine-grained tannins that don’t get in the way at all. There is very good persistence. Overall, the wine is a fine value, classy and approachable, with a much more modest price tag than better-known red Burgundies of similar complexity. We also expect it to improve for at least 5 years.

The best known names lie toward the southern end of the Ravauts’ holdings. We suggest a pair of wines here: the village Aloxe-Corton 2019 and the Grand Cru Corton-Bressandes 2019. Aloxe-Corton is a village whose wines need time, and the 2019s are no exception. Ravaut’s Aloxe-Corton 2019 has a very dark fruit nose without much apparent oak. It is very intense yet nice in the mouth; there are very fine tannins and excellent density for a village level wine. We’ll be putting this one alongside the 2015 toward the back of our cellar, waiting a few years before checking in on its progress. It’s tightly wound today, but its bright future is clear.

Bressandes is probably the most highly regarded of the red Grand Cru vineyards that range along the Hill of Corton, and in the 2019 vintage (as in the 2018), it’s easy to see why. There is a very dark fruit nose, but it comes mingled with much more: cloves, dark chocolate, and maybe a hint of menthol. In the mouth it is very intense and deep, but the fruit holds its own against the impressive mineral and earthy elements. Its persistence is also excellent, very much in the Grand Cru class. With a price tag in two rather than three figures, this is a Grand Cru to reckon with. It will make a worthy addition to any cellar.

(case prices)

Bourgogne rouge 2019: $250
Côte de Nuits-Villages 2019: $350
Ladoix 1er “Bois Roussot” 2019: $450
Aloxe-Corton 2019: $495
Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru 2019: $950

Domaine les Goubert

Gigondas, Rhône

We have been buying wine at the Cartier family’s Domaine les Goubert ever since they named a new cuvée for their infant daughter Florence. That namesake wine has collected many fans in the more than three decades since, and Florence herself is all grown up; in fact she has taken over as principal winemaker. The property is in sure hands, and Florence continues the family’s tradition of well-made distinctive wine offered at attractive prices.

This offering includes two wines that may already be on hand at your house: we ran out of the wines in the Spring, and so brought in a bit of Côtes du Rhône 2019 and Sablet 2019 during the summer. These vintages are still available at the domaine, so we decided to give our Futures buyers a chance to replenish their stocks at Futures prices.

Goubert’s Côtes du Rhône 2019 offers more than most examples of the genre. It includes the appellation’s usual grapes, Grenache and Syrah, but also Carignan and Vaccarese (Brun Argenté) to add something more. Though it is at heart a straightforward, medium-weight wine of pleasant fruit, suitable for quaffing and for meals, there is (as Robert Parker’s reviewer put it) “a touch of garrigue on the nose and hints of black olive on the palate, imparting just enough complexity to keep this wine interesting for multiple sips.”

The Sablet 2019 also includes a third cépage with the Grenache and Syrah: Mourvedre. This grape is in the blend for many wines from Chateauneuf du Pape, adding a touch of meatiness and game to the mix. The Sablet is a bit more serious than the Côtes du Rhône and lives longer, but it’s still priced for regular drinking. As Matt Walls put it in his recent book Wines of the Rhône, “Making two-full-bodied Gigondas cuvées, [Florence] clearly feels she has nothing to prove when it comes to the Sablets: both red and white cuvées are fine, unforced, light-bodied examples with delicacy, drinkability and a beautiful sense of place.”

There is one more cuvée before we get to the cuvées of Gigondas: a rare red Beaumes de Venise that features Cinsault as the third grape. This wine offers an intermediate price point between the Gigondas and the cuvées below it.  It is big, fully extracted wine, particularly in the 2019 vintage, and will benefit from a bit of cellar time to integrate. When it’s ready to drink, it will be at its best deep in winter, accompanied by a hearty beef stew and a fire in the fireplace. 

Goubert’s flagship wines, of course, are those from its home village of Gigondas. The Gigondas 2019 is a generous wine, offering both richness and finesse. The five grapes in the blend create a melange of ripe fruit, mingling with notes of spice, tobacco, and earth. Although we would give the 2019 a bit of time in a carafe today, it is already drinking surprisingly well, and it won’t need the carafe for long. It should age well over the next five to ten years. We always have this wine on hand at our homes, and we reach for it often. It’s far more refined than the Beaumes de Venise, offering sweet dark fruits in the nose alongside honey and violets. The mouth is rich and impressive without being hot or overdone. The Domaine has also just released the latest vintage of Gigondas “Cuvée Florence,” the 2018. Unlike the classic cuvée, which is raised half in cement vats and half in older barrels, Cuvée Florence is raised in new oak. It is equal parts Grenache and Syrah, and it always needs more time than the regular cuvée to come into its own. The nose of the 2018 mingles ripe fruit with notes of tobacco, garrigue and leather. It will need a few years for its elements to integrate fully, but when it does, expect a long-lived mix of elegance and power. It easily competes with Châteauneuf-du-Pape after a year or two, and comes with a substantially better price tag.

Finally, we have a white to suggest. It’s one that our longest tenured buyers may remember — “Favoris” 2019. We hadn’t tried it in many years, and we found the 2019 just delicious. It might remind you of a white from the Northern Rhône, say a white Crozes-Hermitage or a St. Péray. That shouldn’t be surprising, since it’s a blend of Roussanne (see white Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage) and Viognier (see Condrieu). The wine captures lovely ripe fruit, a bit tropical and a bit orchard, blended with the exotic aromas of Condrieu. Serve it cool as an apéritif all winter and through the Spring, and your guests will be asking about it each time they arrive. 

(case prices)

Côtes du Rhône 2019: $150
Sablet 2019: $165
Beaumes-de-Venise 2019: $195
Gigondas 2019: $295
Gigondas “Florence” 2018: $495

“Favoris” blanc 2019: $250

Domaine Coulange

Bourg-St-Andèol, Rhône

For traditional Côtes du Rhône, it’s hard to beat Christelle Coulange’s “Cuvée Mistral” 2020.  The cuvee is well named, as the Coulange family vineyards are perched high on a hill overlooking the Rhône, literally on the northern border of that huge appellation. (In fact, on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc, some 200 miles away). The altitude helps keep the wine fresh, which can be a challenge in much of the Côtes du Rhône. The 2020 vintage is a good example – though the Grenache/Syrah blend (80%-20%) features fully ripe strawberry and plum fruit, it has enough acidity to keep it fresh. It drinks nicely on its own, with less extraction and more fruit than the Goubert’s version.

(case prices)

Côtes du Rhône “Mistral” 2020:  $150

Domaine Tribouley

Latour-de-France, Roussillon

We’ll be making our second call at the Domaine Tribouley this fall. Jean-Louis Tribouley practices organic farming, biodynamics, and low intervention.  His property is high in the hills of the Roussillon, a remote winemaking area near France’s border with Spain. The vines grow on schist and gneiss/granite, and range from 40 to 70 years old. Our first purchase sold out quickly, as people were delighted by the approachability and lack of pretense in these wines. Perhaps the first word that comes to mind when we think about Tribouley’s wine is “fun.” The names illustrate this as well and anything; there is “Copines” (“Girlfriends”), “Alba” (Napoleon, anyone?), and “Elepolypossum” (your guess is as good as ours). These wines are simple delights, reflecting an approach to winemaking that is as playful as it is natural.

“Copines” 2020 is like its 2019 predecessor: a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. The Grenache dominates here — if you have ever had strawberry jam made from wild strawberries, you will recognize the aromatics. Though the wine is technically dry, the fruit is almost sweet. Serve it cool in the summer and at cellar temperature in other seasons, and you will be surprised how quickly your stock dwindles. It’s just what a “natural” wine should be.

“Elepolypossum” 2020 is all Carignan. The fruit is darker than in Copines and there’s a bit more body, but the wine is neither heavy nor highly extracted. Instead it offers a pleasant lift, and as the French often put it, “one glass calls for the next.” (The sample we tasted had a bit of petillance upon opening, but it blew off quickly.) There’s plenty going on in the glass: some notes of garrigue, pepper and leather blended with lovely dark fruit. It is no more “serious” than Copines, but shows its own distinct character.

Finally, there is Alba 2020, mostly carignan with dollops of Grenache and Syrah. This wine offers a more familiar (and a touch more serious) profile. There are notes of olives, garrigue, black tea and lavender in the nose, which offer a savory complement to the black raspberry fruit in the mouth. It’s a great match for any meat coming off the grill, particularly one infused with smoky accents.

(case prices)

Copines 2020: $195
Elepolypossum 2020: $225
Alba 2020: $225

Jacques Robin

Côte des Bar, Champagne

Most Champagne, including our primary source Pascal Bardoux, comes from the three main subregions: Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, and Vallée de la Marne. But Robin is in the increasingly popular Côte des Bar, a southern satellite subregion of Champagne about half way between Reims and Dijon.

The soils of this region are the same Kimmeridgian mixture as nearby Chablis — a blend of chalk, limestone, and clay, rather than the chalk-limestone of the rest of Champagne. The addition of clay gives the wines a broader mouthfeel than those from northern Champagne, and we found all three Robin wines delightfully rich on the palate.

The first is the cuvée “Topaze,” a blanc de blancs made from 100% Chardonnay. The nose is terrific, with notes of freshly baked croissants, sweet Beurre d’Isigny, hazelnuts and apples. The mouth is rich and delicious, with chalky delicacy and a lovely vinous finish. Without the bubbles you might guess it to be a lightly-oaked St-Aubin. Pour this to accompany scallops or pan-roasted halibut.

The second, “Secret de Sorbée,” is pure Pinot Noir, more typical of the Côtes des Bar. The nose is darker and fuller than the Topaze, with notes of raspberry jam alongside buttered toast and violets. The mouth shows plum and minerals, with a mouthfilling texture that makes it hard to put down. It’s a perfect aperitif wine, round and delicious on its own. We opened this for a celebratory brunch recently and promptly ran out.

Both wines are what the French call gourmande (as opposed to gourmet), focused on hedonism and pleasure rather than sophistication. Neither is unrefined, to be sure, but there’s an easy, joie-de-vivre feel to them — they’re more at home in a cozy countryside kitchen than a fancy Champenois chateau. With Futures prices under $40 for both, these are Champagne meant for drinking.

For a perfect blend of refinement and pleasure, try Robin’s finest wine, their Cuvée Kimmeridgienne. Made from pure Pinot Noir, this is the Côte des Bar at its best. We offered the 2011 last fall, and in the last twelve months it has made many friends. Robin disgorges their wines upon request, so this year’s batch of the same wine has spent an extra year on the lees and gained even more complexity. The nose is a stunner, with notes of almonds, apricots, praline, and chalk. The mouth is delicious and complex, with notes of seashell, lemon zest, brioche and vanilla. Pour this on its own before a meal and your dinner will be off to quite a start.

(case prices)

Champagne “Topaze” NV: $395
Champagne “Secret de Sorbée” NV: $425
Champagne “Kimmeridgienne” 2011: $695

Weingut Salomon-Undhof

Krems an der Donau, 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.

We have three Grüner Veltliners to offer, each with a different take on the grape. The simplest, Wieden 2020, is just what you want from Grüner. The nose shows white peach and orchard fruit, with excellent supporting freshness. There’s plenty of body, too, for an entry level wine, and though the wine is straightforward rather than complex, it has a nice finish. No artifice, no flaws, and just pure, refreshing, delightful Grûner Veltliner.

The 2019 “Wachtberg” cuvée comes from south facing vines, and spends some time in barrels (none new) during elevage. This has more richness but still excellent acidity, and no hint of wood. The nose shows clear apple fruit with notes of chalk and stones, the mouth is round and smooth, with vibrant minerality cutting through the rich fruit. Jancis Robinson’s reviewer found it “Thoroughly lip-smacking. Manages to combine the natural weight of the variety with lightness of touch.” Serve this with sushi and don’t be afraid to throw some spice at it.

Finally, the Grüner Veltliner “Lindberg” 2018 is the most serious of the three. With south- and west-facing vines planted in the 1950s, this plot turns out a big wine every year. It’s full of fruit and richness, with enough electric acidity to outweigh the several grams of residual sugar. The Wine Advocate awarded 91 points, finding “remarkable purity and elegance,” alongside “crystalline acidity and lingering salinity.”

We’re excited to offer two of Salomon’s excellent Rieslings as well, both Erste Lage (the analog to Premier Cru) and both seriously delicious. The first is from the Ried Kögl vineyard. It offers gorgeous dry fruit rippling with tension and minerals — everything that dry Riesling can (and should) be. The nose shows classic floral Riesling notes of white pepper and stones. Jancis Robinson’s reviewer found “real vibrancy,” calling it “particularly precise” and “really well chiseled on the palate.” Particularly at the price, this cuvée is a steal.

Finally the Riesling Pfaffenberg 2018, a real stunner of a wine — this won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve got the Riesling bug (or just a passing interest) this is not one to miss. The nose is beautiful and complex, with notes of petrol, herbs, slate and pear. The mouth is big and rich (from 50+ year old vines), with intensity and depth to age for years. It’s mouthfilling, delicious, serious Riesling today, but we think it will improve for many years to come.

(case prices)

Grüner-Veltliner “Wieden” 2020: $195
Grüner-Veltliner “Wachtberg” 2020: $250
Grüner-Veltliner “Lindberg” 2020: $395

Riesling “Kögl” 2019: $250
Riesling “Pfaffenberg” 2019: $395


Though we can’t guarantee it, we expect these wines to be in by the end of the year.

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, OCTOBER 24.

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 Pennsylvania. Many of those who aren’t near Boston will choose to collect their wine in Sharon Hill, PA. For such people, we offer pickup at a new storage location for a month after arrival.

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.