Cos d'Estournel, Les Pagodes de Cos Saint-Estephe 2016Regular price $125.00 Save $-125.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot
Cos d'Estournel takes its name from the old Gascogne dialect word “cos,” which means hill of pebbles. This estate has the most unique situation on several contoured hills in which the vines have been planted. The varying soil types also set this Saint-Estephe estate apart from other Bordeaux houses; there are multiple forms of clay, which is where Merlot thrives best, and gravel where the Cabernet does well. The village of Saint-Estephe is the most northern of the Bordeaux appellations, which in turn means it is closest to the Atlantic Ocean. This position near the ocean results in a microclimate resulting in less harsh winters and milder summers than the rest of Bordeaux.
This chateau is a second classified growth of Saint-Estephe and Les Pagodes de Cos is the second label wine at the more approachable price point and drinkability. You can see the two pagodas on the bottle label. This is a classic example of the Saint-Estephe style; a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small amounts of Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc blended with it. It is aged in 30% new oak. This could drink well now or age for another 10-15 years.
La Gravette de Certan, Pomerol 2015Regular price $135.00 Save $-135.00
Variety: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Vieux Chateau Certan upholds its name as being one of the oldest chateau in Bordeaux because of its beginnings in the mid 18th century. Fast forward to the early 20th century, a Belgian wine merchant, Georges Thienpont, founded the modern estate. While Vieux Chateau Certan is the first wine, the estate now makes a second wine, which is that of Gravette de Certan Pomerol. With the modernization of the winery comes new vineyard practices: green harvesting and reducing yields of the vines, ultimately leading to the best wine Vieux Chateau Certan has ever seen.
This bottle is 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc coming from the appellation of Pomerol in the right bank of Bordeaux. It is a bottle that can certainly age in the cellar, but would deliver well if opened now.
La Dame de Montrose, Saint-Estephe 2010Regular price $100.00 Save $-100.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Chateau Montrose is a Second Growth Bordeaux from the appellation of Saint-Estephe. Legend tells it that the name of Montrose came about when sailors on the river saw the flowering heather from a distance; therefore calling it Mont Rose, meaning the pink mount. And so it stuck. Montrose has a highly esteemed list of winemakers attached to its history; previous winemakers and owners of this estate also dabbled in ownership of other First Growth Bordeaux houses. After tasting the 1989 Montrose, the Bouygues brothers became deeply inspired to buy the property when it became available. Beginning in 2006, major renovations began with 55 million euros invested in creating an environmentally conscious winery at the top of its class. And it has remained at the top for over 200 years.
La Dame de Montrose is the domaine’s second wine, also dubbed “the lady” of the Montrose Bordeaux house. Montrose was one of the first Bordeaux houses to make a second wine, which they started in 1860. This bottle measures up in quality and all other aspects to Montrose’ flagship bottle. It is made of about two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon complemented by Merlot making up the remainder. This bottle is drinking well in 2021, but could always do with more cellar time.
Meyney, St Estephe, Bordeaux 2017Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
Château Meyney is one of the oldest estates in the Médoc, the subregion on the left side of the Gironde estuary. The estate is a former convent with records dating back all the way back to 1662. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot are planted right up to the banks of the river, making for a serene landscape. The estate has changed hands many times leading to its current owner. CA Grands Crus, a subsidiary of the Groupe Crédit Agricole and owner of several esteemed Bordeaux houses, purchased Meyney in 2004. Today, the vines are looked after with exceptional care by the Technical Director for CA Grands Crus. Château Meyney is a single block of 74 hectares, all overlooking the Gironde estuary. The placement of the vines is important, as the estuary protects these vines from frost.
The vines are between 35 and 40 years old, although some of their older vines are closer to 100 years in age. The blend is representative of the Saint-Estephe style: driven by Cabernet Sauvinon and blended with Merlot and Petit Verdot. The oak ageing is done in 50% new, taking place over the course of 18 to 24 months, vintage depending. This bottle can be enjoyed now, or could cellar another ten years.
Malescot Saint-Exupery, Margaux Grand Cru Classe 2012Regular price $113.00 Save $-113.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc
Chateau Malescot does have a history to boast having been around since the early 17th century. It is most noted for its previous owners’ ties to nobility, notably King Louis XIV. It is also ranked as a Third Growth Bordeaux. At some point, the labels of the bottles were changed, incorporating a new line of type that still remains on the bottles. The phrase “Semper Ad Altum,” which translates to “always striving higher” is seen on the banner flagged by two lions. The lions are synonymous with the left bank of Bordeaux, reiterating the power and nobility of the wines found there. Today, the Chateau Malescot ship is run by Jean Luc Zuger who is making quite the name for himself in the realm of modern Bordeaux.
The various soil types in these 35-year-old vines are iron, clay, and gravel making this wine a true stunner. While the vinification and ageing of the wine does vary vintage depending, Malescot typically will be fermented in concrete and stainless steel tanks. The wine finishes its ageing process in mostly new oak, anywhere from 80-100%. We recommend this bottle to be drunk anytime after 2024, ideally.
Chateau la Lagune, Haut-Medoc Grand Cru Classe 2010Regular price $140.00 Save $-140.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
Like many of the historic Bordeaux estates, Chateau La Lagune boasts its fair share of history dating back to the 16th century during the times of King Henri IV. This was during a time when the Dutch began draining the water from the marshes and swamps surrounding the Garonne river; this formed what is now the modern age of Bordeaux. After economic crises and weather conditions that rattled Bordeaux during the 20th century, George Burnet replanted these vines full throttle from a mere five hectares to over 100. Caroline Frey has been leading the charge of Lagune since 2004, bringing with her a serious attention to not just winemaking, but vine health and organic farming.
The vines for the Chateau Lagune range from 40 to 80 years old. The wine is blended before it goes into stainless steel vats to ferment. The wines aged in French oak, 50-60% of which is new, for 18 months before bottling. It is a bottle that is ready to drink now, but would do well with more time in the cellar.
Marco Barba, Gambellara Barbarossa 2019Regular price $18.00 Save $-18.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Raboso
Marco Barba is the name and face behind this project out of the Veneto region in Northern Italy. Before winemaking became a focus, Marco was a carpenter and moved to the Jura mountains in Switzerland where he bred cattle while tending fruits and vegetables. His interest in biodynamic farming grew, ultimately bringing him home. He thus began a new chapter working with friend, Stefano Menti of Menti Wines, and his father in their family business endeavor. Menti Giovanni Farms nurtured his viticultural passion and he started to vinify grapes from vines that he was managing. Today, Marco Barba is a team of three, including his friends, Giulio and Tommaso. They run the winery in a biodynamic-forward manner with respect for nature.
This is a Merlot-based red blend showcasing biodynamic farming and nonintervention winemaking. This wine ferments in cement, then goes on to ages in steel for 12 months. Like the rest of these wines, it is unfiltered and bottled with a small amount of sulfur.
Venica & Venica, Merlot 2017Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Daniele Venica purchased the plot Ronco del Ceró where he first planted Sauvignon in 1930. Three generations later, great grandson Giampaolo has taken over the estate, a true testimony to the tradition of keeping winemaking in the family. Venica now has 40 hectares all within the DOC—Denomination of Controlled Origin—of Collio. Sons Gianni (agronomist), Giorgio (cellar master), and grandson Giampaolo oversee operations supplemented by help from several family members. They believe their traditions must be enhanced through continuous research and innovation, but a relationship with nature is of utmost importance.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is known for its white wines, though Merlot has made a name for itself as the most popular red wine—it’s as if Merlot had originated there. It is identified on wine labels by name, not as a blend or by a regional name. This Merlot, like the other Venica wines, comes from a vineyard within the DOC of Collio. It is aged in barrel for 13 months.
Altar Uco, Edad Moderna Blend Tupungato 2018Regular price $24.00 Save $-24.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec
Juan Pablo Michelini is the face behind Altar Uco. His family’s winery, Zorzal, was begun by him and his brothers in 2007 where Juan Pablo is head winemaker. Altar Uco is his latest endeavor, furthering his fresh perspective on the potential of wine in the Uco Valley. The mentality is to produce “quiet wines,” wines requiring as little human intervention as possible. Within Altar Uco are two series, “Edad Moderna” and “Edad Media,” Modern Age and Middle Age respectively.
Edad Moderna are terroir-driven wines, but defined by their shorter time in the winery, reinstating his theory of little intervention. The “Edad Moderna” blend undergoes partial whole-cluster fermentation and aged in cement to retain purity of fruit. This bottle is one of just 6000 produced.
Inconnu, Kitsune Red Blend 2018Regular price $28.00 Save $-28.00
Varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Laura Brennan Bissell is an artist by nature, and winemaking did not find its way to her life early. Now based in the Napa Valley, Laura's vision is to make wine from low intervention vineyards and focusing on a style of wine that she says, "she would want to drink." Laura is part of the minimalist movement in the wine world and has trained under some of Napa's top names, such as Steve Matthiasson and Mick Unti. Her label is small production, and done in a style that has been a bit out of fashion for the last 20 years, but the lighter and brighter side of wine is again in the limelight.
Flavors of red berry fruit, black tea, and cherry are incredibly easy to drink with a lift of freshness. No additives show how much craft goes into making these wines.
Chateau Les Cruzelles, Lalande de Pomerol 2015Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
Denis Durantou is considered one of the rising stars of the Pomerol region. Owning a couple different estates within proximity of one another, he focuses on what the region is known for—Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines. He purchased Les Cruzelles in 2000. While Denis has his hands in several projects, they all seem to be intertwined. Each subject has a different purpose and a different terroir. The appellation of Lalande de Pomerol is a small area next door to its bigger siblings, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. Thanks to the unfamiliarity of the region, it delivers the same quality as Pomerol, but without the hefty price tag. This is something we love—discovering lesser known regions honed by incredible producers.
The Lalande de Pomerol 2015 is a blend of the major varieties in this appellation, 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc planted in gravel and clay soils. The oak used is 45% new.
Chateau La Gurgue, Margaux 2015Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
This historic château has changed hands and names, acquired vineyards, and evolved over the years. The estate has a close tie to the village of Margaux; one of its previous owners was, in fact, mayor of the town. Acquiring the title of mayor has its benefits in the wine world; even more accessible is sought after land; that’s just what was done. One such Camille Lenoir purchased a plot of land named “Curton,” one of the best plots of Margaux. The name of the château comes from a locality of the village. Today the estate is looked after by Claire Villars Lurton, who works diligently with her efforts of delicacy.
This bottle of Margaux is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot coming from 30 year old vines clay and gravel-based soils. The wine sees oak for twelve months, 25% of which is new.
Chateau Poitevin, Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2016Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot
Château Poitevin was founded in the 1950s by René Poitevin as a small family owned property of two hectares in the Médoc. He and his son after him would grow their vines and sell the resulting harvest to the local cooperatives. Guillaume represents the third generation of viticulture for the Poitevin family; changes began with him. After practical and theoretical training in Bordeaux, he changes the ways of the estate by the vinification of his own wines instead of selling. With a clear perspective of tradition and modernity, Guillaume makes several cuvees, Château Poitevin included. He is helped by his wife, Natacha, and a small dedicated team of winegrowers. In 2012, Château Poitevin won the Coupe des Crus Bourgeois; a reward awarded for twenty years of work.
The wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Verdot from gravel-dominated soils laced with sand and clay. The wine is then aged in oak for 14 months, 30% of which is new. This is a vin de garde, meant to cellar for another 10 to 15 years. The bottle is of incredible value!
Chateau d'Aiguilhe, Cotes de Castillon Bordeaux 2016Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
The Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation is one of the lesser known subregions of Bordeaux. It sits beside Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, growing the same varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The chateau also has an astounding history. Dating back to the 13th century. Château d’Aiguilhe actually had a significant strategic role during the Hundred Years War; the estate would change allegiance regularly depending on the position of the feudal lord. Different generations of assorted estate owners belonged to the Bordeaux parliament. The turning point for the estate happened when it was sold to a certain Etienne Martineau on the eve of the French Revolution! He enlarged the estate into a single block 400 hectare farm that stayed in his family until 1920.
The bottle is a classic representation of the area: a blend of mostly Merlot with a smaller amount of Cabernet Franc. The 28 year old vines are planted to clay-silt and clay limestone soils, perfect for the drainage the vines need. Barrel ageing is about 15-18 months, some new oak and some used.
Chateau Laffitte Carcasset, Saint-Estephe Cru Bourgeois 2016Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc
Laffitte Carcasset draws its name from two sources. Josef Lafitte was the attorney for the King of France, whose family owned the estate until 1838 when it changed hands. The name Carcasset comes from the name for the lieu-dit from which it was situated. Through the years, the chateau has changed hands and names a handful of times. In 2016, the estate was sold and now has a new owner as well as a new advisor. Hubert de Bouard, the new advisor, has increased the quality of the wines in a short period of time.
The average age of the vines are 30 years, composed of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and a bit of Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Fonbadet, Pauillac, 2016Regular price $75.00 Save $-75.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
The Peyronie family, the current owner of Château Fonbadet, has ancient winemaking roots in Pauillac. Their winemaking lineage goes back to the year 1700 according to public records of the time. The Peyronie family has serious roots in other Bordeaux houses in the Pauillas appellation. Pierre’s grandfather was estate manager of Château Lafite Rothschild, while his wife’s grandfather was estate manager at Château Mouton Rothschild. Pierre’s father, Robert, handled the estate in a dynamic forward way between WWI and WWII; he created a vineyard using vines on the verge of distinction or being sold at auction. Today, Pascale, Pierre’s daughter, has taken over after 20 years of training. Its classification is in the makings of the future fifth growths of Pauillac.
This is an incredible wine of the great appellation of the Pauillac appellation. It is a blend of all five of the great Bordeaux varieties.
Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol 2016Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Chateau Taillefer's initial claim to fame was being recognized by the geographer of Louis XV in 1776. It has been cared for over two centuries. Enter the Bordeaux wine merchant, Antoine Moueix, known for playing an integral role in the beginning of one of the largest wine-growing dynasties ever. He saw potential in this great domain, subsequently purchasing Taillefer in 1923. Coming from the Right Bank village of Pomerol, the wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc blended in. Pomerol is an area rich in iron which is how this estate earned its name; “Taillefer” comes from the French phrase “to cut iron.” This Pomerol ages in oak barrels for about 12 months.
Tenuta di Carleone, Toscana 'Due' 2015Regular price $40.00 Save $-40.00
Variety: Merlot and Sangiovese
Tenuta Carleone di Castiglioni was first mentioned in the year 1078 when monks first founded it in Chianti, named for the village of Castiglioni meaning “small castle.” The property is a romantic vision of wooded hills, rivers, and fertile plains. Nestled in between the hills are the Sangiovese vines and olive trees. Though the property was farmed for hundreds of years, it did not become the winery of Tenuta di Carleone until 2012. Karl Egger and Sean O’Callaghan both operate the winery with a clear vision, even though Sean is nicknamed “Il Guercio” (meaning one-eyed rascal.) They create Sangiovese in a classic way, though with Sean’s twist using organic and biodynamic practices. Nothing is added to the wine, grappa, or cold-pressed olive oils. Keep a look out for their other Sangiovese expressions, ‘Uno,’ Chianti Classico, and grappa.
Il Cipresso, Toscana Rosso 2018Regular price $23.00 Save $-23.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
The cypress tree, emblematic of Tuscany, and thus perfectly appropriate for this “Super Tuscan lite”. Michael Schmelzer, ex-pat winemaker at the helm of Monte Bernardi in Chianti Classico, oversees production of this wine, imbuing it with his philosophy and approach. Grapes are grown organically, and make their way to the bottle with minimal intervention. Once in the glass, it’s all bright fruit expressive of the region.
Chateau La Grolet, Tete de Cuvee Cotes de Bourg 2017Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc
La Grolet is the second property of the Hubert family, proprietors of Château Peybonhomme. Acquired in 1997, this sister site is alive with biodiversity (not to mention fully converted to Biodynamics); twelve of its fifty hectares are made up of
forests, fields, and waters. Steep gravel slopes are prime for planting Merlot, the
number one contender in this blend. A bit of time in new oak marries fruit and wood
tannins, and the in-bottle result is a harmony of terroir and tradition.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Quintessence de Peybonhomme Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2016Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Merlot, Malbec
From the same Bordeaux house that brought us Châteaux Peybonhomme and La Grolet, they bring us this fun bottling. Even though Château Peybonhomme Les Tours began six generations ago in 1895, this generation begins with the union of two humans of different wine-related backgrounds. Jean-Luc Hubert descended from a long line of sailors who navigated the Gironde river utilizing “scow” boats to transport wine. Alternatively, Catherine came from a long line of winemakers, her great grandfather having acquired Peybonhomme in 1890. Both of their ancestors worked extensively with one another making and transporting wine, unbeknownst to them the union that would one day happen. The kids have grown and now assist in making beautiful, natural wines and following in their parents’ footsteps.
The Malbec variety was originally a Bordeaux blending grape, but has often been overshadowed by Cabernet and Merlot. Peybonhomme has embraced this variety using their biodynamic principles. It is clear through the name “Quintessence” that the wine exudes perfection and quality.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux Energies 2017Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec
Six generations of the Hubert family have called Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours home since 1895. A family of winemakers, they have gently guided their biodynamically farmed estate to produce world-class Bordeaux. The property includes a stunning 17th century castellated tower, from which one can view the Gironde estuary, as well as their estate.
Chateau de Villegeorge, Haut-Medoc 2015Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
The Lurton family is one of the last true dynasty families in Bordeaux. This is not to say the family all sees eye to eye as the two eldest brothers do not really speak. Their personalities are drastically different. The one thing that holds them together is the belief in classic old school Bordeaux while staying true to the times while having a solid understanding of their cellars. Winemaker Marie-Laure Lurton is the creative force behind Château de Villegeorge and encounters some very strict regulations on a yearly basis, as is the standard for Château of the Cru Bourgeois. There is complete traceability through the entire production process. The French-based organization—Terra Vitis—sets the standard for environmental certification, inspecting annually.
Chateau Paloumey, Ailes de Paloumey 2015Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
The Chateau has a long history on the left bank of Bordeaux and is now owned by the Cazeneuve family who owns a few other properties in Bordeaux. The 34-hectare estate is located in the commune of Ludon, the southern point of the Medoc close to some other famed wineries. Being this far south on the bank gives a bit more warmth to the vineyards and allows for an incredible texture to develop in the fruit. The wine is aged in 30% new French oak for 12 months before bottling and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux 2017Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Ask any friend to name a wine region and many will know the name, Bordeaux. Yet the region has a reputation for producing overly expensive wines and is associated with wine snobs. Classified growths and fancy Chateaus are what consumers see from one of the most famous wine regions in the world. But, over the years I have come to love the region’s underdog estates that make incredible wine with a much lower price tag. Peybonhomme is one of these estates. The farming and wine are certified by Demeter Bio-dynamic Certification (an organization that upholds some of the strictest farming practices in the world). This is a no-frills operation and that results in a delicious wine that’s affordable by the bottle and the case.