Danilo Thomain [3/24]: From the Valle d’Aosta’s second-highest growing zone, Danilo Thomain’s Enfer d’Arvier is perhaps the most tension-laden red wine we import from the region. Produced from the indigenous Petit Rouge, it’s a homemade wine in every sense of the word, with rapier-like acidity pulling firmly at the reins of muscular, thickly luscious fruit.
Bitouzet-Prieur [3/17]: The Bitouzet family has provided us with over thirty years of structured, demanding, age-worthy, satisfying wines, both red and white, from enviable holdings in some of Volnay and Meursault’s top sites, including Charmes, Perrières, Clos des Chênes, and Caillerets. We will see the full swath 2017 Meursault premier crus and 2016 Volnay premier crus, augmented by the 2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons and the 2018 Bourgogne Rouge.
Georges Lignier [3/24]: Benoît Stehly, who has transformed this estate into one of our most promising partners in the Côte d’Or, produces fine, traditionally lithe wines of intense aromatic concentration. When it comes to his estate’s vineyard holdings, the depth of appellations in both the premier and grand crus is astounding, with enormous holdings in both Clos Saint-Denis and Clos de la Roche. We will be receiving the complete set of 2016 red wines at the villages-level and above, plus the 2018 Aligoté and the rare 2016 Morey-Saint-Denis Blanc.
Clos Saint André [3/24]: At just under a hectare in size, Clos Saint-André is truly a one-man show, run by Jean-Claude Desmarty, whose Pomerol is balanced, precise, soulful, and expresses with remarkable freshness its profound terroir. Only 25 cases of this 2016 Pomerol were allocated to the US market.
Daniel-Étienne Defaix [3/24]: In generations past, long aging in Chablis was more the rule than the exception, but today Daniel-Étienne Defaix is virtually alone in that practice. “The Last of The Mohicans,” as Defaix calls himself, relies exclusively on indigenous yeasts, and his fermentations routinely last between 3-6 weeks (inoculating gets it done in 4-6 days), with malolactic fermentation sometimes requiring two years to finish in his frigid cellar. He favors extraordinarily long lees contact, but employs bâtonnage only for the first two years, and then seldomly. Young Chablis can be delicious and useful at the table, certainly; but it is only with age that it can attain sublimity. What a rare treat it is, then, to have access to such powerful expressions of a singular terroir released at such a prime point in their development—and at prices well below much villages-level Chassagne-Montrachet or Meursault.
Château Simone [3/24]: This historic estate, situated in the hills just south of Aix-en-Provence, has been in the hands of the Rougier family since 1830, and holds a virtual monopoly on the appellation of Palette. Perched on north-facing slopes and surrounded by pine forests, its century-old bush vines yield among the greatest and most iconic wines of southern France. Simone’s Palette Blanc is animated by aromas of pine resin and built on a base of stern minerality, and their Rouge strikes a balance between Bandol-like ruggedness and an almost Burgundian elegance; the Rosé, always painfully limited in supply, is sublime and nearly outside category. We will see the 2017 Blanc, 2016 Rouge, and 2019 Rosé toward the end of the month.