Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One last, brilliant 2005 Bordeaux bargain!

Is this the last of the 2005 Bordeaux to pass through our doors? It’s certainly the greatest bargain! In a year where we’ve seen wonderful Bordeaux from even the most modest producers, Chateau la Maroutine stands out — a big, plush, yummy merlot-based stunner! Don’t hesitate — it’s going to be a long time before the 2008 Bordeaux comes to call!
Price? $21.65 (+ deposit)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stand by, We're Back Soon!

Larry's Page will be up and running again in its usual splendor in a day or two!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Week in Alcohol

First they supported the Hutu in Rwanda and now this The government of France is now advising its citizens not to drink wine. "The Ministry of Health has published guidelines which advise, 'The consumption of alcohol, and especially wine, is discouraged.' " In other news, the majority opinion of the civilization that gave us the Maginot Line is that wine poses a risk to health

For a start, they're both better taken in drunk "Terre d'Asti, a promotional body representing the Asti region in northern Italy, has launched Wine & Passion, an international literature competition to promote Grignolino d'Asti wine. The Italian trade body is looking for writers to come up with the most original literary work on the affinities between the Grignolino grape and football..."

So they must be just ecstatic about their government's latest health guidelines Champagne sales dropped nearly 5% in 2008, drawing a sour-grapes reaction from industry representatives. "Ghislain de Montgolfier, co-president of Champagne trade body the CIVC, said continuous growth and a record year in 2008 were 'too much' for the region. 'The fall is a good thing: our purpose was to decrease sales by 2% at the start of 2008. ' "

The "Domaine de Bernard Madoff" label should have been a giveaway Millions of bottles of wine from France falsely labeled as Pinot Noir were sold in the US over the last several years. "According to southern French newspaper La Depeche, the fraudulent wine was sold by winemakers and cooperatives to the negociant which in turn sold the wine to Sieur d'Arques for export to the US. It is not clear at which stage the fraud occurred. Citing an informant, the newspaper said the profit margins for those concerned were 'huge'. Pinot Noir fetches double the standard price for red wine from the region."

The rain of frogs at harvest didn't help the 2008 vintage either Gloom and Doom about Bordeaux is pouring in from all directions: Sales dropped more than 30% in the last 5 months of 2008; The Vintage Wine Investment Fund dropped 30% of its 100m Euro value; Chateau Latour is being dumped by its owner, the Luxury goods group PPR; Publicly traded funds like the International Wine Investment fund are off by as much as 85%; and the worldwide recession is destroying the market for the high-priced luxury cuvees as bankers spit into the outstretched hands of former billionaire hedge-fund managers everywhere

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Three New 2005 Bordeaux!

Ho, hum---another day, another great (and reasonably-priced) 2005 Bordeaux! An old favorite and two new friends arrived at Spiritmerchants this week, all yummy, and all in the low-to-mid $20 range!

The Medoc Cru Bourgeois Chateau La Gorce has been a buddy of ours for a long time, but we've never had one as fine as their 2005---and if memory serves, the price may even have gone down since the last vintage!

The 2005 Chateau Bergeron is from the Cotes de Blaye on the Right Bank of the Gironde---which these days is becoming notorious both as a region of under-priced works of genius, and a regular Bordeaux Home of Bargains. It's a mix of 85% Merlot, 10% Cab and 5% Malbec and as such is supple, muscular and structured to last. We've brought in 20 cases, and that's the quantity a lot of our customers have been buying it in!

Chateau Peyraud is from the P.C. de Blaye as well and clocks in at 100% Merlot. It's as ingratiating as only a Bordeaux-grown Merlot can be: Earthy, plump and user-friendly, it's also the real bargain of the trio, lightening you wallet by just north of $20---and lightening your day as well!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Fistful of Malbecs!

Malbec makes no pretense to being a wine for all seasons: January is when this varietal really shines! Winter stews, roasted vegetables, evenings when the sun goes down early... that's malbec's home ground. Here are three wines that show you both the fruit and the soil, and manage to be both earthy and sophisticated!
  • Don Eugeno Reserva 2005, from the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina: Full-bodied with good tannins; big without being dopey---Sam Elliot rather than Ben Afflick.
  • Pascual Toso Malbec 2007, from the Maipu vinyards in Mendoza: Its maker calls this wine "sincere"; James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator called it "...fresh and open, with a mix of raspberry and black cherry fruit followed by a modest dose of toast on the easygoing finish"; I call it potent, earthy and rich! (And at less than $15, I also call it a steal!)
  • Altos las Hormigas Malbec 2007 from Mendoza: What can I say? A mighty wine---rustic, with fresh cherry fruit andjust a hint of anisette on the finish. Roast a squash and get out the glasses!