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Posted by Joe Salamone
Clos de la Grand'Cour

This is a true clos of about eight hectares, and it's a monopole of Dutraive's. The VV (featured today) is from vines within the clos that are 30 to 70+ years old.

Dutraive compares the Grand'Cour to a Beaune in its muscle and broad-shouldered profile.

In 2009, Jean-Louis included 90% of the stems in the carbonic maceration, which gave the wine a sturdy and spicy edge aligned with the marked fruitiness from the full carbonic.


(Not that Champagne.) This well-respected climat in Fleurie hosts a bedrock of granite that's much closer to the surface than many other sites in the Cru.

Dutraive has one scant hectare of vines that are over 70 years old, and he limits the hectare's production to just 15-30 hectolitres.

The results are an elegant wine - commonly considered Dutraive's best - that Jean-Louis compares to a Chambolle-Musigny with bright, focused, precise yet silky and slightly spicy elements.




Posted by Joe Salamone

Following the guidance of Jules Chauvet, a biochemist and Beaujolais negociant who is credited as being the godfather of the natural wine movement, the “microscope group” sought to produce wines that displayed purity and honesty - the truth of the vineyard. In pursuit of this, they relied on native yeasts, minimal to no sulphur, working naturally in the vineyards, cool fermentations, restricting yields and picking late to ensure ripe fruit.

It's impossible to overemphasize how radical an idea this was in Beaujolais at the time. The norms of the region included manufactured yeasts with particular aroma signatures (bananas anyone?), pesticides, over-cropping, and chaptalization (adding sugar). These trends occurred as the region’s growers began to modernize and move away from the polyculture, instead relying on grape-growing exclusively for cash. Chauvet, who began making sulphur-free, spontaneously fermented wines in 1951, was in part trying to make wines in the non-interventionalist, old fashioned way with the aid of science. The goal was to produce the most natural, purely expressive wines possible and use science to help solve the problems and reduce the risk.

As such, Metras, Lapierre and the others in the group purchased the same device to observe their wines: the microscope. (Sulphur acts as an antiseptic amongst other things, so curtailing its use carries with it an increased risk that things can go awry in the cellar. They would meet to discuss winemaking and, of course, pull a few corks. "La group a microscope" was how the members referred to themselves.

Kermit Lynch, in his Adventures on the Wine Route, begins the chapter on Beaujolais (where Chauvet is a central figure) with the following: Beaujolais “serves to remind us of the first time that man tasted fermented grape juice and decided that it was an accident worth pursuing.” The work of Metras and the other members can be seen as a combination of two things that Lynch’s quote implies: one, to follow scientifically informed natural methods to express the absolute purity of the Gamay grape; two, to render a wine that is so lively and delicious that each sip fills you with uncomplicated joy.




Posted by Joe Salamone

The Long Life of Pi
2006 Foillard Morgon Cuvée 3.14
Fifths and MAGNUMS - The Only Bottles in the Nation

When wine geeks land in Paris, they inevitably seek out wines that are impossible to find this side of the Atlantic: Metras Ultime, Overnoy/Houillon Vin Jaune and Foillard Cuvée 3.14 among them.

Today, we're saying happy holidays and saving you the cost of a ticket into Charles de Gaulle...

Today we offer the 2006 Foillard Cuvée 3.14 at $49.95 a bottle… and for the bigger celebrations, we also have a few magnums at $99.95. These bottles are in stock and ready for immediate pick up/delivery and enjoyment - though this Beaujolais will also rest happily in the cellar for another 5-7 years... the long life of Pi, indeed.




Posted by Joe Salamone

Beaujolais 2009: Tardive Take Two
09 Clos de la Roilette "Cuvée Tardive" 750 and 3L
One of Beaujolais' Longest Lived & Most Profound

In response to Monday's Tardive magnum offer came an outpouring of requests for regular-sized bottles. Today we offer 750ml bottles and a few rare double-magnums at the lowest prices out there.

Through a bit of persistence and a bit of luck, we were able to secure an additional parcel of Tardive 750mls - today we're happy to answer your requests.

And for you Beaujolais fanatics (and we know you're out there), we've also been able to secure a few rare 3Ls, Beaujolais double-magnums that take a long-haul Beaujolais to the next level.




Posted by Joe Salamone

Capturing the Heart of 09 Beaujolais
2009 Vissoux Fleurie Les Garants
Ripeness, Clarity, Precision from a "Grand" Cru Fleurie

Domaine Vissoux was my first visit during my tour through Beaujolais this July, and when we discussed the vintage, owner/winemaker Pierre Chermette wasn't bashful in comparing 09 to great vintages stretching far back: 47, 49, 76...




Posted by Joe Salamone

Rare Debut Vintage
2005 Foillard Fleurie
The Most Feminine Voice of Beaujolais

2005 Foillard Fleurie - this is a rare bird to say the least.

Finding any Beaujolais from the monumental 2005 vintage is hard enough, sourcing a parcel of Jean Foillard's 2005 Fleurie is something of a coup. After all, he farms a mere 2 hectares in Fleurie making this a much more elusive bottling than his legendary Morgon Cote du Py.




Posted by Joe Salamone

The Chef d'Oeuvre
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon: MAGS & D-MAGS
An Aptly Grand Tribute to a Beaujolais Torchbearer

It's impossible to overestimate Marcel Lapierre's impact on Beaujolais.

The torchbearing vigneron died last October, but not before helping the Beaujolais region perform an about-face, inspiring its revolution from a region of cheap, mass-market plonk to a region of terroir, a place where the great wines have depth, purity and distinct character.




Posted by Joe Salamone

Inaugural Vintage from Beaujolais Legend
2009 Roilette Fleurie Griffe du Marquis

Domaine Roilette's Alain Coudert compares the 09 vintage to 1991, a vintage that serves as a benchmark for the estate.

In response to the quality of the vintage, Coudert took a single parcel of vines planted in 1930 and aged them in old barriques. Their famous Tardive, in contrast, is aged in large foudres. 




Posted by Joe Salamone

Alain Coudert,
in Touch with Fleurie's Feminine Side

2010 Roilette Fleurie Cuvée Christal
The Little-Known Coudert Rarity (Well Under $20)

Alain Coudert's Domaine de la Roilette is one of Beaujolais' cult producers, most well-known for his Cuvée Tardive that needs a decade in the cellar.

Today, though, we provide you with a little pre-party.

I've written this previously: The 1999 Roilette Cuvée Tardive that I had in 2007 was hands-down the best Beaujolais I've ever had. It was velvety, Rhône-like and still young.




Posted by Joe Salamone

We've always loved Foillard's 2010 Côte du Py, but in the past six months it's really come into form. The 2010 Côte du Py has become so finely etched, such a clear expression of Morgon's wild cherry fruit and granite minerality, not to mention just delicious.

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