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Scholium Project: Winemaking as Thinking

The following is an essay I handed out at a dinner I hosted in New York City for Abe Schoener and his Scholium Project wines in the spring of 2008. - Stephen Bitterolf


Kunstler - Keeping the Mighty Rheingau Flag Flying!

The Kunstler estate has recently moved into new headquarters. Well, old new headquarters. The great building on the Geheimrat-Hummel-Platz that Kunstler now calls home formerly housed the Rheingau's oldest sparkling wine manufacturer. True story. The 1837 building is considered a landmark and has

Scholium Project: Eccentric California Genius

Yes, it's time for our annual Scholium Project offering!

These selections represent this year's three greatest hits, each one riveting and uniquely expressive:
- 2005 Petit Sirah "Babylon"
- 2006 Sauvignon Blanc "La Severita di Bruto"
- 2006 Sauv

Giacomelli Vermentino: Complex Winter White from Liguria

Could this be the cruelest time of the year? The holidays have receded well into memory, daylight seems scarce, the chill is here and spring is still much too far away.

The only answer our eccentric minds could cook up was a Mediterranean-inspired meal with a couple of Vermentini

Giacomelli's Vermentino Meets Fish Stew

Vermentinos are such rich, complex whites with such big acidities that they marry very well to finessed winter fare. To plow through the winter blues, Joe, Chris and I got together last week to indulge in Giacomelli Vermentinos - both the regular Colli di Luni bottling as

Betts & Scholl "O.G." Grenache - Australian Power with Elegance

Let's speak simply here: The 2005 Betts and Scholl "O.G." Grenache is one of the best deals of this young year. With a special case-price that brings the bottle down to $25, this is a no-brainer big Aussie red that delivers power with style at a level way beyond its price-point.

Louis Boillot - Grower Burgundy with Heart and Soul

Louis Boillot crafted some outstanding wines in the more difficult 2004 vintage. As he's married to Burgundy phenom Ghislaine Barthod, this is a family that lives and breathes wine. In 2005 he has outdone himself, gifted as he was by the near-perfect fruit that has already made t

Lignier: 2005 Clos de la Roche and Company

The campaign of top 2005 Burgundies at compelling prices continues at Crush!

I'm thrilled to be able to offer out the 2005 Ligniers, from the Bourgogne Rouge up to the grand Clos de la Roche, direct from the domains at some of the lowest prices in the nation!

2004 Chave Hermitage Rouge

On Friday night Ian came into the back office and declared "I'm going to open my '04 Chave Hermitage Rouge" I advised against opening the bottle arguing that it would be a waste. The wine was way too young and would probably be shut down. I have had examples of mature Chave and patience is defini

Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze '04

With all the hype around 05 Burgundy and the troubles of the 04 growing season it's very easy to overlook the vintage. However if you have any regard for putting the kids through college or paying NYC rent, 2004 suddenly becomes more appealing. You have to tread carefully while exploring 04 Burgu

Karthauserhof - Ruwer's Mineral-Drenched Terroir Speaks

Up in the foresty, dew-covered Ruwer Valley, rising eastward from the famed Mosel, the Karthauserhof estate has been producing some of the most glowingly austere, mineral-drenched Rieslings since 1335.

The great Rieslings of this estate have the reputation for aging

Karthauserhof - Ruwer's Mineral-Drenched Terroir Speaks

In September of 2007 I was lucky enough to travel through Germany with legendary importer Rudi Wiest. I have long been a fan of the great wines of Germany but I have to say this trip was nothing short of a revelation. I had the opportunity not only to speak with the winemakers and walk their vine

1990 Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie

On the nose, the white ash of a burned-out fire, with green raspberry fruit, and herbal and slight barnyard notes, and a breath of florality.

It is a lovely light-medium weight in the mouth and on the palate the wine has a beautiful warmth and an elegant, soft silkiness. Any tannins that w

Spanish Cabernet Value: Rafael Cambra's Dos

We've written about the wines of Rafael Cambra before. His old-vine Monastrell, called "Uno," was one of the first modern Spanish wines to unflaggingly win us over with its perfect balance of power and elegance.

Cambra's follow-up bottling, called "Dos", is

2005 Comte Senard Grand Cru: A Cellar Steal at Well Under $100

The 2005 vintage in Burgundy has elevated wines that are ordinarily great to absolutely outstanding. Case in point: Comtes Senard.

While the domaine has glorious parcels in some of Corton's best climats, their past efforts to coax out the full potential of

Maniacal Austrian 2006 Dinner at Trestle on Tenth

It was a lot to chew... eh, swallow, but we lined up for it anyway. As comprehensive an overview of the 2006 Austrian Gruner Veltliner vintage as a few weary mortals could put together with the idea of keeping our p

Drinking in the Cube: Foreau, Gagnard, Bachelet and F.X. Pichler

When you're in retail, November and December are nothing short of manic. The store is constantly flooded with people, deliveries are being shot out the door machine-gun style and the phones ring with such constant abandon that the noise almost begins to feel a soundtrack for the holidays.


2005 Texier Brezeme Pergault VV: The Forgotten Old-Vines of Brezeme Speak

Today, we're pleased to offer one of the best red wines of 2007 - a wine that will transcend every other 'Cotes du Rhone' you've ever had: Eric Texier's 2005 Brezeme Pergault VV.

Texier's 2005 Pergault has a shocking combination of elegance and vivaciousness, with shaving

Schloss Lieser - Thomas Haag's Razor Sharp Middle Mosel Majesty

In September of this year I was lucky enough to travel through Germany with legendary importer Rudi Wiest. I have long been a fan of the great wines of Germany but I have to say this trip was nothing short of a revelation. I had the opportunity not only to speak with the winemakers and walk their

2007 Crush Wine of the Year: Krug Grande Cuvee

Choosing any one wine, out of a year's worth of incredible experiences, is a daunting task. 

Ian's Wine of the Year: 2005 Potel Cote de Nuits-Villages

So I have to begin this email with the embarrassing admission that I drank up most of the bottles we had in stock of my Wine of the Year - Nicolas Potel's delicious 2005 Cote de Nuits-Villages

Tom's Wine of the Year: 2002 Cazin "Cuvee Renaissance

The methods I used to determine my "Wine of the Year" have nothing to do with point scores or detailed comparisons of the thousands of wines I have tasted over the last 12 months. My metrics a

Joe's Wine of the Year: 2000 Fonbel

My choice for Wine of the Year is the 2000 Chateau de Fonbel.

The story here is simple: An innocent tasting where I was simply blind-sided by the wine's purity and elegance

Stephen's Wine of the Year: Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel-Hoh

When national publications name their "Wines of the Year," they are limited by many factors - the biggest of which is the wine's availability. It doesn't make sense for them to drive the public

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