The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: William Fèvre and…William Fèvre!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014We are all very excited here to welcome the 2014 whites from William Fèvre! Tis the season to bring out the crisp whites and I have some great bottles here for any wine lover. This is serious Chablis with fine pedigree, William Fèvre is recognized as one of the best producers in all of Chablis, sitting in the same league as Raveneau and Dauvissat and offering a range of distinguished premier and grand cru bottlings. Fèvre works forty acres of grand cru vineyards and another thirty acres of premier cru, all of which deserve attention. All fruit is harvested by hand and great caution is taken to ensure that the wines are precise, textured and mineral-driven with great structure and racy acidity. Fèvre works every vintage to find just the right balance between richness and minerality, and as these 2014 wines illustrate, Fèvre hit the bulls-eye!

Fèvre crafts some of the most exciting whites we receive each year, and if you have been keeping up with our offers for Burgundy’s 2014 vintage, this vintage is beyond exciting. Here are a few premier cru offerings that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys great white wine. These satisfy serious thirst while going easy on the pocketbook.

William Fèvre 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains $54.99

This vibrant white offers loads of citrus, green peach and minerals with hints of almond and chalk on the finish. Saline minerals and citrusy acidity make this ’14 Chablis ideal to pour as an aperitif or with fresh or grilled oysters. Deriving from William Fèvre’s 4.3 acre parcel of Montmains, which faces southeast and sports emblematic Chablis soils rich in minerals and fossils, this wine vinifies in a combination of stainless steel oak barrels (30-50% used); the wine also ages for 10-15 months in a combination of in French oak barrels and stainless steel before bottling. Supple, structured and vibrant, this Chablis is very food friendly and nicely age-worthy.

William Fèvre 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent $81.99

This premier cru is consistently one of my favorite as it adds lovely white floral notes on the notes and palate with added stone fruit character. Slightly more complex and concentrated than the Montmains this can stand up to a range of fresh and grilled seafood, poultry, goat cheese, prosciutto and other salted finger foods. Deriving from a fine eight-acre parcel of Fourchaume 1er Cru that directly abuts the grand cru Les Preuses, Vaulorent is considered the “baby grand cru” at Fèvre, and it consistently outperforms grand crus that cost many times as much.

Expert Picks: Bachey-Legros and Château de la Maltroye

Two expert selections from Michael Adler

Michael Adler 5.29.15It’s the season of Burgundy pre-release offers, and the 2014 vintage offers us a lot of excitement. However that’s no reason to neglect all the lovely 2013s that have recently arrived in our cellar. I’m especially fond of the ’13 whites, particularly those from Chassagne-Montrachet. Every 2013 Chassagne I’ve tasted thus far has impressed me greatly; the wines show excellent concentration, depth and complexity, and they’re blessed with a gorgeous lush texture and a luxurious mouth-feel. Today I’m pleased to feature two outstanding Chassagne-Montrachet bottlings from 2013, from two producers who should absolutely be on your radar if they aren’t already, Domaine Bachey-Legros and Château de la Maltroye.

Bachey-Legros 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc $39.99

Several years ago we were extremely fortunate to find Bachey-Legros, a tiny Chassagne Montrachet estate that offered some of the greatest values in the Côte de Beaune, yet had no U.S. importer; several vintages later, the wines of Bachey-Legros are a staple here at IWM and consistently sell out fast! The 2013s are beautifully balanced—linear and focused yet round and lush—and they’re incredible now (or later). Christiane Bachey owns and operates this 40-acre estate, which practices non-interventionist agriculture in its Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet vineyards. This Chassagne-Montrachet bursts from the glass with bright and intense aromas of orchard fruits and spring blossoms, with hints of citrus and loads of minerality. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value in Chassagne.

Château de la Maltroye 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée $109.99

Chateau de la Maltroye is a leading producer based in Chassagne-Montrachet, and I love its wines for their balance between power and elegance. Maltroye’s 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanee is an exquisite testament to how delicious Chassagne can be. Highly aromatic, intensely muscular, and supremely balanced, this ‘13 La Romanée is one seriously amazing bottle of wine, approachable when young but capable of extended aging in the proper conditions. Notes of apple, pear and citrus lead the charge, supported by layers of mineral-inflected nuance that unfold in mesmerizing harmony. Strikingly intense and concentrated and with just the slightest touch of toast, this is a Chassagne for the ages.

Expert Picks: San Giovanni della Sala and Bachey-Legros

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiSpring is near! Yes, the calendar just flipped to March, but despite the chilly temperatures we’re really not far from warmer temperatures and the vitality that spring brings. At least, that’s how I keep myself going every time I get blasted in the face by wind. With that in mind, I wanted to suggest two vivacious bottles that are sure to liven the spirit and quench your thirst for the months ahead.

San Giovanni della Sala 2014 Orvieto Classico Superiore $24.99

Chances are you’ve never had a blend quite like this below. This spry bottle is composed of 50% Grechetto, 25% Procanico, 25% Pinot Blanc and Viognier. This ’14 Orvieto is another offering from Antinori’s impressive portfolio, and I have clients who seek me out for this wine every single year—even priced at $25 people still clamor for it! Brilliant in color and chock full of citrus fruit that drenches the palate, this is a winner to have on hand at all times. Drink until 2018.

Bachey-Legros 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot $59.99

Chistiane Bachey has guided this estate that her great-grandparents founded since 1993, but her two sons Lenaic and Samuel recently have assumed control. Bachey-Legros might be the best Chassagne estate you’ve never heard of, and this bottling in particular is a star here at IWM and for five years running. In addition to the love and care lavished on the vines, what makes the difference is their age of at least 50 years old. This is a wine of concentration, complexity and purity. Drink 2017 to 2024.

Expert Picks: Michel Niellon and…Michel Niellon!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Here in New York we have been on a weather rollercoaster with very warm days and freezing cold days. I have been juggling Amarone with crisp whites and rosé as I pretend spring is at our doorstep. Today, I’m reaching for white Burgundy. Many wine collectors consider the best white wines of the world to be the Chardonnay of Burgundy produced in the three communes in the south part of Côte d’Or—Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.

While Meursault boasts no grand cru sites, the very best premier cru wines are outstanding, balancing richness with fresh acidity while throwing some white flowers and stone fruit into the mix. Continuing south, we arrive at Puligny Montrachet, which some consider the finest area in the world for white wines. The wines here give you structure, racy acidity and incredible elegance and precision. Chassagne Montrachet is our final destination on this road trip, and the area where today’s wines derive. Stylistically you could say Chassagne falls somewhere between both Meursault and Puligny, offering richness with gorgeous mineral character and laser-beam acidity.

Today I focus on two delicious 2012 offerings from the talents of Michel Niellon. Along with Ramonet, Niellon represents the pinnacle of Chassange. He has just under 15 acres of vines, which include small holdings in Chevalier and Bâtard-Montrachet. Seductive and authoritative, these Chassagne-Montrachets exemplify the legendary reputation it has.

Michel Niellon 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St-Jean 1er Cru $79.99

This premier cru offers bright floral aromas with tangy citrus and green apples. The finish on this wine is delicious, trailing with mineral notes and hints of white peach.

Michel Niellon 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru 2012 $79.99

A bit richer in style than the Clos St Jean, this 2012 Vergers offers concentrated citrus on the palate with toasted sesame notes. If you drink the Clos St Jean as an aperitif or with antipasti, this Vergers is perfect for the fish course.

Inside IWM, February 16-18, 2016: Short but Intense Edition

A look back at the week that was

Growing Sangiovese Grosso vines

Growing Sangiovese Grosso vines

For Monday being a holiday, Inside IWM packed a lot into this week. Sean Collins told us how he wowed his friends with an unexpectedly delicious $19 bottle of Chianti Classico from La Maialina. We got an inside view of the IWM NYC showroom from John Camacho Vidal, who explained how what we do is different from every other wine shop. And we completed our series on Italian red wine grapes with a rousing post that details some of our favorites; from Refosco to Uva Rara, this exploration of red grapes expands your wine knowledge.

Our Experts were similarly intense. Crystal Edgar looks forward to summer with two fine Verdicchio wines from Sartarelli, one of our favorite Le Marche producers. Michael Adler looks at Meursault and “Meursault,” offering a pair of wines that will reward lovers of fine Chardonnay. And Will Di Nunzio picks a pair of under $35 quintessentially Italian wines, making sure that you can drink great wine any night of the week.

Here’s to making the most of your time–and enjoying it with terrific wine and even better people.

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