If you visit Valentin Montanet, he’ll give you a tour of the hillside town of Vézelay and the abbey that marks the high point of the hill. From there you can see the expanse of Vézelay, and he’ll point out his different parcels—each one unique, from east to west, with varying elevations and exposures. The results are fine and balanced Chardonnays, expressing the right amount of fruit, crisp acidity, and limestone minerality to remind you precisely where this wine is from.
One of the most affordable wines in our entire portfolio comes from a vineyard site that is among the steepest, hardest-to-work parcels upon which you’ll ever lay eyes. You might think that heroic viticulture comes at a cost, yet somehow the delicate, fragrant Moscato d’Asti Marco Tintero ekes from his precipitous Sorì Gramella plot—a true marvel of Italian viticulture—lands on our shelves at a mere $14.
We’ve been working with the Montanets for nearly three decades now, a partnership that was a no-brainer, given that Bernard Raveneau first taught Jean Montanet the techniques and importance of getting things right in the vineyard before anything comes into the cellar, and it was Marcel Lapierre who showed Jean the splendor and purity of natural winemaking. It has always been and remains a great pleasure to work with Jean and his son Valentin, both of whom are ever smiling, ever optimistic, and quick to joke at their own expense. But don’t be fooled. Their wines—every last one of them—are world-class, serious, and, most important, delicious Burgundies.
Much ink has been spilled about the great wines of Italy. Entire books have been written about her two superstars, Barolo and Brunello; other appellations like Barbaresco, Chianti, and Amarone are right behind, logically sharing representation in the annals of Italy’s vinous hall of fame. For the thirsty traveler, it is a similar story: Tuscany and Piedmont are obvious destinations, home to a thriving wine scene complete with fine dining, luxury hotels, guided winery tours, and scenic vineyard aperitivi.
The only thing we like better than great wine is great wine that doesn’t cost much and we’re happy to report that a bottle of great wine can still be found for $20 or less. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and a couple of sparklers.
From a tiny village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Burgundy’s golden slope and the prestigious vineyards of Piedmont, we have just received dozens of exciting wines from many distinct regions in France and Italy.
Drinking the wines of Corsica is akin to a visceral immersion into the natural wonders of the Île de Beauté: each sip is the liquid sum of sea, sun, stone, wind, and the wild maquis herbs that make up this stunning land. But beyond this, it is also a window into the Corsican identity and the strong local culture that has been forged as a result of the island’s turbid history. From this perspective, there is no better portal to understanding Corsica than through the wines of Antoine Arena.
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