As merchants, we are faced with the inevitable truth that certain wines are more fashionable than others, simply based on grape variety or region of origin. However, that cannot and does not dictate how we go about selecting wines for our portfolio. For example, we will never import an average Burgundy over a stellar Languedoc simply because of the high demand for Burgundy. Rather, each bottle we bring in must provide pleasure, refreshment, and a link to the land, regardless of its popularity or prestige. Certain appellations have fallen victim to calamitous marketing campaigns of the past. Beaujolais Nouveau, Lambrusco, and Chianti all suffered such a fate; these wines’ reputations are currently recovering thanks to the luminary producers advancing the cause through genuine artisanship espousing traditional practices. Other wines’ stature suffers because poorly made examples overshadow the truly inspiring: crafting balanced whites in France’s deep south is challenging because of the hot climate, but by no means should one dismiss the possibility of fresh, mineral-driven whites from the region’s plethora of great terroirs. For such reasons, the six bottles in this pack are underrated in today’s very particular world. The goal of this sampler, then, is to open your eyes to the superb wines created outside of the most fashionable appellations. After all, such wines tend to deliver the most value, and perhaps, from now on, you’ll find yourself uncorking an Alsatian Pinot Gris instead of a white Burgundy, a Tavel over a Bandol rosé, or a Pic Saint-Loup in place of a Châteauneuf.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
Hot in your area? Pick up in our shop or we’ll hold your wine until it’s a good time to ship.
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