Portfolio

Feel free to peruse our portfolio of producers! Prices can be found in the two price lists, whose links are directly below. We encourage you to contact us with any questions about availability or prices. Many of our products are highly allocated and availability changes daily, so we will gladly answer any questions you may have about our wines. Enjoy!

We offer free delivery within the GTA. Deliveries outside the GTA are subject to delivery fees. Please feel free to contact us for details. Thank you!

Countries

Australia

Farmers Leap

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Farmer’s Leap was born when Scott Longbottom and Cheryl Merrett took the leap to plant vines on their Padthaway land in 1993, applying the know-how handed down from three generations of farmers. Today the winery has 130 hectares devoted to Shiraz alone, but believe me, the quality has not been affected. As a cooler region, Padthaway offers ideal growing conditions for those possessed of more old-world growing sensibilities. And the results have been stellar. The careful grape selection for the Padthaway Shiraz results in a rich, ripe and vibrant wine with generous and intense mouth filling flavors. Careful oak maturation results in subtle wood aromas. But this is no oak-bomb. Rather there is finesse and the terroir influence cannot be mistaken. The wines of Farmer’s Leap are bold and have exciting cellaring opportunities.  Moreover, the soft finish makes them easy to drink with a wide range of foods.


Chambers Rosewood Vineyards

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Since establishment in 1858 in Victoria's famed Rutherglen region, winemaking duties at Chambers have been handed down through five generations. Recognized the world over for their complexity, intensity and balance, these Muscats and Muscadelles are a national treasure; wines expertly crafted from unctuous material that has matured in the family cellars for more than a century.

Chambers Muscats and Muscadelles are among Australia's, if not the world's, greatest fortified wines, displaying astounding richness and aromatic complexity. From the Rutherglens through to the Rares, these wines deliver unimaginable concentration and persistence of flavor. An experience not to be missed.

"Anyone who has ever tasted Chambers fortified Muscat realizes the world's reference point for these wines begins and ends with Chambers. In summary, life is too short not to try one of the Muscats from Chambers Rosewood... a true Australian treasure."

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (2001)



Austria

Franz Hirtzberger

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Considered one of the top producers in Austria's Wachau, Hirtzberger's small productions of excellent wines are known equally for their aging potential and their intense style. Situated in a 600 year old house at the base of the famed Singerriedl vineyard in the village of Spitz, near the western part of the region, Franz Hirtzberger is a master of balancing the full properties of the ripe fruit with the nuances of the terroir. Since he inherited the estate from his father in 1983, he has closely managed his vineyards, and uses only natural yeasts to produce Federspiel and Smaragd Gruner Veltliners and Rieslings.



Weingut Ott

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The Ott family has been growing and producing wine in the region of Wagram in Lower Austria since 1889. Bernhard Ott is of the fourth generation and has managed the winery since 1995, when he took the helm from his father, expanding the estate to 28 ha in Feuersbrunn and Engabrunn.

After assuming control at the winery, Bernhard worked meticulously to improve the family estate. He improved the cellar with new stainless steel tanks, began bottling everything under Stelvin closure and started enforcing his own personal philosophy – being as true to nature as possible. Bernhard has converted many of his vineyards to biodynamic cultivation, certified biodynamic by RESPEKT, and has taken steps at the winery to reflect this philosophy.

Bernhard is extremely diligent in his vineyard work; he adds compost and preparations to the soil rather than fertilizing individual vines, uses cover-crops and biodynamic tinctures and homeopathic remedies to treat vineyard problems. In keeping with the philosophy of the biodynamic approach, work in the vineyards and cellar is done in a holistic and lopped system. Ott found that after switching to biodynamic farming, he was able to harvest grapes from his vineyards several weeks earlier than he had in the years prior to his switch to this biodynamic viticultural approach.

“Before, I was one of the latest people to harvest. Now I am one of the earliest.” Ott says. He feels he is able to achieve physiological ripeness earlier, without getting overly high levels of sugar that would result in high alcohol wines.



France

Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux

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A true undiscovered treasure, Jean-Michel Gaunoux’s wines are absolutely spectacular expressions of Burgundian terroir. Cultivating a mere 6ha of vines on Meursault, Pommard, and Volnay, Gaunoux produces only miniscule quantities of each of his wines, in some cases only two to three barrels. The son of the famous Francois Gaunoux, Jean-Michel has family roots that have been grounded in the Cote d'Or for several centuries. Learning from the great tradition of the region, Ganoux has had years to master his craft. His wines see 15-30% new oak and are bottled after 15-16 months; they are neither filtered nor fined, and their aging potential is outstanding.

Listed below are two of Jean-Michel's amazing 2010 1er Crus. However, the entire range is available for private order. Please feel free to contact us for more information about this amazing producer and his spectacular wines.


Domaine Remi Jobard

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Remi Jobard, son of Charles Jobard, and brother of François, has made many changes since taking over for his father in 1996, each change another small step to the top of the quality tree. There has been no use of fertiliser since 1994, and the entire domaine is certified organic from 2008. There are two large new presses, to enable him to press very slowly over six hours, and this has resulted in a big jump in finesse. The élevage now lasts nearly fifteen months, so as to allow the wines to develop slowly and to avoid fining. As a result these are wines which take a moment to show, but which reward the patient with complexity and great depth of flavour. One of the absolutely top domaines of the Côte de Beaune, and still at prices that are well, well below his qualitative equivalents. 


Domaine Alain Burguet

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“Burguet’s village vielles vignes ‘Mes Favorites’ is at least the equal of most growers’ 1er crus. If I were to pick one village wine as a yardstick, this would be it.” - Clive Coates MW, “The Wines of Burgundy”

“The 2011 vintage is now the second year to be “officially” overseen by the two Burguet brothers, Eric and Jean-Luc as heads of Domaine Alain Burguet et Fils, though of course, they worked alongside their father for many years before the transition was made official... Overall, the results here are outstanding, which should come as no surprise to long-time fans of this domaine, as this has been one of the finest sources in Gevrey-Chambertin for as long as I have been involved in the world of wine. The wines have gotten more gently extracted and more refined as the years have gone by, and the 2011 vintage chez Burguet is a superb success.” - John Gilman

“The 2011 old vine cuvée of Mes Favorites is outstanding this year, delivering exceptional focus and minerality on both the nose and palate. The deep and very classy bouquet wafts from the glass in a sappy mix of red plums, cherries, a touch of blood orange, raw cocoa, black minerality, Gevrey spice tones and a very discreet base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and beautifully focused, with a sappy core of fruit, moderate tannins, tangy acids and a very long, poised and extremely elegant finish. This has been for many, many years a wine of top premier cru quality and the 2011 is another in a long line of successes. 2019-2040.” 92+ John Gilman

Alain Burguet is an uncompromising perfectionist, driven to grow the very best grapes and to make Gevrey Chambertin wines that are some of the very best of that celebrated village. From his Bourgogne les Pince Vin to the Chambertin Clos de Beze, they are classic Burgundian "vins de garde." Domaine Alain Burguet is a relatively new domaine by Burgundian standards, dating back to the horrid 1975 vintage when Alain took over a 2.10 hectare estate in Gevrey via sharecopping agreeement with the elderly owner. It was a bad year to start, but in the 1976 vintage he got it right and ever since has been making wines that surpass their appellations and the best efforts of most of his neighbors.  From the beginning he has farmed organically, fermentations are with wild yeasts and there is minimal use of SO2.  You will find Alain's wines on the winelists of the finest restaurants in the world including virtually every three star in France!   The concentration, definition and sense of place in these wines is undeniable. These are some of the best wines in all of Burgundy. - Chambers St. Wines, NYC



Domaine Naudin-Ferrand

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Claire Naudin-Ferrand is a winemaker who refuses to be categorised. Like many winemakers we represent, she works organically but is not certified. She believes the organic accreditation can lead to a standardisation of wine, something she is keen to avoid. She avoids chemicals in the vineyard, not only because they affect soil quality in the long-term, but because she feels they are detrimental to the health of vineyard workers. She is highly sensitive to sulphur so she has sought to minimise its use, producing a line of naturally fermented wines which see a very small addition only at bottling. She argues with AOC authorities, feeling that some of the rules are detrimental to the quality of soil in the Côte d’Or and, ultimately, to the quality of wine.

Although the estate has been in the family for generations, Claire felt it important to do make her own path growing up, and after studying geology and agronomy she travelled to Australia and New Zealand before returning home to take over from her father. She uses natural yeasts, as opposed to cultured ones, and the cellar is gravity-fed, meaning grapes are not damaged before the ferment. No filtration or fining is carried out, as she prefers to rack the wine a few extra times before bottling, yielding fewer traces of additives and a more natural wine. In a region with ever rising prices, Claire offers excellent quality Burgundies at a refreshingly reasonable cost.



Domaine Servin

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Domaine Servin produces unparalleled wines from their 35 hectares, including some of the finest vineyards in the commune of Chablis, particularly the four 1er Crus of Montée de Tonnerre, Vaillons, Vaillons, Forestry and Butteaux; and its four Grand Cru Chablis with The Preuses, Bougros, Blanchot and Les Clos.Taking advantage of these unique microclimates, Servin consistently creates some of the finest cold-climate Chardonnay in the world. Traditional winemaking is an important hallmark of the wines of Domaine Servin. Some and the finest, as is tradition, are vinified in oak barrels to enhance their intrinsic character, while those destined for earlier drinking are fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain their freshness and finesse on the palate. The wines of Servin are regularly selected in major competitions (Hachette, Review Vins de France ...), and lauded by some of the most recognized wine journalists (Tanzer, Meadows, Parker, ...). This is the true essence of Chablis!



R&L Legras

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Richard Juhlin, who is the leading authority on Champagne, says that "R&L Legras supplies many of Europe’s 3 star Michelin restaurants with their house Champagne. This house must be counted as one of the most important Champagne producers in all of Champagne!” 

This is a very serious house for every collector. Intense, mineral nuances combined with brioche, green apples and Anjou pear. Great acidity with an aftertaste that goes on and on. A true delight!



Guy Charlemagne

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"Directly beside one of the greatest houses in Champagne Salon in Le Mesnil sur Ogier is Guy Charlemagne. Average age of the vines is an impressive 65-85 years. They use small oak barrels with half the wine going through malolactic fermentation and half with the mololactic intact. The Mesnillesime is truly awe inspiring. Intense, elegant and reminiscent of a great Puligny Montrachet 1er cru. 

This is a monumental vintage Champagne and although rare should be on every collectors list. Do not miss the 2002!"



David Leclapart

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David Leclapart is a biodynamic artist who works according to the Selosse method and teachings. His conviction that loving handling always pays is difficult to refute after encountering and tasting the masterpieces he creates in harmony with nature. His Champagnes are truly of another dimension and quality level. Richard Juhlin ranked David’s  L’Apotre as one of the top 100 Champagnes in the last 100 years. The only Champagne of a recent vintage to make it on this honour role! “It is a labour of love to follow David’s journey to the top. I wonder if anyone in Champagne made better wines in 2003 and 2004! 


Jacquesson Et Fils

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Jacquesson, which was founded in 1798, was one of the very first Champagne houses. Today the prestigious firm is run by the Chiquet brothers, Laurent and Jean Herve. Their focused dedication is bases on one thing: creating the highest quality Champagnes that can be made. Their reputation as one of the top producers in all of Champagne is second to none. When I visited with Jean Herve last year we tasted the full range of Champagnes. I was blown away by the purity, depth of concentration and overall elegance and balance that each wine showed. If you are a real Champagne lover then you will not want to miss these extraordinary Champagnes.



Georges Laval

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According to Peter Liem, who is the source for who is hot in Champagne, “Georges Laval is the best Champagne house you have never heard of. It’s the sort of Champagne house that when you taste it you want to keep it all to yourself”. The tiny estate of Georges Laval remains unknown to many Champagne lovers, but it must surely be counted as one of Champagne’s finest growers.

The estate is only 2 hectares and Vincent Laval produces a mere 10,000 bottles of premieur cru Champagne, characterized by organic farming, very low yields, ripe fruit and vinification in barrels. There is a remarkable purity and pronounced vinosity and depth to Laval’s Champagnes. He releases his wines when they are relatively young and so older vintages in the market place are so rare that they are practically non existent. 



Bereche Et Fils

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One of Champagne’s rising stars, the 26 year-old Raphaël Bérèche  has been working alongside his father Jean-Pierre at their nine-hectare estate of Bérèche et Fils since 2004, and today he is putting an increasingly personal stamp on this artisanaly run domain.  

The Bérèche estate owns vines in three different sectors of Champagne: the area around Ludes and Craon de Ludes; the eastern Montagne de Reims, around Trépail; and Mareuil-le-Port, on the left bank of the Vallée de la Marne. The vineyards are planted with roughly equal parts of the three varieties, and increasing attention is being paid to natural viticulture—Bérèche completely stopped using chemical herbicides in 2004 and has planted cover crops in all of the vineyards, and since 2007 a portion of the vineyard is being converted to biodynamics. 

Vinification tends towards the traditional: parcels are vinified separately, with natural yeasts used for smaller tanks and selected yeasts for larger ones. The malolactic is systematically avoided, and the wines are bottled around May, without filtration and with only a natural cold-settling, achieved by opening all of the cellar’s windows and waiting for three days. Disgorging is still done all by hand. 

Recently the Bérèches have begun to work more with cork for the second fermentation, believing that it results in a wine of more character and complexity. Today, their  cuvée, the Reflet d’Antan, is bottled with cork for the second fermentation, as are the new cuvées of Instant and Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche.



Champagne Laherte

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When I was in Champagne late last year visiting Raphael Bereche he happily suggested that I pay a visit to his friend Aurelien Laherte who in Raphael’s opinion is producing some of the most unique mineral and terroir driven wines in the region. Needless to say this turned out to be one of the best recommendations of the entire trip!

The Laherte family has deep roots in the village of Chavot, located in the Valee de la Marne and the Cotes des Blanc. This means that Aurelien is quite fortunate enough to be working with some of the finest terroirs, old vines planted by his grandfather, and lesser known rarer heirloom varieties. He brings to this a dedication to vineyard work(some of the land is farmed biodynamic and the rest is organic).and a thoughtful approach to the cellar as well. The results are quite impressive indeed. Most of his small production is made into two cuvees:the non-vintage Brut Tradition and the Blanc de Blanc. Both are great examples of a drier, racier style of Champagne, and will benefit from some bottle aging. In contrast, the recent Les Empreintes was amazingly fruity showing a great deal of minerality, elegance and focus reflecting the character of the 2007 vintage which it is bases on. On the more esoteric side, I really enjoyed the stunning Les Clos, a blend of 7 varieties from the 2008 harvest. Certainly these are Champagnes to search for and are absolute musts for the collector and lover of grower Champagnes.



Champagne Agrapart

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One of the most beautiful vineyard sites in all of the Cotes de Blancs is today passionately tended by Pascal Agrapart. Pascal’s Champagnes are very Burgundian in approach and this is not surprising when you consider the clay and limestone soils as well as the family’s approach to making some of Champagne’s most focused and energetic wines in all of the region. Established by Pascal’s grandfather at the end of the 19th century the estate has some of the most coveted vineyards without exception. Pascal is a purist, plain and simple. His wines are mineral driven expressions of the terroir itself and one glass of any of his cuvees will confirm his position as a rising star in Champagne!


Cedric Bouchard

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Cedric Bouchard is one of Champagnes rising stars. In a revolutionary approach for Champagne, Bouchard creates unique wines with great character, drawing inspiration from the top Burgundy producers, as well as contemporaries in Champagne. Each cuvee is made from a single vineyard, single variety and single vintage, and is closer to Burgundy in character than Champagne – small, fine bubbles, bottles at lower pressure with no dosage, rich full flavors expressing the terroir of each plot.


Ulysse Collin

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Olivier Collin’s estate is practically in the middle of nowhere, but it is well worth a visit. Collin crafts beguiling, totally fascinating Champagnes from his tiny facility in the town of Congy. The wines are fermented and aged in barrel (with some less stirring) and bottled without fining or filtration. This year Collin has a new wine, the Chardonnay Les Roises, from fruit that was previously sold to the negoce. These remain some of the most unique and thrilling wines being made in Champagne. There is little question Collin’s wines are now on the same level as those of his mentor, Anselme Selosse. 


Marie Courtin

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Champagne Marie Courtin is located in the village of Polisot in the Côte des Bars, in the southern part of the Champagne region. With its slightly warmer temperatures, this area is particularly prized for its Pinot Noir grapes. Combined with the Kimmeridgian limestone sub soils, the champagnes retain a freshness similar to Chablis, which is actually closer to Polisot than Reims! In fact, many of the Grand Marques source their Pinot Noir from the Côte des Bars because of this unique combination of texture and delineation that the sub-zone provides.

Dominique Moreau created the estate in 2005 with a vision to produce a series of single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from Biodynamically-grown grapes that are farmed and elaborated with meticulous care. This philosophy is in stark contrast with the predominant mindset in Champagne, which is all about blending grapes, vineyards and vintages (for a consistent product), and with a tendency towards very high yields and full-on chemical treatments.

Dominique named her estate after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, whom she describes as a “woman of the earth.” Most of her wines come from a hillside vineyard of 40-45 year old, massale-selection Pinot Noir in Polisot (located the next town over from Celles-sur-Ource, where Cédric Bouchard lives and works). The combination of low yields, clay-limestone soils (with bands of Kimmeridgian) and an east/southeast exposure gives the wines both power and cut, with an intense brininess and minerality at their core.



Diebolt Vallois

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The champagne house Diebolt-Vallois is located in Cramant, a village in the "Côte des Blancs," whose chalky soil is the perfect home for chardonnay vines. It is certainly one of the finest terroirs in the Champagne region and is the realm of "blanc de blancs" champagnes (champagnes made from white grapes - chardonnay). Diebolt-Vallois champagnes are the result of family endeavour: 

Jacques Diebolt and Nadia Vallois are helped by their two children, Arnaud and Isabelle, who take an ever increasingly active part in the running of the estate. The Diebolt family has lived in Cramant since the end of the 19th century, and the Vallois family has been cultivating vines in Cuis since the 15th Century. Although Jacques Diebolt started working with his grandfather, it was not until 1978 that the estate underwent a real shift with the extension of the estate and the construction first of all of cellars, and then a winery. 

Diebolt Vallois producers several wines, but Fleur de Passion is the jewel in their range. It is only made in the best years and made exclusively in barrel, following the major vinification principles first laid down by Jacques Diebolt and his grandfarther in 1953. Fleur de Passion is a precious and delicate champagne, with complexity, intensity of fruit and mineral notes, with a long finish. 



RH Coutier

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Champagne R. H. Coutier is located in the grand cru village of Ambonnay, one of the top wine-producing towns on the Montagne de Reims. The Coutier family has been in the village of Ambonnay since 1619, with the current head of the family estate René Coutier. The Coutiers own nine hectares of vineyards in Ambonnay, and interestingly, although Ambonnay is generally regarded as pinot noir country, the Coutiers’ vineyards are planted with one-third chardonnay and two-thirds pinot noir. The vineyards on the Montagne de Reims shift exposure as one arrives in the village of Ambonnay, facing due south and producing a rather warmer microclimate for the grapes. There is also a bit more clay and a bit less limestone in the soils of Ambonnay than is typical throughout the region, which tends to produce more sumptuous styles in the wines, such as Coutier’s, that rely solely on Ambonnay fruit. Production is minimal at only producing 25,000 bottles in any given year. The Coutier house style is accentuated by René’s vinification and cellar techniques that seek to marry the traditional richness of Ambonnay fruit with the racy and pure style that René cherishes. The Champagne house of R. H. Coutier is one of the finest in Ambonnay, and is a wonderful introduction to the magic of grand cru bubbly in the heart of the Montagne de Reims.


Champagne Larmandier-Bernier

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One of the true gems in Champagne, Larmandier-Bernier is a small grower estate with fifteen biodynamically farmed hectares in Grand Cru & Premier Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs. Both the Larmandier and Bernier families have had a long history in the Champagne region, dating back to the French revolution, but it was not until the marriage of Philippe Larmandier and Elisabeth Bernier in 1971 that Champagne Larmandier-Bernier was officially established. The small house today is directed by Pierre and Sophie Larmandier, who took over the direction of the family estate in 1988. In 1992, Pierre began to convert the vineyards over to organic and then to full-blown biodynamic viticulture in 1999.

Ever the purists, Larmandier-Bernier utilize only indigenous yeasts, separate vinification for each cru, and little to no dosage for an unadulterated expression of terroir in their wines. The wines are vinified in small and big Austrian oak barrels, depending on each cru and each vintage. Blending is generally done in the summer following harvest, and it is at this time that the Larmandiers decide whether or not their single vineyard bottlings will be produced.



Philippe Bornard

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Philippe Bornard inherited old vineyards in the village of Pupillin near Arbois and the Swiss border from his father, who previously sold to co-ops. His mentor and Arbois icon Pierre Overnoy eventually convinced Philippe to make his own wine, and now, with over 27 years of experience, he biodynamically farms nearly 6 hectares in two appellations: Côtes du Jura and Arbois-Pupillin. The grapes are grown at high altitudes, on limestone and clay soils, allowing a slow ripening. The resulting wines beautifully reflect the terroir of the Jura and we are thrilled to have secured a tiny allocation for the Ontario market.



Domaine des Roches Neuves - Thierry Germain

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Thierry Germain was named 2011 “Meilleur vigneron de France” by the Revue de Vines de France and his Domaine de Roches Neuves was recently elevated to 3 stars, one of only two in the Loire valley. His biodynamically grown Saumur-Champigny and Saumur Blanc represent some of the greatest examples of Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc in the world and we are thrilled to be bringing these iconic wines to Ontario for the first time.



Domaine de Belliviere

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Located north of Tours in the northernmost part of the Loire valley, Eric Nicolas, and his wife Christine, have risen to prominence in the little known area of Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir. The 13 hectare estate, farmed Biodynamically since 2008, is spread across 16 parcels planted to Chenin Blanc and Pineau d’Aunis (aka Chenin Noir). Many of the vines are very old (some up to 100 years) and replanting is done using massalle selection at a very high density (13,000 vines per hectare). The harvest is entirely manual and yields are very low. This fundamental vineyard work has enabled Eric to build a natural resistance to pests and diseases that is continually improving. Soils are primarily flinty clays over tuffeaux (limestone), allowing the Chenin to express finesse, elegance and aromatic richness. All wines are fermented naturally by indigenous yeasts. White wines are fermented in 1-3 year old barrels and aged on their lees until bottling in September (sometimes up to 18 months when the potential of the vintage is high). Red wine vinification takes place in open vats which allow the cap to be pushed back down into the fermenting must. Malolactic fermentation occurs in one to two year old barrels followed by an additional 18 months of age before being racked and bottled unfiltered. The resulting wine is spicy and has a tension of bright and juicy red fruits with a remarkable density and creaminess on the palate, expressing the subtlety and aromatic finesse of the Pineau d’Aunis grape.




Domaine Guiberteau

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We have been after the wines of Guiberteau for some time now, and are excited to be offering these stunning examples of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc in Ontario for the first time. Having given up a career in law, Romain Guiberteau has transformed and elevated his family estate, virtually overnight, from a humble co-op supplier  into one of France’s most sought after names. Guiberteau is a protege and follower of Clos Rougeard's Foucault Brothers, who brought the Brézé terroir to fame through their iconic white of the same name. Romain, the third generation at Guiberteau, has converted the estate to organic viticulture, and quickly become one of the region's most well regarded producers of both textured and refined Cabernet Franc and regally electric, fleshy, mineral-laden Chenin Blanc. The estate’s vineyards, 10ha of which date back to the 1940’s, are rooted in the limestone tuffeau of Brézé (Saumur); a terroir which speaks with clarity and yields wines of great elegance that are nonetheless built for aging. Romain Guiberteau’s wines reflect not only his dedication to this place but also a perfectionism shared in common with only the few great growers and winemakers.


If you have never encountered a Chenin Blanc from Guiberteau, the first taste is unforgettable, incorporating perhaps the best elements of great white Burgundy and German Riesling; elegant and mineral, with richness and layers of flavour supported by a backbone of laser-like acidity. These are profound, deeply complex, noble Chenins that offer tremendous value and serious aging potential. The hill of Brézé has long been known as a Loire ‘Grand Cru’ and is now taking it’s place alongside the world’s great terroirs amongst those in the know. With its clay-rich limestone soils, Brézé delivers an incredible finesse and length with a smoky, chalky mineral spine that is animated by ripe citrus, honey and delicate exotic notes. This is a wine of beautiful lift and elegance that can benefit from a decade or more in the cellar. The Clos de Guichaux is a walled monopole adjacent to Brézé and offers up a bit more orchard fruit and spice than Brézé, all wrapped around that chalky core of minerality.


While Guiberteau’s whites have become his calling card, his touch is not limited to Chenin; his Cabernet Francs are equalled or surpassed only by the legendary Rougeard and our own Thierry Germain. The Rougeard influence is most clearly felt not only in the Brézé whites,  but also in Romain's richly-fruited single-site red, Les Motelles which comes from super-low yields on gravel and sand over limestone. There's a silky texture, a beautiful sense of refinement and a very precise combination of dark reds fruits, minerals and spice.


Also, do not overlook the two ‘entry level’ Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc cuvees. The Rouge comes from 50-80 year old vines and vinified in concrete, is pure and seductive. The Blanc is sourced from 2ha of Chenin grown on limestone-rich soils within Brézé itself and is fresh, taut and textured.


Domaine des Aubuisieres - Bernard Fouquet

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Bernard Fouquet, a soft-spoken man, is making some of the most serious Vouvray you'll find these days. He is regarded in France and the international press as one of the top Vouvray producers. No one succeeds better than Bernard in capturing the mineral tones unique to Vouvray’s soil.

He oversees 26 hectares of Chenin Blanc vineyards, handed down from one generation to the next, planted on the best clay/limestone soils in Vouvray – Le Marigny, Le Bouchet, Le Plan de Jean and Le Clos de l’Auberdiere. He works with a lutte raisonnee philosophy, using treatments only when necessary. Bernard is a strong proponent of terroir and with these wonderful flinty soils, his Cuvee de Silex exhibits a pure and linear character on the nose, fine and convincing. A great style on the palate, vibrant acidity, lovely fleshy texture, minerally and honeyed, and yet very much in the sec arena in terms of perception of sugar on the palate. This is complete, broad, vigorous and concentrated, with a great and vivacious finish.

“For some time now, Bernard Fouquet has been moving the quality of his distinctive, largely stainless steel-rendered Vouvrays into the exalted echelon of Foreau and Huet, which is to say challenging any of the world’s finest practitioners of white wine, and at an absolutely unbeatable price:quality ratio. His latest results all but confirm his arrival.” Robert Parker –  The Wine Advocate.



La Ferme de la Sansonniere - Mark Angeli

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Marc Angeli of La Ferme de la Sansonnière is a gifted winemaker and passionate exponent of natural wine production. Indeed, his disdain for the French government's attitude to wine regulation is such that he has declassified his entire output as 'Produit de France'. His wine labels don't help give much sense of geography either as they state Marc's address as being Thouarcé - 'queleque part en France'.

In fact this celebrated estate lies some 20 kilometres due south of Angers, in the heart of Anjou. The problem isn’t finding Marc on the map, it is persuading him to give us an allocation – yields here are low and there is strong demand for his tiny production around the globe.

Marc and his wife Christine arrived at Domaine de la Sansonnière in 1990 having moved from Aix-en-Provence. He studied stonemasonry but was always interested in winemaking. He trained in Sauternes and began farming his 12-hectare estate biodynamically after his friendship with Nicolas Joly blossomed.

Although Marc’s vine holdings lie firmly within the appellation boundaries of Anjou, he has decided to demote all of his wines to humble ‘Vin de Table’ status in protest against the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine’s failure to reduce the use of pesticides and decrease permitted grape yields.

The Angelis try to be as self-sufficient as possible, and 4 hectares of their estate are given to non-wine crops - with a small herd of cows for compost, meat and milk for cheese, bees for honey and a vegetable patch.



Domaine Olga Raffault

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The late Olga Raffault is a legend in the Loire Valley. She not only championed organic farming and sustainability long before her contemporaries, but her Cab Francs are also consistently delicious. Olga died a few years ago, but the estate continues with the next generation: her granddaughter Sylvie and her husband, Eric de la Vigerie, who is now the winemaker.

The estate has terrific plots of land in the Savigny-en-Véron district hard by the Vienne riverbanks. The ‘les Picasses’ vineyard stands out from the rest: old vines of 50-ish years on a fairly steep slope from the riverbank that is alluvial clay with a chalk limestone base. The fruit is particularly expressive of dark fruits of cassis and dark cherries with a terrific mineral content and good acidity for structure.

The winemaking is most traditional at this estate. The grapes are handpicked (of course) and fermented in stainless steel; the wines are then aged in larger, neutral oak and sometimes chestnut, which is a traditional barrel wood in the region. The ‘Picasses’ spends 2-3 years in oak to reduce the wine and soften the tannins, and is usually released about 4 years after the vintage.

Raffault’s ‘les Picasses’ often has a light garnet color belying the depth of fruit flavor and complexity. Its style is rustic and quite earthy, with hints of orange zest and deep, dark cherry flavor. The tannins are soft, but present, and the mineral complexity in the finish is superb.



Domaine Garon

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Domaine Garon is a rising star in Côte-Rôtie often compared with wines from Rostaing, Barge and Guigal "La La's," but at a significantly lower price-point.The Garon's plantings began on abandoned vineyard land in 1982, "It wasn't bad for the vineyards to rest a hundred years between plantings" observes Jean-Francois Garon. Grapes were first sold to Guigal, and the first wine, "Les Triotes," on schist soils in the Côte Blonde, was made in 1995. "Les Rochins" was first produced in 2003 and a third cuvée, "La Sybarine," from granite soils in the southern sector was added in 2009. The family, Jean-Francois and Carmen Garon with their sons Kevin and Fabien, are known for the careful work in their four-plus hectares of vineyards. Weeding is by hand, treatments are minimized and the key to their winemaking is the quality of the fruit. They do not seek extraction, but rather strive for a more Burgundian style of Côte-Rôtie. The grapes are partially de-stemmed depending on the vintage and although there is new oak used for the two top cuvées, the wines are firmly in the "clear fruit style" and offer delicious evidence that genuine Côte-Rôtie is "alive and well."



Domaine Natacha Chave

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Rated among Wine Spectator’s top 100 producers in 2013, Natacha Chave is quickly carving out a place for herself in the aristocracy of the Northern Rhône. After finishing her Master’s degree in philosophy, she returned to her family’s trade and began to make wine, in the region she loved most. Beginning with St Joseph in 2004, she later bought a parcel in Crozes Hermitage in 2007 from which she now makes her spectacular wines. Natacha’s Crozes-Hermitage is at once concentrated and balanced. Rich dark fruit is tempered by black pepper, and a complementing acidity. Layers of black raspberry, garrigue, and cassis, lead to firm, ripe tannins on the finish.


Hervé & Beatrice Souhaut

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Hervé, a former chemist and a protege of natural wine icons Marcel Lapierre and Philippe Pacalet, created Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet in 1993 with his wife Beatrice, from her family’s old vineyards which has previously been leased out. With an eye towards crafting pure, focused expressions of northern Rhone terroir, together they now produce barely 4000 cases annually from these tiny holdings, which include ancient vines 50-100 years old, as well as new plantings from massale selections. They farm on granitic schist soils directly opposite the Hermitage hills, using organic and biodynamic techniques, then vinify as naturally as possible, with minimal intervention, using only whole clusters, semi-carbonic maceration, very little oak and very little added sulphur. 

His philosophy is to extract a delicate balance of tannins, to make a wine with subtlety and finesse. This style stands in contrast to many of the storied wines of the Northern Rhone, that are often much more extracted and tannic, practically undrinkable in youth, demanding years of bottle age to soften and open. Hervé prefers to make wines that are drinkable immediately, and yet they still have incredible potential to evolve with time into some of the most spectacular natural wines in existence. Purity and delicacy are hallmarks across the range, from the mineral mountain Gamay and the pretty Ardèche Syrah to the more intense Saint-Josephs and the Romaneaux-Destezet blend of Roussanne and Viognier which sees extended maceration on the skins. We are thrilled to be offering these distinctive, expressive wines in Ontario for the first time!



Germany

Enderle & Moll

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Sven Enderle and Florian Moll are two Pinot Noir fanatics whose estate in Münchweier, Baden consists of 1.8 hectares of older vines between 25 and 45 years of age.  Sven and Florian farm organically and are heading towards biodynamic practices. In the cellar they are very hands off and like many great producers feel that wine is made in the vineyard. These are some of the most amazing and interesting Pinots coming out of Germany and hold their own with the best in the world. Enderle & Moll have attained full cult status and their reputation is only growing. The wines themselves are structured and juicy with lots of depth and cooling blue and red fruits, as well as savoury notes, and most importantly great acid that gives these complex wines amazing verve and freshness. Stunning!



Fritz Haag

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The winery of the Haag Family in Brauneberg has long been counted amongst the very best of the region. Oliver Haag, who took over from his father Wilhelm some years ago, continues to produce wines of finesse and elegance. Not simply renowned for their Auslesen and sweet wines, Fritz Haag has also earned a reputation for producing dry wines with elegant fruit profiles, combined with minerality and acidity indicative of the best wines of the Mosel Valley. Beyond the dry wines, Haag’s Feinherb and sweet Rieslings showcase sweet fruit aromas and an animated quality, full of life and flavor. Groupe Soleil is delighted to bring in some of these wines, which continue to set the bar for Riesling the world over. 




Weingut Dönnhoff

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The Dönnhoff family first came to the Nahe region of Germany over 200 years ago, and after establishing a modest farm slowly evolved into a full-fledged wine estate. Helmut Dönnhoff has been making the wine since 1971, and now his son Cornelius works alongside him in the winery and in their 25 hectares of Erste Lage, or Grand Cru vineyards. Their holdings represent not simply some of the best in the Nahe but all of Germany.  Oberhäuser Leistenberg, the oldest vineyard held by the family, has slate soils and produces fruity wines with elegant acidity. The Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg is a very old site with porphyry soil. Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, perhaps the most famous of all the Nahe vineyards, is a slate vineyard with many conglomerates of volcanic rocks, mostly porphyry and melaphyr. The Oberhäuser Brücke, the smallest vineyard in the Nahe, is a tiny parcel saddled on the Nahe River that Dönnhoff owns in entirety.  The Brücke has grey slate covered by loess-clay and  the vines ripen even later here than in the Hermannshöhle due to large diurnal temperature swings along the river. The Norheimer Dellchen is a steep terraced vineyard in a rocky hollow with porphyry and slate soil.  Norheimer Kirscheck sits on a steep south slope of slate soil and produces delicately fruity wines with spice and race.  The Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl vineyard has perfect drainage due its topsoil of pebbles over loam soil; characteristic are wines with a mineralic elegance.  Due to the water table that flows beneath the vineyard’s soil the Krötenpfhul has always been farmed organically, even before it was held by Dönnhoff. 

Although the Nahe is a dry region, Dönnhoff does not water their vineyards as to encourage deep-rooted vines. The soil is covered with organic material like straw and compost to preserve water and to avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains. The vines are all grown on wire frames, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, and at a density of approx. 6000 vines per hectare. The Riesling vines are old clones sourced from the sites in Niederhausen and Schloßböckelheim. 

Grapes are always picked by hand at Dönnhoff over 2-3 passes through each vineyard. To preserve laser-like focus and clarity in the wines, the grapes are pressed as soon as possible – within 3 hours of picking. Wines are fermented in traditional German casks (1200 L stuck and 2400 L doppelstuck) as well as stainless steel with spontaneous fermentations.  Donnhoff’s cellar is unique in its capacity to hold all of its production entirely in stainless steel or in cask, allowing for the ideal elevage for any wine at any point during a vintage. 



Italy

Cantine Agriverde

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We discovered Agriverde while at a show in Abruzzo and were blown away by the purity of expression in their wines, particularly of their whites. Groupe Soleil is pleased to be able to offer these beautiful, great value mineral driven wines. Nestled between Adriatic Sea and the Mount Maiella near the town of Chieti Agriverde boasts a fully organic operation. This modern winery offers amazing value and character from a region usually associated with bulk juice.



Cantine Lonardo/Contrade di Taurasi

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Founded in 1998, this tiny producer of Aglianico and Grecomus’ from 100 year old vines, is fast becoming the talk of the town for their amazingly concentrated and elegant wines. It was really 2007 when they came into their own with a series of outstanding and age worthy Taurasi and since then, they have gone from strength to strength. Also known as Cantine Lonardo for the family that owns the vineyards and cellar just outside the town of Taurasi, this is one of the area’s most outstanding producers, making their Taurasi in an ultra-traditional style, maturing the wines in large casks. Farming only 5 ha in the region of Taurasi, the Lonardo family strives to work organically, fermenting their wines in old wood and sometimes only with indigenous yeasts. 


Benito Ferrara

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The Ferrara’s make tiny amounts of Greco di Tufo from 3ha in San Paolo di Tufo, an area they have grown grapes in since 1880. Tufo has long been dominated by large estates who buy all available quality fruit; total production from small estates numbers less than 2000 cases. Ferrara’s vines are planted on steep slopes at 450-600 meters; hand-harvesting is a must and the volcanic soils are rife with chunks of yellow sulphur, which enhances the aromatic character of Greco di Tufo. The reserve bottling, “Vigna Cicogna”, is an astonishingly deep golden hue, with rich tropical fruits on the nose and a textured, persistent palate made effortless by nervy acidity.


Domenico Clerico

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Still heralded as one of the pre-eminent modernists of the Langhe, Domenico Clerico bottled his first Barolo in 1979 and from there created an unsurpassed elegant and long-lived style, based on attention to detail. Despite criticism from some of his more traditionalist neighbours, Clerico believes that restrained use of new oak can round out Barolo’s harsh edges and enhance the flavour profile. It is hard to argue with the results. Meticulousness in both the vineyard and winery are hallmarks of the Clerico wines, which are consistently nuanced, precisely terroir-focused and ageable. Truly some of the most amazing Baroli being made today.



Elio Altare

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One of the great legendary winemakers of Piemonte, Altare wines, especially their Barolo, are some of the purest expressions of terroir, power and finesse. Amongst the original modernist pioneers of the Langhe, Elio Altare forged a unique style, combining classic Barolo with shorter maceration times and subtle uses of barrique. Creating wines from legendary vineyards, such as Arborina, Larigi and Brunate, each wine and vintage is unique and pure. Since the original vintages, these wines have acquired pure cult status. Simply amazing and very limited!



Elio Grasso

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Elio Grasso is one of the true masters of the Langhe and has become a household name for Barolo lovers. Along with his son Gianluca, Grasso farms 35 acres of vineyards in a hamlet of Montforte d’Alba on the beautiful Gavarini hillside. While Grasso produces some of the finest Barolo coming out of Piedmont today, he prefers to think of himself as a grape grower, for he invariably seeks to bottle the true expression of the grapes in his vineyards.



Azienda G.D. Vajra

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Aldo and Milena Vajra are amongst the elite of Piedmont’s growers, but they prefer to let their wines speak for them, shying away from bravado and public spectacle. Vintage after vintage, the estate continues to focus on excellence throughout their entire range. Steeped in tradition the Vajra’s let their Nebbiolo ferment for up to 40 days and typically age their Barolo in large Slavonian oak. The wines are structured, elegant and bursting with flavor, even in their youth. In particular, the Albe offers what few other Baroli in its price category can. These are world class wines that over perform and often outclass wines twice their price.



La Ca Nova

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We discovered this awesome Barbaresco house at Vinitaly and it amazed us with its pure fruit, intense concentration and long exuberant finish. There is something magical about the wines of La Ca Nova, run by three brothers Pietro, Giulio and Franco, who year after year capture the finest elements of the grapes from their 13 hectares to create wines that harness its purest varietal elements. Perhaps one of the most admirable qualities of these wines is that they manage to provide the quality and structure that one expects from a Barbaresco, but with a younger, more easily approach profile. Value for money, these are real gems, produced in only a limited amounts.



Paitin

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Paitin dates back to 1796 when Benedetto Elia purchased the farmstead with an outlying wine cellar and vineyards from Luigi Pellissero. Benedetto’s son Giuseppe extended later vineyards and acquired the underground cellar, which dated back to XV century. The first bottle of Barbaresco del Sori Paitin was produced in 1898 and Sori Paitin has been exporting wine ever since.Today Secondo Pasquero works in the cellar together with his sons Giovanni and Silvano, who also opened a farmhouse in 1997. From their 17 hectares of vines, Paitin produces some breathtaking traditional Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto and Arneis. The Barbaresci are characterized by their depth of fruit and amazing ageing potential. All Paitin wines, from their Dolcetto to their Riserva Barbaresco are spectacularly well crafted and offer some of the greatest value in the Langhe.



Azienda Agricola Cigliuti

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The winery has belonged to the Cigliuti family for four generations, but it was not until 1964 that Renato decided to bottle wines at the estate rather than sell grapes and unbottled wine on the local market. Having grown up in the tradition of the region, he had always believed that the local Langhe soil was capable of producing high quality, long-lasting wines. He thus began to thin the grapes in his vineyards, a technique practised by only a handful of producers at the time. Despite the poor economy, Renato was convinced that this was the only way to create quality-driven wines. In 1964 he released his first 300 bottles of Barbaresco. And in 1970 Renato bottled his first Cru Barbaresco, Serraboella, as the first producer to use the name Serraboella on a label in the 1970s. For 30 years he was he only producer here to give his Barbaresco the name of the cru. Until just a few years ago, in fact, Serraboella was a synonym for Cigliuti, a testament to the enduring mark this winery has left on the region.

Today Cigliuti is very much a family-run company: Renato, his wife Dina and their daughters Claudia and Silvia, who oversee production from the beginning to the end of the process.  They spend most of their time in the vineyards because, in their opinion, it is precisely the vineyards that can give life to great wines with a personality all of their own— wines capable of capturing the characteristics of a vintage and the identity of a terroir.

Work in the cellar is kept to a bare minimum and the wines are left to follow their own natural course. Only native yeasts are used, and grapes ferment in steel vats at a controlled temperature. All the wines are aged in wood, save for the Dolcetto which stays in steel vats through to bottling.



Francesco Rinaldi & Figli

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The great traditionalist estate of Francesco Rinaldi & Figli is one of the greatest names in Piedmont. Located in the town of Barolo itself, the winery of Francesco Rinaldi has a long and illustrious history in the region. It was founded in 1870, when Francesco Rinaldi inherited a vineyard and house in Barolo, inducing him to leave behind his work with the very large Mirafiore estate and set out on his own. His family at that time also had ties to the then greatest estate in the Barolo region, Barale-Rinaldi. Along with his cousin Giuseppe Rinaldi, these two superb family wineries have grown side by side, both upholding the unique, traditional style of Barolo.

One hundred and thirty years after its creation, much of the same techniques are still used in the Francesco Rinaldi cellars to produce some of Barolo’s greatest wines. The estate is now run by Luciano Rinaldi’s niece, Paola Rinaldi, who, with the help of her sister Piera, continue to make beautiful wines within the great traditions of Barolo, avoiding new oak, and preferring long macerations and aging in large Slavonian oak prior to bottling.

The two flagship bottlings at Francesco Rinaldi & Figli are the single cru Barolos, Brunate and Cannubio. Brunate (which lies on the border between La Morra and Barolo) and Cannubio (or Cannubi) are, without doubt, two of Barolo’s greatest vineyards. Wines from the Brunate vineyard are prized for their depth, fragrance and brilliant balance, while those of Cannubio are light and perfumed, and perform particularly well in rainy years, for the high sand content of this particular site allows for excellent drainage. It is, like Brunate, a grand cru in the truest sense.



G.B. Burlotto

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During his seventy-seven years as a winemaker (1850-1927), G.B. Burlotto’s accomplishments were rivaled only by those of Biondi-Santi and Vega Sicilia, as he achieved superstardom in a world dominated by French wines. Today, Burlotto has re-emerged as one of Piemonte’s great small producers, thanks to the brilliant and highly traditional winemaking of G.B.’s great-great-grandson, Fabio Alessandria.

He pioneered selling Barolo in bottle (not cask or demijohn), predating even Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Monfortino. And as official supplier to the Royal House of Savoy—which once ruled Piemonte—he not only achieved personal fame, he made his village of Verduno as renowned as Serralunga or La Morra.

G.B.’s death in 1927 not only took away Burlotto’s driving force, it also deprived Verduno of its greatest champion. And so both faded into obscurity in the decades that followed. But now, with G.B.’s great-great-grandson Fabio Alessandria as winemaker, Burlotto’s star is again rising, reclaiming its position as one of Piedmont’s great small producers.

“Burlotto's Barolo Monvigliero, the estate's flagship, is the wine that gets the most attention at this small, family-run property, but the other Barolos are just as deserving of serious attention… In keeping with family tradition, the Monvigliero is done with 100% whole clusters. The other Barolos are made along equally classic lines, but with fully destemmed fruit. The explosion of quality here over the last decade or so has been truly remarkable... Today, they are absolutely indispensable for anyone who loves all that Piedmont has to offer, from everyday Pelaverga and Dolcetto all the way up to the Cannubi and Monvigliero.”

From 2012 Barolo: Grace Under Pressure (Mar 2016) by Antonio Galloni, Vinous



Cascina degli Ulivi - Stefano Bellotti

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Cascina degli Ulivi produces wines from vineyards of around 16 hectares that have been worked using biodynamic methods since 1985. The estate has been in the Bellotti family since the 1930's and is now run by Stefano and his wife Zita. They are committed to the fundamental beliefs of biodynamism and run the estate as an organic farm and restaurant where practically everything served is organically raised. As Stefano puts it, "We consider that the soil is a ‘companion organism’ for everything that lives. In working our vines, we foster the potential harmony of all those forces that contribute to the flow of vitality (of the vine)". The hard work and dedication is immediately evident in the vineyards where Stefano’s parcels are adjacent to other producers of the area and form which the health of the vines is immediately apparent to the eye. Grapes are hand-picked, and only indigenous yeasts are used to ferment the wines. Use of oak is limited to large, successively-used barrels of traditional provenance, and any filtration is minimal.

Stefano bottled his first Semplicimente in 2008 as a result of his ongoing battles with the DOCG system. The Semplicimente Bianco is 100% cortese from Gavi vineyards, made partially in stainless steel and partially in large oak and acacia barrels. The Semplicimente Rosso is 70% Barbera and 30% Dolcetto from Gavi sites, mainly volcanic soils; the wine is matured in large oak barrels for only 6-8 months.

Filagnotti is Cortese from a particular site of the estate’s best vines, grown in red limestone clay. The wine is made in large oak and acacia barrels.



Tenuta Delle Terre Nere

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Likely the pre-eminent producer in the entire region, Tenuta Delle Terre Nere are masters of the Etna wine scene. Located in the northern slopes of the volcano, with vineyards between the village of Solicchiata and the town of Randazzo, the area is historically recognized as the finest in the appellation for fine red wines. The property consists of over 30 hectars, divided into 10 parcels in four crus. The majority of the vineyards are between 50 and 100 years old. Most astonishingly of all, they have one parcel that survived Phylloxera and is 130-140 years old. Tenuta Delle Terre Nere are prime examples of what love for the terroir and an understanding of modern technology and business can do for wine. From their entry level Etna Rosso and Bianco DOCs to their illustrious crus, these wines are gorgeous and suitable for some serious ageing.  


La Palazzetta

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La Palazzetta is a small family-run winery, with 18 hectares of vineyards, situated on the south-eastern edge of Montalcino in Castelnuovo dell'Abate. Cultivating his vineyards organically, Flavio Fanti is a traditionalist with a modern edge. While only utilizing large Slovenian and French oak for his Brunello, he uses various sized barrique for his Rosso to create a wine that is characteristic of Sangiovese Grosso, but incredibly approachable upon release. Flavio makes Brunelli that are big in structure, powerful and pure. Staying true to Tuscany, he favors Sangiovese while avoiding international varieties.



San Fabiano Calcinaia

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Located near the town of Castellina the San Fabiano winery is in the heart of the Chianti Classico DOCG. Created in 1983 by Guido Serio and his wife, the winery quickly grew and flourished. Today San Fabiano creates wines of structure and finesse, blending the traditional Sangiovese with Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The resulting wines are powerful and complex. These wines are massive, intense and very pure expressions of the terroir. This is true hedonism in a glass.



Tenuta di Petrolo

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Tucked away in the sleepy Val D’Arno, midway between Florence, Siena and Arezzo, the estate feels far from the tourist hordes but has a history of fine wine production which dates back centuries. In 1716, Cosimo III De Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany officially recognized Val d'Arno di Sopra among the top four areas in Tuscany for fine wine production. This was the first document in the world identifying particular territories for their valuable wine growing areas. It is interesting to note also that French varieties such as Merlot have been planted in this area for centuries. Tenuta di Petrolo represents the best of modern and traditional Tuscany simultaneously, producing wines which combine power, intensity and concentration with elegance, structure and balance, they are always expressive of where they come from, never international in style.



Merotto

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Merotto are true masters of Prosecco, wines with almost no relation to the typical insipid sparkling to which we have become accustomed. The winery is located on the hills of Col St. Martino, 50 miles north west of Venice on the road to the Dolomite Alps (Cortina d’Ampezzo). Today, the modern Merotto winery boasts over 100 years of experience and expertise in the cultivation and production of DOCG Prosecco Superiore by using selected grapes, mostly from the family vineyards, all located on Valdobbiadene DOCG area. Merotto’s Proseccos exemplify what can be done with the right terroir, small yields and a true passion for quality.


Viticoltori Ponte

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Grown in the gravelly soil on the banks of the River Piave, Ponte’s wines display freshness and purity that seems at odds with the most overly stylized modern wines. The Piave DOC, a favourable climate and the territory situated between the sea and the mountains, creates wines with strong territorial identity and typicality – lively fruit, crisp acidity and enough complexity to keep you coming back for more.



South Africa

Alheit Vineyards

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Learning his trade in the Mosel, Saint Emilion (at Chateau Angelus) and Napa Valley, Chris Alheit has long ago learned to develop his own style: low yields, old vines, minimal use of sulphur and ageing in used oak between 4 and 12 years. And the results are nothing short of magnificent. Neal Martin of eRoberParker.com described the 2011 Cartology as having “…a heavenly bouquet that blossoms from first opening: quince, wild honey, melted candle wax, a touch of almond developing with time and lemon curd. It offers brilliant delineation and gains complexity with time in the glass. The palate is succinctly balanced, fresh as a daisy, brimming with energy from its potent attack to its perfectly focused, mineral-laden finish.” And this is just the beginning! These wines are not to be missed and represent a real renaissance in South African winemaking. Made in very small quantities and highly allocated, both the Cartology and Radio Lazarus are gems and need to be tried!


Spain

Cellers Baronia del Montsant

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Cellers Baronia del Montsant was founded  in 1998 by partners Carlos Macías Gallego and winemaker Xavier Canals. Like many things in northern Spain, the  winery is a juxtoposition of the old and the new. It is a wholey  modern winery that produces cutting edge wines. At the same time, it’s based in a very old wine region, Monstant, and most of its wine is sourced from very old vineyards, with most vines dating back eighty years. Production is very small, about 80,000 bottles.


Bodegas Exopto

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Bodegas Exopto was founded in 2003 in La Rioja by Bordeaux native Tom Puyaubert. Exopto is taken from the Latin term for desire or longing. The 2013 Bozeto (sketch, outline) is a old vines blend of 50 per cent Garnacha, 40 per cent Tempranillo and 10 per cent Graciano. The Garnacha comes from a 60-year-old vines and is fermented and aged in concrete eggs to capture all of the bright, juicy fruit. The Tempranillo comes from the cooler Rioja Alta region and is fermented in 3+ year old French oak. The inclusion of Graciano brings further freshness, savouriness and spiciness. The 2013 Bozeto is a perfumed, lip-smacking, medium-bodied red of wonderful energy and clarity - think high-grown Côtes du Rhône or juicy ripe cru Beaujolais with perhaps more complexity. This wine is fermented by wild yeasts and bottled unfined and unfiltered; approximately 2000 cases are produced, quite remarkable at this low price point.


United States

Hirsch Vineyards

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Hirsch Vineyard has a pedigree that few other sites in California can match, a California Grand Cru if there ever were one. David Hirsch was a pioneer of the extreme Sonoma Coast, he planted his vineyard in 1979 when the area was considered too cold and foggy for grapes. His fruit was made famous through single vineyard bottlings from Williams-Selyem, Kistler, Littorai, Failla and many others. They began making their own wines in the early 2000's, and have led the movement towards a more balanced, finessed style of California pinot. Ross Cobb, formerly of Williams-Selyem and Flowers, is responsible for winemaking. The San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir is the signature wine of the estate, and includes a small amount of whole clusters in the fermentation. They also grow a tiny amount of Chardonnay as well, planted from cuttings of old Wente clones taken from Joe Rochioli's vineyard. Until 2005, the Chardonnay fruit was sold to Kistler, but is now all bottled under the Hirsch label. We have received an allocation of only 10 cases for all of Ontario. We believe this is the first time these wines have been offered anywhere in Canada.



Stony Hill

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Fred and Eleanor McCrea purchased the Stony Hill property on Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain in 1943 and began to plant Chardonnay vines in 194;, the first harvest followed in 1952, along with construction of a small winery. At the time there were only ten bonded wineries in Napa County, and only 200 acres of Chardonnay were planted in the entire state of California. ‘Experts’ at U.C. Davis advised them against planting Chardonnay, it was regarded as disease-prone and difficult to work with, but Fred and Eleanor loved white Burgundy, and they were convinced that their northeast-facing sites, 700-1200 feet high above the valley floor with volcanic and limestone soils over solid rock, were ideal for Chardonnay. They planted old Wente clones, and their intuition proved correct. 

Stony Hill has about 40 total acres under vine. Until recently, they produced only white wines, but they now have an 8 acre parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon at the top of the property. This plot has a completely different exposure than the northeastern facing vineyards lower down. The top vineyard faces exactly southwest and when Chardonnay grows here, it makes wines with ripe tropical fruit flavors, not consistent with the Stony Hill style. So when these Chardonnay vines became afflicted with Pierce’s disease, Chelini decided to replant with Cabernet Sauvignon. The foray into red was a novelty for a winery which had been strictly a white wine producer and famed for its Chardonnays, but the location was a good fit for Cabernet Sauvignon, which likes the warmer temperatures and afternoon sunlight. This site shares similar exposure, soils and elevation as many of the iconic mountain Cabs, and the wines recall the classic style which put Napa on the map in the 70’s and 80’s. Unlike so many overripe, high alcohol Napa fruit bombs the Cabernet is made very much in the Stony Hill style, restrained and structured, allowing the fruit to come through, balanced with savory notes and subtle tannins. These Cabernet vines are the only part of Stony Hill’s vineyard which are irrigated, the remainder are dry farmed.

In addition to Chardonnay and Cabernet, they also grow eight acres of White Riesling from which there is an aromatic wine with slightly less than one percent residual sugar, as well as six acres of Gewurztraminer from which they make a crisp, dry wine which is especially complementary to spicy foods.


Matthiasson

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MATTHIASSON is a family endeavor, the effort of Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson, and their two young sons. Steve & Jill both have had life-long careers in sustainable agriculture, and they apply those ideals of balance, restraint, and respect for the individual--and for the whole--to their wine. Their production is simple but careful. This concept is central to the tradition of viticulture and winemaking. Respect for this tradition forms the core of their work. To that end, their hands literally touch every vine and every bottle. 

After moving to Napa in 2002, Steve and Jill took their plans another step forward in December 2006, and bought a small parcel tucked behind a subdivision just west of the city of Napa. They began replanting the property's 3 1/2 acres of vineyard to an initial lot of Ribolla Gialla - traced back to Josko Gravner's vineyard in Friuli -- Merlot, Refosco, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Steve coauthored an industry-revered guide to integrated farming and his background in sustainable farming and Masters degree in horticulture from UC Davis provides a foundation of scientific methodology, while his astute and compassionate personality lends an artistic - at times almost spiritual  - air to his practice. Steve has built a reputation as a top vineyard consultant, focusing on his passion for sustainable viticulture practices, with an enviable roster of clients that include Araujo Estate, Spottswoode, Chappellet, Hall, David Arthur, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Long Meadow Ranch, Trefethen, Limerick Lane, and others. As a vineyard consultant he teaches and makes decisions, such as when to water and how to prune, on vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma. 

On his own vineyards, however, Steve cares for the vines with his own hands, driving the tractor at night, and working with the crews on Sundays. Under the Matthiasson label, Steve crafts wines according to the philosophy of selecting a small number of exceptional vineyard sites to make unique wine of the highest quality, with production that is simple but careful. He is known for using varietals and winemaking techniques that buck conventional wisdom to explore the possibilities in California’s terroir. Alder Yarrow’s Vinography, says, “If Napa is going to evolve and change as a wine region…. it will do so in the hands of people like Steve Matthiasson. His wines are so unlike anything else being made in Napa Valley at the moment that they are enough to stop any seasoned Napa wine lover in their tracks. Not just that, though. They are also phenomenally good.”



Clos Saron

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Gideon Beinstock and his wife Saron make minuscule amounts of wine from their 8 acres of vines in the remote northern reaches of the Sierra Foothills AVA, fewer than 1000 cases total annually. He eschews labels such as biodynamic or natural, but absolutely no chemicals are used in the vineyard and nothing is added to the wines in the cellar apart from very small amounts of sulfur. These are some of the purest and most distinctive wines being made in California today, and they are mostly sold to top restaurants in NY and SF but we have secured a tiny allocation for Ontario.


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