Official Statement about Pending Tariffs on European Wine and Food

 To our Friends, Colleagues, Partners, and all those in the Industry, 

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Cutting Edge Selections submits to you the following call to action regarding the potential upcoming tariffs to be levied on a number of products from the European Union:

As many of you may have heard, beginning October 18th certain wines from France, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom will be subject to a 25% tariff, an increase of almost 23% over the current rate. The new tariffs will also include items like cheese, olive oil, cured meats, and liquor from certain countries within the EU. 

Time is running out to prevent this from happening, and we must band together and act now! Contact your elected officials and the US Trade offices today!

With this call to action, our hope is to inspire those within the hospitality, retail, import, and distribution industries to speak up and quickly help prevent what could create very real issues for all of us in the very near future.

Many of you will ask why these tariffs are being levied. While it’s a complicated question the basic answer is that the World Trade Organization has granted the US the right to impose $7.5 billion in tariffs against the EU related to a 15 year legal battle that found illegal and unfair subsidies given by various EU countries to Airbus. 

Why small European farmers are the focus of this is unclear, as anyone can tell you that wine and cheese have nothing to do with the aviation industry. It’s worth noting that while most agricultural and alcoholic products are subject to a 25% increase, the increase on aircraft is only 10% and many aircraft parts are excluded from the tariffs all together. Many insiders believe these tariffs are an attempt to get the EU to drop its charges that the US Government gave Boeing similarly unfair subsidies and tax advantages as found in the case against Airbus (a case which is set to be decided by the WTO early next year). Recent articles have even suggested that the $7.5 billion ruling was meant to create room for negotiation, not to have these types of tariffs levied on un-related industries.

The effects of the new tariffs are still unknown. Certainly prices will increase. The European farmers and producers won’t shoulder the burden alone. 

As an importer and distributor a part of the new taxes will fall to us. It will fall on our import partners. It will fall on some level to restaurants and retailers across the country, ultimately it will fall on the American consumer. 

As anybody who has ever worked in the hospitality industry can tell you, every link in the chain works on slim margins with a few percentage points often being the difference between growth and failure. Even with the rest of the supply chain taking a hit of a yet to be determined size, prices will still increase by an estimated 10-20% on the goods subject to the new tariffs. 

This won’t necessarily cripple our industry, but its effects will be felt across the board. For CES, we estimate about 20% of our portfolio will be subject to the increases and any lost sales or margins will hurt. With the rising costs of healthcare, wages, and shipping, margins in our industry are already getting smaller. This is especially true for smaller to midsize companies who rely on certain margins to stay afloat. Without question these tariffs will affect the smallest among us more than the largest, but those involved of all sizes and at all levels will be faced with very difficult decisions.

It also doesn’t stop at just the industries we are referencing. If you enjoy dining out or cooking at home, be prepared to spend a little more. Beyond wine and cheese, many other imported food items like yogurt, seafood, cured meats, butter and olive oil are all going to be affected. If you work in the retail industry, be prepared to be charging a little more for many of the products you have long supported. If you work in hospitality, be prepared to be faced with difficult decisions and fewer choices about the products you sell and the ingredients you use.

Since the official announcement of the tariffs last week, we have been working tirelessly with trade organizations, our customs brokers, and our suppliers and shipping companies to figure out how to best handle this issue. Over that period of time, the new tariffs went from headline news in the US for a day to an afterthought. No one is talking about this in the press or on social media. It’s possible this is because none of us think this is all that important. We feel that to believe that is naïve at best. 

According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, over 10% of our country is employed in the hospitality industry. That means there are over 16 million people who may be affected by this tariff. That is not a small issue. That doesn’t include the millions more employed in wine and retail, the distribution, import, trucking, and logistics industries that will also be affected. It is also worth noting that of all small retail businesses in the US, Wine and Spirits is the second most common.

In short, these wide ranging effects mean that even a small contraction in our businesses can have a very real affect on our lives and the domestic and global economy.

We are not saying that restaurants, retailers, and distributors are going to start closing down overnight. Some in the industry will be hurt more than others. Some will close, and many more will be forced to adapt in order to survive. Jobs will likely be lost at all levels. 

This issue should be forefront in all our minds, on our social media accounts, and in the press for the next 9 days. This is a call to all of you in the industry who will be affected. This is a call to everyone who has worked in the hospitality or retail industry at some point, who took valuable life and career lessons and shared countless memorable experiences. This is a call to an industry that has always stood up for itself, worked toward a goal of providing amazing experiences and who care about their craft and desire to provide the best products and ingredients at fair prices. This is about our ability to be successful, creative, and push our industry forward by protecting ourselves and our future.

We urge you to reach out to your elected officials, to let them know how YOU will be affected. As an industry, we need to band together and tell our politicians to go back to the negotiating table before this is enacted on the 18th. They need to be made aware of the potential damage these tariffs can do and the struggles that they will undoubtedly create. 

We urge you to share your concerns publicly; to make others understand the potential ramifications of unfairly punishing such an important sector of our workforce and economy. This isn’t just about a few small producers in Europe. This isn’t about a handful of French, Spanish, and German wine importers. This is about all of us. This is about standing up against unjust treatment and unfair trade practices designed to punish those who have done nothing wrong.

While contacting your elected officials, trade organizations, and our own federal trade negotiators may seem political, we don’t view this as simply a political issue. As a company, Cutting Edge has no political affiliation and employs a diverse team of people with varying beliefs. We view this as an economic issue, as a social issue, and in some ways as a moral issue. It is unfair to punish businesses, both foreign and domestic, for the flawed and illegal practices of an unrelated industry. The hospitality and retail industries in the United States and the agricultural industry in Europe have done nothing wrong and should not be unfairly subjected to these tariffs. 

We believe that together we can stop this from happening, that we can force our trade negotiators back to the table, and that we can make those around us understand the realities and importance of the situation by coming together with all of you and speaking in a loud, unified voice. Let us make it happen now, before the dangerous affects of this unjust and harmful tariffs take hold. The WTO is calling for negotiations to be re-opened on October 14th. Let’s rally together to let our trade representatives, elected officials, and the general public know where we stand! 

Time is running out, and the time to act is now!

We are in this together, and together we can beat it back.

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THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IS THROUGH THEIR OFFICES VIA PHONE OR EMAIL. A LIST OF CONTACT INFORMATION AND OFFICES CAN BE FOUND AT:

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

*Most Senators and Members of the US House of Representatives have a dedicated trade and commerce specialist on their staff. This would be a great person to speak to! Also, keep in mind Ohio Senator Rob Portman is the former US Trade Representative

To Contact the US TRADE REPRESENTATIVES OFFICE, YOU CAN CALL THE EUROPEAN TRADE OFFICE AT 202-395-3320, THE CHIEF AGRICULTURAL NEGOTIATOR AT 202-395-9654, OR YOU CAN EMAIL CONTACTUSTR@USTR.EOP.GOV

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Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Nominees from Our Portfolio
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We are pleased to have so many outstanding partners in the world of wine. Today we honor those partners who have been nominated for the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards.

Each year, the editors of Wine Enthusiast Magazine honor the individual and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and beverage world.

Importer of the Year: Broadbent Selections

American Winery of the Year: Domaine Serene

American Winery of the Year: Quilceda Creek

Winemaker of the Year: Jorge and Issac Muga of Bodegas Muga

Winery Experience of the Year: d’Arenberg

New World Winery of the Year: Giant Steps

Congratulations to all the nominees and best of luck! We are proud to be partners with you!


Cutting Edge
Elena Walch: Life and Wine in Two Amazing Videos

Elena Walch, in the Alto Adige region of Italy, is producing some of the most innovative and exception wines in the world. After marrying in to one of the region’s established wine families, Elena was handed the reins of the family winery with the mission of achieving global recognition. She focused on her estate’s terroir, sustainable farming, exacting precision, and the courage to innovate. Elena Walch achieved that objective, winning many of the wine world’s highest honors and selling in most countries around the world.

The following two videos tell the story of the Elena Walch in two very different, but equally compelling ways.

The first video - produced by Stories from South Tyrol - discusses the history of Elena, the winery, and the family.

More than 30 years ago, Elena Walch became South Tyrol's first, and for a long time only, female winemaker. The entire story: https://www.suedtirol.info/storiesfromsouthtyrol/a-feel-for-fine-wine More stories from South Tyrol: www.storiesfromsouthtyrol.com

This second video - which appears to be made or licensed by Gerald Steel Wine Merchants - is without dialogue, but full of vibrant motion. From the harvest to the cellars and eventually to the Walch family in the tasting room.

The philosophy of the Elena Walch estate is dedicated to its terroir - the idea that wines must be the individual expression of their soil, climate and cultivation in the vineyard - and that this must be maintained in a sustainable manner for subsequent generations.



Cutting Edge
Petalos 2017 Bierzo - Budget Wines that only Taste Expensive

Finding ‘budget priced’ wines that taste like more expensive bottles is the dream for many wine drinkers.

We at Cutting Edge Selections strive to offer wines of exceptional value and we always appreciate when others agree. This article in Buzzfeed listed the Petalos 2017 Bierzo as the #9 Budget Wine That Only Tastes Expensive.

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A red Mencia from the Spanish region of Bierzo, which is full of dark berry flavors and perfect for those who prefer wines on the spicy side.

From the Rare Wine Company

From the beginning, Ricardo embraced biodynamic viticulture as a means to craft the transparent wines of his dreams. The effort required in this damp corner of Spain is extraordinary, yet Ricardo believes it yields wines with more balance and transparency. And, it’s allowed him to build an entire ecosystem around his vineyards. Work animals provide fertilizer and help him make the biodynamic courses. He’s worked with locals to market healthier vegetables, and produces fruit juices from surroundings orchards.

Five remarkable wines are the result of this life work. The first, Pétalos del Bierzo, is assembled from old hillside and hilltop vines across from Bierzo’s western edge. The wine is vinified for immediate appeal, but it retains the estate’s signature finesse and restraint.

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Video: Domaine La Croix Gratiot Picpoul de Pinet - presented by Patrick Allen

Domaine La Croix Gratiot Picpoul de Pinet is presented by wine importer Patrick Allen of Patrick Allen Selections.

http://patrickallenselections.com

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The Ricome family has been farming the land around Pinet for generations. In 1982 Anaïs’ father, Yves, took over the family domaine. Their principal business is the cultivation of the famous southern French melons ( similar to small, very sweet cantaloupes). However, they also own 30 hectares of vineyards. During the 1990s they refurbished the vineyards and replanted with new, better, grape varieties. Of the 30 hectares, 25ha are planted in white grapes, of which 5.5ha are A.O.C.. Picpoul de Pinet in the commune of Mèze. Until 2004 all of the grapes were sold off in bulk.

In 2004 the family built a winery and began producing their own wine at the domaine. With aptitude and interest in winemaking, Anaïs studied viticulture and oenology. In 2006 she began to work at the family winery. Today she is solely responsible for all aspects of the winemaking at the domaine. Anaïs continues to learn as much as she can, studying with different winemakers, including working two harvests in New Zealand.

About Picpoul de Pinet: Known as the “Chablis of the South”, the Picpoul de Pinet is a crisp, bright and refreshing wine. Picpoul de Pinet is made from the grape variety, Piquepoul, which is spelled differently for an interesting reason. When the appellation was created they had to alter the spelling of the grape variety in order to include it on the label. For some reason, French wine law does not allow a grape name to be incorporated into the name of an appellation. The name Piquepoul, literally translates as “Lip Stinger”, referring to the grape’s naturally bright acidity.

A line of hills protects the appellation of Picpoul de Pinet from the northwestern winds, while the coastal winds from the Mediterranean temper the summer heat. The appellation includes six communes: Mèze, Montagnac, Pinet, Florensac, Pomérols, and Castelnau-de-Guers. The vineyards face due south towards the Bassin du Thau. The Bassin du Thau is a large saltwater inlet from the Mediterranean, famous for the cultivation of mussels and oysters, which are fortunately a perfect food pairing for Picpoul de Pinet.

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Video: Domaine de Rancy Rivesaltes Ambré - presented by Patrick Allen

Domaine de Rancy Rivesaltes Ambré is presented by wine importer Patrick Allen of Patrick Allen Selections.

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Jean-Hubert inherited this estate from his father with all of its tiny parcels of old vines and its cellars filled with old, odd sized barrels. Descending into the cellar one gets the feeling of entering a medieval alchemist’s laboratory. Each barrel, some as small as 12 inches in diameter, is labeled with a cryptic numerical code, that keeps hidden from outsiders which nectar each barrel contains.

Attached to their cuverie is a rare curiosity for visitors, a “Jardin de Bonbonnes” (literally an outdoor garden of glass demijohns where wine used to be stored to oxidize in the sun.) Long ago Jean-Hubert’s father made the decision to sell all of the red grapes and white wine not used for their rancio style wines, to the local co-operative. This way he could devote all of his energy to the wines he found most interesting.

From a long term economic standpoint this was not the best decision because these wines, that were once overproduced, fell out of favor during the decades following World War II. Today they are one of only a handful of quality wineries still producing this type of wine.

Domaine Rancy has somehow been lucky enough to outlive the trend away from these wines and is now beginning to find itself in the spotlight. Down the street from their old, museum-like, cellar the Verdaguers have a modern winery with state of the art equipment.

Now, after many years of hard work, they have established a very small cult following. They only attend a few salons per year and have made it a policy to do as little as possible to promote their wines, relying only on word of mouth.

Rivesaltes Ambré

This rare wine is made from a white grape called Macabeau that is native to the Roussillon region. The grapes are hand picked late in the season, pressed, fermented, and fortified in tank. Only the best wine is chosen to be aged in barrels for 4 years minimum.

The wines are bottled as needed, and are neither fined or filtered. The vineyards are farmed in a reasonably organic manner with minimal use of chemicals.

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Video: Manoir du Kinkiz - presented by Patrick Allen

Manoir du Kinkiz French Farmhouse Cider is presented by wine importer Patrick Allen of Patrick Allen Selections.

http://patrickallenselections.com

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The region of Brittany, in northwestern France, has long been renowned for its cider. The name Brittany (Bretagne) was used by Celts who came from Great Britain and resettled in the area. Thus the distinction we see between "Great Britain" and la Bretagne, "Brittany".

The dramatic coastline of Brittany is lined with jagged granite cliffs. Inland from the coast the landscape softens to gentle rolling hills and fertile soil. This, combined with the cool maritime climate, and abundant rain, makes Brittany an ideal place to cultivate apples.

The earliest traces of cider production in the region date back to the Romans. However, cider as we know it didn’t become a staple until the middle ages.

Early in life Hervé Seznec already knew his calling─to produce great cider. At the age of 19 he replanted his 30 hectares (74 acres) of orchards with nearly 25 varieties of apples. He had an intense desire to make naturally sparkling, high quality cider, from his own orchards. Hervé’s passion to improve and innovate, is abundantly evident in his cider.

All the work at Manoir du Kinkiz is done with the utmost respect for nature. They use no herbicides in their orchards, and they allow indigenous plants and grass to grow between the trees. From the ladybugs that rid their orchards of insects, to the almost mystical darkness of the cellars where their AOP Cornouaille cider is aged in huge oak casks, Kinkiz is making a genuine attempt to return to the hands-on, artisan production methods of their ancestors.

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Schloss Lieser 2017 Riesling Kabinett
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Lieser’s landmark is the mighty castle, Schloss Lieser, built in 1875 by Baron von Schorlemer. The Schloss Lieser estate was founded in 1904 and went on to produce some of the greatest wines in the Mosel region.

The von Schorlemers started to lose interest and in the 1970s with several different owners the estate went into decline.

In 1997 the Haags purchased the estate out of bankruptcy and Thomas took command as the new owner. With the experience of working with his father, the great Wilhelm Haag, and his studies at Geisenheim it didn’t take long for Thomas to bring the estate back to its former glory.

It is again today one of the great estates in the Mosel region and winemaker Thomas Haag has been named Winemaker of the Year two of the past three years.

This is a very concentrated, pure, classic, Mosel Riesling.

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Von Schleinitz 2017 Riesling Nitor Dry
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The Haehn Family behind the Von Schleinitz brand have a winemaking history that goes back to 1468. The winery is consistently rated as one of the Top 100 in Germany and wins international awards.

NITOR is Latin for “excellence”, an appropriate name for a wine from high Auslese ripeness grapes — vinified dry — that reflects soil and climate in its taste, but finishes with elegance and finesse.

The ripeness creates a wonderful counterpart to the tingling and refreshing acidity that is indicative of dry Riesling.

Only 400 cases are produced -- and only 70 cases imported — of this beautiful dry Riesling from a single vineyard on the steep hills of the Mosel. It is reflective of the minerality of the soil and the unique micro climate of the area.

Food Pairing: Savory cuisine, cured sausages, salad, pasta, and all kinds of seafood. This a very versatile wine.

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Albert Mann 2016 Riesling 'Cuvée Albert'
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Albert Mann is a progressive domaine that must be ranked among the very top of Alsace producers. Since 1984, it has been run by Jacky and Maurice Barthelmé. The latter is married to Marie-Claire, granddaughter of the late Albert Mann.

The style is powerful with full respect for the terroir. 

Albert Mann works with high ecological ambitions, and applies a minimum of fertilizers in the vineyards. Hard pruning results in low yields and high must weights. The overall result is complex wines with superior balance and outstanding cellaring potential.

Always organic and now certified Biodynamic, the Barthelmé brothers cultivate precisely controlled yields to obtain grapes of elevated maturity and complex substance.

Never heavy, clumsy or out of balance, each carefully crafted vintage presents a beautiful delineation of flavors and precise textures.

“Cuvee Albert” designates wines made from extremely old vines grown on the original Albert Mann estate.

Albert’s Son-in-Law, Maurice Barthelmé originally fought to remove the oldest Riesling vines from the estate in favor of a modernist style of farming.

It was a conflict between the two men that would last years.

Slowly, Barthelmé came around and realized the wisdom of retaining these special vines and, after Albert Mann’s passing, named the wine made from these vineyards in Albert’s honor.

Cutting Edge
Elk Cove 2017 Riesling Estate
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We have the perfect climate for this delicate cool weather white wine – there’s enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, but our cool evenings help us retain the delicate varietal character. We whole-cluster press our Riesling grapes, then ferment the juice at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, producing an aromatic, crisp Riesling with a beautiful acid profile.
— Adam Campbell - Winemaker

The Riesling Estate is made from hand-picked fruit from three estate vineyards: Elk Cove Estate, Five Mountain and Windhill. The Riesling vines are some of the oldest in Oregon, with Estate and Windhill vines dating back to 1975. These older vines offer a delightful complexity not often seen in domestic Rieslings.

92 points - Most of the estate vines used for this blend date back to the mid-1970s. It em- phasizes bright citrus flavors, like lemon and lime, with lemon verbena, cilantro and other fresh herb notes that add detail to the finish. A very fine value, it can al- so age for a decade or longer.
— Wine Spectator
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Leeuwin Estate 2017 Riesling 'Art Series'
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Leeuwin Estate is one of the benchmarks, if not the reference point winery in Margaret River.
— Robert Parker

After an extensive search in 1972 to identify the most suitable Australian area for the production of premium varietal wines, Robert Mondavi singled out a small plot of land in the Margaret River region.  At the time a cattle farm, Leeuwin Estate evolved under the direction of owners Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Mondavi acting as consultant and mentor.  

Today, the Estate is recognized as one of Australia’s leading wine producers and wine tourism destination.

Featured three times as “International Winery of the Year” by U.S. Wine & Spirits Magazine, the wines of Leeuwin Estate consistently rank alongside the world’s finest.

The "Art Series" represents Leeuwin's most opulent and age-worthy wines from each vintage. They are identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian artists.

91 points - Lifted and bright with great clarity, the nose expresses cut limes and lemons. Subtle notes of kaffir, lemongrass, jasmine and fresh sesame seed lie in the background. Defined by a finely structured palate with delicate texture and sherbet-like acidity, the palate shows lemon pith, lime and cardamom pod.. This has attractive appeal. Drink Now.
— James Suckling
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Video: Viña Gillmore - VIGNO and Old-Vine Carignan.

Daniella Gillmore & Andres Sanchez discuss their special winery in Maule Valley, Chile.

Gillmore 2015 VIGNO Carignan

95 Points! — Showing his delicate touch with the Carignan grape, Andrés Sánchez has made another delicious VIGNO, using grapes from Loncomilla close to the winery. Subtle, sappy and floral, this has understated wood, lovely baking spice aromatics and refreshing minerality.
— Decanter
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d’Arenberg 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘High Trellis’

d’Arenberg 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘High Trellis’

One of the undisputed kings of Australian wine, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. 

The winery was established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn.

By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.

Planted in the 19th century, the High Trellis vineyard was and received its nickname because it was the first in the region with vines trained above knee height. 

Over the past four decades, Cabernet Sauvignon from the High Trellis vineyard has been released under the d'Arenberg label to consistent critical acclaim, and has won significant awards.

92 Points! — Blackberries, cassis, dried violets and blackcurrant compote, as well as dried mint and a touch of acacia and dried pine needles. The palate delivers a layered assortment of juicy fruit, succulent yet well-structured tannins and a long, chewy finish.
— James Suckling



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Leeuwin 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Prelude’
Leeuwin Estate is one of the benchmarks, if not the reference point winery in Margaret River.
— Robert Parker

Leeuwin 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Prelude’

After an extensive search in 1972 to identify the most suitable Australian area for the production of premium varietal wines, Robert Mondavi singled out a small plot of land in the Margaret River region.  At the time a cattle farm, Leeuwin Estate evolved under the direction of owners Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Mondavi acting as consultant and mentor.  

Today, the Estate is recognized as one of Australia’s leading wine producers and wine tourism destination.

Featured three times as “International Winery of the Year” by U.S. Wine & Spirits Magazine, the wines of Leeuwin Estate consistently rank alongside the world’s finest.

92 points. — Leeuwin’s characteristic elegance and approachability, combined with ageability, are in full force here. Trademark pencil lead, eucalyptus and red currant characters mingle with dried flowers, herbs and furniture polish. The tannins are dusty and tight-grained, with an herbaceous currant flavor continuing throughout. Drink now–2032.
— Wine Enthusiast



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Ant Moore 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

Ant Moore 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

The name sounds a little like yet another “critter wine’ from down-under, but Ant Moore is actually a real person. Moore moved from Australia to New Zealand in 2002 for a career in wine that has included the launching of several successful wine brands as well as a stint as winemaker of Isabel Estate.

Ant Moore originally thought that an eponymously named winery was a bit egocentric, but came around after realizing that it was his personality that made these wines distinctive. Moore is vitally involved with every aspect of the winemaking process, including vine management and harvesting. Every wine is made to emphasize dryness, balance, and purity.

The wines are made with both traditional and modern techniques. This allows Moore to constantly experiment with with wines to produce the styles that he finds most enjoyable to drink.

This Sauvignon Blanc shows ripe stone fruit and a richness that is uncommon among inexpensive New Zealand wines.

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Brokenwood 2018 Semillon

Brokenwood 2018 Semillon

Founded as a hobby project for a group of lawyers, Brokenwood has become one of the most respected wineries in Australia. The original 10 acres in the Hunter Valley cost $970 per acre in 1970. It was the highest price that had ever been paid for an Australian vineyard.

Jump forward and add superstar winemaker Iain Riggs, and Brokenwood winery has thirty-six acres of vineyards and a global reputation for masterfully age-worthy wines.

A mere one acre is allocated to growing Semillon, but this glorious dry white is arguably the perfect companion to the Hunter Valley wine-growing region. The close proximity to the ocean provides afternoon cloud cover and cool sea breezes that temper the hot Australian sunshine. This produces a wine of warm richness and fresh acids.

Brokenwood Semillon is picked with very low yields, features minimalist ‘hands off’ winemaking, and ages in large American oak barriques.

The resulting wine shows well upon release displaying zesty lemongrass and apple blossom, but don’t miss the tight structure and precision of the citrus finish. These are signs of the pleasure to come as the wine will only improve with up to a decade of cellar age.

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Domaine du Pallus 2017 Chinon 'Messanges'

Winemaker Bertrand Sourdais has quite the pedigree with a winemaking career that includes stints at Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux, Santa Rita in Chile, and Palacios in Priorat.  Upon the 2003 retirement of his father, Sourdais returned to helm the family estate in France’s Loire Valley.

Domaine du Pallus is at the heart of Chinon - Cravant-les-Côteaux.  Sourdais embraces traditional biodynamic viticulture in these stony, silica-laced soils, but in the cellar he becomes a revolutionary.

He uses extended maceration, sometimes up to thirty days, and a long-slow elevage in Bordeaux barrels to reveal “the true personality of Chinon.”  These wines are handled less and bottled later that most others in that region.

The ‘Messanges’ bottling is made from younger Cabernet Franc vines and is perfect for recreating a French-bistro dinner at home.

The wine is mouthwateringly fresh with high-toned red currant and bitter cherry.  It is vibrantly floral with tiny hints of tobacco spice.

Calcu 2015 Cabernet Franc

Calcu is one of those rare wineries that always outperforms its price point by so much that every sip tends to stun you. And the Cabernet Franc may be the most stunning wine in the entire line.

This might be a result of Winemaker Rodrigo Romero’s belief that Cabernet Franc will someday be the signature grape of Chile.

This 100% Cabernet Franc comes from a single vineyard block on the Maquis Estate located between the Chimbarongo Creek and the Tinguiririca River, an ideal site for Cabernet Franc.

92 points! Crushed stones, slate, lavender and violets. Full body, grainy tannins, so much pretty blue fruit character, vibrant acidity and a subtle, mineral finish. Linear and sexy. Drink now.
— James Suckling
Boeger 2016 Cabernet Franc

The vineyards of Boeger Winery are on a California Gold Rush homestead, but it wasn’t until 1972 that things finally panned out. That was the year that Greg and Sue Boeger purchased the property and created the first winery since Prohibition in the El Dorado AVA.

These are complex and diverse vineyards.  A dense, steep and maze-like patchwork of foothills host a wide variety of micro-climates.  Five major agricultural soil types are here and vineyard elevation can transition from 1200ft to 3500ft in a very short distance.

 The diversity of soil types, climates and topography enable Boeger to succeed with a multitude of grape varietals, twenty-two in total.   The intense California sun gives generous ripeness and cold mountain breezes preserve acidity.

 Boeger Cabernet Franc is a blend of 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  

The wine has aromas of black licorice, plum, Shishito pepper, and slight herbaceousness. It is medium weight, with smoked pepper flavors on the palate and a clean finish with silky tannins.