Saturday, July 19, 2008


Last week, I invited one of my oldest friends in the business, Audrey Wood of T.G.I.C. Importers, to talk with my staff about some of the wines she represents (and we sell). I’ve known Audrey since my days back at Chateau Pomije, when she worked for the now defunct Metamora Imports. She is far and away one of the nicest people in this industry, and that is a high mark to pass over, and she was happy to oblige me to come speak to the crew (though it’s a lot to ask to come in and speak to my unruly bunch).

I wanted to taste the staff and educate the staff better in regards to this importer, due to the difficulties we had in getting it for this state. A long, complicated story that I may share with you another day, but to encapsulate, these wines were exclusive to one retailer down state, though widely available on the other side of the river. I had to call on the Kentucky ABC to get things released, enabling Liquor Direct, and every other retailer in Northern Kentucky the ability to sell these terrific wines.

We tasted 7 wines from several of the brands T.G.I.C. represents here in the states:
1. Omaka Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Marlborough
2. Pascual Toso Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Maipu Valley
3. Kaiken Malbec 2006 Mendoza
4. Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Maipu Valley
5. Montes Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere 2006 Colchagua Valley
6. Montes Alpha Syrah 2006 Colchagua Valley
7. Montes Alpha M 2004 Colchagua Valley

The last wine of the tasting, the Montes Alpha M 2004 ($65.98 special) is a remarkable Bordeaux-styled blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that most would be surprised it comes from Chile. This is a world-class beauty that I was stoked to taste the staff on. Though I have the 2005 on the shelves at my Fort Thomas store, I thought by showing the 2004, the staff would see how gorgeous this wine is even with some bottle age.
Audrey informed the clan, as they sat euphorically, that though the alcohol was high (14.5%), the secret to its softer, more elegant character comes from night-harvesting, where moisture re-accumulates in the grapes, eliminating the potential for stewy, raisiny flavors. Indeed, the night-harvesting helps this wine achieve an elegance that is typically reserved for classified growth Bordeaux.

All-in-all, the tasting was a success, showing the staff that T.G.I.C. provides us with exceptional wines, ones our clientele SHOULD try. Ask our crack staff about any of the T.G.I.C. wines we carry next time you’re in.

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