Saturday, August 9, 2008


(Alfonse recaps our last staff training with an orientation of Kermit Lynch)

A few weeks ago we rounded up the entire wine staff for another of our informative wine workshops. We do one wine meeting a month where we try a myriad of new wines and learn about them from the winemaker or their designated regional representative. These people have been to the wineries themselves and pass on some keen insights on the blends, barrel types if there is a barrel at all and other cool stories behind each individual wine. I eat this stuff up with a spoon. In my mind winemakers take on a rock star persona. Over the years through the auspices of liquor direct we've met and learned from some true wine studs. George Hendry, Paul Hobbs, Patrick Campbell, Steve Edmonds, Wally Schug, Michael Havens, Michael Honig, Susan Selby, Susan Hugo, Laely Heron off the top of my head.

This was a Kermit Lynch tasting, a big-time negociant of French wines. Kermit “cherry picks” wines he wants to sell from a bunch of tiny winemakers all over the region. Trust me if you see Kermits' name on a wine it's a safe bet.

Wendy Huff from Heidelberg poured 8 of Lynchs' selections and all were pretty rockin':

1) Domaine des Reuilly '06 - Pure sauvignon blanc with a pale straw color and clean acidity. $20 Perfect seafood pairing. Not too sharp or citrusy, nice round finish.

2) Domaine Christopher Buisson Saint-Romain '06 $38.98 - Wow! Buttery, soft and approachable chardonnay with a hint of melon and pear on the finish. Built for an ahi tuna rare.

3) Chateau Saint Martin De La Garrigue '07 - Has hints of stone and high minerality like a chenin blanc or a crisp sauvignon blanc with citrus and racy grapefruit notes. A perfect $16 pairing with pan seared scallops wrapped in bacon.

4) Gachot-Monot Cotes-du-Nuits Villages '06 - This a freaking rock star. Pure pinot noir done with new oak and lots of care. Big and robust with strawberry and cinnamon notes heavy mouthfeel soft tannins and a perfect acidic balance that would pair with lamb like nobody’s business for $30 and worth twice that I do declare.

5) Kermit Lynch Cote-du-Rhone '06 - Pure Grenache and lots of panache. This is a Rhoner that is ready to go right off the bat. With a big robust nose, black cherry and blue fruit on the midpalate and spice and cedar on the long expensive tasting finish. Perfect for happy hour or steak and ribs on the bbq. Only $15. My pick of the month is what it is.

6) Chateau Saint Martin Bronzinelle '06 - Here we have a big chewy Languedoc from southern France that is inky dark and heavy with cinnamon and currant notes. Road tar and leather on the nose and a non-stop thrillride to the big finish. Grenache, syrah and mourvedre is the blend very Chateauneuf de Pape like without the price. A great “recco” for Barossa GSM fans for $23.

7) Domaine Rousset Croze-Hermitage '05 - This pure syrah plays no games. Just what you would expect from a Croze with a stygian color and a huge dusty nose this is an epic wine for the cellar or the decanter if one is under duress to produce a wine for a thick NY strip and a baked potato right this instant. $30 and good for 10 years in the cellar if one is patient one will profit.

8) J.M. Gobillard & fils '06 - A $60 dollar bottle of champagne that puts Dom Perignon to shame. We will have this excellent Champers in stock by 8-12-8 and it will blow Dom fans out of the water. All for now.

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