Imagine you’re a young and ambitious vigneron in an off-the-beaten-path corner of the Beaujolais about to take the helm of your family’s domaine, which has made wine here since 1768—two and a half centuries. You want to continue working the family parcels, but are also itching to try your hand with one of the region’s more prestigious terroirs. You can buy one hectare anywhere. Where do you land? Do you turn to the Côte de Brouilly, your neighbor to the north, which produces some of the region’s most structured and stony wines? Or perhaps, given your bent towards floral, succulent, and high-toned Beaujolais, you might choose Chiroubles, further north. Quentin Harel faced this precise opportunity a decade ago and his search led him to the famed cru of Morgon. More specifically, he ended up purchasing a hectare of 80-year-old vines in Morgon’s Charmes climat, whose high elevation and cool microclimate are perfectly suited to Quentin’s style of winemaking with its emphasis on freshness and exuberance. In his short time working in Charmes, he has proven himself a more than worthy steward of this venerated parcel. As elegant (or charming—forgive the pun) as his Morgon is, I also highly recommend his fresh, floral, and downright delicious Charron and Grandes Terres cuvées from the land that’s been in his family for so long. These bottles are proof both that exquisite Beaujolais can be made outside of the best known crus, and that Quentin is one of the most exciting young talents in the Beaujolais today.
The list of factors goes on and our list of overachievers could, too. For now, we’ve narrowed down our selections to twenty-four wines—four each at six price points, because tremendous value isn’t exclusive to inexpensive bottlings. You can find it at all prices, from $12 to $120, as these wines resoundingly show.
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
You will be hard pressed to find better wines anywhere in the Côte Chalonnaise, and don’t underestimate their appellations—de Villaine wines routinely outperform more prestigious, more expensive appellations.
In very few appellations throughout France and Italy do we import the wines of three or more domaines. Joining Bandol, Meursault, Morgon, and a few others in that short list is Pic Saint-Loup, situated forty-five minutes north of Montpellier.
The Geggiano winemaking operation is about as artisanal as can be, housed in a thirteenth-century cellar filled with nothing but old wooden casks, where the elixir of these Tuscan hillsides patiently blossoms to maturity...
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