January 14, 2021 lacey

One thing unites every bar, brasserie and restaurant in France: the Licence IV plate. Licence IV is the permit in France allowing cafes, brasseries and restaurants to serve alcohol. The official enameled placards can be found bolted to the walls of these establishments throughout France. With Licence IV wines, we travel back to the simplicity of wine and the way it has been enjoyed for many years…at the bar, in a small glass, enjoyed on the fly with friends.

May 17, 2018 Martine's Wines

Claude Dugat has long been a respected and beloved figure in Burgundy, while the wines of his eponymous domaine have captivated the world. Working alongside him for the better part of the last decade has been his son Bertrand and daughter Laetitia, to whom Claude turned over control of the estate with the 2015 vintage. While the Dugat family traces its roots in Gevrey back to the 19th century, it was not until 1955 when Claude’s father Maurice purchased the historic landmark Grange des Dimes and converted the stone barn into a winery that the family domaine was born. The…

October 19, 2017 Martine's Wines

After many years of apprenticeship, Florian and Marie Curtet have risen as the successors to the dynamic Savoie producer, Jacques Maillet, who made his last vintage in 2015. They have christened their new venture Domaine Curtet, which is comprised of the same 5-hectare estate on the hillsides above the Upper Rhone River near Switzerland. The domaine holdings are highlighted by two distinct vineyard sites. The traditional grape varieties of Chautagne—gamay and pinot noir—are planted in the commune of Serrieres en Chautagne in the lieu dit Vignes du Signeur—or “The Vines of the Lord.” Nearby, in the village of Motz, the…

March 9, 2017 Martine's Wines

Bandol enjoys a long and rich history of winemaking along the picturesque cliffs of the Mediterranean, making the benchmark Mourvèdre-based red and rosé wines of France. And while Bastide de la Ciselette may be a neophyte as a domaine—becoming the 57th estate of the AOC in 2010—they have been tending the vineyards for many years, opting to sell their fruit to the local co-op. In seven short years, owner Robert de Salvo—with the help of talented vigneron Romain Bournaud—has become a reliable source for classic Bandol alongside its more famous neighbors. With 15 hectares under vine, Bastide de la Ciselette…

March 2, 2017 Martine's Wines

Guillaume and Helene Baron graduated from viticultural training then worked for some of the most respected winemakers and groundbreaking estates in France before seeking their own piece of land. One of the few great appellations of the world that is still approachable for young vignerons, the Terrasses du Larzac is about 45 minutes northwest of Montpellier in the Languedoc. The rugged, dry, windy lands are home to many legendary producers–Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères to name a few. It is here the Barons staked their claim, acquired 25 acres of vineyards and produced their first vintage in…

March 2, 2017 Martine's Wines

Rising as a pillar of quality out of the soils of Gigondas is Domaine Santa Duc—an estate that’s history stretches back to 1874. Through five generations, the caretakers of the domaine have demonstrated a respect for the land, with Santa Duc ascending to prominence as a pioneer of organic viticulture in the region under the care of its indomitable vigneron, Yves Gras. The wines cultivated by Gras typify classic Gigondas—elegant, focused, polished. In his 32 years at the helm, Gras has branched out to nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Rasteau, creating wines of exceptional balance and quality. Gras seamlessly integrates fruit born…

March 2, 2017 Martine's Wines

A beautiful winding road leads around Mont Granier, a 6,300-foot limestone cliff, to the northern lake area of Le Bourget, which is within the Savoie yet entirely different than the rest of the region. On the left bank of the Rhône River, on such steep hillsides that it feels like an extension of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie, is the westernmost Savoie appellation of Chautagne. This region is epitomized by Jacques Maillet, one of the best natural producers in Savoie, if not in all of France. Having become sick from the chemicals used in his vineyard, Maillet sold most of his land,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Stéphane Coquillette is a fourth-generation winemaker in Champagne. His father, Christian, has been running the Saint-Chamant Champagne house since 1950, and he lovingly sent his son out to start his own estate when Stéphane was 25. Though mentored by his father, Stéphane developed a very different style of expression at his own house, creating leaner, drier Champagnes, primarily from Chouilly (Grand Cru), Cuis (1er Cru 99%) for Chardonnay, and d’Aÿ (Grand Cru) and Mareuil/Aÿ (1er Cru 99%) for Pinot Noir. Meticulously committed to organic practices, Stéphane avoids herbicides at all costs. Everything is done by hand, including trellising and pruning,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Champagne Saint Chamant was established in 1930 by Pierre and Hélène Coquillette. Their son, Christian, took over the estate in 1950. Located in Épernay, the house’s unsigned, unassuming exterior in no way hints at its labyrinthine cellar, built in the early 19th century, which is a mile long—and lined with hundreds of thousands of carefully aging Champagne bottles. Charmingly mustached and quite dapper, octogenarian Christian specializes primarily in Blanc de Blancs with more than 28 acres of Chardonnay vineyards in Grand Cru Chouilly. The house also makes a small amount of rosé, from 92% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier from…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

The Cru Beaujolais of Moulin-à-Vent inherited its name from the stoic windmill that has overlooked these vineyards since the 15th century. In the same silent, consistent manner, Paul Janin and his family have tended their Gamay vines for generations. Paul’s son, Eric, is very much a product of this place; he is a fourth-generation grower, overseeing the fruit from its inception in the vineyard to its final resting place in the bottle. The grapes are farmed using lutte raisonnée methods, and the flaky, pink granite soil produces structured, powerful wines that gain even more character as they age. Bright, firm…