January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

While working in the late 1990’s for a co-op in French Catalonia, Roussillon region, Philippe Gayral visited many small family estates, uncovering the best fortified wines and grapes that populate Roussillon in the foothills of the Pyrénées. Perhaps his greatest discovery was the personal reserves most families kept in barrels for themselves–what the French call a “poire pour la soif” or “a pear for thirst”–often marking important years in family history or saved for rainy days or just to see how a particularly fine vintage would age. Over the course of the last 20 years Philippe began buying these very…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Son of the late Marc Morey, Michel Morey, and his wife, Fabienne (from the Pillot clan), began the Morey-Coffinet Domaine in the late 1970s with a dowry of vineyards bestowed on them by two families with extensive history in the region. With a stable foundation of 1er Crus from the southeast-facing hillside, the whites speak to the very essence of Chassagne, with fragrant aromas framed by powerful minerality. The reds capture the roasted, muscular aromas of Chassagne terroir and display silky texture and balance. Michel’s son, Thibault, joined the business in the late 1990s, and the domaine’s wines have since…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Named for the 300-year-old Southern Burgundy village in which it is located, Monthelie Douhairet was run by the Douhairet family for many years. In 1989, Mademoiselle Douhairet asked renowned winemaker André Porcheret to take charge and added his name to the domaine. One of the great figures in Burgundy during the past half-century, André was the cellar manager at the Hospices de Beaune from 1976–1988, before he was hired by Lalou Bize Leroy to make wines at the newly created Domaine Leroy from 1988–1993. He returned to the Hospices de Beaune from 1994–1999, and since 1989, he has also been…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

No name enlivens and ignites a discussion of Burgundy as quickly as Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy. She is unrelenting in every way, from her personality to how she runs her business to the quality of the wine in the bottle. The Leroy family’s 50% ownership of Domaine Romanée- Conti gave Lalou ample ability to amass the deepest and most revered cellar in Burgundy during the past six decades. Speculation is rampant about its size and holdings; only one person knows for sure. Today, Lalou is the force behind three domaines: Maison Leroy, Domaine Leroy and Domaine d’Auvenay. The story of the…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Louis Métaireau — along with his band of vignerons d’art, as his like-minded group of producers were known — was instrumental in restoring the reputation of the Muscadet appellation in the middle of the 20th century. It was he who first began leaving his wines sur lie (on their fine lees) through the winter. Since taking over for her father, Marie-Luce Métaireau and her husband, Jean-François Guilbaud, have illustrated their deep love of the land by reclaiming the vineyards of the vignerons d’art and piecing them back together to compose one of the most prized sites in all of Muscadet:…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Domaine Laporte is the result of a perfect blending of two renowned Sancerre families. Founded in 1850 in the village of Saint-Satur, Domaine Laporte was run until 1986 by René Laporte. A visionary chair of the Sancerre appellation for 20 years, René was a pioneer in producing low-yield, high-quality Sancerre during a time of overproduction. A well-known winegrower from Chavignol, Henri Bourgeois purchased the domaine from René, keeping the old vineyard, cellar and house – and maintaining the excellent reputation. Now under the watchful eyes of Henri’s two grandsons, Arnaud and Cedric Bourgeois, Domaine Laporte is one of the most…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

A passionate and successful former musician, Julien Cruchandeau has been in complete tune with his vineyards in the tiny village of Chaux, in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits above Nuits-Saint-Georges, since 2010. From a tiny cellar packed with barrels under his home, Cruchandeau offers wonderful wines in an area of Burgundy once known for high volume and lower quality. His natural practices and hands-off style create true Burgundy Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are aromatic, bright, fresh and pretty, and clearly express a sense of place. Taking a cue from their young, exciting maker, these wines are fun, pleasing and easy…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Jérôme Gradassi could have rested on the laurels of his Michelin-starred Avignon restaurant, L’Isle Sonnante. But in 2004, he took over eight acres of old Grenache vines once owned by his grandfather and taught himself to make wine. Learning by trial and error, Gradassi has become one of the most exciting new winemakers in France, making just one white and one red. The process in the cellar is meticulous: whole bunches are put into underground concrete tanks and slowly fermented without the addition of yeast, acid or sugar, and with very little sulfur. As the cellar is so small and…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Quite simply one of the best and most respected winemakers in all of Bordeaux, Jean Gautreau has been creating some of the world’s finest wines at Chateau Sociando-Mallet in Haut-Médoc for nearly a half- century. In 1995, Jean decided to create a new wine. So, together with his daughter, Sylvie, and his cellar master, he began selecting the best barrels from Sociando-Mallet each year, blending them and putting them into special bottles that carry his name. While Cuvée Jean Gautreau contains more Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a wine intended to be on par with the Sociando-Mallet wines, and at the…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

From his small vineyard in the Northern Rhône Valley, Jacques Leménicier produces two wines: a profound Cornas from 100% Syrah and a highly aromatic Saint Péray from Marsanne and Rousanne. An athletic, affable fellow, Leménicier happened into the wine business when he took a job with Robert Michel in 1974, before going to work for one of the most famous winemakers in the region, Alain Voge. He learned at the hand of Voge for more than a decade, eventually starting his own domaine on a small piece of land in the early 1980s. Employing the skills and knowledge he had…