10K BOTTLES

DISCOVERING WINE, ONE BOTTLE AT A TIME
The 20 Most Legendary Wines in the World

The 20 Most Legendary Wines in the World

Not infrequently people ask me – have you had this famous wine or that famous wine? (Quick answer: yes, I’ve had Screaming Eagle; yes, I’ve had Latour; no, I haven’t had Petrus; no, I haven’t had DRC.) But that makes me wonder, what makes a legendary wine, a wine people want to ask with a touch of awe whether you’ve ever tried it? It’s certainly not total sales or popularity – people never ask me if I’ve had Yellow Tail, Concha y Toro, Manage a Trois, or Two-Buck Chuck. Rather, there’s some unclear combination of price, exclusivity, but also renown and legend that makes certain wines ones that people always talk about in hushed tones.

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Worth the Splurge: 2014 Franny Beck Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Worth the Splurge: 2014 Franny Beck Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

October’s Worth the Splurge is a wine with bright and bold fruit, a simple elegance and is strikingly crystal clear. In late August of 2016, we were doing our first ever tour of the Willamette Valley wine country and wanted some small, boutique winery suggestions. Thanks to a recommendation from Stub of Cork Envy, we definitely got small and boutique along with intimate with Franny Beck. As a small, two person team, Franny Beck currently doesn’t have it’s own tasting room. When space allows, they borrow a tiny spot (a.k.a. a wine barrel outside) from Johan Vineyards. We tasted with owner and winemaker, Michael Sterling. Michael spent his early career, as he puts it, ‘doing everything wrong’ that you could to a wine and aimed to create a wine with Franny Beck that’s the exact opposite.

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It’s Just Wine – “C’est Juste Du Vin”

It’s Just Wine – “C’est Juste Du Vin”

Not to get philosophical for a few minutes, but wine is just wine. The only thing that matters is what you like. Wine can seem like an incredibly snooty thing, and I know the next sentence will sound snooty, so just bear with us for a few more sentences. Not long ago, we were in a very small winery in St. Julien on the Left Bank of Bordeaux called Domaine du Jaugaret (it’s true, we lead a rough life). It was a tiny production – three acres, only two old fermentation tanks, with a total production of 1,500 to 3,000 bottles a year. After tasting the last two vintages in the barrel, the owner / wine maker, Jean-François Fillastre, told us with some embarrassment that he can only sell us one bottle of wine, but we can pick the vintage. As we’re looking through his cellar, we begin to ogle a 1976 (my birth year), and Jean-François starts laughing at us oohing and aahing the wine. He looked at us and said: “c’est juste du vin.” English translation – it’s just wine. How true.

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Worth the Splurge: 2012 Judge Palmer Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Select

Worth the Splurge: 2012 Judge Palmer Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Select

This is a wine that’s complex, structured, and beautiful. My favorite memory of Judge Palmer was when we visited the vineyard for a tasting in early 2016. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a tasting. Palmer Emmitt was our host and a good 80% of the tastings came straight out of the barrel. Palmer, with measuring cup in hand, would climb over this barrel and that, grabbing samples. He’d then mix it all together and offer us the chance to taste their future wine. He did this over and over again until we nearly had to run out because we were desperately late for our next tasting. So much fun and so much great wine – we cannot wait to go back.

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