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The wine journal

Tastings notes, wine stories, and adventures from the road.

A Tour de France

Paris, France Why is pinot noir from Burgundy so much more subtle than pinot noir from California? What two main characteristics do the French look for in their wine? What makes a gamay from Beaujolais such an excellent, less expensive alternative to ultra-pricey...

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Under the Silver Sky

Paris, France Sipping a glass of St. Emilion up in the rafters of an old Haussmann building here on the Left Bank. The weather has finally turned here in France, l’été indien giving way to the grisaille parisienne – the silvery gray sky that once enraptured Pissarro...

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Your French Wine Tasting with French winemaker Julien Miquel

Instead of one long tasting video (as he did for the Argentine and Italian collections), Julien has created a series of seven shorter videos giving each wine in our collection the attention it deserves. Before you open one of your bottles, simply click on the short video about it to learn about what you should look out for.

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France’s “Best-Kept Secret”

It’s one of the strangest appellations in all of Europe, a sort of French “Brigadoon” located on a misty ridge covered in razor-sharp, blue-grey rock… where flash floods wash away the roads nearly every year and the closest supermarket is hours away… where the men...

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Part II – Notes from the French Harvest

Last week, we told you about how the vignerons of France toil at the intersection of three gigantic climatic forces: the Atlantic Ocean, the African continent, and Eurasia. The upside is an almost unmatched diversity of terroirs… if these forces act as expected. So...

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Notes from the French Harvest

This week, we hear from the front lines of the French vendange, the grape harvest that runs from August to October, culminating in the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, a four-day bacchanalia that takes over the old “Belle Epoque” streets of Paris’ 18th...

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What No One Understands About Champagne

First of all: Congratulations to all of you who were able to purchase Italian cases!  We sold out much faster than we expected. Demand was so high, in fact, that we’re already trying to secure a few extra cases of our upcoming French shipment (which will include a...

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The Mysterious Case of the Missing Malbec

Baltimore, MD If you looked closely at the notes we included with your first shipment of small-batch, Argentine wines, then you know that aging your Tacana and Puramun malbecs for another decade could yield remarkable results. High-altitude malbecs, in general, are...

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What a Jordan Insider Told Us

Annapolis, MD “Hopefully she hasn’t read what we’ve written about that buttery Chardonnay,” we thought.  We were talking to Maggie Kruse, new head winemaker for Jordan Winery in California. Don’t worry, we’re not about to sell you a $90 California Cab (though if you...

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A Desert Island With Europe’s Oldest Vines

Annapolis, MD Out in the Atlantic, under a boiling, cloudless oven of a sky, green vines grow on the steep, pitch-black slopes of a sleeping volcano over 12,000 feet high. The vines, some 300 years old, have woven into dense braids to produce grapes with names that...

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