Finally, we’ve opened the doors and it is business as usual (almost). Our wines are on the shelf, our boats are on the water, and our customers are keener than ever to conduct their international travel through the prism of a wine glass. New problems, old solutions.
One change has been a sudden demand for cheaper European deals — which we have happily been able to supply. Among the current highlights are the San Martin Rioja Crianza, from a bodega owned by La Rioja Alta. This pedigree red was already good value at $30 odd, but at $21.99 its a very elegant option indeed.
Circumstances were such that we had to turn to other importers as well. One remarkable example of such deals is the stunning Ermita de San Lorenzo 2012, a well-aged Spanish Gran Reserva for a ridiculously cheap price of $16.99.
A more modern style of Garnacha is the Peninsula Cadalso, made under the watchful eye of two Masters of Wine. At a stunning discount ($19.99), it is so red-fruited and refreshing that it would appeal almost more to a Pinot drinker than a traditional Spanish red lover.
Another treat is a further discount on our organic Frascati-style white, the Abelos Bio from De Sanctis. Made from Malvasia and a little Bombino Bianco, this wine is a full flavoured and richly textured variant of this traditionally elegant style from the Lazio region.
But for Italy lovers who are looking for something more expensive — or more red — then never fear. Despite the hazards of recent months, the country’s great regions (like most in Europe) have keep shipping wonderful wines out of their busy ports.
And it’s a good thing for us, because if those 2016s didn’t arrive from Piedmont then John Caro would have been very disappointed. Readers about his recent trip know how excited he is about the wines of this particular vintage and region, from the newly rediscovered Conterno Fantino (pictured above) to our more stalwart classics of the region.
To check out our soon-to-arrive Barolos and Barbarescos from 2016, click here. And in the mean time, as our various boats sail closer, let’s count ourselves lucky the Europeans are so clear about what constitutes an essential industry.
An ancient tonic for the soul — and a travel-free transportation across years and continents — these bottles of fermented grape juice are set to remain one of our favourite remedies (for the healthy) as we face our more modern problems.
And who are we to contradict such a fine tradition?