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Daily highlights, recent releases and top picks selected by our fine wine team, including direct allocations, private cellars and rare wines from the world’s greatest producers, with excellent provenance.




    Bordeaux produces a lot of wine. There is plenty of it in the market-place. With so much younger wine washing around in the market, we find it difficult to see any compelling need or urgent reason to buy wines prior to maturity. At Courtier we are still happy to advise our clients what to buy and often find rich veins of mature wines from our connections with excellent private cellars, but with younger vintages traded more or less as a commodity, we are wary of that market.

    No Future in Futures!
    Indeed the myopic and careless price inflation in the futures market, together with notorious and spectacular failures has made the ‘Futures’ or ‘En Primeur’ market redundant and totally irrelevant. Why anyone would still be willing and trusting enough to stump up cash two years in advance to a middle-man, in the vague hope that they will be getting some advantage in price or presuming superior provenance, is a complete mystery.

    Ex-Cellars Direct
    With several notable vintages now cheaper than their original en-primeur price, it is easy to demonstrate the lack of financial justification for buying futures, but there is still good reason to purchase wine at release because of the assurance of provenance. This can really be the only reason anyone would still consider a futures purchase.

    However, at Courtier, we would like to bring our clients to a better way of buying Bordeaux.

    By establishing strong links with well-placed negociants, we now have access to stocks of wine that are still lying in the cellars of the chateau, these reserves have never been moved and never released.  These wines are generally several years older than the current vintage and no matter how confident any of us may be about how wines are handled in the market after release, the certainty and integrity of provenance that comes with an ex-cellars purchase is priceless.

    The wines purchased in these offers generally come with some authentification and are imported directly to us in California by refrigerated sea freight, the gentlest and safest method of moving fine wine. They are stored at Courtier’s climate controlled wine storage until you are ready to take possession.

    We aim to bring a series of these offers in this ‘campaign’ over the coming months.

    Wines are subject to availability.

    Ex Chateau – offered to you directly from the cellars of Cheval Blanc

    Every three to five years we get another Burgundy vintage that marks a new round of excitement. And while we steadfastly espouse a strategy of looking past the vintage hype to buy your favorite producers in every year it is imperative that every serious Burgundy collector or drinker get their ducks in a row and be ready, with a sober strategy to meet the new vintage releases of the 2015s and the hype that surrounds them.
    Generalization can be the enemy of successful analysis but 2015 is ripe, with good concentration. And other than the reduction in quantity, not quality, because of the seemingly ubiquitous Spring hail storms, it is healthy, with great potential. It is likened more to 2009 than ’10 but the balance is good and the ‘material’ dense, with good phenolic ripeness that allowed winemakers the freedom to express themselves and assert their style.
    Wines are subject to availability.
    Domaine Trapet
    Clos de Tart, Ponsot, and Anne Gros
    Domaine Trapet
    Chateau de la Tour
    Albert Morot
    Drouhin 2015 and Faiveley 2015 (part two)
    Pousse d’Or
    Clos Frantin
    Domaine Tortochot
    Gros Frere et Soeur

    “…this is a truly sensational vintage that should not be missed by any Rhône lover out there. Let me say that one more time: 2015 is a truly sensational vintage. Looking at the weather, the vintage is characterized by a wet, rainy winter/spring that saturated the water table. This was followed by a large, healthy crop-set and a scorching hot summer that served to thicken the grape skins. There were rains later in the summer when needed (July and August), and harvest went off with few problems. Quality is consistent across all varieties, and there was very little sorting required in the cellar.
    Nearly every appellation has produced profound wines and the vintage is almost universally loved by vignerons. Marcel Guigal told me it was the greatest vintage he had ever seen. Across the board, the wines possess saturated purple colors (sometimes with hints of blue), thick, unctuous textures, beautiful concentration and ripe, yet present tannin. In addition, the wines retain a sense of freshness and purity. At this point, the 2015s show more flamboyance and sexiness than the 2010s (tannin levels are similar), with slightly more freshness than the 2009s. A number of vignerons compared the vintage to 1990, but for those of us with shorter tasting histories, the vintage comes closest in my mind to a hypothetical blend of 2009 and 2010.” -Wine Advocate
    Wines are subject to availability.
    Domaine Du Tunnel
    La Mordoree

    “…the 2012 vintage for Brunello stands out for its consistently high quality. I found more good to outstanding examples than in any past vintage and far fewer unfocused, unbalanced and high-alcohol wines.  The 2012 Brunellos are characterized by impeccable balance, vibrant acidity and fine-grained tannins. They are not especially luscious or fleshy, but they are blessed with precise aromas and flavors of mainly red fruits, blood orange and minerals, and will prove very ageworthy.
    The most interesting aspect of the 2012 Brunellos is that they convey a cool-climate personality while in fact the vintage was characterized by anything but cool weather.  The end result in 2012 is a bevy of refined, classic Brunellos that will repay cellaring.” –Ian d’Agata, Vinous
    Wines are subject to availability.
    Canalicchio di Sopra
    Ciacci Piccolomini
    Il Poggione
    La Serena
    San Filippo

    The Legacy of Anselme Selosse and the New Generation
    Twenty years ago, Selosse’s wines were a badge of honor worn by enthusiasts and geeks. They weren’t expensive, they were just really really hard to find.  A successful hunt brought a sure reward; an esoteric, enigmatic and individual wine, that could be both confusing yet thrilling at the same time. But, as all things turn; word got out. Selosse’s prices went pear-shaped and the equation is now pretty simple; if you can bear to pay the price, the wines are there for the taking. But for those with more limited means but a keen spirit of adventure and the appreciation of a connoisseur, there is a phalanx of determined pioneers who surf the wake of Anselme Selosse, crediting him with their inspiration or sense of direction. This new wave is responsible for a profound change that has rocked the most conservative of all the French wine regions. They are making the most distinctive and exciting wines champagne now has to offer.
    At Courtier we are committed and determined to track down these rare and wonderful wines in much the same spirit as the hunters of yore and to bring them to the market at the sharpest prices.
    Watch this space for offers of Selosse and from the leaders of the new generations of growers’ own:
    Jacques Selosse in stock at very sharp prices
    David Leclapart: A Connoiseur’s Champagne