Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Single Vineyard Wines

What is the importance of Single Vineyard Wines?

One of the fundamental truths of the wine world that has taken root (pardon the expression) is that place does indeed matter. Like cheese, coffee and many agricultural products; that which comes from one place does not taste like a cousin from somewhere else. In viticulture, this is known as terroir, the unique combination of variables that merge to form a specific site. Sunlight, exposure, soil types, even factors like wind direction come into play to give a vineyard its voice. And just as you can recognize a friend or relative’s voice without actually seeing them speak, so it goes with grapevines. In the best instances, and with a bit of experience, you can taste a wine’s birthplace in the glass.

In probably its most extreme form, Burgundy is the queen of geography and place. Over hundreds of years, parcels have been broken down and broken down again, each time resulting in smaller designations and blocks based on unique vineyard characteristics. For example, while 10 different winemakers working with Echezeaux fruit may have different techniques and strategies resulting in 10 different wines, they should all fundamentally taste like Echezeaux. California is no different (don’t let the French tell you otherwise).  

We recently had the good fortune of attending a tasting at Robert Mondavi winery showcasing wines from the historic To Kalon vineyard in Oakville. Our winemaking team here at Bounty Hunter works with To Kalon fruit – along with Paul Hobbs, Tor Kenward, Alpha-Omega, Robert Mondavi, Opus One and Far Niente, among others. 

Though the vineyard is largely split between the Mondavi portion and Andy Beckstoffer’s blocks, only a narrow country lane separates the two. The vineyard doesn’t know it’s split. As such, while the five wines showcased had different personalities, it was clear that they were siblings. What they shared in common was more pronounced than what they didn’t. Such is the magic of place.

We undertook our Waypoint project some years ago as an homage to place. When choosing a vineyard site to make wine from we will not sign a contract unless the property has consistently demonstrated a commonality across the producers buying its fruit. It’s not a marketing ploy… these are places with history farmed with exacting care by some of the best in the business.
Tierra Buena has been under vine on Spring Mountain since the late 1800’s, a formidable track record anywhere. Oakville Ranch claims some of Napa’s most expensive fruit for the very real reason that people recognize its inherent quality and will pay for it. Somerston is basically a mini-valley unto itself, a sweeping property of more than 1,200 acres with personality to spare. Lee Hudson’s Chardonnay grapes are some of California’s most coveted, a testament to the land and Lee’s farming standards.

We believe that our Waypoint single-vineyard selections can truly stand among Napa’s finest. And having a great winemaker in Tim Milos (hello, Parker 100-point club!) doesn’t hurt either. We chose these sites with the distinct purpose of controlling everything from bud break to farming and letting the wine speak to the place it was born and raised.  

There is a lot of romance in the wine industry around the concept of Single Vineyard designate wines.  But there’s also a lot of science and history to back it up.  If you haven’t had a chance to try our Waypoint series of Cabernets, Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Zinfandel, we think you’ll find them as excellent representations of their home vineyards (and often at a fraction of the price compared to their single vineyard siblings.)

We’d also love to know what your favorite Single Vineyard wines from other producers are in the comments section below. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bordeaux Futures

Bordeaux Futures and You: A Primer

What are Bordeaux Futures, and why should I buy them?

The Wines of Bordeaux are the most collectible and age-worthy red wines of Europe, and historically have appreciated in value over time, especially in the most coveted vintages. Pre-paying for the wines “en primeur,” 2 years before they arrive stateside, is your opportunity to procure the wines at the lowest possible price.
For example, 2009 Leoville-Barton sold en primeur for around $99. Today the wine is typically available for around $125. Buying the wine as a future ensures you’re getting the optimal price, and failing a dramatic decline in the euro or sharp decline in demand for a vintage, it’s the smart way to collect Bordeaux. This price advantage becomes more pronounced over time. A bottle of 1990 Château Leoville-Barton cost about $25 as a future; today the same bottle sells for $165, an almost sevenfold increase.

Why Should I Buy 2015 Bordeaux Futures?

2015 was an outstanding vintage on the Southern Médoc, and on the right bank. It’s not as uniform in quality as 2009 or 2010, but reaches the same heights at the best properties. Today we have a very good $USD/euro exchange rate, at $1.12. Pricing is looking very attractive. For example, 2010 Château Haut-Brion currently sells at an average price of $1,000 per bottle. Our futures price on the 2015 model, a comparable wine, will likely come out around $550.

Why Buy Bordeaux Futures At Bounty Hunter?

Bounty Hunter Rare Wines & Spirits has been making customers happy with our commitment to elite customer service for over 22 years. We’re also importing the wines direct from merchants in Bordeaux, delivering pricing that is at least 25% lower than retailers who are forced to buy their wines from distributors. Thus you’re guaranteed the best of all worlds: perfect provenance, and execution at an optimal price.

Okay, I’m ready to start purchasing Bordeaux futures. How should I get started?

Once you’ve made the decision to start purchasing futures, it is important to have a good buying strategy. After all, there are many things to consider when purchasing futures, such as which producers to select, when their wines are available for a future purchase, how much will be available and at what price.  Like with most investments, it all starts with a budget in mind, a goal for your investment and someone with their finger on the pulse of the market who can help you develop a rock solid strategy to meet your goals (even if your goal is to drink some incredible wines). 

Our Wine Scouts are up to speed with the latest information from industry experts, insiders and the word on the street, to help you put together a strategy that will reward you for years to come. 

Simply give us a call at 800.943.9463 and one of our Wine Scouts will be there to get you started.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Sangria

It's summertime! 
A great time to get out the BBQ, have some friends over and celebrate with a little help from one of our favorite summer sippers: Sangria!

Here are three wines we recommend for a perfect white sangria, plus three refreshing recipes to try! 

Cheers to Summer! 

2014 Mister Bianco Proprietary White California

Lemon-lime, apricots and white flowers share space with a 
whack of lip-smacking palate texture.

2013 Streamside Pinot Grigio Sonoma County

Pretty, lifted notes of green apple, melon rind and subtle minerality 
will awaken your palate to what a springtime white can be

Pinot Grigio’s acidity meets Chardonnay’s flesh in 
one ultra-sophisticated bargain.

Thai-Basil Sangria, Food & Wine

Cucumber Melon Sangria, Lemons for Lulu

Watermelon Sangria, Food & Wine

- The Bounty Hunter Team

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Pairings for the Wine & Spirits Connoisseur

Summer is fast approaching and little is better than sitting down and relaxing with a great book and a nice glass of your favorite wine or spirit. Whether it be outside by the pool, on a blanket at the beach, or inside on your cozy couch; the right book combined with the right drink, makes for a great escape.

With this in mind, we polled the Bounty Hunter team to ask them for their favorite literary and vinous pairings.  If you’ve been looking to add something to your Summer reading list (and your Summer drinking list!) then pick a book, pair it with a tasty beverage, and let your mind run wild! 

Atlas Shruggedby Ayn Rand

"The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did."*

Recommended Pairing:

2013 John Galt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Lock Artist: A Novelby Steve Hamilton

"Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe ... he can open them all."*

Recommended Pairing:

Blade & Bow Straight Bourbon Whiskey Kentucky

The Juice: Vinous Veritasby McInerney Jay

"Jay McInerney provides a master class in the almost infinite varieties of wine and the people and places that produce it."*

Recommended Pairing:

2013 CADE 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

While the World Is Still Asleepby Petra Durst-Benning 

"An inspiring historical tale of one woman risking it all for her dreams set in 1890s Berlin."*

Recommended Pairing:

2014 Dr. Loosen ''Urziger Wurzgarten'' Kabinett Riesling Mosel

Lush Life: A Novelby Richard Price

"A tale of two Lower East Sides: one a high-priced bohemia, the other a home to hardship."*

Recommended Pairing:

Four Roses 10yr "Bounty Hunter Private Selection No. 11" Bourbon Whiskey Kentucky

The Catcher in the Ryeby J.D. Salinger

Set around the 1950's and narrated by a boy named Holden Caulfield as he becomes an icon for teenage rebellion.

Recommended Pairing:

Journeyman Distillery 'Bounty Hunter Single Barrel' Ravenswood Rye Whiskey, Michigan

Justice -- What's the Right Thing to Do?by MICHAEL J SANDEL

Michael Sandel address a series of alternative theories of justice.

Recommended Pairing:

2012 Blind Justice 'Beckstoffer To Kalon' Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Rum Diary: A Novelby Hunter S. Thompson

"A love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent lust in the Caribbean."*

Recommended Pairing: 

Papa's Pilar Dark Rum 'BH Single Barrel'

Tortilla Flatby John Steinbeck

"At the center of the tale is Danny, whose house, like Arthur’s castle, becomes a gathering place for men looking for adventure, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging—men who fiercely resist the corrupting tide of honest toil and civil rectitude."*

Recommended Pairing:

2012 The Jailbird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

*synopsis taken from Amazon.com