Event UPDATE: We’ve accepted an invitation to pour at the Seattle Food and Wine Experience (Sunday February 22, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall), and I’d encourage everyone to consider attending. This is an event run by Jamie Peha and her team, the folks behind our fifth anniversary event. In six years, they’ve built this event into a bon vivant’s dreamscape, filled with beer and wine, cider and spirits, and delicious food to soak up all that wonderful booze. The wine scene this year will include bottles from Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho domestically, and then on the international front Argentina, France, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay (better take a cab or bring a DD). For tickets and more information visit www.seattlewineandfoodexperience.com, and I hope to see many of you there!
Hello friends. I usually restrict my failed New Years resolutions to my personal life (and, more specifically, waist size). But it looks like this year I’m extending the failure to my professional life as well. Happy new year!
So, one of the conclusions I drew towards the end of 2014 was that I was getting a little too trigger happy on bringing in pre-sale parcels of wine. That wasn’t the model Full Pull was built on. We were built on a model of low- or no-excess inventory, but suddenly I found myself bringing in a stash of this, a stash of that, before an offer was even written. It’s challenging, because as we’ve grown, the wines and the deals have only gotten better and more compelling. But still. That’s not how we operate. Mostly.
And so I resolved to get back to basics in 2015 and try to keep the pre-offer purchasing to a minimum. And that resolution lasted for (wait for it)… nine days. Blown to smithereens by, of all things, a Beaujolais Blanc. Egads. So now you all have a great responsibility. You can: a) purchase every single bottle of today’s wine and only serve to encourage this bad behavior; or b) respond with a resounding lack of keystrokes, sending me into a whirlpool of shame and self-loathing.
I’d understand either way, and I suppose you’ll need to know the facts of the case to make such an important decision:
The thrust of this offer is going to answer the question: why was I seduced into buying up all of this wine? We’ll see if the reasons are as convincing to you as they were to me:
Reason 1: Chasing Smaller Dragons
Pat Malloy (a member of Team Full Pull) has called Burgundy hunting “chasing the dragon,” and I always loved that phrase, because more often than not, you think you’re going to get the gold, but what you actually get is the fiery breath. Among Burgundian Chardonnays, however, Beaujolais Blancs are considerably smaller dragons (like Game of Thrones season two-sized). Because they have the marketing poison of “Beaujolais” on the label, the prices they command are artificially suppressed. Hence, they can be outstanding values under the hands of the right winemaker.
Reason 2: The Right Winemaker
Jean-Marc Burgaud is a wonderful Beaujolais producer, based in Morgon since 1989. After a multi-year absence in the Seattle market, the wines returned last year with the re-arrival of Thomas Calder Selections back into the Seattle distribution market (for a great primer on the role of an export agent like Calder, check out this Wine Spectator article from December 2012). Burgaud’s focus is mostly on red wine (and especially on deeply charming Morgons), but he also farms a tiny plot of Chardonnay.
Reason 3: The Tiny Plot
This tiny plot of Chardonnay contains 65-year-old vines, and it’s so small that the overall production is a meager 50 cases. Fortunately, the importer of this wine is one of our partners in Seattle, and they get 25 of those cases. I don’t know about you, but for me there’s something romantic about a wine from one specific place that only generates 50 cases for the entire world. As you’d expect, the wine is a complete ghost. No record on CellarTracker. No entries in wine-searcher. Is anyone else in the US even retailing this wine? By the time I tasted it (on January 9), a handful of those 25 cases had already disappeared, but I’m guessing most (all?) went to restaurants, not retail.
Reason 4: Oh Right, The Wine
Oh right: I also tasted the wine and was completely gaga for it. Done all in neutral wood and clocking in at 12.5%, it is a mineral- and salt-soaked beauty, with terrific layers of fruit (creamy peach, lemon curd) and earth and biscuity lees. A total electric live-wire in the mouth, it seduced with its balance and intensity. There is so much stuffing, such beautiful bright acidity, that I could see this aging like a much more expensive white Burg.
And that’s it. One tasting on January 9, four reasons presented above, and then all the wine arrived in the warehouse a few weeks later. Our staff has grabbed the bottles we want for the personal stash. As for what remains, please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.