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What’s in My Wine Bag

About three months ago I left my restaurant job and took a sales position with a small wine distributor based out of Houston. My job is simple; work with an already established Sales Manager and help grow the market in Dallas.

There’s a ton of potential here. This place is gigantic. There are restaurants, shops, and bars on just about every corner. My job should be relatively simple, since our portfolio is one of my very favorites (we distribute the Rosenthal Wine Merchant portfolio exclusively in Texas).

I thought it might be fun to give you a peek into my wine bag, and tell you about the wines I showed to some of my accounts this week. I had a last minute cancelation, so my bag was kind of light. Here’s a look at the wines that were in it.

Wine: 2014 Domaine Philippe Gilbert Menetou Salon Blanc

Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Loire Valley, France

When it comes to white wines, the Loire Valley has my heart. Menetou Salon is definitely an off the radar region (the area is immediately west of Sancerre), the domaine grows the same grapes (Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir), and has the same kind of soil (limestone). How did it stack up? Aromatically, this was grapefruit, gooseberry, fresh cut green herbs, and peppers. Flavor wise, this was crazy mineral driven, like the time I licked chalk in elementary school because I wanted to know what it tasted like (no wonder I didn’t have any friends). This is a food wine. Deep down I really wanted to cancel the rest of my appointments, BYOB it up,  and eat all the oysters.


Wine: 2013 Domaine Cheveau Saint Amour “Les Champs Grilles”

Grapes: 100% Gamay

Region: Beaujolais, France

I’m not talking about that Georges DuBoeuf Nouveau stuff here, I’m talking Cru Beaujolais. What is Cru Beaujolais, you ask. It’s higher quality Gamay that can bear the name of one of the ten villages on the label. Saint Amour is one of those villages. I end up requesting this sample bottle because I’d never had a wine from this village before, and we finally cracked it open at a staff meeting. This is some fine old vine Beaujolais folks. It smelled like currants, cherries, green peppers, and pencil shavings. Then it opened up and was spicy and light, fruity and fresh, and structured at the same time. It was a favorite with quite a few buyers.


Wine: 2013 Aurélien Chatagnier Saint Joseph Rouge

Grapes: 100% Syrah

Region: Northern Rhone, France

Aurélien Chatagnier started his own domaine when he was in his early twenties. He doesn’t come from a winemaking family, but he started tending the vines as a teenager at Domaine Jamet, and François Villard finally encouraged him to make wine on his own. His wines are one of my favorite portfolio discoveries. This screams Syrah. It was peppery, blackberries, black olives, peppercorns, and smoke in the glass. The palate was all about texture and balance. Elegant. So so good.

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