When I first opened Fass Selections, everyone (and when I say everyone I mean my business partner)

thought I was crazy to work with an estate in Irancy. Well, four years laterI'm not the crazy one, as Irancy is the cool new AOC and today's producer also has since inked a deal with a famous east coast distributor. We are thrilled that Fass Selections and a few others have helped launch Irancy into the conversation of great undiscovered Pinot Noir appellations because it is! Decades ago, Irancy wines used to be thin in many years, but with global warming, the wines have the fruit profiles that used to exist in central Burgundy.

I was the first guy in New York to really push dry German riesling.

I was the first guy to push a broad portfolio of German pinot noirs.

And now, I am banging the drum as hard as I can with both hands for this new generation of Rhone white producers.

Rhone whites are a category where the wines are great old but could be obnoxious when young.  They had the opulence, but none of the balance until they aged and mellowed.

This wine is one of the very few Southern Rhone wines that I sell and now it is one of my top Southern Rhone stalwarts.  It comes to us from the wine store that has been the first store to sell pretty much every top Rhone producer you know, the "King of the Rhone" run by George and his extremely knowledgeable son, Charlie.  Today's wine is from the estate of Domaine St. Gayan. The wines have a detail and care that you can tell comes from no tricks or enzymes but just hard "blankin" work.

"Martin Müllen is ecstatic about 2015: "A great vintage, simply a great vintage! The key was not to give in to panic and harvest too early. By beginning of October, my grapes still didn't taste ripe. So I delayed the harvest start to October 12 and finished it only by early November. The great weather gave me the time to make wines in all stylistic directions, right up to a BA harvested at 160° Oechsle.

I usually have a picture of the winemaker or the wine in these E-Mails.  Today, it is the terroir.

Because these wines today are made in some of the most challenging, spectacular terroir in the world.  Much truly great wine is made because the grapes struggle to survive.  And Valtellina is a brutal environment for grapes.  As you can see, it is rocky, steep and cold from the mountains.  But that is what we like at Fass Selections.

David Léclapart!

David Léclapart!

He is likely the best winemaker in Champagne who most people have never heard of. 

He may be the best winemaker in France who most people have never heard of.

I can't believe I got my hands on a cuvee of David Léclapart at this price!

There are winemakers and there are artists. And then there are winemakers who are artists. David Léclapart is in the last category; he is one of the most talented winemakers in all of France.

I don't sell Bordeaux often but I am very enthusiastic about the ones I do sell and ChateauLa Reysse

is not only absolutely wonderful and classically styled Bordeaux it is also just one of the best values going. Finding and offering great value Bordeaux can be a challenge to say the least. Selling it is even harder.  The famous names are the famous names and expensive. The not so famous names most of them, including me, have never heard of.

Well, Jeb Dunnuck, who is the most chilled out laid back wine critic I have ever met came out with

his massive 2015 Northern (and Southern) Rhone Report in the latest Wine Advocate.

As a wine importer I feel you have a duty for this generation and future generations to do something great. To be innovative and to take risks. That is what it is all about. How else could wines from Bandol, Ajaccio, Irancy, Swabia, Chinon, Saumur, Etna and Baden come to be on wine lists and shelves of retail stores if it wasn't for some importer who did not care that it wasn't financially prudent to sell Cabernet Franc from Chinon, when you had all you needed in St. Emilion.

A New Star in the Fass Selections Firmament

- from a New Region for Us

An Insane Bottle of "Grand Cru" Riesling for Under $33

- Creamy, Mineral, Balanced Like a Knife's Edge 

Plus Our First 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Unlike Any You've Had 

- The Fruit of Cab Combined with the Minerality of Germany

Before, I get into the story of how I discovered Leon Gold (and it's quite a story) I wantedto explain why I'm introducing another German producer.