I had a wonderful visit to Jerome Galeyrand this year. This was my 2nd time visiting Jerome and I

got to know him much better this time. He is all business, pays so much attention to detail, is very open to experimentation and is not bogged down in dogma or labeling himself. The wines, I cannot stress this enough, are absolutely top class and on the same level as Herve Murat as well as two producers that we don't work with anymore (and whose prices have now skyrocketed) Thomas Bouley in Volnay and Domaine Duroche in Gevrey. Jerome is on this level. To put it mildly, these are some of the best values, as they are presently priced.  As I've said before and I will say again he is like a cross between Murat and Fourrier.

Müllen, Battenfeld-Spanier, Laible and Weltner are the big boys in our German portfolio.  They have

been around for a while, have made great wine and deserve their reputations.  But I also want to offer wines from wineries that are not yet as famous.  Partly because the wines taste different and I'm into the whole viva la difference thing (even in Germany) and partly because their relative lack of fame makes their wines ridiculous values given my direct from the winery model.

Since I started selling his wines, Laurent Habrard's quality has gone from that of a firmly 2nd tier producer to the 1st tier so quick it's not even funny. I don't think I've ever witnessed such a quick ascent over a few vintages. I always taste with him at the Salon des Vins every year, and the first year they were ok, but not good enough for me to sell. Then the 2nd year with his 12's and 13's I was starting to get impressed. Really impressed.

Personal Note: I've spent the last decade of my life tasting the top German wines and explaining to

American wine drinkers that the best of these wines are among the greatest white wines in the world.  Because they are less appreciated globally than their brethren in France, they are still incredible values.  In my opinion, you owe it to yourself to try this wine.

I've never seen or heard Carolin Kuhling-Gillot be this excited. This enthusiastic.
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This is the email that I have been most excited to write about since I have returned from France as it

about the vaunted 2015 vintage in the Northern Rhone which is even better then advertised. Much better. The murmurs started last year when I got back from France that something special was brewing. Growers kept saying the same thing over and over. There is nothing comparable. The wines are that good. Not 61, not 29, not 99, not '10.

Every year one of the visits I look forward to the most is Phillipe Billard of the classically old school

estate of Billard-Gonnet. The wines are some of my favorites in the whole portfolio and are built to age, but some can be drunk young. Depending on the vintage and vineyard they can be enjoyed very young. Today, I have a rare vertical of arguably Billard-Gonnet's best wine, and that is the spectacular Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens Bas.

One of my favorite things since I have opened Fass Selections is to see how a wine's reputation and sales evolve. Case in point. The stunning Saumur Blanc of Michel Chevre from the Domaine de Clos de l'Ecotard went from "I cannot give this away" to "one of our most in demand and oversold offers of the year." He's obviously also getting very popular in his native France. At first, selling this wine was akin to selling sand in a desert.

If there is one thing I love at Fass Selections is when a client has a Paul Weltner wine for the first time and I get the subsequent email of "where have you been all my life, that's the most amazing

white wine I've had in ages" email. Then, they are hooked. His wines are almost like drugs in the devout, maniacal following they have, not only in the United States but also in Germany.

This year George "The Greek" (the top wine retailer in the Northern Rhone) and his family invited

me into his home for a wonderful dinner. It's always a treat to eat some serious classic French home cooking and enjoy stories of George's nearly 40 years in the wine business. And of course to enjoy terrific new wines. George, ever year has a "crush" on a new grower that he has discovered and opens bottles up and tells his closest confidantes. Also if it appears in his shop then it has arrived.

This will be my last 2014 Chablis offering so pay attention. This is a terrific and classic vintage for

the long haul and, like 2010 and 2008, we will all wish we bought more. We are about to ship the 2014 Jean Daivissat Pere & Fils (Fabien Dauvissat) Chablis AC with the spring ship and many of you will get to taste the genius that is Fabien Dauvissat.
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