This has to be one of the most unique wines in the world. Like a hypothetical blend between old school Cote-Rotie (think Levet, Gallet, Gentaz) and old-school Bordeaux (Cantemerle, Domaine de

Chevalier, La Mission Haut Brion) all wrapped up with that lovely Provencal garrigue. If more people knew what this was, the price would be treble.

Winemaker Eloi Durrbach is an icon in winemaking circles. He planted vines in the Alpilles in 1973 before anybody else did. Eloi's father in 1955 bought the famous farmhouse at Trevallon with 60 acres of scrubland surrounding it. One problem, it was all surrounded by rock. Eloi and his son dynamited the rock out of the way, planted the plots to 3 acres in 1973, and the first bottling of Trevallon was 1976.

Many of you have dug into your stashes of 2010 Henri Gallet Côte-Rotie and are very happy to find an utterly classic Côte-Rotie that is about as traditional as it gets. Like Billard-Gonnet in Pommard Today I am thrilled to offer a wonderful counterpart to the 2010, the 2012 Henri Gallet Côte-Rotie for $49.99 on the 4-pack and a special 12 bottle case price of $45.99. An absolute aromatic tour de force with intense, but elegant, Syrah flavors on the palate.

I recently spent a few days recently with the  NV (2012) VDF Domaine Pierres Seches "Cuvee Georges de la Tour" ($19.99 on a 4 pack) and the wine really floored me. It's a pure Syrah that sees no wood and is fermented with natural yeasts. The character and pure quality this wine has for $19.99 is amazing.  This blows away any $30 Syrah-based Cotes du Rhone on the market.  

I go nuts over value wines when I find them. For under $20 this is really, really compelling.

Five (of Five) Stars from the Top Rhone Critic - This is a Wine That You Need to Have in Your

Cellar - Under $50

I had a bottle of old Chave Hermitage Blanc the other night.  It was one of the great wine drinking experiences of my life.  I know that some people think that Rhone whites (when young) are too fruit forward.  This wine had 2 decades of age and it was absolutely psychotic.

Jean-Claude Berrouet was the winemaker at Château Petrus for over 40 years.  He also worked at

Dominus.  The word "legend," while accurate, is too quotidien to do him justice.  He is certainly one of the most important winemakers of this century.  His style focuses on allowing terroir to express itself and he creates wines of supreme balance.

Every great winemaker has a moment when he truly arrives on the scene and reaches the level of the

elite.  Often, it's with a wine from a more humble appellation (and in a very good year).  Herve Murat has always been a rising star (especially in France) - with the 2012 Les Herbues - he's firmly entrenched in the skies over Burgundy.

Don't get me wrong - the 2010 and 2011 Herbues were very good and insane values.  Really delicious with nice complexity.  But the 2012.

A Unique "Burgundian" Beaujolais Built to Age Plus a Simply Delicious Brouilly That's Ready to Drink 

Michel Guignier is a winery I love and drink almost more than any other red winery inmy book. The wines are just delicious. It is carbonically made Gamay in the vin natural style with oodles and oodles of personality. Man, do they crunch. It's just a berry crunch like you won't believe. There is lovely earthiness, minerality and amazingly fresh fruit.

My mother, may she rest in peace, taught me many lessons, many I have forgotten but one that I did not, was

that being a snob is a good thing. It means you know what you like and can discern differences between things to assess quality and preference. The term wine snob can be thrown around but in this golden age of wine that we live in, what does it really mean? Sorry to go all Buzzfeed on you but I present the 6 types of wine snobs.

When you talk about the Northern Rhone, there are two people whose opinions really matter.  One is the famous English critic John Livingstone Learmouth and the other is "the Greek," Georges Lelektsoglou, who runs the most important wine store in the Northern Rhone (every winemaker you meet tells you to go there).  Both are fans of Christophe Billon, Lelektsoglou so much that he has Billon make several cuvees for him that he brands with his store's name.

The Yin and the Yang: the Perfect Harmony of Battenfeld Spanier's Dry Hohen-Sülzen Riesling 

Some years it is difficult to pick a white wine of the year.  Some years, it's obvious.