Winemakers don't always do things that make economic sense.  Sometimes they make a miniscule

quantity of a wine just because they want to even though there is too little to offer to other than a few stores.  These two wines are small production, labors of love from one of Beaujolais five best producers and they have never been offered in the United States.  These wines both push Beaujolais to its extremes, but are utterly profound.

You have never tasted anything like them.  With the Nodin Sparkling St. Peray yesterday and the '98 Muellen Auslese Trocken it might be unicorn wine week at Fass Selections.

The first wine is the 2011 Jean-Claude Lapalu Beaujolais-Villages "Rang du Merle" for as little as $31.99 on the 4-pack. This is his top of the line wine.

I don't often get fooled when tasting wine but when I first tasted this, I thought it was Champagne from

a very good producer and someone had done a bottle swap to mess with me.  I don't know how this wine came to taste this way, all I know is that it's a fantastic wine and because it's from the Rhone, costs a fraction of what Champagne of comparable quality costs.  No one has heard of Sparkling Rhone wines because they are traditionally semi-sweet and not that good.

We sold out of the Martin Muellen 1995 Krover Paraides Auslese Trocken and that will be shipped this

fall.  I knew that I would offer both of these and had to do it fast because they were both almost sold out at the winery.  I sold the 1995 first because there was almost none left , and as some of you found out, I had to cut you back, and substitute it with the 1998 Krover Paradies Auslese Trocken, which in fact is equal to the '95 and actually for my palate, a bit better.

Most discussions of wines from St. Joseph start with an admission that the wines are rustic, but then go

on to try and explain how this is fine.  I have no problem with the occasional rustic wine, but today's offer requires no such explanation.  Sylvain Gauthier makes some of the most pure, sleek, elegant wines I've ever had from the Northern Rhone.

For those of you who do not follow baseball, Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best hitters in baseball.

Unfortunately, no one pays much attention to him because he plays for a team that is generally pretty awful, the Miami Marlins.  At Fass Selections, I am trying to assemble an All Star Team of producers. I'm not just looking for well known players who play for the Yankees or the Red Sox.  I want the best producers, no matter where they are located; the Giancarlo Stantons of wine.

Vincent Ledy believes in the true essence, nature and fundamental beauty of terroir like almost no

winemaker I've ever met.  He expounds upon it like a man discussing the love of his life and his eyes attain a far off look when he discusses the inherent beauty of each of his plots.  Most Burgundian winemakers add new French Oak to their red wines to give them added structure and flavor; Ledy believes that this is not only unnecessary, but almost sacrilege.

Is he crazy?  


Visiting Laible is always one of the highlights of my trip to Germany every year.Offering them to the

list is another highlight as well. There is nothing like a Laible wine because they are grown in a unique microclimate by an incredibly talented winemaker.  The wines have an indescribable purity, clarity and mineral fruit balance.  Laible's wines have received so much love and positive feedback it is remarkable.

Georges "Le Grec" Lelektsoglou is an abolsute legend amongst winemakers in the Northern Rhone.

The entire region knows him as "The Greek."  Every winemaker says, "you have to go and meet The Greek." He wears soccer jerseys, smokes cigs and knows Rhone wines like few other in the region. He has been visiting winemakers and vineyards for over 30 years and his knowledge of the terroirs and the winemakers is almost unparallelled.

This is one of those embarrassment of riches offer. By now many of you have tasted the 2011's

of Sebastien Dampt. They are mineral, salty, brisk, have wonderful deep flavors and textures, with classic Chablis character and are excellent values. They have been amongst the whites that have been emphatically praised by the whole list. Sebastien is a young guy and he thinks outside the box for what is considered normal winemaking in Chablis.

I was very excited to visit Phillipe Brugnon in Rilly La Montagne as one of the most highly regarded

wine stores in France carries this and Selosse in their store and no other Champagnes. Phillipe Brugnon is making incredibly elegant, complex Champagne.  Don't be fooled by the price - these are 1er cru from Montagne but from lesser known villages and in the hands of a terrific winemaker, they are incredibly good and ridiculous values.