Wines of the month - Paul DeRose
French Gems via Washington DC – Bobby Kacher
Fine French wines may be the best in the world, but they’re all very expensive, right? “Au Contraire!” say a handful of small volume importers, specializing in high quality, low profile French wines. These importers are more than a bit obsessed, but visionary, feeling compelled to scour the French countryside in search of masterful artisans of vine and wine. And, when found, bringing their wines to market on the cheap by targeting lesser known regions, cutting out middle men and even chipping in by getting their hands dirty. Yes, these importers are driven by a labor of love that they want to share. The resulting wines are produced as naturally as possible by an insistence on organic farming, old grape vines with low yields, wild yeasts and hand harvesting.
Such visionaries with this rare dedication include Denyse Louis and Joe Dressner of Louis/Dressner Selections, a wife and husband team based in New York City, and Kermit Lynch, based in Berkeley, California, among others. Their wines are relatively inexpensive, particularly for the level of quality, but are in short supply, so it helps to be close to the importer’s home base. Fortunately for us, another of these, Robert Kacher of Robert Kacher Selections is based right here in Washington, DC, making his wines readily available in the DC tri-state area.
Below are some examples of Bobby Kacher’s wines, given with grape varieties when more than one type is available. For a full listing of the wines of the three importers mentioned, see these on-line links:
Tariquet (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, other whites) ($10) *
Clos de la Quilla Muscadet ($10) *
Domaine de Pouy ($8) *
Chateau Valcombe ($15) Mas Carlot ($10) *
Domaine des Cantarelles ($15) Domaine de Gournier ($8) *
Mas de Guiot ($14) *
Chateau Grande Cassagne ($12)
Andre Brunel Grenache or Cote du Rhone ($7 or $12) *
Reds listed are various blends of Syrah, Grenache and/or Cabernet Sauvignon.
* indicates available in Montgomery County