Jan. 18, 2016

Eric Solomon’s European Selections: Lafage and Espelt!!

Long time readers may have noticed a few times in the past we’ve featured wines from super importer Eric Solomon, whose French and Spanish imports under his European Selections brand are some of most value-laden wines coming off the continent. He works mainly with small family producers who farm their old vine vineyards, usually higher altitude and organically farmed, with remarkable care and attention to detail. The following two wines from the south of France and one from Spain are pretty mindblowing for the intensity of fruit and bang-for-the-buck they deliver!

2014 LAFAGE Carignan Vieilles Vignes “Tessalae”
$15.95 bottle/ $153.00 case
“Another stunning value from Jean-Marc Lafage, this over-delivers on such a level it is hard to believe. Lafage’s wines all are incredibly intense, rich, and impeccably made, with full flavors yet no0t at all heavy. In other words, very good winemaking on display here! A crazy value, the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Tessellae Carignan Vieilles Vignes is one of the best examples of this variety from the Roussillon, and the fact that it sells for a song is just icing on the cake for the consumer. Coming all from schist soils and 70-year-old vines, raised 12 months in a mix of concrete tanks and demi-muids, it offers tons of black raspberry and black cherry fruit, licorice and dried spices to go with a super sexy, heady, seamless style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. Drink this blockbuster over the coming 2-3 years. 92 points.” –Jeb Dunnuck/Wine Advocate

2014 LAFAGE Cotes du Roussillon “Bastide Miraflors”
$15.95 bottle/ $153.00 case
“A steal from Lafage is the 2014 Bastide Miraflors blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache. He has really hit a home run with this 10,000-case cuvée. It is deep, ruby/plum/purple, with fresh notes of blackcurrants, plums, Provençal herbs as well as licorice. Deep, medium to full-bodied, with amazing fruit, the purity, authenticity and Mediterranean upbringing of this wine are obvious. Quite deep, round and succulent, this wine should drink well for another several years. This is one to buy by the case. This estate, has been on fire, producing gorgeous wines, whether they be white or red. 92 points.” -Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

2015 ESPELT Garnacha Vignes Viejas
$13.95 bottle/ $134.00 case
“This stunning custom cuvee from Eric Solomon was made with the help of Frenchman Jean-Marc Lafage. From granite soils around Spain’s Costa Brava, just two kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea, some of the grapes in this wine come from old vines dating back to 1900. The 2013 Garnacha Old Vines boasts remarkable intensity as well as richness along with lots of strawberry, wild, briery mountain fruit and hints of spice, flowers, underbrush and Mediterranean herbs. The sweet tannin, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and luscious personality have resulted in a gorgeous wine to enjoy over the next several years. 91 points.” -Robert Parker/Wine Advocate

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