A new, non-AT/Lillian wine club from AT. I’ll admit to being curious:
$140 or $280 / month for 1 or 2 bottles per.
If our North Star is to always make wine in the most beautiful way possible, our galaxy is comprised of the glittering collection of treasured wines — made by other producers — that we keep in our cellar. These points of light illuminate our work and share space at our table. It has been an honor to pour them for you at the Antica Terra table alongside our own wines.
We gravitate to wines that are rare and all too finite in volume. As such, our tasting flight changes swiftly, more regularly than we are able to see most of you. For those who asked, we started to tuck away bottles at the turn of each orbit until we filled a box to ship.
The Collective Membership is exactly this. Each month, we tuck a wine Maggie has hand-selected into your box, and twice a year — in the spring and the fall — you receive a curated collection of bottles reflective of the things we most love to drink. Wines are either all red, or a mix of white, red, rosé and champagne.
Each shipment will include a limited edition printed piece, with details on the wines included. Membership will be extremely limited so that we are able to source suitably rare and unique bottlings.
Please note that these subscriptions do not include Antica Terra or Lillian wines.
This is what their current email says about contents:
To date, we have talked about the producers and cuvées that we gravitate toward in the abstract. We feel strongly that the contents of these boxes must be revealed upon receipt; life holds too few moments of delicious anticipation to spoil this one! But keeping this secret has been frustrating, when the specifics have been so exciting. Now that our spring shipments are delivered, we can’t help but to crow about the treasures we tucked into our founding members’ boxes.
Included among them:
2011 Marguet, Sapience, Premier Cru, Extra-Brut, Champagne, France
2014 Bodegas Rafael Palacios, Sorte O Soro, Valdeorras, Spain
2017 Sadie Family Wines, Palladius, Swartland, South Africa
2015 Château de Beaucastel, Cuvée Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhône, France
2001 Chateau Musar, Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
2010 Giuseppe Quintarelli, Rosso del Bepi, Veneto, Italy
My perception is that you are paying a premium over what it would be to source the wines you receive in the market. If you perceive value in the hands-off selection of stuff you’d otherwise not likely see (or have to really seek out) plus the write ups that come with it, then maybe it is for you. I don’t know that everybody gets the same wines. With an open ended “let us spend your money; we promise it will be good” there is a lot of latitude for them to find the right intersection of interesting wine at a price they can turn a profit on.
My local wine shop does “give us a budget, how much, and what color” deal periodically. I think they’d do it any time you ask really. It’s not a subscription. After 20 years, they know my tastes and reach out with the odds and ends that might appeal to me. I noted in some of Maggie’s notes that the wines she’s featuring align (or downright match exactly to) wines my local guy turned me onto a few years ago too. I guess I’m lucky that my local guy also gets Antica Terra too.
My wife and I opted into this - we like the AT wines and will buy them occasionally, and also when tasting at their winery in 2017 they served a Ulysse Collin Les Pierrieres that ended up being our wedding champagne (just for us…). We also recently did the collective tasting at the winery and the bottles they source from others are always thoughtful and interesting. For those reasons, we opted in and I’m pleased with our first shipment (it included a Musar Blanc, a Vesselle champagne, and a red blend from Sadie in South Africa.
I’ll also add that their service and hospitality is incredible. The package of music suggestions, pairings, notes, etc. that came with the wines was a nice touch, and they always go the extra mile for the off request. E.g.: we had a delicious crudités with a miso dip during our tasting and the chef gave my wife (and avid gardener) seeds for the radishes we enjoyed so much. Months later, once we harvested some of the same radishes, I e-mailed them asking if they had a recipe for the miso dip and they provided it in hours.
Eight of us did the reserve tasting in August 2021. We had lunch outside at a sort of “visitor’s center” near the winery. They said the winery was quite busy given the timing and harvest. To start, they served a wonderful champagne that, obviously, wasn’t their’s, as well as a white and red burgundy to be able to compare to their Chardonnay and Pinot. They also made us lunch. Their in-house chef made us lunch outside using a sort of cauldron for cooking. Our group (eight of us) are very well travelled and have eaten at some of the best restaurants on our wine trips (think French Laundry) and we all agreed that this was the best lunch we had ever had. The vegetables tasted like they were picked ten minutes before we got there (they probably were) and when we asked abut the fish, the chef told us he and some friends caught them the day before themselves.
Our merry little group has been to some world class wineries and restaurants and all agreed that the experience, wine and food were among the very best we had had. I should say say I am HUGE fan of Maggie and her wines.
I love Maggie and the whole Antica Terra team. The wines have gotten a little over the top in pricing, but they are always delicious, interesting, and fun. Their hospitality is unparalleled (in my limited experience). We went for a tasting there maybe 6 or 7 years ago, and it was mostly other people’s wines, which was fascinating. It’s a splurge and we don’t buy that much, but I appreciate them. We did the Collective club, because the sensibility of the picks is very interesting to me. This is what we got in the first year:
2015 August Kesseler Pinot Noir Cuvée Max
2017 Château Le Puy Francs Côtes de Bordeaux Barthelemy
Wouldn’t it make sense that there would be a premium here?
The selections are specifically picked to represent the influences and expertise of one of the best producers in the US. Additionally the hospitality at Antica Terra is off the charts, and definitely not free to provide.
Finding something online at Vinopolis or K&L is a bit different than this and as multiple posters noted, the sensibilities of the choices are intriguing and have an impact on their participation.