Florida trip wine Part Deux

Semi-commercial post: These wines were purchased at Wine Watch, a retailer in Fort Lauderdale that buys some of my wines. I often buy wines from customers, but rarely mention it. I make an exception here because I think Wine Watch is one of the best retailers in the country.
It’s chock full of Old & Rare, everything from deeply classic to wildly eclectic, all bought with great care and stored correctly. Another important point is that Andrew does not sell futures. He has a wholly admirable policy: If he offers it for sale, it is physically in the store.
He moved from across the street less than a year ago after ~20 years in the same location. The new space is bigger and better organized. He also does multiple tastings that attract some of the world’s finest winemakers and winegrowers, with superb food to match.
I don’t often list the prices I paid, often usually because I don’t know them or because I bought them long ago. But here they are. I think he gave me a professional discount, but it would not have been much more than 10% and most of these are great values, even if you pay a little more.

2009 Lo Sparviere Franciacorta Brut: $15.75 – Ridiculous price for top quality bubbles. Flavor profile is closer to Champagne than Cava, but while there is obvious age and yeast, there is something of the knife-edge piquancy and white spice hints of top level Cava. Rated 92.5, one of the greatest qpr bubbles ever. Ready to drink, I would not be afraid to cellar it on the cork for another year or two.

2015 Domaine Des Valanges Hors Classe Saint Veran: $26.84 – New producer to me. Aromas feature more apple than pear, very pale color, this is very young although from the depth of flavor I’d guess old vines. The palate has a fine balance between density and brightness. This is excellent now but should improve a point or two with another 3 – 5 years. Tastes half its age. Rated 91.

2015 Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer Alsace: $18.70 – Bought for dinner with family because they don’t like dry wine. This was a pleasant surprise that pleased everybody. Lighter, lacier and drier than most Alsace Gewurz, this was nicely floral without going over to perfumy. I would guess residual sugar at ~0.7 – 0.8%, drier than average, but not dry enough to wrinkle my sister’s nose. This is a crowd-pleaser if not a profound wine. Rated 88.5, drink up.

2017 Mathilde Chapoutier Rose Grand Ferrage Cotes de Provence: $17.38 – Nicely intense strawberry aromas were the best part of this. The palate was medium in body, featured some pleasant red fruit, had adequate acidity, but lacked the vivacity of fine Rose. In this case, lighter would have been better and brighter would have been much better. Still, it washed down some shrimp without causing any problems. Rated 85.5, drink six months ago.

Parte numero tres a seguir.

Dan Kravitz

years ago I visited the old store and it was amazing. wines stacked behind other wines in a very disorderly way. fun place to look around in.

Thanks Dan. I really have to go next time I’m in Miami Beach.

Don’t forget Brown Bag Saturdays.

One of the most surprising things about Wine Watch is that he keeps some of the priciest bottles in lower bins easily accessible to anybody that walks in. Example - 1990 Romanée-Conti ($20K). I got to pet it. Andrew says he is not worried about theft because of his security system.

What kind of security system? A pack of ravenous Dobermans?

Here in the Gunshine state probably 50 cal automatic. [snort.gif]

Glad to see the appreciation for Wine Watch.

In Partie Un, I commented on how at Bern’s the sommelier will pay as much attention to you when you’re choosing a $50 bottle as when you’re choosing a $500 or $5000 bottle.

Well, Andrew at Wine Watch will spend as much time and care guiding you to a $20 bottle as to a $200, $2000 or (I didn’t know he had a) $20,000 bottle. In both of these iconic wine destinations, it’s all and only about putting the right bottle in your hand at any price point.

It’s a little embarrassing to say this, but there are very few places that sell wine where I don’t walk in feeling like I probably know more about what they have than they do. Not here and not at Bern’s.

And I’m sure I could ask Andrew, but I’ll ask Scott: What are Brown Bag Saturdays? I will never spend a lot of time in Florida, but it will be more often than in the past, and Fort Lauderdale is the center of where I’ll be.

Dan Kravitz

Brown Bag Saturdays are great. You bring a ‘nice’ bottle of wine in a brown bag (typically double decanted) and small pours are given to all (‘brown bag’ isn’t technically invite only, but not everyone is invited…one of those types of deals) and everyone tries to guess vintage, grape, appellation etc. Most people try to bring something somewhat funky but not too crazy. ‘WAGS’ are met w/ humorous scorn. I highly recommend not driving if you attend.