U.S. Winemakers - What Overseas Wines do you Drink?

So I’m unpacking my Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre from the Berserker Relief package, dropping Sir Wallace an email note on what to pop first, and it hit me, I wonder what he drinks. Is he a fan, like me, of old world Mourvedre, the game, the funk, the chewy meaty red-fruit qualities. These are things that I love about Beaucastel, Bandol, Barral, et al.

Side note, a note on a Barral that rocked my little ivory tower:

I didn’t ask Hardy, but thought about it later. Curious.

So, Winemakers, when you are not drinking your own stuff, and those of your local friends, what European wines are you drinking, which ones do you love, what moves you?

Love this question, following this thread closely now

Where to begin!!!

Lassaigne, Agraparte(as much as I love Lassaigne, if there could be only one, it would be Agraparte), Larmandier-Bernier, Lallement, Diebolt-Vallois BdB(and a bit of 2010), Doyard BdB, Bereche, Jacquesson, and Marc Hebrart. Plus some dabbling.

Chenin-Chat. Belliviere, Thibaud Bourdignon(Savennieres and Anjou Blanc), Clos Naudin, Dom. Du Closel, and Francois Chidaine(beginning with the 98 vintage).
Sauvignon-Cotat, Vatan, Dagueneau, Crochet.
Cab Franc-Baudry, Raffault, Germain, Breton, and back in the day Rougeard. I generally love Saumur though and will try and enjoy many wines from there whose producer I will never remember. I’ll also try anything Scott Tallman brings down from Seattle with him.
Germany: what’s not to love? My faves though are Hexamer, Donnhoff, Merkelbach, Prum, Willi Shaefer, Karl Loewen, Markus Molitor, and Karthauserhoff.
Austria: Alzinger and Schloss Gobelsberg

Beaujolais: Cote de Brouilly(especially Thivin), Foillard, Dominique Piron(especially his Chenas bottling), Clos de la Roilette(regular and tardive). I like and have enjoyed many less well known Bojo producers, it’s one of the great charms of the region. I avoid Lapierre and Metras.

Burgundy: this lifetime or the one where I could afford Rousseau?
White: Carillon, Dauvisaat, Raveneau(last lifetime), Picq(this lifetime), Mikulski, Roulot, Jobard(not lately), Louis Michel MdT.
Rouge: Rousseau, Barthod, Chandon de Briailles, Gouge, Dujac, Arnoux, Dom. de l’Arlot,…many more.

Northern-you bring it and I’ll try it. I buy/used to buy Graillot, Clape, Verset, Robert Michel, Juge, Jasmin.
Southern-I used to. I got off the bus after 2007 and have not gotten back on.

Rioja-Lopez de Heredia, Muga. I’m out of date here, but love the old school wines. When I started the winery, my disposable income became indisposed…as I have slowed the sucking chest wound of cash flow some areas have recovered but Spain hasn’t yet.

Piemonte-I love these wines, and my own wines, because of the high percentage of stem use, have a leaning to the style of Piemonte. But this is the region I am most focused on regaining my understanding of. I’m drinking as wide a range of Piemontese wines as I can, but staying away from the star power.

Bordeaux-Leoville Barton, Pichon Lalande, and most of the commune of Margaux that is less than $150.

Japan: my favorite sake breweries are Shichida and Shichi Hon Yari (overseas, if not grapes…)

Ha. I should have asked you, “what doesn’t Marcus drink!?!” Great list!

What can I say, I love to see other people’s work.

My wife and I are currently drinking only domestic producers for the year, but…
Marie Courtin (esp the Eloquence Blanc de blanc), Foillard, Maison Harbour (need to order more, Nick) are always in the ready.

Virtually none. When there are wine get togethers with other industry folks (production side), usually people bring a bottle of their own. People trade/give/buy at industry discount each other’s wine. It’s a lot of familiar labels. Which is just as well, because it’s good to keep an eye on the competition as well as seeing what’s new and exciting.


I drink a lot of older old world Mourvèdre. I love those wines (though I take an almost opposite approach in our winemaking). Old Tempier vineyard designates and older Pradeaux are definite favs. I enjoy Leon Barral though I seem to prefer the wines more on the younger side vs. older. Though I pop these wines pretty often (2ish times a month?) I usually plan them out in advance w dinner and guests.

When I casually pop something at home, I go for refreshing, terroir driven, and thought provoking.

For N. Rhone, we drink a lot of Hervé Souhaut both reds and whites. My son is named after Hervé Souhaut and the family has become friends over the years. More classic in style, I like the Faury wines (including the Condrieu), more natty, Dard & Ribot.

Heading E. I drink a good deal of L’Anglore (Eric Pfifferling) and Maxime Magnon. I feel they are both masters of brightness, lift, while still being deeply connected to their dirt.

For about 10yrs I feel like I drank a ton of Beaujolais, Jura, and Champagne, but find I drink less of these now that I make less frequent trips to SF / OAK.

In an odd turn (one that I never thought would happen) I probably drink almost 50-60% domestic wine now. Domestic or not, I want to dedicate a good chunk of my drinking time enjoying wines made by people I know and love.

I would say the two producers that I have worked through dozens of cases of are Ecard and La Nerthe.

Hardy I can see from your style while you like Souhaut. I’m not sure how that wine fell off my radar, I guess two of my go-to retailers stopped carrying them (just checked). I need to get back at them. The gamay, by the way, is really good, unique and generally quite fresh and soulful.

Champagne. Lots of it.

Some of my favorite wine producers can be expensive in good vintages, so I may only buy 1 bottle, but then in ‘off’ vintages they can be a fraction of the price so I’ll buy a few - and I am happy to have these wines is in my glass, regardless of vintage.
Probably the highest consumption by volume is riesling, Austria has a slight edge over Germany. These dry wines always hit the spot, and I think they go well with just about anything on the table. Gobelsburg, Brundlmeyer, Nikolaihof, Knoll, Alzinger, Nigl, Hirsch. Donnhoff (the tonischeifer is a contender for best value in the world), Von Winning, Diel.
Northern Rhone is my favorite region. Gangloff is my favorite (he is now consulting on my Viognier and Syrah), Gonon, Delas, Courbis, Clape, Jamet (love their CDR as well), Cuilleron, Villard, Faury… The list goes on and on.
Beaujolais: Foillard, Lapierre, Lapalu
Spain. So much variety coming out of spain. In priorat Nin Ortiz is exceptional, Clos Mogador, Terroir al limit. Ribera - Vega Sicilia, Rioja - Muga, Artadi. Bierzo- Palacios.
White Burg - Boisson Vadot. And if I see a decent price on a restaurant list I’ll go for a Ramonet.
Champagne (my wife’s favorite): Pierre Peters, Egly Ouriet, Jose Michel, Roederer (brut nature)
Italy: Terlan whites, Quintarelli. Burlotto (Sauv Blanc, pelaverga, and of course the whole cluster monvigliero Barolo), Sandrone, Il Caberlot
Sicily: Occhipinti, Benanti
Southern France: Tempier, Ott, Baral, Gros Nore.
Australia - Sami Odi
South Africa - Sadie Family, Mullineaux
Jura - Tissot, Ganevat - when I can find/afford it.
Southern Rhone: Beaucastel whites, Font du loup (leaner styled beautiful wines), pegau, Chateau de Tours (Priced out of Rayas - but this wine is totally in the house style).
BDX - Used to be my favorite, not as excited to buy lately, but still enjoy the wines when I drink them. Hosanna (serious cab franc herbs), Pontet Canet, Leoville (all of them).
The above producers I buy at least one bottle per year (except the BDX for the last few years). I’m also a bargain shopper, so if I see great prices there are at least twice as many other producers that I’ll stock up on.

This for sure. When one gets to know, understand and enjoy wines made by caring people in a particular region or country it alters previous buying decisions. For me that would be many domestic (mostly Sonoma) wines.


I drank the 2013 of that wine last week. It was so good.

Michael, I love the shout out for Marie Courtin. One of my favorite Champagne producers too, bottle after bottle. I too love the Chardonnay bottling called Eloquence. It was one of the best Champagnes I had in 2019.

Will have to taste your wines sometime…never tried them. Thanks for posting, too.

I had my first L’Anglore a couple months ago in Paris, and I was scratching my head trying to think of which Bandol of finesse that it reminded of. Fast forward to two weeks ago, when I listened to your episode of IDTT for the first time… It hit me like a ton of bricks (in the best possible way) that it was the 2016 D&R Shake Ridge that it reminded me of!

A follow-up question for the thread: are there certain overseas wines you find that really influence your house style? I know Hardy said that he takes an opposite approach in winemaking to old world mourvedre, but curious what others have to say.

Thank you- I love those wines and that family. The gamay is always a favorite. On a side note, one of the best blind tasting moments I’ve witnessed was Levi Dalton blinding this at a lunch at Arnot-Roberts about 5 years ago after never previously tasting the wine. Paraphrasing- “This doesn’t make anybody sense but it is Gamay from the Northern Rhone” (Ardeche, close enough).

[worship.gif] Thanks so much. That is a huge compliment. [cheers.gif] Wait until you try the '19 Grenache. :slight_smile:

I know you mentioned overseas, but how about outside one’s home region or state?

Before the lockdown, I drove solo through the coastal valleys of my native California and saw places I hadn’t seen since moving to Oregon 20 years ago. That experience has me digging through new and old California wines, from makers as diverse as Carlisle and Dashe to Joseph Swan and Liquid Farm.

Of course I enjoy lots of European wines, some recent ones:

NV Dolores Cabrera Fernandez “La Araucaria” from the Canary Islands - wild and gamy, floral, the good side of natty
2010 Pierre Guillemot Savigny les Beaune “Aux Serpentieres” - surprisingly evolved and delicate, maybe an off bottle (or no?) but still tasty
2016 Clot de L’Oum “La Compagnie des Papillons” - Grenache etc. blend from Roussillon that’s bright and fresh, stony, a touch of stems I think, good not great
2010 Ch. Vincent (lol) Margaux - a Lyle Fass import, modern but good house Bordeaux from the cellar at Palmer, part of a metayage deal with a vineyard they work with. Obviously young still and a touch warm, but good with steak.
2005 Jean Tardy Vosne Romanee “Vigneaux” - an Envoyer special a while back, very nice and focused, young with some whole cluster showing, wish I had more!
2017 Vajra Langhe Rosso - a classic value wine, always good
2013 Droin Chablis “Vaillons” - young and fresh 1er Chablis, no rush, classic
2015 Clos Canarelli Blanc - I love Corsica and this is among the finest


Just did some searching, wow has the Souhaut gamay bumped up in price. I was grabbing it for $25 just a couple years ago and now it is $40+. That’s a harder sell when I have Thivin, a meaty style, and Bouland, which often feels like a Northern Rhône gamay, for sub-$30.