The goal at Michael Corso selections is simple: to import top quality wines at the best possible prices. Their belief is in the growers: good growers will always make good wine. They travel regularly and extensively to France seeking those producers whose wines offer traditional taste and style and express the special character of their unique terroir. Michael Corso works predominantly with small, family domains vignerons who are keenly aware of the patrimony of the land that they will pass on to their children and grandchildren. Hence, many of the wines they import are produced organically, most are from sustainable farming and all are made with respect for quality. Corso believes in letting winemakers make the wines, they are not interventionist importers.
Michael Corso likes wines that are meant to be enjoyed with food: wines with freshness and acidity that are finely balanced and not overpowering. Since 1972, Mike Corso has worked in virtually all aspects of wine sales: retail; restaurant; wholesale distribution; importer representative and importer, always with a concentration on European wines.
Wines are listed by appellation.
The firm of Emile Beyer is under the guidance of Christian Beyer, who represents the 14th generation of the Beyer Family of wine growers in the charming village of Eguisheim, the birthplace and very heart of Alsace wine production. The region is a mosaic terroirs composed of chalky marl, sandstone and clay in varying proportions. Accolades.
While the Gelas family can trace its origins in Gascony back through the centuries, Maison Gelas Armagnac was founded in 1865 and has been in its present location in Vic Fezensac ever since. The firm is now run by the engaging Philippe Gelas, who represents the 4th generation of the Gelas family at the helm. Today the production follows the techniques of distillation traditional to the region, but the marketing is modern and innovative. Philippe Gelas offers a wide range of styles of Bas Armagnac and imaginative presentations. Most importantly, the vague old designations such as Reserve and Hors d’Age have been replaced by precise statements of age such as 8 years, 18 years, and 25 years, complemented by an essential entry-level “Selection.”
Bas Armagnac Assortment 4-pack 200ml
DOMAINE LES FINES GRAVES ~ JACKY JANODET
The late Jacky Janodet was one of the most highly-regarded producers of first class Grand Cru Beaujolais. In this venerable region, Janodet’s 17.2 acres of vineyards with their high percentage of old vines are considered to be among the very best. They yield wines which are incredibly rich and powerful for Beaujolais, often improving with several years in bottle.
Domaine des Fines Graves was Jacky’s fiefdom, now tended by his wife, Evelyn, and their son, Jerome. The Janodets produce a very fine Beaujolais-Villages with exceptional depth and texture, and a powerful Chenas that can rival many a Bourgogne Rouge.
Château Barreyre is an historic property with an authentic 18th century château. The château was constructed in 1774 by Nicolas Barreyre, but the cultivation of the vines on the property dates back even further. The Barreyre family is a prominent Bordelais family of bourgeois origin, which may explain why the estate weathered the French Revolution and remains within the family, even until this day. A small, 22.5 acre property with a view of the Gironde and the nearby port of Macau, Château Barreyre actually lies within the Haut-Médoc.
This pretty little château was built by Emmanuel Tessandier in 1875 in Macau, which lies at the beginning of the Haut-Médoc. He surrounded his family’s home with vineyards, but was unhappily forced to divide his time between his bucolic life as a vigneron and his day job in Le Havre, where he had made his fortune creating and operating one of the world’s largest shipbuilding yards. Today, the winemaking at Château Lescalle is still done in the classic Médoc style.
The Haut-Médoc is the southeastern part of the Médoc, and is one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world. For this is Bordeaux’s famed “left bank,” where many of Bordeaux’s finest chateaux are located. Within the Haut-Médoc are the famous communes of Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac and St. Estèphe, home of Bordeaux’s most elite vineyards. In addition to the elites, the appellation Haut-Médoc refers to the many fine wines from vineyards bordering or surrounding these renowned villages. They are classic expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that have made Bordeaux wine famous for centuries.
Winemaker and vineyard manager Claude Gaudin works with a number of châteaux in the region, and one of the best is Château Maurac. This beautiful estate is situated just past the boundary of St. Estèphe, near such well-known neighbors as Château Sociando-Mallet and Château Charmail.
CHATEAU ST. GEORGES
As noted in Hugh Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Wine, the “splendid Château St. Georges” ranks among the top producers in the satellite appellations of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Its 45 hectares account for 25% of St. Georges-St. Emilion, Bordeaux’s smallest appellation. Since 1891 it has been home to three generations of the Desbois family, each carefully nurturing and improving the property before handing it down to the next. Under the consulting guidance of Michel Rolland for the past decade, the wines of Château. St. Georges are dark, rich and quite concentrated, serious wines that compete with many of the finest wines of St. Emilion.
The Gille family has resided in the village of Comblanchien continuously since 1570. Since that time, the domaine has been passed down from father to son and has changed in size due to purchases and marriages. The present domaine was developed by Vivant Gille in the early 1900’s, and today the 9-hectare domaine is run by his grandson, Pierre Gille. The vines on this tiny property range from 45 to 80 years of age, with some parcels owned by the family since the late 18th century.
The Domaine Amiot was founded in Chassagne-Montrachet in 1920 by Arsene Amiot when he acquired select parcels of vines or “climats” in Chassagne including Vergers, Caillerets, Clos St. Jean and in what is today Le Montrachet. Under Arsene, Domaine Amiot became one of the first domaines in Burgundy to bottle their own production. In the 1930’s the domaine passed to Aresene’s son, Pierre, who continued to add top sites such as Champgains, Macherelles, Maltroie and their tiny parcel in Puligny, Les Demoiselles. Pierre’s son, Guy, took the reins in 1985 and solidified the reputation of the domaine for producing wines of exceptional quality from an impressive array of top vineyard sites. Guy’s son Thierry took over the winemaking in 2003 and continues the tradition of expressing the unique character of each vineyard site and constantly seeking to improve the quality of the wines.
DOMAINE JACQUES GIRARDIN
Located in Santenay, the 17-hectare domaine of Jacques Girardin produces four Premier Cru red wines. The entire Girardin family are renowned winemakers, including Jacques’ father Jean, and his brother Vincent. Jacques has been producing wine from his own domaine since 1978, when his father retired. He runs the domaine along with his wife Valérie and his son Justin.
Domaine Dozon is located south of Chinon, on the left bank of the Vienne. Originally a traditional livestock and produce farm, they turned to viticulture with the acquisition of 12.5 acres within the renowned Clos du Saut au Loup in the early 20th century. Eric Santier, a Chinon native, purchased the Domaine in 2013 from Laure Dozon with the help of the esteemed Baudry family for whom he had worked. Some of the older, less desirable barrels were discarded and replaced with fiberglass tanks. Santier now seeks to make more pure and fresh expressions of wine from his village.
The estate of Domaine Roger & Christophe Moreux represents the best in artisanal wine making. It has been well-established in Sancerre since 1895, and the work of the vineyards has been handed down from father to son for many generations. Today, Christophe runs the small family domaine that has been passed down from his father, Roger. Each vineyard site of the domaine is vinified separately to fully express the terroir. Located just minutes from the village of Sancerre, the village of Chavignol is known for its very fine, racy wines and is also home to France’s greatest goat cheese, the crotins de Chavignol.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau has been a family run estate since 1875. During that time, each of five generations has benefited from the vast experience in viticulture and vinification that has been handed down. Today the domaine is under the meticulous care of brothers Stephane and Christophe Vigneau, The 70 acre Domaine consists of vouvrillon soil made up of limestone, clay and silex, with an abundance of limestone or flint rocks on the surface. This soil is most favorable to the cultivation of Chenin Blanc, giving the wine its aromatic diversity of ripe quince, fresh grapes and acacia honey.
The Domaine Chamfort is run by the energetic and irrepressible young vigneron, Vasco Perdigao. While Vasco is of Portuguese origin, he has fully integrated himself into the life of a vigneron in the southern Rhône as proprietor of the 40 acre Domaine Chamfort in Sablet, at the northern edge of the Gigondas appellation. While technically located in Sablet, the main production at Domaine de Chamfort comes from its 25 acres of vines in neighboring Vacqueyras, just southeast of Gigondas at the foothills of the imposing Dentelles de Montmirail. Wine has been made in Vacqueyras for centuries and it was granted AOC status in 1947. Classified as Côtes du Rhône-Villages, Vacqueyras was upgraded to its own appellation status in 1990. Here the vines have ideal exposure on the mid-slope or garrigue terrace made up of very stony soil and brown earth. The abundance of small stones and pebbles gives ideal drainage to the soil while retaining the heat of the sun to give added ripeness to the grapes.
Once part of the cave co-operative at Tain-Hermitage, the family vineyards of Cave Chevalier are gradually being reclaimed by the brother and sister team of Nicolas and Marlène Chevalier. Following his formal agricultural studies in France, Nicolas spent four years honing his winemaking skills on estates in Australia, California and South Africa. He is a firm believer that the quality of any wine is determined largely by its terroir. His own estate’s excellent sun exposure allows for dependably ripe, high quality grapes and its northern location provides grapes with great aromatic character. The 3.5 acres of vines are farmed sustainably, hand harvested, vinified and bottled according to parcels of distinctly different terroirs of clay and limestone near Chanos-Curson in the heart of the appellation.
Dominique Ay, the affable but serious-minded proprietor of Domaine Raspail-Ay, makes a warm, charming, and oh-so-drinkable Gigondas at his 40-acre domaine. Located on the terraces of the rugged Gigondas appellation, the last outcropping of the mighty alpine chain with the imposing rock formation of the Dentelles de Montmirail looming as a backdrop, this classic southern Rhone estate makes only about 7,000 cases of this superb Gigondas. Dominique Ay’s Gigondas is without doubt a more elegant and fruit-driven style of wine than what many of his neighbors produce.
Château Ste. Eulalie is located in the Minervois region of France’s Languedoc, midway between Narbonne and the medieval town of Carcassonne. Behind it rises the Montagne Noire, the border of the Massif Central; to the southwest, the snowy peaks of the Pyrenees can be seen on the horizon. Narbonne and the Mediterranean lie 45 minutes to the south. It was purchased by Laurent and Isabelle Coustal in 1996, who have undertaken the entire renovation of the vineyards and chais. The estate is comprised of 85 acres on terraces 656 feet above the town of La Livinière. Long regarded as the finest section of Minervois, La Livinière has now been recognized as an official “Cru de Languedoc” and is entitled to its own appellation.
DOMAINE DE BLAIS
The Domaine de Blaîs is an ancient estate in the Var, once a Roman villa, and possesses an extra dimension of character and complexity due to this provenance. The vineyards are located on the limestone foothills of the historic Maures massif in the southern Var, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps. The terroir benefits from the Mediterranean climate so beneficial for traditional southern varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan and Rolle. One wine is produced here, bottled in an elegant flute bottle that is a striking, modern expression of the traditional Provençal flute à corset.
Les Jamelles 2016 Pinot Noir
A Best Buy - Wine Enthusiast
Domaine Rielfé Grand Cru
Steinert Riesling 2014
93 points, Wine Enthusiast.
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2017
90 points, Wine Enthusiast.
Domaine Rielfé Strangenberg Pinot Noir 2015, 91+ points, Robert Parker
Seven Sinners Petite Sirah 2015
90 points, a Wine Enthusiast Best Buy
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