Hooked on Garagiste!! BEST Online Retailer in 2011

my Garagiste fever dream

This is a story about a descent into wine madness albeit mild madness, we think. You be the judge. A conspiracy of circumstance and opportunity when everything just happened to fall into place at the same time. Kris-B introduced tBoW to Garagiste in January 2011. We looked. We read. We dipped. The first order was a 2009 Hautes Cotes de Beaune Debray that was all of $16 and change. We’re suckers for the region, vintage and especially the value price. As Sanni Bananny would put it…this was the gateway buy.

Those first three bottles were quickly followed nine days later by 2 more; this time it was a 2006 Brunello for $30. Cheap for a very good vintage and a pricey grape. Stretch we thought. Be a big guy. Spend something. By the end of April there was a case and a half in the Garagiste warehouse including more Burgs, several Languedocs and more…nothing over $20. Then the flood. The good news is only one bottle busted the $30 limit, a 2009 St. Cosme Cote Rotie. Price was steep but we were beyond remorse in June and that IS my birthday month!

The first two cases arrived this past week. For those of you reaching for your calculator (a $10 app if you are using an iPhone) that means we went 20 months before seeing any wine. That is “trust” my friend [ed. knucklehead] and testimony to the power of the written word in the hands of a well-ordered lunatic. Here is selected text from the most recent Garagiste “offer.” I cannot believed I resisted. He is selling Burgundy. The greatest under-the-radar-still-a-deal Burgundy since Ramses III.

“We’ve discussed inspiration quite a bit lately but I’ve saved the year’s most inspiring newcomer for the holiday season – today, in fact. As I amble through this vinous life – one you give me the great responsibility to usher in on your behalf, the treasured and special moments become fewer and farther between. Let me put it this way, at the international Bettane Dessauve Grand Tasting in Paris last week (a veritable who’s who of the European wine world), today’s winery not only won the Coup de Couer from Alambic (which signifies the #1 winery at the tasting) but they did so against a list of jaw-dropping names that would normally pummel each other like a Celebrity Death Match (there are times when you have to trust your palate implicitly, nothing else – no distractions, stories of riches or grand chateau – your palate will always lead the way if you allow it to do so). Of the 350 odd producers at this event, including among others: Angelus, Branaire Ducru, Lascombes, Léoville Barton, Lynch Bages, Pichon Longueville Comtesse, Talbot, Sonny Liston, Suduiraut, Climens, Faiveley, Lambert Hendricks and Ross, Frédéric Magnien, Drouhin, Jadot, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Elroy, Jim Thorpe, Chateau de Beaucastel, Jim Moore, Clos St Jean, Ayala, Hiromi, Bollinger, the Rat Pack, Taittinger, Elmore James, Lee Michaels and Voerzio, none of them walked away with the top honors.

That award went to Clos du Moulin aux Moines…and justifiably so.”

Trusht your palate implishitly. Shalivating, reeling, I conshtinude reading as G pulled the sword from beneath the hot pink cape…and PLUNGED it deep into my wallet!

“What is Clos du Moulin aux Moines? Small……………La Tache small.”

If you can stop yourself from hitting the “make your purchase now” key after reading the above then you have my respect.

What makes Garagiste so irresistable? Here is what came in the mail this week. By the way the box was impeccably packed with doubly thick recyclable cartons. No popcorn or styrofoam. Dotoré asked how much was the shipping. What a fool! With these prices and these rarities who cares. Would you ask a pole dancer that looked like Jessica Simpson if she WAS Jessica Simpson? If Herman Cain offered to act as preacher for your son’s wedding would you ask what he was going to say? Somebody call a doctor who can bring me out of my coma.

The lineup…

2009 HAUTES COTES DE BEAUNE Debray – $22 online, G $17 killed it. For early drinking, will be compared to 2009 Anne Gros versiin probably Xmas Day, before things get squishy.
2006 CAPARZO Brunello – $38 online, G $30. Tuscan Sangiovese, can hold a couple years, doubt that will happen
2010 TEILLER Menetou-Salon Blanc – $17 online in the UK, G $17. Loire Sauvignon Blanc, save for IGTY
2010 SAINT ANTONIN Lou Cazalet – $12 online in Spain, G $13. Paid a buck more but saved $1500 in round trip flight, Faguéres is in Languedoc means this has Carignane and Syrah or Grenache
2010 BOUT DU MONDE Avec les Temps – Rousillon 100% Carignane, took a chance here, probably feverish in LA summer heat. Not fond of Carignane. Evidence mounts.
2009 TERRASSES DU LARZAC Coston – online $14, G $14. G wrote “I’ve been watching Domain Coston for a while now and this tiny 100% BIO/organic property in southern France is teetering on the verge of a major breakout.” Nuff said. We bought another Languedoc Rhone blend.
NV HERIVAULT Vouvray Brut – G $17, Plenty of Herivault vintage sparklers and plenty of other producer NV sparklers. However, I find no sign of this Herivault NV sparkler online. Looks like Xmas or New years to find out.
1998 Hoffmann-Simon Köwericher Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese – $56 in New Mexico, G $29. Ready to go and go it shall, sooner than later.
2010 LE MONT Huét sec – $35 online, $29 G. “Legendary” house.
2009 VALLON DES BRUMES Vinum Natura – $14 G. So deep underwater I can’t even get a price in Europe. A few entries on Cellar Tracker and Wine Searcher but no pricing. You have our won tBoW review below.

A great salesman is like a great anesthesiologist. One minute you’re chatting away and the next moment you’re waking up a little groggy.

2009 Vallon des Brume Vinum Natura $14: Talk about your petit chateaux. This is tiny production Bordeaux. And they are organic, sustainable, etc. But what is in the bottle? Delicious Merlot and Cabernet, enough to make me glad we splurged on four bottles. The flavors match the hype. A very good sign. Cocoa, cream, some coconut. Super and U20. 13%

For the record we outlined this post in the Summer still feeling in control of the” Garagiste urge” and having just attended the Camarillo Wine Fest which was a hoot with fun people (two faves pictured above). We have included a couple of wines tasted months ago for which notes were recorded. Much has happened in the second half of 2011. The arrival of the first Garagiste boxes has ensured the year end will be filled with wonder.

Here is a pair of Rhone style wines that made a good impression back in May.


2006 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30
$25: Ooops. This IS a Rhone wine. Cornas is an appelation within Rhone that has been less glamorous historically. However, there are producers who make great Syrah wines from Cornas. Another “lesser” region like Cornas is Gigondas. Usually representing good value. This tastes nothing like your typical California/Aussie New World style Syrah/Shiraz. For a start. the wine is medium weight at most. The flavors in this bottle are not exactly delicate. It is a Syrah after all. But they are refined like the country mouse going to the city. Fruit is evident and present. Lovely wine favored by the young ingenue tasters – R.E.L., P28Y and LynnB – enrolled in the tBoW palate development seminar. Love the equivocation on the alcohol! 11%-14%

2006 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel $60: Good contrast “sommed” by Dotore. TC makes the best Rhone style wines in the state. At least this is the case if you prefer Old world style to New World…which we do. This wine is ripe and robust but not a tooth staining drone ready for flight over Kabul. The blend is 45% Mourvedre, 28% Grenache, 22% Syrah and 5% Counoise. Everyone should realize that Tablas Creek did it by the book when it came to bringing in the real Rhone cuttings and partnering with the Perrin family of the iconic Rhone house Chateau de Beaucastel in the entire enterprise. The effort and commitment to bringing the best of Rhone to the Central Coast of California shows in the consistent quality of the wines form this house. 14.5%

Photos of the Mösel by tBoW team taster Kris A are featured this month.

the AJ Adam Piesporter Goldtropfchen vineyard is a bissel steep

1 Comment

  1. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    Bissel steep??

    For the record, shipping from Garagiste HQ in Seattle to LA is roughly $40 per case, usually a dollar or two less. However, they wait about 6 months to bill you for it, so you can earn the carry (an annualized 0.000000000% at current market rates!).

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