Vintage '59 Imports

Vintage '59 Imports At Vintage '59 we work with growers who make us proud and whose wines we drink at home. National importer. California wholesaler.
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One needs only to look at the hands of Marc Tempé in Alsace, Xavier Weisskopf in Montlouis or Françoise Le Calvez in the upper Minervois to understand the common thread connecting V59 vignerons. Whether French or American (or Portuguese!), organic, biodynamic, or a common-sense sustainable farmer, all of our growers manage small domaines and strive to make the best wines of their appellations while protecting a traditional way of life. Their holistic approach requires a great deal of work in the vineyard, but it is work that is embraced because the rewards sought are as much personal and spiritual as they are financial. Above all, they value their vineyard work over any cellar wizardry. Their minimalist winemaking practices include the usual suspects: extended lees contact to enhance spice and reduce the need for sulfur; minimal racking, fining, and filtration, all of which can strip flavor; and careful use of oak so as not to mask the individual characteristics of grape varieties or terroir. The aim is to let the wine and vineyard site speak as much as the man, and more than the marketplace. While many importers represent a worldwide variety of wines, we focus on representing cutting edge wines from France—it’s what excites us and it’s what we know best. Our aim is to stay abreast of who is making exceptional wine in good appellations and to bring their wines and stories to those of you who appreciate them. From established growers to emerging young Turks, our mission is to bring you terrific wines and to make you familiar with the people and places behind those wines. Perhaps the most important lesson we can offer is that even the best artisan wines don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. They require only an open mind.

This month we are thrilled to launch the newest addition to our spirits portfolio in California: Erstwhile Mezcal.  Foun...
03/02/2020

This month we are thrilled to launch the newest addition to our spirits portfolio in California: Erstwhile Mezcal. Founders Yuan Ji and Kevin Brown (pic 2) founded Erstwhile as a mission-based company. They are dedicated not only to bottling the finest small-batch Mezcals that their "swashbuckling adventures" in Oaxaca uncover, but also to empowering their partners, small family producers who otherwise might not have the means to access export markets. Yuan will be crisscrossing California during the next few weeks to present their full range. Catch her at one of the following events or contact your V59 rep to set up a time to taste. Electric stuff...

March 5 / San Diego: Tahona @ 7 PM
March 14 / LA: Silverlake Wine @ 4 PM
March 15 / LA: Bar Keeper @ 2 PM
March 19 / SF: La Mar @ 4 PM

#mezcal⁣⁣⁣#MezcalLovers #DrinkMezcal #MezcalLove #Mezcaleria #MezcalCocktails #Mezcal #Mezcales #MezcalArtesanal #Mezcalito

Persephone
01/17/2020

Persephone

Mark your calendars! Sunday January 26th is this months winemaker’s dinner featuring Ser Winery @serwinery. Special 5 course menu specially designed by Chef Cori to pair with 5 different Ser wines. Ser winery is a very exciting newcomer to the local wine scene! Winemaker Nicole Walsh has created a number of fantastic and absolutely unique wines made in a style all her own. Formerly a wine maker for Bonny Doon she has recently created her own brand and opened a tasting room in the new Aptos Village! Nicole will be our guest of honor to provide insight on these wines and her wine making process. $125 tax/grat included. Ticket link can be found in the bio or in our website! @ Persephone

12/17/2019

For those of you interested in some of the substantive reasons to object to the expanding Trump trade war with the EU, please see MED's comments to the US Trade Representative below. Until January 13 you can--and should!--add your voice to the debate. Visit Regulations.gov, search USTR-2019-0003, and click on the blue "Comment Now" button.

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To Whom It May Concern:

As a partner at Vintage '59 Imports, a firm engaged in the trading of fine wine and spirits from France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, I can attest that the proposed action is an existential threat to our industry and its workforce.

The beverage industry is terrifically competitive today, with quality products being made in all corners of the world and a complex infrastructure of trade allowing those products to reach the US market at competitive prices. In practice that means that the slightest increase in the pricing of our products can lead to dramatic sales declines. The 2016 wine harvest in France is an indicative case study from our recent past. Grape yields in France that year were 6% less than average, which led many of our producers to increase prices in the 5 - 10% range for their finished wines. The resulting loss of sales for our firm was, in several instances, in excess of 50% during the following 12 months. We discontinued stocking certain items that effectively became unsaleable due to a baseline price increase of 10% or less. Demonstrably, small price increases result in significant economic harm to US firms like ours.

Some commentators have suggested that tariffs will be absorbed into the supply chain. This is patently impossible in our segment of the beverage industry. Nearly all of our suppliers are closely held family farms. Following the preliminary imposition of 25% tariffs on October 18, 2019, we requested a pricing reduction of 10% from all affected producers to allow us to realize sales through the end of the year without disruption. Many were unable to meet this modest request, even for a window of less than three months! By the same token, the majority of our customers are restaurants, a notoriously challenging business which does not allow for absorbing even the smallest portion of increased costs. Quite simply, any increased tariff burden levied on wines and spirits from the EU -- whether 1% or 100% -- will result in our customers choosing different products and potentially catastrophic losses for our firm.

To be more specific about the human costs involved, our company is, in fact, two separate entities, a national import business and a California distribution service. Between the two, we support 12 full-time employees, one part-time employee, and (partially) one 1099 sales broker (this is to say nothing of the tangential benefits we provide to our vendors in the shipping, warehousing and fulfillment, compliance, legal, accounting, etc. industries). By any measure, we are a small business. Nevertheless, we offer generous benefits and competitive salaries to our employees. Many of their spouses and children are covered through our group health insurance. Catastrophic sales losses, during even a short period, would require lay-offs. Any extended period of losses could lead to our full-scale collapse or reorganization.

While I respect the validity of the WTO ruling against the EU subsidies for Airbus, this proposed tariff action on wine and spirits from the EU is misguided--agricultural products have nothing to do with the aircraft industry--and punitive for US firms. Even in the best case scenario it will result in decreased choice and increased costs for US consumers, as well as widespread job losses and economic harm. I would strongly urge you to reconsider.

International Wine Review
12/17/2019

International Wine Review

NEW REPORT ON CHAMPAGNE just released on our home page at iwinereview.com Special focus on the Côte des Bar, Vallée de la Marne, Pinot Meunier, & the changing face of Champagne. We taste (and review) 250 Champagnes from outstanding growers and houses and importers like Jon-David Headrick Selections Vintage '59 Imports Kysela Père et Fils Skurnik Wines Hand Picked Selections, Inc. Moët Hennessy Folio Fine Wine PartnersFrederick Wildman and Sons, Ltd Lia Tolaini Banville AP Wine Imports Kobrand Wine and Spirits European Cellars Taub Family Selections Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. Champagne Banville & Jones Wine Co.

This is Indie from @domainedelafolie.  He has some “comments” he would like to make about the expanding Trump trade war ...
12/16/2019

This is Indie from @domainedelafolie. He has some “comments” he would like to make about the expanding Trump trade war with the EU. If you would also like to make your voice heard go to regulations.gov, search USTR-2019-0003, and tell the US Trade Representative how 100% tariffs on wine and spirits from the EU (or anything else on the expanding list of affected products!) will adversely affect your business or community. January 13 is the deadline and thoughtful comments matter. #silenceiscapitulation
#electionshaveconsequences

Lilbert-Fils and Lancelot-Pienne -- dynamic duo from Cramant -- both highlighted in Wine and Spirits "Year's Best Champa...
11/13/2019

Lilbert-Fils and Lancelot-Pienne -- dynamic duo from Cramant -- both highlighted in Wine and Spirits "Year's Best Champagne" issue.

https://vintage59.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Years-Best-Champagnes-2019-in-Wine-Spirits.pdf

Heads up: @truegamine will be sharing some of the newest and best from @divisionwineco in SF, November 16 & 17, for Wine...
11/05/2019

Heads up: @truegamine will be sharing some of the newest and best from @divisionwineco in SF, November 16 & 17, for Wine Call SF. DM @winecallsf for details about industry discounts.

10/24/2019

This flyover video from our friends at Chateau Coupe Roses is great. The village is La Caunette. The appellation, Minervois.

Nice plug from the Washington Post for our friends at Closerie des Lys, who make tremendous mountain wine in the sawtoot...
10/22/2019
This crisp, minerally $12 French white blend evokes the mountains where it’s grown

Nice plug from the Washington Post for our friends at Closerie des Lys, who make tremendous mountain wine in the sawtooth foothills of the Pyrenees.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/this-crisp-minerally-12-french-white-blend-evokes-the-mountains-where-its-grown/2019/10/18/e48b697c-ef6a-11e9-8693-f487e46784aa_story.html?arc404=true

RECOMMENDED | Plus, pinot noirs from Spain and Oregon, a rioja from Spain and malbec from Argentina.

#tariffshurt #electionshaveconsequences #bestdaughterever
10/17/2019

#tariffshurt #electionshaveconsequences #bestdaughterever

Domaine de la Chevalerie: one of the @wineandspirits top 100 wineries of the year!  This comes as no surprise to anyone ...
09/26/2019

Domaine de la Chevalerie: one of the @wineandspirits top 100 wineries of the year! This comes as no surprise to anyone that has had the good fortune to visit this domaine's stunning subterranean realm to swoon over bottles of some of the best Cabernet Franc ever made. Still, good to see some shiny recognition for Stéphanie and Emmanuel Caslot, some of the hardest working folks we know.

You can taste selections from Chevalerie (and the other 99) at the Top 100 Grand Tasting, San Francisco, October 10. Proceeds to benefit San Francisco Baykeeper and their on-going efforts to protect the Bay from pollution.

#domainedelachevalerie #bourgueilicious #bourgueillotherapie #top100event

Photo Credits: Frank Boucher

Portraits of deliciously ripe grapes and lovingly-tended organic vines, courtesy of Mélanie Pfister.  These first fruits...
09/13/2019

Portraits of deliciously ripe grapes and lovingly-tended organic vines, courtesy of Mélanie Pfister. These first fruits of harvest 2019 are destined for her newly relabeled "Breit" Extra Brut Crémant d'Alsace (image 4).

One could say all manner of flowery things about this domaine -- storied history, fascinating terroir, unerring commitment to dry(!) wines in Alsace. But let's leave it at this: Mélanie is a total bad-ass and everyone should know about her electric wines.

#vendanges2019 #alsace #melaniepfister

Cramant.  7:30AM.  First day of harvest at Lilbert-Fils.#vendanges2019  #champagne #lilbert #cramant
09/11/2019

Cramant. 7:30AM. First day of harvest at Lilbert-Fils.

#vendanges2019 #champagne #lilbert #cramant

Stained glass is Arbois depicting Le Biou, an annual celebration of harvest and a blessing of the grapes.  The origins o...
08/29/2019

Stained glass is Arbois depicting Le Biou, an annual celebration of harvest and a blessing of the grapes. The origins of this ceremonial procession and mass are murky. Presumably dates as far back as anyone would have wanted the higher powers on their side in the capricious growing of grapes. #harvestiscoming

https://vintage59.com/women-in-wine/
08/28/2019
Women in Wine

https://vintage59.com/women-in-wine/

Hospitality industry veterans Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss get behind-the-scenes conversations between industry professionals in their podcasts on NC F&B Podcast. Recently, they recorded Vintage ’59 Imports’ national sales manager, Debra Lewis, with three of Vintage ’59’s women winemakers ...

High praise for one of our favorites and spot on.
05/16/2019

High praise for one of our favorites and spot on.

Roy is "taking one for the team" this week by tackling the mean streets of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard with our frie...
05/01/2019

Roy is "taking one for the team" this week by tackling the mean streets of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard with our friends from Ruby Wines. Thanks bossman...

Enrico Nada is coming to LA for one day only: Saturday, May 4!  Catch him at Lou Wine Shop from 3 - 7PM, where he will b...
04/29/2019

Enrico Nada is coming to LA for one day only: Saturday, May 4!
Catch him at Lou Wine Shop from 3 - 7PM, where he will be pouring his newest releases, including his 2015 Barbaresco Casot, which is a stunner.

1911 Hillhurst LA
[email protected]
(323) 305-7004

“Le canon, il faut comprendre que ce n’est pas que du pinard, c’est aussi de l’amitié.  [A glass of wine, one must under...
04/23/2019

“Le canon, il faut comprendre que ce n’est pas que du pinard, c’est aussi de l’amitié. [A glass of wine, one must understand is not just booze, it is also friendship.]”
-Louis de Funès

Mark Vlossak and Didier Picq. #goodvibes

Pied de cuve with wildflowers from Aquila del Torre in Friuli.  Michele finds -- and he has done experiments with and wi...
03/22/2019

Pied de cuve with wildflowers from Aquila del Torre in Friuli. Michele finds -- and he has done experiments with and without -- that adding the flowers leads to better, more regular fermentations. His theory is that the bees they keep on the property are not only a vehicle for pollen but also for yeast. Apparently it smells as pretty as it looks.

03/22/2019
The Year’s Best

Wine & Spirits annual roundup of the best wines reviewed in 2018 included plenty of well-deserved press for some of our favorite producers: Domaine Richou, Rocher des Violettes, Claude Branger, Domaine de la Chevalerie, Domaine des Hâtes, Domaine de la Folie, and Jean-Luc Mouillard.

https://vintage59.com/the-years-best/

Wine & Spirits Magazine’s annual roundup of the best wines they reviewed in 2018. Usually, we hate these listings for any number of reasons, but W&S puts a lot more care than most into their listings and their tasting notes. Click on the title above for a few highlights: Year’s Best Loire Wines:...

Great event for a great cause this Saturday in San Francisco: WINeFare, 2 - 5 PM at The Great Northern, 119 Utah Street....
03/21/2019

Great event for a great cause this Saturday in San Francisco: WINeFare, 2 - 5 PM at The Great Northern, 119 Utah Street. Stéphanie Caslot of Domaine de la Chevalerie will be on hand to discuss Bourgueil, the finer points of organic farming in the Loire, and her family's remarkable domaine. Plus, taste four of her single-vineyard Cab Francs -- wines that Rajat Parr deservedly called "some of the best Cabernet Franc wines in the world." All proceeds benefit the Mary Elizabeth Inn, a women’s shelter in San Francisco.

The picturesque hilltop town of Sancerre.  As seen on a winding tour of the appellation in Thierry Merlin's prized 1940s...
10/23/2018

The picturesque hilltop town of Sancerre. As seen on a winding tour of the appellation in Thierry Merlin's prized 1940s era Jeep.

"When I see an 18-year-old rye selling for $450, or a bottling of Dewar’s (Dewar’s!) with a price tag of $499, I know th...
10/23/2018

"When I see an 18-year-old rye selling for $450, or a bottling of Dewar’s (Dewar’s!) with a price tag of $499, I know the madness has taken over. So, in this report, I’m suggesting we look elsewhere for brown-spirits value."

-Jason Wilson, Vinous Media, July 19, 2018

Enter Darroze Bas-Armagnac, a reference point producer that we are proud to represent across a growing US footprint.

https://vintage59.com/armagnac-in-vinous-media/

Nicole Walsh of Ser will be in San Francisco for a special evening exploring food and wine pairing. October 21. Follow t...
10/08/2018
The Secrets to Food & Wine Pairing - Featuring Nicole Walsh of Ser Winery

Nicole Walsh of Ser will be in San Francisco for a special evening exploring food and wine pairing. October 21. Follow the link for tickets.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-secrets-to-food-wine-pairing-featuring-nicole-walsh-of-ser-winery-tickets-50501403056?aff=erelexpmlt

Cress Wine Design, and Montperi Catering present: The Secrets to Food & Wine Pairing, featuring owner / winemaker Nicole Walsh of Ser Winery, Sunday October 21, 1-4PM in San Francisco at Naked Kitchen. This is our first workshop in San Francisco, and we'll have the delight of interfacing with Ser Wi...

Great post from Jeff Bramwell, a long-time friend, terrific photographer, and true gourmand.  Lots of great material at ...
09/26/2018
Duck Lyonnaise and Pierre Jean Villa's St-Joseph

Great post from Jeff Bramwell, a long-time friend, terrific photographer, and true gourmand. Lots of great material at jeffbramwellphoto.com and he keeps up an excellent Instagram feed, too (@jeffbramwell).

New vintages from Pierre-Jean Villa are right around the corner for the US (Nov. arrival), and the man himself well be here for La Tablée in New York on February 2.

http://jeffbramwellphoto.com/recipes-and-ideas/2018/1/18/duck-lyonnaise-and-pierre-jean-villas-st-joseph

Back in May of 2016 I had the pleasure of visiting Pierre Jean Villa at his property in Chavanay, a village that, uniquely, exists in both the Condrieu and Saint-Joseph AOCs in the northern Rhone. It was among the highlights of my jaw-dropping trip throughout Burgundy and the northern Rhone. I was f

The newest generation hard at work in the Minervois and making great strides.  Photo credit: Yannick Douce.
09/24/2018

The newest generation hard at work in the Minervois and making great strides. Photo credit: Yannick Douce.

The newest generation hard at work in the Minervois and making great strides. Photo credit: Yannick Douce.

Vertitas Wine Studios in Hell's Kitchen is offering a thoughtful and impressive deal for some off-the-beaten path gems t...
09/10/2018

Vertitas Wine Studios in Hell's Kitchen is offering a thoughtful and impressive deal for some off-the-beaten path gems this month, including the Coupe Roses '16 Minervois La Bastide. Dangerously delicious...

The Little Wines That Could!

It’s September Wine Club and this month we celebrate the smaller appelattions of France - possibly the greatest wine-making nation of the world. Of course, France is best known for the wine of Kings and Popes - Rhone, Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, but there are many, many regions besides. So as the world’s appetite for good wine has increased, these “lesser” not nonetheless important wine regions of stepped in. And the thing is - these wine-makers try extra hard to impress the palates of wine drinkers around the world. Like the Bad News Bears or the Foxes of Leicester City in the English Premiere League - these wines go above and beyond to reach the summit. Despite being a little rag-tag in reputation, the wines are robust, complex and delicious. You may not have never heard, nor maybe tried these wines before, but we promise you will start to look for them. We feature three wines from Cahors, the birthplace of Malbec, Minervois and Maury. All three are well suited for food, so get out your copy of Larousse Gastronomique and start cooking up some local french favorites.

This month, you will save 18% over standard retail pricing if you bought all three wines separately, you will save 10% on further store purchases, you get the artfully written wine notes, and of course a chance to win a free bottle of wine, and invitations to Veritas Wine Club events.

So come on by and pick up this month’s selections, three wines for $45 and just like Claudio Rainiri, you’ll be saying “Dilly Ding Dilly Dong” after you try these wines.

Château Coupe-Roses Vintage '59 Imports La Coume du Roy Sud de France New York Destination Cahors Malbec Languedoc Wines Vin de France Wines USA La Bérangeraie Weygandt Selections Field Blend Selections

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2800 Jenifer St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20015

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Our Story

As importers, we look for wines with depth of fruit, length and elegance, rather than for obtrusive oak, over-extraction, or excessive alcohol. That said, we don’t tell growers how to make wine because that’s their expertise, not ours. And we don’t work with fatheads, regardless of how good their wine might be, because it’s not worth it. The company focuses on the rich relationships that spring from the community of growers, instead of just the commercial imperative. So we look for people who share sensibilities, and that makes them as important as the wine they produce. The rule is simple: you work with people who make you proud and whose wine you drink at home.

In 2008 we opened V59 Wines, a separate company to distribute our wines in northern and southern California. Since then, this distribution company has carefully expanded beyond its French selection to include similarly-minded growers from around the world. Our warehouse is an old one down in the foggy flats of the East Bay, originally managed by a crazy world-class bike polo playing Norseman and today guided by an an ex-pat lady from Nice (the Norseman went off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to raise money for ALS research).

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Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Pfister, Alsace, with Mélanie Pfister - Alsace Tour 2019 with the Weinfreundeskreis Hochheim, France
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Pfister in Dahlenheim, Alsace, with Melanie Pfister - Germany-South and Alsace 2018 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
A treat to be part of the road show and obrigada Roy, Michael and all at Vintage '59! Obrigada and here is to a great year of sharing your beautiful portfolio's bounty!
Loved your book To Burgundy and Back Again