The Buena Vista wines currently in distribution here are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and The Count (red field blend). Soon to be added: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. These are designated as the Sonoma Series and all are priced in the mid teens. Projected for the near future are several higher priced Carneros region specialty wines and "Eclipse" which was an historic methode champenoise sparkler from Count Agoston Haraszthy that won a gold medal at the 1867 Paris Exhibition in France. It is now being reproduced by Boisset. Just for clarification, that winning accomplishment was more than a hundred years before the "Judgment at Paris" tasting (blog July 5, 2012) popularized in the film, Bottle Shock!
Boisset Family Estates markets wines from twenty four properties in Europe and California. In 1999 Jean-Charles Boisset united all of his family's Burgundy negotiant holdings into one company, Domaine be la Vougeraie, which had been the historic name of his family's Vougeot estate before his ascendancy. This move instantly made Boisset the largest Burgundy wine company and the largest Pinot Noir producer in Burgundy. The company markets four Grand Cru Red Burgundies but the flagship wine of the company ironically may be a Chardonnay, Vougeot 1er Cru "Les Clos Blanc de Vougeot" Monopole.
Boisset also markets a line of California wines eponimously named JCB. Each type in that line is named by number, as in, No.7, which is said to be "debonnaire, charismatic, and seductive" on their website. Puh-leeze! JCB also features a couple of French wines in the line whch makes me think there is more here than seems apparent now. Gina Gallo is the wife of Jean-Charles and E&J Gallo is the largest land owner in Sonoma County. The Sonoma Coast region is projected by some to one day be the finest Pinot Noir source outside of Europe. Jean-Charles Boisset has described Sonoma Pinot as being "open, flamboyant, and exuberant" while Burgundy is "earthy, austere, and serious". And yes there is a Boisset plan to blend the two!
It is truly a frighteningly new and modern wine world we're living in and Jean-Charles Boisset may have more in common with the great Count than we could have anticipated. Both were/are certainly experimenters, dealmakers, and self-promoters. If you take a look at the Boisset web presence you see both its ubiquity and engenuity. www.domainedelavougerie.com may be the best winery website I have seen. While this writer has actually tasted few of the Boisset offerings available in this market, enough has been shown to warrant an optimistic approval.
Curtis Gauthier of Empire Distributors will provide the wines for this week's Friday tasting. Expect more fine California fare. Be here 5 to 7 pm!