Nicolas Rossignol, Martine Saunier & A Perfect San Fran Day

Many of my friends and clients are aware that I spent a few days last year attending the annual portfolio tasting hosted by Martine Saunier in San Francisco.  There remains in my mind a feeling of awe.  As I sit here, gazing into my computer screen, allowing my mind to wander back through the hundreds of tasting notes beside me, I am simply and utterly overwhelmed.  If I could have whisked each and every one of you away with me to that singular and life affirming event, I am certain that many of you would change your career path, joining me in this quest to acquire these amazing wines.

Keep your day jobs folks, I’m your ambassador.  As I walked through the doors of the Fort Mason Building, a 15 minute stroll from my hotel on the Fisherman’s Wharf, I was greeted by one of this country’s most famous and highly-reviewed women of wine, the glowingly elegant Martine Saunier.  I traveled last year to see her, once again, for the first time in person since her inaugural event of this kind back in 2001.  And of the nearly 300 people in attendance for that incredible vinous event, yours truly was the single Texan in attendance.  My work for you, my dear clients – clients who represent the very best of the Texas wine drinking public – was immediately recognized by Martine as she guided me through the room to her favorite wine-makers.

As I moved through the maze of more than 25 tables, to include offers of more than 250 wines – wines from every corner of France you could imagine; from every plot of land classified throughout Burgundy to the far reaches of the deep South, returning to the frigid Grand Cru hills of Champagne – my pen and palate worked overtime in their attempts to somehow convey to all of you the presence of greatness I was personally witnessing.  Adding to the sheer majesty of these grand and singular wines was the impeccable view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the purest, calmest, bluest waters of the Bay; all in full view as we made our ways through this day of exploration.  Stunning, just stunning, I said to myself on so many occasions during this event that I decided only that one word could begin my letters to all of you.

Today, as I so often do, I come to all of you with my thoughts on a new set of wines.  But I come to you today with a different feeling in my belly regarding the selections you will read about.  It is hard to explain, but trust that I have very rarely in my 25+ years in this business felt so emotionally and spiritually connected to my work.  These Saunier selections are introduced to you in the most sincere hopes that once you taste these wines your lives will somehow become a bit more enriched for the experience; that you will somehow grasp this feeling of awe that is consuming me as I write to you, at this very moment.

These are not simply another set of wines my friends.  These are truly, and without hesitation, some of the very greatest wines that you will ever experience in your life time.  And I am beyond proud, and indeed humbled, to be among a very limited group of individuals in this vast state to make these offers to you as we move forward.

I trust you’ll enjoy the journey.

Today, we begin in the deep south of Burgundy, with a man that has very few rivals for the production of exquisite Pinot Noir in these parts.  His name is Nicolas Rossignol and his story began just a few years ago with Martine.  She, with more than 40 years in the Burgundy business, recognized this man’s passion and perfection, stealthily stealing him from another of this nation’s powerful Burgundy importers – Robert Kacher – by promising to allow the man to make his wines in his own image.

Just last December 2007, at the annual New York Wine Experience, in front of the gathered crowd of thousands attending, Senior Wine Spectator Editor Mr. Bruce Sanderson proclaimed Nicolas Rossignol “Burgundy’s latest vanguard…”.  Considering the literally hundreds of producers eligible for such an esteemed recognition, this revelation to the world from one of the most respected critics on Burgundy today certainly confirms the efforts put forth by this dedicated artisan in Volnay.

I tasted many offers spanning several vintages with the young, intelligent, yet quiet Nicolas Rossignol at that event last year and I am proud to have these wines as a part of our collection.  For information regarding current offers, including vintages, pricing and appellations represented, contact the shop…

All the best in wine and life,

Christopher Massie
Diplome D’Honneur de Sommelier
2439 Times BLVD
Houston, TX 77005