Seeking out wines by a particular distributor
We recently spent a year in New York City and came love many of the wines from Louis/Dressner, a distributor who as I understand it, unfortunately only distributes around the NYC area and is no longer so accessible since we are now in Texas. I've also heard of loyal fans of Kermit Lynch.
My question is whether there are other distributors who are very selective with their wines that a consumer, such as myself, might want to learn about and "follow" so to speak. Do any of you have favorites?
First of all, Joe Dressner's wines -- http://www.louisdressner.com/ -- area vailable across the country. Not in every market, true, but sending a simple email to firstname.lastname@example.org will tell you for sure what wholesaler in Texas represents his wines.
Ditto Kerlit Lynch -- http://www.kermitlynch.com/
* * * * *
Beaune Imports ****
Broadbent Selections ****
Charles Neal ****
Eric Solomon ****
Eric Stauffenegger ****
Hand Picked Selections ****
Jorge Ordonez *****
Kermit Lynch *****
Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd. ****
Oliver McCrum ****
Terry Theisse ****
Just my 2¢
Welcome to Texas. Unlike some states who have dozens of distributors, there are really two Huge distributors here (Glazers & Republic Beverage) and then there are a couple of smaller distributors that may have some of the more obscure wineries. Horizon, Ambiente just to name a few. The best thing for you to do is contact the wineries or importers that you have enjoyed over the years and ask them who their distributor is in this state. Also, depending on where you live, there are certain retailers who deal a lot with the smaller distributors (Spec's, Central Market, Whole Foods etc).
Kermit Lynch's wines are all distributed in Southern California by the Henry Wine Group. Louis/Dressner also has a distributor locally though I'm not sure who it is. Eric Solomon's wines go through Regal Wine Company.
The issue is that Louis/Dressner is an importer, not a distributor (at least not for the CA market). Therefore, they and other importers often have to team up with wholesalers and distributors in various states in order to get their products distributed. Confusing matters, some wineries abroad use different importers for different States. So a wine can be handled by multiple distributors and multiple importers.
It's confusing for consumers, unfortunately; but it's also frustratingly confusing for people in the wine business too!
--Beaune Imports is great
--Vinalia Imports has terrific French offerings
--Martine's Wine also has some great wines
Another vote for Beaune Imports here! I love Kermit's wines but I think across the board for price to quality ratio Beaune Imports delivers. (Kermit is so pricey) Check out the Beaune Imports website they have a list of retailers all in California I think but many of those shops will ship to you.
One more -- OK, perhaps two -- IMPORTANT things:
Importers and/or distributors (aka wholesalers) cannot sell directly to consumers . . . UNLESS, in addition to their Federal importer permit and their State wholesale license, they ALSO have a State license permitting retail sales. (For example, Kermit Lynch has a retail license; Louis/Dressner does not.)
Secondly, some states permit wine to be shipped directly to consumers within their boundaries; some prohibit it; still others limit it. (Remember that you are not dealing with one set of laws in the US, but 52!) Check out http://wi.shipcompliant.com/WhoShipsW... to see which state permits what.
I will also recommend the wines imported by Robert Kacher. They are mostly from the south of France - Rhone, Languedoc, Provence, etc. Many of them are quite reasonably priced (under $15) as well. The Wine House in San Francisco carries a nice selection of his stuff.
Now, I'm definitely lacking in wine knowlege, but I'm a huge fan of a naturally made Muscadet from the Loire region by producer Marc Pesnot--after a wild hunt for a bottle of wine, I discovered that Jenny & Francois (or World Wide Wine, Ltd) imports a whole range of naturally made wines (not necessarily organic or biodynamic, I don't think). Anyway, something interesting to keep an eye out for. I like quirky wines.