Northern Rhone tasting with Hermitage from Cave de Tain and Dan Kravitz Hand Picked Selectoins Tuesday October 16th at Wine Watch

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Okay we poppin champagne like we won a championship game

- Popping Bottles by Lil Wayne and Birdman 

You may think that we are celebrating something these next few weeks with three “Once in a Lifetime” tastings but that is just how we roll here at Wine Watch. October is already 1/3 over and we have five wine tastings next week at the Wine Bar!!  

What does hand-picked mean to you?  The most important part of what I do is taste wine as a wine merchant if you don't know what the grape juice tastes like that you sell what do you have?  Bad juice is hard to sell so we don't leave anything to chance, we taste every bottle before we bring it into the store.  If we demand that kind of expertise from ourselves then we hold our importers accountable to the same standards and Dan Kravitz is one of those meticulous type "A" personalities that we love as he has the same MO we do.  Nothing less than excellent wines will do!  Come out and see what perfecting the scientific process of selecting wine will do for quality with Dan showcasing the wines of Cave de Tain from the Hermitage region of the norther Rhone Valley along with Dan's wines from his Domaine Cabirau label from the South of France.  The fee for this walk around tasting is $45 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or email

Image result for importer Dan KravitzJean-Benoit Kelagopian
Cave de Tain Northern Rhone tasting with special guest Dan Kravitz
and Jean-Benoit Kelagopian
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
7:30 PM

The Rhone Valley is one of the greatest places in France for values and Dan Kravitz is the Indian Jones of value wines from this region.  Come out and meet the man and the wines of Cave de Tain and more.

The Cave de Tain is a benchmark producer and a Northern Rhône Valley powerhouse, with more than 50 acres owned in the landmark Hermitage Appellation, a stunning, state-of-the-art winery, and a brilliant team of winegrowers.

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Première Note' Marsanne 2016

Cave de Tain "Première Note" Marsanne 2016

Price: $17.75       Sale $15.62

A vibrant wine with aromas of white and yellow fruit, with light citrus and floral notes. Crisp, refreshing and bright on the palate, with a clean finish.

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Grand Classique' Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2017

Cave de Tain "Grand Classique" Crozes Hermitage Blanc 2017

Price: $29.75       Sale $26.18

Pale yellow color with emerald green tint. Rich nose dominated by citrus fruits and green lemon. The second nose, more complex, reveals exotic fruits (pineapple, mango), anise and bitter almond aromas. A well balanced and fresh wine with a lemony finish - just like biting into a fresh, ripe grape. This wine is 100% Marsanne.

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Grand Classique' Hermitage Blanc 2015

Cave de Tain "Grand Classique" Hermitage Blanc 2015

Price: $75.50       Sale $66.44

(93 Points) This delivers an intense stream of ripe peach, mango and Cavaillon melon flavors, carried by lightly singed almond and brioche notes, backed by a light orange blossom accent. Shows excellent depth, range and cut. Best from 2018 through 2023.Wine Spectator

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Première Note' Syrah 2016

Cave de Tain "Première Note" Syrah 2016

Price: $15.75       Sale $13.86

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Grand Classique” Crozes Hermitage Rouge 2015

Cave de Tain "Grand Classique” Crozes Hermitage Rouge 2015

Price: $27.50       Sale $24.20

(93 Points) Saturated, deep black-red in color with a pure, exuberant and exciting scent mingling notes of smoke, bramble, blackberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant. The flavors are joyful. There’s a fruit core of singing lyricism, both vivid and fresh without being acidulous; the wine is tannic enough to give its fruit shape and gravitas but not roughness or austerity; and it has overtones which bring light and shade to the wine via faint notes of smoke, of cleansing bitterness, of the saltiness which is such a hallmark of parts of Crozes, and of the ‘stony’ flavors which lovers of terroir wine crave. A gorgeous success.  Decanter

Image result for Cave de Tain 'Grand Classique' Hermitage Rouge 2011

Cave de Tain "Grand Classique" Hermitage Rouge 2011

Price: $80.25       Sale $70.362

91 pts. I was blown away by this lineup, and it’s rare to find this level of consistent quality from a co-op...This is a no-expense-spared operation and the results speak for themselves. Looking at the 2011s, all of the Hermitage releases are impressive and show the vintage nicely.  The 2011 Hermitage Classic offers up loads of tobacco, black olive, black raspberry and a serious core of meatiness and charcuterie-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and with firm, yet ripe tannin, this solid effort needs 2-3 years of cellaring and will drink nicely over the following decade.     J.D., The Wine Advocate #210, 11/13

 Image result for Château Pegau 'Cuvée Lône' Côtes du Rhône 2015

Château Pegau 'Cuvée Lône' Côtes du Rhône 2015
Price: $19.25    Sale $16.94

The brief history of Chateau Pegau begins with the long history of Domaine Pegau. There have been Ferauds (of French and Italian origin) growing vines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape since 1670.

Paul was one of four children. Feeling that was too many he decided to have one child, and hit the jackpot with brilliant daughter Laurence. Paul spent the first half of his career cultivating his 17 acres of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. 90% of the production was sold in bulk to top Negociants; the remaining 10% was bottled as Cuvee Reservee, thus the origin of the name for the basic Chateauneuf.

In 1987 Laurence joined her father and created the Domaine du Pegau. Born to grow wine, she took courses in both viticulture and the beverage alcohol business. She sold wine in Paris, but wanted to come home. Excellent at both winegrowing and business, it took her but five years to build bottle sales from 10 to 100% of production! Since then, her purchases have expanded the vineyards in Chateauneuf to 42+ acres.

Laurence does not have a single arrogant or snobbish molecule in her body, but she is restless and ambitious. In 2012 a large property called Domaine de la Jouve came up for sale. Four miles from Pegau, it is on the banks of the Rhone in the town of Sorgues. It consists of 148 acres and a large rundown Chateau of 10,000 square feet. The ~101 acres of vineyards include 62 of Cotes du Rhone Villages and 12 of Cotes du Rhone, with the balance Vin de Table. Laurence bought it and rechristened it Chateau Pegau. For the first vintage, she and Paul learning their way, they declassified most of the Villages to Cotes du Rhone. The red Cotes du Rhone carries the name Chateau Pegau Cuvée Maclura. The Cotes du Rhone Villages (15% of the production) is Chateau Pegau Cuvée Setier. These are complemented by a white Cotes du Rhone, Chateau Pegau Cuvée Lône. The wines are emphatically not Chateauneuf-du-Pape, nor are they priced that way. However yields have been kept to the absurdly low limits permitted in Chateauneuf, and the wines have all of the density of that great Appellation.


Image result for Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon Roussillon 2016

Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon Roussillon 2016
Price: $15.50    Sale $13.64

(92 Points) Tasted out of barrel, the deep purple colored 2016 Cotes du Roussillon (50% Grenache, 27% Carignan and 23% Syrah) offers a medium to full-bodied, ripe, sexy and bombastic style as well as outstanding notes of black and blue fruits, candied violets and spice. Drink this Old Word fruit bomb on release and over the following 4-5 years. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Image result for Domaine Cabirau 'Serge & Nicolas' Maury 2016

Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicholas" Maury 2016
Price: $15.50    Sale $13.64

The softness of Grenache is balanced by the mineral

backbone extracted from the schistous soils. The Syrah

and Carignan add pronounced spicy and peppery

components. Intense yet subtle…

Image result for Domaine Cabirau 'First Things First' Maury 2015

Domaine Cabirau "First Things First" Maury 2015
Price: $35.00    Sale $30.80

After 27 years importing wine, HPS President Dan Kravitz took the plunge and purchased his own vineyard in Roussillon. Named Cabirau after the vineyard’s original designation, the domaine is in the town of Maury, on a hillside below the ancient Cathar fortress of Queribus. Domaine Cabirau’s first, special, prestige bottling was appropriately named “FIRST THINGS FIRST”.

Loaded with ripe, red and dark fruit character, complex spice notes, and plenty of Maury minerality. Well structured, with intense fruit and fine-grained tannins on the full-bodied palate. Very long on the finish.

Image result for Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Réservée Rouge Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2014

Domaine du Pegau Cuvée Réservée Rouge Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2014
Price: $60.75    Sale $53.46

(90 Points) As to the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee, which is already in bottle, it’s a medium-bodied, lively and fresh example of this cuvee that offers classic Pegau notes of cured meats, tapenade, spiced meats and blackcurrant fruits. Clean, complex, with bright acidity and solid concentration, it needs a decant if drinking anytime soon, but should keep for at least a decade. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Selection of Charcuterie and Cheese
Enoki wrapped in Bacon
Mushroom Provencal Herb Quiche with Tombe Cheese and Tomato Gelee
Trout, Crawfish and Sabodet Cassoulet
French Country Pate with Mustard Cornichon Relish and House Pickled Pearl Onion


This is a walk around tasting in the wine cave and the fee for this event is $45 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

Hand Picked means a lot!

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” The quote is from Thomas Jefferson. Of course the statement isn’t literally true. Mr. Jefferson would not have perished from lack of wine, although his pleasure in life would have been greatly diminished. Wine was something of an obsession for him and his failure (due to phylloxera) to successfully grow fine wine in Virginia was one of the few disappointments in one of the happiest and most successful of lives.

Jefferson was an aristocrat to his fingertips. His leisurely trips to Europe included stops at and purchases of Châteaux Lafite, Haut-Brion and d’Yquem as well as Romanée Conti. While I would love to emulate his purchases and drinking habits, like 99.9% of us I can’t afford those beverages on an everyday basis.

The goal of Hand Picked Selections is to provide consumers with moderately priced wines of flavor and character. I am convinced that America will be a better and happier place as we begin to incorporate wine into our daily lives. Those wines will rarely be Lafite or Romanée-Conti. They won’t be Napa Valley Cabernets, Tête de Cuvée Champagnes, super-Tuscans or garage Saint-Emilions. They can be mass-produced wines from multinational drinks corporations – these are far better than nothing. One of the greatest advances in the history of wine has been the adaptation of modern technology. Most of the world’s vineyards can now produce consistently clean and pleasant wines. Good as these wines are, there is no reason why we shouldn’t choose to drink, at comparable prices, wines of individuality and character. These are wines from vineyards cultivated by independent growers, harvested, fermented, aged and bottled on their own property, wines that give you a sense of the place where they were grown. It is those wines that Hand Picked Selections chooses to sell.

There is a different quote from a Founding Father that for me best expresses what wine can bring to us:

“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” — BEN FRANKLIN

What a perfect description. And what a great prescription for an improved quality of life in our beloved but increasingly harried and economically challenged America.

Dan Kravitz


Hand Picked Selections, Inc.


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