When customers enter TWH for the very first time, they often inquire about what it is that we do and how we go about sourcing the wines to put in the bins that line our sales floor. While there are no general, party-line answers to those questions, there is one major criterion that is consistently present in our wines, whether they’re $10 per bottle or $200: Value. As in, “Is this worth it?” To a Pomerol collector with a much larger wine budget than mine, the 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan is a great wine from a great producer that is every bit worth its $168.98 price tag. Oh how I would love to taste this wine 10 years from now. To a Dogpatch neighbor who walks their dog every afternoon and occasionally pops in for good, inexpensive dry white wine, we have several to choose from. One such white wine, not to be missed, would be the 2014 Montravel Blanc from Château Calabre.
Coming on the heels of Anya’s recent email about longtime relationships in the wine business, TWH is happy and proud of our ongoing association with Daniel Hecquet and his wines from Montravel and Bergerac. We’ve been stocking Daniel’s wines for 20 years! Why? Value. Are they worth it? Unquestionably. The Château Calabre Montravel Blanc is Hecquet’s entry-level white, made in the style of dry white Bordeaux blends. The blend for his 2014 is 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, and 10% Muscadelle. It’s fresh and clean, all tank fermented, and ready to go with its screwcap enclosure. The palate is zippy and lipsmacking with fine balance, and it clocks in at 13% alcohol. It’s a great little versatile white that delivers pleasure at a very reasonable price: $10.99 (or $9.34 by the case). As someone who has worked on sourcing the wines in our Dirty Dozen sampler for a decade can attest to, it is much more difficult to find good quality inexpensive white wine than red. I don’t know why that is, but it is true. If there were more producers out there like Daniel Hecquet, sourcing the Dirty Dozen each month would be a little easier.
It just makes good sense that a shopper doesn’t make a purchase unless they perceive there to be value in said purchase. Please keep in mind that before we offer these wines to you, we ourselves must buy them! That of course makes us wine shoppers also. When tasting and appraising a wine, we have an idea of what its price tag is going to be. That’s where the decision is made. Is it worth it? The 2014 Château Calabre Montravel Blanc sure is; the $9.34 by the case price makes it a no-brainer. – Peter Zavialoff