Vintner Select’s French wine portfolio is assembled from estates represented by veteran importer Alain Junguenet (Wines of France, Inc), Vintner Select Imports, a portfolio of wines initially assembled by David Schildknecht that has evolved over the years, Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Cellar Door Selections, and Terry Theise. The guiding principles for all of these selections – whether from world-famous regions and vintners or obscure ones – are wines with a strong sense of place, scrupulous craftsmanship, and good value.
Vintner Select Imports is an exclusive collection of directly imported, hand-picked small family-owned estates originally assembled by David Schildknecht (now a writer for The Wine Advocate). Today, we continue to work with the assistance of two excellent brokers, Peter Vezan and Thomas Calder, as well as importing some new wines we have selected ourselves without brokers. The Gargouille collection is our newest addition and includes several wines that Vintner Select is the first in the US to import. From well-known wine regions, to emerging areas, the VSI portfolio represents a dynamic collection of the vinous diversity of France.
Alain Junguenet made a name for himself as a Grand Prix racecar driver, before turning his passion for wine and his friendship with many of France’s foremost vignerons into a second career that was to bring him much more notoriety. “The name Alain Junguenet on a bottle,” wrote Robert Parker in December, 1991, “is an indication of a fine wine that is probably under-valued in terms of its quality,” and that continues to remain true today. Alain’s son, John Junguenet is working closely with his father to continue in the tradition of sourcing high-quality, good value selections from across France. This exceptional collection of small, family-owned and farmed estates brings the consumer direct access to high quality micro-production wines.
Junguenet’s initial strengths were in the wines of the south of France, “…particularly [in] Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Languedoc-Roussillon, the quality of Junguenet’s portfolio stands out. He was one of the first importers to recognize the vast unexploited potential that existed in these two regions. In terms of importers he is ‘Mr. Châteauneuf-du-Pape,’ with a portfolio…of serious estates making high quality wines.” –The Wine Advocate, 12/91
Rosenthal Wine Merchant was founded in 1977 as a humble, one-man retail operation located in New York City but very much outside the mainstream of the wine business. Neal Rosenthal, having stepped away from his corporate and international law practice, conceived of this project. Joined shortly thereafter by his partner, (Ms.) Kerry Madigan, the two expanded their fledgling company, known as Rosenthal Wine Merchant (“RWM”), from its retail base to become an importer and distributor of fine wine and specialty food products. The objective from the outset was to work as directly as possible with growers who were dedicated to producing limited quantities of the finest quality wines and who shared the RWM passion for “terroir”, that ephemeral “sense of place”. We began our partnership with Rosenthal in the summer of 2012 and have grown with them steadily.
Cellar Door Selections, an importer who was founded in 2004, focuses on quality wines that reflect the style and tradition of their French regions with Les Jamelles as their leading exponent.
We represent an extraordinarily diverse selection of Grower Champagnes, both from Terry Theise Selections and from our own direct imports which have an almost cult like following. Due to its delicate nature, most bubbly arrives in the U.S. in less-than-perfect shape because other importers and distributors do not invest in temperature controlled shipping. Ours are in pristine condition when they take their slot in our warehouse, having been coddled in refrigerated containers for the entire journey to our climate controlled warehouse.
After having conquered the worlds of German and Austrian wines, in 1998 Terry Theise set his sights on raising the quality bar for Champagnes that are available in the USA. Champagne, the region not the style, has long been the province of large multi-national conglomerates bent on keeping Champagne a product of luxury while seemingly ignoring the primary fact that it is a wine first and foremost. Into these murky waters dove the intrepid Mr. Theise. His mission was and is to proclaim that Champagne can be something for everyday use and that Champagne can express the terroir where its grapes are grown rather than a “style” of the house that produces it. To that end, he sought out some of the many fine small, independent growers who make Champagne from grapes they grow on their own properties. Our customers can expect that these Champagnes have been chosen by Mr. Theise with the same care and eye towards both quality and value as have the German and Austrian wines he has to offer.
By clicking on the following link, you can find a detailed booklet of wines currently available in our markets. The Grower Champagnes from Terry Theise Estate Selections make up the majority of our offerings. We stock a wide variety of non-vintage wines year round and offer many special bottling once a year in the Fall Pre-Sell Offering. For information from Theise himself, click here.
Boudin, A & F (Domaine Chantemerle)
Feuillarde, Domaine de la
Thevenet & Fils, Domaine
Ansee, Danielle de l’
R de la Grange, Domaine
Trois Toits, Domaine des
Bouissiere, Domaine la
Brusquieres, Clos des
Charbonnière, Domaine de la
Clos des Papes
Clos du Mont-Olivet
Fenouillet, Domaine de
Vatican, Cuvee du
Labbé, Roger & Marc