I continue to spend a large amount of time highlighting the top importers in the United States. We’ve previously published reports on the wines of Dan Kravitz and Peter Weygandt, and have articles on Jorge Ordóñez, Vineyard Brands, Terlato, Vintus, and Kimberly Jones scheduled to come out in the next few weeks. I’m also working on a tasting with Fran Kysela later this year. These top small specialty importers bring in some of the best wines from outside the United States and I’m thrilled to highlight them here.
This report focuses on new releases from Eric Solomon. Starting out as a musician before moving to wine in 1980, Eric was one of the pioneers of the specialty importer movement and created his European Cellars company in 1990. Based out of North Carolina, he originally focused on the wines of the Southern Rhône, the Languedoc, and the Roussillon, before quickly branching out to Spain and Italy with incredible success. As with other top importers, Eric focuses on small, dedicated producers, believes in little intervention, minimal sulfur, bottling with no filtration, and shipping via temperature controlled containers.
I’ve been lucky enough to taste with Eric for over a decade and he has an incredible knack for finding up-and-coming producers as well as sensational values. Today, his portfolio includes estates from all parts of Spain, France (including Champagne, Loire, Southwest France, and Chablis), the Canary Islands, and Switzerland, as well as the rugged, yet up and coming Republic of Macedonia. As I hope this report shows, the portfolio is a treasure trove of both incredible quality and value.
The following tasting occurred in December 2017 and includes wines from France, Spain, and Macedonia. It’s important for readers to understand a number of these cuvées are made exclusively for the American market; unfortunately, readers outside the United States will not have access to these cuvées. In addition, many are blends put together specifically by Eric Solomon. Make sure you know what you’re buying as there can be differences between cuvées released by the estates and what is brought in by European Cellars. While most of these wines are produced in tiny quantities, the quality, as well as the value, more than diktat their inclusion here.