Return of Gemtree
After many years off of the Missouri market, Gemtree Vineyards has returned. Unique, organic, and pure - Gemtree Wines are made in McLaren Vale, South Australia. Biodynamic farming techniques provide a sustainable method that improves the quality of the soil and fruit, as well as being absent of chemicals. Their flagship wine, Uncut Shiraz, refers to the fact that nothing is added from vineyard to bottle. After careful vineyard selection, natural fermentation in tonne open fermenters lasts up to 10 days and presses off skins once fermentation is completed. The aging process takes place for 16 months in 100% French oak barrels. The final product of the Uncut Shiraz is balanced, integrated and has a nose of red berries, cocoa, dark chocolate, spices and herbs. This wine can be enjoyed for up to a decade and clearly demonstrates the quality of the soil and wine-making techniques that it is made from.
Novo Fogo Chameleon Cachaca
Our "Chameleon" expression marries the savory identity of our Silver Cachaca with the vanilla notes of our oak-kissed Barrel-Aged edition. It's aged for one year in re-purposed American oak barrels, just long enough to reach mix-ability peaks without losing its rain forest and sugarcane funk. A hazelnut nose is continued with sweet and spicy herbs in the palate and finished with lively citrus. From tiki drinks to stirred aperitifs, this versatile cachaca is the bartender's friend.
Spring right in with North Shore gin!
North Shore Distiller's Gin No. 6
Derek and Sonja Kassebaum started North Shore Distillery in 2004, selling their first bottles in 2005.
Derek had the initial inspiration to start a distillery.Once the idea grabbed him, he got to work and designed the process, initial equipment setup, and space. He researched distilling equipment, processes, history and techniques extensively, and met with many advisors along the way. His experience and education as a chemical engineer certainly helped, too.
Sonja is an attorney by training, which also comes in handy - distilling is a heavily regulated industry, with many "compliance opportunities", as she calls them. She is also the resident cocktail geek and loves to play with new spirits, ingredients, tools and techniques behind the bar.
All the spirits that are made here spend time with their handmade still, that they call Ethel. Ethel was named for Sonja's grandmother and was handmade and custom made for them in southern Germany. Derek worked with the still manufacturer to design Ethel, and she has several custom elements that make her unique. Ethel's capacity is 250 liters, or the equivalent of about 60 gallons. Ethel is one of the smaller stills in commercial production today, but is still versatile and skilled.
Unlike any other gin on the market, Distiller's Gin No. 6 has a nuanced, complex aroma and flavor, with balanced juniper, citrus, spice and floral notes, with a long, smooth finish.
"We hand prepare a range of herbs and botanicals for each batch of gin, including juniper berries (of course), hand-grated fresh lemon peel, rich spices like cardamom and cinnamon, and delicate floral accents. We infuse the botanicals into our base spirit for varying lengths of time depending on their particular characteristics, and then distill them through Ethel the Still using a slow, meticulous process that enables us to create fresh, bright flavors." - Sonja
North Shore Distiller's Gin No. 6 is the perfect spirit to enjoy while embracing the great outdoor weather that the spring season blesses us with! It is light and refreshing! Try a cocktail at the next weekend barbecue!
Delicious & Clear... Jinro is HERE!
Since 2002, Jinro soju has retained its position as the #1 MOST SELLING SPIRIT BRAND IN THE WORLD for 14 years straight, according to Drinks International's Millionaires' Club, an astounding feat that even major global brands can only dream about!
This distilled spirit from Korea - generally made from the finest and natural rice, barley, potatoes, and/or tapioca - has an alcohol content of around 20%, making it milder than most other distilled spirits. The pure spring mineral water is channeled repeatedly through a bamboo-charcoal filtering system to remove all impurities. Charcoals made from bamboo are proven to be one of the world's most effective purifiers. This purification method is the key to producing Jinro Soju's crisp, clean taste. The clear, colorless appearance of Jinro soju may be similar to vodka, but the nose, flavor and finish are considerably more complex, giving it unlimited opportunities for amazing cocktail creations. From nose to finish, a soju will surround you with freshness, silky softness and flavorful finish.
Soju tastes best when served chilled. Soju may also be served as a shot, on the rocks or infused with wide varietal of fruit, juices and cocktail mixers to meet the needs of any palette. Its mild, subtle and sweet flavor perfectly complements spicy food and grilled meats. It pairs beautifully with sushi, sashimi and fresh seafood.
Jinro's effort to provide a positive and fun brand experience for consumers have no boundaries. With Jinro Soju, you'll always have fun!
Drunken Sailor Spirits in Missouri!
Spiced Rum and Irish Whiskey
Classique Wines and Spirits is excited to show off Drunken Sailor Spirits to the State of Missouri!
Drunken Sailor was founded by Hunter Vogel and Andrew Lerner (the gentlemen behind Treasure Hunter Wines), whose passion for whiskey and the history behind them led down a historic path to find and deliver the most iconic whiskey in the word, Irish Whiskey. Drunken Sailor brings the old in with the new and is a brand your grandfather would appreciate, but your sons and daughters will love. Drunken Sailor is an adventurer's tonic with a fresh take on a classic spirit whose praise can be heard echoing throughout every Irish Pub on the planet.
Drunken Sailor Irish Whiskey is handmade and blended - 60% Malt, 35% Barley, and 5% Oats. It is then double distilled in a traditional copper pot still to retain its smooth, buttery vanilla core. It is then aged for at least 4 years in oak and blended to perfection, leading to a taste that's rich, smooth, and satisfying.
Drunken Sailor takes its name from the ancient sea shanty that sailors, pirates and Navy folks sang as they worked long days at sea. Spiced Rum played an important role thoughout the world and in U.S. history. Even George Washington insisted on a barrel to be present for his inauguration.
Drunken Sailor Spiced Rum is a handcrafted recipe of blended and aged Caribbean rums made from local sugar cane and distilled from molasses. A special brew of all-natural ingredients like Tahitian Vanilla, cinnamon, and secret spices is then mixed into the rum.
Zafra Master Reserve 21 Year Rum Makes A Splash In Missouri
Classique Wines and Spirits is proud to include Zafra Rum from Panama in our portfolio!
Zafra is a Super Premium aged rum with two expressions: Master Reserve Aged 21 Years and Master Reserve Aged 30 Years. The 21 Year is currently available in the State of Missouri.
The name "Zafra" means "the harvest of the sugar cane", and is a word synonymous with rum. The term became well-known internationally during the 1960s due to its importance in Cuba. Many leftists visited Cuba during the zafra season to help harvest sugar cane, Cuba's principal crop. The zafra season in the Caribbean runs from January to May.
Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez began his career in Cuba in the early 60s working with his father, a wine and spirits merchant. After earning a degree in microbiology, he decided to pursue his passion for creating great rums. In the 1970s as Director of the Cuban Beverage Industry and Master Distiller for Havana Club, Don Pancho led the renovation of the rum industry in Cuba, introducing modern technology, renovating cask inventories and modernizing plants and distilleries. He also helped to improve fermentation, production and blending techniques that set the standard worldwide with iconic products that can still be seen all over the globe. His work enabled him to travel the world and interact with myriad beverage industries including Scottish Whisky and Polish Vodka. These multicultural exchanges enriched his knowledge and skill and made Don Pancho the quintessential Master Blender he is today, with a unique and personal touch. After the sale of Havana Club, Don Pancho moved to Panama and discovered a neglected distillery in the Herrera region of Panama dating back to the early 1900s. Now after a successful 50-year career and countless industry awards, at an age when most are enjoying retirement, Don Pancho considers himself in his prime. He has created a rum with no compromises - rum he can truly call his own.
Hand cut sugarcane from Panama, a country known worldwide for its inter-oceanic channel, relies on nature's abundant and pure rains to provide the large volumes of water to make the channel navigable. The generous rain is also the secret to plentiful sugarcane yields, which is transformed, fermented, and processed into Top Grade Molasses. The spirit is then reduced to 75% alcohol for the start of the aging process, which is done in American Bourbon Oak casks of 220 liter capacity, selected specifically to age Zafra Rum. It continues to carefully rest in a rum cellar, under the watchful eye of the "Maestro Ronero", quietly and patiently. The alcohol is reduced as needed until it reaches perfection at 40% ABV.
The Master Reserve 21 Year has a dark, amber color with copper hues. On the nose, the aroma transports one to a rum cellar filled with the essence of oak. The rum is balanced perfectly with fruit and spice, resulting in an elegant and inviting aroma. The rum opens up exceedingly smooth on the palate. The oak is sweet, assertive, yet not dominating, finishing long with creamy oak flavors.
Zafra Rum has received many honors, including a 95 point rating from Beverage Tasting Institute and a Gold Medal at the 2010 RumXP.
St. Louis Cardinals Cabernet Sauvignon Now Available
After what seemed like forever, the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals Cabernet Sauvignon is here!
The 2014 St. Louis Cardinals Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of selective sourcing, exceptional winemaking and expert blending from high quality grapes. The result is a rich, bold Cabernet, and a proud addition to the MLB Wine Collection.
This wine is officially licensed by Major League Baseball, and has a hologram affixed on each bottle to ensure it. The wine inside is a well rounded Cabernet Sauvignon, with aromas of vanilla and cedar with notes of plum and boysenberry.
Remember, the Cardinals' Opening Day is April 11!
Make Way for Union Horse Distilling Company!
Former Dark Horse Distillery has a brand new name
From the Kansas City Business Journal:
After a legal battle with one of the giants of the wine industry, a Lenexa company chose to rename and rebrand itself.
Although the family owned craft distillery's name change became official on Jan. 1, only last week did Union Horse Distilling Co. LLC - formerly known as Dark Horse Distillery - begin to debut its new branding to the public.
"We're excited about our new name and chose it because it truly captures the unified spirit it takes to run a homegrown family business," General Manager Eric Garcia said in a statement. "You'll notice a unifying force throughout all aspects of our product: from the water to the grain, to the spirit and the barrel; from our location in a metro that straddles Kansas and Missouri, to the family team and business partners that create the product."
Founded in 2010 and based at 11740 W. 86th Terrace, Union Horse distills and distributes bourbon, rye whiskey, white whiskey and vodka. The distillery has won 36 medals, including 11 gold medals, since 2012.
"We think its further proof of the quality handcrafted spirits we're creating, with ingredients that are locally sourced and personally monitored from grain to glass, so that we can offer our distinctive perspective on spirits," Garcia said.
The company is run by four siblings: Eric Garcia; Patrick Garcia, master distiller; Damian Garcia, director of sales and marketing; Mary Garcia Gallagher, events director. In addition to its liquor business, Union Horse runs an event space that is often used for weddings, business events and other celebrations.
Hyde Single Malt Irish Whiskey is in Missouri
A True Taste of West Cork
Hyde is a presidential quality whiskey, hand crafted in small batches to celebrate the inaugural appointment of Ireland's very first president Douglas Hyde and the establishment of the Irish free state in 1922. A 100% malted Irish barley whiskey from a single distillery - Hyde is a true taste of the Irish spirit.
Rugged West Cork provides the perfect maturing conditions for our exceptional 10-year old single malt Irish whiskey. Distilled in a copper pot still, Hyde Whiskey is double matured in flame charred, first fill, oak bourbon casks, and finished in vintage sherry casks.
Handcrafted in very small limited edition batches, then cut with fresh West Cork spring water, and non-chill filtered for a more original character.
A smooth, well rounded, yet complex whiskey, replete with full flavor notes...A truly stately Irish whiskey!
Newly Rebranded Coulter and Payne Bourbon is here!
Crop Circle Moonshine and Crop Circle Vodka, too!
Coulter and Payne Brand Whiskeys and Spirits are true small batch, estate-grown artisan products. From planting, harvesting, and grinding the grain, to malting, mashing, distilling, aging, hand bottling, and labeling, each and every bottle is a representation of owner Chris Burnette's farm, family, dedication, and tradition. Coulter and Payne Bourbon is among the most locally sourced and terroir whiskeys available worldwide. Every ingredient comes from the farm, from the grain they grow in their lower field to the water that comes from their own natural spring. Coulter and Payne's barrels are some of the best in the world, and come from less than 50 miles away using wood from the Ozark Mountains, just south of the Shawnee Bend farm in Union, Missouri.
Made from 100% non-GMO grains, Coulter and Payne Whiskeys are socially responsible, with NO additives like coloring, sugar, or flavors, and handcrafted by the family on their farm. The grain is grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, using traditional sustainable methods, such as cover crops, crop rotation, and best of all, love. All of this is painstakingly done in order to produce the best tasting, socially responsible, most ultra-premium whiskeys in the world.
Here's a short description of the newest batch, Batch 5, the first under the Coulter and Payne label, from Barrel Master Cole Uphouse:
"For this batch, we took only three 15 gallon barrels, carefully chosen for their flavors and blended them together to produce a batch of only 258 bottles. Each barrel is made from our estate-grown and made mash bill. This in turn means every bottle is a representation of our farm and the work we've put into it.
Upon first pour: Your nose is delightfully tickled with light floral notes, vanilla, and light citrus, followed by a drawn-out, soothing, warm finish with hints of oak, citrus, and light floral notes.
The Waiting Game: Letting this bourbon rest and breathe for five minutes brings about a stronger, more sure-footed flavor. The nose transitions into strong rich oak and deep, warm vanilla. The flavor that dances upon your tongue is a lighter oak, vanilla, and citrus, but with new, more developed floral notes.
A Rocky Start: An ice cube adds a hint of complexity in flavor and scent. It brings about a clean oak and vanilla hue with a light floral essence. The flavor the ice brings out is mellowed down to a blur or oak, vanilla, and floral notes with a slight mint finish."
Cole also describes the farm's other products:
Crop Circle Moonshine Corn Whiskey: Made entirely of corn, our Moonshine is remarkably smooth, even though it's bottled at 100 proof. With a spicy initial burst on the palate a strong, chewy corn finish, this spirit is surprisingly complex, yet smooth and balanced. This is not to be compared to rot-gut moonshines. It is a sophisticated white whiskey that will make you rethink your opinion of corn whiskey.
Crop Circle Vodka: Made entirely of corn, this vodka deserves your attention. With slight hints of sweetness, it is incredibly smooth, crisp, and easy to drink. In most cocktails, you'll forget it's in there! Distilled multiple times in a traditional Appalachain manner and lightly charcoal filtered, it has a character that mass-produced vodkas can't match.
The Farm Winery Coming to Missouri
Classique Wines is thrilled to announce that we will be selling three phenomenal wines from highly allocated micro-producer The Farm Winery in Paso Robles, California!
Their total production is 800 cases annually. These wines are made by revered winemaker Santiago Archaval, recognized as one of the top winemakers in the world. This is his passion project with his wife and their best friends Jim Madsen and his wife. Wine Spectator rated more than 460 Argentine wines in December 2013. The top three were all made by Santiago. Six times since 2005, Santiago's wines have been on Wine Spectator's Top 100 wines of the world list. In December 2011, Robert Parker rated seven of Santiago's wines with the lowest score being 96 and several at 98 and 99 points.
The Farm Winery has 100% control of the best blocks of the best vineyards in the best sub-AVA in Paso Robles. Adelaida and Willow Creek AVAs are located just north of the climate-cooling Templeton Gap, and are home to the oldest, highest elevation vineyards in westside Paso. From these vineyards, some older than 50 years, Santiago and Jim exclusively farm the earth that will produce only the highest quality fruit to be crafted into each of the winery's three offerings. For those who think of Paso only as a source for high alcohol, flabby Zin, you are in for a treat. The Farm prides itself on producing detail-driven wines of balance and power that are vibrant, drinkable and elegant. To develop the depth and concentration, a generous amount of fruit is dropped, resulting in only 1 to 1.5 tons of fruit per acre, which is absurdly low for anywhere in the world, especially Paso Robles. That commitment in the vineyard coupled with the largest diurnal swing (50 degrees!) of any wine growing region on the planet births wines of incredible richness balanced out by excellent acidity. The Farm's signature terroir is due to its close proximity to the ocean (12 miles) and unique limestone dominant soils, the only of the like in all of California.
Two NEW Expressions of Novo Fogo Available!
"Chameleon" and "Tanager" Make their Missouri Debut
Novo Fogo and Classique Wines are pleased to introduce the State of Missouri to its newest expressions of Novo Fog cachaca - "Chameleon" and "Tanager"!
Novo Fogo "Chameleon" is touted as Novo Fogo's "most versatile cachaca yet". Born in the coastal jungle of the Brazilian South, our little Chameleon marries the identity of the organic Silver Cachaca with the vanilla notes of our oak-kissed Barrel-Aged edition. It's aged just long enough to reach mixability peaks without losing its rainforest and sugarcane funk. From tiki drinks to aromatic stirred cocktails, this is one mighty flexible cachaca.
We spoke with Cachaca Empresario Luke McKinley regarding the Chameleon. He says that the Chameleon is akin to a reposado tequila, but in cachaca form. "It is quickly becoming many bartenders' favorite because it has that fresh, funky sugarcane flavor from the silver cachaca, but the one year it spends in American oak gives it a touch of the honey-toffee-cinnamon flavor that we all love in aged spirits."
Novo Fogo "Tanager" is Novo Fogo's first two-woods barrel-aged cachaca and it mixes the Brazilian South's two favorite woods. This cachaca is aged in repurposed American oak and finished in local barrels made from arariba (pronounced "ah-da-dee-BAH") wood, also known as Brazilian Zebrawood. This finish gives the spirit a natural red color and a distinctive earthiness.
Luke states that the Tanager's nose expresses more of that characteristic fresh, funky sugarcane aroma that you'll sniff in all Novo Fogo cachacas. "The flavor is slightly floral but also earthy, almost cinnamon-y. The zebrawood imparts a distinctive mouthfeel, too -- a soft, slightly viscous texture that is pleasant but not cloying. Some say that the arariba gives a distinctive oiliness to cachaca, which doesn't sound too appealing but makes sense considering the curiously soft, viscous mouthfeel."
Luke also recommends that the Tanager is delicious in a Sazerac -- aptly named "Tanagerac".
If you do not see these new products at your favorite store or restaurant, please ask for them!
March is Taste Washington Wine Month!
Washington State is now ranked the second largest wine producing state in the United States, behind California. With over 850 wineries, more than 350 wine grape growers, and 40-something grape varietals, all from 13 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), this news certainly comes as no surprise! To celebrate their success, the Washington Wine Commission has designated the month of March as "Taste Washington Wine Month", and even though we are in Missouri, we can still play along!
Classique Wines and Spirits is thrilled to represent some of the best wineries that the State of Washington has to offer.
Family owned and operated Dunham Cellars uses grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Walla Walla, Yakima, and Columbia Valleys. When their first vintage, a 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon, was released it was deemed one of the finest wines made in Washington by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Subsequent vintages and varietals have also earned high marks with both wine writers and consumers.
One to try: Dunham Cellars "Trutina", a succulent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, and Petit Verdot.
Jones of Washington, another family owned and operated winery, was awarded the Washington Winery of the Year in 2012 by Wine Press Northwest. Originally potato farmers, the Jones family planted their first vineyard on the Wahluke Slope in 1997, and the first grapes were sold to a large Western Washington winery looking to expand their production. In 2001, the family was bitten by the wine bug and Jones of Washington Winery was born. The family is dedicated to making great wine that consumers can afford to enjoy every day, not just sometimes.
One to try: Jones of Washington Pinot Gris from the Ancient Lakes AVA.
Walla Walla's Sleight of Hand Cellars was hailed by Seattle Magazine as one of the "Next Cult Wineries of Washington State". WinemakerTrey Busch works very hard to maintain that status & the scores that his wines have received from Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate have validated his efforts repeatedly.
One to try: Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Conjurer" - a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Not only is the wine delicious, but its label features the actor Neil Patrick Harris. That's just fun.
Renegade Wine Company is Trey Busch's second label. Rose lovers flock to buy the Renegade Rose, and it never disappoints.
Owen Roe Winery burst on to the Washington wine scene with their 1999 vintage and hasn't stopped since. They are unique in that they make highly acclaimed wines from both Washington and Oregon. Their second label, Corvidae Wine Company, produces "suspiciously terrific" value wines from the region as well.
One to try: Owen Roe "Ex Umbris" Syrah, a deep, smoky wine.
Zero One Vintners was founded in 2006. They are focused on making a limited number of wines, sourcing their grapes from established growers in the Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys, and delivering excellent quality for the price.
One to try: Zero One Vintners "Golden Delicious" Columbia Valley Riesling. It's crisp and off-dry, perfect for almost any meal.
Classique Wines and Spirits is proud of all of these wineries and very excited for our customers to enjoy their wines...not just in March, but all year round!
NEW LOCALLY MADE SPIRIT!
St. Louis Distillers Releases "Starka"
On Saturday, September 6, 2014, St. Louis Distillers will be launching their highly anticipated new product, Cardinal Sin Starka, at Lukas Liquor Superstore from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. The event is open to everyone 21 years of age or older.
What is Starka?
Starka is a traditional Polish-Lithuanian spirit dating back to the 15th century and was a very special custom. At the birth of a child, the father would put vodka in an oak barrel that was previously used to store wine. The barrel was then sealed - usually with beeswax - and dug into sandy ground, only to be dug out at the child's wedding. The actual term "Starka" comes from the Lithuanian word "Starkus" which means "stork".
How is Starka Made?
Single batch Cardinal Sin Vodka, locally made in St. Charles, MO and winner of four awards, is used as the base spirit. The vodka was then aged for six months in new Missouri White Oak Bourbon barrels. The barrel is completely responsible for the changes in color and flavor, and no artificial colors or flavorings or added caramels or sugars were used in the production of Starka.
Nose: Warm barley cereal, buttery vanilla, oak, green apples
Taste: Lots of vanilla and oak.
Cardinal Sin Starka is slow filtered twice through St. Louis Distillery's proprietary percolation stills before entering the barrels for aging.
"Bourbon is barreled because it has to be....Cardinal Sin Starka is barreled because we wanted to..."
BADEL 1862 is BACK!
Famed Croatian Spirits Make Their Re-Entry into Missouri
After several months of not being available in Missouri, Classique Wines & Spirits is happy to announce that we are now distributing BADEL 1862 spirits!
BADEL 1862 is proud of its tradition and by interweaving it in its name, the company honored not only its ancestors but also unmistakably identified itself as a company with a long tradition.
Franjo Pokorny, who laid the foundations of alcoholic beverage production, at first produced, packaged and distributed alcoholic beverages all by himself. This seldom seen persistency soon stated to bear fruits; as time went by, he turned his production into the largest export force in that line of business. Soon, he expanded his markets to numerous Central European countries and, additionally to significant European capitals, he also supplied the French inperial court of Napoleon III with his liqueurs.
The second famous name, Mijo Arko, was one of the first Croatian experts in wine cellaring. In 1867, he established a wine and brandy store. His son Vladimir inherited and further developed the industrial production of spirits and liqueurs and made the factory "Arko", a respected name in the production of cognac, sparkling wine, rum, rakija liqueurs and other drinks.
The factory Patria, established in 1886, with its own distillery, was prominent for its rich offer of chosen alcoholic beverages. Patria's main product was Patria Brandy, whose popularity outlived the company.
After World War II, there were significant changes - the liqueur factory and alcohol refinery "Marijan Badel" was established. A quarter century later, it merged with Vinoprodukt, a company owning most wineries throughout Croatia, which was the starting point of winemaking tradition in BADEL.
Currently available, we have BADEL Hrvatska Stara Sljivovica, Zrinski Vinjak, and Cezar brandies. Please ask for them if you do not see them at your favorite wine and spirits store!
Novo Fogo Cachaca Organica is Here!
Caipirinhas and so much more....
Cachaca - more commonly known as "Brazilian Rum" - is one of the fastest-growing categories in the United States, and now Missouri has the chance to have some of the very best - Novo Fogo Cachaca Organica! Certified organic by the USDA, Novo Fogo Cachaca, or "new fire" in Portugese, is expertly handcrafted in a zero-waste distillery in the coastal mountains of Southern Brazil, bordering the protected Atlantic Rainforest. The zero waste operation does not use chemicals or preservatives and recycles all of the operational bi-products as fuel for cars and for cleaning products. Every step of the production process is done entirely by hand - the sugarcane harvest, the natural fermentation and small batch pot still distillation. Even the bottles are handcrafted from glass which has been collected and recycled from the streets of neighboring city of Curitiba. If all of this isn't cool enough, they are also championing the protection of the Red Tailed Parrot in Brazil, which are endangered due to poaching.
There are 40,000 distilleries in Brazil, but 95% are illegal. Most distilleries make Cachaca for local markets and because they are so small, can't afford to take out a license. There are vast regional differences that cannot be traced in the continuously distilled, mass-produced Cachaca available to us. The terroir of sugarcane in Brazil is a huge factor, but you would never know...
The arrival of Novo Fogo is a huge win for the Cachaca category. Novo Fogo is going to be to Cachaca what Del Maguey was to Mezcal. Logistically, it is so hard to put together all the moving parts for an export Cachaca, but Novo Fogo managed. While Brazil is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, it is still difficult to do business down there. There are very few reliable resources for packaging needs, such as quality glass and label production. Even if you make it past this point, you then have to get the product out of the country. Roads are poor and domestic travel options are minimal. It most definitely takes courage, references and a strong knowledge of Brazilian culture to even make an attempt.
Novo Fogo Cachaca Organica arrived at our warehouse this week and it is available in both Silver and Barrel-Aged. If you do not see it in your favorite independent wine and spirits store or restaurant...ask for it!
New Washington State Wines!
Classique Wines and Spirits is very proud to bring some of the best Washington State wines to Missouri!
The Washington wine industry has come a long way. The first people who produced wine in Washington were German and Italian immigrants who planted their grapes during the 1860s and 1870s. Following the end of Prohibition, Washington's wine industry was based mostly on sweet fortified wines made from Concord grapes. In the 1950s, the planting of Vitis vinifera increased, in part by the work of Dr. Walter Clore and Washington State University which conducted a series of trials on which grape vines could produce the best wines in various soils and climates of Washington. Today, Washington ranks second in wine production, with only California in front of them.
In 2013, Classique brought three Washington State wineries into the portfolio: Zero One Vintners, Sleight of Hand Cellars and Dunham Cellars.
Husband and wife team Kristen and Thomas Vogele founded Zero One Vintners in 2006, bringing more than 20 years of experience to their boutique winery. Their focus is making a limited number of wines in a distinctly unique and elegant style from the Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys, delivering exceptional quality for the price.
Out of Walla Walla, we have Sleight of Hand Cellars, which has been hailed as one of the next cult wineries in Washington State. The winery was formally established in 2007 by partners Jerry and Sandy Solomon and Trey Busch, who also serves as winemaker. Their goal is to provide consumers with "Simply Magical Wines", and there unique red wines have received many high scores from wine critics. Renegade Wine Company is a side project of Trey Busch, and those wines are often referred to as "an insane value".
Dunham Cellars, a family owned winery owned by winemaker Eric Dunham and his parents Mike and Joanne Dunham, uses grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Walla Walla, Yakima and Columbia Valleys. Their production facilities are in a World War II era airplane hangar near the Walla Walla airport. When the first vintage - a 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon - was released, it was deemed one of the finest wines made in Washington by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Subsequent vintages and varietals have also earned high marks with both wine writers and consumers. Eric Dunham also shows his artistic side by creating original artworks of all Dunham Cellars vineyard designated and special bottlings.
If you love Washington wines, these are certainly worth seeking out! Stay tuned for more great products...
Mad Buffalo Thunderbeast Storm Moonshine Debuts in Missouri
New Locally Made Line from Union, Missouri
Mad Buffalo Brewing Company & Distillery is a small family-owned company that focuses on high quality, hand-crafted distilled spirits produced in small batches, each inspired by distinct family traditions. The Mad Buffalo Distillery, owned and operated by The Mad Buffalo Brewing Company, Inc., is a craft, small-batch producer of ultra-premium spirits that includes vodka, whiskey, rum, absinthe, gin, moonshine and other products. We focus on the "craft" in craft distillation. We consider ourselves to be artisans first, and beverage producers second. Everything we do revolves not only around the finished product, but how it comes into being. Our processes, traditional in nature, have been learned, honed and crafted into a modern day replication of traditional methods. We still do almost everything by hand. From malting our own grain, to our hand-crank grain mill, to actually stirring our mash, we focus on what is best for our product.
We also focus on sustainability, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility. We do this by only purchasing locally produced products, grains and supplies, operating in an environmental fashion and by treating our shareholders, employees and customers like family.
Our attitude is different than most companies. We believe in supporting our family, friends and community while protecting the environment. We will not make decisions based solely on the fiscal bottom line, as we believe there are multiple bottom lines. Our impact on the planet, on each other, on our customers and in our community is as important or more important as our profit. This may seem counter-intuitive, but as many financial analysts have become to see, companies that support corporate responsibility have the same, if not greater, return on equity than traditionally minded companies.
Located in Union, Missouri, Shawnee Bend Farms has been in the family for nearly 50 years and serves as the backdrop for the distillery. It is a serene place where the neighbors are as close as family, which is good since we value our community, our friends and our family. We work diligently to maintain a good relationship with the surrounding residents and include them in our plans when possible. We also work to ensure that they, if they are able and willing, are looked to first before looking to outside local vendors. We try to keep it "in the family".
We want to welcome you to our community and hope that you will become a member of our family and not just a customer. We want our customers around for the long haul and will work diligently to keep them coming back.
Tomr's Tonic Now Available
"Because life is too short to drink crappy tonic!"
Founder and chief formulist Tom Richter (called "Tommer" by his dad, hence "Tomr's") was first a Broadway actor. Understandably, an acting career lends itself to a lot of bartending gigs. Tom found himself "behind the stick" in some of New York City's finest and most creative bars and through the years, he has earned high praise for his talents behind the bar. He writes a beverage feature for Edible New Jersey Magazine and is a graduate of the prestigious B.A.R. Program.
Richter had an epiphany while mixing his gazillionth gin and tonic. The flavor of the expensive gin the customer ordered was all but destroyed by the fructose sugar and synthetic quinine based tonic. He went home that night and immediately started tinkering with recipes, and in 2007, he had his formula. Richter began serving it at the bar he was working and customers loved it so much that they were soon buying bottles to take home. Bartenders and bar managers heard about a unique tonic being made by a guy named Tom. They began inundating Richter with orders so they could serve it at their bars. And a business was born.
The first thing you'll notice is the rich amber color - a hint that Tomr's Tonic is truly unique with a perfect balance between bitter and sweet, dry and refreshing. Tomr's is not a mass-produced sticky sweet tonic water made from high fructose corn syrup and synthetic quinine. Instead, Tomr's Tonic is a 100% organic, well-balanced and bracing elixir concentrate that combines the unique flavors of real cinchona bark (quinine), citrus, herbs and cane sugar. The result is bracing herbal tones with a citrus touch that blends nicely with the bitter of quinine. Because we crafted Tomr's Tonic as a syrup concentrate, it lasts longer, offers bartenders more flexibility and never goes flat.
Our focus is on massive flavor, not mass manufacturing. We would rather create a complex beverage in limited quantities than bulk produce a homogenized product that is devoid of passion, creativity and most of all, taste. We want to provide you with a uniquely satisfying experience that is unmatched by anything in the marketplace.
Island Cognac? Yes!
Camus Ile de Re Fine Island Cognacs Available Now
Maison Camus, the last great independent family-owned Cognac house, has been a legend in Cognac since its beginning in 1863.
Ever since its foundation, Maison Camus has been exploring the terroir of the appellation to uncover all its riches and flavors, and the vineyards of the Ile de Re have been a true revelation. The Ile de Re is an island off of the West Coast of France and is part of the Charente Maritime departement. It is the most westerly region in the Cognac appellation, located in the Bois a Terroirs cru. This beautiful, wild island gives these unique cognacs a distinctive personality, Maison Camus cognacs from the Ile de Re are dry, powerful, with a taste of the sea, expressing all the smoothness and fruity aromas of exceptional cognacs.
The three Ile de Re cognacs - Fine Island, Double Matured and the Cliffside Cellar - hail from the little known appellation of Cognac prized for its pre-phylloxera vines, thus offering a rare point of distinction. Each has salty, maritime notes that offer special appeal to Scotch drinkers. The Camus Ile de Re cognacs are the first and only releases of cognac from the island.
Camus Ile de Re Fine Island Cognac is impressive and shows a beautiful golden color. With light and fresh iodine notes and a lively, oak and salt finish, this Cognac is perfect neat, on the rocks, with a dash of water or chilled. The specific ageing process that incorporates the high humidity levels imparts a pleasant roundness to this cognac.
Camus Ile de Re Double Matured Cognac is a golden amber Cognac like no other. With a unique ageing technique in two distinct stages; first ageing in a cellar with high humidity and second ageing in toasted barrels, this Cognac produces a fruity and smooth taste. Ile de Re Double Matured is a distinctive Cognac with spicy, marine, crystallized fruit notes with a smoky finish.
Last but not least, the Camus Ile de Re Cliffside Cellar is an amber-colored Cognac with hints of orange. This extraordinary Cognac has indications of vanilla, spice and traditional 'rancio charentais". Providing marine and iodine characters, the Cliffside Cellar has a specific ageing period in the Fort de la Pree cellar located 10 meters away from the Atlantic Ocean.
Camus Ile de Re Cognacs are available in limited quantities at independently owned wine and liquor stores in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. If you do not see it, please ask for it!
St. Louis Distillery's Cardinal Sin Artisan Vodka Hits Shelves
"Sin Without Remorse"
Here at Classique, we love small businesses and locally made products, so we were thrilled when St. Louis Distillery asked us to distribute their vodka for them.
St. Louis Distillery utilizes an artisan, hands-on, micro-batch approach to distilling their vodka. The key to a really good vodka is separating the desirable alcohols, known as the "hearts", from the undesirable ones known as the "heads" and "tails". Heads and tails not only taint the flavor of vodka but also have been known to cause a bit of next day "remorse" (in other words, a hangover). St. Louis Distillery's hands-on approach, combined with the unique technology of their still (which utilizes an advanced structured packed column rectification technology), allows the distillers to more accurately and precisely select only the truest hearts of the spirit.
An extremely clean, crisp vodka with a smooth, hint-of-sweet finish.
Cardinal Sin Artisan Vodka is already at several stores in the St. Louis area and will be in bars and restaurants very soon. For those in Kansas City, Springfield and the Lake of the Ozarks, look for it as soon as next week!
Berneroy Calvados Now Available
Taste. Tradition. The Spirit of the Apple.
Classique Wines & Spirits, along with the House of Camus, are proud to present Berneroy Calvados to the Missouri market.
Calvados has been produced in the historic French region of Normandy for at least 5 centuries. Calvados finally recieved the status of Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC) in 1942.
Distilled from dry cider made from traditional varieties of cider apples, Calvados is the world's finest and most renowned oak-aged apple spirit. Over 180 named apple varieties are authorized for making calvados; these fall into 4 categories: Sweet, Bittersweet, Sharp (acidic) and Bitter. The combination of these different flavor characteristics produces an aromatic, complex and well-balanced calvados.
Three different award-winning Berneroy Calvados are available:
Berneroy Fine - minimum of 2 years oak ageing. Fresh and fruity. Bursting with fresh apple flavors and aromas. Serve straight up, on the rocks or in a variety of cocktails.
Berneroy VSOP - minimum of 4 years oak ageing. Hearty and aromatic. Full-bodied with ripe apple flavors and notes of vanilla oak. Enjoy as an after-dinner drink, over ice, or in a variety of cocktails.
Berneroy XO - minimum of 6 years oak ageing. Rich and complex. Rich, complex flavors of baked apples and subtle oak with a long, memorable finish. Savor neat, as an after-dinner drink, or with a splash of water.
What sets Berneroy apart?
- The use of carefully selected, traditionally grown cider apples from the best independent orchards in Normandy.
- Single distillation concentrates the cider's fruit character and gives our calvados an authentically rustic touch.
- Ageing in barrels that have less tannin preserves the spirit's original aromatic intensity.
- Packaging that's timeless and authentically simple.
- Strong brand heritage
- Excellent value
Cardwell Hill Cellars New Releases In Stock
Supply is LIMITED
This week, Classique received the 2011 vintages of both the Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Pinot Gris & Estate Bottled Rose'. Both are 100% estate fruit from Cardwell Hill's certified LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe vineyards.
542 cases of Pinot Gris and 370 cases of the Rose' were produced from this vintage.
Notes on the Pinot Gris:
This wine has a light honey colored hue with a subtle fruity nose. Green apple flavors mingled with citrus and a strong acid backbone make this a wine to savor. There is a hint of banana and a note of honey on the finish. The finish is long and luscious with continued citrus notes. Cardwell Hill Pinot Gris exhibits a fine acid balance, coupled with a touch of residual sweetness.
Notes on the Rose':
The wine has a beautiful soft salmon color and a light fruity nose with a hint of strawberry. The mouth feel is crisp and clean with a floral finish. It has a complexity unique for a Rose'. 100% Pinot Noir, about 75% Pommard, 25% Dijon.
These are fantastic wines for warm weather! Ask your rep for more details.
BOYD & BLAIR PROFESSIONAL PROOF 151 RECEIVES 5-STAR RATING FROM AMERICA'S SPIRITS GURU, F. PAUL PACULT
"...a new direction for supersized vodka from distillers who know what they are doing."
In March of 2012, F. Paul Pacult, editor of Spirit Journal, a quarterly newsletter of spirits reviews, rated Boyd & Blair Professional Proof 151 with his highest recommendation, giving it 5 stars. F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal has served the spirits industry since 1991, through private subscription, without compromise from the influence of advertising or commercial endorsements of any kind. F. Paul Pacult's reviews and ratings are considered to be the gold standard within the alcoholic beverage industry.
In his 5-star rating, Pacult describes Boyd & Blair Professional Proof as "a new direction for supersized vodka from distillers who know what they are doing."
In December of 2010, Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries received its first 5-star rating from F. Paul Pacult with Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka. Among other accolades, Pacult noted in his review: "Bravo. Awesome Achievement."
Said Barry Young, Stillmaster and CEO of Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, "It is an incredible honor to yet again be recognized by the most renowned spirits expert in the entire industry. To have our second product receive the "Classic/Highest Recommendation" tells me that the devotion to our craft is truly evident; I couldn't be prouder."
About Boyd & Blair
Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka was launched in August of 2008 at Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, LLC. It is crafted from an original mash derived exclusively from Pennsylvania-grown potatoes. Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka is currently distributed into 15 states as well as Ontario, Canada.
Boyd & Blair Professional Proof 151 was launched in August of 2012. It was developed for the craft cocktail expert or chef for the creation of house-made bitters and liqueurs, aged cocktails, fortified wines, and sauces. Boyd & Blair Professional Proof 151 is distilled from the same recipe as regular Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, but is concentrated to almost twice the strength.
To read full review please refer to this link:
Cocktail Enthusiasts, Rejoice!
Bittermens Bitters Makes Its Way to Missouri
Ever wonder what gives that cocktail a little extra somethin' special? Our bet is that the bartender used bitters...
Small batch bitters are making their mark on the cocktail scene. In cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco, cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders are rediscovering long lost recipes and coming up with new signature flavors which help create the palate of the New American Cocktail.
While living in San Francisco in early 2007, Avery and Janet Glasser used high proof spirit and a variety of herbs, peels and spices to create an extract of a traditional Mexican cooking sauce. This extract became the prototype recipe for the Xocolatl Mole Bitters.
The summer of 2010 marked a dramatic rebirth for Bittermens: winding down previous licensing agreements, striking new partnerships, developing new products and most importantly, leasing a commercial kitchen. All Bittermens products are now being made by hand at our Brooklyn facility using primarily organic ingredients.
Ask for them at independent wine stores and be on the lookout for the exciting drinks that Missouri bartenders and mixologists dream up!
Old New Orleans Rum is in Missouri!
Just in time for Mardi Gras....
Classique is very excited to distribute Old New Orleans Rum to the Missouri market!
Old New Orleans Rum was born in the back streets of New Orleans 9th Ward. This stepchild of the spirits world was conceived by a band of artists and musicians better known for consumption than fabrication. By dint of perseverance and their love of the good life, they managed to start production of what are now considered some of the worldís best rums.
James Michalopoulos, a celebrated New Orleans-based artist, is the founder of Celebration Distillation. Inspired by a Swiss friend who entertained guests with spirits she made with fruit picked from her garden, he decided to use the obvious regional crop to create his own spirits in Louisiana — sugar cane. Flush from a successful European painting tour, he invested in a rum fabrication experiment, and with several musician friends he cobbled together a still in a 9th Ward kitchen.
After two years of distillation and engineering studies and plenty of trial and error, it was time to scale up. They constructed their own unique combination pot and column still, which enabled the crew to create robust flavor and also achieve purity and control over the process. (To this day, the distillers continue to work with this temperamental instrument because of the unique results it produces).
The year 1995 was a banner year for Celebration Distillation and Old New Orleans Rum. An ancient cotton warehouse on Frenchmen Street was purchased and refitted as their new home. Designing and building the equipment as they went, the experiments continued. After what seemed like 1,000 false starts, a fermentation process was found that produced the savor they craved. In 1999, the first white rum was put on the market, and over time it became known as Old New Orleans Crystal. This outstanding Crystal Rum begat Old New Orleans Amber Rum, and from this aged Amber rum came Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum. By the millennium, this band of brigands had become one of the world’s best rum makers, with gold medals to prove it.
The crew at Celebration Distillation has always been composed of artists and musicians, with an engineer or two thrown in for balance. They continue to search for excellence with the eyes of an artist, always committed to a creative process and great quality. Honing their technique and craft with never-ending experimentation, the entire range of Old New Orleans Rums are ever more subtle and sophisticated and witness to the virtuosity of the distillers.
Boyd & Blair Comes to Missouri!
Classique Wines & Spirits is proud to bring Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka to the State of Missouri! This very special vodka was rated by F. Paul Picult's Spirit Journal in December, 2010 as the best vodka in THE WORLD.
"Wow, this aroma comes flying out of the glass in waves of white potato, starch and parchment; seven more minutes of aeration don't greatly alter the aromatic profile, but there is a noticeable deepening of the established scents, especially the raw white potato element. Entry is nothing short of luscious, semisweet, chewy, and smooth; midpalate adds cocoa bean, maple and honey. Aftertaste is graceful, solid, and simply delicious. The best small-scale vodka I've had since the 45th Parallel. So sumptuous and tasty that it's spectacular neat. Best non-Polish potato vodka available. AWESOME ACHIEVEMENT!"