Homepage 2018-09-03T14:30:14+00:00
  • The Most Celebrated Hands You Have Never Heard Of: Fabrice and Christine Vigot

    Bonjour du paradoxe fragile qui inspire quoi célébrer aussi que pleurer, Roughly a year ago, I introduced the profoundly under heralded Vosne Romanée wines of Fabrice and Christine Vigot to the USA. The response was nothing short of an unending, thunderous success as both the initial response and refill requests continued until my stocks were completely gobbled up; the proof is always in the pudding, and their 2014s are simply stunning examples of moderation, succulence, site specific character, and harmony.   [ READ MORE]

  • From Cars to Côte Rôtie: Cédric Parpette

    Bonjour d’un bosseur qui a laissé le monde des bagnoles pour soigner la Serine, Twenty years ago, Cédric Parpette knew virtually nothing about wine, nor wine growing. He was an auto mechanic whose preferred drinks were beer, whiskey, and rum. However, when he fell in love with his wife-to-be Christelle Fernandez, destiny threw him a curveball that he could never have anticipated. His father-in-law, Réné Fernandez, was the owner of a three hectare parcel of vines in the incredibly steep,   [ READ MORE]

  • The Adorable and Nutty Professor of Cava: Pere Mata

    Buenos dias otra vez del loco y adorable profesor de Cava, People apparently get it loud and clear : Pere Mata is making insane-o good bubblies that will redefine what you thought possible from Spanish Cava. Without exception, I have people who have tasted from the first few waves coming back for more with the kind of googly-eyed enthusiasm that I thought was reserved only for my offerings.... ;0 Hitting on all pleasure points intellectual, hedonistic, and food accompanying refreshment,   [ READ MORE]

  • Basque Mountain Majesty: Luisja Oregi’s Urkizahar Txakoli

    Euskal mendi itzulera agurra, Last summer, I introduced the mouthwatering mountainous Michelin-starred Basque delight known as Urkizahar Txakoli, Luisja Oregi's one man labor of love, to a thunderous response; undoubtedly, the narrative of how things unfolded coupled with my impressions was a "something special" kind of a discovery. Once folks got the wine in their hands, I heard lots of feedback, both thrills and chills.....it seems that the 2016 with its unmistakable purity and nearly 12g/L of acidity was a   [ READ MORE]

  • A Motley Crew Making Burgundy That Rings True: Domaine Tawse

    Bonjour encore une fois de l'équipe qui continue à monter l'escalier au ciel, Now that both Allan Meadows and Steve Tanzer have chimed in to echo the sentiments that I have espoused and expressed in no uncertain terms since my annual Fall visit, that the best of the 2016 Burgundy crop is downright classic and beyond compelling. Perhaps now both lifelong collectors and curious neophytes will heed my call with a greater sense of validation and urgency. Yields are way   [ READ MORE]

  • Stunning Beauty Hidden in Plain View: Jean-Pierre Guyon of Vosne Romanée

    Bonjour d'une étoile bizarrement inconnue d'une beauté à crever, It is curious how things unfold sometimes; if you keep your eyes and ears open, some very good unexpected things seem to come along.....During my eleventh annual two week Burgundian tasting trip last month, I kept hearing good things about this producer in Vosne Romanée that I curiously had never tasted nor heard mentioned before. When visiting with spirited Michel Mallard of Ladoix, I was startled when he told me that   [ READ MORE]

  • A Star Rises in Ladoix: Michel Mallard

    Bonjour d'une étoile montante au sommet de la colline de Corton, As the "fan mail" continues to come back with love struck reviews, it seems that people can very much sense for themselves what an under celebrated talent Michel Mallard and his Ladoix/Corton wines are. Last year when I offered his wines for the first time, we had not yet visited. After having done so last November, I am convinced both that: 1)Michel is my kind of weird genius, in   [ READ MORE]

  • A Young Jedi Taking It All In Stride: Constantin Richter of the Mosel

    Grüße von einem jungen Jedi, der alles in den Schritten nimmt, Well folks, my Mosel team continues to hit it out of the park, this time young Jedi Constantin Richter and his remarkably finessed 2016s being lauded by the most veteran of American German wine critics, the inimitable David Schildknecht of Vinous. I knew the wines were that good, and said as much this past summer, a solid six months ago. It seems that most of my wowie zowie highlights   [ READ MORE]

  • Unimaginable Quality and Consistency: Tim Schäfer Fröhlich of the Nahe

    Guten tag noch einmal von dem immer gleichbleibenden Nahe-Superstar, Any of you who have known me for some time have heard me pound the drum for the incredible work of the Nahe's Tim Schäfer Fröhlich for nearly a decade. Among critics and wine lovers, his name has become synonymous with Germany's top 5-10 estates, with a track record that is so insanely consistent that it boggles the mind. After my visit last year, I flipped my top, pronouncing his 2015   [ READ MORE]

  • The Wildly Overachieving Burgundy wines of Cyril Audoin

    Re-Bonjour d'un chemin inattendu crée par l'amitié et la passion partagée, Many of you have already been shocked to attention, having tasted Cyril Audoin's 2014 red wines and 2016 rosé that we debuted with a year ago. Proof-being-in-the-pudding, there is zero doubt that this young fellow is making some of the greatest overachieving wines in all of Burgundy, able to go toe to toe with far more prestigious and pricey appellations south of Marsannay. In particular, the '14 Favières' knee   [ READ MORE]

  • The Gastronomic Class and Sincerity of Alsace’s Dirler Cadé

    Bonjour d'une maison de la classe gastronomique et une sincerité toujours touchante, Ludivine and Jean Dirler-Cadé are, hands down, two of my favorite people with whom I work. Soulful sincerity (with a healthy dose of dark humor) is all that one will ever encounter here, with self-evident biodynamic purity, class and complexity in every single one of their wines that is at the very pinnacle of quality in Alsace. Over the past few years, I have pounded the drum with   [ READ MORE]

  • The Mosel Majesty of Markus Molitor

    Grüße aus einem ikonischen Mosel-Kraftwerk, getrieben von grenzenloser Leidenschaft, Well folks, it seems that David Schildknecht chimed in with some of his 2016 Mosel reviews, and surprise surprise, he loves the vintage, particularly the embarrassment of riches that has emerged from Markus Molitor's painstakingly perfectionistic hands. As my parcel hasn't quite left yet, I am seizing the opportunity to have those of you who have not yet gotten on the bandwagon to cherry pick to your hearts delight, armed with   [ READ MORE]

  • The Alsatian Authenticity of Agathe Bursin

    Bonjour d’une mademoiselle exceptionelle qui suit profondement l’écoute de la Nature, My ongoing defense and celebration of Alsace, its singular culture/beauty/charms, and remarkable patchwork of geological diversity continues with an introduction that has been some three years in the making. With a special immediacy of mutual likeness and recognition, Westhalten’s native daughter Agathe Bursin and I hit it off from the very first time we spoke on the telephone. Reverential Nature gonzo spirits, we are both (please feel free to   [ READ MORE]

  • The True Face of Crozes Hermitage: Stéphane Rousset

    Bonjour d'une étoile montante qui montre la vraie visage de Crozes Hermitage, It has been a bit more than a year since I offered Stéphane Rousset's off-the-charts substantial and delicious N Rhone wines. Whereas most of you hadn't yet had a chance to taste his hillside grown Crozes Hermitage wines, now that the 2015s have come and gone, I have only had an unending string of expletive laden affirmations that the buzz is more than justified: it doesn't get better   [ READ MORE]

  • Tales of Brune and Blonde: The Côte Rôties of Domaine Garon

    Bonjour du coeur des terroirs Brune et Blonde, In my ongoing attempt to represent an ever increasing swath of the parcellary diversity of the northern Rhone, there is one sector where I have been waiting particularly patiently to find a partner: the heart of the Brune and Blonde soils of Côte Rôtie behind the village of Ampuis.  These steep, terraced vineyards of darker, harder iron rich micaschist (Brune) and paler, more decomposed micaschist (Blonde) are a sight to behold and then some, one of   [ READ MORE]

  • Marie Therese Chappaz : Queen of the Terraced Valais

    Bonjour du royaume terracé de la Reine du Valais. In early June, I had the pleasure of finally visiting with one-of-a-kind soul sister Marie-Therese Chappaz of Fully, Switzerland. In just a few words, I can now affirm that it is a mindblowingly remarkable place to farm, and her wines pure class.From the soaring mountain panorama of the Aiguilles rouges towards Mont Blanc, to the steep hand built terraces on the Fully mountainside, the mountain-majesty-meets-immaculate-reverential-farming vibe that I left with is   [ READ MORE]

  • Pierre Benetiere: Crazy Saint Vigneron de Condrieu

    Bonjour des terres brunes et blondes de Cote Rotie et Condrieu, Of the many players in Bacchus' brigade of devotees, I have never met one as quixotic and super human as Pierre Benetiere.  Born and raised in Condrieu in the northern Rhone, he fell in love with the intensely floral and airy charms of Viognier at an early age.  He told me that the first time he tasted some of the benchmark wines of Georges Vernay, he decided that he wanted to   [ READ MORE]

  • Vincent Paris Cornas: Old vine Syrah on Granite defined.

    Bonjour du Monde Granitique de Cornas, Vincent Paris has truly come into his own.  This 40 year old native son of the steep Granite terraces of sleepy Cornas is making pure, unadulterated expressions of an essence of Northern Rhone syrah that bring to mind the greatness of traditionalist growers such as Thierry Allemand and Auguste Clape, his direct neighbors in his vineyards.  After his uncle, Robert Michel, retired in 2006, there was a bidding war between many of the valley's   [ READ MORE]

  • Josephus Mayr: Mountain nectars of Lagrein and Schiava

    Guten tag ancora in Italia? In the Dolomites of Alto Adige in Italy's northeast, just east of Bolzano where the mountain walls narrow into a steeply sloped valley, flows the Eisack (German)/Isarco (Italian) river.  At the mouth of the valley on either side of the river lies the village of Kardaun/Cardano, whose dramatic terraced vineyards serve as a triumphal announcement of one's arrival to the mountains.  The millennia of erosion and sedimentary runoff has left the soil on these riverbanks   [ READ MORE]

  • Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf: All about finesse…..

    Chateauneuf du Pape is the emblematic royalty of the Southern Rhone.  Within its large appellation acreage, there are many house styles and microclimactic differences that connoisseurs are recognizing in increasing detail.  Having followed Chateauneuf for almost a decade now, I can say that there seems to be a sweet spot to my palate: the North/Northeast quadrant.  With its larger quantity of sandy soils, higher elevation, and cooler temperatures, this area allows for a finesse driven balance and freshness that Grenache   [ READ MORE]

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THE MISSION OF DOWN TO EARTH WINES

I, Robert Panzer, vow to act as a messenger for Nature, instilling a celebratory reverence for its processes, in all of its myriad forms. Wine growing can be one of the most profound examples of human kind’s fostering of natural beauty. It is my goal to represent the joy and emotion that fine wine can achieve to as many as possible in an uncommonly approachable manner. Distinctiveness and singularity are common threads amongst all of the Down to Earth selections, from exceptional every day values, to pinnacle experiences of dazzling proportion.