Domaine du Petite Romain

Costières de Nîmes

Networking is key in this business, and I stumbled across this small vineyard by chance.  Domaine du Petit Romain is a family-based vineyard within the Costières de Nîmes region at the base of the Rhône Valley in Southern France.  The owner, Bernard Angelras (pictured), named this estate of 67 hectares after his son, Romain.  35 hectares are planted with AOC vines. It is on the edge of the ancient town of Nîmes and is Terra Vitis certified- or organic/biodynamic in the eyes of the French.

Petit Romain_estate owner

Rocky low hills, round galets (pebbles), coastal breezes from the Mediterranean sea and the sandy alluvial deposits and red shale infested plain of Carmargue the Rhône delta, are the markers for Costières de Nîmes AOC.  It is nestled between Languedoc and Rhône.  The appellation was previously called Costières du Gard before changing its name to Costières de Nimes in 1989.

Costières de Nîmes predominantly produces red and rosé wine — min. 60% combined Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah (min. 20% combined Syrah and Mourvèdre) with accessory varieties of Carignan, Cinsault, and a max. 10% Marselan.  They are closer in style to Rhône wines than wines from Languedoc, and generally they are elegant, well balanced, lightly structured, with aromas of red fruit, blackberry, prune and black cherry.

Domaine du Petit Romain Rosé
70 % Grenache, 30% Cinsault with white flower, rose petals, warm cherries, minerality, and a  nice acidic finish.  Pairing: Grilled meats, Thai dishes, and spicy relishes.

Domaine du Petit Romain Rouge
The Rouge is 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache Bright raspberry and black currant, cinnamon and spice with jammy strawberry, blackberry, blue berries, vanilla, pepper, cloves with youthful tannins.  Pairing:  Steak, meat casseroles and ripe cheeses.

We are very pleased to carry these wines. Contact me if you’d be interested in them as the wholesale level —

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections



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Exploring Italy’s Alto Adige via Weingut Castelfeder


Notes from our 2013 trip to Alto Adige:

We arrived in the Cortina village square at dusk after driving over the Brenner Pass in Austria and then down through the Alps, over Bozen (Bolzano). There was an old castle ruin on top of a mountain peak every turn of the way. We were in the northern Italian region of Alto Adige, but the look and feel of the landscape and the architecture was Germanic.

We arrived in the Cortina village square at dusk after driving over the Brenner Pass in Austria and then down through the Alps, over Bozen (Bolzano). There was an old castle ruin on top of a mountain peak every turn of the way. We were in the northern Italian region of Alto Adige, but the look and feel of the landscape and the architecture was Germanic.

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The next morning we met Ines Giovanett, daughter of Günther & Sandra Giovanett, the proprietors of the estate and sister of Ivan Giovanett, winemaker. She took us on a tour of their vineyards on the eastern side of the valley, including such Castelfeder label landmarks as the stone on the “Rieder” Lagrein label and the bridge on the “Glener” Pinot Nero label.

After our morning tour, we met Ines’ (very fit 90+ year old) grandparents who live in a house on the property, and then we settled down to lunch on the terrace. After melon & parma ham, garden tomatoes with mozzarrela & basil, vitello tonnato (thinly sliced veal with a tuna & anchovy sauce, spaghetti with tomato sauce, pasta with homemade garden pesto, and ice cream for dessert (and tasting through the wines in their lineup), we headed out through the apple orchards on the valley floor on the way to their winery, just off the main village square in Cortina. Ines gave us a great tour, finishing in the Castelfeder cellar.

Castelfeder_oompa band_v3

Alto Adige was a part of Austria’s Südtirol until the end of World War I, and the influences of language, food & culture still prevail. This line of wines capture this wonderful cross of cultures, and the wines that come from these steep vineyards to the south of the beautiful Dolomite Mountains.  We direct import (close to) the full Castelfeder line as well as their premium Burgum Novum line. Please contact us if you’d be interested in purchasing them at the wholesale level:

Castelfeder Pinot Bianco “Vom Stein”
Castelfeder Pinot Grigio “15”
Castelfeder Kerner “Lahn”
Castelfeder Pinot Nero “Glener”
Castelfeder Vernatsch“Breitbacher”
Castelfeder Lagrein “Rieder”

Burgum Novum Pinot Nero Riserva
Burgum Novum Cabernet Riserva
Burgum Novum Lagrein Riserva

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

Posted in Alto Adige / Südtirol, Family-owned Estate, Grauvernatsch / Schiava Grigio, Kerner, Lagrein, Pinot Blanc / Bianco, Pinot Grigio | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Château Franc Grâce-Dieu

This small winery had been imported to the States prior to us picking them up.  I distinctly remember this wine and was disappointed that it disappeared off the market for a period of time.  I am excited to have reconnected with them and to support such a superior small production Bordeaux house.

Franc Grace Dieu_vineyards with shed

Château Franc Grâce-Dieu is a 12 hectare Saint-Emilion Grand Cru estate. It’s situated near Château Figeac and is only 2 kilometers from Cheval Blanc. It benefits from a complex soil structure of brown sand, iron deposits in the subsoil and clay. It follows along the traditional Saint-Emilion properties with a grape variety proportion of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. The wine has ripe fruit aromas of black currant & blackberries, and a lightly toasted flavor with a touch of pencil lead & cedar. Complex, well-balanced. Unbelievable value, this wine!

Jens Strecker, Owner
J.Strecker Selections

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Our First Selection from Pomerol

Yet again another fantastic duo- this husband and wife team makes extraordinary wines.

FR_ Caillou

Château Le Caillou is a seven hectare estate which has been owned by the Giraud-Belivier family since 1975 and is currently managed by André Giraud.  It is located in the northwest sector (next to Château Moulinet), on a one half hectare plot on the plateau next to Château Gazin.  One small parcel is located at the top of the Pomerol plateau where the soil is dense gravel-clay mixture and the other main part is in the northern part of the appellation, next to Château Moulinet, with a lighter sand and gravel terroir. The vines now average 30 years of age.

This wine has an amazing bouquet of ripe red fruits, plum and black cherry. On the palate, it has a rich texture and well-integrated tannins. Deep and fresh flavors of ripe plum, fruitcake, and black cherries are highlighted by notes of cedar and spice.


Jens Strecker, Owner
J.Strecker Selections

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Alto Adige | Südtirol  (Italy)

We have been so fortunate to have connected with the Giovanett family.  Ivan and Ines are currently at the forefront of this family winery.  Brother and sister team, Ivan is the winemaker and Ines the marketing and director of sales.  They are lively, fun and 100% invested in the culture of wine and community.

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A little history:  The Castelfeder Winery was founded in 1970 by A. Giovanett, who had attended the renowned wine school in San Michele all’Adige and at the founding already had extensive experience as a vintner. In 1989 the founder’s son, Günther Giovanett (born in 1958; father of Ines & Ivan), took over the management of the winery. Continuing in the same tradition as his father, Günther still has close contact with winegrowers, careful selection of the best production areas and well-aimed cultivation of choice varietals.

Involved in every aspect of the winery: this passion for winemaking begins in the vineyard with the planting of the vines, advising and working with the winegrowers and continues through the harvest and gentle pressing of the grapes in the cellar up to the vinification of the wines and finally to their marketing. The result of this difficult but rewarding job is wine to be proud of.

These guys are doing great work! We carry the following wines from their portfolio:
Castelfeder Pinot Bianco DOC “Vom Stein”
Castelfeder Pinot Grigio DOC “15er”
Castelfeder Kerner Vigneti dell Dolomiti DOC “Lahn”
Castelfeder Pinot Nero “Glener”
Castelfeder Lagrein DOC “Rieder”
Castelfeder Vernatsch “Breitbacher”
Castelfeder Burgum Novum Pinot Nero Riserva DOC
Castelfeder Burgum Novum Cabernet Riserva DOC
Castelfeder Burgum Novum Lagrein Riserva DOC

Here’s the technical info on these wines. Please contact us if you are interested in buying these wines at the wholesale level.

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

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Belle Eleonore

 Lussac Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux

We were year into our import business before we decided to add Bordeaux wines to our portfolio. The market is competitive in Seattle, and I needed well-made, good value, small production wines. Belle Eleonore was one in a group of four Bordeaux wines that we brought in in 2012, and we’ve been very happy with it. Lussac is a great St. Emilion satellite, and this wine is a terrific value.

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The story of Belle Eleonore
In 1952, Paul Lassagne, who ran an oven in the local tile factory, bought a small 2 hectare plot including a cellar. Today, his son Daniel has expanded the estate to 30 hectares, including 24 in a single block in Lussac Saint-Émilion. The winery has been entirely renovated, and the most up to date techniques are used to produce the finest possible wine.

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

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Bodegas Casto Pequeño – Spain’s “Oldest” & “Funniest” Winemakers

This winery has two experienced winemakers (pictured below). I had the pleasure of meeting the very entertaining Alberto Gutierrez on my first buying trip to Europe, and the Cotoval Tempranillo has been in our book ever since. Over the last years, we’ve added several more lines (see below for more details).

Spain has the largest output of wine in the world- a lot of it is just juice.  Our friends at Bodegas Casto Pequeño acquired the winery in 1977 by the Casto Family.  The focus is on making quality wines that represent their region, while having an extremely competitive price. Using the latest technology, their modern facility is able to produce top wines that are exported all over Europe and beyond.

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Winery Casto Pequeño was founded in 1977 when the two oenologists Casto Pequeño (the “Oldest”) and Alberto Gutierrez (the “Funniest”) created Casto Pequeño SL.  Casto Pequeño is the oldest living active oenologist in Spain, and his extensive experience is useful in achieving wines with good quality.

The Bodega is located outside the city Benavente, about an hour due south of the city of León. Ever since its inception, the philosophy has been to create quality wines at reasonable prices and since 2005 the Bodega produced wine under DO Tierra de Castilla y León.  The winery does not own vines; therefore, it sources all of its grapes from the more famous neighboring districts, with the philosophy that they will make wine of at least the same quality as in (for example) Duero, but at a much better price. They succeed at this by buying the grapes, after which they are transported to Bodegas Casto Pequeño where the wine is made. They don’t have the DO stamp of Ribera del Duero for examples, but they also don’t have to pay the price for this stamp.

We carry the following wines from Casto Pequeño:
Bodegas Casto Pequeño “Cotoval” Verdejo
Bodegas Casto Pequeño “Cotoval” Tempranillo
Bodegas Casto Pequeño “Gravedad” Tinta de Toro Tempranillo

Let us know if you are interested in purchasing these wines at the wholesale level. They are terrific quality for the price!

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

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