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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Cantina Nottola, in the Heart of Montepulciano (Tuscany)

This wonderful estate was on our first container from Italy in 2011, and their wines continue to be some of my favorites. Classic and stylistic, the family wisely invested in Riccardo Cotarella as their consulting winemaker.

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Located in the picturesque countryside of Montepulciano, Azienda Agricola Nottola was founded in 1992 as the realization of Cavaliere Anterivo Giornarelli’s vision; a winery that produces only the highest quality wines. Giornarelli placed Riccardo Cotarella in charge of the estate’s wine production. Cotarella works alongside wine technician Francesco Bozza, who is responsible for the estate’s agronomical affairs.  International recognition quickly followed with the introduction of Nottola’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine, earning Nottola’s reputation as one of the top wine producers in Montepulciano.

I have not had the pleasure of staying in their bed & breakfast, but as you can see from the photos, it looks wonderful.  Agriturismo Villa di Nottola>>

We carry the following wines from Nottola:
Nottola Chianti Colli Senesi
Nottola Rosso di Montepulciano
Nottola “Tre Pezzi” Toscana Rosso
Nottola “Anterivo” Toscana Rosso
Nottola Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Nottola “Il Fatore” Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva

Please contact us if you’d be interested in ordering them at the wholesale level.

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

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As Laxas | Outon (Rías Baixas, Spain)

Expanding our portfolio, we wanted to incorporate high quality whites from Spain.  The Ferro family began a second tier to their Ax Laxas winery- Outon — and we are pleased to have introduced this wine to the Washington market.

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Since 1975 the Simon Ferro family has been producing wines in the Rio Miño valley. One of the first wineries in the Rías Baixas region they also were founding members of the Regulating Council. Their 30 year-old vines help make this Albariño one of distinction and high quality.

If you are interested in buying this wine at the wholesale level, please contact us at info(@)

Jens Strecker, Owner
J. Strecker Selections

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La Fleur Chazal

In 2013 the US market began to flood with small Bordeaux producers.  A lot of these families has for many years produced product for their community for immediate consumption. Once the opportunity arose, they began selling to the US.  The primier Bordeaux producers are still set in place, no worries, but these wines are delicious for the price!

La Fleur Cardarelli Family

For three generations the Cardarelli family (whose ancestors emigrated from Southern Italy) has produced quality wines in the Bordeaux region. Located near Pomerol, the vineyards for this wine lie on a 400ft high plateau which provides for a full sun exposure. The high plains terroir is the principal reason for the richness and finesse of the La Fleur Chazal wine.

La Fleur Chazal Sauvignon Blanc
Hints of fresh grass, grapefruit and lemon. Refreshing acidity, lemon and lime pith, subtle meadow and minerality.  Pairings:   River fish, goat cheese, meat pastries and breads

La Fleur Chazal Borgogne Rouge
Ripe red fruits- raspberry, cherry with well-rounded tannins.  70% Merlot, 30% Cab Sauvignon  Food Pairings: Best with red meats, cold cuts & cheese.

Great table wines, both! If you’re interested in buying either at the wholesale level, let me know:

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La Croix Dillanges (Saint-Julien, Bordeaux)

La Croix Dillanges is a cuvée produced by Château du Glana, a young estate established in 1999. Its modern facilities and meticulous care in the vineyard help continue the high quality wines this region is known for.

Château du Glana is located on the Route des Grands Vins running parallel to the Gironde estuary, between the towns of Beychevelle and Saint-Julien, opposite the famous Château Ducru-Beaucaillou.  Château du Glana was first started in 1870 by the Cayx family – At this time it was only a small (5 hectares) vineyard of gravelly soil, consolidated thanks to the purchase of several plots of land from neighboring Château Saint-Pierre. After several other owners, Mr Gabriel Meffre bought Château du Glana in 1961. He increased the vineyard to 43 hectares in the following years by acquiring several plots of land from third growth Château Lagrange.

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With the help of his sons, Ludovic and Julien, Jean-Paul Meffre now looks after the estate. Surrounded by some of finest great growths in the Médoc, Château du Glana has made tremendous strides in quality since 1999. Château du Glana produces modern elegant wines of character reflecting the estate’s superb terroir.

The estate’s completely restored buildings (vat room, grape reception area, ageing cellar, offices, and reception room), the immense care taken in the vineyard, and precious winemaking advice from Professor Denis Dubourdieu provide a sound equilibrium between modern methods and respect for tradition.

Interested in this wine at the wholesale level? Contact J. Strecker Selections owner, Jens Strecker:

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A Jewel from Bordeaux’ Entre-Deux-Mers

Literally translating to “between two seas”,  Entre-Deux-Mers is the largest region within Bordeaux.  Located on the Right Bank, it is the area between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers.

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At the heart of the Entre Deux Mers appellation, Château Martinot benefits from an unmatched situation on clay-limestone hilltops dominating the Dordogne River, a few kilometers from Saint-Emilion. Since 1790, this family-owned estate has passed from mother to daughter for seven generations.  The current manager has collected part of her inspiration from trips to California vineyards, e.g. her cement vats for a thermo-regulated wine cellar.  Her wine shows off freshness and delicious fruit aromas: nose with pear and white flowers notes, a vivacious palate start with a supple evolution; fresh final with notes of lime, grapefruit and acacia flowers.

– mother to daughter tradition
– great location of the estate
– simplicity and elegance
– sustainable viticulture and minimal intervention

Cheers to an excellent, well-priced white blend from Bordeaux!

Jens Strecker, Owner
J.Strecker Selections

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