The last several months have sent shock waves through the drinks industry. Coke just announced that they’re ending production of over 200 brands – almost half the portfolio. Turns out over half of their sales came from big stadium events and sports.
Pretty much the same in the wine industry as restaurants worldwide have sidestepped targeted allocations that have been in place some times for decades. The Nicholas faithful have benefited. Sylvain Baily Sancerre from Balthazar, Bisci Verdicchio from French Laundry, Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio from Per Se, and four times my normal allocation of Domaine LeFlaive.
But apart from a Napa Cab or two headed for a steakhouse, I had very little to show for red wines earmarked for some of NYC’s top spots. But I can emphatically say, that changes today.
In the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara, a silent revolution has been taking place just to the east in Happy Canyon, where Pete Stolpman, Dan Dierberg, and Philippe Melka at Crown Point have been heads down quietly making some of the best under the radar big red wines in all of California from this warm, sun exposed micro climate.
That’s where today’s Cab, Ground Effect comes from– a tiny producer from Happy Canyon who first hit it big when NYC giants Gramercy Tavern and Soho House selected their Santa Barbara Cabernet for their wine lists.
From there, it’s only been up. Aided by its juicy placements, it ended up in the hands of Eric Asimov at the New York Times who gushed about it, including it in his “20 under $20 wines to enjoy on weeknights”. That certainly didn’t help make this small production Cab become any easier to get.. or any cheaper.
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