BEST BUYS 2011 by ROBERT PARKER

Best Buys

Eric Solomon, European Cellars

Over the last twenty years, Eric Solomon has consistently been one of America’s finest small importers of handcrafted, artisanal wines. He is a visionary who has long sought extraordinary values from southern France, Spain, and more recently, the unchartered territory of Macedonia, which appears to be another treasure trove of amazing wine bargains. Many of his cuvées are especially selected for the American marketplace from a winery’s general production, and are bottled with minimal sulphuring as well as virtually no fining or filtration. I have attempted to be precise in my reviews as to which cuvées they are, as European, South American and Asian subscribers will not have access to these wines unless they purchase them in the United States. The following tasting, which was done in April, 2012, was one 21 of the greatest “value” tastings, if not the greatest, I have done in my 30+ years in this business. While I realize much of my reputation comes from the ability to evaluate expensive and prestigious wines, I derive enormous satisfaction from wines priced under $25, which is where the real marketplace is (although I suspect that is not where the majority of my subscribers are, which is somewhat unfortunate).

The wines include selections from three countries, France, Spain and Macedonia. I have taken the liberty of including a handful of wines that cost more than the $25 cut-off point because they were so brilliant that I thought readers should know about them sooner rather than later.

—Robert Parker


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