Thursday, May 21, 2015

CRUS BOURGEOIS -The Official Selections of 2012-A Wine Tasting

French Consulate, NYC

Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe -Directrice de l'Alliance des Crus-Bourgeois du Médoc

Wine Tasting Featuring The Official 2012  Crus Bourgeois du Médoc Selections--and a few Past (Tasty) Vintages

We're fairly sure some of the talented French producer natives we had the pleasure of meeting earlier this week...would cringe at the expression 'idiot-proof' red wines...attached to their glorious drinkable now (practically) 2012 Crus-Bourgeois-sampled this past week.

But given the average cost of a California Cab-clocking in at $60 (as told to us by the charming smart Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe -Directrice de l'Alliance des Crus-Bourgeois du Médoc)---imo these complex -accessible selections -that will retail around $28-$50 -with most under $35---are all good-to great wines. Certainly cannot say that about some left coast tastes we've tried.

The idiot proof part comes courtesy of a two step screening process embraced by the French wine producers-with  a representative sampling-  carefully vetted by a blind tasting of six professional tasters (Bureau Veritas)-and each/every wine then tasted and scored by an expert panel- before earning the distinction of Crus Bourgeois... a quality assurance mechanism open to the eight Médoc AOCs---who in turn must themselves pass on-site eligibility visits-that occur in perpetuity,  randomly.

Ah, so French-and in turn-beneficial for the casual and serious wine drinker alike...who has many choices when it come to red wines these days...including the Crus-Bourgeois. Worth a step into the unknown where Crus-Bourgeois is these kind of prices.

To have and to hold- or to drink on the young side (Merlot makes the wines very accessible imo)-typically the blends include  Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab.Sauv.), Merlot, and Cabernet Franc (Cab. Franc) and small quantities of Petit Verdot.

The blends feature deep intense, concentrated colors, a ripe -rich taste -with transporting spice and full-fruit notes, bold-to blended tannins...and an occasional smokiness hint. 

We got to the stately Fifth Avenue locale of the French Consulate---with an hour left to try some selections...


Chateau de Panigon

Chateau Amour:App: Médoc 50%Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauv. vintage blend from terroir of gravel-clay-limestone-  not yet available in the USA but here's hoping...

Chateau Charmail
App: Haut-Médoc -vintage blend 45% Merlot, 35% Cab. Sauv. 15% Cab. Franc terroir of gravel+clay

Chateau Clement-Pichon
ALAS---no more of these wines to taste-as we were the last of over 500 wine enthusiasts...App: Haut Médoc with vintage blend of 62% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cab. Sauv

Chateau Clos de Boheme

tasting notes-always helpful! App; Haut Médoc-vintage blend of Merlot, Cab. Sauv, Cab. Franc
end of the tasting---on the right-Christine Nadalie-from  Chateau Clos La Bohème -on left-communications director of Crus-Bourgeois Jennifer Mathieu

Chateau Deyrem Valentin
App: Margaux -this was a 2011 vintage -blend of 52% Cab Sauv. 47% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot terroir of gravel -very delicious-hand harvested and available now for around $50
Chateau Arnauld, Chateau Larose Perganson, Chateau Larose Trintaudon

APP: Haut-Médoc -Larouse Peganson  vintage blend  50% Cab, Sauv, 50% Merlot hand harvested terroir-Quaternary+Pyrenean Gunz gravel
lastly--- we re-circled back to try the Chateau Arnauld-App: Haut Médoc, vintage blend 36% Merlot, 70% Cab. Sauv. terroir of gravel+gravel on clay. 2011 very tasty-not available (yet) here.

Chateau Haut Barrail

Chateau Haut Barrail-App: Médoc vintage blend 60% Merlot, 40% Cab. Sauv. terroir clay and limestone
Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudière

Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudière App: Margaux vintage blend of 90% Cab Sauv. 8% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot terroir gravel and sand on a subsoil of sand, gravel and clay

Chateau La Haye-Appelation Saint-Estèphe...vintage blend 50% Merlot, 45% Cab Sauv. 5% Petit Verdot-terroir of deep gravel, gravel+clay
Chateau De Malleret-App: Haut-Médoc, 2012 vintage blend of 61% Cab Sauv. 36% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot more tannins and bold taste-vs. 2011 we also tried-lighter wine

Chateau Magnol-App: Haut-Médoc vintage blend 48% Merlot, 40% Cab Sauv. 11% Cab Franc-terroir Bouqueyran hills, tertiary (Pyrernean) gravels
Chateau Poitevin App: Médoc vintage blend 55% Merlot, 40% Cab. Sauv. 5% Petit Verdot -terroir- Gironde gravel and clay-we tasted the 2011----the 2012 is an award winning might explain why there wasn't any left.
Chateaux Vieux Moulin App: Listrac-Meedoc-vintage blend 70% Merlot, 30% Cab. Sauv. tasted the 2009 which we loved. Terroir 70% clay-limestone, 30% Pyrenean gravels-aged in oak barrels. Had a nice chat and surprise-China (and the USA) are primary destinations outside of France/UK for these wines

Chateau Greysac, Rollan De By, & Tour Seran-all App; Médoc

Chateau Seran vintage blend 65% Merlot, 15% Cab. Sauv. 10% Cab. Franc, 10% Petit Verdot-terroir clay-chalk
Chatau Rollan de By vintage blend 70% Merlot, 10% Cab. Sauv. 10% Cab. franc

Chateau Greysac-very popular in USA with production of 530,000 bottles- terroir Ganz gravel...

The "CRU BOURGEOIS" sticker have a unique, secure visual recognition system embedded into the seen below.
a unique random code is allocated to each bottle----the  QR code on the Cru Bourgeois sticker -connects to dedicated space for each chateau on

Monday, May 18, 2015

KAI D.Utility Tools+Clothing for Artisans

230 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY....(Williamsburg, fyi)


WHAT: A packed Havana themed Party-last Thursday night hosted by Kai D. Utility-a made in NY men's apparel and home goods destination that recalls those other great, well curated boutiques packed with items that so directly reflect the owner's tastes---located in other  must go parts of the earth...except this one is a few minutes stroll from the Bedford stop- L train.

fabrics are exceptional-vintage dead stock (rare to find), Japanese selvage, organic cottons, aged canvas, timeless chambrays+linen, Italian wool/cashmere for meticulous blazer/trousers/suits, finished with buttons-hand dyed corozo nuts of the Tagua palms- and trims from local Titan Trading ---meant to last and wear well. The above pictured Dyson Vest is a fav

"...purposeful, lasting goods that reflect our utilitarian beliefs..."
A strong mission statement-so spot-on-the impeccably made, crisp classic styles, well fitting -and meticulous finishes-like a spiffy uniform in a way...and there are plenty of references to durable military and work wear.

IMO the separates (outerwear, shirts, trousers, vests, blazers) are man friendly shades-mostly neutrals and earth tones with a few iconic prints/patterns (herringbone, camo, retro stripes) could wear one of the terrific long sleeve button downs-with a fav pair of jeans...or take a slim vest- to give edge/attitude a traditional black tux ensemble---
The inspiration boards...all over the space----are worth taking time to read...and capture the essence of what the Kai D. utility label is about.
there's that heritage theme going on here-instruments, objects and gadgets  to cherish forever...not modern, but timeless---

We've know Kai D. Fan for years now---and besides having incredible instincts for the next hip 'hood in the Big Apple, his point of view, and his high standards for all of his work efforts and products are in-bred givens. 

Menswear designs that endure. 

As NYers-we're even in awe of how clean everything is---and there is a lot going on inside this store.
shirts, pants, jackets...and well chosen accessories...including man bags and footwear

thought the shirts terrific...long sleeves to wear with or without a tie/bow-ties---also made by Kai D.
flair for artisan tools from 20'-30's-to hand-crafted items from the now...
love the long sleeves---typically priced $165-$225
nothing overdone...nothing underdone either-just done well
a few men's grooming products from Brooklyn Grooming

Price -wise-we'd call it contemporary---higher than GANT-less than Emporio Armani typically ---BUT not mass produced in Asia anywhere with details seen in designer brands costing 2x ...and everything is made in New York.

a few other labels-mostly accessories-are available too
bonus-nice neighbors-with a store across the street-made in Brooklyn leather satchels with art collages+digital images

Sunday, May 17, 2015




Children's footwear and accessories have grown up in design, are technically just as performing as adult fare, and maybe most importantly, are things kids will actually want to wear…yayy!!!!!
Retainers adjust---attached to sides. 

Highlights from recently previewed selections:

Safilo's Kids  prescription frames are made in Italy and are just as top tiered as the company's adult selections.

Made specifically for children's head sizes and facial proportions-and super light(less than 18 grams)…with input by children too…the pediatric selections are sized by age groups from 0-1…up to 7-8 year olds.

fun+colorful frames…in cool shapes that provide field of vision coverage-no sharp corners, non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, bio-based materials-that are washable!!!! 
adorbs-shapes flatter boys+girls

Bonus-the über flexible+strong frames retain their shapes---no matter how stretched out they get-sitting atop heads…with complete sun protection that is critical for kids-something, an adults with melanoma in their eyes-yes that it possible--probably could have benefited from. Neat features for all day comfort-like rubber inserts, low bridges, temples with straight edges, and correctly sized front pieces that are translucent=stable all day wearing comfort.

 ROBEEZ Baby-toddler shoes, slippers and stay-on socks have the stretchy openings adult humans need for easy on/off (elasticized backs), 2 non-slip sole designs (Soft Soles™-Mini Shoez™…and absolutely cute uppers that will keep the pint-sized happy.

And the offerings on their feet…kick-off proof with those elasticized ankles.

Bonus: Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association
soft soles---Hoppy Haley-Beary Bailey-both  leather-non-skid soles-sweet color combos and characters
Fuzzy bunny faux fur- non-slip suede soft soles ($20)-and fringe sparkling ultra-flexible leather shoe----LOVE
split rubber outsole Mini Shoez™-more shoe-like with more protection-flexible and comfy, non-skid service
soft soles™:Owlivia , Puppy Love +on right-athletic style Dotted Dolly in hot pink  

Party ready-pink leather-easy on/off Mary Jane with pretty bows

monogram soft soles $26

Boys (and girls)six pairs of cotton blend socks- with spandex for shape retention- comfy elastic gather at ankle for-kickproof wear-non-skid application on soles. Machine washable $18.50

premium leather mocassins $30-w/ non-skid suede outsole, elasticized ankle band ez on/off

 Disney® Baby Collection-soft soles, $26.
Winnie the Pooh+Ariel...

 BUTLER Emperor overboots for kids ---are so incredible-that perfect fit (toddler to little kids-up to youth size 13) rubbery flexible material and eye-catching design-is rather chic-in 6 bold colors and bright white outsoles-with Super-Duper™ StretchTech for no-fuss wear. $49.99
Big fan entry, 100% waterproof, easy on/off opening-pull on tab in back, four season overboot, slip resistant, 


Fire Engine Red

two on left have booties inside…available online at Nordstrom's

TEVA sandals middle+left Psychlone comes in fun prints for Fall. Tanzium (right)-cushioned comfort, easy on/off---

Little Creatures-warm winter comfort-with some fun character appliqué details-EMU Australia. Premium suede and breathable merino wool lining. Pull on off easy-velcro closure snug fit, plush exposed top line, double stitched seams for added strength….dual layer EVA+rubber outsole, molded heel cup-comfort and support. 

Palladium---snazzy lace-ups based on French military boots...the Baggy Leather $95 has warm wool lining, burly one piece molded rubber outsole - with protective toe bumps, inspired by Bomber jacket this primo leather winter boot, sockliner+heel cup  is just like the adult sizes- little-big kid sizes with two zippers along the eyestay for easy on/off.
CHAOS hats come in comfy cozy fleece-lined adorable animal characters...and don't think the look is limited to those four feet in height or less...we took this picture of an off-duty model during NY Fashion Week this past February---attired in similar feline hat fashion.