New Supplier: European Cellars

Jun 24, 2022

European Cellars Joins Wine Warehouse

The European Cellars wine portfolio is anchored by two of the most influential and important names in Spanish and French imports: Eric Solomon and Jon-David Headrick. Both are trailblazers who have sought out and delivered wines of unparalleled quality and value to the U.S. market. Beginning April 2022, Wine Warehouse became the exclusive California distributor for a number of renowned brands from European Cellars’ portfolio.

PLACE OVER PROCESS

From the start of European Cellars in 1990, Eric Solomon championed unheralded wine growing regions and promoted young, innovative winemakers. His initial focus was France where he was an early proponent of the wines of the Rhône, the Languedoc and the Roussillon.

Eric Solomon Selections has grown over the years from a few estates to now just over 90 properties. In addition to his original import portfolio, European Cellars, Eric established Indigo Wine in 2015 with a collection of smaller estates from emerging regions, or young growers shaking up established appellations. Despite the name on the back of the bottle – European Cellars or Indigo Wine – both portfolios are selected by and imported by Eric Solomon.

L-R: Louis des Grenelle Blanc de Blancs, Eric Solomon, Jean–François Mérieau L'Arpent des Valudons
L-R: Louis des Grenelle Blanc de Blancs, Eric Solomon, Jean–François Mérieau L'Arpent des Valudons

Just over 110 growers, more than five hundred wines from 6 countries, and 3 continents, but a singular focus on revealing the essence of place.

L-R, clockwise: Domaine des Tourelles harvest, Torroja, and a vineyard at Herencia Altés.
L-R, clockwise: Domaine des Tourelles harvest, Torroja, and a vineyard at Herencia Altés.

ERIC SOLOMON SELECTIONS

In 1990, Eric Solomon founded European Cellars with a handful of unknown estates from largely unknown places. In the beginning, his import portfolio was centered on the south of France where it spread naturally to encompass wines from the Tuscan coast all the way to the far southern reaches of Spain – anywhere his curiosity for the next discovery led him.

Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, Eric Solomon Selections remains one of the most significant import portfolios in the United States. The name Eric Solomon on a back label has become a symbol of quality, value, and dependability.

Eric Solomon Selections remains, and will continue to be, one of the most reliable and innovative French & Spanish import portfolios in the United States.

INDIGO WINES

Exploring the frontier and discovering the next great winemaker, region, or indigenous variety has been at the heart of Eric Solomon’s career. Indigo Wine is the next chapter of Eric’s work and a return to his roots in finding and championing the places unknown or the talents undiscovered.

Indigo is best known for fresh and balanced wines from Spain and their strong emphasis on France, often from producers in lesser-known regions, who work with indigenous grapes. More often than not these wines come from growers who are focusing predominantly on their vineyards, to produce healthy fruit often farmed organically or biodynamically.

Over the years they’ve expanded their portfolio to include some real gems from Portugal, Austria, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile and beyond— although Spain will always be at the heart of what they do.

Jon-David Headrick
Jon-David Headrick

JON-DAVID HEADRICK SELECTIONS

In 2001, Eric Solomon took a chance on a young man with little experience and made him his Director of Operations. Before long, Jon-David was the General Manager of European Cellars. After a few years of close work with Eric, Jon-David struck off on his own and created a portfolio of wines from the Loire Valley and Champagne, two regions with which he had long been intensely passionate. Perhaps it was destined from the start but in 2013, the two portfolios came back together under the umbrella of European Cellars.

Founded in 2005, Jon-David Headrick Selections was named “Best New Specialist Importer” by Wine & Spirits magazine as well as a “Wine Importer You Can Trust” by Slate magazine.

“In selecting properties for this portfolio, I seek purity first, eschewing heavy-handed usage of oak and opting instead for wines with excellent ripeness, minerality, and above all, balance. The presence of balancing acidity is absolutely crucial in my view to world-class wine and I’m not afraid to represent wines that have startling acidity if there is fruit to support it.”

In 2010, the government of France announced that Jon-David Headrick would be appointed a Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Merite Agricole, one of the highest civilian awards given by the government of France. This rank is a lifetime appointment and is given to acknowledge outstanding service to French agriculture.


PRODUCERS

Casa Castillo-9716

CASA CASTILLO

José Maria Vicente is a 3rd generation owner and operator of Casa Castillo in the DO of Jumilla. José Maria aims to showcase the potential of his principal variety, Monastrell, to make wines that are both dense and nuanced.

Champagne Dosnan

CHAMPAGNE DOSNON

Dosnon is the brainchild of Davy Dosnon who grew up in the beautiful Côte des Bar region. Their wines are masterfully mineral, vinous bottlings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fermenting entirely in former Puligny-Montrachet barrels, the champagnes might as well be Chablis with bubbles for all their mineral-packed goodness.

Colline Aux Fossiles Vineyard

COLLINE AUX FOSSILES

There’s more than one place where Chardonnay grows in the Roussillon. A little further inland, along the Têt river valley, it thrives on deep red clay soils with gravels from the surrounding mountains. Wine from these vineyards never quite fit into their other Chardonnay bottling, so Colline aux Fossiles realized that this wine needed to be bottled on its own.

Coster dels Olivers

COSTER DELS OLIVERS

While the Priorat is known for its opulent wines, the region can also make fresher wine styles that capture its untrammeled side and call back to the type common before the region’s modern rebirth. Some of the most prestigious names and expensive bottlings there now embrace this new style, including Coster dels Olivers.

Domaine des Tourelles, Faouzi Issa

DOMAINE DES TOURELLES

Blessed with an ideal climate for growing grapes, Faouzi Issa and Domaine des Tourelles have a simple philosophy of sustainable & manual farming, social responsibility, hand harvesting, indigenous fermentation, and minimal SO2. These are not only sustainably-made wines, but wines of tremendous and nourishingly Mediterranean authenticity.

Evodia

EVODIA

While working on a project in Calatayud, Eric Solomon met Jean-Marc Lafage and Yolanda Diaz. Together they “discovered” a unique place there, an arid plateau between the villages of Acered & Atea, bordering the Sierra de Santa Cruz. The soil is pure schist, the same soil in the Priorat and Maury. This unique terroir and the old vines of Garnacha rooted there are the origins of Evodia.

Casa Castillo Jumilla Monastrell
CASA CASTILLO JUMILLA MONASTRELL 2019

The Jumilla from Casa Castillo is made from younger vines sourced mainly from La Valle vineyard where the soils are silty and the grapes have more of a varietal expression than his rockier vineyards. About 80% Monastrell with 20% Garnacha. After a natural fermentation in tank, it is aged for 8-9 months in neutral 500 liter French oak barrels, and foudres.

Champagne Dosnon Recolte Noire Brut
CHAMPAGNE DOSNON RECOLTE NOIRE BRUT

Récolte Noire is made entirely from Pinot Noir with a minimum of two years aging in the bottle and with a dosage around 5g/L. Delicate, filigreed, and mineral with a toastiness and elegance of fruit that resembles fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Colline Aux Fossiles Chardonnay
COLLINE AUX FOSSILES CHARDONNAY 2020

The Colline Aux Fossiles Chardonnay is picked when the flavors are rich and ripe but when there is still plenty of natural acidity remaining in the grapes. This wine is a beautifully rich expression of site over winemaking, being fermented and aged in tank (70%) and new French oak barrels (30%.)

Coster del Olivers Priorat
COSTER DELS OLIVERS PRIORAT 2018

A new custom cuvée for Eric Solomon. A blend of 60% Carinyena, 30% Garnatxa, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on slate soils by the Sangenis family of Porrera. A combination of younger vine fruit, a relatively cooler northwestern exposure of the vineyards, a high percentage of Carinyena, and 12 months of aging in well-seasoned French and Hungarian oak barrels, ensures a brighter and juicier style of Priorat made for immediate enjoyment.

Domaine des Tourelles Rouge
DOMAINE DES TOURELLES BEKAA ROUGE 2019

A classic blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, and 5% Carignan. This makes for a lively and expressively aromatic wine that honestly reflects the hot summer days and cool nights of the Bekaa Valley. It is released in early spring to preserve its juicy dark fruit.

Evodia
EVODIA GRANACHA VV 2019

Evodia is sourced from Garnacha from the villages of Atea, Acered, and Alarba. Located in the Sierra Santa Cruz, these sites have various exposures but share similar soils – slate and quartzite over clay. At an average elevation of 900 meters above sea level, these vineyards are also among the highest sites within the province of Aragon.

Famille Lieubeau, 2018

FAMILLE LIEUBEAU

Famille Lieubeau farms over 40 hectares of granite rock and produces both Muscadet Sèvre et Maine as well as Vin de Pays from grapes such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Lieubeau family takes great care to vinify the wines according to exposition, density of the bedrock, and harvest date. They keep yields as low as possible to produce wines that express the varietal character and terroir.

Finca Villacreces

FINCA VILLACRECES

One of the most highly-regarded areas in Ribera del Duero, the estate of Villacreces sits at the center of the golden mile – a cluster of vineyards and estates considered by many to be the best in Valladolid if not the entire DO. In 2003 the Antón family purchased the estate to revitalize the property. The results are healthy vines that are less dependent on irrigation, revitalized soils, deeper root systems, and plants that are more self-regulating than before.

Herencia Altés

HERÈNCIA ALTÉS

Tucked away in a remote corner of Catalunya, Nuria Altés’ new project, Herència Altés, is situated outside the village of Batea, in the DO of Terra Alta. Assisted by her partner Rafael de Haan, they inaugurated a new cellar for the 2016 vintage located in her hometown of Batea. Multiple vinifications are made based on vineyard site, variety, and vine age and are done in stainless steel tanks, concrete, or oak vessels of varying sizes.

Izadi

IZADI

The Anton Family founded Izadi in 1987 after years of managing vineyards in Villabuena de Alaba and restaurants in Vitoria. Located in Rioja Alavesa, Izadi aims to produce wines that express the character of the varieties indigenous to Rioja: Viura, Malvasía, Garnacha Blanco & Tinto, Tempranillo Blanco & Tinto, Graciano, and Mazuelo.

Jean Francios Merieau

JEAN-FRANCOIS MÉRIEAU

It seems Jean–François Mérieau’s mind goes faster than his hands. Although he already produces some of the most respected and sought-after wines of the Touraine, he’s not satisfied and constantly looking for new ways to express the rich landscape that is Domaine Jean-François Mérieau. Many of the vines on the property are quite old, including the Pineau d’Aunis, over 100 years old, and the Cot, ranging from 50-100 years.

Louis de Grenelle

LOUIS DE GRENELLE

Beneath the streets of Saumur, miles of caves wind through soft limestone bedrock. One of the last remaining family-owned sparkling wine houses in Saumur, Louis de Grenelle, stores their sparkling wines in these caverns. Made in the Champagne method and bottled with little dosage, the wines preserve the freshness of the Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Grolleau grown in clay limestone vineyards typical of the region.

La Fruitiere Chardonnay
LA FRUITIÈRE CHARDONNAY 2020

Hand-harvested, low yield Chardonnay that grows on the famous granite of Clisson. In this parcel, there is virtually no dirt present, just meters and meters of crushed rock. Domaine de la Fruitière prefers minimal manipulation and to let the wine do the talking. This is Muscadet’s answer to village Burgundy at 1/3 the price.

Villacreces Ribera del Duero Pruno
FINCA VILLACRECES RIBERA DEL DUERO PRUNO 2016

Pruno was born by combining fruit from these sandier terroirs with fruit from the clay soils further from the river. It represents one of the greatest values in Ribera del Duero coming entirely from estate vineyards centered and an ancient grove of pines, surrounded on two sides by the Duero river and with Vega Sicilia on one remaining border, and a vineyard belonging to Pingus on the other. Nice address!

HERÈNCIA ALTÉS Garnatxa Negra
HERÈNCIA ALTÉS GARNATXA NEGRA 2019

Nuria’s most planted red variety is the indigenous Garnatxa Negra which grows well in the sandy and clay-limestone soils of the region. By mixing old and young vine fruit and fermenting in concrete, Nuria is able to create a lively and elegant version of Garnatxa showcasing the delicate Pinot-side of the variety.

Izadi Reserva
IZADI RIOJA RESERVA 2018

Bodegas Izadi specializes in red wines make almost exclusively from Rioja’s signature grape variety. Izadi Reserva is made from 100% Tempranillo grown in limestone rich soils and aged in American and French oak.

Jean-Francois Mérieau Arpent
JEAN-FRANCOIS MÉRIEAU L’ARPENT DES VAUDONS 2020

An arpent is an antiquated land measurement that predated the French Revolution, and Jean–François uses this term to refer to several small parcels of 60-year-old Sauvignon Blanc that are the foundation for this cuvée. It is harvested by hand, fermented by indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks, and aged in tank for seven months with some lees stirring.

Louis de Grenelle Corail Rosé
LOUIS DE GRENELLE SAUMUR CORAIL ROSÉ

Corail is 100% Cabernet Franc grown and cropped at low yields from chalky, clay-limestone soils. Pressed slowly to obtain its pale salmon color, it ferments in stainless steel tanks before bottling and aging on the lees for 12 months before disgorgement. It has a slightly higher dosage than the Crémants from Grenelle in order to emphasize the delicate fruit flavors of the Cabernet Franc.

Wine Warehouse Portfolio

Wine Warehouse was founded in 1973 by brothers Bob and Jim Myerson who wanted to share their enthusiasm for premium quality wine with the wine trade in Southern California. Today, the company is one of the largest distributors of alcoholic beverages in the United States with branches in Northern and Southern California covering the state. We are dedicated to offering a wide selection of wine, beer, spirits, non alcoholic beverages, and glassware to licensed retailers and restaurateurs in the California market.

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