Turn the wine around: Some of the best buying advice you can find is on the back label, especially if it mentions one of our Importers of the Year. They stake their business on finding wines you’ll want to drink, and these 11 importers found the most we want to drink out of all the wines we tasted last year. They’ve led us to some great new wines and bring in many of our old favorites.
Skurnik Wines & Spirits
Michael Skurnik founded Skurnik Wines in New York in 1987 and was joined two years later by his brother, Harmon. Originally focused on bringing California wine to the New York market, they soon expanded and now cover the world. Their portfolio, with depth in Austria and Germany, Italy and Spain, swept our tastings with six Top 100 Winery awards this year.
Six Top 100 Wineries: Schloss Gobelsburg, Dönnhoff, Kruger-Rumpf, Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Mullineux and Paolo Scavino. Top 100 Wines and Best Buys including Selbach-Oster, Bründlmayer, Aphros, Pasaeli and Setzer.
Michael Quinttus came to wine from the law, working as a portfolio manager at Kobrand before founding Vintus in 2004. As his own portfolio of family-owned estates from around the world has grown, he moved from Pleasantville to New York City to build a distribution business as well. This is the seventh year in a row that Vintus has earned our Importer of the Year award.
Five Top 100 Wineries: E. Guigal, Domaine des Baumard, Bollinger, Lucien Le Moine, Le Macchiole; Top 100 Wines and Best Buys including Rotem & Mounir Saouma and Trediberri.
What began in 1980 as a small Italian wine distribution company run by Leonardo LoCascio has grown into a powerful national importer presenting wineries from 12 countries while its wholesale distribution arms reach 19 states. The company is run today by Dean Ferrell (CEO) and Ian Downey (executive VP, both pictured above).
Three Top 100 Wineries: Estate Argyros, Catena Zapata and Domaine Michel Magnien et Fils. Top 100 Wines and Best Buys including Gai’a, Grattamacco, Il Morroneto, Louis Moreau, Two Paddocks, Paul Achs and Duorum.
Maisons Marques & Domaines
Jean-Claude Rouzaud established a beachhead in the US with Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley, then set up MMD in 1987 to market his family’s Champagne Louis Roederer. Rouzaud’s son, Frédéric, now oversees the family’s estates in California, the Rhône, Provence, Bordeaux and Portugal. This year, Rouzaud promoted Guillaume Fouilleron (pictured) to president of Maisons Marques & Domaines.
Four Top 100 Wineries: Louis Roederer, Delas Frères, Marqués de Murrieta, Domaines Ott; three Top 100 Wines; and a Best Buy for Scharffenberger.
Founded by Win Wilson and Jack Daniels in 1978, the two started importing Domaine de la Romanée-Conti the following year. The portfolio has long since expanded beyond France, run by Rocco Lombardo (pictured) since 2015.
Three Top 100 Wineries: Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Elvio Cogno and Royal Tokaji; three Top 100 Wines; and a Best Buy for Feudo Montoni.
Two Top 100 Wineries: Tasca d’Almerita and Vietti; two Top 100 Wines; and a Best Buy for Adami.
One Top 100 Winery: Concha y Toro; two Top 100 Wines, including Don Melchor; and Best Buys, including Bonterra.
González Byass USA
One Top 100 Winery: González Byass, two Top 100 Wines, including Domäne Wachau; and Best Buys, including Veramonte.
Premium Port Wines
San Francisco, CA
Two Top 100 Wineries: Dow’s and Blandy’s; two Top 100 Wines, including Graham’s; and a Best Buy.
Taub Family Selections
Boca Raton, FL
Two Top 100 Wineries: Domaine d’Aussières and Trimbach; two Top 100 Wines; and Best Buys for Montfort and Saget La Perrière.
Terlato Wines Int’l
Lake Bluff, IL
Two Top 100 Wineries: Feudi di San Gregorio and Gaja; three Top 100 Wines, including Peller Estate.
This story appears in the print issue of February 2022.
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