Château l'Escart, Bordeaux, France

Maximilien Selections is owned by Laurent Bonnois. Born in Versailles, Laurent’s first encounter with wine happened at the family table. His parents bought a country house in the Loire Valley near Bourgueil. As a child, Laurent Bonnois spent summers running in the vineyards, then as a teenager working harvest for neighbors. His passion for wine grew in his early twenties, and his thirst for wine knowledge led him to Bordeaux University. In 1997, Laurent moved to NYC where he sold wine for a French distributor. In 2000 he opened a wine shop in Brooklyn called Blanc et Rouge. Contact with consumers during this period was important in understanding the U.S. wine market. In 2005, he sold the store to start his import company Maximilien Selections. Laurent Bonnois' philosophy: "All the best wines are already in the U.S. market. So, my goal is to find wines from unknown regions and/or new talents. They should taste where they're from. They should be made with an area’s historical grape varietals and be made by small family producers. The price is also important to me, as wine should be accessible to everyone, not just for special occasions." 

FRANCE

Loire Valley

Anjou-Saumur

Clos de l'Elu

Located in Roquefort-sur-Loire, the 62 acre estate lies by the Loire river in the Anjou region in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon appellation. Domaine du Clos de l'Elu is an old property, taken over by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic in 2008. Fully organic since 2010, the estate practices biodynamics as well.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux Supérieur

Château l'Escart

Château L'Escart was built in the 18th century and is located in the little town of Saint-Loubès, south of the Dordogne river between Libourne and Bordeaux. The estate is 62 acres and produces mostly red wine. Gerard Laurent is now helped by his son Damien to manage the property. The wine is fermented in stainless steel over four weeks. Half of the wine is matured in new oak barrels for 15 months. The estate is certified organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter.

Burgundy

Chablis

Domaine de Grisy

Domaine de Grisy is a 22 acre vineyard located in the northern part of Burgundy near Chablis in the town of Saint-Bris-le-Vineux. Pascal Sorin's family has been making wine here for 18 generations. He currently runs the estate with his wife.

Ben Wood talks with Laurent Bonnois of Maximilien Selections.