The Three Wise Men have come calling at all Wine World locations, and it's not even Christmas yet.
The Three Wise Men is the label for the store's own wine, which recently made its debut.
The label bears the likeness of the stores' partner owners, Chan Cox and Robert Montgomery, and sales director and vice-president Michel Thibault.
Thibault said the store is always seeking new wine from producers specializing in high quality.
In their search, the three men visit properties all over the world, including South Africa, Argentina, and France, tasting a hundred or even a thousand wines.
While in France last year, the trio sampled around 800 wines.
"It was painstaking but necessary to find the ones we think are best and that our customers will like," said Thibault.
When the men tasted one particular wine, it struck the right note and it now bears their label.
"This one is a rising star in wines and made by Jamie Kutch, who is also a rising star as a winemaker and specializes in high-end pinot noirs and chardonnays. His style is both elegance and balance and his wines are now getting huge ratings by the likes of Robert Parker and others," said Thibault.
Originally a New York broker, Kutch moved to California where he apprenticed with some of the top wine makers in America, learning how to be a top producer of pinot noir and chardonnay, before establishing his Kutch Wines label.
Thibault describes the chardonnay as oaky and buttery as it is aged in wood barrels, with fruit forward.
"A lot of elegance. The mark of this maker," he said.
However, Thibault said the pinot noir is probably what Kutch does best.
"It's not overly light and the tannins are integrated with a great balance and a soft long finish — one of the pleasures of wine tasting — leaving a feeling of elegance and pleasure," he said.
Thibault said the cabernet is rich and full bodied with black cherry notes.
And, he said all three are an incredible value at $14 to $17.
"In buying wines for our stores, ones we want are often out of stock and prices keep rising. With bottling our own, the quality and value we're able to offer is beyond ordinary. By going directly to producer we have a quality product that is really good and it is getting a lot of attention," he said. "Kutch is a young man who is getting huge ratings and we knew we had something special in his wines. Now, all we needed was a label. We wanted a label that had meaning to us."
A year or so ago the men traveled to Bordeaux to the largest wine market in the world, VINEXPO. The show features thousands of producers from all over the world. When the show was over, they were invited to the Chateau Lascombes estate, along with 1,500 other guests, for the event of the year: the Festival of Flowers.
This event is hosted each year by a different chateau and property owners spare no expense for the party. Film stars, political personalities, and the who's who of the wine business attended the most memorable party.
Guests were served appetizers of fresh oysters and foie gras in late afternoon while helicopters ferried in guests, all in tux and gowns. Music from a quartet of American singers followed and an induction of new members to the wine brotherhood. Inductees paraded about, wearing beautiful gold, purple and green long robes indicating their status and membership. The castle is ivied and offered a magnificent backdrop to all this activity.
As evening fell, lights came on all over the walls of the building, giving off an eerie, amazing feel, said Thibault. Guests were moved to a number of large, beautifully decorated tents where dinner was served. Dinner began with fresh local caviar and truffled mashed potatoes served by hundreds of waiters dressed in black and wine waiters dressed in white. The foods were prepared by the top chefs in France.
However, Thibault said the food paled in comparison to the wines that were served: Chateau Haut Brion Blanc, Chateau Lascombes 2005, Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2000 or Chateau d'Yquem 2008, costing $300 to $400.
For dessert, they were treated to a selection that is usually reserved for small groups of four to six people.
"I believe that each person's meal must have cost about $1,300 to $1,500 and that does not account for tent rental, police and security forces. You can see how memorable this event was for us and since we arrived early, we had the best seats.”
They took a photo to remember the occasion and that’s what became the label for Three Wise Men.
“The label is and always will be a great reminder of this function we were lucky and wise to attend," he said.