Above: Owners of Mosaic Wine Group Melinda and Dan Redman with Kermit Lynch (center) at the pre-portfolio-tasting dinner on Sunday night in San Francisco.
“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”
Were truer words ever spoken? These sacred words adorn every bottle enshrined with the Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant label, and this message rings through in the life, vision and empire of one of the wine worlds most impassioned and respected wine importers, Kermit Lynch.
Mosaic Wine Group spent a memorable weekend in California, culminating in the opportunity to spend time with this legend of the wine industry, Kermit Lynch. We had the pleasure of enjoying an incredible dinner with the Kermit Lynch team in San Francisco at a wonderful restaurant called, Jardinière, then perused through many of the current releases in the portfolio at a trade tasting event. Kermit is (among many things) a wine importer, retailer, winemaker, author, and musician. His first book, Adventures on the Wine Route, is a must read for anyone in the wine industry, and anyone interested in how a self-described hippie helped to revolutionize French wine and its accessibility in the United States.
Above: the floor of the Kermit Lynch wine shop, in Berkeley, California (photo courtesy Inspiring Thirst).
Kermit Lynch opened his retail shop in Berkeley, California in 1972. Passionate about French wine, he was dedicated to supporting producers who represented the best of their region and appellation, but above all whose wines were pure, with minimal external influence and/or manipulation. Kermit’s quest, as he describes, took a most important turn in 1973, when he was invited to join one of his importers on his annual buying trip to Burgundy. During this trip, Kermit met countless farmers, winemakers and négociants interested in having their wines represented in the US.
Wine Importers are a dime a dozen these days. Walk the aisles of your local retailers shelves and simply look at the back labels of any French, Italian, Spanish and any other non-domestic wine — you’ll see what I mean. There are just so many wines out there in the world, and so many individuals looking to capitalize on bringing in “the next big thing.” This is the antithesis of Kermit Lynch’s message and mantra. The goal of a Kermit Lynch labeled wine is to give an introduction to the producer and their product with this prized emblem. A consumer should know when seeing a Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant logo on a bottle that this is a producer who has earned the respect to carry the logo, and therefore the wines will represent a pure and natural winemaking style, true to the region and varietal.
The Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant portfolio is loaded with prized producers from all across France, including wineries like Vieux Télégraphe, Domaine Tempier, Auguste Clape, Marcel Lapierre, Coche Dury, Francois Raveneau and many, many others. The story of Kermit Lynch does not begin or end with representing the wines from these producers, but of walking the vineyards, tasting each barrel and being very involved in almost every aspect of the life and development of each wine. This story has been well documented in Adventures on the Wine Route when Kermit Lynch describes arguing with one of his most acclaimed producers about only representing his wines if they remained unfiltered.
Among the press and accolades Kermit Lynch has earned, he has received the most prized insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government in 2005, as well as the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole medal and Wine Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.
Kermit Lynch is well respected for his incredible portfolio of wines, which Mosaic Wine Group is very pleased to represent in the state of Texas. At the helm in the national sales office at Kermit Lynch is Bruce Neyers (above), who began his journey with KLWM in 1992, after a long journey with Joseph Phelps Winery in Napa Valley. Bruce’s knowledge, expertise and business prowess has helped to expand the Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant portfolio across the US and been of great influence in maintaining elite status as one of the top importers of French (and now Italian) wine. In addition to running the national sales office for KLWM, Bruce also represents an incredible portfolio of Napa and Sonoma, under his own Neyers label (which Mosaic Wine Group also proudly represents in the state of Texas).
We’re hoping to see a glimpse of Kermit Lynch in this year when he tours the states in support of his new music CD, his second offering of his music. Stay tuned for more details. For more information on the Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant portfolio, check out Kermit’s blog or contact Mosaic Wine Group for support.
Check out Jeremy’s post Red, white, and sparkling carpet at Kermit Lynch tasting.