Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant | New York City

An importer of import

When we buy wine, we tend to look at the bottle's front label and ignore the importer's information printed on the back.

Knowing who shipped your favorite wine, however, can be just as important as who produced it. If you're lucky, the name you'll find behind your next bottle will be Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant. And the Rosenthal bottle to buy right now is the 2000 Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay 1er Cru Les Aussy ($50).

This classic Pinot Noir comes from one of Burgundy's most traditional producers. Despite a decade of age under its belt, it only recently hit shelves, thanks to Rosenthal's admirably unique penchant for allowing wines to ripen in the bottle before bringing them to the market.

So the newly released Les Aussy is currently at its peak deliciousness. In the glass, the wine proves more than worth the wait: Gorgeously mature, having been held in perfect storage conditions at the estate, it combines succulent, cherry fruit with the textbook savory aromas that develop miraculously with time in the bottle.

A steal at its seemingly lofty price tag, it's the perfect holiday gift for any serious wine lover, and a clear reminder that patience is most certainly a virtue.

Available at Chambers Street Wines, 148 Chambers St. (between Greenwich St. and West Broadway); 212-227-1434 or