Close Menu

Calvert Woodley’s top 10 bestsellers

Champagne Charlie is alive and well and living in Washington, as this snapshot of one of the city’s leading wine shops reveals.

Formed by a merger of two wine shops in Washington DC, Calvert Woodley threw open its doors in 1982. Described by Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal as “an old-fashioned wine shop – teeming with semi-chaotic life”, she rates it as one of her favourite merchants. With around 2,200 wines and fifty on its pay-roll, it is probably the biggest, if not the best independent liquor store in Washington

While the price range extends to a dizzying US$7,500 for a decanter of Graham’s 1882 Ne Oublie Port, most of the action is around US$12 – 17, according to Calvert Woodley’s president, Michael Sands. “Value has become a big deal for us,” he said. While Californian sales are described as “pretty good,” anything “over US$50 has dropped precipitously since 2008. The days of US$100 Cabernets on expense accounts don’t happen much anymore.”

Bordeaux, especially the petit Châteaux, has always been a key focus, as has en primeur until recently. “Historically we’ve always been a big player in the Bordeaux futures game, but over the last couple of vintages it’s been almost non-existent. I keep hearing from my négociant friends that 2014 is the year the Bordelais are going to get things back in order. I guess I’m a little sceptical, but we would love to get back in.” As for his customers and whether they are ready to re-embrace the region – “well, that’s the magic question.”

For all that, Champagne dominates the top 10 ‘fine wines’, thanks to all the Christmas fizz sold last year.

Click through to see Calvert Woodley’s top-selling wines  over US$35 in the last 12 months. (Standard list prices quoted)

10. Château Vray Croix de Gay 2009, Pomerol – US$79.99

9. Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV – US$44.99

8. Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV – US$59.99

7. Opus One 2011 – US$250

6. Taittinger Brut NV – US$44.99

5. Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut NV – US$46.99

4. Dom Pérignon 2004 – US$149

3. Caymus 2012 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon, 1ltr – US$79.99

2. Pol Roger Brut NV – US$39.99

1. Veuve Cliquot Brut NV – US$49.99

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No