How to Submit Wine/Champagne Samples

Producers and importers should consider holding off on submitting samples during the especially hot months of July, August and most of September – or at least submit overnight (or 2-day) with ice packs.  Some couriers (i.e. FedEx) now deliver on weekends – please remember we only accept samples during office hours Monday through Friday.

5340 Calvin Ave.
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 345-9030

While Allen spends several months each year tasting and reviewing wines in France, for Champagne and U. S. pinot, (and for burgundy producers Allen is unable to visit due to time constraints), we request samples be sent to for review. For producers/importers interested in submitting their pinot, red and/or white burgundy (including Chablis and Beaujolais) and/or Champagne samples for review, the following will provide the necessary information. If you have any other questions, please e-mail Chris Meadows at At this time, and due entirely to time constraints, we are only able to review red and white Burgundy, Champagne and U.S. pinot noir.

Please note that for shipments from France, samples should be submitted through an importer so proper customs paperwork is included.  We do not have an import number or a liquor license.

(We are often asked if Allen reviews U. S. chardonnay. Please note that Allen does not review U.S. chardonnay for – strictly due to time restrictions; however, if you would like to familiarize Allen with a given wine, it may be submitted with the understanding he will not publish a review.)

We understand some critics do not comment upon any wine receiving less than a certain score. By contrast, our policy is simple: During domaine or winery visits, if a domaine or winery presents a wine for consideration, and it is to the best of our knowledge representative of the final product and has finished both its primary and secondary fermentations, then it is reviewed – no exceptions.  We follow the same policy for sample submissions – if a wine is submitted that fits our guidelines above, it will be reviewed.

There is no set submission schedule.  Samples may be submitted throughout the year and will be reviewed in the order received.  Champagne and U.S. pinot noir reviews appear in the quarterly issues as continuous ongoing coverage.  Burgundy will be reviewed in the issue appropriate for the submissions (i.e. Côte de Nuits reds, Côte de Beaune reds, Côte d’Or whites or Chablis/Mâconnais/Côte Chalonnaise – or depending on the timing, may be added to an En Plus section that includes wines that are reviewed/tasted outside of the theme of the current issue.

Please keep in mind it is very hot in Los Angeles, particularly from July through most of September and producers/importers should be mindful of the weather. Upon receipt, samples are kept in a temperature controlled wine cellar – however that may not mitigate any negative effects of arriving in a 115º delivery truck! As a rule, wines arriving from outside the U.S., will usually rest a minimum of one month after arrival. Pinot noir reviews usually appear within the release of two quarterly issues – with issue releases in mid-January, mid-April, mid-June and mid-October.  With that in mind, feel free to ship California and Oregon pinot samples as soon as they are in bottle since they will rest in a temperature controlled cellar until reviewed.

For evaluation and commentary, please submit one (or two) bottle(s) of each current release wine to the address above.  Samples should be for the finished wine as it will be presented to the open market; they should not be barrel samples. The only reason to submit two bottles is if there is a problem with the first bottle. We do not have time to request a back-up bottle, so Allen will have to review the wine as presented; however, please note that two bottles is not a requirement. It is very helpful to have any relevant information you may provide on vintage characteristics and the specific technical particulars of each wine; such particulars might include grape source(s), alcohol levels, production figures and whether some percentage of whole clusters was used as well as whether fining or filtering was employed. Please be sure to include the SRP (for pinot noir and Champagne – also for Champagne the dosage and disgorgement dates are extremely useful), producer history and contact information (phone number and website), and importer information (if applicable).

Allen understands how important it is to evaluate wines in the proper circumstances and we guarantee that each and every wine is given adequate time in the glass to display itself to best advantage. If necessary, this will include revisiting wines later in the day or even the following day. As mentioned above, we also allow ample resting time in a temperature controlled wine cellar after the wines are received to help mitigate any travel shock effects. In short, our goal is to arrive at the most accurate evaluation of each and every wine. Of course we understand that young wines, especially young pinot noirs, do not always reveal themselves or their full potentials right away.

Participants should note that if they are not a subscriber, they can contact Chris Meadows at to request reviews for their wines which we are happy to forward free of charge. As a reminder, release dates are approximately mid-January, mid-April, mid-June and mid-October. Again, to stress, a producer does NOT have to be a subscriber or even purchase a single issue to get his/her reviews.  Shipments are received during normal business hours Monday-Friday.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write. We very much appreciate your participation and we thank you in advance.


Erica, Allen and Chris Meadows

5340 Calvin Ave.
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 345-9030 (Erica) –

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