Our friend Jean-Noel has done it again! The proprietor of Napa Valley’s (and Taigan’s) VGS Chateau Potelle, Jean-Noel Fourmeaux du Sartel not only makes some of the region’s finest wines, he leads annual trips through Burgundy and Bordeaux that get the highest marks. (His guests rave about the fact that his sense of fun and curiosity are as developed as his singular nose!) But on a recent trip to Bordeaux, he sussed out more than swell wine–Jean-Noel ran across a local sculptor who makes a handful of limited edition carafes every year and he snapped up all of them on the spot. There are only 12 of this year’s carafes, called the “Roots of Life,” in existence, and each is numbered and signed. Made to hold a standard 750ml bottle of wine, they are tougher than they look and can withstand a washing in very hot water. Jean-Noel says they remind him of the deep roots his vines put down in his mountain vineyard. For the rest of us, they are astonishingly beautiful–and useful–works of art.