Why use barrique?

A New Brunello for Chambers Street Wines

Being on many wine lists, my inbox always seems full of emails with superlatives describing the most recent vintage or recently discovered winemaker that my cellar can’t survive without. I’m sure that many are quite good and our friends at other stores and journalists are working hard combing the world for the best wines, but all of the offers start to sound the same – almost a vinous Mad Libs.

The story always seems to be about a new rising star that worked with Bruno Giacosa, Clos Rougeard, or Overnoy, but has now struck out on his/her own and may be surpassing the master. Phrases like “greatest of all time,” “A new elite,” or “Kingmaker” should be paired with adjectives like “epic” or “legendary” (preferably in bold print) to explain the greatness of today’s offer. This is all great, but what about people making high quality organic wines that will never be in the center of the spotlight, but are always a fantastic value and provide years of drinkability? This has always been our concentration at Chambers Street Wines.

Organic Sangiovese at over 400 meters.

A new member of this collective of traditional producers is Fornacina. The Biliorsi family makes organic Montalcino wines with no modern embellishments – that is, aging in large, traditional botti, 20 to 30 day macerations, and only two products used in the vineyard: copper and sulfur. The vines hail from two plots, one at high elevation by the winery and one situated in Montalcino’s southern district of Castelnuovo dell’ Abate which adds concentration and structure to the wines. A strict limiting of yields to 40 hectoliters per hectare (the law allows up to 70) also improves the wines’ complexity and richness. These wines shine in a region that is far too often over-cropped or slathered in small barrels for artificial richness, or (in a worst case scenario) both.

For a great new producer making honest, soulful wines with a view to quality and tradition look no further. John Rankin

Fornacina 2010 Brunello di Montalcino

This is the second vintage of Fornacina’s classic Brunello that we’ve sold at the store, and we had to fight to get what we could. The wine press has decided that 2010 may be one of the most successful vintages of the last decade, so there has been a worldwide scramble to secure wines. After tasting a lineup of wines from the vintage, I feel that they are quite good, but will be better with a bit of cellar age. The traditional, long-lived style at Fornacina makes for a wine with a healthy amount of tannin and invigorating acid, perhaps requiring a Florentine steak today, but with plenty of stuffing to age for quite a long time. Fornacina’s wines have Montalcino’s hallmark flavors: sour cherry, dusty earth, and mature balsamic. John Rankin

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Fornacina 2010 Brunello di Montalcino 1.5 L

This year we were able to secure a couple of cases of Brunello magnums – great for a crowd! John Rankin

  • red
  • 13 in stock
  • $109.99

  • Organic

Fornacina 2013 Rosso di Montalcino

Although from the same vines as the Brunello, the Rosso is selected from fermenting casks that don’t seem to hold up to the rigorous amount of skin contact that the Brunello sees. The result is a grape with a more delicate aromatic profile and a generous amount of bright, cherry fruit. In some ways the aromatics seem a bit more giving than the superb, but powerfully structured 2010 Brunello. Of course, having some bottles of Rosso around the house can help keep your corkscrew away from your Brunello stash. John Rankin

 

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
May 20 2015
Let the Grilling Begin!
Although barbeques were not part of the original “Decoration Day” that commemorated the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War, they have certainly become a fixture of our modern Memorial Day celebrations. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
May 19 2015
My Fair Riesling
  The evolution of North American Riesling offerings, from simple and sweet to dramatically aromatic and superbly dry make this a thrilling time for Riesling lovers. Newcomers to Riesling will find an array of expressions that were untapped until inspired winemakers championed the g
May 17 2015
Pierre André, Clos du Joncuas and la Ferme Saint-Martin; Great Traditional Wines from the Southern Rhone! Rhone Dinner at Racines NY, June 9th!
These three great estates are long-time practitioners of organic and biodynamic farming; Clos du Joncuas has farmed organically since 1920 and has been certified since 1980, Domaine Pierre André has been organic "depuis toujours," certified since 1980 and Biodynamic since 1992, a
May 15 2015
The Age of Champagne
Stand at the seashore or by the fogbank of a fragrant forest and the aromas of place will seem to be the concentrated essence of sea-spray or pine. This is more than just romantic fancy because the tiny water droplets of a fog can contain supersaturated solutions of aromatic compounds. Thanks
May 14 2015
German Mavericks: The Pinot Noirs of Enderle & Moll
When Sven Enderle was growing up in the foothills of the Black Forest, his favorite place to play was in the breezy slopes around Ettenheim, roughly equidistant from Freiburg in Germany and Strasbourg in Alsatian France. Apple trees and grapevines peppered the fields under the protective watch of
May 13 2015
Dine With Michael Dashe: In-Store Tasting and Dinner
We are long time admirers of Michael Dashe. He’s a sweet tempered winemaker whose excitement about fermentation and all things wine is incredibly infectious. Michael and his wife/co-winemaker Anne created Dashe Cellars in 1996 as a project to focus on northern California’s steep, cool
May 12 2015
2012s from Georges Lignier
One of the curious things about Burgundy is how one can manage to have a famous name and a bounty of fine vineyards and remain off the radar. One such grower is Domaine Georges Lignier, who despite having 16 Hectares across 17 appellations (including substantial parcels in multiple grand crus), m
May 8 2015
Wild, Wonderful Steiermark
There are strange stirrings in the south of Austria, encouraging whispers and exciting wines from a small group of ecologically conscientious, hands-off winemakers who are redefining the region. Styria, or Steiermark in Austrian parlance, is a beautiful locale of rolling hills an hour south of Gr
May 6 2015
Rustic and Rugged – The Wines of Southwest France
Between Bordeaux in the north and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south lies the Sud-Ouest. This is one of France’s lesser-known winemaking regions, overshadowed by the prominence of Bordeaux, and isolated by its rural setting (this is the least densely populated region of France with only te
May 5 2015
Spanish Spring Mixed Cases Are Here!
Popular demand and this week's weather forecast have compelled us to assemble another delicious Spanish Mixed Case! This mouthwatering array of energizing whites, juicy rosés, and fresh, complex reds is specially selected to complement the market-fresh vegetables, meats, seafood, and h