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Tastings & Events

Wednesday, April 22
Meet Your Winemaker: Kelley Fox Pours Her Outstanding Pinot Noirs!
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Friday, April 24
Artisanal Portuguese Wines
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
The lovely Naama Laufer of NLC Wines will be pouring a diverse and delicious selection of new arrivals from Portugal. 5-7pm!
Friday, April 24
New Domestic Wines from Encore Wines
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Wednesday, April 29
Book Signing: Wink Lorch is Here!
5:00 TO 7:00
Join us and Wink Lorch - author of Jura Wine: The Book and fount of knowledge on all things Jura and Savoie - to learn about and taste a lineup of delicious wines.
Thursday, April 30
Meet Your Winemaker: Steve Edmunds Pours New Releases from Edmunds St. John
5:00 PM TO 6:30 PM
Friday, May 1
Stephen Bitterolf pours new arrivals from the Mosel
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Stephen from Vom Boden will be sharing the new vintage of Lauer Barrel X and some other exciting Mosel Rieslings.
Wednesday, May 6
Meet Your Winemaker: Jesse Skyles Pours Fausse Piste
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Thursday, May 7
Get Involved with PM Spirits: Welcome Leo Commercio!
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Friday, May 8
Alex Miranda Pours Wines of the World
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Thursday, May 14
Jimmy Carbone Pours Bruichladdich Scotch
5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM
Wednesday, May 27
Meet Your Winemaker: Michael Dashe Pours Dashe Cellars!
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Friday, June 5
Lovely Spirits Made from Honey: Bar Hill Gin and Vodka
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 6
Meet Your Winemaker: Please Welcome Jo Landron (Domaine de la Louvetrie)!
4:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
Thursday, June 18
Meet Your Winemaker: Denis Jamain of Domaine de Reuilly
5:00 PM TO 7:00 PM

Single-Vineyard Champagne

Once, the vineyards of Champagne were simply divided into the wines of the mountain and the wines of the river.  During the winters of the Little Ice Age (16c-19c), these wines, particularly those of the river, would often experience stuck fermentations. Spring’s warmth would restart those fermentations, creating slightly sparkling wines, a natural product of terroir.

 While the monks of the Abbey d’Hautvillers are often credited for “discovering” bubbly wine, they should be remembered for refining the grape pressing and multi-vineyard blending practices that were already traditional in the region. The art of blending still wines or vins clairs is and will remain an important expression of the Champenois terroir.

 However, blending requires a granular and masterful knowledge of individual vineyards and their individual wines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above: 1940s Champagne Vineyard Map)

Following in the historical tradition of single-vineyard Champagne (Clos des Goisses, Clos du Mesnil, Clos du Moulin) each one of the following wines is a bold and delicious affirmation that great Champagne can be the expression of a single, delineated plot.

Most of these single vineyards are farmed organically and many are truly world-class sites. Beginning with the wines of the Montagne de Reims, Emmanuel Brochet’s Le Mont Benoît is a study in precision and exquisite tension. From the northern Montagne de Reims, Hugues Godmé takes great care in the farming of three masterful Champagnes, Les Champs Saint Martin (Pinot Noir), Les Alouettes Saint Bets (Chardonnay), Les Romaines (Meunier). Finally, Les Crayères, a world-beater of a vineyard where Benoït Marguet grows a pure and tingling, majority Chardonnay Champagne.

Next, the wines of La Grande Vallée, where the great house of Jacquesson grows a beautifully vinous Rosé Champagne from a pinpoint corner of the Les Terres Rouges lieu-dit. In the best years, Georges Laval’s Les Chênes (100% Chardonnay) has enough ephemerally allied grace and power to be counted among the world’s great wines. Based on the historical varietals of Petit Meslier, Arbane, and Pinot Blanc, Benoît and Melanie Tarlant’s BAM! is Champagne recast in a more floral and refreshingly mineral mold.

Finally, from Champagne’s most southern borders, two of our favorite growers understatedly show what love of vines and of place can mean. Olivier Horiot’s En Barmont is a deliciously fun rosé that is perfect for warmer weather outings. Gerard Ruppert and his daughter, Benedicte Leroy are a study in commitment to organic viticulture and their aromatically beguiling blanc des blancs, Martin-Fontaine is a just reward.

The Champenois have long understood the varying vinous expressions of individual vineyards and to growing fanfare the region is finally focusing on the single-vineyard. I believe in each these growers and their vineyards. Without caveat or reservation, they are truly exceptional. I hope you enjoy them! David Salinas

Brochet, Emmanuel NV Champagne 1er Cru Le Mont Benoit Extra-Brut (10/

Organic vigneron Emanuel Brochet farms makes one of our favorite Champagnes from a meticulously farmed 2.5 hectare plot called 'Le Mont Benoit' in the village of Villers-aux-Noeuds. All three major Champagne grapes are grown in the chalky-clay soils over Cretaceous chalk of the mid-slope vineyard. The 2010/09 base Le Mont Benoit extra-brut  is composed of 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25%Chardonnay and spent 11 months aging sur lie. The wine bottled with 4 grams dosage.

Brochet's Champagnes always show an overt minerality, which expresses itself in a broader earthy character. This is at once nervy, and resonant. The ripeness of the 2009 fruit balances the leaner nature of the 2010 vintage. The tension between the fruit and savory mineral notes is intriguing. The aromatic profile is cool-toned with pear, citrus peel and seashell dominating. The palate is medium-bodied, deep, and rich with a salty dry, savory, lingering finish. This would pair beautifully with crudo or Belon oysters. -John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 26 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99

Godmé 2006 Champagne Brut Grand Cru Les Champs Saint Martin

Perhaps the most contemplative cuvée from Hugues Godmé, the Champs Saint Martin is a single vineyard, 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir from the 2006 vintage. Champagne aficionados might be interested to know that the Champs Saint Martin was singled out as being highly prized by the most prominent Champagne Houses, in viticultural maps dating back to the 1940s.

Pale Golden with platinum edges, the aromatics are quite complex beginning with fresh strawberries, graham crackers, and hops that transition into spearmint, tarragon, spiced pear, Seville orange marmalade, and gingerbread. The palate is fairly broad, structured, and stately with aromas of lemon sorbet, blood orange, black cherries in dark chocolate, and black tea that reach a mouth-watering finish. At 2 grams of dosage this is a savory treat, which will reward the patient drinkers, who let this brooding beauty reveal itself in the glass. Disgorged 9/2013. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 7 in stock
  • no discount
  • $124.99

Godmé 2006 Champagne Brut 1er Cru Les Alouettes Saint Bets

Godmé Père et Fils 2006 Les Alouettes Saint Bets Brut is a single vineyard blanc de blancs from Villers-Marmery near the border with Verzy. The soils of this climat are very chalky with little topsoil. The grapes are farmed biodynamically, vinified in neutral oak with native yeasts, with no malolactic fermentation, and bottled with low sulfur.

There is an electric sense of chalky minerality to this Champagne. While there is a degree of richness to the wine that hints at Verzy, and a silken quality on the palate derived from its time in wood, ultimately a cool, deft sense of fruit and chalkiness defines the nose and palate. Still a bit taut, there are floral and citrus oil notes on the nose, followed by Meyer Lemon and a subtle salinity on the palate. The mousse is fine and the finish long, complex, and supple. This should shine brightly with a bit more time in the bottle. These wines were a pleasure to taste months ago and we've been eagerly awaiting their arrival. -John McIlwain

Pale straw yellow and glowing with a superfine bead, Les Alouettes Saints Bets has really come into its own over the last couple of months. A nose that is at the beginning of a beautiful bloom with understated hints of peppermint, holly, quince, candied ginger, rosebuds, lemon blossom, and sea air. The refined, fresh, and lithe palate dances to notes  of lime sorbet and lemon curd with a shortbread finish. A Champagne that will set the tone for a boat party or a special Sunday afternoon. Dosage 2g/L, Disgorged 9/2013. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 10 in stock
  • no discount
  • $124.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Godmé 2006 Champagne Brut Premier Cru Les Romaines Pinot Meunier

I have a not-so-secret love for Champagnes made from Pinot Meunier. Godmé's single vineyard expression, Les Romaines 1er cru, is an especially stunning example. The biodynamically farmed vineyard located in Villedommange has calcerous soils which lend a particularly savory minerality to the wine, offsetting the sometimes over-generous nature of the variety. There is impeccable balance here; ripe fruit framed by the nearly pointillistic earthiness, the 2 grams of dosage is barely perceptible. This is classy, harmonious, and long speaking vividly of place. -John McIlwain

Brightly golden, silver edged, and starred by a finely beaded mousse, Les Romaines is a 0.96 acre parcel that is a standard-bearer for the grace, exuberance, and age-worthiness of Meunier, when planted in a top site. A subtly sultry and engaging nose floats aromas of apricots, spiced pears, blood oranges, cardamom, sea salt, mustard seeds, and Mirabelle plums. Finely framed by an earthy minerality, the palate is savory and nuanced by blood orange zest, Rooibos, and ginger lemonade with a black plum finish. Time can only benefit this profound Meunier, but it is approachable now and would make a fine pairing with Mandarin cuisine. Disgorged 9/2013. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 10 in stock
  • no discount
  • $124.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Marguet 2009 Champagne Brut Ambonnay Grand Cru Les Crayères

Someday soon the Ambonnay Grand Cru lieu-dit of Les Crayères will be spoken of in the same reverential tones as Hermitage’s Les Bessards or Alsace’s Clos Sainte Hune.  Similarly, Benoît Marguet will be heralded for having preserved and defended the health of his soils and his vineyard workers. These valuations form a positive feedback loop, where greater care and attention to finely delimited vineyards will help these great terroirs shine.

Marguet’s Les Crayères is a blend of 62% Chardonnay and 38% Pinot Noir from an airy, mid-slope vineyard. Light golden in color and starred by a finely beaded mousse, the aromas begin with acacia, ripe raspberries, and honeysuckle before transitioning to Red Delicious and violets. The zero-dosage palate is broad and gripping with notes of dark chocolate, Meyer lemon, and fresh peppermint with a vanilla macaroon and ripe cantaloupe finish. An expressive and uncompromising Champagne of terroir! Disgorged 3/2014. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 5 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Organic

Laval, Georges 2009 Champagne Cumières Premier Cru Les Chênes

A Champagne grower’s grower, Vincent Laval has an all-encompassing view of his vineyards and his cellar, with enough foresight to have planted his vines on early-ripening rootstock so as to have wines that are robust enough to be balanced with little to no dosage, but acid-driven enough to be truly age-worthy. Fewer than two thousand bottles of Les Chênes, an extraordinary Blanc de Blancs, were crafted from a single vineyard located 500 meters down from the famed Abbey of Hautvillers.

Shimmering hues of gold and silver are discreetly punctuated by a finely beaded mousse. Though still tightly coiled, the nose shows hints of clover honey, lemongrass, orange blossom, hops, and elderberries. The palate is nothing less than striking with minerality and power that carry touches of raspberries, Jonagold apples, and hazelnuts to a flash of glory finish of tarragon, basil, cloves, and red plums. My advice on this bone-dry Brut Nature would be to let rest the sleeping giant for an eventual pairing with high grade, fatty, tuna. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 7 in stock
  • no discount
  • $169.99

  • Organic

Tarlant NV BAM! Brut Nature Blanc Arbanne Meslier

Few wines are truly historical, but BAM! has the potential of being a harbinger cuvée for Champagne. Before Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Meunier came to represent 95% of grape varietals planted in the region, other, lesser known and often lesser valued grapes had a foothold. Over a century ago grapes like Petit Meslier and Arbane were set aside by the Champenois for being too acidic, too raw or too difficult to grow. As Climate Change alters the average temperature of Champagne’s growing season, bold and innovative growers like Benoît & Melanie Tarlant are offering delicious solutions.

 

Hailing from the Four à Chaux vineyard in Oeuilly and based on the 2007 and 2008 vintages, BAM! (aka Benoît and Melanie) is Brut Nature Champagne reimagined and recast. The blend breakdown is 64% Petit Meslier, 18% Arbane, and 18% Pinot Blanc (aka BAM!). Full of life and verve, but a marked departure from a classical Champenois aromatic profile, the nose is expressive and floral with notes of passionflower, jasmine, and white peach blossom. Not for the meek, the palate is electric, gripping, and bursting with lime sorbet, honeyed green tea, rhubarb, papaya, and starfruit with a golden kiwi and sweet watermelon finish. Disgorged 2/2014. David Salinas

  • 16 in stock
  • no discount
  • $159.99

Horiot, Olivier NV Champagne Rosé Sève "En Barmont"

Unencumbered by the history and tradition of the Marne, Olivier Horiot has set out to make simple, intimate, and vinous Champagne that showcase the terroir of Les Riceys. The Sève is a Rosé de Saignée, from the warm, single vineyard site of en Barmont, where pinot noir can reach a robust ripeness that is balanced by firmly controlled yields.  Four days of semi-carbonic maceration add both complexity and lightness to this joyful Champagne.

Based exclusively on the 2008 vintage and disgorged in May 2013, the Sève’s drinkability is cresting, but there’s enough acidity and structure for this fruit-filled wave to flow for some time to come. Copper pink with ruby edges, the aromas cascade with ripe strawberries, rhubarb, watermelon, black cherries, fresh madeleines, and graham crackers. The palate has exuberant depth, but is framed by a sleek freshness, and starred with cranberries, ripe nectarines, and a touch of mocha on the finish. As the long-awaited warmer weather arrives this is the ultimate picnic Champagne with enough pairing range to accompany goat cheeses, gently grilled tuna, or steak tartare. David Salinas

  • rosé sparkling
  • 8 in stock
  • no discount
  • $51.99

Ruppert-Leroy NV Champagne Brut Nature Martin Fontaine

Emmanuel Leroy and Bénédicte Ruppert are guiding a second generation, field of dreams estate in the southern Champagne village of Essoyes, seven kilometers from the Burgundian border. I cannot overemphasize the detail-oriented commitment of these young growers to releasing pristine wines.  A commitment that reaches the altruistic heights of setting aside the juice from the first three rows of their vineyards that border conventionally farmed vines.

The delicious fruits of Ruppert-Leroy’s efforts are on full display in the Martin Fontaine, an unctuous single vineyard Blanc de blancs with zero dosage. Vinified in ex-Chassagne Montrachet casks this pale, straw yellow cuvée has strikingly expressive aromatics, starting with peppermint, candied lemon, and ginger, before moving to cayenne pepper, honeycomb, and hazelnut. The palate is finely balanced and inviting with Golden Delicious, warm caramel, lemon curd, and white tea with a coda of quince. This will make a masterful pairing to a generously buttered mushroom risotto. David Salinas

  • white sparkling
  • 13 in stock
  • no discount
  • $79.99

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Jacquesson 2008 Champagne Brut Dizy Terres Rouges Rosé

Progress has long been the hallmark of this most storied of Champagne growers. Over the last 35 years, Jean Hervé and Laurent Chiquet have kept the flame of innovation understatedly burning at Jacquesson. Today, the focus is on the vintage-varying expressions of some of Champagne’s most highly prized lieux-dits. Quietly, but with purpose, Jacquesson is leading Champagne into the era of the single vineyard.

Les Terres Rouges is a 3.3 acre pinot noir site in the northwestern corner of the eponymous lieu-dit. Set on eastern facing, lower slopes of the Montagne de Reims, the topsoil is brownish-red clay and limestone overlying chalk silts. Following a rigorously selective harvest and destemming, half the grapes are macerated for 25 hours in stainless steel, while the other half are slow pressed for 4 hours in a traditional vertical press. 5 years of lees aging have not been in vain, as this is a seriously complex and vinous Champagne. Dusky pink and adorned by a finely beaded mousse, the nose reveals notes of dried roses, strawberries and cream, cardamom, and spearmint. The palate is powerful, concentrated, high-toned, and slightly earthy with hints of pomegranate and hickory on a sustained and refined finish. Dosage 3.5gr/L, Disgorged 2/2014. David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $199.99

Laval, Georges 2008 Champagne Cumières Premier Cru Les Chênes

Some wines are simply expressions of great terroir. If there’s a case to be made for particular Champagne vineyards being counted world class then Laval’s Les Chênes will be a part of that conversation. 100% Chardonnay, the 2008 Brut Nature keeps airy lightness and mineral power with an understated and graceful tension that morphs with time in a glass.

 

Micro-bubbles star an opulent golden color and carry up aromas of spearmint, honeysuckle, lemon blossom, sage, vanilla bean, black tea, and molasses. The palate floats and shifts effortlessly to offer tart Macintosh apple, Seville orange marmalade, and Graham crackers towards a caraway seed, all spice, and lemon mint finish. A gift for the contemplative sipper. David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $164.99

  • Organic
Apr 17 2015
Spring is Here (Maybe) - Our First Crop of Rosés!
The migrating birds recently arrived in New York seem a bit tentative with their songs of Spring, doubting perhaps that the dreadful winter of 2014/2015 is finally behind us. But we are optimistic and are begining to look forward to those warm spring and summer evenings enjoying a tasty ros&eacut
Apr 16 2015
An Evening with Steve Edmunds at King Bee!
Since its founding in 1985, the Edmunds St. John label has stood for balanced, low-alcohol, and terroir-expressive wines from some of the most unique and well farmed vineyards in the state of California (Fenaughty, Witters, and Barsotti to name a few). Winemaker Steve Edmunds spent decades a
Apr 15 2015
Lilian Duplessis - The New Generation of Chablis!
Organic farming and natural winemaking are not the first things to come to mind when thinking of Chablis. Industrial farming is commonplace, with chemical pesticides and mechanical harvesting in the vines and lab yeasts and other winemaking tricks in the cellar. There are, however, a few producer
Apr 13 2015
Learning to Love VinItaly
We’re kind of learning to love VinItaly. Yes, it’s crowded, sometimes with inebriated sightseers who make it extra-hard to navigate. Yes, the food sucks, but that’s hardly why you go. True, the bathrooms are a topic to avoid – literally, if possible. But it’s excitin
Apr 10 2015
Jefferson's Bourbon - Chambers Street Style
  We continue our Bourbon odyssey with a special selection from Trey Zoeller’s fantastic Jefferson’s label. Jefferson’s is unlike other Bourbon, because instead of distilling they focus on purchasing the best barrels possible from other producers to create superb, ultra
Apr 10 2015
Piedmont Week - Friday - Cavallotto
In the opinion of this map-loving wine geek, Alessandro Masnaghetti, the author of the map pictured above, would already be Sir Alessandro, as he has performed extraordinary services for his country – if only Italy had knighthoods. Masnaghetti’s ever-expanding library of vineyard maps
Apr 9 2015
Piedmont Week - Thursday - De Forville and Barale
A few weeks ago we had a wonderful dinner at Franny’s, the excuse being a chance to taste a number of vintages of De Forville Barbaresco. Prior to dinner, the oldest De Forville I’d tasted was about 14 years old (the excellent 1995), so I really didn’t know what to expect. All o
Apr 8 2015
Piedmont Week - Wednesday - Franco Fiorina
We can’t offer much sound information about Fiorina without blatantly plagiarizing Wasserman’s Italy’s Noble Red Wines; as usual it’s hard to find anything else published. But on Franco Zilliani’s fascinating site www.Vinoavino.org, there’s a very informative s
Apr 7 2015
Piedmont Week - Tuesday - A Favorite, Cordero di Montezemolo
Cordero di Montezemolo is one of our great favorites for their wines made up until 1990, after which they went to a modern-style wine. Hearsay has it that things are moving back at Cordero, and I was happy to hear that their 2010s were showing much better than other recent vintages I’d tast
Apr 6 2015
Piedmont Week - Monday - the Historic Wines of Fontanafredda
The historical importance of Fontanafredda for Barolo cannot be overstated; it’s one of the oldest and largest properties in the region, and one of the first to estate-bottle and market under its own label. This is beautifully related in Kerin O’Keefe’s “Barolo and Barbare