Don't miss the boat on these sensational Burgundies and Champagnes from "The Connoisseur."

Give the people what they want: More Burgundy and Champagne from the Connoisseur!

Due to popular demand and the continued generosity of the Connoisseur, we are able to offer more top flight Burgundies and Champagnes, supplemented by another generous collector. All wines are in stock. Thank you to our friends for allowing us to share the fabulous rarities. John McIlwain

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De Montille 2011 Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots

This is ripe and full of red fruit with silky tannins and great acidity and intensity and length. A powerful wine, Grands Epenots is one of the greatest of all Pommard 1er Crus, just a step behind the Rugiens-Bas.This was vinified with 33% whole clusters, a decision made based on the ripeness of the stems. JBT

 

 

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Gouges 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets .375 L

Medium ruby, hinting at garnet robe. Strawberry, Morello cherry, iron, salt, cinnamon. Still a bit tannic, good acid, but resolving and pretty generous for the grower. This ain't your father's Gouges! Good length and detail. Pretty delicious now, but I'd like to revisit this in five to eight years. (Tasted 8/2017) John McIlwain

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Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Grèves

The Beaune-Grèves is more powerful than the Aigrots; it is earthier and has darker fruit. There is a lot of mouth-weight and tannin, and that wonderful 2011 acidity that comes out on the finish. Like most of Lafarge's wines, this could age for a long time. A great effort! JBT

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Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Les Aigrots

The 1er Cru Les Aigrots is on the mid-to-upper slope on the Pommard side of Beaune, as opposed to the Savigny-les-Beaune side. Aigrots is bordered by Les Clos des Mouches, Les Vignes Franches, Pertuisots, Les Sizies, and Champs Pimont. Domaine Lafarge's vines are about 40 years old and Frederic Lafarge says the vines are very unusual; they are growing in a different way from vine to vine to vine, some are very bushy and some have sparse foliage, which may be because of the great variety of plant material in this vineyard. He said that while some growers removed leaves to promote better air circulation, he likes to leave them on to protect the grapes from the near inevitability of a hailstorm. This wine has great fruit upfront and then tannins and astringency—a big structure and all of the components for a long life. JBT

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Lignier, Hubert 2014 Morey St. Denis Trilogie

From old vines planted in three different lieux-dits in Morey Saint Denis (Chenevery, Clos Solon, and Porroux). There's plenty to like here. Violets, cherry pit, iodine, game on nose. Palate layered and suave with some structure to resolve. Flavors of plum skin, cherry pit, rose hip, iron.Good freshness and density. Decant now or cellar for 5-7 years to allow elements to integrate. John McIlwain

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Tremblay 2011 Morey-Saint-Denis Tres Girard

Cecile Tremblay's Morey Saint Denis Tres Girard is from a vineyard located right by the steps of the Clos des Tart in the village of Morey Saint Denis. Black fruits, mure, very Morey St Denis. It is as different from the Chambolle Musigny as strawberries are from blackberries.

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Agrapart 2007 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Expérience

"Most Champagne" Agrapart told us "is 95% juice, and 5% other things: water, sugar, sulfur, and yeast." With this wine, the aim is to make a Champagne that is 100% "jus de raisin," which requires a second fermentation using cellar yeast and must from the current vintage rather than the sugar and neutral yeast combination used to create bubbles in virtually every other Champagne under the sun. This is the fifth time Agrapart has made this cuvée, and it's the first time he's been allowed to label it as "Champagne" because in every other edition, the CIVC (Champagne's regulating body) did not deem it Champagne-like enough to earn appellation status. Last year it was Agrapart's Complantée bottling that had us sprinting for our email to make a reservation with the supplier. This year it was Expérience. As memorable a bottle as you'll ever taste, this wine has gorgeous, chalky minerality, impeccable balance despite its lack of dosage, and vivid aromas of sweet, ripe Chardonnay. Not necessarily a Champagne to be cellar-ed, but a Champagne to be reveled in over the course of a meal.

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Bérêche, Raphael NV Champagne Brut Reflets d'Antan Base 11

For holiday celebrations, Champagne is a must. Not just for the festive association of bubbles, but also because it is truly one of the most versatile wines to grace one's table. The inherent acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the foods, while the bubbles and moderate alcohol invigorate the palate rather than tire it. One of my favorite Champagnes for the table (not just Thanksgiving or Christmas) is Bérêche's Reflets d'Antan. Based on a perpetual cuvée dating from the 1980's, the wine combines the vivid, nervy fruit of a recent vintage with the burnished, textural and aromatic complexity of the aged wines which make up the 'solera.' The secondary fermentation under cork rather than crown cap adds an additional layer of finesse with a delicate bead and soft mousse. This will pair beautifully with most of the foods on your holiday table (skip the marshmallows, please). Better served in a white wine glass to allow  the aromas to develop.  John McIlwain

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Bouchard, Cedric 2011 Champagne Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blanc La Bolorée

In many ways Bolorée is as much an expression of Cedric Bouchard's aesthetic as it is an expression of terroir. It is made in tiny quantities from 50-year-old parcel of Pinot Blanc planted on chalk rather than the typical argilo-calcaire (clay and limestone) of the Aube. And while Pinot Blanc can be a bit vapid in some cases, Bouchard's has a taut, mineral, and nervy architecture beneath the richness of the fruit. John McIlwain  

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Maison Bérêche 2007 Champagne Côte des Blancs "Côte" disg. 01/16, 4g/l

Sourced from the grand cru village of Cramant in the Cote des Blancs, La Cote Grand Cru 2007 is beginning to display the aged character of Champagne from the famed village, a balance of mineral precision with the burnished fruit character of long aging sur latte. On the nose lemon oil, honeycomb, and brioche aromas overlay hints of seashell, and stone. The palate shows hints of halzelnut, brown butter, Seville orange, salt, and crushed herbs on a creamy, rich, rounded, finish with fine bead and good persistence. (4g/L dosage, disgorged 01/16.) John McIlwain

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Vouette et Sorbée 2011 Champagne Blanc d'Argile

Made from low-yielding biodynamically-farmed Chardonnay planted in the Kimmeridgian marls in the west-facing vineyard site of Biaunes, Blanc d'Argile is a blanc de blancs any many ways closer in character to Chablis than the chiseled Champagnes of the Marne. The distinction between the two types of chalky soil is palpable in the pungently mineral Blanc d'Argile. The nose is briny and citrus-inflected, with savory herbal notes. This cool-toned fruitiness (indicative of the 2011 vintage) carries over on the palate with a range of yellow fruit, seashell, and flinty sapidity. Typically, the long ripening period afforded by the vineyard manifests itself in a denser, richer, nearly flamboyant fashion; this vintage shows a leaner cut highlighting the Kimmeridgian pedigree. (Disgorged 5/2014).

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Mugnier, Jacques-Frédéric 2011 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale Blanc

 I went to taste the 2012 vintage with Freddy Mugnier on Friday July 12th. After tasting all of the 2012s from barrel he brought out two bottles of 2011 Clos de la Marechale, one red and one white. 2011 Clos de la Marechale blanc smelled like Chardonnay flowers and lilacs, kind of like muscat. some light oak notes, beautiful fruit and a real persistence of flavor.  Very very fine bottle of wine.  Freddy explained that he did two graftings to improve the quality of fruit. He started in 2004 grafting Chardonnay onto the existing Pinot Noir rootstock. He started with some low yielding clones that ripened early and he found the wine a bit heavy and clunky. In 2007 he grafted some high yielding clones that ripen later and he finds that the combination of the two now make a very complex wine that he is finally happy with. The wine has great energy and it is a great terroir.  It is the other side of the wall from the Clos L'Arlot white, which was Fred Mugnier's inspiration for the Clos de la Marechale blanc.  It now comprises 7% of the Clos de la Marechale vineyard. This wine is a rare treat! JBT

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Courcel 2012 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epenots 1.5L

From a 4.8HA parcel of old vines closer to the center of the village. The 2012 Pommard 1er cru Grand Clos des Épenots shows pretty aromas of strawberry, dark cherry syrup, grilled meat, iron, and anise. Layered flavors of wild cherry, plum, and black tea, with firm ripe tannins and a long, persistent, deeply earthy finish. This is a prime candidate for aging. 10-15 years in the cellar and this should be singing. John McIlwain

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Bérêche, Raphael NV (2012 Base) Champagne Extra Brut Beaux Regards Chardonnay

Les Beaux Regards is a blend of two parcels of Chardonnay in Ludes on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims planted in 1964 and 1970. The loamy clay soils produce a Champagne more vinous in character, rather than exclusively taut and chalky. The 2012 displays floral and orchard fruit aromas,  with delicate notes of spice and Meyer lemon following. The palate is distinctly mineral and racy, with overtly stony notes, cool notes of mint and lemon balm and a long tangy, expressive finish. Great energy and volume here. (Dosage 3g/l.) John McIlwain

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  • Organic

Chartogne-Taillet 2008 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Heurtebise (2008 base)

Alexandre Chartogne is obsessed with vineyard sites and vineyard work. He took over the family Domaine in the mid-late 2000s and has since embarked on a project to show site specificity within his native village of Merfy in the far north of Champagne. Peter Liem calls Alexandre "one of the rising stars" and we're sure Peter is correct. In general, the north of Champagne has more clay and limestone heavy soil with chalk further beneath the surface than the famous Grand Crus of the southern Montagne de Reims and the Cote des Blancs. Heurtebise is a clay and sandstone heavy vineyard, which gives this Blanc de Blancs a very different minerality than the Blanc de Blancs from further south that wear their chalk on their sleeves, so to speak. And the 2008 vintage is such a joy in the hands of good growers. This wine has finesse, power, riveting acidity and ripe fruit, and an intense, long and mineral finish. Stony with yellow citrus fruits such as tangerine, lemon and lemon curd, it's undoubtedly a great choice for the cellar... if you can keep your hands off for that long. (Disgorged July, 2013) -msb

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Larmandier-Bernier 2010 Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Les Chemins D'Avize

A relatively new cuvée for Pierre Larmandier, Les Chemins d'Avize was born of a desire to vinify, separately, two of his best parcels (Le Chemin de Plivot & Le Chemin de Flavigny), which had previously been included in the blend for his Longitude cuvée. Desire drove perseverance for Pierre, in the form of acquiring a new, smaller press to use with grapes from these two chalky sites. Les Chemins shines a stately golden yellow in the glass and sports a super-fine mousse. The nose shows delicate aromas of white flowers, lime-wood, chestnuts, and thyme. While palate courses with a finely-grained minerality that carries tones of Meyer lemons, chamomile, and white peaches through to a salty, savory finish. From vineyard to cellar to bottle this speaks volumes of two great Côte des Blancs terroirs and of one of Champagne's great growers. (Disgorged 11/14).

- David Salinas

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Vouette et Sorbée 2005 Champagne Extra Brut Extrait

A new cuvée from Côtes-des Bar sensation Vouette et Sorbée is cause for celebration for lovers of pure, organic Champagnes. Extrait is a late-disgorge bottling from a single vintage, bottled without dosage. The 2005 is 70% Pinot Noir from the Sorbee vineyard by grower Bertrand Gautherot's house and 30% Chardonnay from the Biaunes vineyard where they source Blanc d'Argile. The wine has a pale gold robe and fine bead.  The nose has notes of honey, dried orange peel, fresher red-fruit,  and citrus aromas (tangerine, blood orange). The palate shows great energy, with candied orange peel, red fruit, and pungnet mineral flavors with notes of brioche and crushed herbs. Quite dry, but by no means austere, this has good mid-plate density with a hint of burnished character on the long, persistent, punchy finish. This is linear rather than broad and a makes a convincing case for aging wines from the Aube. John McIlwain

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Aug 17 2017
Not least (and not last): Most of the rest of France
We’ve received about 50 cases of additional wine from the Connoisseur’s Cellar; this week’s round of offers also includes some more-than-worthy bottles that perhaps got lost in the sheer volume of our earlier emails. By now it’s likely that you share our impression that years of acquaintance and fri
Aug 16 2017
The Loire Valley: Another Cellar, Overlooked Gems and New Arrivals - Featuring 2014 Baudry La Croix Boissée!
Our cellar runneth over with beautiful wines from the Loire Valley as another small and very interesting collection has just arrived, along with the highly anticipated release of the Bernard and Matthieu Baudry 2014 Chinon La Croix Boissée! And some especially noteworthy wines remain from our recent
Aug 15 2017
More Gems from the Connoisseur's Cellar: USA, Italy, Spain, and New World
Today we present another round of the Connoisseur's excellent and obscure selections from California, Oregon, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and more (including some previously-offered gems that might have been overlooked). These wines will arrive after Labor Day. Happy hunting!
Aug 14 2017
Connoisseur Continued: More Wines from Alsace, Austria, and Germany
We’ve received about 50 cases of additional wine from the Connoisseur’s Cellar; this week’s round of offers also includes some more-than-worthy bottles that perhaps got lost in the sheer volume of our earlier emails. By now it’s likely that you share our impression that years of acquaintance and fri
Aug 12 2017
Falkenstein Returns!
Visiting Hofgut Falkenstein in the first week of July this year the heat was stifling. Rain was nowhere to be found on the horizon, and the vines were further along compared to previous years; clusters of grapes were already drooping with weight under the large leaves. I couldn't help
Aug 10 2017
Introducing the Exciting Wines of Vinica from Molise
Of the many Italian wine regions I've had the chance to explore, the wines of Molise have remained a bit of a mystery to me.  Molise is a small and extremely mountainous region south of Abruzzo that is often absent from wine lists and in reference materials about Italian wine. Everything t
Aug 9 2017
The Beautiful 2015s from Domaine Barou in Saint-Joseph!
Chambers Street is proud to present our 7th vintage from Domaine Barou in Saint-Joseph. Alexis Barou converted the estate to organic agriculture back in 1975 as he didn't find as much flavor in his cherries with "conventional" farming. His son Emmanuel, with wife Marie-Agnès, currently have about 3
Aug 8 2017
Pet Nat!
In his sci-fi novel, “The Drowned World,” J.G. Ballard describes life on Earth after it becomes a swamp -- too boiling hot for natural human survival. This story feels relevant because it is the most accurate representation of New York City in August. In the weeks to come, two things are certain: hu
Aug 5 2017
IGNIOS ORÍGENES: Extraordinary Volcanic Wines from Tenerife
I vividly recall my first taste of Ignios Orígenes. It was after a tasting at the importer's office, when a trio of unlabeled black bottles appeared, distinguished only by inscrutable cursive markings. Finca la Vizcondesa: Baboso Negro at 370m. (Buen Paso, Tenerife) First to be poured: the Bab
Aug 4 2017
Introducing Liv Vincendeau!
Earlier this year, while researching new winemakers in the Loire, I stumbled upon some information about Domäne Vincendeau, an estate in Anjou that began producing wines in 2014. At the helm of this new estate was not the usual 30-something French guy living in his van, but instead a woman from Germ