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Finally the 2015 Chinon "La Croix Boissée" has joined the other beautiful Baudry 2015s on our shelves! While all the Baudry 2015s show gorgeous fruit and a round and supple structure, we especially love the brilliant (and great value) "Cuvée Domaine" and the perfect "La Croix Boissée." As the Baudrys say "the 2015s from the slopes and with more clay are very ripe and supple but with beautiful concentrations and an astonishing aromatic generosity, even in their youth." Tasted in the cellar in January of 2016 and 2017, the 2015 "Croix Boissée" showed bright, ripe black cherry and strawberry aromas with dense, ripe black and red fruits on the palate with fabulous length. The Baudrys great farming, perfect vinifications with zero sulfur until bottling, and aging in used Burgundy barrels are doing justice to this great terroir. This wine will drink beautifully young and will become a complex and profound older wine over the next 25 years. Last winter we were very fortunate to taste the 1996 "La Croix Boissée" Blanc - it was fantastic and still young, as this is a great terroir for Chenin Blanc as well! A tiny quantity of the 2017 has just arrived, and while it lacks the intense acidity of the 1996, it's a ripe, complex and beautiful Chenin that is well structured for medium-term aging. (For those of you who may have missed the other 2015 Baudry Chinons, our remaining inventory of these beautiful wines is listed at the bottom of the email.)
Other recent arrivals from the Loire Valley:
The 2014 Chateau de Coulaine Chinon "Clos Turpenay" - it's one of our favorite 2014 Loire reds, and will cellar beautifully. Biodynamic farming on a great clay/limestone vineyard, only in the US at Chambers Street.
The 2017 Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme Vin de France "Le Telquel" - Delicious Gamay glou-glou, serve cool and enjoy!
The 2015 Pierre & Catherine Breton Bourgueil "Nuits D'Ivresses" - 2015 is a great vintage for the Bretons' beautiful Bourgueil "sans-souffre." Drink now or cellar.
Domaine Vincent Gaudry, organic and Biodynamic since the early 1990s, is now making some of the finest wines in Sancerre. Imported for Chambers Street, the 2017 Sancerre "Constellation du Scorpion" is a brilliantly vibrant Sancerre from silex soils. The 2016 Sancerre Rouge "Vincengetorix" is a beautiful Pinot Noir for current drinking or five to ten years of cellaring. The 2016 Sancerre Rouge Pinot Fin "Les Garennes" is a bit pricey, but also insanely delicious and worth splurging on...
If you like Pineau d'Aunis, you'll love the light and lovely 2017 "La Guinguette" from Sébastien Cornille at Domaine de la Roche Bleue!
Also from Domaine de la Roche Bleue is a superb Chenin Blanc, the 2015 Jasnières "Clos des Molières." The palate is dense but crystalline and intensly mineral with white fruits, almond, citrus and stone flavors that continue in the scintillating finish...
Our friends Julien and François Pinon make some of the finest wines in Vouvray. Just arrived is the new 2012 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé - it's a great vintage for this beautiful sparkling Vouvray that is wonderful now and will cellar beautifully for twenty+ years. And for sheer deliciousness, you can't beat their 2017 Vin de France Petillant Naturel Rosé! It's 50% Cot and 50% Grolleau and 100% yummy...
Certified organic since 1998, Domaine Philippe Tessier is making superb wines in Cheverny, including the fresh and delicate 2017 Rosé D'Aunis (100% Pineau d'Aunis, oddly enough) which has just arrived, along with their fantastic 2015 Cour-Cheverny "Porte d'Orée." Made from very old Romorantin vines, the Porte d'Orée is a ripe and complex dry Cour-Cheverny for delicious current drinking or cellaring for ten to twenty years.
And speaking of Rosés, we just received our allocation of the 2017 Stéphane Guion Bourgueil Rosé. The estate has been certified organic since 1965, and makes some of the earthiest and most delicious of all Bourgueil. The 2017 Rosé is bone dry, with brisk acidity, and has aromas of wild strawberry, red currant, green apples and rose petal - it will be gone soon so don't delay!
All wines arrive by Wednesday, August 15th
The re-release of the Pinon 2012 Brut Non-Dosé is drinking beautifully now, after 7-plus years on the lees. Even at my advanced age, I plan on cellaring a case of this very special wine for another ten to twenty years. Here is our original review: François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. 2012 is a beautiful year for this wine as the bright fruit and firm acidity of the vintage contribute to the elegance and structure of this cuvée. The wine shows aromas of creamy lemon, pear, brioche, fines herbes and stone, with pear, green apple. mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of dried herbs, citrus pear and stone flavors on the finish. This very young wine will develop nicely in the glass and will cellar beautifully for twenty years or more - a few years ago we tasted a 1976 that was sensational. David Lillie
The re-release of the Pinon 2012 Brut Non-Dosé is drinking beautifully now, after 7-plus years on the lees. Even at my advanced age, I plan on cellaring a case of this very special wine for another ten to twenty years.
Here is our original review: François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. 2012 is a beautiful year for this wine as the bright fruit and firm acidity of the vintage contribute to the elegance and structure of this cuvée. The wine shows aromas of creamy lemon, pear, brioche, fines herbes and stone, with pear, green apple. mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of dried herbs, citrus pear and stone flavors on the finish. This very young wine will develop nicely in the glass and will cellar beautifully for twenty years or more - a few years ago we tasted a 1976 that was sensational. David Lillie
From a small parcel of sandy clay over limestone (calcaire micacé) on a south-facing slope above Cravant. 24 months of aging in 1 to 4 year-old Burgundy barriques. (Over the years, the Baudrys have moved to a more gentle extraction on this wine and have lengthened the barrel aging, never in new oak.) This is one of the greatest reds of the Loire Valley - at it's best after ten to twenty years of aging, the wine is also quite delicious, though with firm chalky tannins, when young. The 2015 is a bit softer and more immediately enjoyable than the 2014, but it's a superb "Croix Boissée" that was sensational out of barrel when tasted in February of 2016 and 2017. Tasted from bottle on arrival in NY, the wine shows a deep red/black color and lush aromas of blackberry and strawberry, with black pepper, rose, citrus, roast meat and earth - quite ripe but with nice brightness. The palate is a bit closed but showing real elegance of blackberry and red currant fruit, floral and balanced, with a dense core of mineral flavors and cool acidity. The finish is long and elegant with pure red fruits and firm structure. Decant if drinking now, best 2024 - 2040+ David Lillie
This rare and beautiful Chenin Blanc is from the top of the "Croix Boissée" parcel on eroded limestone. The wine ferments very slowly in 500 liter toneaux until dry - less than 2 g/l residual sugar. The 2017 Croix Blanc is superbly elegant with aromas of pear, white peach, almond and lime-flower. The palate is supple, with lovely ripe fruit, but also shows firm acidity and chalky minerals. Delicious now, but ten to fifteen years of aging will be very interesting. Serve with fish or chicken in sauce and a wide variety of cheeses. David Lillie
2014 is a beautiful vintage for the Clos de Turpenay, a vineyard of clay/limestone on a well-exposed slope that has been in vines since the 13th century. The current vines were planted in massale selection about 50 years ago and generally give a very structured wine that ages well. As with the best of the 2014 Chinons, The Clos de Turpenay shows a beautiful combination of supple ripe fruits, freshness, and great terroir expression. The aromas are complex and pretty - black raspberry, cassis and strawberry, quite fresh, with earth, pepper, rose and citrus. The palate is a lovely mix of red and black fruits with earth, sous-bois, citrus and chalky mineral flavors that continue in the long sappy finish. This is a subtle and elegant Chinon - carafe 1 to 2 hours in advance or cellar 15 to 20 years. Serve with stews, Guinea hen with peaches (!), salade magret de canard, roast chicken.
This "poil dur" is wagging its tail again in 2017, showing juicy aromas of blackberry, rose, spice and citrus. It's all Gamay in this vintage, with an extra layer of ripness, and nice density of bright blackberry fruit, a bit floral and spicy. Quite refreshing with good length of lush berry fruits and citrusy acids in the finish. Serve a bit cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork - just delicious! David Lillie
From old vines of Cabernet Franc on the clay/limestone upper slopes in Benais (Grandmont) and Restigné (Le Peu Muleu), it is fermented, aged and bottled without the use of sulfur dioxide, according to the winemaking principles of Jules Chauvet. 2015 is a great vintage for the Nuits D'Ivresse which shows lush aromas of red currant, black raspberry, violets, earth and black pepper. The palate is ripe and dense with strawberry and raspberry confit, balanced by citrusy acids. The finish is tart and juicy and very long with firm acidity and saline minerals. This is a beautiful young Bourgueil, with zero added SO2 - carafe if drinking now, best to wait three to five years and we think longer cellaring would be interesting, even without the sulfur! David Lillie
Vincent Gaudry began organic and biodynamic farming in 1993 and the results show beautifully especially in his vibrant 2017s. The "Constellation du Scorpion" is from silex soils over limestone and is fermented and aged in old barrels. The wine shows subtle aromas of almond, lime-flower, grapefruit and stone - very fresh and bright. There is a very mineral attack on the palate with flint and earth flavors, grilled almond, dried pear, blood orange and apricot with a saline, mineral aspect in the finish which is elegant, clean and long with lingering white fruits. This is a young and racy Sancerre that will accompany oysters, shellfish, grillled fish and white meats this summer. This should develop beautifully with three to five years of cellaring - it's an outstanding Sancerre and a great value at this price. David Lillie
This is a gorgeaous Sancerre Rouge, a product of Vincent Gaudry's wonderful biodynamic farming. Wild yeast fermentation, aging 12 months in used barrels. The wine shows lovely aromas of tart cherry, violet and spice, with a vibrant mineral character on the palate from the limestone soils. The fruit is sappy and dense but not heavy, with plum skin, black cherry and earthy flavors. The finish is long with bright chalky red fruits and refreshing acidity. Drink now, served quite cool, with roast chicken, grilled meats, veal tartare and mild cheeses or hold for five to ten years for a mature experience. This is a delicious Pinot Noir from great terroirs in Sancerre! David Lillie
Tasted with Pascaline Lepeltier, MS at the Salon Demeter last winter in Angers, this wine was absolutely sensational! 100% Pinot Fin, the small berried old version of Pinot Noir, whole cluster fermentation. Beautiful aromas of tart cherry, raspberry and violet; palate chalky and dense with black raspberry and cherry fruit, velvety and long. Not inexpensive, but worth the price, just a brilliant Pinot Noir. (only in the US at Chambers Street and Racines NY) David Lillie
50% Cot and 50% Grolleau, organically farmed in Vouvray by Julien and François Pinon. This is an elegant and very delicious Pet Nat that will accompany just about anything and is delightful as an aperitif by itself. The aromas are quite pretty with ripe raspberry and red currant with hints of rose and blood orange. The palate is fresh and creamy with raspberry and tart strawberry with a nice mineral kick and sappy fruit in the refreshing finish. Grab this before it's gone... David Lillie
From 25 - 30 year-old Chenin Blanc vines in a mid-slope parcel of thin clay and silex soils on limestone, yields of 25 hl/ha, certified organic with biodynamic methods as well, fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques. Sébastien Cornille has quickly become one of the finest producers of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc on his 7 hectare estate in the Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières. The 2015 Jasnières "Clos es Molières" is an astonshing dry Chenin showing a bright pale gold color and subtle aromas of pear, dried herbs, almond, citrus and white pepper. The palate is dense but crystalline and intensly mineral with white fruits, almond, citrus and stone flavors that continue in the scintillating finish. Serve now with an elegant shellfish or fish preparation or hold for ten to fifiteen years and serve with fish or chicken in sauce. Beautiful wine! David Lillie
Sebastien Cornille's lovely "Guinguette" is made from a blend of 80% Pineau d’Aunis and 20% Gamay sourced from 30+-year-old vines in biodynamic farming. It undergoes semi-carbonic maceration for 20 days in tank before the Pineau d’Aunis is pressed off to be aged in neutral barrique and the Gamay in tank. The 2017 Guinguette is a superb "vin de soif" offering bright aromas of peppery raspberry, cranberry, tart cherry and violets. The palate shows light but sappy raspberry, plum and red currant fruit with hints of grapefruit, clove and wet stone. The finish is tart and refreshing. Serve this lovely wine slightly chilled with charcuterie, of course, grilled pork and lamb, bluefish (?) and mild cow cheeses. David Lillie
Philippe Tessier, veritable master of Romorantin in Cour-Cheverny, presents this rosé from Pineau D'Aunis, an equally rare and elusive grape from the Loire Valley. It's delicate and mineral with a very pretty lightly floral nose (rose-water, orange blossom). A perfect accompaniment to the final months of summer. EL
"La Porte Dorée" is from 40 to 90 year-old Romorantin vines grown on clay soils with limestone bedrock. The juice undergoes a long, slow alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation, and the wine ages in old foudres and barriques. Minimal SO2 is added before bottling. The 2015 "Porte Dorée" shows complex aromas of pear, citrus, lime-flower, white pepper, almond and caramel. The palate shows ripe pear, quince, citrus, almond and intense mineral flavors that coat the mouth and are very dense and long. This is a very young wine that will benefit from decanting or 3 to 10 years of cellaring. Serve now with fish or chicken in a cream sauce and with a wide variety of full-flavored cheeses. Lovely wine! David Lillie
(Was $13.99) Stéphane Guion's superb Bourgueil Rosé will differ from year to year, even finishing slightly sweet in certain vintages. In 2017, however, the wine is bone dry and tartly refreshing showing subtle and beautiful aromas of wild strawberry, red currant, green apple and rose petal. The palate is light and scintillating but with nice density of raspberry and red currant fruit, with a long finish of stone and citrusy acids. Serve this refreshing rosé with oysters vinaigrette, salade Nicoise, fried or grilled fish, roast chicken or turkey and mild cheeses. We don't get very much, so grab some now, and save a few bottles for next spring. Thanksgiving? Absolutely - it will go with everything on the table....David Lillie
Cabernet Franc from the Loire is one of the greatest choices for Thanksgiving - The Baudry Chinon "Domaine" is always one of our favorite reds from the Loire Valley and it's a sensational value as well. All Cabernet Franc of course, a blend of 75% from a parcel in St. Louans, where the thin clay/limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old wooden vats and casks with minimal added SO. The 2014 "Cuvée Domaine" was a sensational wine and really built to age, while the 2015 is a bit more round and forward, and even more delicious for current drinking. The wine shows a deep red/black color and beautiful aromas of ripe red and black fruits with hints of earth, roast meat, black pepper and violet. The palate is dense and sapid with supple strawberry and blackberry liqueur and mineral flavors lifted by bright acidity. The fruit is quite ripe but the wine is well balanced at 12.5% alcohol. This is a superb "Domaine" that is a bit less structured than the 2014 - it's delicious now and will be singing in 2027 as well. Highly recommended. David Lillie
(Last few cases!) Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chêne Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand and gravel over the rock, which permits a tiny production from franc de pied vines) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. Fermentation in wooden cuves, 12 months of aging in two to five year-old barrels, 9 additional months in unlined cement vats. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 – it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons. The 2015 Le Clos Guillot is absolutely beautiful, showing elegant aromas of blackberry liqueur, violets, stone and roast meat, a bit darker than Les Grézeaux, lovely and ethereal. The palate is dense and silky with blackberry and black raspberry fruit, ripe and sapid, perfectly balanced and bright with a firm mineral core. The finish is long and pure. While this is beautiful now, cellaring of seven to ten years should reveal a profound mature wine, then drink until 2035+ David Lillie