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Thanksgiving 2020 will be different - in order to safeguard the health of our family and friends our gatherings will be smaller and we'll be careful to protect the older generation in these perilous times. It may be a less joyous holiday this year, but we see that there is an end in sight and we can feel thankful that Thanksgiving 2021 should bring us all together again to celebrate our love for our family and friends over a good meal and good wine...
The days leading up to Thanksgivng are perhaps the most enjoyable of the year at Chambers Street - helping our friends and neighbors pick out the perfect accompaniment to their holiday meal. So please call us or email us over the next two weeks and we'll safely advise you and have your wines ready for pick-up or delivery, and we look forward to seeing you in person soon!
Thanksgiving — the wine lover's favorite holiday, when sharing our favorite bird-friendly wines with family, friends and neighbors heightens our enjoyment of this most convivial day! And what do we look for in a Thanksgiving wine? A full-bodied white that will not only complement turkey, but stand up to the cranberry sauce, stuffing and onions; rosés (yes, rosés are a great choice on Thanksgiving) that have a bit more fruit and terroir expression than those we gulp in the summer; and reds that are relatively light and low in alcohol, supple with pretty fruit that won't overwhelm the mild flavors of turkey, turnips and mashed potatoes. And of course a sparkling wine or Champagne to begin or end our feast, and dessert wines that will shine with pumpkin, apple and mince pies, walnuts and cheeses.
Our Thanksgiving picks are designed to please everyone at the table, and to fit every budget as well. Have fun perusing our list and please call or email with any questions or for further recommendations. First up are sparkling and aperitif wines to begin the feast, followed by whites, rosés, reds, and finishing with sparkling and dessert wines and liquors/digestifs to linger over dessert.
Most wines are in stock today, Nov. 11th, all others arrive by Friday Nov 13th. Please allow an extra day for in-store pick-up and allow a few extra days for shipping in this busy season.
Happy, Safe Thanksgiving 2020 from everyone at Chambers Street!
A blend of Pignoletto, also known as Grechetto Gentile, and Trebbiano, from organically farmed grapes. Bottled after halting fermentation, allowing carbonation to develop within the bottle. It is not disgorged, and is cellar aged for 15 months before release. In the glass, the color is a silvery lemon. On the nose, there are rich floral aromas, ripe lemon fruit, and sliced apricots. Like the TerraQuilia reds, this sparkling white is a touch herbaceous, balancing a faint bitterness on the edge of zingy lemon fruit and dried stone fruit. The palate has a bright core, but a softness in surrounding texture, creating a very compelling mouthfeel. Highly drinkable, but full of character. David Hatzopoulos
The current release of Bérêche's Brut Réserve is based on the 2017 vintage was disgorged in July 2019 and bottled with a dosage of 7g/l. The wine has a pale peach robe and fine bead. The Base 17 has a pretty nose of nectarine skin, orange oil, acacia blossom, and red fruits. The palate is broad—this is Bérêche after all—but agile, with flavors of stone fruit, wild raspberry, graham cracker and a fine undercurrent of minerality to buoy the supple plushness of the fruit. This has classical lines and a suave, stylish finish and should truly shine when the dosage knits. A great gift idea for lovers of grand Champagnes. John McIlwain
From year to year there seem to be few greater values in Champagne than those of biodynamic grower Thomas Barbichon in Gyé-sur-Seine in the Aube. From his 9 HA domaine he produces wines of purity, elegance, and precision. The current disgorgement of his Blanc de Noirs is Pinot Noir-dominant. The robe has a faint peach hue. The nose offers a fine mélange of floral and red fruit aromas, hints of wet stone, orange oil, and toast. The palate is bright and racy, yet ample with crunchy minerality and a brisk, mouthwatering finish. John McIlwain
Our new shipment of the 2008 Polisy Brut was disgorged for this order in October 2021. 2008 continues to delight, even 13 years after the harvest. The current disgorgement of the Polisy has a pale yellow robe, fine bead, and soft mousse. The nose is soft and pretty offering aromas of golden apple, acacia, lemon curd and apple blossom. The mid-weight palate is bright and brisk on attack, with flavors of Macintosh apple, bergamot, and green tea giving way to a fine core of minerality lending focus. This has good length and energy on a lifted and expansive finish. This is very good with vibrant fruit and nascent aged flavors knitting elegantly. A fine effort from the Beauforts!
A Cremant du Jura in everything but name, this Vin Mousseaux (a general term that refers to sparkling wines) is 100% Chardonnay. Vinified with indigenous yeast (like all of the Villet wines), this is perfectly refreshing, super 'digestif' and great for an apero or with food. Golden delicious apple notes on the palate, and an ideal level of richness balanced by crisp acidity. Would be great as a start to Thanksgiving feast, or with appetizers before the big meal! -EL
The Guillemot-Michel "Une Bulle" comes from a tiny parcel of old vines on limestone with red clay, high in iron. The wine is a Pet-Nat (Methode Ancestrale) that is bottled after a short period of fermentation, leaving enough sugar in the wine for the fermentation to continue and create the desired bubbles. The wine is aged in bottle on the lees for around 18 months, then riddled and disgorged and re-bottled with a bit more "Une Bulle." The result is a very delicious aged Pet-Nat showing honeyed aromas of pear and white peach with hints of almond, marzipan and brioche. On the palate the mousse is soft and creamy with flavors of peach and quince with lime-flower and minerals and a long finish of white fruits, citrus peel and firm acidity. This is a delightful wine to sip by itself or pair with mild cheeses, patés and terrines, fruit desserts.. David Lillie
A ridiculous value from Domaine du Fresche in Anjou, this is a savory and refreshing Cremant de Loire that is sure to please. Fine mousse, subtle yeasty/brioche notes and perfect acidity. Though delicious on its own, our most recent tasting clearly revealed that this would be a great food wine as well. -EL
A lively sparkling wine made from 40% Bical, 35$ Maria Gomes, and 25% Arinto from the Bairrada region in Portugal. The nose shows a fresh and energetic medley of almond, pear, thyme and white flowers. The palate is crisp and refreshing with fine minerality, with notes of bright citrus and flowers. An excellent aperitif, or can be paired with a mild cheeses or a light seafood dish. JDC
Bairrada, with its cooler maritime climate, has a long history of producing fresh and distinctive sparkling wines of quality from the native grapes of the region. Filipa Pato admirably keeps the tradition alive with her delicious and unpretentious brut rosé made from a blend of Bairrada’s signature noble red variety Baga and the tangy high acid white grape, Bical. Spicy and zesty with notes of bright citrus and red berries, this is a great (and affordable!) pairing for baked fish with paprika and Iberian olive oil, smoked fish or a party with a variety of hors d'oeuvres...
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, strawberry 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... DL
Biodynamic Pinot Noir rosé bubbles! A bit more fruity than the 2018, with red cherries, strawberries, and a slight herbaceous quality buoyed by a creamy mousse. This would be lovely to start an evening, or could most definitely be enjoyed at the end with a cheese plate. Maybe also pop a bottle while cooking! Cari Bernard
Pepe Raventós stepped outside of the Cava appellation in 2012 to create the Conca del Riu Anoia designation. The de Nit rosé was the first Conca wine and continues to sate and impress us with its lively expression of calcareous soils, rich with marine fossils. This is an incredibly versatile sparkler that has crisp, pretty stone fruit and light raspberry fruit with a gorgeous minerality.
This is the second vintage of Terraquila Falconero Zero that I've been able to taste. Less earthy funk than the 2017, but full of the same dried fruits and herbal tonic essence. The wine is made from organically grown Lambrusco Grasparossa and Malbo Gentile. It is fermented on the skins for 6-7 days and rests on the lees for 15 months before being discorged. On the nose, there are dark flowers, raisins, dried cherries and blueberries. On the palate, the wine has flavors of crushed dark stones, plum peel, a touch of licorice, quinine and clove, all rounded out with savory black cherry. What I like most about the Falconero Zero is that it has a blanket of dense, firm bubbles initially, but when the carbonation softens, a wonderful mouthfeel follows. Its as dry as dry can be, fitting perfectly with the wine's slight bitterness. Paired with homemade caponata and a marathon of Michael Douglas movies... a Sunday that'll be hard to beat. David Hatzopoulos
The 2017 "Clisson" reminds us of the superb 2014 - subtle, fine and elegant, and at the same time dense and powerful, yet with only 12.5 % alcohol. The wine shows a very pale bronze color lovely aromas of lemon zest, fresh herbs, stone, almond and dried pear and apple, very elegant, with hints of pineapple, anise and brown spice. The palate shows nice ripeness, density and weight but remains delicate and fresh with pear, citrus zest and intense mineral flavors with a finish that is very long and lemony and slightly astringent with food-friendly minerality. The 2017 Clisson is a delightful wine - serve as often as possible with oysters, little-necks, grilled seafood and roast chicken. Put some in the cellar to enjoy over its 20+ year evolution while enjoying with fish in sauce and shellfish. Thank you Marc, Remi and Gwenaëlle for another beautiful wine!
Clef de Sol means treble clef and is a tribute to music, Damien being an accomplished clarinetist and Coralie a choir singer. Clef de Sol is a blend of different southern exposed plots located in Montlouis on sandy perruches, i.e. clay and flint over tuffeau. The vines are mostly 80 years old, and farmed biodynamically. Hand-harvested mid-september, the grapes are sorted in the vineyard and the cellar, whole-cluster pressed, then fermented in barrels (225 and 400 l) in the underground cellar. Fermentations are spontaneous and malo occurs, without making the wine lose its tension. The wine is aged for a year on the fine lees, and lightly filtered with a sulfur dioxide adjustment. Clef de Sol is without a doubt a benchmark wine for Montlouis, in the line of François Chidaine’s Les Bournais but drier, with more density and less oak than Jacky Blot’s cuvées. 2018 is a superb, powerful expression of the wine, yet the weight is really well balanced by the chalky acidity. Think Savennières meets Brézé, with specific smoky notes coming from the Montlouis flint. Aromatically, this Chenin shows more its floral side, with a lot of lemon-verbena and linden, quinine, peach pit and salt. The oak is very well balanced, with just a hint of white tobacco. The finish is really impressive. I would recommend to cellar this bottle for a year or two before drinking (at least, it will also be great in 15 years). If you open it today, serve it a Burgundy glass not too cold. Pair it with grilled crayfish with tarragon butter, artichokes barigoule or mild blue cheese. 100% Chenin. Pascaline Lepeltier.
Vincent Gaudry has been certified organic and Biodynamic for many years, perhaps the leading domaine in Sancerre in regards to farming. The cuvée "Le Tournebride" comes from all three Sancerre terroirs: terres blanches (Kimmeridgian marl), caillottes (weathered limestone) and flint (silex). The grapes are hand-harvested and ferment with wild yeasts in stainless stell vats, the wine then ages about ten months and is bottled unfiltered. The 2019 "Tournebride" shows a bright very pale gold color with elegant aromas of citrus, white flowers, pear, green apple and quince with hints of anise and fig with time open. The palate is subtle and pure with floral white fruits, a bit of melon, almond and firm citrusy acids—light but with nice density—with a crystalline, stony aspect that continues in the long clean, sapid finish. This is a very elegant Sancerre and a great value which will accompany any mild-flavored fish dish, white meats and goat cheeses. David Lillie
Here's a white Burgundy with the perfect weight and texture to complement your Thanksgiving dinner - and at a reasonable price! We're extremely happy to have the wines of Guillemot-Michel back at Chambers Street! Along with Jean and Gautier Thevenet, and Julien Guillot at Vignes du Maynes, they are making white Burgundies with more depth and minerality than anything comparably priced in the Cote D'Or. The 2018 Quintaine is a gorgeous white Burgundy, showing a brilliant pale gold color and complex aromas of poached pear, almond, candied lemon, kiwi, stone and lime-flower, elegant and quite beautiful. The palate is round and dense, a bit riper than the 2017, with firm acidity, showing cool stone fruits and citrus with caramel, stone and mineral flavors. The finish is long and very mineral, with chalky white fruits lingering on the palate. This is a young wine, give it some time in a carafe if possible. (At a recent tasting, the 1989 and 1990 were showing beautifully, so put a few in the cellar!) Beautiful wine - congratulations to Pierrette, Marc, Sophie and son-in-law Gautier!
This is the first US appearance for Thomas Finot's vibrant "Galopine," (the local name for Viognier) made from organic grapes grown in the alpine valley of the Coteaux du Grézivaudan. Wow, it's quite delicious, showing a bright pale gold color and elegant aromas of lime, apricot, peach, white flower, almond and white pepper. The palate is creamy and ripe but beautifully balanced by lemony acidity from the cool mountain nights. Flavors of almond, peach, citrus and stone linger in the clean refreshing finish. Bright enough to serve with a delicate ceviche of fluke, ripe enough for shrimp, lobster and white meats. Just a lovely wine! David Lillie
The 2015 resonates with comforting aromas of creamy walnuts, smoke, red apple, and gingerbread spice upon opening. With time lifted aromas of genepy and subtle mountain herbs emerge to reveal a wine that's playful but rooted in rich tradition. The palate is tightly knit with gripping acidity, spice, and delicious salty minerals. There is the faintest toasted walnut note on the mid-palate but the finish is all refreshing, mineral acidity. -AB
A new arrival from Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch in the Kamptal, 'Mon Blanc' is a blend of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Gelber Muskateller and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) from the Loiserberg vineyard (cooler site, glimmerschiefer and loess, certified organic since 2009). About two weeks of skin contact, spontaneous fermentation in open-top wooden vats, aging is in 600L old oak barrel, the wine is unfined and unfiltered with a small amount of SO2 added only at bottling. The 2019 was stricking, really a stand out white with chamomile and stone fruit on the nose (peach/apricot), and beautifully integrated tannic structure from skins. Behaves very much like a medium/full bodied white, but has the notes of skin contact wine with the additional grip and convincing dryness.
Christoph Hoch farms 5 hectares around the town of Hollenburg, in the Kremstal, and is certified Organic and Biodynamic. We love Christoph for his boundless energy, focus and care in his vineyards, and his dedication to always learning through his projects in the cellar. Case in point, this is a multi-vintage Gruner Veltliner, with 40% of the wine coming from the 2019 vintage, 40% from 2018 and the rest from 2017. Aged in several large barrels, some seeing skin contact, others vinified without skins. The result is a really fascinating white, with layers of texture, and ideal minerality and acidity from the chalky soils around Hollenburg. Surely the sleeper hit of our Gruner Veltliner section, as it offers a level of complexity that differs from any Gruner at this price point. Not that a nice, clean Gruner Veltliner isn't a good choice, but with Thanksgiving in mind, I believe the denser, and infinitely food freindly Hoch is the way to go. -Eben Lillie
The name Kalkundkiesel designates the use of sites that are rich in chalk (kalk) and pebbles (kiesel). The blend is 60 % Weissburgunder, 30 % Grüner Veltliner, 10 % Chardonnay. The fermentation occurs with the skins, and the wine is aged for 6 months in neutral oak barrels on the lees. This wine opened up my eyes to the potential of Austrian whites, and I will always thank our esteemed former colleague Cari Bernard for bringing in interesting and "outside the box" wines from the country. Everything about this wine asks for patience and focus. The nose is enveloping, with stone fruit (white nectarine) and citrus notes, the texture on the palette is both rich and crispy/crunchy with mineral backbone. A lovely wine to sit back with and a very approachable (and clean) wine, particularly commendable as it's produced without added sulfites. A fine choice with Thanksgiving fare, as the stone fruit character and density make a suitable pairing for a fall harvest meal. -EL
Another punchy 2019 German. Julian Haart’s Moselle is mostly sourced from Goldtropfchen with an assist from Ohligsberg and Gu¨nterslay. 11.5% abv. The robe is a pale greenish yellow. Upon opening a the is a touch of reduction; with ten minutes in the glass aromas of lemon blossom, apricot fuzz, lemon balm, and sea spray emerge. This gives way to ripe white peach, preserved lemon, and crushed herbs. The mid-weight, but agile palate is dry and racy with a firm mineral spine and tangy acidity buoyed by loads of white orchard fruits. This coltish offering shows great charm (and certainly energy over mass) but is rooted enough in stoniness to for the dedicated Mosel geology freak to derive satisfaction . This improves with air and a brisk decant isn’t out of order—though a couple of years in the cellar should take care of the reduction and certainly allow the mineral, acid, and vibrant cool fruit to knit. And while I’ll admit to a preference towards pradikat wines from the Mosel, this is compelling and vivacious and certainly worth a look. A fine pairing with a braised scallion and English peas starter anointed with fine olive oil, burrata, and fresh mint, though I’d also love to pair this with softshell crab or scallop crudo. John McIlwain
Jochen Dreissigacker took over his family's estate in 2001 and works organically (certified). The entry-level trocken a mix of estate and purchased grapes (all organic), from mostly south/southeast-facing sites on loess and loam. Fermented with native yeasts and aged in stainless steel tank. The 2019 edition is bright and high-toned with fresh stone fruit and honeysuckle notes on the nose. The palate is dry and mouthwatering with enough generous fruit to beckon the next sip. This is lively and fresh, with zesty acidity, and green apple lime zest notes on the punchy, lipsmacking finish. Delicious! John McIlwain
Sourced from multiple vineyards in the Saar. It's pretty raw and wintry at the time of this writing, but Spring is here even if we feel like bulbs yet to sprout and bloom this year. But it’s a new vintage of Barrel X from Lauer and this is just the tonic to wake the dormant soul. The nose is a touch reticent upon opening, but by no means mute or buried under sponti or reduction. A brisk decant and aromas of white flowers, citrus peel, and green tea emerge. The palate is lithe and racy, a cool rill dancing over smooth stones. Fresh orchard fruits and a savory mineral character are given a sense of energy by the fresh, punchy acidity. This is designated feinherb, but this indicates charm rather than any overt sweetness. And this is charming in a wonderfully familiar way, beckoning for another sip, another glass shared between friends. Someday soon. Cracking with Asparagus and morel ragout. And I look forward to enjoying a bottle with some softshell crab or shad roe, while we're in a Spring state of mind. John McIlwain
The 'Marena' bottling is a blend from their younger vines of the Heintz, Teac Mor, and Porter-Bass vineyards, meant to showcase a snapshot of the region and vintage. The wine is fermented and aged in neutral barrels on the lees and goes through full malolactic-fermentation with native yeasts.
Proof that not all Sauvignon Blanc is created alike, this is consistently one of our team's favorite expressions of the grape every year! Created entirely from the biodynamically farmed Le Chenaie Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills, this Sauvignon Blanc feels singular and unique. The vines are now twenty years-old and the weather in the 2018 vintage was ideal leading to perfectly ripe grapes (picked at the perfect moment, of course) that create a tight-rope balance of fruit and freshness. The nose shows notes of fresh chamomile flowers, dried Meyer lemon peel, stone fruits, sweet basil, and a touch of sea salt. The palate has more weight than you'd expect from an Oregon Sauvignon Blanc but not at all heavy, and because of the ideal ripeness there is no overt "greenness" to the wine; the focus firmly on ripe apricot, Meyer lemon, and salted pink grapefruit. Truly delicious and hard to put down, it's a shame we get so little every year! Michelle DeWyngaert
Maître de Chai sources this beautiful Chardonnay from the Rorick Vineyard in Calaveras County of the Sierra Foothills AVA. Way up at 2000 ft above sea-level, Matthew Rorick farms these 45-year-old vines on steep slopes of blue limestone and schist. The farming is done organically and the wines are made with native yeasts, fermented in and aged in neutral barrels for 11 months. The 2019 vintage is a little riper and and more fleshed out than the previous vintage but still maintains a core of crisp acidity. On the nose are ripe and baked yellow apples, fresh hay, sweet herbs, and a bit of salty buttermilk. As the oak is neutral it merely acts to soften the edges and brown the orchard fruit notes a bit for a decidedly old-school California Chardonnay. Michelle DeWyngaert
Jean-Marc Roulot brings his incredible experience in Burgundy to the southern hemisphere with this stunning collaboration with Piero Incisa della Rocchetta at Bodega Chacra. The Chardonnay for the Chacra bottling comes from 40 year-old vines grown on river stones covered with crushed white calcareous rock and this wine is the perfect medium for displaying the unique terroir of Rio Negro. The grapes are picked in the early morning and pressed immediately into vertical steel tanks and aged in a combination of 20% concrete eggs, 15% stainless steel tanks and 20% used French oak barrels for ten months. This bottle is immediately transporting with the scent of the wax seal made from the beeswax of the hives situated throughout the vineyard. Upon opening the nose is subtle, but with time and air, blossoms with notes of fresh chamomile and honeysuckle, white peach skin, crème fraîche, and wet stone. The palate highlights minerality and vibrancy; clean, fresh, powdery texture invoking the calcareous soil, with plenty of refreshing acidity tempered by the partial oak aging. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle young, the balance and structure warrant cellaring for 5-10 years, if you can be so patient. Michelle DeWyngaert
The valleys of Ribeiro have been renowned for their white wines, dry and sweet, for hundreds of years. Only in the first part of the 20th century did this reputation begin to diminish due to war, vine diseases, and the introduction of over-productive but inferior tasting grape varieties like Palomino. But any historian of wine or appreciator of elegant white wines will tell you that Ribeiro is a special place, and that the decomposed granitic soils (the sabrego) and old terraced vineyards are capable of producing truly exceptional wines. Bernardo Estevez manually farms roughly 5 hectares of vines that range in age from 20 to 100 years old. His agricultural approach is strict biodynamism, and he is an important proponent of biodynamics in Ribeiro. The majority of the white grapes are Lado and Treixadura, probably the two "noblest" grapes of the appellation. The rest of the blend in the Chans e lus (soil and light) Castes Branco is composed of the other indigenous grapes: Silberilla, Godello, Albilla, Loureira, Verdello Antiguo. He harvests his vineyards by hand, then presses the grapes whole cluster into an old 500L French oak barrel and an ancient 1500L chestnut foudre, where they ferment with indigenous yeasts. The wine rests in barrels for 10 months before bottling with very minimal sulfur, and then rests again in bottle at length before release. For me, this bottle delivers all of the many pleasures of Ribeiro white wine. Jubilant and expressive on opening, the nose is full of granitic stone, white and yellow flowers, wildflower honey, and melon. The palate is beautifully balanced between granitic minerality that lends ginger spice, length, breadth, and texture and the ripe fruit notes of peach, melon, and citrus. Despite the intensity of these different flavors, the balance between them yields a surprisingly delicate and thoughtful wine that will accompany the flavors of the fall and winter table very well. Ben Fletcher
"Mondo" comes from a parcel of 30 year-old Verdejo vines planted on sandy clay soils over limestone bedrock with significant iron deposits in the La Seca municipality. The parcel, like Manuel and Isaac Cantalapiedra's other vines, is farmed organically with some biodynamic practices. Although their plots are technically within the Rueda appellation, the father and son duo has rejected the modern, industrial styles that the region is known for, and elected to remain outside of the appellation as a result. The vines are tended by hand and harvested by hand, then destemmed, and fermented with skins in neutral French oak barrels. Skin contact lasts for 30 days before resting on the lees for 11 months. This is a powerful, elegant skin-contact white wine with notes of spice, ripe stone and orchard fruits, and a slightly oxidative note on the nose. The palate is expansive and intense, running through a variety of different yellow and green fruit notes: quince, apricot, yellow apple, lemon, pear. These are balanced by a ferrous, intense mineral seam and plenty of bright acidity. Really an incredible representation of Verdejo! Ben Fletcher
100% Albillo Real from vines around Castronuño. This is Esteban’s expression of the traditional, slightly oxidative skin-contact wines of the region, made in the classical clay tinaja or amphora. The Albillo Real grapes’ thin skins macerate gently in the juice for 40 days, lending little in the way of color but plenty of flavor and texture. The nose is bright but very bold, with notes of apricot, orange peel, and citrus, while the palate shows concentrated apricot, peach, and pear alongside savory density. The clay and the skins give this a truly unique texture that I find simultaneously substantial and truly refreshing.
The clear bottle reveals the wine's color - a roasted yellow, like over steeped chamomile tea. From the glass, the wine smells like a mix of green and black teas with sliced pear and chopped raw almonds. Served at a picnic with salami, mortadella, cheeses and cut vegetables, the wine's flavors of crushed quince and apple, with hints of sherry and green herbs, hit the mark. Easy drinking but still really interesting. Delicious, most importantly. David Hatzopoulos
The 2019 Greco di Tufo is produced from 100% organically farmed Greco, vines planted in the 90s. Volcanic soils of clay, limestone and sandstone. Harvest takes place by hand in late October. Low temperature natural fermentation in stainless, before 8 additional months aging in stainless, on the lees. Bottle aging for an additional 3 months before release. No fining, no filtration. The wine is only slightly darker in the glass than the Fiano Irpinia is, but expression-wise it is much more savory. The wine displays aromas of newly peeled yellow and orange citrus skins, with accents of clove, white pepper, smoke and salt. On the palate, there are flavors of tangerine, garden herbs, and dried papaya. In my mind, this is the perfect cold weather white. A little spicy, with a little warmth in fruit, but bright with medium acidity and engaging with a whisper of tannin. David Hatzopoulos
Pecorino from guyot trained vines planted to clay and limestone soils in the region of Atri in Abruzzo. Harvest is done by hand in the middle of September. In the cellar, primary fermentation is spontaneous in stainless steel tanks before malo occurs. The wine is not filtered and is aged in bottle for 10-12 months before leaving the winery. The wine has a beautiful color, displaying a yellow-gold perimeter around a clear-gold center. Aromas of candied lemon, tangerine peel, clove and thinly shaved Parmesan on the nose. Flavors are of lemon, limestone, a medley of bitter herbs, and salt. Like the 2018 Trebbiano from Ausonia, this Pecorino has extremely compelling acidity that hits a high caliber without stressing the palate. Here, there is a little bit of tannic structure as well, completing the wine's mouthfeel in a satisfying form. David Hatzopoulos
Passerina is a grape that I have little experience with beyond the wines of La Visciola in Lazio, which is a real shame given the depth of flavor a lifted texture the wines show. An obscure variety native to Lazio (and possibly distinct from a grape also named Passerina that grows along Italy’s Adriatic coast). The 2015 shows a more lifted character than the 2014. The nose is fairly tight on opening, giving notes of tart apple and pear leading into thyme and white flowers after a few minutes in the glass. Medium body with a soft texture and crisp acidity, the flavors show more candied lemon peel, green apple, and tart pear. Try it with grilled fish, potato or white pizza, soft cheese, or cured pork. Andy Paynter
(Was $18.99) Marcel Richaud is one of the great winemakers of the southern Rhône, an early convert to organic farming and a great champion of natural vinifications with minimal SO2. This is an exciting arrival at Chambers Street as this scrumptious rose is rarely seen in the US. Made from Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, it's a beautiful, full-bodied wine that will accompany a wide variety of cuisines, especially grilled meats this summer. The aromas are complex and pretty showing raspberry, peach and citrus peel with hints of melon and spice. The palate is ripe and supple with creamy wild-strawberry, raspberry, peach skin and citrus - just lovely! The finish is long and refreshing. Serve with a Salade Nicoise, chicken and pork dishes or a burger off the grill. This is highly recommended for those who like some flavor in their rosé, and will drink beautifully over the next two years! David Lillie
From a parcel of Pinot Noir in the commune of Morogues, in biodynamic farming since 2006. Very pale pink color. Subtle, lovely aromas of floral-tinged raspberry with citrus and peach. The palate is very light but with good concentration of pure berry fruits and a bit of exta ripeness in 2019, with mineral flavors that are lifted by crisp acidity. The finish is long and elegant. This is a superb rosé for those seeking subtlety and balance, highly recommended!
(Was $34.99) There's a bit of mystery with some of the Bichi wines as they have yet to identify the grape variety/s growing in the San Antonio de la Minas Vineyard (some think it might be Dolcetto,others think it's more likely Cariñena because of its natural acidity), the other mystery is how it has taken us so long to appreciate Mexican wine! Based in Tecate, the Téllez family founded Bichi in 2012 farming abandoned vineyards and working with other neighboring growers who are also farming organically. The high elevation of the San Antonio de la Minas vineyard and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean help temper the warm Mexican climate. The 'Rosa del Peru' is made with hand-harvested, de-stemmed grapes, fermented in steel and then bottled as is with no filtration or SO2 added. This is a perfect fall rosé, a bit savory with good structure!
A deliciously dark and savory rosé from Ontario! The 'Roselana' is made from Pearl Morissette's newest acquisition, the Redfoot Vineyard. Since Francois took over the farming there he has accelerated their conversion to organics, and continues to be the only organic grower in the area. This year's blend is 87% Pinot Noir, 6.5% Gamay and 6.5% Merlot. Interestingly, the Pinot Noir was made as a direct-pressed rosé aged in concrete, but both the Gamay and Merlot were vinified as still red wines, the Gamay in old foudres and concrete, and the Merlot in steel, before blending the three together. The result is a very tasty mixture of bing cherry, ripe wild strawberry, fresh savory herbs, potting soil, and a touch of menthol on the finish. This is a rose for red wine drinkers looking for something a little lighter for these hot summer days. Michelle DeWyngaert
(Was $24.99) Amanda comes from Alfredo Maestro's old vines of Garnacha Tintorera, planted on clay-limestone soils at about 850m of elevation. While this is certainly a rose wine, it's color and red fruit flavors come from the red-hued flesh of the grapes, rather than from the skins: the grapes are pressed directly, without contact with the skins. This yields a deeply colored but translucent wine, with notes of cherry and raspberry on the nose and an electric red fruit palate with delicate tannins and a vibrant seam of limestone minerality. An outstanding rose wine with lots of character.
The Bojo do Luar project is a collaboration between importer Savio Soares and one of Portugal's pioneers of biodynamic farming, Fernando Paiva. Deu Pinote is a blend of Arinto, Alvarelhão, and Vinhao. The Alvarelhão spends three weeks on the skins. An interesting technique is utilized here, thanks to research Fernando has been doing with ground chestnut flowers, which have been found to help stabilize wine without addition of sulfites. Some ground chestnut flowers are used during fermentation. Don't worry, the wine doesn't taste like chestnuts, or chestnut flowers for that matter. It's bright and zippy, with some fresh red berries and satisfying tartness. Perfect with a chill, and sure to freshen your palate as you plow through your Thanksgiving feast!
Les Picasses is one of the greatest vineyards in Chinon - a south-facing slope of clay over porous limestone that retains water and nutrients, nourishing the vines. While the wine is amply fruited and enjoyable young, it has firm acidity and structure for long-term aging, up to 30 years and more depending on the vintage. 2014 was an excellent vintage for Loire reds, which generally showed vibrant fruit, fresh acidity and moderate alcohol. Not a "big" vintage but one of very pretty, well-balanced wines. The 2014 Raffault Picasses shows a bright, red/black color with aromas of morello cherry, red currant, blackberry and prune with hints of licorice, earth and black pepper. The palate shows silky tannins and sappy red and black fruits with chalky minerals and firm acidity, with a bit of the gamey, musky aspect of old-school Chinon. Earthy prune, plum and cherry fruits linger in the long finish. Please decant two to three hours in advance if drinking now, then serve a bit cool with roast chicken, pork or lamb. This will sing a different song after 6 to 8 years of aging, best perhaps 2026 - 2040. DL
Is it a light red, or a dark rosé? Neither! It's an "orange wine" made from a maceration of Pinot Gris; A skin contact wine of a gray (actually pink) grape that yields a raspberry-hued wine that we wish we had barrels of in our basement! The wine has delicious red fruit, and tangy freshness. There's no tannin, so it should be a bit chilled. It offers beautiful red fruit, sweet cranberry tang, and above all, gulpability! Maceration is for 15 days with whole cluster, and aging is 8 months in stainless steel.
The 2019 "Le Bisou" frm the Mosse famly is an blend of Grolleau Noir, Pineau d'Aunis, Cot, Gamay, Grolleau Gris and Cabernet Franc, vinified in carbonic maceration. It'a very light-bodied red - or a dark rosé - showing lovely aromas of raspberry and red currant with floral notes. The palate is bright, light and refreshing with a lovely melange of red fruits leading to a clean, lively finish. Serve quite cool as an aperitif or with any light meals and charcuterie this summer. David Lillie
From 15 to 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils in Bourgueil, in organic agriculture since 1965. This is always one of the best values in the store and the 2018 happily rivals the 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015 vintages for absolute awesomeness, even at the Trump Tariff price of $15.49! Beautiful red/black color. Lovely deep pure red currant and blackberry aromas with violets, pepper, earth, bitter chocolate, licorice and leafy notes. The palate is round and supple with deep berry fruits framed in firm chalky acids, earth flavors, cocoa and saline minerals. Terrific length - this is just a superb young Bourgueil! At 13% alcohol it's beautifully structured and delicious to drink now, and will be even better in 5 to 10 years. Thanks to the Guion family for two generations of organic farming and great wines at modest prices! Serve cool with chicken, pork, charcuterie and full-flavored fish dishes as well...
This is a gorgeous Sancerre Rouge, Pinot Noir with Pinot Fin a product of Vincent Gaudry's wonderful biodynamic farming. Wild yeast fermentation, aging 12 months in used barrels. The 2018 shows a brilliant black/red color and vibrant aromas of black cherry liqueur, black raspberry, earth, licorice and violet. The palate is dense, sapid and chalky with lush, earthy black fruits framed in firm acidity and mineral flavors with hints of licorice, cherry pit and brown spice. This could be a premier cru from the Côte-de-Nuits but from better farming and more expessive of the limestone terroir. Bravo to Vincent and his team! Delicious now, best after 3 to 5 years, drink until 2030+ David Lillie
A rare and delicious Fleurie from Jean-Claude Chanudet at Domaine Chamonard! Since taking over from his father-in-law (Joseph Chamonard) in 1990, Jean-Claude has been keeping the beautiful natural traditions of this estate alive. This Fleurie comes from a single parcel of older vines planted on a steep slope of pink granite soils, farmed by hand without the use of any chemicals. 2018 is a great vintage for the Chamonard Fleurie, showing a deep dark red color and ripe fruit compote aromas - a lovely melange of cherry and black raspberry with violet and citrus notes. The palate is lush, with an earthy texture, showing ripe, well-structured black fruits and finishing with firm acidity and tart black cherry. This is superb now but should open up beautifully with a few years of cellaring. Drink until 2035? Highly recommended. David Lillie
Was $64.99 From the village portion of Les Damodes on the Vosne side of Nuits St. Georges, long-time organic farming, minimal use of SO2. The 2017 "Les Damodes" shows a bright red/black color with very floral aromas of black cherry and strawberry liqueur, with hints of mint, licorice and brown spice. There is deep black cherry, strawberry and red currant fruit on the palate which is chalky, round and ripe and is nicely balanced by bright acidity, a bit of tannin and a hint of oak. This opens up with aeration becoming more complex, with pretty red fruits lingering in the finish. Quite delicious now, this will show best in 5 to 8 years when the tannins and oak have integrated. David Lillie
From the village portion of Les Damodes on the Vosne side of Nuits St. Georges, long-time organic farming, minimal use of SO2. The 2017 "Les Damodes" shows a bright red/black color with very floral aromas of black cherry and strawberry liqueur, with hints of mint, licorice and brown spice. There is deep black cherry, strawberry and red currant fruit on the palate which is chalky, round and ripe and is nicely balanced by bright acidity, a bit of tannin and a hint of oak. This opens up with aeration becoming more complex, with pretty red fruits lingering in the finish. Quite delicious now, this will show best in 5 to 8 years when the tannins and oak have integrated. David Lillie
From 50-year-old vines located mid-slope. 50% whole cluster. The shallow soils overlay flat limestone rocks, giving way to clay subsoils. The 2017 has a deep ruby robe. The nose is redolent of violets, hedge fruits and spice. The mid-weight palate shows good ripeness and punch with juicy blackberry and cassis flavors and sauvage notes with a pungently mineral—verging on salty—core, finishing with a burst of spice on the long, detailed, lip-smacking finish. This is earthy, though by no means rustic and shows great flair. There is sneaky structure and while this is delicious now, this will benefit from 5-8 years in the cellar. John McIlwain
Was $129.99 It's always a pleasure to taste the wines of a grower steadily through the years, to chart their progress and observe the little adjustments that take wines from good to great. Guillaume and Aude at Génot-Boulanger have been on a steady upward trajectory for some time now but when I tasted this Pommard 1er Cru today, I had to stop and smile. "Clos Blanc" sits on the northern side of Pommard, adjacent to "Grand Epenots," and takes its name from soil colored white with limestone. The nose is deep with red and blue fruit and on the palate feels round, with beautiful savory spice notes. Pommard has long been considered rustic and burly, so the silkiness here is particularly striking and it feels both complex and eminently drinkable now. This will make a great addition to the holiday table for anyone looking for a special treat. Highly recommended. Sam Ehrlich
It's always a pleasure to taste the wines of a grower steadily through the years, to chart their progress and observe the little adjustments that take wines from good to great. Guillaume and Aude at Génot-Boulanger have been on a steady upward trajectory for some time now but when I tasted this Pommard 1er Cru today, I had to stop and smile. "Clos Blanc" sits on the northern side of Pommard, adjacent to "Grand Epenots," and takes its name from soil colored white with limestone. The nose is deep with red and blue fruit and on the palate feels round, with beautiful savory spice notes. Pommard has long been considered rustic and burly, so the silkiness here is particularly striking and it feels both complex and eminently drinkable now. This will make a great addition to the holiday table for anyone looking for a special treat. Highly recommended. Sam Ehrlich
From Stéphane Tissot's Biodynamic vineyard in Arbois, named for Stéphane's father, Andre "DD" Tissot. This is a delicious blend of Trousseau, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir co-fermented in 2000L foudres. Serve slightly chilled and enjoy with a variety of cheeses, roasted chicken, or on its own! Tasted with Stepphane last winter this showed beautifully, perhaps the best vintage of DD yet, don't miss it!
A blend of all three of the Jura's great red varieties, Poulsard, Trousseau, and Pinot Noir, from the first organic estate in Arbois. Winemaker Christine Villet is a mentor and a mother-figure to many of the regions up-and-coming winemakers. The 2018 Tradition Rouge is a deep red in color. The nose is woodsy, with dark cherry and hints of baking spices. The palate is surprisingly plump, with red fruits and a clean mineral freshness.
Nicolas Despagne replaced his parents in 2009 at Maison Blanche, the same year the production was granted organic certification. With his push, the estate gained Demeter biodynamic status in 2013. Les Piliers, Despagne's second label, is made with old and young vines of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The fermentation is natural and done in concrete vats, with no additives or interventional processes commonly used in the area. The wine has compact aromatics of dark plum and fresh, healthy earth. On the palate, there are flavors of blackberry, cassis, plum and pepper. The youthful density of the mouthfeel helps enhance the deep fruit notes on the tongue, but definitely cellar a few for the near future. David Hatzopoulos
Thanksgiving wines are tricky, because one wants them to feel different and special from things we drink at other times of year. At the same time, the wines must be food-versatile enough that the everyday dinner classics (Beaujolais! Barbera!) often seem to make the most sense. If you are looking for something that feels at once familiar and new for the holiday, I implore you to try the Ile de Beauté Rouge from Yves Leccia. The 2017 is a blend of Grenache and Nielluciu (Sangiovese, Corsican-style) grown on a combination of clay, limestone and schist soils. The vines are just shy of thirty years old and the overall feeling is one of exuberance and fun. Grenache is capable of presenting a bit like Pinot Noir and that is what has happened here. The wine is full of ripe red berry fruit and baking spices, with the Nielluciu providing structure and a mineral spine. It makes me think particularly of cranberry sauce, with its bright acidity and juicy sweetness! Sam Ehrlich
This red from Maestracci may be the first Corsican wine I tried. In my previous life, I was in restaurants and I used to pour it by the glass when I was first a wine buyer. It had been a couple of years since I'd tasted it though and I wondered before pouring it whether I might find it changed. I was relieved to find it was just as I remembered. A blend of Nielluciu, Grenache, Sciaccarellu and Syrah, the fruit profile is dark red and because the wine is already nearly five years old, it is starting to feel mature, showing a distinctly earthy savory side. The vines are planted in clay and sand on granite and there is a mineral coolness to the finish here that gives the wine real character. Corsica has a reputation as wild and rebellious and there is an unapologetic rusticity here that I love - it reminds me a bit of the great Chateau Musar. Sam Ehrlich
A perfect embodiment of crisp fall air and crunchy leaves, this is one of my favorite "chillable reds." The 'Cascadia' is a co-fermented blend of 84% Pinot noir, 10% Syrah, 4% Grüner Veltliner, and 2% Gamay from a selection of vineyards in the Willamette Valley that Franchere winemaker Mike Hinds either leases and farms himself or works closely with the vineyard owners to insure organic practices, low yields, and no irrigation is used. The grapes are crushed by foot with 50% whole clusters and then aged for nine months in tanks. The nose shows notes of forrest floor, savory herbs, cranberry, wild raspberry, and cracked pepper, and the palate is light, refreshing, and with powdery tannins holding it all together. Michelle DeWyngaert
The creators of Bow & Arrow have long been inspired by the wines the Loire Valley (which might be one of the reasons they are so near to our heart), creating balanced, food-friendly wines that are unadulterated and unpretentious. The 2019 Gamay is made from fruit from the Hughes Hollow and Walnut Ridge Vineyards in the Willamette Valley and goes through a semi-carbonic maceration before aging for 10 months in neutral oak barriques. Though we have not yet been able to try this vintage, the winemakers description has us very excited, "the 2019 Gamay feels like crunchy red fruit locked inside a savory, herbal shell...with miniature lightning bolts coming out the sides."
'Entre Nous' is a blend of fruit from La Colina Vineyard in Dundee Hills and the Four Winds Vineyard in the McMinnville Coast, all 100% Pinot Noir. This blend brings the ripeness and juiciness of the more inland vines, and the lift and elegance from the coastal influence. A small portion of new oak barrels and the rest neutral, frames this wine with a touch of baking spice, nothing dramatic, that will only continue to integrate as it ages. The nose has a beautiful floral, rose water aroma with notes of freshly picked white cherry, raspberry, and a sense of the volcanic soils that line the Willamette Valley. The palate is perfectly clean, almost austere with powdery tannins, but balanced by ripeness and power from the La Colina fruit. Michelle DeWyngaert
Turley has long been regarded as one of the benchmark estates for old vine Zinfandel, and this bottling is made from a blend of fruit from vines aged 41-129 from parcels that were either two small for their own vineyard designate bottle, or new to the Turley family.
This juicy red is a blend of 50% California Zinfandel and 50% Carignane from two certified organic vineyards. The Zinfandel comes from a new plot in the North Ponderosa Vineyard, and a bit from the sandy Del Barba Vineyard. Martha explains that "the grapes from this vineyard feel more alpine in their flavor profile and body, bringing exciting new characteristics to this blend." The Carignan is sourced from the 70+ year-old vines of the Ricetti Vineyard in Mendocino. At only 13% ABV this bottling shows the lighter side of Zinfandel!
La Boutanche is global collaboration through Selection Massale born out of a desire for tasty natural wine without breaking the bank. This bottling is produced by one of our favorite natural winemakers in California, Chris Brockway! The 2019 is a blend from the steeply sloped, iron-rich, Arrowhead Vineyard just north of the town of Sonoma. The vineyard is farmed organically and without sulfur. This field blend is a mix of Zinfandel, Trousseau, Valdiguié, and tiny amounts of Sangiovese and Grenache Gris. The grapes are fermented whole cluster then racked into neutral barrels where they rest for nine months before bottling in generous liter bottles with screwcaps for easy access. This wine is delightful, very much in line with all of Broc Cellars wines, unpretentious, refreshing, and well-balanced with notes of juicy, brambly blackberry, black cherry, all spice, and a sprinkle of dried herbs. Michelle DeWyngaert
For the first time, the Ghostwriter Pinot Noir was bottled entirely from Ahlgren Vineyard fruit. Winemaker Kenny Likitprakong described this vintage as more high-toned and a bit leaner than previous vintages. The grapes are fermented with 50% whole clusters and then aged in neutral barrels. This wine is a tribute to the late Dexter Ahlgren who had lovingly planted and tended this nearly hidden vineyard in 1976.
Sin Azufre began as an experiment to see what would happen if you made a wine without any intervention; no temperature control, no pH readings and adjustments, and without the use of any sulfur. The result is a wine that feels "alive," that vibrates with energy and purity. Chacra was already doing conscientious work in the vineyard (farming biodynamically, encouraging biodiversity, etc) so it was a natural progression to attempt to make a wine as "naturally" as possible. This year's Sin Azufre, 100% Pinot Noir from their estate vineyard plot planted in 1955, is clean, expressive, and distinctly savory. The grapes are fermented in alternating layers of whole cluster and destemmed fruit, foot-crushed, and aged in a mixture of cement, neutral oak, and some steel. Bright red fruits mingle with notes of rosemary and soy sauce, a balance of umami and salinity that gives this wine a real sense of place. The palate is bright and lifted with soft, silky tannins. Despite the absence of sulfur as a preservative, this bottle held up for several days after opening. Michelle DeWyngaert
Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto make some of our favorite Albarinos. Recently, they've also been making some very interesting red wines from Rias Baixas (and also a small project in Ribeiro). A Senda Vermella hails from organically farmed plots of Caino and Mencia in Rias Baixas, around the villages of Cambados, Vilanova and Barro. 80% of the juice is from the 2018 harvest, picked in September, fermented whole-cluster, and aged in a blend of very old French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. The other 20% comes from the 2017 vintage (far cooler than the 2018 vintage), which saw the same treatment and had aged on its lees in used barrels since the previous winter. Once united, the wine aged a further 9 months on its lees before being bottled without fining or filtering and with just a touch of SO2. The bottled wine rested for a further 10 months before release. This is outstanding: delicate, defined, and elegant. On the nose, plenty of crushed black pepper, delicate herbaceous notes, and crushed raspberry and blackberry. The palate is light and fresh, showing more Caino than Mencia: red berries, thyme, black pepper, around a mineral core. Complex, but so appealing that it disappears fast - qualities that this wine shares with the Nanclares y Prieto Albarinos. Ben Fletcher
Portela do Vento is made from a blend of Mencia and Garnacha Tintorera, from biodynamically farmed parcels throughout Ribeira Sacra. Mostly destemmed, and made in a bright, easy drinking style, this is pretty and red-fruited with lots of granitic minerality. The nose shows granite spice, pomegranate and cherry, while the palate emphasizes strawberry notes. Bottled without fining or filtration, and with no added sulfur. Ben Fletcher
From organically grown grapes in the Grignolino d'Asti DOC. The vines are planted to fields that see zero chemical treatment, no herbicides or fertilizers. Fruit is harvested in September then fermented in stainless steel tanks with a 10 day maceration period before malo occurs naturally. The wine is aged in steel for an additional 4 months before release. The color is a clear red with rusted highlights. The nose has a hint of cigar ash, a little beach grass, with a foundation of freshly picked raspberries, sun dried tomatoes, and velvety sage leaves. The palate displays flavors of raisined cranberries and cherries, with an accent of orange peel and star anise. The structure of this wine is my favorite thing about it. Very drinkable, with flavors that are expressive but not concentrated, and acidity that moves each sip along. The finish, however, is a lasting, moderately tannic kiss on the tongue. A delight to drink. A light wine with a lot to show off. David Hatzopoulos
100% Sangiovese from Radda-in-Chianti. Certified Organic. Hand picked fruit, fermented naturally, and aged for two years in cement vats. The color is dark, with shades that go from a black/purple core to dense red edges. On the nose, there are fantastic aromas of sun dried tomatoes, basil, balsamic, dried cherries, and a hint of tarry earth. Flavors of black cherry, dark plum, and bright graphite show on the palate. The mouthfeel is incredibly balanced, with great tannic chew contrasted by lean, clean acidity. This is the first vintage of Caparsa's Chianti Classico 'Caparsa', and we're thrilled to offer it. Delicious bottle. David Hatzopoulos
The Boiolo is the only Barolo produced by our friend Mauro Drocco at Azienda Agricola Camparo, and it shows beautiful complexity. From 20-50 year old hand harvested Nebbiolo vines in La Morra, from slopes of south-eastern and southern exposure. The vineyard is planted on clay-calcareous, calcareous-siliceous and marl soils. Grapes are picked in October, before being pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine ages in large French oak casks for 24 months before it is transferred to bottle, where it rests another year prior to release. On the nose, there are fresh black and red fruits, a touch of spicy licorice, and a savory aroma that conjures a bundle of dried green herbs. The palate has a bit of flesh, edges of tannic strength, and a clean line of acidity. Ripe black cherry hang above flavors of earth and dark stones. A very pleasurable wine, drinking well today. David Hatzopoulos
2017 was not an easy vintage for producers on Etna. Extreme heat and no rain posed a huge threat to production. With yields down, many consumers were worried about the quality of the vintage. Masseria del Pino's I Nove Fratelli 2017 is one of the most expressive bottles of Etna Rosso that I've ever tasted. Complete with a mix of fresh and candied red fruits, green herbs and fresh volcanic soil, this is a dynamic bottle in aroma and taste. It doesn't lack structure either, though it is leaner and fresher than the 2016 vintage. It goes to show you how wonderful farming and great winemaking can turn a scary vintage into a real success. Bravo to Federica and Cesare for delivering such a fantastic bottle of wine, despite the hardship. David Hatzopoulos
An apple cider from one of Normandy’s best, Tendre combines classic orchard flavors of ripe apples (Kermerien, Douce Moene, Frequin Rouge, Damelot, Marie Menard and 25 more) and a savory/sweet undercurrent of barley and dark honey. Compared to Bordelet’s pear offerings I find this to be more “beer-esque” than “wine-esque” so bring on the brats, or in true Norman fashion blood sausage, tripe, or perhaps for a lighter meal: crêpes. As with all his ciders, the farm is certified biodynamic and fermentation finishes in the bottle for a complex texture filled with small vivacious bubbles.
Eric Bordelet was a super star in the wine and restaurant world before shifting his attention to orchard fruits and returning to his home town in southern Normandy’s Domfrontais region. Here pears replace apples as the primary ingredient in both Cidre and Calvados because the pear tree’s deep root system tunnel easily into the region’s dry soils. The fifteen old varieties used are "sauvages," not table fruit, and have good acidity and a lovely astringency that combine to give ciders structure and freshness. Eric’s Authentique displays those qualities flawlessly and combines complex flavors of creamy orchard fruit, white meadow flowers, and a sappy, slightly off dry finish. This is a perfect starter on Thanksgiving, and great with the pies at the end - and with the very low alcohol, maybe a glass for the kids as well. (Also available: Sidre Tendre)
This charming, low-alcohol sparkler hails from the tiny appellation of Bugey (across from the Mont du Chat in Savoie). At 8% ABV this delicately sweet and exquisitely balanced pét-nat is the breakfast of champions, a companion while you prepare a feast, or the perfect solution to tricky dessert parings. The 2018 is a blend of Gamay and Poulsard. The wine pours a pleasing shade of magenta in the glass and offers up vivid aromas of purple wild flowers, raspberry patch, and mouth-watering grapefruit zest. The palate is light and fresh with flavors of sweet strawberries, raspberries, and crunchy blueberries on the attack then finishes with thirst-quenching mineral acidity. A purely enjoyable bottle at a great value. Serve chilled alongside fruit tarts, dark chocolate, or with tangy cheeses. Amanda Bowman
The St. Crimson is a dry mead made from pressed black currants and NY state honey fermented with indigenous yeasts and then aged for a year in oak barrels. A beautiful deep ruby color, the nose is mix of cassis, raspberry, hibiscus, bruised herbs, and a whiff of something gamey. The palate is dry with juicy brambly fruits and a savory finish. This is delightful on its own on a cool fall evening, but also works well in cocktails, as the float on a NY Sour or in a spritz. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a gorgeous Banyuls Blanc, that is to say a Vin Doux Naturel (at 17% alcohol) made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Muscat grown in Traginer's organic vineyards above Banyuls. Beautiful aromas of lime flower, apricot, citrus, pear and almond. Very floral. The palate is deep and medium-sweet with candied citrus, apriot and stone flavors and terrific length. Serve not too cool, as an apéritif or with desserts of peach, apricot, pear and melon. Absolutely delicious! David Lillie
Grenache, Grenache Gris and Carignan, aged for six years or more in ancient barrels, bottled without fining or filtration. Jean-François Deu at Domaine du Traginer makes elegant, complex and beautifully balanced Banyuls at his organic and biodynamic estate. The 2010 Banyuls Grand Cru shows fabulous aromas of burnt orange, prune, lemon peel, rose, earth and aged cheese...for starters. Very deep and complex. The palate is ripe and a bit sweet, but refreshing and balanced by bright acidity with prune, red currant, rose and deep berry confit with citrus, brown spice and earth. Beautiful wine - great to sip by itself or serve with fruit desserts and chocolate. Highly recommended. DL
Laurent Cazottes is a true legend and benchmark for excellent eau-de-vie and fruit liquor. He farms his fruit trees and vines according to biodynamics, all varieties indigenous to the area, and waits until all of the fruit used is perfectly ripe, often dried on the ground for intense concentration of sugar and flavor, and then removes the skins, seeds, and stems from everything before pressing and fermenting. This is a true labor of love and the results are outstanding. This Noix du Pays d'Oc is made from fresh green walnuts added to a wine of Folle Noire, macerated for 14 months, then separated, pressed and distilled before being added back to the wine and added to a single barrel solera. Intensely nutty, rich and delicious. A few sips of this will be the perfect end to an evening. Michelle DeWyngaert
Every few years Thierry Navarre makes a new batch of his late-harvest "Vin de Grenache" - this version is outrageous - it's an oxidative orange wine (!) showing a dark orange color and aromas of dried fruits - apricot and prune - brown spice, walnut, honey and wildflowers with slightly sweet palate of ripe black cherry, dried apricot, brown spice and minerals. (It can be kept for weeks re-corked in the fridge) Serve with dried fruits and nuts, strong cheeses or just enjoy by itself - only 36 bottles for the US. David Lillie
Frederico __ of Fred Jerbis is devoted to showcasing the Fruiulian terroir (Jerbis being the word for herbs in this Italian dialect) through freshly foraged and organically grown herbs and botanicals from the region. He considers himself an alchemist, spending much of his time experimenting with distillation and steeping techniques to get perfect flavor extracted from every ingredient. His Fernet 25 comes form a single chestnut barrel made without dyes/colorings and very little sugar. Twenty-five different Italian botanicals are used including mint, saffron, chamomile, licorice, savory, orange, rhubarb and of course, gentian. The nose is super fresh, a burst of spearmint and tarragon, followed by toasty chestnut and nutmeg imparted by the barrel aging. The palate is well balanced and rich without being too viscous, and a nice burst of citrus from the orange peel keeps it lifted. Michelle DeWyngaert
The Forthave Marseille Amaro is truly unique affair. Based on a medieval recipe of four thieves who, as the story goes, traded their secret concoction for clemency. It is at once soft and assertive. Eucalyptus, mint, cinnamon, dried lemon peel, dried tea leaves, and honey dominate the nose, while the palate further reveals star anise, lemon extract, a touch of vanilla, and cloves. Marseille uses raw honey as a sweetener, and similar to something like Amaro dell'Erborista by Varnelli, it gives it a wonderful, soft and lush texture. Perfect as an after dinner digestif. Oskar Kostecki