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As we continue our cellar clean out, we're making space for lots of excellent new wines for spring! From crisp, refreshing whites and light, chillable reds, to concentrated, savory wines, we have something for every meal or occasion.
We're also delighted for the return of the Côtes du Rhônes and Vaucluse from Rayas. Among the legendary estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château Rayas is perhaps the the most storied, although Beaucastel and Bonneau would certainly make a claim. The wines are elegant, precise, and though southern in cast, display great lift and finesse. Unfortunately, they are made in tiny—nearly anecdotal—quantities. And frankly they are very expensive. This said, they release some fine, more affordable, wines under the Domaine des Tours label, and while these don't have quite the "breed" of the famed Châteauneuf, these age beautifully and gain in nuance and complexity with a few years in the cellar. And while these are by no means cheap, we are confident that these will make for excellent drinking in the mid-term.
This is one of the finest expressions of Chenin Blanc that I have tried this year. This is a single vineyard bottling from the Union School Vineyard in the southern Willamette Valley, picked with just a touch of botrytis, fermented to dryness and aged in neutral puncheons and then bottle with just a small addition of SO2. The team at Bow & Arrow have consistently made the case that Loire Valley grapes thrive in the Oregon, and this is a perfect example. On the nose are notes of bruised apricot, baked lemon, stone, clay, and roasted nuts. The palate has vibrant, classically Chenin acidity, tempered by ripe and bruised fruit notes, saffron, yellow apple, Meyer lemon, nectarine with a lingering mineral finish. Only 90 cases were made, and we managed to bring in one! Michelle DeWyngaert
Joe Swick continues his tradition of combining grapes from opposite sides of the Oregon-Washington border for 'Only Zuul' with half of blend made of Pinot Gris from the Conley Vineyard in Washington, and the other half Gewurztraminer from Gillespie Vineyard in Willamette, OR. Though this looks like a light red in the bottle, this is technically an "orange" wine as both grape varieties are white/grey so the wine is brighter and more aromatic than you might expect. The fruit is hand-harvested on the same day, then fermented separately, both macerated on the skins for one month which gives this wine its gorgeous vibrant color and texture, and bottled after six months with just a small addition of sulfur. Juicy, savory and herbaceous, with tannins akin to grapefruit pith, this is a fun wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Michelle DeWyngaert
Unusually slender for a red wine bottle, the Puszta Libre! bottle shape takes its inspiration from vintage soda bottles, a cheeky nod to how chuggable this wine is; and if that's not enough we are also instructed by the label to "drink cold"! Mostly Zweigelt with Sankt Laurent, fermented in stainless steel and aged in large (600L to 1000L) used oak barrels. The 2020 just arrived (April '21) and is ready to drink. Though not the most complex wine in our Austrian section, there is great material in the mid-palate, with some dark berry fruit, and plenty of punch on the attack, with an easy but defined finish. It seems like its somehow more delicious than ever before. Try one if you're curious. Buy at least two if you're already a fan, as the first bottle will likely disappear in a flash! -EL
Joiseph's Mischkultur is a Gemischter Satz, a blend of grapes that fermented and aged together, like a grape band where each member plays its parts to the service of others and the song. Each variety contributes a little bit of its personality, some more aromatic, some more acidic, some riper, some greener, and it all harmonizes in the end. This is exactly what Mischkultur is. A blend of a few different varieties, of old vines and young vines, from a few different sites in the village. Foot crushed before pressing, then aged where there is space in the cellar, in wood and stainless. This wine is pure fun, like a good flirt, it brings joy and giggles, is simple and complex at the same time and will disappear in less time than you need to learn how to pronounce Gemischter Satz. Pairs best with itself, and the bright sunshine of a late afternoon. A bag of chips would also be strongly recommended. Sour cream & onions, what else? -Emily Campeau // The blend is a mix of Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Neuburger, Muskateller, and Traminer from two separate parcels, with vines ranging from 10 to nearly 100 years in age, on limestone and slate soils.
The name of this wine was intended to be Blaufränkisch Forever, but it could easily become anyone’s best friend, for that it will please a very large variety of gatherings. Whether you bring it for dinner at your parent’s house or BBQ with friends in the summer, it will spark joy anywhere it lands. Made of 100% Blaufränkisch, with 50% whole bunches that were covered with de-stemmed mash. It was barely touched during fermentation, only enough to keep the cap wet, and let the extraction happen slowly and steadily. When it was lightly punched down once in a while, it was done gently, by hand. The result is pretty astonishing. While it delivers the undeniable character of the Blaufränkisch grape — dark juicy fruits, cooking herbs like rosemary and thyme, black olive and five-spice, earthiness tied up with a sharp backbone of acidity — it remains playful in its structure. The tannins are silky and integrated, the ripeness is comforting and shows no signs of heaviness. I don’t know how many more words I can use to describe the only one that seems necessary here : balance. This wine is just simply harmonious. And if you don’t already know this amazing well-kept secret : Blaufränkisch is a wonderful candidate for aging in general, and BFF will refine even more if you have the courage to lay it down. It paired amazingly with an al fresco dinner made of a vegetable tart and green beans with pesto. GREAT pizza wine option here, too. It will complement dishes with tomato sauce with its vivacious acidity, lasagna comes to mind, or eggplant parmigiana. -Emily Campeau
Bauer may be the all time leader in unfiltered wine from Austria. Yes it's trendy, but it's still interesting to explore their lineup, as the inclusion of lees and sediment does seem to give their wines more texture. This is a very tasty Gruner, vinified without filtration, showing notes of lime zest and asparagus (or maybe I just want to have an asparagus dish with it). Tart and fresh, a prime candidate for warmer weather, and a reliable Gruner for everyday sipping. Liter bottle! -EL
A lovely soft and stone-fruited Roter Veltliner with skin contact. Peach-hued in the glass, with nice viscosity and a clean finish. A great introduction to skin contact wines, and to the lesser known Roter Veltliner grape from Austria.
Mantlerhof is one of the oldest organic wineries in the world. Originally part of the Salzberg Abbey, their motto is "Organic since the year 1000!" Situated in the Niederösterreich, the estate was purchased from the church by the Mantler family in the 1860s and has been certified organic since 1969. This is a liter of Riesling that usually doesn't come to the states, but there was some of the 2019 vintage made available to the NY market, as tourism in Austria wasn't quite at normal levels last year and the wine gardens and summer wine festivals were closed and cancelled. Highly unlikely that we'll see any 2020 vintage as this wine was not normally exported save for under these circumstances. Incredibly refreshing, lime blossom and fresh minerality. So dry and so thirst quenching! Not a wonder it's entirely sold out in Austria every Summer! -Eben
This slightly off-dry Riesling really leaps out of the glass with lively stone fruit and minerals. Vivacious acidity gives it lift and is matched with silky, ripe pear on the palate, with hint of texture on the finish. This is a standout value in the 1L bottle, and all comes from the gray slate of the Falkenberg parcel, just above the famous Piesporter Goldtröpchen vineyard. Spontaneously fermented in stainless steel.
An abiding staff favorite from Stéphane Tissot's biodynamic estate in Arbois, this crémant is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 5% Poulsard and Trousseau. The interplay between the dry, mineral complexity and rich generosity make this an incredible Champagne-alternative. Opulent aromas of raw honey and baked red apple lead to flavors of tangy yellow fruit, crisp apple, toasted almond, and quince on the persistent finish.
"Rosa, Rose, Rosam" is a fun, fruity pet-nat from a blend of Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, and Côt made by the talented Damien Delecheneau in Touraine. The vines are around 80 years old and were planted in the clay and limestone soils by Damien's great grandfather. Bright, juicy strawberry and ripe cherry notes, and frothy, fully sparkling on the palate. Perfect for bringing to the next outdoor gathering!
Gioventu Chianti comes from Michael Schmeltzer, the man behind our beloved Monte Bernardi wines. As expected, this wine is fantastic - worth so much more than the $16 price per bottle. From younger vines (planted in 2010) of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Ciliegiolo. After the grapes are crushed, the wine ferments naturally in cement tanks. Aging in also in cement and lasts 12 months. There is no fining or filtering before bottling. The color of the wine shows a burgundy center, becoming a clearer, burnt red on the edges. The nose is bold, with complex layers of fruit and earth. Aromas of black cherry, dark red flowers, and crushed, loamy rocks are the at the core, with spicy, woodsy smells of milled black pepper and autumnal dried leaves right above it. The palate is focused on savory fruits of blackberry, cherry, and red citrus, freshened by a zing of clean minerality. Structure-wise, this wine has power, with long lasting acidity, and tannin on the top of the gums and down the tongue. An incredibly delicious wine! Paired wonderfully with taco truck carnitas and al pastor tacos on day two... David Hatzopoulos
This is a beautiful skin contact wine from our friend Joy Kull, who lives and makes wine in Lazio, Italy. The grape here is Procanico, a local grape known also as Trebbiano Toscana in Umbria, or Ugni Blanc in France. Foot crushed and direct press, aging with skins in concrete egg, or Uovo (hence the name). There’s a lovely amber hue in the glass, and notes of melon and a touch of tart acidity to balance the fleshy texture and viscosity. These latest releases from Joy have been a real treat! Limited quantity.
If you enjoy Grignolino from the Piedmont, this bottle would be great for you. Extremely fresh on the nose, with a mix of fresh picked raspberries, blueberries, sprigs of Provencal herbs, and dark flowers. Over an hour open, aromas of black tea and mint shine through. On the palate, the wine has an aperitif-like profile. Flavors of blood orange, red cherry, and a mix of bitter but refreshing herbs create an appealing, easy drinking character. Like Grignolino, although the wine is approachable, and definitely chill-able, it has some tannic foundations. Grip is felt on the sides of the tongue and the tops of the cheeks. A long finish, shaped by appealing, strong acidity, is noted with flavors of red fruits and black pepper. This is the type of wine I'd pair with cold cured meats, summer lunches, hearty fish and vegetables. So happy with this lovely wine. David Hatzopoulos
The Cardedu '19 Vermentino Nuo has an incredibly special nose. A bouquet of herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary), with sliced, chilled yellow tomato slices and shaved parmigiana. The palate has tart, small yellow apples, lemon zest, and more green herbs. The structure is bright, with a swish of delicious, tender texture - ending with a long salty finish peaked with great acid. David Hatzopoulos
Sumoll is a difficult grape to grow, but the Sumoll-based wines of Celler Pardas are routinely exceptional. This Rosat, the first wine in this style from them that I've tasted, continue that trend. I think what impresses me so much about this wine is the balance of generous fruit, elegant texture, and bright acidity. Strawberry and bright red cherry with a hint of salty minerality on the nose, while the palate shows pomegranate juice, ripe red berries, orange peel, and lots of chalk. Truly delicious!
Disclaimer: The Italian section at Chambers Street Wines is, with extremely rare exception, stocked solely with wines from indigenous Italian grapes. Here, we have a delightfull Pinot Nero from Joy Kull in Lazio. Not necessarily a local grape, it certainly doesn't emulate Burgundy. Maceration is likely full or partial carbonic, judging from the juicy, and bright zippy wild berry profile, and the fresh acidity. No sulfur, but not funk, just a thirst quenching light red well worth a chill and very suitable for a picnic on a hot day! -EL