Dentelles de Montmirail from Beaumes-de-Venise (photo © Bert Celce)

Great New Arrivals From The Rhône, Roussillon, Burgundy and Loire!

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This week's new arrivals feature Domaine Laguerre in the Roussillon, exporting to NY for the first time, as well as a new shipment of great Rhône wines from Guy and Thomas Jullien at La Ferme Saint-Martin in Beaumes-de-Venise. From Burgundy, we have superb and affordable wines from Martin Bart, Vincent Rapet, and Domaine Lafouge, and from the Loire Valley, a sensational group of "vins de soif" from the talented Christophe Fouche at La Lunotte. Please read on...

From the hamlet of St. Martin de Fenouillet, in the hills of the Catalan Pyrenees, come the fresh and elegant wines of Domain Eric Laguerre. Organically farmed since 1999 (certified organic by Ecocert) the domaine has Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan for the reds and Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Rolle and Maccabeu for the whites, grown on granite slopes at about 1,500 ft above the Mediterranean. The vineyards are plowed in winter and spring, with vegetation left through the summer. The grapes are hand-harvested into small baskets and fermentations are with wild yeasts. The yields here are extremely low, giving wines of good concentration but with freshness and acidity from the granite soils and the high altitude. The affable and engaging M. Laguerre is making lovely wines of great character that are sensational values - we're happy to have them at Chambers Street.

La Ferme Saint-Martin in Beaumes-de-Venise also has high-altitude vines, in the southern Rhône Valley overlooking the Dentelles de Montmirail. Here Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault are grown on soils of limestone and clay. A long-time favorite in the "natural" wine bars of Paris, La Ferme Saint-Martin is also certified organic, ferments with wild yeasts, and uses minimal sulfur. (Free SO2 is at 0 - 10 mg/L, total SO2 is from 20 to 30mg) Guy and Thomas produce aromatically complex, concentrated wines that are never top-heavy or over-extracted and there is always good acidity. "All our work in the vines is done with the goal of producing healthy grapes while protecting the life in our soils and the balance of nature which surrounds us." We urge you to try these great Rhône wines which will accompany grilled foods this summer, but will also age well for 5 to 8 years.

A small group of 2010 Burgundies have just arrived from three of our favorite producers which admirably show the balance and transparency of this excellent vintage. Note especially the lovely Marsannay "Champs Solomon" from Martin Bart, the brilliant Meursault "Meix Chavaux" from Jean and Gilles Lafouge and the very mineral Vincent Rapet Pernand 1er Cru "Sous Frétille." 

Just down the road from the Clos Roche Blanche in Touraine is Christophe Foucher's tiny estate "La Lunotte." The vineyard is certified organic, and Christophe works entirely without added sulfur-dioxide. Fermentation and aging are in small, old barrels, bottling is by hand, without pumping. There is no attempt to extract, as he prefers an "infusion," producing light-bodied, refreshing and distinctive wines. We have just received his 2011 P'tites Vignes Gamay and Sauvignon Blanc - these are what the French call "gouleyant" - fresh and easy-drinking, perfect for the summer. Also arrived are his sparkling Cabernet Franc "Bulottes" and more of his superb old-vine Sauvignon Blanc "les Roussignoux." Didier Barrouillet would call them "wines of nature" - whatever you call them, they're delicious!

 

 

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Ferme Saint-Martin 2012 Cotes du Ventoux Rosé d'Entrevon

A lovely rosé of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grown in the Ventoux. Pretty red fruit aromas, light red-currant fruit on the palate with good length. With aeration this really gets serious, with cherry fruit that is deep and long. A pure and delicious food-friendly wine, with minimal sulfur. Did we say it's a great value? Re-tasted in April of 2014, the wine has deepened and is drinking beautifully, like sipping ripe red-currants, still with good balance and acidity — it's a fabulous value!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
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  • $11.99

Ferme Saint-Martin 2011 Ventoux Les Estaillades

At about 900 ft elevation in the Ventoux, the Juliens have Grenache and Counoise in a parcel sheltered from the mistral that yields this delicious, supple wine that's a fabulous pairing with any grilled meat or stews this winter. Pretty blackberry aromas with a bit of spice and licorice, the palate is supple with smooth tannins and abundant fruit. Nice long finish and just plain delicious, great value!!

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  • red
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  • $13.99

Ferme Saint-Martin 2010 Beaumes-de-Venise Cuvée Saint-Martin

90% Grenache, 10% Syrah from 50 to 100 year-old vines at high altitude in Suzette. Guy Julien at Domaine de la Ferme Saint-Martin was one of the first vignerons to turn away from the chemical farming and manipulations in the Southern Rhône back in the 1970s. Organic farming, wild yeast fermentations and minimal sulfur have been the rule here for the past 40 years and it shows in the quality of the wines. This is a great vintage for the Cuvée Saint-Martin — Lovely red fruit, black plum and garrigue aromas, blackberry with spice and hints of cocoa and bitter chocolate on the palate, firm tannins with strong acidity. Fabulous length with black fruits coating the palate. Really a serious Rhône red that will accompany grilled foods and roasts. Decant if possible or hold 5 years — this will be really superb in 2017 and drink until 2025.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $17.99

Ferme Saint-Martin 2009 Beaumes-de-Venise Costancia

A great Beaumes-de-Venise from Guy and Thomas Julien at La Ferme Saint-Martin. The estate has been working with organic methods for many years, with natural fermentations and minimal use of sulfur. The Costancia 2009 is from old vines of Grenache and Syrah grown at 1,500 ft in Suzette, on limestone/clay soils. Fresh, deep black fruit, olive and floral aromas, the palate is round with black fruits persisting in the finish with good acidity. Will benefit from decanting, and will age nicely for another 5 to 8 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $18.99

Laguerre 2011 Côtes du Roussillon Eos Rosé

Frankly, I don't often buy rosé wine from the Roussillon because it is often fruity and high in alcohol. As someone who prefers the drier, steelier styles from the Loire, and Burgundy, and the saline, delicate rosés from Provence, Grenache based rosé can feel heavy. On the other hand, when well-made and native yeast fermented, these darker, more red wine-like pink wines can have beautiful authenticity and sense of place. Eric Laguerre's rosé is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Like the white, this rosé is matured in barrel for eight months but shows no hints of barrel on the nose or palate. There's a sense of deep sweetness to the fruit, but the palate remains crisp at a modest 13% alcohol. The aromas and flavors are of sweet cherries and cranberries and, as with the white from Laguerre, this rosé will improve open in your fridge over a day or two. -msb

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  • rosé
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  • $12.99

Laguerre 2011 Côtes du Roussillon Eos Blanc

The wines of Eric Laguerre: red, white, and rosé alike, have been a delightful new surprise for us here at  Chambers Street. From high altitude vineyards in the Roussillon, this blend of 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Marsanne, shows Mediterranean character as well as the conscientious organic farming of the Laguerre family. The wine begins crisp and full of orchard fruit notes on day one (think apricots and pears), and becomes mellow, more mineral driven and waxy with notes of pine nuts on day two. The wine sees eight months of aging in barrel and shows some fullness from oak, but with no oaky flavor, and certainly no sacrifice of freshness. The finish, which is quite long, speaks of organic farming and low yields (22 hectoliters/hectare!) Undoubtedly there are numerous food applications for this wine; it's also pretty darn delicious to have a glass of on its own. -msb  

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $13.99

Laguerre 2011 Côtes du Roussillon Eos Rouge

(80% Grenache, 20% Syrah grown on high-altitude slopes of decomposed granite. Hand-harvested in small crates, yields of 18 hl/ha) Bright aromas of tart cherry and strawberry, floral and very pure. The palate is dense but not heavy with cherry and red-currant fruit with acidity that coats the mouth. Very long finish for a wine at this price, quite elegant with nice tannic structure. This will go very well served cool with grilled meats and will benefit from short-term cellaring. An interesting wine that really shows the influence of the granite soils. On day two there is lovely red raspberry and the tannins have softened a bit, still with bright acidity and terrific length. A fabulous value!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $13.99

Laguerre 2009 Côtes du Roussillon Le Ciste Rouge

ON SALE! (60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan. Hand-harvested into small crates, yields of 16 hl/ha,15 months aging in small used barrels.) Dense black/purple color, aromas of ripe cherry, blackberry, cocoa and spice. Deep and firm on the palate with black fruits, hints of licorice and spice, shows the old-vine Carignan. The finish is long and dry with firm acids. A serious wine that will accompany grilled beef and pork dishes and will benefit from decanting or 3 to 5 years of aging. On day two, the fruit has deepened with blackberry, bitter chocolate, tea and spice. Really complex and intriguing — worth putting  some in the cellar. (We've lowered the price on this outstanding wine to make room for the 2011 — only three cases available.)

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $14.99

Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) 2011 Vin de France P'tites Vignes (Sauv. Blanc)

A refreshing and delicious "wine of nature" by Christophe Foucher, bottled by hand without filtration or sulfites, organic farming. Slightly cloudy pale gold with floral, citrus, nettle and white fruit aromas. Herbal citrus and earthy flavors on the palate, with tingly, juicy acids in the finish. Devolps nicely with aeration and a few days, re-corked, in the fridge. A complex and intriguing Sauvignon that will accompany pates, shellfish, goat cheeses and much more,  and goes down very easy on it's own. Fabulous value, too!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $12.99

Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) 2011 Vin de Table P'tites Vignes (Gamay)

We tasted this wine out of barrel on a freezing cold day last February and just wrote "super bon!" Pretty light purple color, fabulous aromas of wild strawberry, plum and violets. The palate is refreshing, with mouth coating red fruits, the finish is clean, long and lovely. This is one of most delicious Loire Gamays we've ever tasted, made in a thirst-quenching soft and light style. Absolutely delicious! Certified organic, wild yeast fermentation that starts in vat but finishes in small, old barrels, bottling by hand with no added SO2. Bravo to Christophe Foucher for making such a deliciouly un-pretentious and gulpable wine!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) 2010 Vin de France Bulottes

Foucher's sparkling Cabernet Franc has very pretty subtle aromas of strawberry/raspberry fruit. The palate is light and refreshing with creamy bubbles and hints of yeast and berries. Very dry and delightful this will create an instant party wherever it goes. Great label, big old-fashioned bottle and bottle-cap closure. Crazy value at $15.99!

 

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  • rosé sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $15.99

Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) NV Vin de France Rossignoux (Some missing labels)

A delicious Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, from low-yielding old vines on slopes above the Cher river. Christophe is a real artisan whose dedication shows in this dense, complex and balanced wine. Fermentation and aging in small, old barrels gives this wine a beautiful density with great acidity. Lovely aromas of hay, peach, lemon oil and dried herbs with a hint of oxidation. Stone, peach, dried flowers, caramel and herbal flavors on the palate with terrific length — a great food wine and highly recommended. No added sulfites.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

Bart 2010 Marsannay Champs Salomon

From one of the best mid-slope vineyards in Marsannay. In some vintages this wine seems a bit too heavy, and we often buy only the higher elevation Les Echezots and Les Saints-Jaques.  In 2010, however Martin Bart's Champs Solomon is really lovely. We quote the recent review from John Gilman's "View from the Cellar."  "... a very classy wine on both the nose and the palate, delivering a complex bouquet of black cherries, cassis, grilled meat, a touch of bonfire, lovely soil tones and a gentle base of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and complex, with a black fruity personality tied to superb transparency. The finish is long, shows great backend minerality and is modestly tannic, with tangy acids and lovely focus and grip. This is really a high class bottle of red Burgundy and a bargain at it's price."

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

Lafouge 2010 Auxey-Duresses Les Boutonniers (Blanc)

We have not purchased this cuvée from Lafouge for a few years, but at our tasting at the domain in February, it really stood out and was a beautiful example of this excellent vintage in Burgundy.  Very lovely floral and white fruit aromas, slightly honeyed white and citrus fruits on the palate with great balance. Superb acid and mineral character. Long and racy, dry but with subtle, expressive fruit, really lovely for a village wine...

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $29.99

Lafouge 2010 Meursault Les Meix Chavaux

We buy the Lafouge 'Meix Chavaux" every year, although in warm vintages it can be a bit too ripe for some palates. In 2010, it sings! Here's John Gilman's recent review: "In my experience, the Lafouge parcel of 82 year-old vines in Meix Chavaux produce one of the best "lieu-dit" bottlings in the village... The 2010 has turned out splendidly, jumping from the glass in a deep and superb blend of apple, pear, gentle notes of almond, stony minerality and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and racy, with beautiful mid-palate depth, ripe acids and a long, nicely reserved and very promising finish. A beautiful wine. Drink 2014-2030.

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  • white
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  • $38.99

Lafouge 2010 Auxey-Duresses Rouge

One of our favorite, if somewhat unknown domains of Burgundy, Jean Lafouge and his son Gilles make classic, balanced, beautiful Burgundies at affordable prices. Their village level Auxey-Duresses is always lovely and a great value — here's John Gilman's review of the 2010: "The 2010 Auxey "villages" from Domaine Lafouge will drink very well indeed with only a few years of bottle age and shows off the great purity and transparency of the vintage. The young and classy nose offers up scents of cherries, a touch of quince woodsmoke, gamebirds, incipient notes of sous bois and a gently spicy topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish, pure and nicely structured, with good mid-palate depth, moderate tannins and a long, tangy and soil driven finish. Best 2015 to 2030."

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

Rapet 2010 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes (Blanc)

"The Rapets have been making wine (in Pernand) for more than two centuries and the wines are now very exciting" says Clive Coates. Our yearly tastings with the modest Vincent Rapet are fabulous lessons in un-forced, terroir expressive winemaking. 2011 gave slightly less acid whites than 2010, this being a bit riper and softer as a young wine but nicely balanced and showing lovely acid/mineral character. Whites in Pernand often have an ethereal, stony, herbal character overlying the pretty white fruits — in 2011 there's a bit more fat making the wine more immediately accessible.  Really lovely white Burgundy at a reasonable price.

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

Rapet, Père et Fils 2010 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Fretille

The premier cru "Sous Frétille" is on a south-facing slope directly behind the hill of Corton. 2010 is a superb vintage for this wine — elegant white fruit and floral aromas, fabulous density and mineral acids on the palate, terrific length. Although this will provide exciting drinking when young, 5 to 15 years in the cellar should bring out the power and depth of this lovely wine.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99