Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat (photo: Bert Celce)

Super-Natural Reds from the Loire Valley; Puzelat, Cousin, Mortier and More!

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Some insanely delicious new wines have arrived, inspiring us to send this selection of Pineau D'Aunis, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Meunier from our favorite organic folks in the Loire Valley. Please note that 2012 was a very small harvest in the Loire with many wines in short supply. And a special thank-you to Jean-Marie Puzelat, Thierry Puzelat and Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme, the trio behind the wonderful wines from Puzelat-Bonhomme and Clos du Tue-Boeuf. We first encountered the Puzelat brothers back in 1999, after forcing our way through a throng of Parisian hipsters at the Salon des Vins de Loire. There were a few question marks in our notes, but mostly just Wow! and Excellent! Their 2012s are particularly outstanding, we hope you give them a try...

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Puzelat-Bonhomme 2012 Vin de Table Le Rouge Est Mis Pinot Meunier

100% Pinot Meunier, grapes near Orleans cultivated in Bioidynamic farming. The Orleans association "Amitié Argonne" and their benevolent members who participate in the pruning and harvest seek to preserve the vineyards of Orleans. The harvest is by hand, and convivial, the wine is aged in barrique, without filtration. Made by Thierry Puzelat and Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme at the winery in Les Montils.

Wow, this is delicious — a superb light red with aromas of rose, strawberry and tart cherry, with spice and earth. The palate is light, long and persistent with citrusy acids and earthy fruit in the finish. Serve cool. Yummy.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
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  • $28.99

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2012 Touraine Pinot Noir

A slight hint of reduction gives way to lush aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry and rose tinged with graphite. Cherry compote on the ripe but bright palate with refreshing acidity. Just delish, and much too easy to drink. (Yields were way down throughout northern France in 2012, but the resulting wines are of excellent quality and in short supply...)

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  • red
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  • $19.99

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2011 Touraine Pineau D'Aunis La Tesniere

An always a typical expression of Pineau d'Aunis, from vines adjacent to Clos Roche Blanche's on clay with silex, organic and biodynamic farming. Aged in old futs and demi-muids, bottled withouit filtration, minimal SO2. Lacking for the hallmark black pepper, but floral, beautiful dark cherry fruit and minimal-but-percepitble tannin. Slightly softer and more supple than the previous vintage; a wonderful food wine with a perfect balance of fruit and mineral acids.

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  • red
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  • $24.99

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2012 Touraine Pineau D'Aunis La Tesniere

100% Pineau D'Aunis from La Tesnière in Pouillé, organic and biodynamic farming, 12% alcohol, minimal SO2. 2012 appears to be a great vintage for Pineau D'Aunis giving wines with a bit more depth but still with light-body and crisp acidities. The La Tesnière shows beautiful raspberry, cranberry, violet and dusty white pepper aromas. Wild strawberry and spice on the dense but light-bodied palate, really pure and refreshing. Lovely finish, weightless and long....delicious!

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  • red
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  • $24.99

Tue-Boeuf 2012 Touraine La Butte

100% Gamay on clay and flint over limestone, organic and biodynamic farming, 11.5% alcohol. Beautiful fruit and great balance in 2012, the wine shows lovely peppery cherry and raspberry with pretty floral notes. Dense red fruits on the palate but light and lovely and lifted by refreshing acidity. This is just plain yummy and will accompany about anything...

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  • red
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  • $19.99

Tue-Boeuf 2012 Cheverny Rouillon

From roughly 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay from vineyards on clay and limestone with silex, farmed with organic and biodynamic methods. Lovely aromas of violets, blood orange, plum and raspberry. The palate is light and pretty with plummy berry fruit and citrusy acidity. 12% alcohol, minimal SO2. A delicious natural wine, serve cool with just about anything!

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  • red
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  • $22.99

Tue-Boeuf 2012 Cheverny La Caillière

100% Pinot Noir from clay and flint soils on limestone, farmed with organic and biodynamic methods. The difficult 2012 vintage gave horribly low yields to growers in the Loire and elsewhere, but paradoxically produced outstanding wines with lovely fruit and good acidity. The 2012 La Caillère shows very complex tart cherry, red-currant, violet and earth aromas. The palate is intense but light with fascinating black cherry, blood orange and spice flavors that linger with earthy acidity in the finish. This is an unususal and delicious Pinot that should develop well over the next 5 to 8 years. 12.5% alcohol, minimal SO2.

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  • $29.99

Cousin 2012 Vin de Table Francais Pur Breton

A superb Cabernet Franc from vines in and around Martigné Briand in Anjou, certified Biodynamic. Harvesting is by hand, fermentation is with wild yeasts, aging is in old barriques, no sulfites are added. M. Cousin does all vineyard work with horses, as he enjoys the work with animals and feels that tractors excessively compact the soil. The 2012 Pur Breton shows deep meaty aromas of blackberry, strawberry, pepper and earth. Lovely black fruits on the palate with lifting chalky acids. Terrific length and a fresh, clean finish. This is a particularly satisfying Cab Franc that is intensely food-friendly and highly recommended. Serve cool.

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  • red
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  • $19.99

Mortier 2010 Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Dionysos

Fabien and Cyril Boisard are making beautiful wines at their certified organic estate in Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil. They're doing great vineyard work, encouraging biodiversity in the vineyard and using organic and biodynamic methods. Vinifications are as natural as possible with minimal or zero sulfur and gentle extraction, with aging in wooden vats or large barrels. (The labels, however, could use some work...) Despite the label, the 2010 Dionysos is a superb Cabernet Franc from 50 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils. Lovely black/purple color, aromas of floral black fruits lifted by stony acidity. Lovely depth on the palate, without being heavy, with rich, chalky blackberry and red currant. The finish is earthy with plum-skin and saline minerals. Elegant and delicious now, perhaps best in 5 to 8 years...

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  • $22.99

Bobinet 2012 Saumur Hanami

Sebastien Bobinet and Emeline Calvez produce lovely wines from organically-grown grapes in Saumur and Saumur Champigny. Vinifications are without additives (no SO2). The 2012 Saumur "Hanami" (a term for flower viewing in Japan, usually cherry or plum, often cause for an outdoor party) shows slight reduction, then deep, earthy, strawberry aromas with palate-coating chalky, berry fruit. There is a saline, mineral character with graphite and strawberry in the finish. Decant or open in advance, serve cool — perfect with good charcuterie, roast chicken...

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  • red
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  • $17.99