Domaine Parentiere in January - old vines, organic farming.

Sensational Values from the Loire Valley - Guion, Parentière and Puzelat-Bonhomme!

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The wines of Stephane Guion have been great favorites of ours for many years, offering a uniquely earthy and mineral style of Cabernet Franc from his beautiful vineyards in Bourgueil, in organic farming since 1965! Stephane's plowing regimen contributes to a low soil PH, which translates into mineral acids in the wine, framing the lively red fruits, giving the impression of "tasting" the limestone terroir. These are great food wines that develop in the bottle for days after opening and which age beautifully for 20 years or more. We've just received the first shipment of Stephane's 2012 reds - a vintage of small quantity but superb quality, with low alcohol, very pretty bright fruit and perfect acidity - delightful, refreshing wines that will be beautful young served quite cool. The Prestige, of course will age beautifully as well - it's certainly one of our best values for cellaring. (Look out for a vertical tasting of Stephane's wines, back to 1990, coming up soon at Racines NY!)

A new arrival at Chambers Street, with a similar history to Domaine Guion, is Domaine de la Parentière in Vallet, an organic estate for more than 30 years, producing superb Muscadet and Gros Plant on their 5 hectares. Michel Menager and his son Guilhaume are proud of their work - organic in the vineyard, harvesting by hand and fermentations with wild yeasts, and never chaptalizing. They have old vines on "gabbro" terroir -  a unique basalt stone that gives a particular flavor to the wines (as found at Domaine Bregeon as well). Their wines are always low in alcohol, ranging from 10 to 12% and possess a wonderful purity and bright refreshing acidity. Their Gros Plant, called "Fraicheur Iodée de Loire," is light and lovely at 10.2% alcohol - it will be a superb summer quaffer and a great accompaniment to shellfish and seafood this summer. The 2012 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Vieilles Vignes (from vines averaging 50 years of age) has subtle white fruit and herbal aromas with hints of melon and stone typical of Muscadet on Gabbro. Fairly light at 12%, with refreshing saline minerals, it deepens nicely over a few days open - it's a serious Muscadet and a fabulous value. We're very happy to have the Menagers' wines at Chambers Street!

At a tasting last winter with Pierre-O Bonhomme, Thierry Puzelat's partner in Cheverny, we tasted three delicious wines, a bit unusual and full of character, that have finally arrived at Chambers Street. First, a Petillant Naturel from 2012 made with Cabernet Franc, secondly, a Cheverny made with Sauvignon Blanc and Menu Pineau, probably illegal but really lovely and third, a late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc, probably unsellable but so good that we hope a few brave souls will try it! The affable and capable Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme will be carrying on at the estate by himself, with Thierry Puzelat working only at the Clos de Tue-Boeuf - we wish him well!

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Guion 2010 Bourgueil Deux Monts

From 70 to 80 year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone. This is prime real-estate in Bourgueil. Tasted in January of 2012, this wine showed superb elegance and focus, with the great balance of Loire reds in 2010. Not for drinking young—hold for five years, then enjoy until 2040!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Parentière 2012 Vin de France (Organic) Fraîcheur Iodée L'Atlantique

The Parentière Fraîcheur Iodée de L'Atlantique, which roughly translates as "Atlantic sea-spray" is made from Gros Plant (aka Folle Blanche) grown on gabbro soils near Vallet in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region. Domaine de la Parentière is a tiny estate which has been practicing organic agriculture for more than 30 years—the grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with wild yeasts and the wines are never chaptalized, remaining light, mineral and refreshing. At 10.2% alcohol, this wine is light and lovely with subtle aromas of citrus, herbs and wet stone with vibrant, fresh acidity. The intriguing finish with hints of almond, citrus and earth is typical of the gabbro soils. Perfect with shellfish and seafood or quaffed outdoors on a hot summer day, this wine is a superb and refreshing value!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $9.99

  • Organic

Parentière 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Vieilles Vignes

Michel and Guilhaume Ménager produce this lovely Musacdet on their tiny estate near Vallet, which they have tended organically for more than 30 years. The sub-soil is gabbro, a type of basalt, that gives a unique aromatic quality to the wine, quite different from wines produced on the normal granite or gneiss/schiste soils of Muscadet. The Ménagers have always harvested by hand and never chaptalize, producing wines that are light, refreshing and very "mineral" in character. The 2012 Muscadet Cuvée Vieilles Vignes shows subtle aromas of citrus, melon, almond and stone—a difficult to describe melange typical to wines from gabbro soils. Light and refreshing at 12% alcohol, with stone, citrus and herbal flavors, this is a beautiful Muscadet to enjoy with shellfish, seafood, poultry and mild cheeses. Bravo to the Ménagers for producing this delightful wine at such a low cost! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $11.99

  • Organic

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2012 Vin Petillant de France Cabernet Franc Rosé

Petillant Naturel from 2012 made with Cabernet Franc "non dosé," having a lovely orange/salmon color and a light sparkle with pretty red-currant, blood orange and peach aromas. Slightly demi-sec, the palate continues with lovely red and yellow fruits, a bit of spice and a surprising long lingering finish. In other words, this wine is really yummy and much too easy to drink. Probably no SO2 and a little bit of RS, so consuming the bottle in one day is happily advised. DL

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2011 Cheverny

A sensational and possibly illegal blend of Sauvignon Blanc with Menu Pineau, rather than the obligatory Chardonnay. Distinctive aromas of herbs, melon, quince, citrus, honey and stone that continue on the palate, which is ripe, long and backed with zingy acidity. Give your boring old Sancerres a rest and try some of this complex and delicious Cheverny!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2011 Touraine Sayonara

"Pas pour tout l'monde"—"Not for everyone" it says on the label, and perhaps there is a small market for late-harvested Sauvignon Blanc, but this wine is beautiful and is well worth trying. 13 grams of residual sugar per liter (demi-sec?) with lovely white fruits and stony aromas. The palate is dense and deep and backed with good acidity with terrific length. Delicious! As the name also indicates, it's a tiny production, with a long fermentation in barrel to exhaust the capacities of the wild yeasts. One of the rare wines of this type to be bottled unfiltered and with only a tiny dose of SO2. Drink it if you dare!

  • Out of Stock
  • white off-dry
  • 0 in stock
  • $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!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99