The view of Mont Blanc from Ardoisières vineyards.

New Bounty in Eastern France!

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Has this ever happened to you? You visit a wine bar in a foreign city (in this case Avignon); you order something interesting off the list that you’ve never seen before (in this case a white wine from the Savoie, because you’d like a break from the full-bodied reds of the south); you like the white so much that for your next bottle you select the mystery Domaine’s red wine, which is fully as delicious as the white. Upon your return home, you seek out these wines, only to find that they are virtually unheard of in your native land. The quest continues for several years, and then one day (miraculously) the wines turn up!

Needless to say this is an autobiographical rendering of our experience with the wines of Domaine des Ardoisières. This estate of 17 hectares of very steep slopes comprises two vineyards: Cevins and Saint Pierre de Soucy above the town of Freterive. These are ancient plots that were, in a sense, rescued by a group of local enthusiasts (including Savoie winemaking legend Michel Grisard), who began to replant them in 1998. Now the Domaine is under the directorship of the talented Brice Omont, who began working with Grisard in 2005. Geographically, Freterive is due east of Lyon, and due south of Geneva, in the southern part of the Savoie, with an arresting view of Mont Blanc. The soils here are clay, limestone, and schist, giving the wines pronounced minerality, a lovely complement to their freshness and crunchy acidity on the palate. Perhaps a winemaking homage to Grisard, who uses a fair amount of wood in the cellar – or merely a stylistic preference – the wines see some barrel maturation, with stunning results. It's true that we've been on a bit of Savoie kick recently, and these wines are an exciting addition to our collection.  

We’d like to take the opportunity to draw your attention to a few additional new arrivals from the Savoie and the Jura (not that these regions have anything to do with one another, as a recent trip to both regions reinforced) as well as the return after a long hiatus, of several old favorites: Magnin, Belluard, Bornard, Puffeney, Bodines, Tissot's Crémant Indigène Rosé, and more! Please see the complete list below. Santé! -Sophie

   

Belluard NV Ayse Vin de Savoie Les Perles du Mont Blanc

Les Perles du Mont Blanc is made from the Belluard's biodynamically planted Gringet in the alpine village of Ayse. Fermentation for the base wine is done with indigenous yeast; the second with Champagne yeast and there is no dosage added, making for an exquisitely dry wine with fascinating complexity. The autumnal aromas of  pine forest, baking spice, and toasted hazelnuts give a festive quality to this wine. On the palate it is rich, with creamy flavors of bosc pear, wildflower honey, nutmeg and green apple. The invigorating acidity makes this a very versatile, food-friendly wine to pair with roasted fennel, sausage, or cheese. Amanda Bowman

  • white sparkling
  • 8 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Ardoisieres 2012 IGP Vin des Allobroges Argile Blanc

We first tried these wines two years ago at a Bar à Vins in Avignon. Something about their obscure nomenclature and wax capsules lead us to believe we'd like them. (We did.) And now, finally, they've arrived in New York! Argile Blanc is a blend of Jacquère, Chardonnay, and Mondeuse Blanche, raised 2/3rds in tank, and 1/3rd in barrique. From a part of the southern Savoie that is close to Chambery and Albertville, where Jean-Yves Péron makes wine, the clay and limestone soils give this wine an intense mineral backbone. The nose offers acacia honey, lemon curd, d'anjou pear, white fleshy orchard fruits, and a certain creaminess that delivers a beautiful contrast to the intense, flinty, stoniness of the palate. A must try for lovers of whites from the Savoie. MSB  

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Ardoisieres 2012 IGP Vin des Allobroges Argile Rouge

This blend of 80% Gamay and 20% Persan spends nine months in used barriques. The wine has an amazing nose of brambly red fruits and fruit seeds with crunchy, high acidity, and lively mouth-coating tannins. Cranberry! Sour cherry! An Alpine red wine lovers dream come true. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

Magnin 2011 Roussette de Savoie Altesse

This is an arresting and singular wine. Harvested at very low yields and partially barrel-fermented, it's a big wine that rewards the drinker with lots of gorgeous, oxidative, and honeyed notes, and also an earthy underpinning of mossy, truffle-y, cheesy flavors. There may even be a gram or two of residual sugar! The fruits lean toward ripe apple, and there's the tell-tale Altesse tone of pale honey, but the palate is more densely packed and complex than most other examples of this grape. Pick up some raw milk Alpine cheese and go crazy! MSB   

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $46.99

Magnin 2011 Arbin Mondeuse

The town of Arbin, where Louis Magnin is based, is amongst the most well-reputed terroirs for this grape, and this bottling shows quite a bit of structure, finishing with an iron-y and firm minerality. However the nose offers a bouquet of pretty purple wild flowers, velvety flower petals, tiny dark berries, smoke and spice. Hand-harvested, de-stemmed, with a fairly long maceration to extract tannins, it's a wine that marries elegance and rusticity quite nicely and is, above all, quintessentially Mondeuse. MSB 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

Tissot, Stephane 2015 Cremant du Jura Indigene

A serious crémant made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Poulsard, and Trousseau, all fermented with indigenous yeasts. Stéphane uses vin de paille to spark the second fermentation which lasts for several months, allowing complex flavors and textures to develop. With a little aeration, the nose shows honeysuckle, orange zest, and orchard fruit. The palate offers crisp minerality, flavors of tangy citrus, toasted nuts, dried honey, and sea salt on the long finish. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $34.99

  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Philippe Bornard 2009 Arbois Pupillin Le Ginglet

A delicious vintage for this lovely Trousseau from Philippe Bornard, and now showing some delightful bottle age, the wine has an absolutely gorgeous rose petal-y texture, and notes of earth, iron, and chinato on the nose. The wine is open with warm, generous red fruits, a faint hint of smokiness, and the tell-tale, lingering, firm minerality of the best red wines of the region. This is "natural" wine, but clean, expressive, and pretty from start to finish. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Puffeney 2010 Arbois Savagnin

A classic and impressive sous voile Savagnin from a great producer and a cool vintage, this wine shows riveting acidity and powerful mineral lift on the palate. The nose offers smoky voile; a powerful wine but light on its feel, and a must drink for lovers of this style of wine. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Puffeney 2012 Arbois Cuvèe Sacha

There are a few things in life that only The Pope can deliver... and Cuvée Sacha is one of them. From a blend of Sa(vagnin) and Cha(rdonnay), this is a(nother) stunning vintage for Sacha. In 2012, the ouillé side of Sacha speaks more loudly, with notes of floral apple, almond and marzipan, aromatic white fruits. With a tea-like hint of chamomile -- lightly honey-sweetened, and the riveting acidity the region is known for, this wine seriously over delivers for the price. For adventurous food and wine pairers, try Sacha as a pairing for risotto.The wine does wonders for rice dishes, as well as river fish drenched in cream sauce, roast chicken, and more! MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

Tissot 2008 Arbois Trousseau Singulier

This Trousseau exhibits the signs of careful and soulful wine-making that all Tissot's wines show. The nose has lovely sweet and tangy raspberry and sour cherry notes, wet soil, and a hint of pepper. Very pure and lively, this is a lighter-hearted wine than the more structured Trousseau from Puffeney. Make sure to decant and serve with any dish involving mushrooms! -msb

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

Tournelle 2007 Arbois Trousseau des Corvees

It's a pleasure to have room on the shelf for this lovely Trousseau. From a very high altitude vineyard, the wine is quite pale in the glass and lighter in style than Trousseau from Puffeney or Bornard. The nose offers brambly fruit notes of raspberries and earth, also an herbal, peppery edge that sets the wine apart from other Trousseaus. The palate is all sweet, tangy berries and mineral. Enjoy the hint of cherry pit on the finish. Serve chilled. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99

Bodines 2011 Arbois Poulsard

This fresh and quaffable Poulsard from Arbois in the northern Jura offers ripe, red, tangy fruits, delicious aromas of sour cherry and pomegranate, and herbal notes on the nose. It's beautiful, vibrant red in the glass and shows a bit of reduction at first, but far less than upon its initial arrival in New York. It's drinking really, really well right now, and is an ideal summer red for serving chilled. The texture is flower petal soft and the finish is full of zesty cranberry fruit. (also a terrific value in the grand scheme of Poulsard these days.) MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99