Chenin Blanc at Grange aux Belles

La Grange Aux Belles, Nicolas Carmarans and Sebastien Fleuret - Great Natural Wines from the Aveyron and Loire Valley! Taste at Racines NY, Tuesday Nov. 10th.

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We're proud to feature some sensationally delicious wines imported by our friend Fifi, formerly of Ten Bells and now bringing to NY some of the most distinctive natural wines of France.

La Grange Aux Belles was created by Marc Houtin in 2004 - a classic story of a new career, first looking for vineyards in the Languedoc then finding 9 hectares in Anjou, inspired by Leon Barral in the south and Patrick Baudoin in the Loire. The estate has Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d'Aunis, Gamay, Grolleau and Chenin Blanc, farmed organically of course, using herbal infusions against mildew and vinified with minimal SO2.  Short maceratons are practised here, with minimal extraction, seeking light-bodied aromatic wines, low in tannins and alcohol. This comes as a welcome alternative to the tannic, high-acid reds that have been common in Anjou. The whites here too are light and mineral, very pure and un-tainted by new oak. The wines from Grange Aux Belles are simply delicious - they sell out immediately in France, and are in very short supply in NY - we urge you to try them!

Nicolas Carmarans

Nicolas Carmarans, owner of one our our favorite Parisian wine-bars "Café de la Nouvelle Mairie," returned to his ancestral village in the Aveyron to make wine beginning in 2002, moving there permanently in 2007 with the purchase of a vineyard called "le Mauvais Temps." The local appellation is "Pays d'Entraygues," with only 19 hectares in production, at roughly 500 metres in altitude on schiste and decomposed granite. Fer Servadou is the primary red grape, along with Negret and Cabernet, with Chenin Blanc  being the only white grape. (According to Bert Celce in Wineterroirs, Fer Servadou was brought to the region from Madiran by the monks of Cluny in the 10th century). Vinifications here are mostly carbonic maceration for the reds, in tronconic Grenier vats followed by aging in old barrique with minimal sulfur, about 1,200 cases total production from less than 4 hectares. The Chenin Blanc "Selves" is particularly pure and mineral, certainly an equal if quite different expression of the grape than any Vouvray or Montlouis. As with Grange Aux Belles, Carmarans seeks to make aromatically beautiful wines that are relatively light, silky and balanced on the palate. These are gorgeous wines that  express the unusual terroir in this ancient but forgotten region through the great vineyard work and meticulous vinifications of Nicolas Carmarans! (For more information on this fascinating estate, please see the great article on Wineterrors.com from 2012)

Vineyard of Nicolas Carmarans in the Aveyron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us on Tuesday, November 10th at Racines NY as we feature these delicious wines by-the-glass along with other estates imported by Fifi's Imports, including Les Bottes Rouge and Domaine l'Anglore,  beginning at 6:00pm. Come enjoy a few glasses with the great bar snacks at Racines or come for a fabulous dinner by Chef Frédéric Duca!

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Grange aux Belles 2014 Vin de France La Chausée Rouge

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grolleau, eight-day carbonic maceration, with juice drawn off daily, light-body, low alcohol - "we're trying to make Poulsard!" says winemaker Marc Boutin. Named after the vineyard site, a bloody battleground in the War of the Vendee. Nothing bloody about this lovely wine, quite light and pretty with red currant and strawberry fruit, just gorgeous and much too easy-drinking. Serve quite cool with just about anything...

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Grange aux Belles 2014 Vin de France Brise d'Aunis

We love the beautiful cool, spicy fruit of Pineau d'Aunis at Thanksgiving, and this version by Granges Aux Belles, with a bit of Gamay, is a terrific choice! Primarily Pineau d'Aunis from old vines with Gamay, organic farming, 16 mg/L total SO2, destemmed, short maceration (not carbonic).  A French retailer says, "If you plan a meal featuring La Brise d'Aunis, and a car is to be driven afterward, make sure there is someone who will not touch a drop of this wine!" Floral black raspberry, white pepper, plum and strawberry liqueur, with a bit of earth and funk. The palate is deep and cool with ripe blackberry, black cherry and spice, with the low-yield Gamay juice bringing more weight. Long dense finish of earthy black fruits, citrus and minerals. Just plain delicious!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Grange aux Belles 2014 Vin de France "53" Cabernet Franc

From old vines of Cabernet Franc on schist, most planted in 1953, de-stemmed, short fermentation with no extraction. Complex aromas of blackberry, cranberry, beach plum, earth, quite pretty; the palate shows supple black fruits and firm acidity with berry fruits, licorice, earth and citrus in the long finish. This is a fascinating and delicious Cabernet Franc, quite different than the wines from the limestone terroirs in Touraine. Serve cool over the next few years with chicken, pork, charcuterie and mild cheeses.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Grange aux Belles 2014 Vin de France Fragile (Chenin Blanc)

Fragile is made from Chenin Blanc farmed organically, the second pass through the vineyard, aged in old barrels with a minimal (10 to 20 mg) dosage of SO2 before bottling. The 2014 is a beautiful natural Chenin with elegant aromas of ripe pear, herbs and minerals, quite subtle; the palate is dense, stony and long, really showing saline minerals in the finish. A lovely wine in the style of Patrick Baudouin and Richard Leroy, highly recommended.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Fleuret, Sebastien 2013 Vin de France Refaire le Monde (Chenin)

Sebastien Fleuret calls himself a "micro-vigneron," who splits his time between the French National Center for Scientific Research and his 1.5 hectares of vines in Faye d'Anjou and Beaulieu-sur-Layon in Anjou. He practices organic agriculture and vinifies with zero or minimal SO2 and has learned from Didier Chaffardon, Vincent Carème and our friend Didier Barrouillet among others. "Refaire le Monde" (remake the world) is a delicious natural Chenin - light bronze color, petillant when opened, aromas of peach, citrus, anise, lime-flower, white pepper, earth and fermentation.The palate is rich with stone, peach, citrus and honey with terrific density and length. 10 mg of SO2 only.

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

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Carmarans, Nicolas 2014 IGP Aveyron Mauvais Temps

"Le Mauvais Temps" is a vineyard near the hamlet of Le Bruel, Campouriez, Aveyron - more or less the middle of nowhere in south-central France. The wine is made from 40% Fer Servadou, and 40% Negret de Banhars with Cabernet Franc, organic farming, whole cluster fermentation, 10 mg only of SO2, 11% alcohol. Lovely deep raspberry, spice, and earth aromas. The palate is light but round and deep with spicy berry fruits. This is a beautiful natural wine, just 100% delicious, balanced and pretty! Thank-you Nicolas Carmarans....

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

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Carmarans, Nicolas 2014 Vin de Pays de l'Aveyron Maximus

2014 is a great vintage for the lovely natural wines of Nicolas Carmarans! Maximus is 100% Fer Servadou (aka Braucol), one of the most interesting varieties of southern France. Heroic organic farming on steep slopes, two week carbonic maceration then six moths in old barriques with 10mg of SO2 a month before bottling. Beautiful, complex aromas of berries, plum, violets, earth and spice, really lovely! The palate is light, long and very pretty with black fruits earth and spice. Serve cool with pork, roast chicken, charcuterie...boudin noir perhaps? Highly recommended!

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

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Carmarans, Nicolas 2014 Vin de Pays de l'Aveyron Selves (Chenin)

The wines of Nicolas Carmarans never fail to reflect the natural, rugged beauty of the region from where they are made. A stand out during a recent tasting was Selves made from 100% Chenin Blanc from vines aged anywhere from 5-50 years old that are planted in granitic soils. The nose is very pretty with seashells, white flowers, a touch of smoke, and ripe tropical melon. On the palate it is lean and mineral, complete with mouth-coating, fleshy tropical fruit, a racy acidity, and beautiful tension. Chenin Blanc isn’t usually what comes to mind when thinking of Aveyron, but this is something special. Tim Gagnon

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

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur