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We're thrilled to introduce the natural wines of La Vrille et le Papillon in the Ardeche. A brother and sister team, Meyrl and Géraldinge Crozier started La Vrille et le Papillon in 2012 and now have 5 hectares of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Grenache and Ugni Blanc tended in organic agriculture. They grew up with grandparents on both sides of their family who were vignerons and farmers, so their connection to vine growing and agriculture has deep roots in the Ardeche. Meryl began his journey working at Domaine du Mazel with Gérald and Jocelyne Oustric when he was 18. He went on to study in oenology in Montpelier, and then returned home, where he was joined by his sister, Géraldine.
Vineyard work has been without herbicides or pesticides since the beginning, and they started making tisanes and using biodynamic preparations in 2013. The vinifications are the most natural possible, with wild yeasts and little or no sulfur added and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. The wines are wonderfully pure and delicate while possessing lovely density and length - they are remarkably refreshing and are perfect wines for a summer evening or for light meals and charcuterie throughout the year. The Fées Papillon rosé, a direct press Syrah, is delicate and light, a perfect summer quaffer. Caprice du Chameau, their Viognier, is perhaps the most fascinating and complex of our offering, with a constantly evolving nose and a beautiful opaque hue in the glass. It's an interesting and unique expression of Viognier that is not to be missed. The Z Rouge blends Syrah and Merlot to great effect, creating a silky and smile-inducing full bodied red, and the Chapeau Melon (a steal at $12.49!) gives us a earthy and dark Merlot, which begs for some meat or roasted veggies. (Note: Total SO2 levels of all the La Vrille et le Papillon wines are under 10mg/liter indicating zero or minimal added sulfur)
Also just arrived is a shipment of gorgeous natural wines from our new friends Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carle at le Jonc Blanc in Bergerac. The estate is located about 15 miles east of Saint-Emilion on a unique outcropping of limestones with shallow topsoils. The vineyard dates back to the 1500's and was listed in the first edition of Ferret in 1903. The reds are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot grown on the shallow calcaire soils, while Sauvignon Blanc and Semilon for the whites are grown on slightly deeper, cooler soils. Of particular note are a band of "marnes a ostrea," a limestone conglomerte with seashells, where the Merlot for the "Pure T" is grown, and a parcel of "calcaires a asteries," a marine limestone also found in Saint-Emilion, primarily for Malbec. The estate is certified organic and biodynamic and does fantastic vineyard work, including grains planted between the vines and flowering bushes throughout for a diverse flora and fauna. Their natural work continues in the cellar with wild yeast fermentations, zero or minimal added sulfur and aging in cuve inox or foudres by Taransaud or Stockinger. Franck and Isabelle are creating beautiful natural wines that have become enormous favorites of the Chambers Street staff - we urge you to try these delicious, soulful wines that offer extraordinary quality and value. (NOTE: This past April the estate lost 90% of their crop due to a disastrous frost. CSW will be adding one euro to the price of each bottle we purchase in upcoming shipments to help defray their loss.)
Warning: Natural Wine! A light and lovely Viognier from La Vrille et le Papillon in the Ardeche. The wine shows bright floral aromas of lemon, lime-flower, peach, mint and stone, really quite pretty. There is a bit of petillance on the palate with creamy citrus, peach, apricot and hay. Light and refreshing, with citrus, stone and yeasty flavors in the finish, this is a perfect summer quaffer, naturally delicioius!
This 100% Merlot from La Vrille et le Papillon has a dark, envoloping nose, with cassis and black fruit. There's impressive tannic structure and mineral complexity, and just enough acidity to lend length and lift to the finish. This is a serious full bodied red that is graceful enough to not exhaust your palate on it's own, and would be perfect for a BBQ or similar summer feast. Eben Lillie
Meryl and Geraldine Croizier are making lovely natural wines at their small estate in the Ardeche. The "Z" Rouge is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot and shows pretty black fruit aromas with rose, earth and citrus. The palate is silky and supple, light but with nice density, with cool, complex black fruits and hints of bitter chocolate, licorice and earth that continue in the long complex finish. Serve this delicious natural wine quite cool this summer with grilled foods, charcuterie and full-flavored cheeses. DL
The Jonc Blanc 2014 PURE T is 100% Merlot grown on a small parcel of "marnes á astrea," a limestone conglomerate with seashells with thin clay topsoil. The wine is made with zero sulfur dioxide or other additives, fermented with wild yeasts and aged for two years in 1200 liter Taransaud foudres. Less than 300 cases are made of this beautiful wine that shows a dark black/red color and deep aromas of blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate with roast meat and floral hints. There are lush black fruits on the palate, very silky and pure with good freshness, with firm acidity, berries and mineral flavors in the long finish. This is a gorgeous wine that will accompany anything off the grill, pork stew and coq au vin. Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carle are doing beautiful work at Le Jonc Blanc and their wines deserve your attention. DL
This beautiful wine is made by Isabelle Carles and Franck Pascal at Le Jonc Blanc, an unusual limestone plateau in the Bergerac with shallow clay soils. Natural vinification with wild yeasts, no additives and minimal extraction. Aged in a large foudre, bottled without fining or filtration, no added SO2, certified organic and Biodynamic. The wine shows a very dark red/black color, with lovely fruit and floral aromas - rose, blackberry and raspberry with hints of dark chocolate and earth. Pretty berry fruits on the palate with cocoa and citrus lifted by refreshing acidity and finishing with a mineral core and citrusy black fruits. This is an extraordinary, pure and delicious wine that should be served slightly cool. Perfect with charcuterie, patés, chicken and pork dishes or just quaffed happily by itself. Highly recommended. DL
Isabelle and Franck Pascal make this beautiful natural wine from Cabernet and Merlot grown on their Biodynamic estate near Felines, in Bergerac. The wine is aged sur-lie 12 months in barrel, and is bottled without filtration or added sulfur.The 2015 vintage has a dark robe. The nose displays the generosity of the vintage with aromas of ripe blackberries, black currants, and Italian plums with hints of cedar and graphite. The palate is rich, ripe, and deft with a good tension between the beautiful fruit and deep earth notes on a long, persistent, lifted finish. Fabulous with a grilled hanger steak, better still with magret of duck and strong cheeses. This is a tremendous value and should improve over 5-8 years. Delicious! John McIlwain
Meryl and Geraldine Croizier make lovely natural wines on their 5 hectare organic estate in Valigneres, Ardeche. The "Les Fees Papillon" Rosé is made from 100% Syrah, fermented with wild yeasts and with minimal SO2 added. The wine is a very pale pink color showing subtle aromas of peach, rose and stone; the palate is very dry and mineral - a bit austere with hints of peach and raspberry, very earthy and dry. Serve this refreshing rosé with oysters (with vinaigrette), fried or broiled fish, vegetable quiche, Asian foods...
We're proud to be working with Isabelle and Franck Pascal, who make beautiful natural wines on their small estate near Félines in Bergerac. The estate is situated on a unique rectangular hill of two different limestones with very thin clay soils - really a great terroir, enhanced by superb Biodynamic farming. The 2015 Sens du Fruit Rouge is an outstanding wine, produced with zero added sulfur, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. The color is dark black/red; the aromas are elegant, high-toned ripe blackberry and red currant with bitter chocolate, prune, spice and violets. The palate is deep and cool with supple black fruits, dark cocolate, earth, licorice and spice. The finish is long and pure with black fruits and firm acidity. Just delicious, but a bit tight - decant if possible or open a few hours in advance. Serve cool with charcuterie, grilled foods, stews, full-flavored cheeses. $12.99? Our thanks to Isabelle and Franck for their inspiring work.
This is a lovely Biodynamic white made from Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris by Isabelle and Franck Pascal, whose great vineyard work and natural vinifications are producing outstanding wines on their clay/limestone terroir. The Sens du Fruit Blanc shows fabulous aromas of lime-flower, orange peel, ripe pear, melon and spice - really unique and lovely. Very complex ripe fruit on the palate - pear and apple with citrus and mineral flavors backed by firm acidity. Serve with full-flavored seafood dishes, Asian foods, chicken and pork, patés and mild cheeses. This is a lovely natural wine and a great value!
This is a delightful rosé from our biodynamic friends, Isabelle Carle and Franck Pascal at le Jonc Blanc in Bergerac. 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Semillon. The wine shows intriguing aromas of cassis, raspberry, orange peel, rose and spice with lovely cassis, citrus and mineral flavors on the palate that coninue on the long silky finish. This is an unusually delicious rosé that will sell out quickly, only 20 cases for the US! This estate produces outstanding wines through meticulous biodynamic farming and careful low or zero sulfite vinifications - we urge you to try all their wines, each one is delicious and inexpensive.