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Candela Prol, highly experienced certified wine educator and friend of the shop, is available for tastings and training for private and corporate events. For rates and other inquiries, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
The Loire Valley continues to amaze us with soulful and delicious wines, products of organic farming and natural vinifications that offer superb value, both in traditional styles and in distinctive new wines that capture the energy and creativity of this dynamic region. In Muscadet, Anjou and Touraine we find both young vignerons with new estates and family domaines of many generations that are committed to preserving their soils, with both new and ancient techniques, and to producing wines with natural vinifications and minimal or zero added sulfur.
Lise and Bertrand Jousset in Montlouis lost much of their crop to frost in both 2016 and 2017 but have persevered by producing beautiful "exile" cuvees from grapes sourced in the south of France, while continuing to make outstanding wines from their diminished harvests in Montlouis and Touraine. Recent arrivals from this leading organic estate include the superb 2015 Montlouis 1er Rendez-Vous "Version Longue," and a beautiful "Menu Pineau Maceration" which will delight any lover of "orange" wines! And please stop at their new wine-bar in Montlouis on your next trip to the Loire, or see the great article about it from our friend Bert Celce in Wineterroirs!
The Bourgueils of Stephane Guion have become some of the most popular wines at Chambers Street, and for good reason - the domaine was started by Stephane's parents in the 1950's and was converted to organic agriculture in 1965! Stephane, who received an oenological degree and then worked in Bordeaux and Chinon, made his first wine in 1990 and has maintained the organic methods of his parents, using only the natural treatments allowed by Ecocert. Harvesting is by hand and fermentations are with wild yeasts, with no sulfites added. (There are no sulfites added at bottling, only a minimal amount to protect the wine after the malolactic fermentation). The Cuvée Domaine, from 8 to 30 year-old vines, is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks while the Cuvée Prestige, from 35 to 80 year-old vines, ferments in wooden vats and ages in old barriques. Stephane's Cuvee Deux Monts, first made in 2009 is from 80 year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west with soils of clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. While many of our customers have fallen in love witrh this wine for current drinking, we would advise cellaring of ten to twenty-five more years as this will be an outstanding mature wine. Please note that the 2015 Cuvee Prestige is one of the finest that Stephane has made - both for current drinking and long-term aging. Case quantities are available but don't delay...
A tip from the Matthieu and Bernard Baudry led us to the traditional, organic Chinons of their neighbor Patrick Lambert. Our second shipment has just arrived, containing the last inventories of 2015 Rose, 2015 Deuzelles, 2014 Vieilles Vignes and 2014 Ame D'Antan. Any lover of traditional Chinon will enjoy these lovely wines which beautifully express the varied soils of Cravant-les-Coteaux.
Other new arrivals include the beautiful 2015 Montlouis "Pintray" from Frantz Saumon, the serious Sauvignon Blanc "Le Buisson Pouilleux" from the Clos du Tue-Boeuf and the funky and delicious 2016 "le Telquel" from Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme. And remember to visit the ZooPark de Beauval the next time you're in the Loire-et-Cher!
Please Note: All wines arrive by Tuesday 10/31
Our second Thanksgiving recommendation from Lise and Bertrand Jousset is this beautiful Chenin Blanc that will pair well with the turkey and sensationally with the sides! The 2015 Jousset 1er Rendez-Vous "Version Longue"is from 5 to 100 year-old vines from 8 parcels in Montlouis with clay and silex soils over limestone. The grapes are hand-harvested into small containers, all cellar functions are by gravity, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is 10 months in large used barrels then an additional 12 months in vat. The wine shows very elegant aromas of dried pear, quince, fine herbs, beeswax, honey, stone and lemon zest, really lovely. The palate is a beautiful melange of white fruits, mineral flavors, citrus and honey. The finish is supple, dense and long with sapid white fruits, honeyed citrus and stone flavors that linger on the palate, Beautiful wine, only a few cases available. David Lillie
This is Lise and Bertrand's foray into the 'orange wine' (skin contact) category. Here, they take the obscure Menu Pineau grape and let it sit with the skins for 9 weeks. The wine is then aged 11 months in barrel and an additional 2 months in tank. This is a fascinating wine, with notes of bergamot, burnt orange, eucalyptus and black tea. A touch of pleasant fruit and acidity provide balance, and the palate has fine tannins and structure. No sulfites added!
L'Appetillant is the Joussets' sparkling Montlouis, 100% Chenin Blanc, Champagne method (or should we say "Methode Traditionelle") made with no sulfur and no dosage. All cellar functions by gravity, no pumping, fermentation in one to seven year-old barrels, approximately 12 months on the lees. From 40 year-old vines on sand and silex soils over limestone. This version is absolutely delicious with lovely aromas of pear, lime-flower, stone and caramel, quite subtle and complex. White fruits, creamy citrus and stone on the palate with nice chalky, lemony length. Drink over the next three years. This is a beautiful wine and is highly recommended!
Lise and Bertrand Jousset began the "Exilé" project with fruit purchased from nearby friends who share their commitment to organic farming. The "Exilé" rose is a pétillant made with 100% Gamay from 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils, and it's one of our favorites. The 2016 is decadent with coastal aromas of salty pineapple core, fleshy melon, almond skins, and lilac. At 12% it is almost completely dry with a lacy mineral structure framing rich flavors of bosc pear, creamy pineapple, and subtle hints of white tea and orange peel. The finish is long and fabulously mineral. Serve with salade niçoise, cheese, or as a life-affirming aperó after a long day. Amanda Bowman
Typically made from organic grapes that Lise and Bertrand source from the Loire Valley, this vintage of the Exilé blanc is the result of a literal backpacking/grape harvesting mission that Bertrand went on in 2016, when the vines in the Loire were hit hard by frost and hail in the summer. The blend is Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Chardonnay, with most of the grapes coming from a little known region called Limoux. There's a density and marked minerality that the Chenin blanc provides, with mid-palate weight of the Chardonnay. Herbal notes, quince, and spice and the subtle oxidative notes come from Mauzac. It's crisp at first, then becomes rounder, with notes of apricot, and citrus. Truly a unique wine! Eben Lillie
"Pintray" is Franz Saumon's 100% Chenin on clay and silex over limestone from his single-vineyard near the Chateau Pintray in Moutlouis. Direct press, then raised in old barriques for about a year before bottling. Franz allows fermentation to happen naturally, in some vintages "Pintray" ferments dry, but the sunny 2015 was bottled as a true sec tendre with seven grams of residual sugar. For fans of Franz's "Mineral" this bottling also showcases the bracing minerality of Montlouis with a vibrant and powerful core. The hint of sweetness balances the racy, seashell-laden acidity that carries the rich flavors of ripe pear, honeysuckle, ginger, and meyer lemon to a long finish. Drinking beautifully now, but will likely gain complexity over time. Amanda Bowman
From 15 to 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils in Benais, in organic agriculture since 1965. The 2016 vintage shows quite deep red/black color with bright aromas of ripe black raspberry, black cherry, pepper, earth and clove. The palate is sapid and bright, with the firm acidity always present in Guion's wines. The black raspberry and red currant fruit is light and bright, at 12% alcohol, and the finish is refreshing and mineral. This young and vibrant wine will benefit from decanting well in advance (or opening the night before). Serve cool with charcuterie, roast chicken, pork chops and burgers. Thanks to Domaine Guion for two generations of organic agriculture and natural winemaking! DL
When we started with Stéphane Guion, selling the 2005 Cuvée Prestige, we referred to the Revue Vin de France article on this unknown domaine - "These are not fashionable wines, due to the dynamic acidity, but for those who love the flavors of terroir they are a priority discovery that are a credit to the Loire." Indeed, organic farming going back to 1965, and a regimen of shallow plowing that keeps soil ph low, gives Stephane's wines a unique bright acidity and high mineral content underlying the beautiful fruit of his old vines. And in 2015 there was gorgeous fruit in Chinon and Bourgueil, despite the late rains that softened the wines at some estates. The 2015 Cuvée Prestige, from forty to eighty year-old vines in parcels around Benais, is a vibrant, joyous wine that shows a bright deep garnet color and elegant, ripe aromas of strawberry and red currant liqueur with hints of violet, dusty stone and black pepper. The palate is sapid and ripe but lifted by refreshing acidity, with lush berry liqueurs, saline minerals and citrus. The finish is long with lingering sappy fruit, earthy acidity and spice. Thanks to the Guion family for this soulful and delicious wine! (Aging potential of twenty to thirty years, but it's so delicious now that leaving it in the cellar will be difficult.) David Lillie
(Last 60 btls of the 2014, arrives 7/26) From 70-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 (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils and 2014 is a particularly good vintage for Loire reds to age. 18-month élevage ; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. Tasted in February 2016, the wine was fairly closed and tight, with deep, pure black fruits and perfect balance. This will be a sensational mature wine, best to wait eight to ten years, or more, then drink until 2040.
(Last of stock) This delightful Chinon Rosé comes from Patrick Lambert's 6 hectares of organic vines in Cravant, around the corner from his friend Bernard Baudry. Hand harvested from 20 year-old vines on gravel and sandy clay soils over limestone. The wine shows lovely aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry and rose; the palate is ripe and pretty with raspberry, citrus and stone flavors with nice density and texture, with juicy acids, berry flavors and minerals in the finish. This is drinking beautifully now and will keep nicely well into 2018. Only 120 cases made - it's a fabulous value and highly recommended. DL
The Chinon "Les Deuzelles" from Patrick Lambert is 100% Cabernet Franc from 20 year-old vines on a mix of gravel, clay and sandy soils over limestone. Fermentation with wild yeasts is followed by 6 to 8 months aging in cuve, stainless or cement. Despite being from the very warm 2015 vintage, the Lambert "Deuzelles" is a quite earthy old-fashioned Chinon showing aromas of strawberry, red currant, citrus and earth. The palate is similarly earthy with red fruits, citrus and soil flavors balanced by bright acidity. This is a fabulous value and should be served cool with roast chicken, pork dishes, charcuterie and mild cheeses.
The delicious Chinon Vieilles Vignes of Patrick Lambert is from 55 year-old vines on sandy clay soils over limestone. Hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts, as are all of Lambert's wines, the Vieilles Vignes gets 12 months of aging in old barrels. The wine shows a deep red/black color and ripe blackberry and strawberry aromas with pepper, earth and citrus. The palate shows earthy blackberry and strawberry compote with prune and bitter chocolate with firm citrusy acids. This is a complex, old-fashioned Chinon that will accompany roast chicken and anything off the grill, served a bit cool. Age for five to ten years for a mature experience. And at $14.99 it's a fabulous value! DL
This beautiful Chinon is from 65 to 70 year-old vines in sandy clay soils over limestone in Sonnay, near Cravant. The wine ages for 18 months in old barrels, less than 200 cases are made. The 2014 Ame D'Antan shows a deep black/garnet color with elegant aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry with hints of violet, prune, citrus and crushed stone. The palate is dense but bright, with a silky texture, showing pure blackberry fruit with earth and licorice with firm mineral acidity. Good length with lingering berry and mineral flavors. Delicious now, it will age beautifully, probably best 2020 to 2030+. Highly recommended. DL
Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat make this outstanding Sauvignon Blanc from a one hectare parcel in Pouillé, with sand and gravel over limestone, giving very low yields. An intense and beautiful wine in 2015, with aromas of lemon peel, pear, dried herbs, lime flower and pine resin. The palate is dense and ripe with dried white fruits, lemon oil and earth backed by firm acidity. Beautifully structured and very long, this is an outstanding and unusual Sauvignon Blanc to serve with fish or chicken in sauce and full-flavored goat cheeses. Delicious now, the wine should be very interesting with 5 to 10 years of cellaring. Highly recommended. (The name literally translated is "squalid bush" but we hope it refers rather to the limestone of Pouillé...?)
Hervé Villemade's 2016 Cheverny Blanc is a lovely and versatile wine, made from 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay grown on flinty sand and clay soils. The wine shows pretty aromas of pear, citrus, almond and stone with hints of boxwood and fine herbes. The palate is supple with white fruits, citrus, a bit of anise and herbal flavors and is nicely balanced with firm acidity. This is a delicious everyday white that will accompany most seafood dishes, chicken, white meats and goat cheeses. David Lillie
This "poil dur" is wagging its tail in 2016, showing juicy aromas of leafy blackberry, rose, spice and citrus. It's Gamay and Grolleau in this vintage, with a nice density of bright blackberry fruit, a bit floral and spicy. Quite refreshing with good length of berry fruits and citrusy acids in the finish. Serve a bit cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork - just delicious! David Lillie