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You ordered the turkey but forgot the wine? Yes, our truck will be delivering in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Wednesday and our flock of delivery personnel will be covering the city below Canal Sreet. So don''t panic, just give us a call or order on-line and great wines for Thanksgiving will be flying your way. Here are a few new suggestions, or refer to The 53rd Annual Chambers Street Wines Thanksgiving Email from November 13th...
Everyone at Chambers Street Wines wishes you a great Thanksgiving!
Pepe Raventos stepped outside of the Cava appellation in 2012 to create the Conca del Riu Anoia designation. The de Nit rosé was the first Conca wine and continues to sate and impress us with its lively expression of calcareous soils, rich with marine fossils. This is an incredibly versatile sparkler that has crisp, pretty stone fruit and light raspberry fruit with a gorgeous minerality.
For those of a classical bent who prefer not to shop at the big Champagne houses, André Beaufort is a wonderful alternative. Longtime organic farming and extended lees-aging produce rich wines of uncommon detail and complexity. The 2010 Ambonnay offers aromas of white flowers, orange peel, bergamot, and chalk on the nose. Bright acid, salted plum, citrus oil, and a fine line of sapid minerality on the supple and rich palate. This shows a fine interplay between power, tension, and a suave, supple finish. This is one heck of an Ambonnay and a fine bottle of Beaufort! (Disgorged June 2017) John McIlwain
Falanghina seems to be one of the great success stories of southern Italy, emerging from relative obscurity despite being a truly ancient variety into a nearly ubiquitous staple on the market. That has lead regrettably (and predictably) to any number of wines that fail to show the real virtues of the grape. Agnanum Falanghina is anything but predictable; produced from terraced vineyards of own-rooted vines ranging in age from 10 to 60 years old, possible only because of the particular soil of the area, the wine is pure and piercingly mineral. The nose is tart, showing pithy lemon and orange with delicate white florals, notes of mint and lemon balm and a characteristic hint of peach pit. The wine is almost airy on the palate with a fairly soft texture and fresh acidity showing a more deliberately stone fruit character of yellow peach and fresh apricot with a delicate saline finish. it is an obvious match to simple fish dishes but would be equally suited to a wide range of food: try it with goats milk cheese, olives, chicken, or egg dishes. Andy Paynter
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
The young and very talented Stéphane Magnien is producing delicious, old fashioned Burgundies from his beautifully tended vineyards in and around Morey-Saint-Denis. The estate has never used herbicides and uses a plowing regimen designed to force the roots deeper into the limestone bedrock. The "village" wine is always one of my favorite recommendations in Burgundy due to its elegance, balance, lovely fruit and great value. The 2015 is particularly beautiful, showing a bit more depth and ripeness than the excellent 2014, with aromas of blackberry and strawberry liqueur, violet, brown spice, orange peel, smoke and earth. The palate is dense, but not over-ripe, with earthy black fruits, bitter chocolate, citrus and spice with a core of firm acidity and mineral flavors. Quite delicious as a young wine, this ripe and elegant Morey-Saint-Denis will be at its best from approximately to 2022 to 2030. Those looking for value in a 2015 red Burgundy should consider buying a case of this lovely wine. David Lillie
What to serve with all sorts of warming, rich, spiced desserts? Gewürztraminer Eiswein! Grown on loamy soils with limestone and clay in the Haardter Herrenletten, left to freeze in the winter and harvested with an intense level of sugars and acidity. We were lucky to grab some of these from a private cellar, but haven't been able to try them yet! However, all signs point to this bottle being an awesome pairing for the sweeter end of your holiday table! Cari Bernard
The 2014 Domaine Tinou Jurançon Cuvée Tradition is made from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng, grown in Serge Hondet's beautiful vineyard near Lasseube, certified organic since 1964. The soils are essentially sandy clays with stones and gravels from the Pyrenees, over the local limestone, "Calcaire de Lasseube." The wine shows lovely pale gold color, vivid aromas of lemon, pineapple, honeysuckle, stone and brown spice, elegant and subtle. Creamy lemon, pear and stone flavors on the palate, balanced by citrusy acids. 62 grams of RS per liter, but seems dryer. Lovely finish of lemon, exotic fruit and minerals. Serve this lovely wine with foie gras, patés, full-flavored cheeses and lemony desserts or just sip by itself. Highly recommended.
For years we kept seeing small piles of sparkling rosé lining the walls of Francois Pinon's cellar. Finally we asked — is there enough for a small shipment to NY? And so this delicious blend of Malbec and Grolleau - from vines planted by François' grandfather - finally reached Chambers Street! The 2014 is a very pale orange/pink color with lovely aromas of strawberry, red currant and peach. The red fruits continue on the palate, balanced nicely by earth, citrus and mineral flavors that continue in the refreshing finish. This is a beautiful and crowd-pleasing rosé that's wonderful now and will drink beautifully for many years - a 1990 tasted a few years ago was sensational. Highly recommended. DL
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!
While today we tend to think of most wines in terms of fruit or mineral descriptors, some transcend those notes with profoundly savory character. Ruppert-Leroy's 100% Pinot Noir Champagne Les Cognaux hits this sweet spot with loads of minerality, pure fruit, and a rich sapid character which makes it a natural for the table. Here's a wine that will stand up to all manner of savory dishes, while leaving the palate refreshed. A visit to the vines with Bénédicte Ruppert of Ruppert-Leroy is an illuminating experience. There’s a world of difference between the Aube and the Vallée de la Marne. Not only are the soils different, (Kimmeridgean limestone vs. chalk), but the undulating landscape itself is wilder and less manicured. Often the vineyards abut forest rather than village, which in the case of biodynamic growers is especially desirable to insure a biodiversity according to Bénédicte. Between the vines is a riot of vegetation and flowers, as Ruppert-Leroy has 30 different plants and flowers sown in the vineyard. One such vineyard is the Les Cognaux whose grey marl soils are planted to Pinot Noir and when we visited in the Spring was aglow with yellow flowers. (These flowers are made into a tissane by Bénédicte to treat the vines for mildew.) The wildness of the countryside is reflected in the wines which are energetic, exuberant, and vibrantly mineral. The 2013 Les Cognaux shows red fruit, peach skin, orange peel, and see spray aromas with notes of daishi and fond. The palate balances lush, ripe flavors of apricot, peach, and Rainier cherry with crunchy acidity, compelling umami character and a pungent sense of minerality. The finish is vibrant and luminous. As of 2013 Ruppert-Leroy vinifies and bottles without SO2. John McIlwain
An ardently autumnal Blanc de Noirs from our friends at Clos Lentiscus, made of 100% Sumoll from a biodynamically-farmed single vineyard planted in the 1930s in the Garraf National Park, just south of Barcelona, on sandy calcareous soils. The second fermentation is spurred by rosemary honey from Clos Lentiscus' estate apiary, which adds a heady, honeyed component (with no sweetness whatsover) to the palate of tart red fruit skins, gently gingery spice, with bold structure and complex umami notes from aging 30 months on the lees before disgorgement with no dosage. Zero added sulphur. Ariana Rolich
Direct press Pinot Noir rosé from the Pfalz! The 2016 vintage is just a touch lighter in body than 2015 with even more mineral cut; flavors of wild strawberry, white cherry, green melon, raspberry seed, and blood orange are vibrant and punched up by the mouth-watering acidity. Cari Bernard
Claus Preisinger's first vintage was in in early 2000s, after stints working in California as well as with Hans and Anita Nittnaus in Burgenland, where his vineyards are also located. His 19 hectares of vineyards have been certified Biodynamic (Respekt) since 2008. The Kalkundkiesel white is a blend of approximately 50% Weißburgunder, 30% Grüner Veltliner, and 20% Chardonnay, from different vineyards grown on chalk/limestone (kalk) and pebbles (kiesel). The grapes can spend up to eight months on the skins, but for this vintage it was closer to four to six. The wine then spends 14 months in neutral, small barrels (a mix of French and Austrian oak), before being bottled with no added sulfur. Incredibly clean and soft, the palate has complexity, but not the tannic texture one often expects on a white wine with months of skin contact. Savory notes mix with yellow apple and peaches on the nose, the wine has rich flavors of saffron, yellow apple, and fresh green pear with a floral overtone. Cari Bernard
Chiesa’s Arneis comes from a parcel of old vines that were planted in the early 1960s in sandy soil on a steep south-eastern exposure. The grapes are hand harvested, very gently pressed to avoid over-extraction, and fermented with ambient yeast in stainless steel. The wine shows a gold straw hue in the glass with rich notes of spiced pears, white peach, mandarin orange with pleasant hints of chlorophyll and a just a touch of almond flowers on the nose. The wine is full bodied, with a soft creamy texture brightened by focused acidity, drawing a delicate balance of ripe fruit without being perfumed or cloying. I think it would suit soft cheeses or rich egg dishes especially well, but Arneis can be paired widely; try it with everything from light vegetable dishes to pork chops or grilled chicken. Of course, Arneis is a pleasure to drink all on its own. Andy Paynter
This succulent, sun-drenched dry white from the Douro positively gushes with exotic notes of ripe peach, white grapefruit, tropical fruits, and lemony acidity, with silky florals and a dash of peppercorn and fresh, fragrant herbs. Made from 100% Moscatel Galego (Muscat à Petits Grains) grown in high altitude schist and granite soils, there is a deep mineral streak running through the wine which lends focus, complexity and a long, chiseled finish to a would-be lighthearted aperitif. Fabulous paired with poultry, fish and seafood, salads, and spicy or garlicky fare.
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!
Carved from vineyards once owned by the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny and farmed organically by Julien Guillot's family since 1954, Clos Vignes du Maynes is one of the most distinctive growers in Burgundy. Aragonite comes from 40- to 80-year-old vines high on the slope, on thin soils of clay, crystallized limestone, and laced with other minerals. This wine is incredibly aromatic upon opening with aromas of golden pear, green apple, apricot, white grapefruit, honeysuckle, and bergamot; there is a hint of earthy heather honey and butterscotch. On the palate it is quite rich and luscious, and much more tropical and salty than in years past. In fact, if tasted blind, I could see this being mistaken for a great Chardonnay from the Jura as it has fantastic acidity, and is beautifully textured, long, and mineral. On day two the aromas have softened a bit, and the palate has gained an added savory note that contributes to a still stunningly long finish. The 2015 Aragonite is not to be missed. Tim Gagnon
Chenin Blanc for Thanksgiving is perfect and René Mosse makes among the best! This showed beautifully when tasted last winter, with complex aromas of pear, lime-flower, mint, citrus and stone, with a dense and very mineral palate and fabulous length. Can't wait to try it again.
It’s common to find Ramatos in the Friuli region of Italy, where the term (from the Italian word for copper: Rame) is used for the local style of skin contact Pinot Grigio. It’s not so common to find a Ramato in Oregon, but when John Paul was offered access to Pinot Grigio grapes from the Abbey Ridge vineyard, he decided to try his hand at making one. Shortly after he started making his Ramato, about 5 years ago, John Paul met Sasha Radikon, and traveled to Collio to see how he and his father (the recently deceased Stanko Radikon) approached making their Ramato. He learned that the Radikons waited much longer before harvesting, yielding a darker hued and more intense wine. Though he has embraced the Radikon style and experiments now with late harvest Pinot Grigio (aged for 2 years in neutral oak like their Pinots), this is the original version that John Paul has always made. He picks the grapes at peak ripeness, (we should note this is already later than nearly everyone else in Willamette Valley), and ferments them on the skins, extracting just a touch of tannin, and giving the wine a pleasant structure. There’s tropical and stone fruit here, and also a fascinating herbal side. It’s a beautiful color in the glass and a perfect introduction to the world of skin contact wines. Drink with a slight chill. Eben Lillie
In addition to perfectly elegant, age-worthy reds, Steve Edmunds produces one of California's lightest, purest white wines from Vermentino and Grenache Blanc. Heart of Gold exudes fresh white florals, mineral water, and tingly orchard fruit aromas; flavors are bright and defined, graceful and deeply mineral, with gentle rays of citrus pith and crisp pear, golden apple, and yellow peach. Acidity is abundant and well-integated. Ariana Rolich
Serge Hondet at Domaine Tinou makes a tiny quantity of lovely dry rosé from Cabernet Franc grown on his 3 hectare organic estate in the southern part of Jurançon. The wine shows a very pale pink color with delicate aromas of raspberry and red currant. The palate is light and bone-dry with subtle flavors of red fruits, citrus and rosewater that continue in the long finish. A bit like the Baudry Chinon Rosé, it will accompany terrines and patés, chicken and pork dishes. And while its delicous now, don't hesitate to put some away for next summer... David Lillie
Domaine les Fouques has been has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provencal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2016 Rosé La Londe is a beautiful wine and a real rosé of terroir showing lovely pale pink color with subtle aromas of peach skin, raspberry, orange peel, spice and rose. The palate is light, balanced, dense and long with ripe cherry, peach, citrus, spice and saline mineral flavors. Drinking beautifully now, especially with a bit of aeration, it will improve over the next year or two and accompany an elegant ceviche, fish or chicken, salads and mild cheeses. Great sipped by itself as well, a delicious and "serious" rosé that is highly recommended!
Listan Negro is ubiquitous in the Canary Islands, but Ignios' rendition is unique. From a one-half hectare, 30-year-old single vineyard planted on iron-rich clay loam on a coastal banana plantation, the 2015 is tart and salty, with herbal raspberry and reductive aromas feeding into flavors of sour cherry, plum peels, red beets, salty soy, pepper, iodine, and smoky, funky earth. This wine evolves wonderfully with air as well as age in bottle. Decanting recommended. Ariana Rolich
Xurxo Alba does it all! A miniscule amount of red wine is produced in Rías Baixas (it is hardcore Albariño and crustacean country!) and even less of it comes to our shores. Fans of red wines that taste like acid, rocks, and dirt will be delighted by O Esteiro Tinto, Xurxo's blend of (roughly equal parts) feral and earthy Caiño, austere and mineral Espadeiro, with the brambly bright berries of Mencia. This is an exhilarating wine of a terroir that we rarely experience through red wine. Ariana Rolich
The Nebbiolo Manascarda from Chiesa exemplifies the qualities I love most in Roero Nebbiolo: it is highly aromatic with an uncommon delicacy on the palate. Produced from 50-65 year old vines planted in sandy soil with a steep eastern exposure, the grapes are fermented with a submerged cap for 20 days followed by a year in old, large botti. The nose is simply seductive; Ripe sour cherries, orange zest, and roses are layered over more autumnal notes of porcini mushrooms and fresh fallen leaves. Medium body with very fine tannins the palate is defined by fresh acidity and bright red fruits with a slightly mineral finish. This is an ethereal expression of Nebbiolo, almost as much fun to swirl and smell as it is to drink. Try it with lighter food like grilled fish, poached chicken, fresh pasta dishes, or to lift through denser dishes like risotto or pan-seared pork chops. Andy Paynter
The Descombes Regnié Vieilles Vignes is superb in 2014, showing lovely aromas of red currant and strawberry, violet, orange peel, brown spice and soil. There is velvety strawberry and blackberry compote on the palate with rose, pomegranate, earth and citrus. The finish is long with lemony acidity, mineral flavors and pretty red fruits. This is a complex and beautifully balanced Regnié that is delicious now, with aeration, and it should be superb from 2020 to 2026+. Highly recommended. David Lillie
Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chêne Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand and gravel over the rock, which permitted a tiny separate production from franc de pied vines, now mostly deceased) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. Fermentation in wooden cuves, 12 months of aging in two to five year-old barriques, 9 additional months in unlined cement vats. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 – it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons. In 2014, the Baudrys produced superb wines with perfect balance and lovely, pure fruit. Their precise vinifications, matched to each different terroir, with no new oak, minimal sulfur, and elevage of the right length and in the right barrel, foudre or vat, gave elegant and delicous results. The 2014 Clos Guillot is a black/purple color with red rim, showing intense aromas of red currant, boysenberry, blackberry, fines herbs, citrus and stone with hints of dark chocolate and musk. The palate shows bright, lush, sappy red and black fruits with bright acidity lifting the flavors and coating the palate with citrusy red fruits, saline minerals and wet stone. Beautiful wine! Case quantities are possible, but don't delay. DL
The Saint Georges Pinot is firm and bright with aromas of dried cranberries and blood orange; on the palate, macerated strawberry and salty red plum. The silky tannins frame the wine's distinctive freshness and vibrant texture. Alex Krause and John Locke sourced the grapes predominantly from a warm, yet maritime-influenced vineyard on the the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains and blended other single vineyard fruit. Jonas Mendoza
I cannot think of a California winemaker working today whom we admire and celebrate as enthusiastically as Steve Edmunds of Edmunds St. John. Displaying a greater resemblance to L'Anglore Tavel than to the typical California GSM blend, 2015 Rocks and Gravel is juicy and generous with invigorating acidity and lots of life ahead. Perfumed and mouth-watering aromas of wild rose, black currant, tea leaves, and wild cherry with a terrifically spicy, bright and balanced palate of black raspberry, cherries and cherry skins, sweet tobacco, juicy young tannins and vibrant acidity. Medium bodied and crystal clear at 13.2% alcohol, this wine opens up beautifully and will reward cellaring. Ariana Rolich
Precedent's Evangelho bottling teaches even the Zin-averse to contemplate this fragrant, complex, and age-worthy grape anew. Aromas of creamy boysenberry and black cherry, with pink flowers, citrus, incense spice, and licorice; the palate exudes both perfect ripeness and fresh acidity, with juicy black and dark red fruits, licorice, bergamot, orange oils, sea brine, and a long minerally finish. Evangelho is a very special vineyard in Contra Costa county, composed of own-rooted Zinfandel with Carignan, Mourvedre, Palomino, Muscat, Chasselas, etc planted in 1890 on deep alluvial sands. Ariana Rolich