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One of my favorite bottles of Bordeaux. This 100% Cabernet Franc is made using zero sulfur, from vines that are tended under strict organic measures. The Dupuy family have been farming the same land since 1934, and have done an amazing job creating terrior-driven reds from their healthy grapes. This 2018 dark purple in the glass. The nose is beautifully plummy, with smashed raspberries, cherry leaves, graphite, all-spice, and violets. Flavors range from of blackberries, cranberries, pine, mint, and espresso. Graced by a dynamic level of clean acidity and formidable tannin. An absolute must for any lover of Cabernet Franc, especially if they enjoy examples from the Loire Valley. David Hatzopoulos
This is an outstanding Pomerol from Chateau Bellegrave, which was in conversion to organic certification in 2010. While it shows the depth and structure of this excellent vintage in Bordeaux, the wine is surprisingly supple and forward, making it a delicious wine for current drinking. The aromas are ripe and rich with black fruits, cassis and blackberry with sous-bois, cocoa, spice and floral notes. The palate is firm but round, deep and elegant with complex fruit flavors backed by earth and mineral notes with good freshness and silky tannins. Decant this lovely wine a few hours in advance if possible or cellar for five to fifteen years
75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc coming from hand harvested vineyards (35-60 year old vines) in the revered region of Pomerol. The estate has long dismissed the use of chemicals but has recently transitioned to biodynamic methods. Wine has been aged in French oak, with 1/3 being new, 1/3 being old, and the last 1/3 being from the producer’s previous vintage.
Deep red with lighter red edges. The nose here is pretty, grassy, with dark flowers and a hint of warm spices like cumin and paprika. On the palate, the wine has engaging tannin that border very well between the chewy structure and the woven, silky mouthfeel. Red cherry, something dark and candied, and a touch of date. A gleam of dark mineral tone firms up the finish. A great wine, especially for the price point. Give it three hours open if you'd like to taste the best of it, though still good of the get-go.
From the region of Graves, Chateau Auney l'Hermitage was known until 2012 as Chateau Le Chec. This estate is made up of 10 smaller domaines, which were put together after being abandoned, or right before being so. Certified organic since 2012. Harvested by hand from 25 year old vines - 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and Petit Verdot. A complex soil of limestone, clay, sand, on top of gravel sub-soils. Manually picked in mid September. Destemmed, before wine ferments with native yeasts. 15 months in wood, less than 25% new. Notes of shaved graphite, plum skins, damp soil, and soft green pepper on the nose, with a juicy, gently tannic palate with red apple, black cherry, and crushed rock.
Château Fonroque is a superb certified biodynamic and organic estate in the Saint-Émilion appelation. Owned by the Moueix family since 1931 until 2017, the estate is a proponent of traditional winemaking techniques with hand harvesting, spontaneous yeast fermentation, and limited use of new oak. An elegant Bordeaux with precise minerality, the wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from 35-year-old vines, planted on limestone soils with some portions of clay on the hillside of the vineyard. The wine is fermented with native yeast in concrete vats and then aged in oak (with a small portion of new oak). The resulting wine is fantastic showing the impressive savoir-faire of Alain Moueix. The bouquet is complex with notes of juicy plum, cassis, crunchy black raspberry, tobacco leaves, hibiscus, baking spices, and leather, with some purple floral and savory undertones. Showing great energy and tension on the palate, the wine displays a beautiful calcareous minerality, bright acidity and soft tannins. To enjoy now with roasted beef, duck breast or full-flavored cheese, or age it for several years (7 years or more). Caroline Coursant
Produced by Philippe Durand from 10.5 hectares of stunning, clover covered vineyards on the western slope of Mont Calon in Montagne. Vine age ranges, with most being an average of 45 years, though 15% are 80 years old and there are some Merlot vines that were planted 150 years ago. Strict berry picking is done to remove all withering grapes. Fermentation is done naturally, mostly in cement. The wine is aged for 12-14 months in 50% new oak. Black-red color in the glass. On the nose the wine shows squashed blackberry, pine needles, black tea, graphite. A real pleasure aroma-wise. The palate has black plum, black cherry, and long finish of bitter espresso that ends with a quick shift to a softer flavor of dark chocolate. Firm tannin and medium acidity. Such a great bottle to drink - random encounter that proved to be delicious. Should drink well over the next decade. David Hatzopoulos
This has been one of my favorite wines so far in 2021. The Sègue-Longue Monnier estate is perched at the top of the Medoc, on land that used to be an island in the Gironde. The soil is heavy with gravel, just like most vineyards in the region, along with clay and limestone. Jean-Pierre Monnier began conversion to organic methods in 2008, and this 2011 bottling is the first to be certified. It is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. The wine ferments naturally and sees 18 months in oak barrels. What a nose - with iron, tobacco, dried roses, savory plums and cherries. There is espresso and cocoa aromas, as well. The palate has a lovely tannic structure and great acidity. Beach plum, cedar, mint, and gravel flavors play on the tongue. After two hours open, the wine sings. This is the bottle that you should have for dinner... tonight. It'll develop over the next 3 years, but it is beautiful now. An awesome price for such a developed and full wine. David Hatzopoulos
This is the 'Clos du Juagueyron' of Clos du Jaugueyron- the crème de la crème. Past vintages have been staggeringly delicious, and the 2016 shouldn't be any different. It is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc from the soils in Arsac, that have more clay than the surrounding regions of Haut Médoc. Still, soils remain sandy and gravelly, allowing vineyards optimal drainage. Michel Théron and Stéphanie Destruhaut have never put synthetic products on their vines, and farm their plots with organic and biodynamic methods. In the cellar, the grapes are fermented in both tank and concrete, and allowed a 20 day maceration before pressing. The resulting wine spends 12 months in wood, which about 70% is new. After this, the wine is transferred to vats in order to settle before bottling. Our supplier, who tasted the wine before release, describes it as "elegant and open" with "bold tannin and assertive acidity." The wine no doubt has many, many, many, many years ahead of it - but drinking one now, after hours of decanted, is a smart idea. You'll get an idea of what lies ahead for this beautiful Marguax... David Hatzopoulos
This cuvée from Michel Théron is from some of his younger vines (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot) in Macau and sees 50% new oak. However, like all he produces, this bottle isn’t incoherently dense. There is a taut and assertive medley of black and red fruit on the nose, with a unique salty spark. The palate is spicy, with cassis and pepper, and savory, with jerky, miso, and mint. This wine should be experienced while youthfully bright, but it is formidable, with a hearty character that will continue to evolve over the next 15 years or more. David Hatzopoulos
The 2016 Haut-Medoc is incredible. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, vine age averaging 18 years old, planted to fine gravel soils. Certified organic and biodynamic. Harvest was done manually between September 20th to October 3rd. Naturally fermented in a dramatic range of cement tanks (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 hl). Aged in barrel for 12 months on the lees. The nose is beautiful - mulch, black and red fruits, stripped dark bark. The palate is exceptional - red cherry, plum, raisin. There is also something quite minty about the wine. However, the mouthfeel is the best part of the story. Dense and light at the same time. I attribute that to the gravelly soil, which give the wine a chewable texture, while still letting the wine shine with briskness. Delicious. Drink now, or keep it for 15 years. David Hatzopoulos
Drink this wine 3 hours after you open it. The nose is dense and heady, full of ripe dark flowers, crushed cherries, with a savory waft of dried fruits like raisins and dates. The palate has a spark of firm black plum and graphite. The structure is invigorating and tense. Tannin on all corners of the mouth, and rigidly straight acidity. Delicious and hearty. David Hatzopoulos
Grapes harvested by hand from vineyards on the plateau and slopes of the Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux AOC. The fruit breakdown is 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet France, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. In the cellar, fermentation is done in both cement and wood (50/50) using indigenous yeasts. Aging is done first in wood for 7 months, a quarter new and the rest one to two vintages old, before spending 12 additional months in cement. On the nose has a density to it - with coffee, cocoa, and a medley of red and black fruits. On the palate, flavors of spicy red cherries and sparky graphite are vibrant. The wine's mouthfeel is engaging, with a slight chew, and lovely acidity. David Hatzopoulos
What a treat - a beautiful Haut-Médoc with zero added sulfur from certified organic and biodynamic farming! Pascale Choime and Laurence Alias of the Closeries des Moussis have a small parcel with sandy gravel soils (bordered by dense woods providing biodiversity) on the Plateau de Sénéjac, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, where they produce this pure and vibrant Bordeaux. There is minimal extraction, aging is 16 months in old barrels. We tasted the 2018 last winter in Angers with Laurence - it showed lovely silky red and black fruits, with great purity and length, really an outstanding Haut-Medoc, unburdened by new oak and sulfur-dioxide. Quite delicious for current drinking or cellaring for ten - fifteen years. Highly recommended! David LIliie
Château Coutet in St. Emilion is comprised of a single plot, 13 hectares large. The soil is a mix of limestone, sand, and clay, and the vineyard is planted to 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Never once have herbicides or pesticides touched the vineyards belonging to Chateau Coutet, a certified organic producer. The property boasts oak trees, fig trees, and orchid meadows as a measure to ensure the land’s health, and thus the quality of its grapes and wines. All vineyard work is done organically. In the cellar, juice is fermented in concrete, then 85% of the resulting wine is aged in 20% new French oak barrels. The rest is aged in concrete vats. Aging lasts 18 months before bottling.
Our biodynamic friends, the Hubert family, make the lovely Chateau La Grolet "Origines" from old vines of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. The 2019 shows a deep red/black color with high-toned aromas of ripe cassis and black raspberry with cedar, brown spice and earth, really quite pretty. The palate is supple, elegant and well-structured with cassis and red fruits over firm acidity with earth and mineral flavors. This is a real Bordeaux of terroir that is delicious now especially if decanted many hours in advance or opened the night before. Cellaring for five to ten years will create a lovely mature wine. David Lillie
Certified organic and Biodynamic, this estate is located on the same plateau as Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Soil is red clay, silt, and limestone. Vines average 50 years. Grapes are hand harvested. Native yeasts are used for fermentation, which happens in concrete over 2 weeks. The 2016 'Emilien' saw a total of 24 months in wood, none new. The nose is woodsy, with tree bark and wild herbs, forest plums and cherries. The palate is tense with dark minerals under a richer layer of black and red fruits, black pepper and earth. The structure is well-placed, medium tannin and medium acidity. Drinking exceptionally now, but will age over the next decade. David Hatzopoulos.
The Hubert family are owners of Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. The farming here is among the best in Bordeaux, certified organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are a fantastic oasis of greenery compared to the rest of Bordeaux, and are located on slopes of clay over limestone giving the wines good concentration and firm minerality. The Quintessence of Peybonhomme is a selection of the best juice from tastings each year and is primarily Merlot and Malbec from old vines, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, a portion of which is aged in new oak. The 2018 is a bit more dense and forward than the 2017 - it's a beautiful and lively Bordeaux showing deep aromas of ripe cassis, blackberry, black cherry, cocoa, spice and earth. The palate is supple and ripe, lifted by cool acidity, with complex black fruits, earth and mineral flavors with a long finish. The wine broadens and gains complexity with time open so decant if possible. A versatile food wine, this beautifully balanced Bordeaux will accompany anything from roast chicken to pork dishes to steak. Put a few in your cellar for 10 - 15 years for a mature experience,..
Biodynamic farming, native yeast fermentations, superb value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot with Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the limestone/clay soils in which it is grown, the 2018 offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat, roast chicken and stews or sipped on its own, drink over the next 5 to 8 years.
Chateau Haut-Bergeron has one of the longest and most celebrated histories in Sauternes and has remained in the family for nine generations! The blend is 80-90% Semillon, and 10-20% Sauvignon Blanc grown on a mixture of sandy clay and calcareous clay. The grapes are picked in three passes to ensure optimal ripeness and levels of botryis, and the wine is aged in 50% new French oak for 18-20 months. This is a great Sauternes to pair with something salty or intensely flavored like foie gras or strong cheeses, or with a dessert that isn't too sweet like an apple crumble!
This is a unique example of Bordeaux Blanc from one of the first organic and biodynamic properties in the region, located in the lesser-known Sainte-Foy. Corinne and Jean-Michel Comme started to replant these vineyards in 1998 using as little intervention as possible, avoiding pesticides, green harvesting, even tractor plowing, and using neutral oak for aging to allow each vintage to speak for itself. Grown on clay and limestone soils, the Vin de Passion displays a beautiful balance of texture, minerality, and ripe fruits. The blend is 1/3rd Sauvignon Blanc, 1/3rd Semillon, and 1/3rd Muscadelle, which gives the wine a richer mouthfeel and more floral aroma than a typical Bordeaux Blanc. The fruit is fermented in steel and cement, rests on the lees for one month, and continues to age for five months before being lightly filtered and bottled. Notes of fresh linen, wild flowers and lemon oil on the nose upon opening, but after some time in the glass a bit of nuttiness and marzipan is revealed. On the palate is juicy lemon, green pear, fleur de sel, and smooth river rocks. For the price, this is an over-performing, beautiful wine that will pair with a wide variety of lighter fare. Michelle DeWyngaert