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This is an off-dry (semi-sweet) expression of Gewurztraminer from granite soils. White flowers, spice, and mint blossom on the nose, with a silky and subtly sweet mid-palate, and nice structure in the finish. Textbook Gewurz! Eben Lillie
As implied by the "Vin sec" on the front label, this is a DRY Gewurztraminer, from old vines. Laurent always looks for botrytis, but there was none in 2015 so he made this dry expression, and I think it's perfect! All the aromatic complexity is there, with a touch of salinity in the mouth and a crisp finish. Not just a great wine for educational purposes or curious palates... This is a classy dry white that everyone should try! Eben Lillie
What a delicious wine... Pinot Gris on granite. Elegance and white flowers (Laurent says "Acacia flowers"). 10g RS (residual sugar), with total SO2 at about 30mg/l. When tasting this wine, I remarked to Laurent how it's demi-sec (a bit sweet) on the attack, and dry in the finish, and he said that this is a very typical experience for a wine from granite soils. Enveloping ripe fruit on the nose and palate, with loads of freshness, menthol and acid in the finish. Interestingly enough, I poured this wine for a bunch of people and no one found it to be sweet. Ripe is probably a better word. This is a fantastic wine to pair with food, and should age nicely. Eben Lillie
I'm a big fan of this Pinot Noir. It's uniquely Alsatian, and doesn't remind me of Burgundy, or California, or Oregon, or the Jura (or even the Alto Aldige!). 15 months elevage (ageing), half/half whole cluster and destemmed. 2015 was a hot year, so Laurent says he harvested when the grapes were ripe, but not TOO ripe. A lovely Pinot Noir, with notes of fresh rasberries on the nose. Fresh and elegant, with some tannin, structure, and a bit of pepper in the finish ("typical of granite," says Laurent). I think this wine should age nicely. Though I admit to not having a lot of experience in the field of aged Alsatian Pinot, I will definitely be putting some aside to see how they evolve... and of course drinking some soon too! Eben Lillie
Always around 50% Pinot Auxerrois (fermented separately), with Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and a touch of Riesling. The idea here is to make a wine that is easy to drink, says Laurent, and he nails it! There's a subtle touch of spice on the palate, with a crystalline minerality in the finish, thanks to the granite soils. Eben Lillie
This is a classic dry Riesling from Laurent Barth. It's approachable and very easy to drink, but also has emotion and depth, and will likely be a wine that one could keep for a while. 2015 was a hot year, so there's good ripeness here. Plenty of complexity and salinity with nice granitic character in the finish. Laurent uses the word "salivant" for this wine, which I take it has to do with salivating due to the minerality of the wine, but that's open to interpretation! Anyway, it's a fantastic dry Riesling and worth a try for any fan of the legendary grape, or any one new to the wines of Laurent Barth. -Eben Lillie
Mostly Pinot Auxerrois with some Pinot Noir in the mix, this is a methode ancestrale "Pet Nat" from Laurent Barth... a wine we never knew existed since most of it is sold in Europe and Laurent keeps a fair amount at home to share with friends (and to pour after his Pinot Noirs to prepare your palate for an onslaught of delicious white wines). Lucky for us the fine folks at Louis/Dressner Selections were able to score a handful of cases for the US market! The wine spends 18 months sur latte (sur lie) before disgorging. A fascinating and singular wine, with notes of tangerine and toasted coconut and a long elegant finish. Eben Lillie
This is one of the first Alsatian wines I tasted 10 years ago! Almost all Pinot Auxerrois, with a tiny bit of Pinot Gris. I always thought this was Laurent's big production wine, because it's approachable and a great price, but it turns out that production is miniscule, and grapes are harvested from 3 small parcels that total 70 ares (less than 2 acres). This is a pretty special wine for only $15. Crisp and clean, with pretty orchard fruit on the nose and good ripeness. Equally suitable on it's own as an apero or with salads, cheeses, and seafood. Eben Lillie
Occasionally Laurent will make this old vines Pinot Auxerrois, and it's always a remarkable wine when he does! In 2015, Laurent had some Auxerrois that was meant to be sparkling, but he noticed that the quality was so good that he ended up separating it. On top of that, he also wanted the best juice for this cuvée, so he didn't use any juice from the beginning or the end of the press. The result is a beautifully structured wine, simultaneously charming and serious, with ripe stone fruit on the nose and ample acidity on the palate. A rare and special treat! Eben Lillie
Hollerin has larger terraces, with loam and Gfoehler gneiss; Leo Jr. calls the wines from this vineyard "charming" with good fruit and structure, a contrast from the more intense mineral cut on the wines from the Höhereck vineyard just on the other side of the hill. Delicate aromas of white strawberries, and floral-scented face powder on the nose, the palate boasts great texture and lift with notes of peach candy, green strawberry tops, and white grapefruit.Cari Bernard
It's hard to imagine a better deal than this full liter of organic Grüner. The 2016 is a touch leaner than last year: crisp minerality and mouthwatering acidity lift notes of white blossom, yellow apricot, and salted lemonade. Cari Bernard
If you've read the Hirsch Heiligenstein note, you have a bit of a primer on how complex the soils can get here. Gobelsburg's Heiligenstein vineyard is home to some of the oldest Riesling vines of the estate, growing on a mix of silt, sandstone, feldspar, with rich sediments. Bright and powerful notes of lime flower, green mango, apricot, and a brisk stony minerality make for a wine with fantastic aging potential.
We are big fans of the 2014 vintage in Beaujolais and we were very happy to get another shipment of the lovely 2014 Regnié from Joëlle and Roland Pignard. (January 1st, 2018) The wine is opening up nicely with pretty aromas of ripe strawberry and black cherry mingling with earth, rose, truffle and brown spice. The palate has softened a bit with bright strawberry, cherry and red currant over the saline minerals and earth with citrus and herbal notes. The wine is subtle and perfectly balanced at 12% alcohol - a real Regnié of terroir that will continue to improve over the next few years. Delicous wine! (Notes from August 2016 below)The Pignards' Regnié is from 50 year-old vines on alluvial clay soils, always giving a well-structured wine. The 2014 shows subtle aromas of ripe red currant and strawberry, very floral and pure. The palate is less fruity, showing stone and mineral flavors with lighter raspberry/strawberry fruit, quite elegant, and finishing with stony acidity. This will need a few years to show at its best but is delicious now in its purity and restraint. Decant if drinking now, best probably 2019 - 2023.
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Roland Pignard at Chambers Street. The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of their home in the hamlet of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The 2015 Morgon shows a vivid deep red color with complex aromas of ripe black cherry and black raspberry, wild flowers, earth and black pepper. The palate is ripe and supple with black raspberry and cherry fruit, brightened by firm acidity with hints of orange peel and brown spice. The finish is long and ripe with lingering black fruits, citrus and mineral flavors. At 13% alcohol, this beautiful Morgon shows the ripeness of the 2015 vintage but in a balanced and nuanced style with a complexity and mineral character found in few of the 2015s. Delicious now, best 2020 to 2025, but who will wait? David Lillie
The Pignard's Morgon Cuvée Tradition is ripe, dense and delicious in 2015! Good friends with Christian Ducroux, the Pignards practise similar methods of biodynamic farming and natural vinifications. Produced from hillside vineyards of sandy clay over limestone in "Les Charmes," the wine ferments naturally, with only 10mg of SO2 added before bottling and spends a year in vat followed by a year in old barriques. The wine shows aromas of blackberry liqueur with earth, spice, citrus and herbal notes. The palate is silky and supple with ripe black fruits, bitter chocolate, earth, spice and citrus - having some aspects of northern Rhone wines in this very warm, dry vintage. The finsh is long with fruit liqueur, spice and citrusy acids. This shows the density and darker fruit flavors of the 2015 vintage but in a more balanced frame at 13% alcohol. Delicious now in it's youthful intensity, probably best from 2020 to 2025. David Lillie
The Pignard's Beaujolais-Villages is from a high-elevation parcel with 40 year-old vines in sandy clay over decomposed granite. There is a very short carbonic-maceration to preserve the fresh fruit and only a tiny addition of sulfur before the bottling. The 2016 ias a subtle, elegant and well-structured Beaujolais, showing pretty aromas of raspberry, plum and tart cherry, with hints of violet, citrus and herbs. The palate shows firm acidity and saline mineral flavors, framing the blackberry and raspberry fruit, with hints of mint, spice and citrus. This is a real Beaujolais of terroir that is elegant and delicious now and will improve over the next few years. David Lillie
1970 Giscours Margaux Color — come on! So dark blood red — like a California Cabernet — nearly opaque to clear on the meniscus. I noted that it "tasted like an off vintage of Penfold's Grange" by which I mean one of the drier Grange (s) that did not get a huge score — instead compelled by great balance. Big and rich and alcoholic, fragrant but there is a pre-exisiting balance to its components that guaranteed its longevity to this point and will guarantee its future for at least 20 more years. A most atypical bottle of Margaux, a Margaux that wants to be a Saint Estephe or something. A remarkable wine. MM
Certified organic since 2009 and biodynamic since 2013, this second label from the domain Maison Blanche is a secret to discover. Vibrant with tension, firm tannins and bright acidity, this wine will accompany many of your meals from casual to fancy. The palate is full of blackberries, cassis, plums with savory, mineral and herbal notes. The finish is long and beautiful. A great wine. Drink it now or age it for several years (7 years). Caroline Coursant
Capovilla spirits are truly labors of love. The Bassano bottling consists of pommace from a variety of grapes from Vicenza. The secret to the rich, broad flavors is the rare still that Vittorio Gianni Capovilla uses. Called a bain-marie still, it heats the pommace at low temperatures to maintain the grape flavors and not create the offensive, alcoholic tones that mars many more commercial Grappa productions. We are extremely happy that Jan d'Amore has decided to import these spirits, and strongly recommend that Grappa and Eau-de-vie fans try them. JR
The Dudognon Reserve is one of the best values in Cognac. Made without additives or coloring, it's a pale gold color with subtle citrus and white fruit aromas. The palate is clean and long with tea, earth, citrus and spice. Far superior to the brand-name VS or VSOP blends and really worth trying. John Rankin
Located a mere 2 kilometers from the Aube, organic vigneron Bruno Dangin is one of our new favorite producers of Cremant de Bourgogne. The rosé is made from 30-year-old pinot noir vines planted in clay-limestone soils from the Upper Jurassic. The robe is a pale salmon color and there is a fine bead and soft mousse. The nose is an intriguing melange of wild strawberries, spices, and sea spray. The palate is salty and red-fruited, with layers of pinot fruit and a briny minerality. John McIlwain
(NOTE: This refers to a 2014 disgorgement - this wine, from the same lot, was disgorged in 2017.) The 1998 Ambonnay Brut has long been a staff favorite and this disgorgement does not disappoint. Brillliant, golden yellow in color and showing a finely-beaded mousse, this offers one of the two most expressive aromatic profiles of this current Beaufort lineup. Aromas of Mirabelle plums, toasted hazelnuts, and crème brüléee transition to notes of Jonagold apples, cinnamon, and wild flowers. The palate is generous and expansive and carries tones of brazil nuts, greengages, and irises that crescendo to a fine, zippy finish. This is complex and delicious Champagne! David Salinas
The 2012 Polisy Rosé needs a bit of aeration, then shows aromas of red currant, rose, earth, citrus and white pepper.The palate shows earthy raspberry fruit wild cherry, and cool hints of delicate herbs. There's a fine interplay between brambly hedge fruit and soil notes. Enjoy this with confit tuna or roasted salmon with salsa verde. John McIlwain
An organically-farmed Blanc de Noirs from the eponymous lieu-dit in the premier cru village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. The wine is a notable expression of this terroir, as Fabrice Pouillon reveals by vinifying with only the natural sugars from perfectly ripe Pinot Noir, in addition to only utilizing the indigenous yeasts present in the must. He accomplishes this by chilling unsulfured grape must in tank to a temperature low enough to prevent spoilage or fermentation. This must is then used for the secondary fermentation, as well as the dosage after disgorgement, rather than cane sugars or MCR. The resulting wine is layered and supple with a fine bead, displaying red fruits, blood orange peel, and spices, expressing the vinous character of Pinot Noir grown in the clays of the Grande Vallee de la Marne. John McIlwain
Les Ursules is a Blanc de Noirs from a single parcel of less than a hectare of the same name in the Côtes des Bars. As always Cédric Bouchard’s aesthetic is vineyard expression above all. This single vineyard, single vintage Pinot Noir is raised in stainless steel, to avoid any influence of wood that would mask the character of the terroir. The long, slow secondary fermentation and bottling without dosage produces a vinous, savory champagne that benefits from decanting and serving in a wine glass rather than a flute to better appreciate the concentrated, earthy character of the Pinot Noir grown in this vineyard. John McIlwain
Formerly known as Infloresence, as of 2012, Val de Vilaine, this blanc de noirs comes from a south-facing 1.49ha plot of vines in Polisy planted in 1974 owned by Cédric's father. If there's such a thing as an 'entry level' Champagne in Bouchard's lineup, this is it. Historically more approachable when young than Bouchard's other wines, Val de Vilaine, is now more tightly wound and concentrated as the already small yields were nearly halved to 26hl/ha bringing it in line with the other cuvées of Roses de Jeanne. Here you'll find a classic expression of Polisy terroir. -John McIlwain
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
Aurelien Suenen is one of the bright young stars of the Côte des Blancs, whose Champagnes seem to improve with every new release. His 2014 based Oiry Blanc de Blancs is a beauty. Wines from the village are typically sold under the Cramant designation (we haven't been able to find another Champagne with this single village designation, as yet), so this is a fine opportunity to taste Oiry's distinctive, chalky terroir. Aurelien's parcels contain some very old Chardonnay vines which make for some pungently mineral, stony wines. The vins clairs are fermented partially in barrel, spend nine months on the lees, and are bottled with 1 g/l dosage. The 2014 is brisk, briny, and fresh on the nose with aromas of yuzu, Meyer lemon, quinine, and chalk dominating. The palate is chiseled, taut and very dry with racy acidity and an energetic driving finish. Suenen continues to grow with each vintage and this new line up of village designated Champagnes are particularly exciting. The 2014 will make a fine aperitif and shiny brightly with crudo or sashimi. John McIlwain
A blend of 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, and 1/3 Pinot Meunier, the base wine comes from the classic 2008 vintage. For a Brut Nature (Dosage: 0 g/l), this Tarlant combines bracing acidity with remarkable fruit-forwardness. Lemon pith, preserved lemon, red apple flesh and red apple skin flavors sweep across the palate with broad brush strokes and a pleasing effervescence. With big flavors and deep cut, this Champagne definitely needs food to accompany it: caviar or smoked salmon anyone? (Disgorged: 09/14) - Jonas Mendoza
The vines are in the lieu-dit "Queue de Hareng" below an old quarry at the top of the slope in Brochon, next to Fixin 1er Cru "la Perrière," on shallow red/brown soils of mountain silt and limestone pebbles over the limestone bedrock. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentations with minimal SO2. The 2015 Jane et Sylvain Côte de Nuits-Villages is a superb and unusual Burgundy showing intense aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry with rose leaf, brown spice and herbal notes as well as dusty stone and mineral smells which are typical of this vineyard. With aeration the aromas become more pure and fruit-driven and the palate shows lovely black cherry, strawberry and red currant fruit, quite dense and ripe, with a finish that's extraodiarily long and pure. Decant 4 to 6 hours in advance if drinking now or cellar for 3 to five years and drink till 2027. Highly recommended for those who enjoy some minerals in their Burgundy!
Jane and Sylvain have done it again! Another beautiful Passetoutgrain from 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Gamay, grown near Gevrey-Chambertin, organically farmed and quite delicious! The 2015 shows ripe aromas of tart cherry and raspberry liqueur with earth and violets. The palate is lively and bright with morello cherry and raspberry with stone, tobacco and citrus, quite vibrant and long. Really a refreshing and delicious wine, perfect for picnics and barbecues, served quite cool. This is a fantastic value and highly recommended.
This lovely Gevrey by our organic friends, Jane et Sylvain, is 45 to 60 year-old vines, certified organic, mostly in En Pallud (below 1er Cru les Corbeaux). The 2015 shows very pretty high-toned ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit with violet, soil, graphite and citrus peel. The palate is dense and balanced, with a mineral aspect missing in most modern Burgundies, with supple ripe cherry and strawberry fruit with citrus and herbal notes. The finish is very long with red fruits, spice, citrus and saline minerals. This is a lovely old-fashioned Burgundy that is delicious now and should age nicely, best perhaps 2022 - 2030.
A mere 200 meters from Les Essards, Les Plantes Aux Bois has clay top soils overlying the hard limestone mother rock. The nose is generous, perfumed, and dark-fruited with aromas of black raspberry and plum giving way to notes of game and spices. Flavors of blackberry, cassis, and plum dominate on the ripe, mid-weight palate. There is good freshness, with bright acidity providing lift and drive on a long, lingering, cool-toned finish. Lovely with a quick decant, but plenty of material to justify mid-term cellaring. I love the idea of this with a holiday meal. Light on its feet with good freshness to wake the palate, but enough minerality to whet the appetite of the discerning Burgundy aficionado. Delicious! John McIlwain
This is a delicious Bourgogne Passetoutgrain from the young and very capable Stéphane Magnien, whose great vineyard work and un-forced vinifications are producing superb, elegant Burgundies. The 2015 Cuvée Densité is from old vines of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay and gets a longer élevage than his "regular" Passetoutgrain. This is a lovely and affordable Burgundy that shows deep aromas of cherry and blackberry with earth and citrus notes. The palate shows a potpourri of berry fruits with impressive length, finishing with juicy acidity and mineral flavors. Drinking beautifully now, and over the next few years - buy a case and make this your "everyday" Burgundy.... David Lillie
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
From a parcel of old vines grown in Les Faconnières, one of the best situated climats in Morey-Saint-Denis, located beneath Clos de la Roche and between the Millandes and Charrières premier crus. The 2015 Faconnières was the star of the premier crus tasted at the estate last January, with lovely aromas of black fruits and violets. The palate was dense, elegant, and chalky with black fruits, earth and mineral flavors that continued in the very long finish. 20% new oak. Hold for 5 to 6 years minimum, said Stéphane, best at 7 to 15 years. Fabulous wine! David Lillie
The Brothers Brand have taken over the family vineyards, working organically with biodynamic treatments, using natural yeast fermentation, and low or no sulfur additions. This is the first year their pét-nats have made it over to our side of the pond, and just in time for longer, hotter days. Their 2016 rosé is a blend of mostly Pinot Noir, with about 10% old-vine Portugieser (vine age is about 40 years old). Deep magenta, jewel-toned rose in color, with a sprightly mousse and a mélange of tart and juicy red fruits: raspberry, watermelon, sour cherry, red plum all burst forth and wash over the palate, with bright acidity priming for the next sip. Cari Bernard
Weingut Frank John has been biodynamic since their first vintage in 2003, Demeter certified since the 2012 vintage, with a commitment to hand-harvesting, natural yeast fermentation, ageing in wood, and minimal sulfur additions. An incredibly elegant and layered Riesling Brut Sekt, with 41 months spent on the lees and close to 8 grams per liter of dosage. White and red grapefruit, star fruit and burnished peach on the nose, the wine is oxidative and broad, with a creamy mousse and aggressive attack. Powerful and vinous, with rich notes of apple, citrus oils and pith, a show-stopping sparkling wine. Cari Bernard
Very rich and intense stone fruit nose, with much deeper aromatics than you'd expect from the normally reserved 2008s, but that just speaks to the fastidious selection for the Auslese 'R'. The acidity is prominent but not as much as in the '09 Spätlese; here it's layered deep beneath crisp fruit layers of such rich, fleshy fruits as nectarine and persimmon. As with many of these, it's very elegant, very long and just beautiful. Among the most youthful of the whole lot as well. -jfr
Grey sandstone and pebbles mark the Steinacker vineyard, which sits just across the road from the Saumagen vineyard, Koehler-Ruprecht's grand cru site. Grapes grown in the Steinacker lend themselves well to the off-dry style of wines. Ripe and dense notes of rich citron and warming nutmeg spice mingle with sweet peach nectar and tangerine on the lingering finish. Cari Bernard
Thorsten Melsheimer has been farming organically in the Mosel since 1995 (certified ECOVIN) and became Demeter (biodynamic) certified in 2013. Sparkling wine accounts for 20 percent of Thorsten's production; he's been making serious, elegant Sekt since the early eighties. We are very excited to offer his Pet-Nat 'Rurale': made from biodynamically-grown Riesling and Johanniter, with no added sulfur. The wine has a lively, creamy mousse with notes of golden and green apple, ginger, orange zest, peach skin and yellow apricot with a lengthy finish. Cari Bernard
From very old vines (replanted in 2015), this is very much in the same mold as the Chianti – and was vinified identically – but is considerably deeper and rounder without any additional wood, alcohol, or extract – just a direct expression of the old vines. I think this is remarkable – it strikes a fascinating balance between palate-enveloping darker fruit and finesse. Really a super wine. Jamie Wolff
Retromarcia means “to back up” or “to reverse” and is Michael Schmelzer’s reference to an old approach to Chianti that is hard to find today, focused on allowing the character of Sangiovese to show above everything else. The wine is made from 100% Sangiovese composed of young vines planted on a mix of galestro and sandstone soils. The grapes are fermented with native yeast on the skins for 2 weeks in stainless steel and then raised in a mixture of old barrels and unlined concrete tanks for 18 months before being bottled unfiltered. This wine to me is always quite pretty and the 2015 vintage is no exception. Pale ruby in the glass, it smells of bright red cherry fruit, violets, and woody herbs with slightly darker earthy tone underneath. On the palate, it is light and quite refreshing with great acidity and lots of sour cherry fruit backed by delicate tannins. As a classic Chianti should be the acidity is mouthwatering, warming up the palate for a range of food; try it with everything from classic red sauce pastas, sauteed greens, and saltier cheeses all the way to richer food like roasted lamb or game birds. Andy Paynter
San Fernando Ciliegiolo is a perfect example of how delightful the grape Ciliegiolo can be when made as a varietal wine. Produced from a 1.7 Hectare parcel of young vines the grapes are fermented with native yeasts over 12 days, rested on the lees for five months, and bottled unfined with only a light filtration. The wine smells of sour cherries, raspberries, woody green herbs, and just a whiff of lavender. The palate is playful, with refreshing acidity and very soft tannins giving the wine a juicy feel. This is an honest quaffable wine that will pair effortlessly with all sorts of food: try it with caprese salad, cured salmon, soft cheese, cured salami, braised pork or enjoy it on its own. AP
This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after August 7th.
From a tiny parcel in La Croix Boissée, with 15 to 25 year-old Chenin vines on thin sandy clay soils over limestone. Slow fermentation in 500 liter tonneaux until "sec" - under 2 grams per liter of residual sugar. The 2016 shows aromas of green pear, citrus, almond, lime-flower and stone, more subtle than the riper 2015. The palate is dry and elegant with almond and white fruit flavors backed with firm acidity and mineral flavors. This is an stylish young Chenin Blanc that will accompany any mild-flavored seafood dish, or cellar ten to fifteen years for a more complex experience. David Lillie
This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.
We're big fans of the Caslot family at Domane de la Chevalerie, who make soulful Bourgueils from organic vineyards on their varied terroirs. The Chevalerie vineyard is on mid-slope Turonian limestone with clay and alluvial sand and gravel topsoils, rich in silex; the vines average about 60 years of age. The lovely 2012 Chevalerie shows vivid aromas of berry liqueurs, bitter chocolate, earth and brown spice. The palate is dense and supple with ripe blackberry, cocoa, earth and mineral flavors balanced by cool acidity. The finish is long and lush with blackberry, prune, citrus and saline minerals. This is a lovely old-school Bourgueil to drink over the next 15 years - delicious now perhaps best from 2020 to 2025.
The Chevalerie "Diptyque" is from sand and gravel soils in Bourgueil, producing a wine to drinkyoung, served cool - 100% Cabernet Franc, of course. The 2014 is particularly good, with lovely aromas of black raspberry and strawberry with hints of violet, pepper and earth. The palate is balanced and pretty with supple raspberry/strawberry fruit in a bright frame, typical of this excellent vintage for Loire reds. Serve a bit chilled with charcuterie, chicken and pork dishes and mild cheeses. DL
Cabernet Franc, with 2-3 days of maceration. I'm a big fan of Loire Valley Cab Francs in 2014, and this is no exception! Nice structure, dark and serious in a way, but very approachable. From newcomers to the New york market, Phillipe Delmee and Aurelien Martin. Eben Lillie
Beautiful dense and long expression of Chenin Blanc from around the Anjou appellation. Eben Lillie
Ca Faye Treize is a semi carbonic Cabernet Franc from 2015.... Don't be fooled by the large number 13 on the bottle, as you will see the Lot # is 015, and it is indeed from 2015! My tasting note in France was "yum." Of course not helpful to me now as I write this note, it is admittedly a yummy wine, with bright red fruit, crushed berries, and just the right touch of carbonic character to lift the aromatics and lighten the body of the Cab Franc, but without making it taste like any other Carbonic maceration wine. Enjoy with a slight chill!Eben Lillie
Chenin Blanc ! Pet Nat! Two coworkers here thought we'd all been duped and it was cider from Normandy, but it's not... It's just a very appley expression of Chenin Blanc. Refreshing and dry, with maybe half a gram or 1 gram of residual sugar that rounds out the fruit and gives the wine a really pretty nose. Eben Lillie
Grolleau and ..... Chenin Blanc! Because why not! As they say, it's neither red nor a white. Instead you have a wine that drinks like a white, with loads of acidity and zero perceptible tannin, and has the lively and bold red fruit of the Grolleau to give it the feel of an infused tonic of sorts. Very drinkable! You can also just keep it in the fridge like a white and sip on it anytime you like! Eben Lillie
Grolleau and Cabernet Franc blend in Pet Nat form, and a ridiculously charming label. It's quite pale in the glass, and dry. Very pure and mineral with fresh acidity and a bit of funk on the palate, but a clean finish (even hours later!). Eben Lillie
This humble wine has been a local favorite here at Chambers Street since we started working with Alain Bore a couple of years ago. It's not like many of the Gamay offerings we typically have from the Loire... it's made with a more traditional maceration, and has some tannin as a result. Though still providing bright red fruit and zippy acidity, it also shows some black cherry, and isn't too light. Medium bodied, graceful and pretty, while at the same time structured and dark as well. Truly one of the best values at Chambers Street! Eben Lillie
The Domaine du Fresche is a certified organic estate in Anjou producing delightful, fresh, vivacious wines from Chenin, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Grolleau. This lovely rosé of Grolleau and Pinot Noir comes from hand-harvested fruit and is vinified with wild yeasts giving pretty aromas of ripe red currant, blood orange and strawberry. The palate shows silky, pure fruit - red currant with hints of watermelon and citrus and finishes with round red fruits and juicy acidity. A lovely wine and a great value. Thanks to Alain and Christine Bore at Domaine du Fresche!
Alain and Christine Boré produce delicious organic wines on their estate in Anjou that are sensational values for everyday enjoyment. Their 2016 Anjou Blanc (Chenin) is superb, with lovely aromas of dried pear, fresh herbs, hay, earth and honey. The palate is round and supple but nicely balanced with firm acidity, showing green apple, pear, stone and citrus flavors that continue in the long finish. A bit "drier" and more mineral tasting than the previous two vintages, this is a simply delicious Chenin that will accompany seafood, grilled or in sauce, chicken, goat cheeses, etc...
This is a full-bodied and very delicious Cabernet Franc from our organic friends Alain and Christine Bore at Domaine du Fresche in Anjou. "Red wine for cellaring, powerful and rich" says the back label, and indeed this is a ripe and well-structured Cabernet Franc that is delicious now and will benefit from five to ten years of aging. The wine shows a deep red/black color and aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry liqueur with hits of violet, black pepper and citrus. The palate is supple and dense but balanced by bright acidity under the ripe berry fruits. Serve cool with roast chicken, stews and grilled meats and put a few in the cellar for five or ten years. David Lillie
From 80 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. 18 month elevage ; 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.
This is a beautiful and economical choice for Thanksgiving - Cabernet Franc goes nicely with turkey and this young Bourgueil is just wonderful. (Be careful, however, with lovers of California Cabs, who might find it too acidic) 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
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
An austere, mineral-driven pet-nat from Pascal Potaire, "Les Capriades" is made mostly from Chenin Blanc and a touch of Cabernet Franc. Touraine's limestone soils are on full display in this bottling. Aromas of crushed seashells and lemon zest will have you craving oysters on cue. The body is crackling with vibrant, tart acidity and a crunchy mineral texture that ushers the citrus notes over to a beautiful sweet note that rounds everything into a powerful finish. A wonderful wine that we highly recommend. Amanda Bowman
This fun Vin Mousseaux (the general term for sparkling wine) has gained a following among Liv's neighbors in Rochefort-sur-Loire, for good reason: It's a delicious sparkling Chenin Blanc that is very easy on the wallet. Methode Ancestrale, from mostly younger vines and including grapes from a tiny parcel of old vines (planted in 1950) for extra character. It's dry, with an interesting texture and flavor profile reminiscent of raw honey. For the quality to price, it's pure gold
This is Liv's exceptional Cremant de Loire, aged sur latte for 16 months, 100% Chenin Blanc from Schiste soils. It's Extra Brut, but tastes like a Brut Nature...clean and mineral with great density and a long finish. This was a hit when we opened it for an in-store tasting and is a welcome addition to our collection of Loire Valley sparkling wines. Eben Lillie
(First produced in 2008, this great Muscadet is made from a three hectare parcel of old massale-selection vines on a slope above the Maine. The bedrock is Granite de Château Thébaud, a fissured rock that allows the vines to penetrate deeply, with ideal thin topsoils of clay, with sand and gravel allowing good drainage.) In 2016 and 2017, vineyards in the Loire Valley were hit with devastating frosts causing losses of 50% to 90% in some areas. Muscadet was particularly badly hit in 2016 - our old friends at Domaine de la Pépière lost 85% of their crop but salvaged enough fruit to make three cuvées - "la Pépie," "les Gras Moutons" and a small amount of the classic "Clos des Briords." Despite the frost damage in the region, quality has been very good for the wines produced - lacking the consistency of 2014 and 2015 perhaps but with some oustanding wines featuring vibrant fruit and bright acidities. At Pépiére, the cuvée "La Pépie" benefitted from the inclusion of much of the estate's old vine fruit, and the "Clos des Briords" is excellent, with good ripeness and firm acidity, perhaps similar to a vintage like 2005. The aromas show more white fruits than usual with hints of citrus and lime flower, backed with the saline and mineral notes always present in the aromatics of Briords. The palate is quite ripe and supple with round white fruits, fresh herbs, lemon confit, almond and white pepper - quite elegant with silky density and structured enough for medium-term aging. The finish is long with lingering citrusy fruits and a nice kick of bitter mineral flavors at the end. Congratulations to Marc, Rémi and Gwenaëlle for producing such a lovely wine in such a difficult vintage. Find some Glidden Point oysters, sole or cod and enjoy now, or hold for 10 to 15 years and serve with crab, langoustines and fish in sauce. David Lillie
From a plot of very old Chenin Blanc vines, François' Brut NV is kept on the lees for 18 months before bottling. It has pretty apple, pear, floral and toasty flavors with good acidity balancing the fruit. The current cuvée is from 2014 and it's one of their best ever - a bit riper than usual with round but well defined fruit—a great alternative to Champagne, it's delicious as an apéritif before the meal or afterwards with apple pie. This is a great choice during the holidays - a real crowd-pleaser at a great price, before, after or during the meal!
A full-bodied Sancerre from a single vineyard on a steep amphitheatre-shaped hillside in Sury, now tended with organic methods. The 2016 Les Godons shows pretty kiwi, citrus, lime-flower and pear aromas. The palate shows candied lemon, pear and mineral flavors with melon, citrus and firm acidity in the finish. Serve with full-flavored fish dishes, chicken, pork and goat cheeses.
From 25 - 30 year-old Chenin Blanc vines in a mid-slope parcel of thin clay and silex soils on limestone, yields of 25 hl/ha, certified organic with biodynamic methods as well, fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques. Sébastien Cornille has quickly become one of the finest producers of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc on his 7 hectare estate in the Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières. The 2015 Jasnières "Clos es Molières" is an astonshing dry Chenin showing a bright pale gold color and subtle aromas of pear, dried herbs, almond, citrus and white pepper. The palate is dense but crystalline and intensly mineral with white fruits, almond, citrus and stone flavors that continue in the scintillating finish. Serve now with an elegant shellfish or fish preparation or hold for ten to fifiteen years and serve with fish or chicken in sauce. Beautiful wine! David Lillie
This special cuvée is a commemoration of eleven hundred years of winemaking, the vineyards in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes having been planted around AD 900 and wine first produced for the Abbey of Cluny around 910. This "medieval" wine is a field blend of Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir, including the old varieties Gamay Petit Grain and Pinot Fin. The grapes were transported in carts pulled by Charolais bulls, then pressed by foot, vinified and aged without sulfur and bottled by hand in the spring. ... Back to put a smile on your face, the 2016 Cuvee 910 is lively, wild on the nose, and delivers the bright funky fruit that made it such a favorite here at Chambers Street. From my extended experience consuming bottles of 910, I would recommend letting this one sit for a while. It just arrived (12/1/17) and I think it would benefit from a month or two of RE-harmonizing in the bottle before the drinking begins. Not that you won't enjoy it if you open a bottle tonight (or a mag with your holiday feast), but I feel it will show better with some time. Eben Lillie
The Bordelet pear and apple ciders are a big hit on Thanksgiving, low alcohol too, so the kids get a sip or two. Also arriving on Tuesday: Poire "Granit" and Poiré Authentique. An apple cider from one of Normandy’s best, Tendre combines classic orchard flavors of ripe apples (Kermerien, Douce Moene, Frequin Rouge, Damelot, Marie Menard and 25 more) and a savory/sweet undercurrent of barley and dark honey. Compared to Bordelet’s pear offerings I find this to be more “beer-esque” than “wine-esque” so bring on the brats, or in true Norman fashion blood sausage, tripe, or perhaps for a lighter meal: crêpes. As with all his ciders, the farm is certified biodynamic and fermentation finishes in the bottle for a complex texture filled with small vivacious bubbles. John Rankin
From a series of cuvées that refer to Charles Mingus tunes (like a savagnin called "Oh Yeah!" and a Chard/Savagnin blend called "Straight No Chaser"), this is Patrice's "orange wine." All Savagnin, with 7 months maceration. There's a great nose, nice structure in the back palate, and a very long finish. It's not tannic, rather a really balanced and elegant white wine that looks cloudy and funky and is remarkably clean, with white stone fruit and a touch of viscosity. A real treat! .... Eben Lillie...(We have some 2016 also available, but the bottles look identical and I guess we only have room for one vintage of skin contact Savagnin from the Jura at a time... so if you're interested to try both vintages, feel free to reach out and ask!)
Poulsard from the Côte de Feule vineyard in Pupillin. Several other growers we admire have some plots here, such as Granges Paquenesses, Domaine de la Borde, and we're quite certain Houillon and Overnoy as well (it's a pretty well known vineyard site in Pupillin). The hue of this red is still very light, but there's a deeper burgundy shade and a bit more material than the Ploussard bottling from Patrice. Fresh, vibrant, and beguiling. Eben Lillie
Cheerful, fresh, funky... VERY light, and quite clean and balanced for a no SO2 offering. We're very happy to have this and other wines from Patrice, as a welcome addition to our Jura section. Serve with a slight chill! Eben Lillie
Eric Laguerre's "Le Passage" is from his highest parcel, at about 2,000 feet, on soils of decomposed granite. Organic farming, natural vinification, aged in used barrels. 80% Carignan with Syrah and Grenache. The 2015 is a lovely dark red/black color with deep aromas of blackberry, earth, dark chocolate brightened with violet and pepper. Dense, velvety black fruits on the palate - blackberry, prune and cocoa lifted by bright citrusy acids and finishing with a mineral kick. This is a beautiful expression of Eric's mountainside vineyards - showing the quality of his low-yielding Carignan. Drink now, served cool, with grilled meats, stews, and full-flavored cheeses, or hold a few years for a mature experieince...
2016 is a great vintage for Eric Laguerre's EOS Blanc! From 30% Grenache Blanc, 40% Maccabeo and 30% Rolle (Vermentino) grown on granite soils in Eric's high-altitude organic vineyards. The increased percentages of Maccabeo and Rolle have made this lovely wine even more distinctive, showing subtle aromas of dried pear, hay, citrus, herbs and stone. The palate is refreshing and clean with pear, citrus peel, almond, thyme and stone flavors, very crisp and dry and with nice density and length. This very versatile wine will pair with everything from oysters, to grilled fish to roast chicken, and will be very refreshing by itself on a warm summer day. DL
"Fou du Roi" (The Jester) is made from Grenache Noir, Cinsault, and Carignan from Axel Prufer's biodynamic vineyards planted high in the Black Mountains of L'Hérault. Axel moved to the Languedoc from East Germany in the late 90's to join the growing natural wine movement and make wines using minimal intervention. He promotes biodiversity in the vines and works only with indigenous yeasts and no added sulphur. This cuveé is made using carbonic maceration for a fresh, early drinking style that is simply joyful. The 2016 is cleaner than the 2015, bursting with juicy red cherry and blackberry fruits. There is vibrant snappy acidity that adds nice structure, this would be delicious with a slight chill. Amanda Bowman
100% Chardonnay, "zero zero," as they say in France for bubbles that have no dosage and no sulfites added. The Thill Cremant is toasty and crisp, with bright golden fruit on the nose, subtle texture and a refreshing finish. 21 months on the lees before disgorging give the wine depth and richness. All in all, this is a ridiculous deal for a really complex, pure (and clean) natural Cremant from the Jura. Get some while it lasts! Eben Lillie
"Clos du Brey Rouge" is a blend of equal parts Trousseau, Syrah, and a varietal I have only come across in Ganevat’s “Y’a Bon the Canon” – petit Béclan, all planted in calcareous, limestone soils. The raspberry robe is cherry-fruited with a touch of funk on the nose. After a few hours heady aromas of blueberry, plum, and peppercorn mingled with bergamot, violets, and juicy red cherry notes. This is a heady and delicious, though somewhat serious blend. The palate is fruit-driven upon opening but evolves to reveal savory herbs, crunchy lip-smacking acidity and rugged tannins. Long decant highly recommended! Amanda Bowman
Bussoletti’s Ciliegiolo di Narni is a fresh, easy going red wine from central Umbria and a perfect example of why I have fallen in love with the grape. More commonly used as a blending partner for Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo produced as a varietal wine gives soft aromatic reds that are a joy to drink. Produced from a 4 hectare plot of younger vines planted facing north to encourage elegance over ripeness, the wine is fermented with ambient yeast in steel tank and bottled after resting for 6 months. The nose is rich with fresh red cherries and deep red floral notes with delicate herbal tones and bit of black pepper spice. Juicy on the palate with restrained acidity and very little tannin it shows more strawberry and raspberry fruit. This is a wine that can lift through richer foods: try it as a foil to mac'n'cheese, as pairing for charcuterie, or enjoy it on its own. Andy Paynter
Defino comes from organically farmed grapes (a friend who is one of Tuscany’s best winemakers consults on the winemaking), and it’s a really lovely fresh red, light and juicy but with plenty of intensity on the palate. This is on the short list for the ultimate pizza wine, but really we mean that in reference to: “it’s Tuesday night, and we want a glass of something delicious that doesn’t break the bank”. Actually Frappato is a terrific food wine — a red-wine-with-fish wine, and very versatile.
Drogone comes from a small parcel of vines planted in 1964. The wine is aged for two years in older, large tonneau of French oak, and then for years in bottle — the 2007 is the current release. A wine of great depth and considerable density, it shares the elegance and finesse of all Madonna delle Grazie wines. It's very cool to taste the highest quality Aglianico that has some age; we're happy that it's still available at such a fair price. John Rankin and Jamie Wolff
Pranzegg 2016 Vino Rosso Leggero From our charming friends in the Alto Aldige, this is a blend of Lagrein and Schavia. A unique note to this wine is its fermentation on white grapes skins. Truly a light red (“Rosso Leggero”) wine, this fresh and vibrant wine captures the spirit of the European vin de soif, meant to quench our thirst while bringing us great happiness.
I am completely smitten with this Amaro. The primary ingredient is blood orange from Sicily with the bitter, herbal components taking somewhat of a backseat, and the result is a brighter, more feminine, style of Amaro that is complex and delicious. It is floral, fruit-forward, mineral, and long with red berry fruits and herbs building on the finish. This is simply a fantastic after dinner drink. Tim Gagnon
Historically, amari were made as a way to make full use of the harvest by macerating leftover herbs, botanicals, and fruits in distilled spirits. This of course means everything was grown locally, resulting in a myriad of different styles depending on where you were and what crops were planted. And while there are other American amari on the market today, it’s hard to think of one that truly capitalizes on its bountiful, regional raw ingredients. Most are based on traditional Italian – or even Scandinavian – recipes, which are delicious, but rely on herbs and botanicals that may or may not be native to where they are made. Enter High Wire’s Southern Amaro. Using a base of neutral corn spirit, they macerate Yaupon Holly (America’s only native caffeinated plant) and gentian root, along with wild mint, local Dancy tangerine, and Charleston Black Tea (the only colorant used), among other botanicals. It is then sweetened with neutral cane syrup which they make themselves from local sugarcane. It is wild and intriguing on the nose with brown sugar, sweet spice, and zesty citrus balanced by deeper aromas of black tea leaves, pine resin, smoke, and hints of brine and celery. The palate is quite lifted and herb-forward with a balanced sweetness, and it is here that the tangerine and mint really shine along with a touch of black cherry. Reach for this after a fantastic meal! Tim Gagnon
Sommeliers Nicholas Finger and Fairlie McCollough started St. Agrestis in 2014 after a three month trip through Italy solidified their love for traditional, regional Amari. Everything is done in their warehouse in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY from the maceration of organic herbs, roots, and citrus in neutral base spirit to the short-term aging in whiskey barrels (sourced from the Van Brunt distillery in Brooklyn), and the addition of organic cane sugar followed by bottling and labeling. The sugar rounds out the classic bitter components of this Amaro making for an easy going yet complex and balanced digestif that begs to be consumed after dinner this Thanksgiving! Tim Gagnon
We love the rich, feral Portuguese variety Baga - the great red grape of the Bairrada DOC, which abuts Portugal's Dão region and enjoys a mild, maritime climate. Sidónio de Sousa's Baga is as good as it gets, from 90-year-old vines, fermented whole-cluster and raised for 12 months in ancient Portuguese oak. Pepper and rose petals on the nose, with wild flavors of black currant, red currant, oregano, and rye combine with pine needles, purple flowers, and funky damp earth. It's hard not to dream of roasted or grilled meat with this wine! Ariana Rolich
Domaine Barou has been organic since the 1970s and also produces cherries, apricots and peaches. The Saint-Joseph vines are in Limony, on thin granite soils. Shallow plowing ("griffage") is done in the summer, with rye and clover growing between the rows in winter. The grapes are 80% de-stemmed, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is primarily in old barrels. the 2016 Saint-Joseph shows lovely aromas of blackberry abd blueberry, quite floral, with hints of citrus, herbs and spice, a bit brighter than the 2015. The palate shows earthy black fruits with citrus and mineral notes, quite balanced with firm acidity at 13% alcohol and finishing with nice crisp acidity. This will pair well with roast chicken and pork dishes and will improve for three to five years in the bottle. DL
Carignan, Syrah and Grenache. This cuvée is driven by a large percentage of old vines Carignan, which Sylvain believes retains it's freshness even in the heat of the South. The style is truly right down the middle, with plenty of generous earthy fruit, but very integrated tannin and good lift. This is a fantastic everyday red that could accompany a wide variety of foods. Eben Lillie
Clos du Joncuas, founded in 1920 by Pierre Auguste Chastan, has always farmed with natural methods and has been officially organic since 1980. Currently run by sisters Dany and Carole Chastan, the estate's Gigondas vines are on slopes below the Dentelles de Montmirail on soils of clay with dolomite and gypsum over the limestone of the Dentelles and average 40 to 90 years old. 80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. The 2012 Gigondas is a bit lighter and brighter than the norm at Clos du Joncuas with high-toned black fruit, mineral, spice and licorice aromas. The palate is elegant and fresh showing deep supple black fruits with hints of graphite, garrigue and brown spice. After three days, recorked in the fridge, the wine has deepened impressively with pure blackberry, bitter chocolate and licorice aromas, great density on the palate with black fruit liqueur, red currant, earth and anise. A beautiful wine! Serve cool and decant many hours if drinking young, or cellar for five to fifteen years.
(70% Grenache, with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered.) Dense red/black color. Vivid aromas of blackberry and black cherry liqueur with hints of cocoa, citrus peel and licorice. The palate is dense and supple with berry liqueur, cherry pit and firm citrusy acids, fairly bright and cool in the finish. This beautiful young wine will benefit from decanting or 5 years of aging, serve with grilled foods, North African cuisine, strong cheeses. Great value!
"Detour" is made from a blend of Roussane, Marsanne and Clairette from the Northern Rhone. The aromas are layered with white peach, nectarine and a hint of baking spice. The palate is supple and round with ample flavors of peach skin, ripe apricot, and zesty citrus balanced by a wonderful brightness and mineral quality from the Clairette. This wine was still delicious after being open for three days - not that we expect there to be too many half-finished bottles this vintage! Amanda Bowman
"Les Mesanges" is a cuvée of Saint-Joseph made from organic grapes grown on the best terroir at Domaine des Amphores in Chavanay, aged 18 months in 600 liter barrels. The 2015 shows a deep black/red color that coats the glass with aromas of black raspberry liqueur, quite ripe, with violet, spice, black olive and bitter chocolate. The palate is lush and supple with black fruit liqueur, menthol, spice, earth and mineral flavors, quite intense but very bright, lifted by firm acidity and quite balanced at 12.5% alcohol. This is a pure and delicious Syrah, showing the great organic and biodynamic farming of Philippe and Veronique Grenier. Please decant or open well in advance if drinking now, best probably 2020 - 2025. David Lillie
"Patou" is a vineyard in the southern portion of Cornas with vines planted from the 1920s to the 1990s on granite soils. The grapes are mostly de-stemmed, fermentations are with wild yeasts and the wine ages for approximately 2 years in 3 to 7 year-old barrels. While we don't like using other people's notes, we love what our friend John Livingstone-Learmonth wrote about this wine: "dark red robe. The nose is grilled, meaty, has a primal nature, real entrails in the glass, with pine, basil. The palate also gives pine woven into its plump blackcurrant content, and a broad, rounded mass. The tannins are ripe, supple, well entered. This is full-blooded, STGT (wine of terroir) Cornas, big on character, for the aficionados. It goes well long. Stand back: a freight train is coming! 13.5° alc." While it's quite impressive now, best to wait a few years then drink until 2035.
From parcels of clay/limestone, rich in iron, on hillsides surrounded by woods and hedges, 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah. Like all the Ferme Saint-Martin wines, it's from organic grapes and bottled with minimal SO2. The 2015 Terres Jaunes shows lovely deep berry liqueur aromas - mostly red currant with hints of bright raspberry, with floral and earthy notes. The palate is round and supple showing ripe blackberry and red currant flavors with minerals, citrus and dark chocolate, that continues on the long refreshing finish. This is a big but bright and balanced Côtes du Rhône that shows the lush fruit and concentration of the 2015 vintage - it's the best Terres Jaunes ever and a great value! Serve with stews, steaks and chops or anything grilled. DL
Guy and Thomas Jullien make a small quantity of fascinating and delicious white Cotes du Rhône on their organic estate in Suzette, on the slopes of the Dentelles near Beaumes-de-Venise. "Carlina" is made from 45% Clairette, 45% Roussanne and 10% Grenache Blanc grown at high altitude on clay/limestone soils, vinified with some skin contact and with minimal SO2. Bright pale gold color, with aromas of spiced pear, anis, lemon peel and almond. The palate is round and ripe but nicely balanced, really showing the Roussanne with lemon confit, pear, hay and herbal flavors, with stone and mineral notes. This is quite delicious and complex, perfect with fish in sauce, Asian foods, chicken and pork dishes and full-flavored cheeses. David Lillie
A lovely rosé of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grown in the Ventoux by Guy and Thomas Jullien at their beautiful organic estate in Suzette, above Beaume-de-Venise. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with only wild yeasts and the wine is bottled with minimal SO2. The 2016 shows lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry and rose with hints of spice and citrus. Beautiful palate with firm acidity and mineral flavors with hints of red currant, raspberry, peach and brown spice, with good density and length. This is a real rosé of terroir, which should open up nicely with aeration or a few months in bottle. A fabulous value!
From hillside vineyards in Erome, Gervans and Crozes, mostly granite with some limestone/clay, average age 45 years, aged 30% in foudre, 70% in one to 7 year-old burgundy barrels. This is no "ordinary" Crozes-Hermitage, but a real wine of terroir from great vineyard sites, all on hillsides. 2015 is an excellent vintage in the northern Rhone with great ripeness balanced by some rain before harvest. The Rousset 2015 Crozes-Hermitage shows a deep black/purple color with deep aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with hints of earth, bitter chocolate and musk. The palate is dense but brightened by firm acidity with black fruits, licorice, earth and mineral flavors. Black olive and red currant emerge with aeration, really lovely. This is a delicious Syrah from great terroir that will accompany grilled foods, stews, tagines and full-flavored cheeses over the next 5 to 8 years. David Lillie
Viticulture in Brezeme, on the primarily limestone marl south facing steep hillsides, dates back to Roman times. Records from the early 1800's indicate plantings of Syrah from vines in Hermitage and Cornas. Eric Texier has been instrumental in reviving the vineyards, especially with his Domaine du Pergaud Vieilles Vignes and this lovely Syrah from younger vines. The 2015 Cotes du Rhone Brezeme is a big, well structured wine that retains the freshness and lively character always present in this cuvee. The wine was vinified naturally, without added sulfur. The wine shows vivid aromas of blackberry and black cherry with hints of musk, blueberry, earth and citrus. The palate is deep and textured with earthy black fruits, bitter chocolate and mineral flavors, quite pure and long. Serve now, slightly chilled, with grilled meats, tagines and full-flavored cheeses, or cellar fo five to ten years or more. (As Eric notes below, open the day before, taste, recork, for best results if drinking now.) Lovely wine! DL Notes from Eric Texier: "The 2015 Brezeme is as expected. Tannic, more vintage than terroir driven, needs time. Very similar to 2005 in my book. I still find the later a bit young and closed right now. I hope people will give it a chance to age a bit. At least until this fall, to recover from the mise. Or open it the day before drinking. Bottles open the day before show much better than at opening. Huge potential of ageing."
I visited Bodegas Grant this past March, and I was struck with the accessibility of the sherries here. This bodega is located in the center of town in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Attached to the bodega is a fabulous bar to quaff these delicious sherries. The Amontillado is soft, floral, and gently spicy. The aging process is not especially lengthy with this wine; which makes it somewhat fruitier and appealing. This is a sherry to drink! — cb
A treat for lovers of Castellroig Cava, the Rosat is a refreshing rose Cava made from organically farmed Garnacha and Trepat grapes, fermented with native yeasts, and aged a minimum of 15 months on the lees before disgorgement. A lovely, rosy watermelon hue, dry and frothy, with deep and delicious flavors of raspberry, cranberry, orange rind, and Mediterranean herbs. A beautiful alternative to Raventos or Castellroig's superb basic Cava. Ariana Rolich
There is no Champagne method sparkler like this one, a collaboration between Sergi Colet in Penedes and Equipo Navazos, the Andalusian dream team behind La Bota. The base wine is Chardonnay from Penedes and the dosage is manzanilla pasada from Sanlucar de Barrameda; this combination is fascinating, with flor aromas from the manzanilla accenting the earthy bass notes of the wine. Long aging on the lees before disgorgement (40+months) and a process called autolysis create umami and yeasty bread notes in Champagne method sparklers that are found in fino sherries and manzanillas with age as well. Umami, salt, citrus, and long, briny, mineral profile make this a serious sparkler to build a seafood or poultry course around. Ariana Rolich
This incredible bargain is a full-bodied blend of bush-trained Bobal with a splash of young-vines Cabernet Sauvignon from 1000 meters up in the Utiel-Requena region of Spain. Dense and layered on the palate — rich cherry, tart plum, and ripe raspberry fruit, with velvety tannins, soft earth, and a hint of violet flowers. Certified organic. Ariana Rolich
A native of La Guancha, Tenerife, Borja Pérez González is leading the young generation of Canary Island winemakers with some of the most unique and nuanced wines in the region. His reds have a devoted fan base here at Chambers Street, so we are especially pleased when we can get some of his white wine as well (today, for the first time, in magnum)! Made from the local Marmajuelo grape, this exotic white offers contrast between silken tropical aromas of pineapple, aloe, lemon curd, and banana leaf with lip-smacking acidity and salinity on the palate of crisp stone fruit, with rich almond oil, a shake of white pepper, and bitter volcanic earth lacing the long, minerally finish. (Tasting note is from 750ml.) Ariana Rolich
Baboso Negro (better known as Alfrocheiro in Portugal) has a powerful and flamboyant personality, making every vintage of this wine is a new adventure. Ignios Baboso comes from a 20-year-old single vineyard on volcanic clay loam in northwestern Tenerife, converted to organic farming by intrepid Tenerife vigneron, Borja Pérez González. The 2015 is very fresh and balanced, displaying Baboso's distinctive perfume and acidity, along with a full, beguiling palate of sweet wild cherry, brambly black raspberry, blackberry sap, and musky blood orange, lifted by notes of apricot, citrus peels, celery seed, and grounded by clear minerality and pungent volcanic earth. Ariana Rolich
As the sun goes down and the fogs roll over Tenerife, there is no better pleasure than to sip a glass of Ignios Marmajuelo alongside local shell fish and fresh mojo (Canarian pesto made of herbs, garlic, and plenty of vinegar - email us for recipes!). Marmajuelo plantings are rare. In 2011, Borja Perez Gonzalez recuperated two tiny 20-year-old parcels, perched above the Ignios Baboso vineyard, amounting to a mere 700kg of grapes. The wine is equally unusual, combining forceful salty and savory volcanic island elements - ocean air and smoky soil - interwoven with juicy (dry!) tropical fruits, accented by mellow notes of banana leaf, lemon balm, green almond, and aloe, with long, ashen mineral notes on the finish. The complex braid of flavors is lifted by invigorating acidity. This Marmajuelo displays significant natural tannin and viscosity, endearing it to adventurous cooks in search of special white wine pairings. Ariana Rolich
A friend brought back a bottle of Júlia Bernet Cava from Barcelona 7 or 8 years ago. I still remember the integrity and succulent depth of that wine. After several attempts, I finally managed to visit Xavi Bernet three years ago and have since made his bodega in the tiny hamlet of El Pago a regular stop (where he also sells delicious Catalan cheese, fruits, and rancio). Xavi farms his grandparents' vines and makes a array of delicious, certified organic still wines and Cava, all of which display enormous quality and care. "U" is a new cuvée, bone dry, elegant, and refreshing, from 15-40 year-old Xarello vines. The Cava spends approximately two years on the lees, receiving no dosage and the bare minimum SO2. If Penedès were the object of such intense scrutiny and admiration as Champagne, there is no doubt that Xavi Bernet would be hailed as a grower of top talent and character. Ariana Rolich
Siete Fuentes is the village red of Suertés del Marques, assembled from dozens of small parcels spanning various altitudes and terroirs in Tenerife's historic Valle de la Orotava. A fresh and fabulous introduction to the taut, pure side of Listán Negro from volcanic soils, the 2015 vintage displays savory aromas and a lifted, focused palate of juicy, muddled purple berries, herbal berry seeds, sweet and earthy smoke, pert florals, balsamic notes, and a complex bitter ash element that winds through the fruit and lasts on the finish. If I were teaching a class on Canary Island reds, this wine would be Exhibit A. It's also terrific when you need a red wine to pair with fish. Ariana Rolich
2014 is an incredible vintage of Dits del Terra, a south-facing, single vineyard of 90+ year-old Carignan vines, one of the first plots Dominik Huber and Eben Sadie pinpointed when starting Terroir al Limit. This bottling is always a highlight of Dominik Huber's lineup. Structured and serious, layered and spicy, with crunchy black berry fruit, exotic herbs, and loads of gritty mineral earth, fermented with whole clusters and aged in large 3500L Stockinger foudre. Every year I take note of how Dits del Terra gets better and more interesting every year. Obviously, it is a perennial favorite! Ariana Rolich
53% Tepeztate 47% Sierra Negra / 203 Liters Produced / Ultra-Limited Edition!!
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
This is a fresh and delicious Pinot that we would be happy to drink every night (happily, at $21.99, we could also afford to!). Pure fruits of dark cherry, baked strawberry and raspberry, aromas of violets, along with ripe nuances of Madagascar vanilla bean. The different vineyard selections for this vintage include Arroyo Seco & Antle vineyards and offer a satisfyingly gamey, savory contrast to the silky palate and makes this a distinctive new world Pinot Noir well worth stocking up on.
Under the Wire is the sparkling wine project of Morgan Twain Peterson and Chris Cottrell, whose ambition to make world-class California Champagne method bubbles is fed by truly excellent grape sources. This rose is Pinot Noir from David Hirsch's legendary vineyard on the true Sonoma Coast, just a mile from the San Andreas fault. The 2014 vintage was fermented with native yeasts in neutral barrels and disgorged in the spring of 2017 with 2g dosage. An American sparkler to celebrate!
What a delicious wine from Evan Lewandowski. 100% Grenache gris from 105-year old vines, this vibrant natural wine is whole clustered pressed and fermented without skin in tank. After full malolactic fermentation, the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined with minimal addition of sulfur. On the nose, the wine smells of orange zest, peach yogurt, vanilla, saline and gravel notes with some white flowers undertones. On the palate, the wine shows a beautiful velvety texture with apricot, clementine, crème fraîche, chamomile leaves, saline and light floral notes. With good acidity, bright mineral notes and yeasty undertones, this wine is exciting. Drink it alone or with vegetable curries, creamy vegetable soups, or Asian dishes. This is surely a fun addition to your wine collection. Caroline Coursant
Tito's is made from 100% corn and is absolutely wheat & gluten free. It’s produced in Austin at Texas' first and oldest legal distillery. It's made in small batch by Tito Beveridge (actual name), a 45-year-old Geologist, who micro-distills 6x’s in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs.