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The Bedrock Heritage Bedrock Vineyard is from a Zinfandel based blend composd of 22 interplanted varieties planted in the 1880s in Red Hill clay-loam soils, no-till cover crop farming, native yeast fermentation. (Wine arrives approximately October 9th)
55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics from old vine plantings (up to 100 years old) around Sonoma County, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and raised in a nice bit of French oak for a bold, bright-fruited, silky, and satisfying wine that is unbeatable at this price.
This wine is from the Green Valley of Solano County, located just over the Vaca mountains from Napa. This wine comes from two vineyards, the Frei Vineyard and the Wirth Ranch Vineyard, both of which are dry-farmed and have average vine ages over 65 years. This style of wine was formerly known as Napa Gamay, and for good reason; the taste is reminiscent of Beaujolais with medium tannin and great energy, though more purple in color and with darker fruit. Vineyards are dry-farmed and have an average vine age of sixty years. Partial carbonic maceration gives the wine a light and lifted character. Pair with pork chops, veal, branzino, or carnitas tacos. Andrew Farquhar
From the folks who run Hobo Wine Co., here we have the delicious new vintage of one of our favorite inexpensive Cabernets from California! Tart blackberry and ripe cassis mix with herbal hints and wildflower on the nose while broadly gracing the firm, rich, powerfully tannic palate. Sourced from many lesser known but sustainably or organically farmed vineyards throughout Sonoma county. Aged for nine months in neutral oak barrels.
Notes from Claire: "...from Del Barba vineyard in Oakley, California, on the Sacramento River Delta. The area was planted to mostly Zinfandel, Carignane, and Mourvedre in the 1880s-1890s by Italian and Portuguese immigrants to the area. A lot of the old vines have been ripped out for urban sprawl, and a lot of families have sold their vineyards for millions of dollars to developers. The Del Barba family has lived there for 5 generations now, and continue to farm the property. The Zinfandel from Martha Stoumen's Post Flirtation Red comes from this vineyard, and Bedrock gets the 130 year old Mourvedre (I get the 60 year old Mourvedre). It's all own rooted and head trained in pure sand...about 15% whole cluster with some pigeage, fermented in picking pins for 7 days. The fermentation was insanely healthy, and it kicked off on its own within 18 hours. I added a little sulfur to one of the 3 bins that had a funky smelling cap, but most sulfur additions were post malo/before bottling (total is <30ppm). Aged in 10 year old Littorai barrels for 14 months before bottling."
This is a beautiful granitic Syrah from the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard. Classic Syrah aromas: smoke, cracked pepper, black and red fruit, and at the center, that same iron noticeable in the taste of the grapes. Youthful, quite fresh, with a brisk high note, faintly suggestive of roses. Energetically very tense in the mouth, slightly bloody (that iron!) and ever so vaguely feral. The first time I tasted this blind I called it for being a dense Cabernet Franc from the Loire, which surprised me. It is big and beautiful and absolutely built for cellar-aging. 208 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This is a great example of Steve Edmunds no-fuss style of wine-making. Planted in 2005, these Gamay vines are producing bright, fresh wines that speak to the rocky, granite soils, similar to Beaujolais, in which they're grown. The high elevation of the vineyards keeps the grapes in balance despite the warm climate of El Dorado. It shows fresh and stewed cherry on the nose, with a bit of anise, and ripe cherry and red plum on the palate with a mineral finish. Drink this slightly chilled, and enjoy with friends as it'll be a nice pairing for a wide range of proteins. Michelle DeWyngaert
50% Cabernet Sauvignong and 50% Merlot, this Bordeaux Blend tastes like anything but. From old vines planted on a thin loam over broken shale, this wine is brimming in electric acidity, with the stone fruit character on the nose becoming a pleasant surprise of tangerine and blood orange on the palate. It is rare to have a red wine with citric fruit character, but this is one. This wine is almost Italianate in style, and would pair excellently with red pasta sauces, but also has the oomph to stand up to lamb or a more delicate cut of beef. The Elizabeth Vineyard, sustainably farmed, is located on the east side of Seneca Lake. Andrew Farquhar
This 100% Pinot Noir was foot stomped and then added whole cluster to one ton bins for spontaneous fermentation. The grapes received once daily punchdowns for 8 days before being bucketed into the half-ton bladder press. Settled juice was pumped into old French oak barrels to finish fermentation which continued into June of 2018. In September the wine was racked off its lees and gravity bottled by hand without fining or filtration. This is a beautiful Pinot Noir, bursting with fine ripe cherry fruit that mixes with notes of herbs, spice, and a little sandalwood character. This is one of the most complete and dynamic Pinot Noirs I've had from the Finger Lakes. Andrew Farquhar
I can't say that I've had much Syrah from Willamette, and indeed the Havlin Vineyard is relatively young (planted in 2009), but I'm already intrigued to find more. The vineyard is 100% dry-farmed and LIVE sustainable certified. The soil here is silt loam over ironstone bedrock, which not only helps keep the yields low on these younger vines, but also imparts a distinct mineral backbone to this wine. 20% whole cluster in the fermentation, aged for 18 months in neutral French oak, and then bottled with just a bit of SO2 in accordance with Mike Hinds' minimalist philosophy. The nose is rich with a touch of dark, bitter chocolate, and the palate presents a really beautiful, concentrated texture with black pepper and dried herbs. Perfectly savory, this wine is calling to be paired with something roasted. Michelle DeWyngaert
I have been thoroughly enjoying this chillable red co-fermentation from Franchere! After meeting with Mike Hinds, the winemaker, I was very excited to promote his wines. He is a firm believer that less is more when it comes to making quality, terroir-driven wines, and has a zero-tolerance policy for irrigation in the vineyards he farms or buys from. His grapes are grown without systemic use of herbicides and pesticides, and the wines are made without additives other than a touch of sulfur. This blend is 88% Pinot Noir, 8% Grüner Veltliner, 3% Gamay, and 1% Syrah from the Hanson vineyard in Willamette. The blend is foot-stomped with 50% whole clusters. The nose is a nice balance between bright red cherry and blood orange, and dried earth with a touch of violet. If you're looking for a light, refreshing red with a bit more structure, this is an excellent option. Michelle DeWyngaert
This Cabernet is sourced from a single block of the Bates Ranch Vineyard located above 1000 feet on the eastern flank of Mt. Madonna at the very southern extremity of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Farmed exclusively by winemaker Kenny Likitprakong, this dry-farmed block was planted in 1973 by local wine legends Val and Dexter Ahlgren. As with much of the Cabernet from this region, the emphasis is on structural tension. Not quite as histrionically robust or extracted as Cabernet from other parts of California, this wine has some muted cassis scarved in layers of dusty tannin and spice. This is a style of Cabernet that would have been much easier to find in these hills back in the 1970s. 207 cases produced, with shorter extraction time, 10% whole cluster fermentation, and 25% new oak. Andrew Farquhar
This cuvée is meant to be an overview of what the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer, and is sourced from three different vineyards: 40% Upper Block Amaya Ridge, 35% Aptos Creek, and 25% Smith Road. While the blend varies a little vintage to vintage, the wine shows consistency in its expression of classic Santa Cruz restraint. Fine cranberry fruit with a hint of some baking and savory spices, this Pinot is finely structured, with delicate tannins and a fine acid backbone. Open and inviting now, this wine will also benefit from a few years of cellaring. Excellent with roast chicken, lobster rolls, or miso-broth ramen, this will work just as well without food, as it is aromatic and mesmerizing as a standalone experience. 600 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Located in the eastern part of the Eola-Amity AVA, Hope Well is a winery founded on the principles of regenerative agriculture. Trained in Forest Ecology and following a career in the National Forest Service as a botanist, Mimi Casteel returned to Bethel Hill, her family's winery. After a few years as vineyard manager, she founded Hope Well with the idea of putting into praxis her deeply held beliefs in regenerative farming, through promoting biodiversity and carbon capture thru no-till agriculture.
This is a fun, super drinkable, glou glou wine from Contra Costa County in CA. Laura Bissell's intention with her Lalalu line is to be delicious, quaffable, and not overly complicated, and this Cabernet Franc is exactly that. Fresh, lively notes of juicy cranberry and fresh raspberry, with a touch of herbaceousness and fresh earth on the nose. The tannin is minimal, but enough to keep the wine in balance. The grapes are farmed organically and spontaneously fermented, then aged in neutral barrels. I love this wine slightly chilled with charcuterie, but can also see this being the perfect pairing for burgers (veggie or meat-based). Michelle DeWyngaert
So thrilled to finally experience Jess Miller's 'Pet Sounds' a Pet-Nat of 100% Pinot Noir! Jess Miller is an incredibly hard-working winemaker/farmer working with just a half-acre of organically farmed vines in Eola-Amity Hills, OR. I love this sparkling wine because it so purely shows the quality of her Pinot Noir unencumbered by oak, or lees-stirring, or any number of flashy wine-making techniques. The nose shows juicy, ripe strawberry, red apple-skins, and a touch of damp earth and something savory. The palate is clean, plush, and not overly effervescent; a more sophisticated Pet-Nat if ever there was one. Michelle DeWyngaert
Kelley describes this wine as her most expressive bottling, and certainly the most deserving of time in the cellar. The Maresh vineyard is located in the Dundee Hills AVA with the vines planted in 1970 on south facing slopes at 500-700ft above sea level. 2017 was a relatively warm vintage with some very hot days at the end of august, but the end of the season cooled down enough that they were able to pick in mid-October with around 12.5% alcohol. The land here is affectionately known as "The Farm" as it's planted with a variety of other nuts and produce and a vast wildlife population, which she believes is reflected in the wine. Michelle DeWyngaert
Richard Luftig, one of New York's best sommeliers, has made a Cabernet known for phenomenal quality and price: Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2015 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. This is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon that has classic California character but more structure and reserve than a lot of riper wine. The tannic structure is tightly woven, with fine acid backbone and lush cassis, blackberry, and slightly redder berry fruit. This is a California Cabernet meant to be consumed with food, and will pear excellently with New York strip steak, pork loin, or coq au vin. Andrew Farquhar
80% old vine Carignan from the Trimble vineyard in Mendocino and 20% Zinfandel from Porter Creek's own vineyards, this dry rose is one of my favorites of the summer. Crackling with acidity, bright fruit and a lovely seam of minerality on the nose, this wine is complex and hefty enough to pair with grilled meats and barbecue, while also having the snappy mouthwatering agility to be drunk as an aperitif. Winemaker Alex Porter always creates balanced wines, and this is no exception. All the fruit is dry-farmed, whole cluster pressed, and aged in neutral oak before bottling. Andrew Farquhar
This wine is a unique blend of 50% Melon de Bourgogne and 50% Counoise. The Melon is sourced from Oregon and the Counoise from Washington, but the two are harvested on the same day and co-fermented whole-cluster. The grapes are foot-stomped and left to macerate for 30 days which allows the tannins to soften a bit and create a plush texture. Joe Swick calls this his "salt-n-pepper" wine, which is a perfect description. You get a touch of saltiness from the leesy Melon, and a black pepper finish from the Counoise to make this wine an excellent food pairing. Savory and refreshing, this wine should be served slightly chilled and enjoyed within the next year. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a Gewurztraminer that might just change a few hearts and minds about the grape. In the wrong hands, Gewurztraminer can become cloying and overpowering with the scent of Grandma's potpourri, but this wine from Kenny Likitprakong shows some serious restraint. Sourced entirely from the Rancho Llegado vineyard in Monterey County, the frequent cool winds of the area maintain the much needed acidity to balance this wine. Banyan was designed by Kenny and his father with their Thai heritage in mind, and as such this Gewurztraminer is the perfect pairing for South-east Asian cuisine or anything with a bit of spice to it. Though it is fermented dry, it maintains a softness with notes of ripe nectarine, a touch of tropical fruit, sage, and bright, fresh gardenia blossoms. Michelle DeWyngaert
High above the hazy glow of Silicon Valley sits the historic Peter Martin Ray vineyard; where the quality of farming and extreme altitude have drawn some of California's most sought-after winemakers, including Arnot-Roberts and Birichino. Here in this remote and unforgiving site, Chardonnay struggles to find water deep in the hillsides during blazing summers. The mark of this tenacious battle is preserved by the Raytek's choice to pick earlier than most, and is expressed through a vivid oceanic salinity in the finished wines. The 2017 Peter Martin Ray Chardonnay maintains its reputation for purity, balance, and restraint. At the usual 13.3% abv., the only allusion to the scorching summer months is the texture of tangy citrus oil that coats the palate before being swept away by a deft and mineral-laden acidity on the long persistent finish. This is a beautiful and expressive wine with many years ahead in the cellar. Recently we paired this with lobster served on buttery, toasted rolls and it gave the Condrieu a run for its money. Amanda Bowman
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. AR
Sterling Whitted proves again that he is a winemaker to watch with this sublime 2016 Vermentino from Applegate Valley, Oregon. Whitted sources grapes from 40-year-old vines planted in red volcanic soils at 1,600ft above sea level in the historical Layne Vineyard in southern Oregon. After the fruit is pressed it spends 18 months on its lees with no battonage and only minimal sulfur at bottling. The front label looks like a scene from a Bruce Brown documentary; which at first feels like slapping a Roxy decal on a Porsche, until the second sip floods the mind with images of athletic surfers gliding on Perfect Waves. The 2016 offers vivid coastal aromas of surf and salty seashells mixed with mountain herbs and anise. The palate is creamy from the extended time on the lees and shows ripe tropical fruit that surges over a long, stony finish. This bottle will pair beautifully with a number of delicious seafood dishes, recently it awed with a boiled lobster salad with fresh tomatoes and onions. Amanda Bowman
I am not often impressed by Pinot Blanc as it is relatively neutral and typically blended with Auxerrois or other innocuous grapes, but when it's done right, for me, it's all about the texture. This 100% Pinot Blanc from Kelley Fox showcases her incredible attention to detail and desire for balance, bringing forth a rich, silky texture in the wine. The nose is delicate with fresh white flowers, lemon zest and a bit of underripe peach, and the palate has a bit more ripeness to it while still showing plenty of acidity and a lingering mineral undertone. Whole-cluster fermented in neutral oak with a complete malolactic fermentation adding to its rounded edges. The grapes are all from Freedom Hill Vineyard, which was planted in 1982 on marine sediment, which really shines on a neutral variety like Pinot Blanc. I will happily sit and contemplate this wine on its own, but it would be a lovely companion to anything you might enjoy an understated chardonnay with. Michelle DeWyngaert
Ovum is an exciting, predominantly Riesling-based project from winemakers John and Ksenija House from Southern Oregon, based out of the Rogue Valley. The Rogue Valley is in fact made up of the valleys of three separate rivers which are, from West to East: the Illinois River, the Applegate River, and Bear Creek. The Bear Creek Valley is the warmest and driest place in the state of Oregon, whereas the Illinois River Valley, from which this Riesling is sourced, is the coolest and wettest region in the state. Grown in serpentine soils, very rare for viticulture due to its hardness and poor nutrient retention, this is a powerful Riesling with loads of electric acidity and an incredible funky floral character: lime flower, sap, and dense crystalline citric fruit meld together in an amazing, expressive wine. Andrew Farquhar
This is a 100% Chardonnay sourced from two different parcels of younger vines, one planted in sandy, stony soils, the other in red clay rich with iron. Spontaneous fermentation and aging in a combination of neutral barriques and demi-muid. This is an expressive cold-weather Chardonnay, which walks the line between tartness and richness. Subtle notes of creamy sweet spices with a dash of mint play with a touch of lemon and unripe pear on the nose, while the palate is broad and textured, though with a fine vein of acidity. On the palate, the minerality comes to the fore, making this a fantastic food wine. 390 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Francois Morissette is one of the most creative and uncompromising producers making wine in Canada. His Irrévérence Blanc is a new cuvée exploring skin contact aromatic white grapes. 64% Riesling, 22% Chardonnay, and 14% Gewurztraminer, each of these grapes was fermented separately and using very different methods. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, the Chardonnay was fermented in concrete and spent 6 months in foudre, and the Gewurztraminer was fermented on the skins in qvevri for six months. After blending, another three months were spent in foudre before the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Gewurztraminer marks its territory with light, delicate tannins and a distinct but not overbearing floral aroma, and the Riesling gives fantastic citric energy and tension. The Chardonnay insinuates itself more subtly, lending a certain breadth of texture, a structural elegance, and ephemeral wisps of orchard fruits to the long finish. This is a perfect aperitif wine that is taking the wine bars of Toronto by storm. Andrew Farquhar
Precedent is the label of Nathan Kandler, longtime winegrower at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a renowned destination for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Precedent illustrates Kandler's versatility and curiosity and has introduced us to some truly unique California vineyard sites. Wirz Vineyard is home to 60+ year-old dry farmed, head-trained Riesling on decomposed granite over limestone in the Gabilan mountains. We usually have an off-dry Riesling on the table, but I'm happy to go in a drier direction in this case...concentrated, gleaming apricot, citrus rind, and tropical fruit is laced with gritty, long minerality and backed by supple texture and acidic tension. Terrific with herbed root vegetables and citrus glazed poultry or fish and anything peppery or spicy. Ariana Rolich
Revik Wine Co. is the passion project of two married couples who released their first vintage this past summer. This is a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc that positions itself at the forefront of a new wave of dynamic, elegantly structured, complex Sauvignon Blancs coming from the West Coast. Made with fruit sourced from the Saphi Vineyard in Coombsville (Revik winemaker Phil Holbrook's dry-farmed home vineyard), this wine was aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak, with 8 months on the lees. Unfined and unfiltered, and fermented with native yeast, this wine has great depth and a long linear texture, with subtle, muted citrus fruit wrapped in a chrysalis of finely spun woolen notes. Peach fuzz and melon rind absorb into zippy acidity. The subtle degrees of shading are spectacular and the finish feels like forever. Andrew Farquhar
Sourced from the oldest Riesling vines along the banks of Seneca Lake, planted in 1972 on the warmer eastern bank of the lake. Seneca is the deepest of the Finger Lakes, which allows it to moderate the temperature along its banks more than the other lakes. Cayuga, to its west, while having a larger surface area, is much shallower, and you can tell along its muggy banks during the summer. This is a beautiful textured Riesling with fine balance, great acidity, ripe citrus and apple fruit, and just a tiny hint of residual sugar. This is a steal for the price, and one of the best deals I've ever seen coming from New York State. While this will pair well with food, I think this is an ideal summer aperitif. Organic practice in the vineyard, awaiting certification, and low sulfur in the winery. Andrew Farquhar
Stolpman's Roussanne vineyards have an amazing advantage that makes us believe Roussanne from Santa Barbara will become a well-known style in the future. As many know, Santa Barbara is one of the coolest regions in California, though it is also the southernmost. After the break in the Coastal Range that lets in all the cold air from the Pacific, the Transverse Ranges funnel the fog in towards Ballard Canyon and it dissipates earlier in the day and the maritime influence is mitigated, yet still the air is cold. Being at 34 degrees latitude south allows the skin of the grapes to tan in the long hours of the sun, giving them the rust color, or 'Rousse', for which they have been named. In July, the vineyard team pulls leaves away from the bunches, and they rotate the grapes 180 degrees to give an even tan. This extra sun does not lower acidity too much, due to the cold nights and limestone soils. These aspects come together to produce a wine of massive structure, with a broad, intense palate and high acidity, that nonetheless gives us beautiful citric character and lush white fruits. This is a white wine for pairing with heavier dishes like lobster, pork loin, or even a beef braise. Andrew Farquhar
This Chardonnay is sourced from the Coastview Vineyard, which must be one of the most extraordinary vineyards to see anywhere, at the top of a peak in the Gabilan Mountains, situated 2,400 feet above sea level, on a dirt track it took seven years to cut. From this height, the ocean is visible over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west. Thin topsoil here overlays decomposed limestone and granite. Father-son vineyard managers John and Parker use a huge herd of sheep instead of machine mowers in this rugged terrain, and winemaker Alex Pomerantz uses this fruit to make an incredible Chardonnay that isn't quite like anything I've tasted. Whole cluster pressed before being put into neutral barrel to ferment and age for five months before being racked and put in tank for another five months. Lean and aromatically expressive, this is a very pure and pretty wine, not without richness, but more angular in structure, which should allow it to benefit from some time in the cellar. 12.5% alcohol by volume, and bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no sulfur added. 294 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
For Nathan Kandler, winemaker at Thomas Fogarty, Portola Springs is the most extreme of their Santa Cruz Chardonnay vineyards, with its very steep slopes and cool marine air influence. The Chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly and yields are frustratingly low. Portola Springs has a characteristic lemon drop and verbena with flavors of lemon oil, sea spray, and dried thyme. Pair with roasted cauilflower or chicken. Jonas Mendoza