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Our domestic rose magnum this summer! Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos consistently produce some of the most delicious Pinot, Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache in Santa Barbara County. Farming and sustainability are central at Ampelos - they are Demeter certified biodynamic, SIP certified, and even their bottles are produced in California. Their 2016 rose is fresh and flavorful, combining 80% Syrah, farmed and harvested specifically for rose, 15% Grenache, and a 5% splash of Riesling from recently planted vines on their estate. Juicy watermelon and strawberry blossoms, with crunchy pomegranate, blood orange, and orange zest. Ariana Rolich
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.
The grapes from this vineyard (named after George Besson Sr. and Jr. whose families have lived and tended this vineyard since the 1930s) is fermented with native yeasts, using 15% whole cluster (with the rest destemmed), and racked into neutral barrels, unfined and and unfiltered. This wine envelops the palate with black cherry skin and fruit flavors, and violet, freshly rained earth, and menthol undertones. Despite the lightness and brightness of this Grenache, all the flavors resonate with an understatedly profound intensity. Pair with roast turkey with cranberry sauce or mushroom and herbed stuffing! Jonas Mendoza
The Antle Vineyard is perched at the edge of an extinct volcano, planted on granite and limestone soils at nearly 2,000' in the Chalone AVA. Several notable California winemakers have sourced fruit from this distinctive vineyard, including Enfield, Dirty & Rowdy, and the Scholium Project. Birichino's Pinot Noir from Antle Vineyard resonates with black cherry skin and tart black raspberry flavors with meaty, earthy, and herbal undertones, framed by firm and stern tannins. Jonas Mendoza
Broadside is a project of very talented winemaker Chris Brock. The Cabernet is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in barrels, 10% of which are new. The resultant wine is remarkably fresh and full bodied with an interesting spicy character and plenty of bright, tangy dark fruit.
This wine is sourced from the Oat Valley Vineyard in Alexander Valley, which contains 130+ year old vines! The decomposed sandy soil here makes this site phylloxera-proof as well. Planted sometime around 1890, this extraordinarily old vineyard includes, in addition to Carignan, plantings of Palomino, Zinfandel, and Alicante. Thus, this wine's cepage is 85% Carignan, 10% Alicante, 4% Zinfandel, and 1% Palomino. The grapes are then fermented using full carbonic maceration, which, when combined with the crazy concentration from the old vine fruit, makes this wine an exciting and atypical blend of incredibly concentrated depth and bright freshness. Charred meat and bone broth intermingle with pomegranate, strawberry, and bright cranberry flavors on the palate. The general intensity of its flavors is immense, it feels like drinking an entire historical period in one glass. 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. Andrew Farquhar
Cooper Mountain Vineyards started in 1978 when Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the unique soils of Cooper Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Today, the estate has more than 100 acres dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking. This Pinot Noir is refreshing and ripe, with brambly raspberry and cherry fruit, baking spice, and earthy flavors.
This refreshing and bright Pinot Noir from star California winemaker Kenny Likitprakong is sourced predominantly from the Arroyo Seco AVA, in other words, Steinbeck country. Native yeast fermentation and spontaneous malo are followed by nine months on the lees with occasional batonnage in used French oak barrels. Bright red fruit and elegant texture make for a fine, refreshing wine that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Andrew Farquhar
Father and son Jim Fischer I and Jim Fischer II farm a single site, Silvershot Vineyards, and craft wine made with minimal intervention that are meant to express the maximum potential of their specific site. Jim Fischer I and his brother Bill planted Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on a gentle south/southwest facing slope on Holmes Hill right at the exit of Holmes Gap, the furthest inland portion of Oregon's viticulturally important Van Duzer Corridor, a gap in the coastal mountains that allows cooling air to sweep through from the Pacific into the Willamette Valley. These wines are energetic and full of an awesome melange of tart cranberry fruit, violets, spice, and a quirky, saline, minerally energy that is as enticing when drunk alone as it is accepting of a wide array of dishes. A fantastic food wine, with more delicately enumerated fruit structure than many American Pinots. 142 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Belle Farms Pinot Noir is a perennially stunning single vineyard bottling from Ghostwriter, from 1.5 acres at 500 feet elevation, planted in 1999 to Champagne clones, just outside of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in the foothills of Mount Madonna. We recently learned from winemaker Kenny Likitprakong that Belle Farms was ripped out after the 2014 harvest and is currently planted with broccoli to enrich the soils before replanting (the vineyard had been struggling for years and ultimately failed). 2013 was a gorgeous vintage for these valiant vines, with aromas of dry earth, sweet cherry, birch bark, cardamom, and clove, which swirl onto the palate of crisp cranberry, rich cassis, black raspberry preserves, and spicy citrus oils, with a bold acidic core. This cuvée always needs some air, and flavors evolve on the second day open toward elegant, high-toned fruit with graceful florals and a fresh, salty, mineral layer. An aptly named vineyard! Please decant. Ariana Rolich
Bryan Harrington is an amazing winemaker who is interested in very obscure grapes from California. His Mission is a fantastic example of the variety. The classic russet color of the grape, the very light tannin and silky, extraordinarily soft mouthfeel are evident with this great example of California's oldest wine grape. Notes of cedar and plum, with just a whiff of tobacco, are welcome on the nose, slightly redolent of more powerfully tannic wines. This wine has darker fruit character but is very light in body and tannin. Perfect with intensely flavored barbecues. Andrew Farquhar
Laura Brennan Bissell, the winemaker behind Inconnu, makes wine based on her belief in the importance of "vins de soif," the French term meaning "wines of thirst," aka wines made for refreshing drinking. This immensely juicy Cabernet Franc, sourced from the secretly hip old-vine hinterland hinterland of Contra Costa County, is light and refreshing and best drunk chilled somewhere in shade or sunlight. The bright red fruit is accented by some of the denser, earthier, herbal tendencies in Cabernet Franc and is combined into a ravishing and elegant whole. Andrew Farquhar
There are a lot of outstanding Pinot Noirs produced in
Oregon, and Kelley Fox's Maresh Vineyard bottling is one of the best. Planted
in the Dundee Hill A.V.A. on reddish-brown, well-draining Jory soils, Maresh
Vineyard is a sought-after, historic source for Pinot noir, one of the first
planted in the region and home to a healthy polyculture that includes walnut,
hazelnut, and fruit orchards, full of butterfies, birds, and bees. Kelley's
blocks at Maresh, which she farms herself, contain own-rooted old vines planted
in 1970. Kelley's wines offer mystery, wildness, and poise, a sort of natural
beauty that you don't find often and is hard to pinpoint. Fields of flowers,
silky wild strawberry fruit, and spicy raspberry, with fine, mineral earth,
structure and tannins that grow with air, and lingering floral cherry notes.
Fascinating now, but wise to cellar some for 10 years or more
There are a lot of outstanding Pinot Noirs produced in Oregon, and Kelley Fox's Maresh Vineyard bottling is one of the best. Planted in the Dundee Hill A.V.A. on reddish-brown, well-draining Jory soils, Maresh Vineyard is a sought-after, historic source for Pinot noir, one of the first planted in the region and home to a healthy polyculture that includes walnut, hazelnut, and fruit orchards, full of butterfies, birds, and bees. Kelley's blocks at Maresh, which she farms herself, contain own-rooted old vines planted in 1970. Kelley's wines offer mystery, wildness, and poise, a sort of natural beauty that you don't find often and is hard to pinpoint. Fields of flowers, silky wild strawberry fruit, and spicy raspberry, with fine, mineral earth, structure and tannins that grow with air, and lingering floral cherry notes. Fascinating now, but wise to cellar some for 10 years or more
Kudos to our friend Richard Luftig for the phenomenal quality and price of Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2014 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. There is great energy and balance in this bottle, which will elevate your wintry dinners and holiday gift lists alike! Ariana Rolich
This bright, ripe, juicy old-vine Carignane is sourced from biodynamically farmed grapes from Mendocino County. Rich, rustic, and juicy, this is a perfect barbecue wine, as it has the tannins to compete with chargrilled meats but clocking in at only 13.3% alcohol. Quite plush, this wine has the extraordinary fruit concntration unique to old-vine Carignane. Carignane is traditionally considered to be a lighter grape, but in fact, at about fifty years of age it begins to concentrate rapidly, and these super-old vines create wines of stunning depth. This quixotic wine works just as well with a slight chill in the sun as with hearty beef stews. Enjoy! Andrew Farquhar
Sourced from vineyards of clay over schist, shale, and granite bedrock, this fabulous Russian River Pinot was spontaneously fermented open-top (1/3 whole cluster), with a four day cold soak. Following this were 11 months in 25% new French barrique. A brawny, grippy Pinot Noir, in no ways heavy, this is a densely structured wine with tart pie cherry and cranberry notes. This wine has a way of reminding me of a lot of great California Pinot while also being structured somewhat differently, with a higher tone, more nervous energy, and a finish as tightly wound as a well-thrown football. While the fruit is definitely present it's wrapped around a surprisingly spare mineral core. Andrew Farquhar
Diogenes Ridge is located at 1800 feet above St. Helena in the Vaca mountains, this Cabernet is athletic and powerful, but without any excess weight. 15% whole cluster, spontaneous open-top ferment, eighteen days on the skins, and eighteen months in 50% new French oak barrels give this wine a force that is brought to an exquisite tension by its incredible acid backbone. Powerful, tannic, and clocking in under 14% ABV, this wine is extraordinarily balanced and capable of many years of cellaring. Traditional black currant is furled in chocolate shavings, hearth ash, peppercorn, cherry pit, samovar, and alabaster dust. Tiny production (two barrels) and alertness in the cellar have produced a fantastic expression of Napa Cabernet that bridges stylistic tendencies and generations. Andrew Farquhar
Grapes grown in the Dry Bone Ranch vineyard at 2,700 feet in the Sierra Foothills. Like it's companion sangiovese rose, this is pressed using high pressure, to extract as much bold character as possible from the skins. Bold tart red fruit intermingles with some garrigue, a touch of candied rhubarb, and black pepper spice. Incredible concentration of fruit and tart, pithy, mineral character. Bottled with less than 10ppm sulfur. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar
A mellow peach color in the glass, this rose is a little softer than Rootdown's other offerings, but it exhibits much of the herbal, mineral, and tea-like aspects associated with this grape. Trousseau planted in 2004 is gently foot-trod upon arrival in the winery, followed by spontaneous fermentation and cold-stabilization. Herbal, with fine green-apple fruit and a smudge of earthiness, this light and elegant rose is a great food wine. I had with hummus, tabouleh, foule, and baba ghanouj, with which it went famously. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar
Sun-drenched and scorchingly refreshing, this sangiovese rose sourced from a small 2 acre vineyard on Duncan Peak in Mendocino is the color of blood orange flesh in the glass. Hand-harvested, the grapes are then squeezed with high pressure to get a lot of flavor from the skins. Juicy and ripe, with incredible acidity, an herbal freshness, and powerful blood orange character, this is a supercharged rose with such concentration it feels like drinking a glassful of rubies. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar
This is a firm and beautifully structured Cabernet from the Peacelands Vineyard in the new Fountain Grove District AVA of Sonoma. Firm, with layers of spice, cedar, smoke, and cooking chocolate wafting over its subtle, hushed cassis core, this reminds me more of an old-school Cabernet from the Santa Cruz Mountains than something from Napa. This wine will age with grace, which is important, as the Peacelands Vineyard was tragically destroyed in the fires of 2017. Thus this particular expression of Sonoma Cabernet will now only be recorded in the bottle. Andrew Farquhar
This is a fantastic, beautifully structured Merlot from Sonoma that has fantastic fruit concentration and great structure, all while being free of added sulfur! Nic Coturri, son of famed natural winemaker Tony Coturri, sources fruit from his family vineyards to make this surprisingly affordable and high quality cuvee. Andrew Farquhar