Jo Landron, Domaine de la Louvetrie (Photo J. Lillie)

A Conoisseur's Cellar, Part 5: The Loire Valley

With numerous contributions from our own collection, we offer Part 5 of "A Connoisseur's Cellar" which includes the entire Loire Valley, exclusive of the Chenin Blancs in Mondays email. Here you'll find Cabernet Franc from the finest producers in Anjou and Touraine, Muscadet from our good friends Jo Landron and Marc Ollivier, and few of the very best Sancerres, not to mention Pineau d'Aunis, Grolleau, Gamay, Cot and Romorantin, but sorry no Menu Pineau...

(An Important Note: These wines are in professional-quality wine storage, and we’ve just spent 3 days there inspecting every bottle in the cellar. Because of the large volume of wines they are not available for quick delivery - we can’t bring them back to the store at one time, but we expect to take them in here over the next couple of weeks. Please inquire if you have any questions about this.)

  • red
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  • $39.99

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  • $27.99

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  • $27.99

Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2010 Bourgueil Nuits D'Ivresse 1.5 L

From old vines on the upper slopes of Bourgueil, where the clay over Turonien chalk gives magnificent long-lasting wines. Vinified with zero sulfur-dioxide, the 2010 Nuits D'Ivresse has deep aromas of strawberry confit, earth and spice. The palate is round but balanced and fresh. Buy a case and drink half now, wait 5 to 8 years for the rest. "It's a search for purity of fruit according to the principals of Jules Chauvet, a wine of "Pure Origine" without additives."

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $62.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
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  • 1 in stock
  • $249.99

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $79.99

Grange Tiphaine 2011 Touraine Cot Vieilles Vignes

A superb and seamless blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Gamay. A melange of red and black fruits, forward and supple but with good balancing acidity. This is a great value — serve cool with roast chicken, charcuterie, goat cheese... Young Coralie and Damien Delecheneau are working as naturally as possible and making lovely wines in Montlouis and Touiraine.

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • $36.99

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  • 5 in stock
  • $29.99

Ecu (Bossard & Van Herck) 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Granite

Guy Bossard is one of the heroes of French viticulture, having rejected modern chemical farming upon assuming the family estate, becoming certified organic in 1972, then progressing to Biodynamic farming in 1996. And this in a region where there was little recognition or financial reward for his intense work and the higher quality of his wines. Happily, Guy has been an inspiration for many growers in the region and is still producing superb wines, while in semi-retirement, with his new associate Fred Niger Van Herck.  2012 and 2013 were problematic in one way or another for growers in Muscadet, but the wines from 2012, a very low-yielding year, are by far the best with great density, lovely fruit and superb mineral expression. The Domaine de l'Ecu  2012 "Granite" is particularly outstanding. As usual with this cuvée it's a bit musty and closed when first opened — decanting is advised — followed by aromas of dusty stone, lemon flower and pear. The palate is dense and vibrant with flint, saline minerals, bitter almond and sharp herbal/citrus flavors with firm acidity in the long stony finish. A bit more open and accessible than some vintages of Granite but with ample structure and acidity for aging — perhaps best 2019 to 2029. Bravo to Guy and Fred!

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 1998 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Fiefs du Breil

One case of this lovely old Muscadet is available -not a great vintage to be sure, but  a fascinating wine just the same and a testament to Jo Landron's great farming and natural vinifications. Open one to two hours in advance. Aromas of citrus peel, ripe yellow fruits, marzipan, almond and pepper. The palate is dense and full with ripe peach, stone, candied lemon, burned caramel and pear. Very high acidity combined with ripe mature fruit. A wine to sip with langoustines in sauce, monkfish with fennel, a full-flavored raw milk cheese...DL

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2000 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Fiefs du Breil

Tasted at the domaine in the fall of 2008, this wine showed fabulously, with lovely aromas of lemon confit, white fruits, mushrooms and earth. The palate was very mineral with stone and gun-metal, mushroom, earth and citrus. Really a lovely wine which should be in full maturity now. Thank-you, Jo Landron!

  • white
  • 4 in stock
  • $44.99

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2004 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Fiefs du Breil

Le Fief du Breil — a great hillside vineyard of clay and quartz stones over orthogneiss, tended in organic and biodynamic farming. 2004 is a great vintage for this wine, which we have enjoyed dozens of time over the years. The vintage in the Pays Nantais was better than in the eastern Loire as good weather held through the harvest, giving wines of excellent ripeness, but with a higher than usual level of acidity — the perfect combination for Muscadet! Re-Tasted in February 2016: Wow, a beautiful wine, packed with dried fruits, citrus, floral and mineral flavors, great balance and length, still young. 12% alc, unchaptalized, drink till 2030? We thank Jo for releasing a bit more of this super wine from his tiny stock of back vintages...

  • white
  • 4 in stock
  • $39.99

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2005 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le Fief du Breil

From a superb hillside vineyard on orthogneiss with clay and quartz stones. Jo Landron's Fief du Breil is always one of the greatest Muscadet and although the 2005 is a bit less intense than the brilliant 2004, it's still a beautiful wine that's lovely to drink now - and it will improve over the next 5 to 10 years. Pale bronze color, vivid aromas of lime-flower, ripe pear, lemon confit, stone almond and earth. The palate shows stone, mushroom, citrus and white fruits backed by fresh acidity. Long chrystalline finish with citrus and saline minerals. This will accompany any seafood preparation including full-flavored fish such as monkfish and halibut...

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) 2009 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Fiefs du Breil

From a superb hillside vineyard on orthogneiss with clay and quartz stones. A great vintage for Jo's Fief du Breil! Yes, the aromatics are a bit more pronounced than in more austere vintages, and there is more presence of citrus and white fruits on the palate, but the wine retains a superb mineral character and the finish is brisk and very long. Simply a great Muscadet — drinking this alongside the Pepiere Clos des Briords would be a great lesson in the terroirs of the Pays Nantais! Tasted in February 2016, the wine is still youthful although the aromas are opening a bit, with intense minerality on the palate and fabulous length. Delicious now, this will be fabulous in 2025! Brisk enough for oysters and clams, perfect with cod, sole and flounder, complex enough for monkfish and swordfish - hurry down to Blue Moon Fish at the Greenmarket this Saturday!

  • white
  • 24 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Luneau-Papin 2009 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le "L" d'Or

Another superb vintage for the Luneau-Papin "L" d'Or. It's a bit rounder and riper than the 2007 perhaps, but with more density of fruit and the acidity and structure to age beautifully. (Somewhat similar in style to the 2009 Pépière Chateau-Thébaud, which also combined the richness of the vintage with outstanding balance and acidity) This is drinking well now with complex aromas including citrus and exotic fruit with anise and herbs. The palate is silky and long with stone and white fruits, really delicious and with great structure for a 2009. A good candidate for aging, this seems like a somewhat denser and riper version of the 1995.This is Luneau-Papin's only cuvee on a granite subsoil (granit a deux micas) having a different character than the granite soils in Clisson or Chateau Thebaud. DL

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $29.99

Luneau-Papin 2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le "L" d'Or"

A beautiful L d'Or that shows the remarkable combination of ripeness, balance and great acidity in the 2010 vintage. This wine was surprisingly open and aromatic when tasted in January 2012 but possessed of perfect acidity and loads of saline mineral flavors, reminding us of 2002.

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $33.99

Pépière 2015 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie

Since 1984, Marc Ollivier at Domaine de la Pèpiére has been making some of the finest wines in Muscadet Sévre et Maine, always harvesting by hand and fermenting with wild yeasts, bringing honor to his superb granite terroirs.Now fully organic, Marc and his new colleagues Rémi Branger and Gwäenelle Croix are making many superb special cuvées from their different parcels but their "basic" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine is still a great wine and a sensational value. Sourced from vines on granite of Chateau Thébaud and Clisson with topsoils of clay and gravel, this first bottling from younger vines is always a bit more aromatic and fruit-forward than the later versions. The 2015 benefits from the sunny condions of this excellent vintage and shows subtle aromas of lime-flower, citrus, ripe pear, wet stone and fresh herbs. The palate is dense with white fruits, lemon and stone with hints of anise backed by firm citrusy acids and mineral flavors - really refreshing and delicious. Perfect wih oysters of course and great with any mild-flavored fish and roast chicken as well. Bravo to Marc, Rémi and Gwaenelle!

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • red
  • 6 in stock
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Pinon, Francçois 2001 Vouvray Cuvée 2001

Tasted in January 2017: Bitter lemon, stone, caramel, honey, anise. Palate dense with mineral, earth, pear, very mineral finish with firm acids. Not with the legnth of the 2002, but still very, very good.

  • white off-dry
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Cazin 2006 Cour-Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance

2006 was a somewhat difficult vintage in Cheverny resulting in very low yields, but with good ripeness and acidity, a good formula for the late-harvest Romorantin from Cazin. Intriguing aromas of lemon, herbal and pine resin; the palate is full with yellow fruits and hay, the finish is very long with good acidity indicating another 20 years of development. A unique and beautiful wine!

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Grapperie 2009 Le Gravot

Made from Pinot D'Aunis, Malbec, and Gamay grown on limestone soils with black loam, this wine comes from a tiny estate of just four hectares in the Coteaux de Loire appellation. Winemaker Renaud Guettier farms his 15 micro plots with a horse and works meticulously in the vineyard. From a warm vintage, this is a structured rendition of Gravot. A peppery nose with a hint of funk and dark berry fruit gives way to a light frame with tannins coming to play on the finish. Dress up your next roast chicken with this bottle. MSB 

 

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Montrieux (Emile Heredia) 2011 Vin de France Le Verre des Poetes

For fans of Pineau D'Aunis, Emile Hérédia's "Verre des Poètes" is always one of the finest examples. From ungrafted vines in the Coteaux Vendomois planted in 1870, farmed organically since 1999. Plowing is done by horse (by Alain Pronko and his mare "Bulles"), the soils are clay/limestone, planted at 7,500 plants per hectare. Harvesting by hand into small baskets, vinification and bottling without sulfur. The 2011 has complex aromas of strawberry, blood orange, violets, spice, white pepper and earth (for starters). Tart plum and cherry fuit on the palate with strong earthy acidity in the finish. This is a young and fascinating natural wine that needs food — charcuterie, pork, rillettes and rillons — and will benefit from a few years n the cellar.

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  • $26.99

Pepiere 2009 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Ch.Thebaud Clos Morines

This is a brilliant Muscadet from a great hillside parcel of old vines belonging to Remy Branger's family. The wine spent 30 months on the lees and carries the new Cru Communal label of Chateau-Thébaud. Here we have the richness of the 2009 vintage but with lovely balance and acidity. The granite of Chateau-Thebaud is more porous and fractured than that of Clisson, allowing the roots easier access to water, giving a more balanced wine in a year of hydric stress. The wine has elegant white fruit, citrus and stone aromas with less fat and more freshness than the Clisson. At 12% alcohol, the palate is lively and very mineral with hints of citrus, pear and spice. This is delicious now but will age beautifully for 20 years and more....
 

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  • $29.99

Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Briords

Last of Stock! (From three hectares of old vines on granite of Chateau Thébaud with well-drained soils of clay, sand and gravel. Hand harvested, transported in small baskets, cellar functions by gravity, no pumping, wild-yeast fermentation, seven months aging on the lees.) A classic Clos des Briords from this excellent vintage in the Loire - a season that started poorly but was saved by good weather from mid-August through September. The aromas show more white fruits than usual in this ripe vintage with herbal, mineral, stone and lemon-peel, quite lovely. The palate is dense and creamy with apple/pear fruit, wet stone, saline minerals and citrusy acids. A bit rounder perhaps, than the 2010 and 2012 and wonderful now with oysters, sole, flounder and richer fish dishes as well. From the Domaine: "The Spring was very classic, not too cold, not too warm, and wet as usual. The flowering went well which permitted a nice quantity and quality of grapes. The month of July was sunny but August began like a poor autumn, cold and humid. Late in August we really didn't know what would happen as the risk of rot was very high. Then, after a last big storm around August 24th, dry, warm and sunny weather began which lasted until October. The grapes matured and were of excellent quality with both high sugar and high acidity! We picked the Briords parcel on Monday Sept 15th and Tuesday the 16th in the early part of the harvest. The fermentations went well, lasting approximately a month and a half. I would say that it's a vintage representing what we like in Briords: citrusy vivacity, scintillating material and salinity in the finish."
 

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  • Organic

Puzelat-Bonhomme 2011 Touraine KO In Cot We Trust

100% Cot (Malbec) from organic vineyards in the Cher valley. Deep red/black color, superb earthy aromas of black and red fruits (blueberry, too!), the palate is dense but balanced with great acidity. Deep blackberry, forest floor and spice on the palate. Very long, deep and delicious. A bit more animal (OK, Brett) with a few days open, but also beautiful dark fruit that softens and deepens with spice and earth. A delicious natural wine that will accompany spicy pork and chicken dishes, charcuterie, ripe cheeses...

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Raffault, Olga 1985 Chinon Les Picasses

1985 was a vintage for Loire reds that American reviewers happily called "green and herbaceous" and in this case they were right! However, as is often the case with less sunny vintages in the Loire, the wine has improved steadily over the years and showed beautifully at our dinner with the Raffaults last fall.

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Jul 19 2017
A Connoisseur's Cellar (part 4): Rhone (and some wine from Provence)
An Important Note: These wines are in professional-quality wine storage, and we’ve just spent 3 days there inspecting every bottle in the cellar. Because of the large volume of wines they are not available for quick delivery - we can’t bring them back to the store at one time, but we expect to take
Jul 18 2017
A Connoisseur's Cellar, Part Three: Jura Wine
Our friend, the Connoisseur, has collected some of the Jura's most sought-after wines. It's been a while since many of us have seen these sort of quantities from the now allocated producers we enjoy (sorry - he couldn't part with his Overnoy). Those new to the Jura will find a rare chance to try a r
Jul 17 2017
A Connoisseur's Cellar, Part Two: Chenin Blanc
Over the years, Chambers Street has been assembling a extensive collection of great Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. With recent purchases and the addition of "A Connoisseur's Cellar," containing a superb assortment of Chenins from our favorite producers, we are now able to offer this extensive a
Jul 14 2017
A Connoisseur's Cellar (in 8 parts)
Connoisseur is another much-abused term: it’s no longer much of a taste challenge to admire Monet, or Mouton. As this cellar goes on sale over the next two weeks, the sheer range of both classic and much more adventurous, ground breaking wines (and range of prices), will help you share the impressio
Jul 13 2017
Albariño to Excite the Mouth and Mind
Our favorite Albariños embody the Atlantic coast: rocks and sand, salty brine, and humid ocean breezes mingle with precise fruit, chiseled (even startling) acid, and bold minerality. Albariño is a popular everyday alternative to other crisp, dry whites - Muscadet and Sancerre wines from the Loire Va
Jul 12 2017
2015 Côte-Rôtie and Brézème, 2013 Domaine Pergaud and More, from Eric Texier!
Our friend Eric Texier is making some of the finest wines in the Rhône Valley, both in the south and the north. His Chateauneuf-du-Papes, red and white, are outstanding. His work in Brézème and St Julien-en-St Alban has resurrected forgotten vineyards and is producing magnificent wines. His inexpens
Jul 11 2017
Top Dog of the Underdogs: The Bouzeron Aligoté of Domaine de Villaine
For decades Aligoté has had something of an image problem. Short, sharp, and shocking in its acidity when farmed for high yields in indifferent terrior, it was viewed as a rustic country wine more suitable for a kir (softened with a scandalous amount of cassis,) than for the table. Yet, as a recent
Jul 10 2017
Return of Les Enfants Sauvages
We wouldn't mind being in the Côtes Catalanes right now, drinking regional wines outside under the summer sun. Since that won't be happening any time soon, at least we can share some new arrivals from our friends Carolin and Niko Bantlin, from Domaine Les Enfants Sauvages! This is the second year we
Jul 7 2017
Superb Values from Burgundy: 2015s and 2014s from Lafouge, Rateau and Rouges-Queues!
It's the middle of summer, just after the 4th - the perfect time to stock up on Burgundy as the 2014s and 2015s from these three estates are simply delicious and offer outstanding value, both for current drinking and for cellaring for fifteen to twenty years. From Jean and Gilles Lafouge in Auxey-D
Jul 6 2017
Please Dupasquier the Magnum
Historically the Savoie is a region where wine production is small and the tourists are thirsty. Limited quantities, immediate local consumption, and conventional farming have made it challenging to put the handful of producers we enjoy into a wider context. When the wines are good, they're very goo