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Wine from two Private Collections: France

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Wines from tried-and-true cellars. All guaranteed, as always.

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Colin-Morey, Pierre-Yves 2011 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenieres

Perhaps the greatest Saint Aubin vineyard, Chateniere has very similar soil type to Montrachet, and this wine is a candidate for long term cellaring. The vines are over 40 years old, and the wine is already rich and will become even more round and full with more time.

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  • white
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  • $84.99

Colin-Morey, Pierre-Yves 2011 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Creots

This is from a south-facing vineyard overlooking the village of St. Aubin. The vines are just over ten years old. This is the 1er Cru Saint Aubin that will come around before its more reticent siblings.

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Coudert (Clos de la Roilette) 2011 Fleurie Cuvée Tardive

It's hard to follow the sensational 2010 cuvèe Tardive, but Alain has certainly made the best of this quite good vintage. The aromas are high-toned and very pretty, showing good acidity. The palate is quite dense with black fruits, licorice, earth and spice. The finish is very long, with ample acidity. More enjoyable now than the 2010, this should really sing within a few years and age well for ten years and more.  Arrival mid-July. (Note: If you don't have any of the 2010, there seem to be some stores that still have inventory.)

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Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand Cour) 2015 Fleurie Clos de la Grand Cour

Certified organic since 2009, the Dutraive family's Domaine de la Grand Cour produces subtle, traditional wines from their 9 hectares in Fleurie and a small parcel in Brouilly. Harvested by hand, the grapes ferment with wild yeasts in carbonic maceration, without addition of sulfur. The "Clos de la Grand Cour" is aged in a combination of cuve inox, barrels and foudres. The 2015 shows penetrating aromas of ripe strawberry and black cherry with pepper, iris, violet and earth. Elegant blackberry, plum-skin, licorice and earth on the palate, very deep and long, framed in firm acidity and quite powerful at 14.5% alcohol. This will be quite delicious now, served with steak, grilled pork, duck and strong cheeses, but should benefit from a few years of aging, best perhaps 2018 to 2022.

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  • Organic
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Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand Cour) 2016 Brouilly Cuvée VV

From a small hillside parcel of 50-plus year-old vines in Brouilly, certified organic. Carbonic maceration with no addition of SO2, followed by foot-pressing, gravity fed into large barrels or foudres for aging. Light Garnet/black color. The 2016, at 12.5% alcohol, is back to the style of the lovey 2014, showing pretty aromas of raspberry and red currant with bright citrus notes and  smells of earth and stone. The palate is light but intense with bright raspberry and tart cherry flavors over firm acidity with citrus and earth. The finish is refreshing with lingering citrus and mineral flavors. Serve with charcuterie, fish in sauce, chicken and pork dishes or hold for 5 to 8 years as this should be a very pretty mature wine.  David Lillie

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Baudry 2013 Chinon La Croix Boissée

From young and old vines in a superb south-facing hillside vineyard of thin clay over limestone soils in Cravant. 24 months of aging in 2 to 4 year-old barriques. The difficult vintage of 2013 gave very low yields and less alcohol than usual, but the 2013 Croix Boissée is a superb, elegant Chinon that will age well and resembles a light, old fashioned Burgundy. The aromas are lovely and very floral with raspberry and red currant fruit. The palate is extremely mineral, not fat but with pretty red fruit, spice and earthy flavors over firm acidity. Given the vintage, this is an astonishingly good Chinon, but not exactly a fruit-bomb, that should be superb when mature, perhaps 2025 to 2035, and delicious young for those who appreciate more terroir than fruit in their Chinon.

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  • Organic
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Baudry 2014 Chinon La Croix Boissée

The 2014 Croix Boissée Rouge is a magnificent wine. We have tasted the wine from barrel on three different occasions and it's definitely one of the best wines the Baudrys have ever made ("our best since 2010,"says Matthieu), and one of the very best reds of the Loire Valley in 2014. The wine received a more than two year elevage in young barrels, none were new, and was bottled with only 10mg of SO2. Last tasted in January of 2017, the wine showed superb, pure aromas of black fruits and violets. The palate was dense and chalky, with meaty black fruits with remarkable purity and length and perfect structure for aging. This will obviously open up to become a complex and beautiful mature wine, probably best from 2025 to 2040. We look forward to opening a bottle on arrival for a more detailed description. 3 bottle limit, please. (While one may not think of the Baudrys as "natural" wine producers, their farming is totally organic, their vinifications are without extraction, and without SO2 added until bottling - only 10 mg per liter.  David Lillie

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  • red
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  • Organic
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Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2012 Bourgueil Clos Senechal

The Breton's Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal is always one of my favorite Loire reds. From a great terroir in mid-slope on clay over limestone "tuffeau." The vines are 30 to 45 years old, there is a three-week alcoholic fermentation with wild yeasts, no added SO2. Aging is in old foudres with minimal SO2 added before bottling. The wine is relatively light with subtle aromas and strong chalky acids - remarkably pretty when young, it ages beautifully for ten to twenty years depending on the vintage. The tiny yields in 2012 brought a bit more concentration and color but the wine retains it's light character with superb, complex aromas of ripe blackberry, red-currant, violets, earth, plum-skin and spice. The palate is light but intense with black fruits, very firm citrusy acids and a long finish of ripe berries and saline minerals. Beautiful now, best perhaps between 2019 and 2025-2030. David Lillie.

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  • Organic
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Apr 22 2019
Wine from a Private Collection: Spain, Italy, and Musar
Wines from a tried-and-true cellar. All guaranteed, as always.
Apr 20 2019
Muscadet Report: The 2018s Are Coming! Outstanding Wines 2014 - 2017 to Drink or Cellar. Oysters and Muscadet at Racines, Tuesday, 4/23!
Finally, in 2018, most estates in the Pays Nantais had harvests with normal yields and of exceptional quality! The 2018s we tasted in France this winter were marked by a bit of extra ripeness and white fruit while retaining the mineral flavors and firm acidities Muscadet is known for. Our first 2018
Apr 19 2019
New Namazake Arrivals
Namazake, or unpasteurized sake, is a somewhat seasonal style that is becoming more popular, especially outside of Japan. Prized for its freshness and lively character, it is nominally available all year round, though it is usually released in the spring, right after the brewing season. Perhaps lack
Apr 18 2019
Early Rosés: Sulauze "Pomponette," Baudry Chinon, Plouzeau Chinon, Collotte Marsannay, Mas de Gourgonnier, Arnot-Roberts and More!
Rosé season has finally arrived, with many of our favorites showing up early this year, most notably the superb Chinon from Bernard and Matthieu Baudry. 2018 is a great vintage in the Loire with most wines showing a bit of extra ripeness while retaining the freshness and good acidity typical of Loir
Apr 17 2019
Enderle & Moll 2017 Pinot Noirs!
Although it's been a few years since we've been able to visit Sven Enderle and Florian Moll, and (truth be told) we rarely get to taste through their whole line-up since a scant amount comes over to the States; the arrival of their wines is always exciting, because we trust implicitly
Apr 16 2019
Lake Effect Wines
For many years and many reasons eastern North America has lagged behind the west coast in viticultural prominence. California's intoxicating, inimitable, iconic sunlight attracted viticulturalists. Oregon's Willamette Valley was revealed as a perfect place to grow Pint Noir. Even the cold deserts of
Apr 15 2019
Feudo Montoni - Grand Cru wine from Sicily
Feudo Montoni is about 60 miles south and east of Palermo – not very far, but worlds removed from the hustle of Palermo; little has changed at Montoni and in the surrounding countryside, so you could also say that it’s removed from Palermo by centuries. This is the region that was once “the granary
Apr 11 2019
Riesling Reset
In the midst of some spring cleaning here at the shop, we couldn't help but stop and muse about how delightful Riesling is, and sometimes we don't drink it enough (sad but true). With Rieslingfeier in our rearview, it's time to look forward to spring and summer libations! From sparkling to
Apr 9 2019
Au Printemps: It Rains, We Pour...
Ah Spring. Our strolls are more colorful, our days are longer, and our thirst is stronger. It's time for dining al fresco, for picnics, and kicking up your galoshes for a tipple or two! We know that you are busy planting, cleaning, and planning -- so we handpicked some french wines for you to enjoy
Apr 6 2019
2016 - Another Perfect Chinon "La Croix Boissée" from Domaine Baudry; 2014 Clos de Turpenay, 2015 Chinon "Franc de Pied" and 2016 "Les Pieds Rôtis" from Château de Coulaine!
You may notice a certain resemblance with our August 2018 email announcing the 2015: "another perfect Chinon 'La Croix Boissée'" but it's true that the current release of the wine, after a longer élevage than the 2015, is another superb and elegant Chinon, certainly among the most beautiful of all L