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Please join us this Saturday, October 21, from 4 until 7pm as Guillaume Hubert pours his beautiful wines from Ch. Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Bourg and Ch. La Grolet in Bourg!
Chambers Street customers need no introduction to these two over-achieving Bordeaux estates owned by the Hubert family, certified organic and Biodynamic since the 1990s. Located in Bourg and Blaye on the right bank of the Gironde (roughly opposite Margaux), and situated on classic gravel and clay/limestone soils, the great farming and winemaking at both domains produces some of the most authentic and affordable wines of Bordeaux.
In addition to the 2020 and 2021 Peybonhomme-les-Tours, the 2020 Peybonhomme "Quintessence" and the 2021 La Grolet "Origines," we're especially happy to have the Château La Grolet "Tete de Cuvée" back on the shelf - this cuvée from the estates oldest vines will cellar beautifully for ten to fifteen years and is delicious in its youth as well.
Peybonhomme-les-Tours produces a tiny quantitiy of Bordeaux Blanc - The 2021 "Blanc Bonhomme" shows elegant pear, lemon, herbal and dried flower aromas, with pear, citrus and chalky mineral flavors on the palate. This shows good ripeness again in the 2021 vintage, but with great freshness, and it really shows the terroir with crisp acidity, lovely white fruit, a hint of pineapple and oak and stony flavors in the finish.
"Viewing the estate as a “whole,” as a complete organism, prompts us to take a broader perspective and not focus on the vine alone, but rather on everything which surrounds and interacts with it. This gives rise to the concept of biodiversity, directly linked to the wide range of natural environments, such as grassland and the edges of the vineyard which are mown late. Woodland, natural or planted hedges, and wetland areas are preserved. The resulting patchwork has a very positive impact on the landscape, of which we are the guardians. The estate also serves as a refuge for wild animals, no hunting allowed..."
Happily more estates in and around Bordeaux are following the lead of the Hubert family at Peybonhomme - here are a few of our current favorites...
Planquette Didier Michaud (now retired) worked 1.7 hectares in the Medoc with 30 to 100 year-old vines on limestone with thin soils of clay with sand and stones. He has old vines of Merlot Queue Rouge and massale selection Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed organically with just a little compost and shallow plowing. Vinification with wild yeasts, no extraction and no added sulfur (total SO2 less than 2 mg/L). This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux - the 2019 is superb! (the estate is being continued with the same philosophy by Blandine Prévot and Jérémy Borde, their first vintage is 2021)
Chateau Micalet, Haut-Medoc, with a few hectares in the commune of Lamarque was classified "Cru Artisan" by Feret in 1893. Acquired by the Fedieu family in 1972 the estate was enlarged slightly, never using herbicides, and with a new generation the conversion to organic agriculture was started in 2006.
Chateau La Gurgue, Margaux Not such a beautiful name perhaps, but Claire Villars-Lurton (G & C Lurton of Ferriere, Haut-Bages Liberal and Durfort-Vivens) has dramatically elevated the quality of this unknown Margaux, achieving organic certificatioin in 2016 and Biodynamic certification in 2018. The 2019 is 54% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 6% Petit-Verdot. 12 months ageing: 60% in barrels and 40% in ovoid tanks.
Chateau Bellegrave, Pomerol "Tasting a Château Bellegrave first and foremost means enjoying a fine Bordeaux. However, it is also an encounter with a land and vines that have found their soul and the ability to express themselves naturally, without artifice, fashion or sectarianism. The wine is elegant. It is beautiful. Pomerol and organic all in one!"
Chateau Fonplegade, Saint-Emilion This over-achieving but little known Saint-Emilion is situated southwest of the town of Saint-Emilion, just below Ch. Magdelaine, on the steep slope of limestone with clay and sandy soils that descends from the plateau. The blend is roughly 95% merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aging is 50% in new barrels, 30% in one year-old barrels and 20% in concrete egg and anfora. This complex and elegant Bordeaux will be perfect with fall and winter meals, and it would be a great hoilday gift as well.
Chateau Petit Corbin Despagne, Saint-Emilion Grand Corbin Despagne was particularly successful in 2016 and this serious 2nd label is a terrific value in a rather dense and complex Saint-Emilion that is drinking beautifully now. The estate has been certified organic since 2013 and no herbicides have ever been used.
Chateau Brandeau, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux "More than a terroir, it is a living place in the heart of unspoiled nature. The vast majority of the parcels of vines are in one piece and surrounded by woods, hedges, meadows and fruit trees offering a superb place, ideal for organic farming and the balance and diversity of fauna and flora."
All wines are in stock, please allow until Thursday 10/19 for pick-up or shipping. 10% discount on a case or mixed case.
Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, great value – all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. The 2021 has just arrived in NY - we'll taste it this Saturday, Oct 21st at the store, from 4 till 7pm....
This year's Quintessence from the famille Hubert's estate in the Cotes de Bordeaux is composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from beautiful biodynamically farmed vines on clay limestone soils. The nose is dense and ripe on opening, showing ripe cassis, blackberry and raspberry, with hints of warming spice. With time open, the wine shows increasingly complex aromatic qualities, with more tobacco and earth coming through by hour 4 or 5. On the palate, the fruit is again ripe and dense, with cassis liqueur, ripe blackberry, and black cherry balanced by bristly tannins and limestone minerality on the long finish. After some time open, the palate leans more towards cacao and earth, but the ripe fruit remains dominant. A pleasure now with butter basted rib eye steak or roast beef, it will certainly improve over the next 10 to 15 years...
Chateau La Grolet has been certified organic and Biodynamic since 2000. Double Guyot pruning, spontaneous winter grass cover. Soil tillage during the spring, every other row ploughed. Treatments combining small quantities of Bordeaux mixture with herbal teas such as horsetail or nettle. The blend is 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet-Franc, 5% Malbec. The Hubert family's great farming creates this sensational value Bordeaux which is truly a subtle, complex and profound wine. The 2021 shows a bright garnet color and very pretty aromas of wild berries, violet and rose petal. The palate is really lovely with pure black raspberry and cassis fruit in a light, elegant frame - at 12% alcohol the wine is quite pure and refreshing, a perfect Bordeaux for summer sipping or with lighter grilled foods. Serve a bit cool and enjoy!
(Last stock of the 2020) Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, good value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the rich clay soils in which it is grown, This wine offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat or sipped on its own.
(NY Times Thanksgiving pick - 48 btls arrive Tuesday 11/21) This is the twelfth vintage of the Hubert family's "Blanc Bonhomme" - the vines are now 17 years old, certified organic and Biodynamic. The grapes are hand-harvested in the early morning, pressed gently, fermented with native yeasts and the wine is aged partly in new oak, mostly in cement vats. Only about 650 cases are made. In 2020, Le Blanc is 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon, and 10% Colombard, and shows elegant pear, lemon, herbal and dried flower aromas, with pear, citrus and chalky mineral flavors on the palate. At 12.5% alcohol, the 2021 is lighter and brighter than the previous 3 vintages and it really shows the terroir with crisp acidity, lovely white fruit, a hint of dried pineapple, light oak and stony flavors in the finish. Really a lovely, balanced and food-friendly wine - serve with anything from oysters to grilled fish to roast chicken.
Our biodynamic friends, the Hubert family, make this lovely Bordeaux with the best juice from Chateau La Grolet, coming from old vines of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. The 2019 shows a dark garnet color and lovely aromas of ripe cassis and blackberry with floral, cedar, brown spice and stone, really quite pretty. The palate is elegant and well-structured with deep cassis and red fruits over firm acidity with earth and mineral flavors. The wine is powerful but nicely balanced, with terrific length. This is a real Bordeaux of terroir that is delicious now especially if decanted many hours in advance or opened the night before. Serve with a steak or griled pork - cellaring for ten to fifteen years will create a lovely mature wine. David Lillie
Didier Michaud works 1.7 hectares in the Medoc with 30 to 100 year-old vines on limestone with thin soils of clay with sand and stones. He has old vines of Merlot Queue Rouge and massale selection Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed organically with just a little compost and shallow plowing. Vinification with wild yeasts, no extraction and no added sulfur (total SO2 less than 2 mg/L). This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux. In the glass, the '19 is rich and plummy in color. The nose is heady, with awesome smells of mint, fresh garden soil, graphite, and pungent dark flowers. Flavors steer towards ripe forest fruits, like blueberry, blackberry, and cassis. Anise and herbs, with crunchy minerals, add flare to the wine's fruit. Great density, a velvety texture with engaging tannins and bright acidity. Definitely a bold Bordeaux, clocking in at 15% ABV, but so delicious, well structured and drinkable. Yum! David Hatzopoulos
Chateau Micalet, with a few hectares in the commune of Lamarque was classified "Cru Artisan" by Feret in 1893. Acquired by the Fedieu family in 1972 the estate was enlarged slightly, never using herbicides, and with a new generation the conversion to organic agriculture was started in 2006. The estate now has 10 hectares on deep beds of gravel, planted at 8,000 pieds/hectare; the normal blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot - and 7% Petit Verdot, a grape the Fedieus feel is particularly important. The grapes are harvested by hand and undergo a 3 to 4 week fermentation, the wine ages in barrique, 30% new. The nose on the Haut Medoc has dark plummy cassis fruit, with hints of vanilla and baking spice. Young leather notes and dark gravel tones as well. A little floral with dark violets and roses. The palate has deep, lush black cherry. Graphite and iron on the tongue give an earthy glimmer. Medium acid and soft tannin, but great density at its core and terriic length. Drink up - this is a sensational value for a very good Haut-Medoc!
The Chateau Micalet Haut-Medoc "Origine" is from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and 20% Petit Verdot grown on deep beds of gravel in Lamarque. The Fedieu family created this wine to be a slightly lighter and more ready-to-drink version of their Haut-Medoc, with a shorter cuvaison and without aging in wood. The Origine has a beautiful nose, with ripe blackberries, dried blueberries and an elegant combo of orange peel and clove. On the palate, the wine is full and bold, with black pepper, dark cherry and a zesty accent of cassis and plum peel. Structurally, the wine shows just enough generous texture, a mineral zing, and medium acid. A fantastic buy at under $20! David Hatzopoulos
Claire Villars-Lurton (G & C Lurton of Ferriere, Haut-Bages Liberal and Durfort-Vivens) has dramatically elevated the quality of this unknown Margaux, achieving organic certification in 2016 and Biodynamic certification in 2018. The 2019 is 54% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 6% Petit-Verdot. 12 months ageing: 60% in barrels and 40% in ovoid tanks. The vintage is characterised by the elegance of the tannins, thanks to an exceptional late season where hot days alternated with cool nights. 2019 Château La Gurgue is marked by an exuberant nose of black fruits, the wine is ample with a beautiful finish and a lot of freshness. Perhaps the greatest value in Margaux!
This over-achieving but little known Saint-Emilion is situated southwest of the town of Saint-Emilion, just below Ch. Magdelaine, on the steep slope of limestone with clay and sandy soils that descends from the plateau. The vines are partly in a natural amphitheatre, facing south with great sun exposure and protection from north winds. The estate was purchased from the Moueix family in 2004 by Denise and Stephen Adams and is now certified organic and Biodynamic. The blend is roughly 95% merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aging is 50% in new barrels, 30% in one year-old barrels and 20% in concrete egg and anfora. This complex and elegant Bordeaux will be perfect with fall and winter meals, and it would be a great hoilday gift as well. "It has a beautiful nose, very pure and bright, showing limestone freshness with taut, tense, black-cherry fruit. The palate shows a minerally, defined, taut fruit expression, with black cherry stone, black plum and damson, wrapped in a keen texture and underpinned by nicely grained tannins. Fresh, reserved, very structured, with ripeness but also tense elegance. Pure, cool and very long. Well done." The Wine Doctor
The 2010 Château Bellegrave is something serious. Not an outright meaty wine, it's savory in more of an alluring, herbaceous, mint-and-tobacco way. An hour open reveals a nose of red fruit, flavors of dark minerals and plum, and a bracing structure of lean edges and good acidity. The crucial stuffing, the attractive, semi-plump middle, forms after three hours or so of air. At this point, the wine's aromas and flavors have expanded, too. Dashes of extra-dark cocoa and dried cherries hum under more pungent and lasting aromas of black pepper, leather and smoke. A subtle, bitter kiss of ground espresso and an even subtler peck of mint give pleasurable nuance to a palate of dates, plum, and red currants. No cellaring needed, drink this today - just open it at 5 if your meal begins at 8. David Hatzopoulos
Grand Corbin Despagne was particularly successful in 2016 and this serious 2nd label is a terrific value in a rather dense and complex Saint-Emilion that is drinking beautifully now. The estate has been certified organic since 2013 and no herbicides have ever been used. Located on the border with Pomerol, the soils are sandy clay rich in iron giving a unique full body and mineral character to the wines. Petit Corbin is normally 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, and it tends to take fruit from the younger vines, aged between ten and twenty years, and the élevage features 50% two-year old barrels and 50% remains in cuve. The wine shows floral hints and dark cherry/blackberry fruit, and a supple palate that is charming and elegant with a fresh and not too tannic finish. Perfect for a dinner party this fall and winter, at an affordable price.
The house red if you will, Chateau Brandeau is a classically dark-fruited yet elegant and balanced Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux. Majority Merlot (80%) from slopes on clay, with old vines Cabernet Franc from clay and limestone soils. Julien feels this wine offers a true expression of the terroir of the estate, "sans artifice." Maceration is for about 4 weeks, with light extraction, some occasional punchdowns and light pumping over. Aging is for 16 months in 5000L foudres. Note, there's no new oak here, or even small second use barrels. Perhaps this is what he means by "sans artifice" as we do get a very pure expression of smooth cassis fruit from the Merlot, a lovely touch of the Cabernet Franc on limestone for mineral complexity in the finish, and the neutral aging that allowed the wine to develop slowly and preserved the fruit notes. This is, in the end, the idea for the wine, that it would show the fruit, with the subtle complexity of the aging in large foudres without the taste of wood. A great, no nonsense $20 bottle of Bordeaux!