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Beck-Hartweg 2020 Vin d'Alsace Pinot Noir "F" (Frankstein)
Though the fruit for this bottling all comes from the Grand Cru Frankstein vineyard, Pinot Noir does not have Grand Cru status in Frankstein (only white varieties are awarded Grand Cru Frankstein status), hence the name "F," for Frankstein. This is elegant, and red fruited, with some peppery, darker fruit more reminiscent of a regional Alsatian expression. Grapes see about 2 weeks of maceration, with occasional delicate pouring of a few liters on the cap to avoid oxidation, otherwise, very little extraction. The wine, is however very present on the mid-palate.
Beck-Hartweg 2021 Alsace Grand Cru Frankstein Riesling
This is a memorable Riesling from two parcels in the Grand Cru of Frankstein, which rests above the town of Dambach-la-Ville on a fault of granite. Frauenberg is a parcel that gives small berries that Florian and Mathilde find to have great concentration and intense acidity. This is blended with fruit from the Pflanzer parcel, which has less intensity and provides more delicate character to the blend. There's enough acidity and mineral sharpness from the granitic soils for this natural wine to age gracefully, but it's also pretty scintillating wine to drink now! -EL
Beck-Hartweg 2021 Vin d'Alsace Dambach Rouge (Pinot Noir)
From a few different parcels in Dambach, this is a very pleasant and approachable Pinot Noir, with great balance and acidity. -EL
Descombes, Georges 2020 Regnie
The 2020 Regnié from Geroges Descombes is a finely balanced wine, even in a warmer vintage, Ripe and generous fruit is offset with lively acidity and a vivid intensity on the palate that keeps this wine lifted and fresh. On the nose there are high-toned aromas of red and black currant, strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, rose, violets, and licorice. The palate has soft and finely integrated tannins and shows notes of strawberry and raspberry liqueur, blackberry, pomegranate, orange peel, baking spice and a granitic minerality, especially on the complex and satisfying finish. This is a very versatile wine, and I wouldn't hesitate to pair with a wide range of foods, from roast chicken and turkey to burgers or even a pork chop. I A joyful wine for all occasions.
Sandrine Henriot's parcel in Regnié has more clay in the soil than in Morgon and always gives a well-structured wine. The 2021 shows a bright black/purple color and high-toned aromas of blackberry and black raspberry with violet and citrus peel, quite elegant. The palate is supple and ripe but not heavy with lovely black raspberry, cherry and raspberry confit, quite sapid and long with refreshing acidity and finishing with lingering red fruit and mineral flavors. Delicious now this will open up over the next few years, drink until 2028.
Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2021 Beaujolais Chardonnay
Jean-Paul Brun's Chardonnay comes from 35 year-old vines grown on sandy clay and limestone soils in the southern Beaujolais and is raised in stainless steel (no oak). Bright aromas of peach, apricot, lemon zest, and thyme lead to flavors of pure white fruits, juicy lime, crisp orange blossom, subtle herbal undertones, and a long chalky finish. Paired with salad, seafood,chicken, goat milk cheeses, or nothing at all, this is a beautiful choice and great value in white Burgundy!
Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2021 Beaujolais l'Ancien V.V.
L'Ancien comes from Jean Paul Brun's home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais. The vines range in age from 40 to 60 years old and are planted on slopes sporting the area's signature sandy clay-limestone soils, featuring the particular local "dorée" or "golden" limestone that is laden with iron. These older vines have always been farmed organically and harvested by hand and yield small, thick-skinned Gamay berries. As for all Terres Dorées reds, the vinification is traditional Burgundian rather than the normal carbonic maceration in Beaujolais. The palate shows lush, ripe berry fruits backed by citrusy acidity, quite refreshing. The finish is long and sappy with bright red fruits and tart acidity - stock-up on this crowd-pleasing Beaujolais!
Cartier 2018 Saint-Emilion Chateau Cartier
The second label to Chateau Fonroque, the Chateau Cartier sees none of the estate's Cabernet Franc. The Merlot that goes into this wine comes from under the limestone plateau of St.-Emilion, picked from biodynamically farmed vines on the limestone-clay and silty clay soils of the slopes and bottom-slopes. All fruit is picked by hand. The wine was fermented naturally and aged in a mixture of 75% barrel and 25% concrete vats. A very impressive partner to Fonroque, mimicking the minerally character that the estate is known for. The nose delivers scents of dark flowers and rich baked fruit - strawberry, cherry, blueberry. The palate shows deep red and black cherry and plum, with accents of warm cedar and herbs. There is great minerality, which lends the wine a structure of supreme freshness, but a textural softness making the wine quite delicious now in the sunny 2018 vintage. Great wine. David Hatzopoulos
Clos Puy Arnaud 2019 Castillon - Cotes de Bordeaux
This wine is from the limestone plateau of near the village Belves-de-Castillon. It is 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, from vines averaging 35 years old. Fermented naturally in wood and cement. Aged in barrel, with 10% being new wood, for 8 months before going into cement vats for 5 more months. Clos Puy Arnaud is owned by Thierry Valette, who brought the estate into both organic and biodynamic certification. The wine is beautiful, and really shows itself 3 or so hours after opening. The nose is dense and heady, full of ripe dark flowers, crushed cherries, with a savory waft of dried fruits like raisins and dates. The palate has a spark of firm black plum and graphite. A broad and warming body with tannin on all corners of the mouth refreshed by straight, balanced acidity. Delicious!
Cru Godard 2019 Francs - Côtes de Bordeaux
65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec. Harvest by hand, natural fermentation, and zero new oak. Château Cru Godard’s vines grow on southerly exposed hillsides adjacent to the Saint-Emilion appellation, geographically closer to Bergerac than to the city of Bordeaux. The wine is fermented by indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks and is then matured 50% in tank and 50% in used barriques that have seen two passages. The 2019 has a dark ruby robe. The nose offers aromas of sweet black fruits, tobacco, and cocoa. The mid-weight palate has soft flavors of black cherry, cassis, blackberry, and coffee framed by savory earth notes and fine-grained tannins. A great value!
Grand Corbin Despagne 2019 Saint-Emilion
Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne has been certified organic since 2013. The blend is 75% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 2019 is the 208th vintage by the Despagne family at Grand Corbin! "The 2019 Grand Corbin Despagne turned out beautifully. Readers will find a big, statuesque Saint-Émilion built on vertical energy. Black cherry, plum, graphite, spice, licorice and gravel lend nuance to this explosive, potent Saint-Émilion. Gravel, scorched earth, tobacco and incense lend gravitas on the substantial finish. This is an especially powerful, earthy Saint-Émilion. Quite simply, the 2019 is a flat out stunner. " Vinous
Grolet 2021 Côtes de Bourg "Origines"
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!
Another compelling vintage from Chateau Mazeyres in Pomerol, which converted to organic and biodynamic farming in 2012 under viticultural engineer and oenologist Alain Moueix. A blend of mostly Merlot, with about a quarter Cabernet Franc and just a tiny amount of Petit Verdot planted on clay soils, with some plots having additional layers of sand and gravel. Hand-harvested, fermented in steel and concrete, aged in wood for 14 months. The wine is really outstanding in 2020. On the nose, there are deep black and red fruits, hints of spice, blood orange, rose, earth and rich woodsy aromas. On the palate, the texture is warm and generous, quite dense with bold plum and black cherry, with accents of herbs and mint. This very young wine is delicious now, with a long decant, but will be best after ten to twenty years in the cellar. From the estate's website: "Gravel soils endow this Mazeyres wine with smoky aromas and a chiselled,mineral texture. Clay brings undergrowth notes and a rounded, fleshy struc-ture. Biodynamics promotes finesse and freshness. The texture of Château Mazeyres wines consistently offers the velvety touch characteristic of fine Pomerol."
Peybonhomme 2020 Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Quintessence
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...
Peybonhomme 2020 Premières Côte de Blaye Cru Bourgeois
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.
Planquette (Didier Michaud) 2019 Vin de France (Médoc)
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
Brocard, Julien 2021 Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
One of the great sites in Chablis by any measure, Montée de Tonnerre can be as fine as the Grand Crus from many producers. It sits just below the Grand Cru slope to the southeast and combines power with intense minerality.
d'Angerville 2020 Meursault 1er Cru Santenots
Chardonnay: The estate's method of breeding, without excessive batonnage, gives it extra energy and tension
Dangin, Bruno NV Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut
What a difference 2 kilometers makes! Bruno Dangin's Crémant de Bourgogne is made from 100% Pinot Noir from organically farmed vines in Molesme, located just beneath the southern border of Champagne's Aube.The limestone rich soils are the same as those of their pricier neighbor to the north. Boasting a fine bead and soft mousse and aromas of red fruits and autolyse, one would be hard pressed to spot the difference. The palate offers great depth, pure pinot fruit, and a suave, layered, persistent finish. This is a great value in bubbles and will grace the holiday table nicely. John McIlwain
Domaine de Montille 2020 Meursault Saint Christophe
Blend of two parcels. 20 hectares of land in 20 appellations—with a staggering 75% in premier cru and grand cru vineyards throughout the Côte d’Or.
Guillemot-Michel 2020 Viré-Clessé Retour a la Terre
Retour A La Terre (Return to the Earth) is named for the parcel and the aging process. The vines come from a piece of the vineyard heavy with clay. They are on average about 65 years old, on a very old strain of rootstock that produces tiny but brilliantly ripe clusters of chardonnay. The wine that results is aged in three large clay amphora, allowing the wine to breathe without the influence of oak. The 2020 is excellent, with juicy white and yellow fruit, and the same feeling of purity and clarity as Quintaine. No shortage of finesse here. Sam Ehrlich
Heitz. A 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
Another sliver of a parcel here, right at the top of Charlemagne.
Lafouge 2021 Auxey-Duresses Les Hautés Blanc
As easy as it is to forget the quality of Auxey-Duresses Blanc, it's just as easy to overlook the sensational quality of Domaine Lafouge. The Auxey-Duresses Blanc Les Hautés (from the lieu dit situated next to Les Vireuils in Meursault) displays a fine balance of white floral aromas (acacia and honeysuckle) with white orchard fruits on the nose. The palate is racy and mineral with pear and nectarine fruit vying for attention with a good degree of mineral cut. This is pretty and a fine value in white Burgundy.
Lafouge 2021 Bourgogne Aligoté
The 2021 Bourgogne Aligoté from Domaine Lafouge is half barrel-fermented and half fermented in stainless steel and comes from 60 year-old vines.
Lafouge 2021 Meursault Les Casses-Têtes
The Meursault lieu-dit Les Casses Têtes is located on the hillside above the premier cru Les Gouttes d'Or and next to Le Tesson. The soils are thin and rocky producing wines of great energy and lift. We have 24 btls of this rare and lovely wine...
Lafouge 2021 Meursault Les Meix Chavaux
Les Meix Chavaux is located beneath Meursault Les Luchets and adjacent to Les Chevalières. Lafouge's vines are 80 years old, planted in calcareous clay producing Meursault with textbook richness and minerality. 24 bottles
Magnien, Stephane 2021 Bourgogne Aligoté
The 2021 Stéphane Magnien Bourgogne Aligoté is from a small parcel of 30 year-old vines in clay soils below the village of Morey-Saint-Denis. Harvesting is by hand with a severe selection, about 200 cases are made, best to drink over the next 3 to 5 years. Amongst a slew of sub-par Aligotés and highly priced, allocated Aligotés, this one stands out, delivering just enough density and weight to balance the high acidity, mineral and chiseled stony notes. Overall this is a great introduction, and a perfect accompaniment to herbed fish, or any type of seafood for that matter. "Pale yellow color with silver reflections. Nose with aromas of yellow fruits and citrus fruits. The palate is fresh, aromatic and elegant. Un vin goulayant et agréable, serve cool over the next 2 - 3 years."
Moreau-Naudet 2021 Chablis 375ml
Chardonnay. Is the only wine in the cellar that sees any new oak. About 22 hectares. Pesticides and herbicides are banned and harvested manually.
Morey-Blanc 2020 Saint Romain Sous le Chateau
Chardonnay. Marl and chalky soils. “Sous le Château” is one of the most famous climat of Saint Romain appellation.
Rijckaert, Regine & Jean 2017 Saint Veran 'Les Creches'
Jean and Regine Rijckaert are well known in the wine world for producing stunning wines from their negociant projects or their parcels of vines in the Jura and Mâcon. With this St. Veran negociant project, they work with organic grapes that they purchase on the vine and take great care in hand-harvesting the fruit when it reaches optimal ripeness. Fermentation is natural and aging is in neutral oak barrels. From a classy vintage, this has a little weight and softness to it, while still revealing the mineral core that is expected from Maconnais wines. A great value if you're looking for something to pair with lobster rolls, and full enough to pair with a variety of meats or spicy foods.
Barbichon NV (base 18) Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs
From year to year there seem to be few greater values in Champagne than those of biodynamic grower Thomas Barbichon in Gyé-sur-Seine in the Aube. From his 9 HA domaine he produces wines of purity, elegance, and precision. The farming is Demeter certified. The robe has a faint peach hue. The nose is attractively floral and red-fruited with aromas of wild strawberry, sour cherry, and crushed herbs.The palate is bright and vibrant with flavors of orange oil, a fine line of minerality, with a soft mousse and fine bead.The finish is expansive and tangy with a hint of biscuit on the back end. Lovely Champagne and an excellent value.
Beaufort, André 2019 Coteaux Champenois Polisy Rouge
(Arrives 5/16) The 2019 Beaufort Polisy Rouge Coteaux Champenois (stilll wine) is 100% Pinot Noir grown on the Kimmeridgian limestone of Polisy. 2019 is a vintage of beautiful ripeness, but showing only 11% alcohol thanks to the climat in Polisy and the Beaufort's superb organic farming. This is remarkable from the first sniff, with delicate red fruit mixed with an intense herbal component. Don't be scared, there is nothing green or stemmy here - it's minty and spicy and deeply delicious. As it sits in the glass the wine opens up and becomes fuller and earthier. It's fresh on the palate, almost salty, with a fine fragile mouthfeel and beautiful length. Wonderful wine. I suspect this will take on weight with time in the bottle too. Sam Ehrlich
Champagne Marguet NV Base 2019 'Shaman'
The 'Shaman' is a wonderful introduction to the Champagnes of Benoit Marguet. Grapes for the cuvée come from Grand Cru sites of Ambonnay and Bouzy, fermentation is in barrel, with long lees aging, yielding a wine with richness and opulence. Thanks to Benoit's Biodynamic farming and hard work in the vineyards, there is always an interplay between the creamy mouthfeel and long mineral finish. Notes of preserved lemon and powdered ginger...delish! 87% Pinot Noir and 13% Chardonnay in this release.
Champagne Ponson NV Premier Cru Brut
Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir. Hand craft. Organic. Biodynamic. Native yeast fermentation. No fining or filtering. Vegan friendly. 500 cases produced.
Doyard NV (17b) Champagne Premier Cru Brut Cuvée Vendémiaire
Made from 100% Chardonnay from organically farmed vineyards in Vertus, Le Mesnil, Orger, Avize, and Cramant, the 2017 base 'Vendémiaire' is a must for fans of chiseled, chalky Champagnes from the Côtes des Blancs. With long lees aging (48 months, partially in oak), low sulfur, and bottling under lower pressure, this shows a more vinous side of Blanc de Blancs, while offering tremendous value. Disgorged April 2022, 4g/L dosage.
Gerbais, Pierre NV Champagne Extra-Brut Grains des Celles
A blend of Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (25%), and Pinot Blanc (25%) from organically farmed vines grown in Kimmeridgian soils in Celles-Sur-Ource in the Aube. Initial fermentation is with indigenous yeast in tank, and the wine spends 30 months on the lees before disgorgement. There's a lot of character to this well-priced Champagne that makes for a fine aperitif, as well as having the stuffing to enjoy with roasted fish, chicken, or strong cheeses.3/gl dosage. John McIlwain
Huré Frères NV Champagne Brut Reserve L'Invitation
The nose offers aromas of baked apple, brioche, wild strawberry, orange oil, white flowers, and ginger. On the broad, medium-bodied palate there is a fine tension between the ripe red fruit, citrus peel, frisky acidity, and a fairly serious core of stony minerality. This develops nicely in the glass displaying a frothy mousse and coltish, energetic fruit initially, with the earthy Montagne de Reims character emerging with air. This is a fine Champagne to accompany charcuterie, sushi, or smoked fish.
Mouzon Leroux NV (Solera) Verzy Grand Cru L'Ascendant Solera
A perpetual cuvée comprised of 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay from Verzy, farmed organically (certified), and fermented in used barrel. Aged 40 months sur latte.
Domaine des Croix 2019 Corton Grand Cru La Vigne au Saint
Pinot noir. Vine Age: Planted in 1960. Terroir: Brown clay soil on Jurassic limestone (known as "Corton Limestone"). Organic since 2009 (not certified). Vinification: 40% whole-cluster, pneumatic pressing, indigenous yeast fermentation in uncovered wooden tanks. Aged for 16 months in barrel (up to 33% new oak), a few months blending in tank.
Domaine des Croix 2020 Corton Grand Cru Greves
100% Pinot noir. Organic. 60-year-old vines. It sees 25% whole cluster and 16 months in 33% new oak. David Croix begin his winemaking career straight out of viticulture school when he took over the reigns at Camille Giroud (as well as working with Guy Roulot), when he was just 24 years old. In 2016 he quit his day job to focus entirely on his own small domaine, which he purchased back in 2005.
Domaine des Croix 2020 Corton Grand Cru La Vigne au Saint
100% Pinot Noir. Organic. sourced from the brown clay and Jurassic limestone terroir known as "Corton limestone." As with many clay-rich sites, this bottling sees more stems—40% whole-cluster in this case.
Génot-Boulanger 2017 Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre
This Premier Cru red comes from the Clos du Chapitre, a parcel with some iron, along with limestone with flint stones.. Vines are an average of 50 years old, surrounding the parcel called 'Les Miex,' and facing South. Destemmed fruit, native yeast fermentation, and aging in barrel for 12 months, with 10-15% new oak, followed by 6 months in stainless steel before bottling. There is a ripe strawberry and raspberry profile on the nose with integrated wood and mineral structure in the mid-palate. Delicious now and should be lovely as the fruit tones down over time in the cellar.
Lafouge 2021 Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses
Les Duresses, according to Jasper Morris, is the best placed vineyard in Auxey-Duresses, on a steep south-east facing slope that continues into Monthelie. This wine is always well-structured, a bit less forward than Lafouge's La Chapelle and it ages beautifully Lovely cherry and blackfruit aromas, hints of earth and citrus, fairly full on the palate, very chalky with good acidity and length. As with the La Chapelle, this is enjoyable now but will benefit from a few years in the cellar and will keep nicely another 10 — 15 years. Highly recommended.
Lafouge 2021 Auxey-Duresses Rouge
Burgundies at affordable prices and their village level Auxey-Duresses is always lovely and a great value. The 2021 is slightly lighter in body than usual but is quite elegant and perfumed with lovely aromas of strawberry and tart cherry, with violet, rose, citrus and spice. Medium-light-bodied, with citrusy red fruits on the palate with great balance and refreshing acidity, the wine shows hints of earth and mineral that will develop nicely with time. Lovely now, especially if decanted well in advance, and a great pairing with poultry, white meats and mild cheeses. This has the weight and structure to cellar well, best perhaps in 5 to 8 years.
Moissenet-Bonnard 2017 Pommard 'Les Tavannes'
'Les Tavannes' is a small lieu-dit located at the bottom of the hill in Pommard, across the D973 from Epenots. The top-soil is clay on limestone, with stones and limestone pebbles allowing good drainage and easy penetration of the roots. The parcel faces South-East, with vines planted in 1973 and 1990. Altogether, Moissenet-Bonnard's parcel is half an acre. Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented with native yeast. Aging is for a year in barrels, with 25-30% new oak. The charm of the fruit on this wine steals the show on the first impression. On second sip (or glass), the mineral length and subtle earthiness become more apparent, and reveal what an impressive wine this is. Drink now, or hold if you have the patience!
Morey, Pierre 2020 Volnay 1er Cru Santenots
Pinot noir. 11-hectare domaine. Average year of plantation : 1974. bought this vineyard at the end of 2003 in lieu-dit Les Pétures, in the North of Meursault. Located in the middle of the slope, the parcel is very well protected from the wind. Soils are rather shallow, very red and have a very delicate structure which is easy to work (ploughing,...). From 1999 to 2003 included, Volnay Santenots was produced under the Morey-Blanc label. Beginning with the 2004 harvest, it is a biodynamic wine from Domaine Pierre MOREY.
Rapet, Père et Fils 2020 Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles
The Pernand-Vergelesses vineyard "Les Belles Filles" is a northern extension of "Iles des Vergelesses" and "En Carradeux" facing east and usually producing an elegant, very pretty light-bodied Burgundy. In 2020, the hot, dry conditions gave this vineyard (and others in Auxey-Duresses for example) their moment in the sun with wines of balance and firm acidities but showing the ripeness of the vintage. The 2020 "Belle Filles" is quite beautiful, beginning with the usual floral tart cherry and raspberry aromas found in this wine; with aeration, the aromas deepen into earthy black cherry with hints of licorice and graphite. The palate shows ripe black cherry and strawberry fruit with earth and mineral flavors, quite dense and deep but still light on its feet and balanced with firm acidity. Three days later, the wine is really singing with terrific depth and length of black fruits and saline minerals. This is a great vintage for "Belles Filles." Decant well in advance if drinking now, best to cellar five to eight years and drink till 2033+. David Lillie
Rapet, Père et Fils 2020 Bourgogne Rouge "En Bully"
The Rapet Bourgogne Rouge "En Bully" is from a tiny vineyard high on the back-side of Corton, at an altitude of 350 meters on the slope facing les Hautes-Côtes on the locality named La Grande Corvée de Bully. The soil here is limestone marl with a shallow top-layer, always giving a bright and pretty style of Pinot. The 2020 is just delicious, showing a vibrant red color and very floral aromas of ripe, crushed berries, rose petal and earth. The palate is lush and beautifully balanced with velvety cherry and raspberry fruit with mineral, earth and citrus notes that linger in the refreshing, sappy finish. Just a delightful red Burgundy - serve a bit cool and enjoy!
Chantal Lescure 2020 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru
From vines in the upper part of the Clos (Lieu-dit "Montiotes Hautes") Terroir pebbly clay/limestone, 50% of the vines are 70+ years-old, 50% were replanted in 2011. (The exact position is a bit unclear on the Beteta maps, which put the Chantal Lescure vines running across "Dix Journaux" into "Montiotes Hautes" (?) just below Meo-Camuzet and above Guyon, De Montille and Prieuré-Roch)
Cornu-Camus 2021 Pernand Vergelesses
The vines for the Pernand-Vergelesses are mostly on limestone here, giving a pronounced minerality to this Pinot Noir. Nice concentration here, along with the firm acidity, and quite marked by the limestone terroir, making this suitable for pairing with meat dishes, even red meat. A charming snapshot of Pernand-Vergelesses.
Cornu-Camus 2021 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru 'Creux de la Net'
The excellent Creux de la Net Premier Cru is a tiny parcel north of Les Vergelesses, above the northern part of Ile des Vergelesses, opposite the hill of Corton Charlemagne on a South-East facing slope. Notes of cassis (blackcurrant) and earth, with generous fruit, balanced by 2021's trademark acidity and overall lightness. A beautiful Premier Cru Red Burgundy for short term aging.
Cornu-Camus 2021 Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru 'Les Charnières'
The Premier Cru site 'Les Charnières' is a small parcel within the upper part of the more famous Lavières site, on marl soils, facing south. There is a fantastic combination of structure and finesse here, with a long, mineral finish. Notes of wild raspberries and cherries, with sublte tannic structure. In 2021, it's a harmoniously balanced wine with fine potential for aging.
Cornu-Camus 2021 Savigny-Les-Beaune Rouge
From small parcels around the Premier Cru site of Lavières, this is a fantastic introduction to the wines of Domaine Cornu-Camus. Really pretty on the nose, with ripe red fruits and brightness on the attack. All the fruit is destemmed, and fermentation and aging is in wood. Vineyards have a higher concentration of clay here, so the style is flattering and very easy to open and enjoy.
Denis Bachelet 2020 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
Pinot Noir. now encompassing just 4 hectares in. The grapes are 100% destemmed, then crushed which Denis prefers for color extraction. After a cool pre-fermentation maceration for up to a week, the vats get to work fermenting the juice with natural yeasts fermentation. As soon as fermentation has finished the contents of the vats are pressed off and left to settle in tank for a week before putting in barrel. And the viticulture at the estate is conducted with Lutte raisonnée (aka sustainable). The vines in this vineyard were planted between 1907 and 1917, so they are extremely old and historic vines.
Magnien, Stephane 2016 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Faconnières
From a parcel of old vines grown in Les Faconnières, one of the best situated climats in Morey-Saint-Denis, located beneath Clos de la Roche and between the Millandes and Charrières premier crus. The 2016 has a deeply-pitched, perfumed nose, redolent of dark fruits, wild rose petals, and violets with aromas of black cherry and mustard seed, with cool notes of crushed herbs. The midweight and energetic palate offers punchy ripe black and red fruit flavors over a distinctly earthy and savory structure. The finish is expansive, mouthwatering, gamy, mineral, and long, with fine persistence. Plenty of charm, but the inherent structure and poise cry out for some time in the cellar. This is a fabulous Faconnières and a worthy candidate for long term aging. Just beautiful! John McIlwain
Magnien, Stephane 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers
Stephane Magnien's 2018 1er Cru Chambolle "Les Sentiers" is fabulous. On the nose, the warmth and power of the vintage is on display, full of red and blue fruit, fresh roses and sassafras. However, the palate shows remarkable restraint, with crunchy red cherry and raspberry fruit and a flash of wood spice giving way to a refreshing bitter note and and a fiercely stony finish. The overall sense of balance and elegance is striking and while this is by no means inexpensive, given current Burgundy prices, this is a grand value and not to be missed. (We have 18 btls)
Magnien, Stephane 2020 Morey-Saint-Denis "Grains Fins"
The Morey-Saint-Denis "Grains Fins" is a new cuvée from Stephane Magnien, first made in 2016, and it's an absolutely delicious wine! It's made from young vines of Pinot Fin, the old smaller-berried variety of Pinot Noir, in the vineyards of "Bas-Chenevery" and "Crais-Gillon" on gravelly soils. There is a 12-month elevage in mostly old barrels, followed by 4 months in cuve inox - only 200 cases were made. While the wine shows the ripeness of the 2020 vintage at 13.5% alcohol, the Pinot Fin grapes give freshness and elegance - deep red/black color with bright rim, with vibrant aromas of blackberry, earth and ripe morello cherry, very floral, with darker fruit, spice, bramble and stone emerging with time open. The palate has nice grip and density with sappy red and black fruits, with a chalky texture, leading to a firm and very long, lush and mineral finish with hints of licorice and cherry pit. Enjoy this delicious wine in its vibrant youth, or wait a few years then drink until 2035+ David Lillie
Magnien, Stephane 2021 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers
I have always had a real soft spot for "Les Sentiers," borne of rosy memories of several vintages from Jacky Truchot. Those wines are long gone but that's ok. We have Stephane Magnien, a prodigious talent with a deft touch for this tiny parcel of Chambolle. Les Sentiers is located beneath the Bonnes Mares grand cru, north of the village and shares similar soils. The wines, while layered and elegant, are more muscular and velvety, rather than silken and high-toned. The Magnien "Sentiers" is from vines ranging from 45 to 90 years old and ages for 12 months in barrel, 10% new, then 2 to 3 months in cuve inox.
Magnien, Stephane 2021 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Cuvée "Aux Petites Noix"
From two premier crus, Les Gruenchers and Clos Baulet, mid slope in Morey Saint-Denis, giving a slightly fuller wine than Faconnieres. As with all of Stephane's parcels, there is a high percentage of old vines of "pinot tordu." (As we have only 12 bottles, we offer John McIwain's review of the most likely denser and higher alcohol 2017: "Stephane Magnien is a longtime Chambers favorite. The 2017 "Aux Petites Noix" has a dark ruby robe. The nose is a touch reserved at first; with an hour in the glass, aromas of black fruits, Lapsang Suchong, mustard seed, and game emerge, with a pleasing cool herbal note lending lift. The palate is mid-weight and fairly concentrated for the vintage—blackberry syrup, dark loamy soil, game, and iron dance around savory mineral core girded by ripe, though somewhat firm tannins. This has good sap and there’s enough sophistication and supple fruit for this to be a pleasure with air (and it is a pleasure), but there’s enough structure, balance, and nascent complexity to warrant 7-10 years of cellaring so that the elements knit. That said, this is just cracking with braised duck legs and olives over grits, and mustard greens. This is a lovely bottle for earthy, soulful fare and well worth the tariff. John McIlwain")
Ponsot 2002 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
***ON SALE*** was $749.99
Ponsot 2005 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
***ON SALE*** was $899.99
Ponsot 2008 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
***ON SALE*** was $499.99
Ponsot 2010 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
***ON SALE*** was $674.99
Baudry 2020 Chinon Cuvée Domaine
Back in stock, not much left! The Baudry Chinon "Domaine" is always one of our favorite reds from the Loire Valley and it's a sensational value as well. All Cabernet Franc of course, a blend of 75% from a parcel in St. Louans, where the thin clay over limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old wooden vats and cement with almost no added SO2. The 2020 shows a pretty red/black color with bright rim. The aromas are quite floral and bright, a pretty melange of boysenberry, black raspberry and tart cherry, very pure with hints of earth and pepper. The palate is supple, sapid and ripe and the tannins are firm. At 13% alcohol, the balance seems perfect. Firm acidity and mineral flavors are mostly hidden under the beautiful melange of ripe red and black fruits. This is a beautiful "Cuvée Domaine" that is sensational now, served slightly cool, and that will cellar ten years and more due to the firm acidity. We loved the rather brawny 2019 which needs a few more years to drink at its best - drink the 2020 while you wait but put some away as well. Very highly recommended, and thanks to the Baudrys for producing such honest and soulful wines. David Lillie
Bonhomme, Pierre-Olivier 2021 Vin de France Le Telquel
(We have good stock of the 2021, and more is shipping from France!) This "poil dur" is wagging its tail again in 2021, with the brightness and balance of the old days at 11.5% alcohol, really refreshing and delicious! The wine shows bright plum, raspberry and green apple fruit with a bit of earth and spice. The palate is light and fresh but with nice density of fruit - raspberry, red currant and cherry with bright acidity, quite "gouleyant" - lip smacking and tasty that is, reminding us of the Ducroux Exspectatia...yum! The blend in 2021 is still based on Gamay, with Cabernet Franc, and some Syrah and Grenache from the Roussillon (noted from tasting with Pierre-O in February 2022).
Boulay, Gérard 2022 Sancerre Chavignol
(Arrives 5/16) Gerard Boulay is certainly one of the greatest producers in Sancerre. His Sancerre "domaine" comes from average 35 year-old vines on kimmeridgian limestone soils on the hills surrounding the village of Chavignol. The 2022 vintage brings lovely ripeness to the wine, but nice freshness as well, finishing with the chalky minerality always present in the Boulay wines. Farming is with organic methods, fermentation is with indigenous yeasts, aged in cuve (no wood). 24 btls are available. “The Boulay style is a world away from the regular refreshing but forgettable norm in Sancerre. It should really be compared with a white burgundy in terms of its rewards and complexity.” Jancis Robinson
(Arrives 5/16) Gerard Boulay is certainly one of the greatest producers in Sancerre. His Sancerre "domaine" comes from average 35 year-old vines on kimmeridgian limestone soils on the hills surrounding the village of Chavignol. The 2022 vintage brings lovely ripeness to the wine, but nice freshness as well, finishing with the chalky minerality always present in the Boulay wines. Farming is with organic methods, fermentation is with indigenous yeasts, aged in cuve (no wood). 24 btls are available. “The Boulay style is a world away from the regular refreshing but forgettable norm in Sancerre. It should really be compared with a white burgundy in terms of its rewards and complexity.” Jancis Robinson
Chateau Favray 2019 Pouilly-Fumé "Tonnerre"
The 2021 Pouilly-Fumé "Tonnerre" is from a unique terroir on hard grey linestone of Tonnerre, that gives a more structured and age-worthy wine. More textbook stylistically than the entry level Pouilly-Fume, The nose is less grassy and grapefruity and more mineral with a hint of mint. The palate is fuller and rounder while still exhibiting bright acidity and stony minerality. Drink this dense and vibrant Pouilly-Fumé over the next ten years. Giselle Hamburg
Chateau Favray 2021 Pouilly-Fumé
Located in the north-east corner of Pouilly-Fumé we find Chateau Favray, an ancient farm with abandonned vineyards that was ressurected by Quentin David and family begining in 1981. The soils in this corner of the appellation are Oxfordian limestone of Villiers and hard grey limestone of Tonnerre with limestone pebbles and fossilzed shells and corals. The 2021 has great energy with bright grapefruit citrus, peach, white flowers and fresh cut grass on the nose. The palate is clean and focused with a mineral core and vibrant acidity giving a sense of power while still feeling light and pure. It's a wonderful value and would pair nicely with seafood or lighter vegetable dishes while being equally enjoyable on its own. Jeff DiLorenzo
Domaine de Reuilly 2021 Reuilly Les Pièrres Plates
Proprietor Denis Jamain has taken this estate to new levels of quality with organic and biodynamic farming. The 2021 Pierres Plates shows lovely aromas of grapefruit and pear with fresh herbs, lime flower and stone. The palate is ripe with dried pear, citrus, herbal, smoke and mineral flavors balanced by firm acidity. This is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc and a great alternative to increasingly expensive Sancerres. Serve happily by itself or with broiled fish, chicken, quiches/omelettes and goat cheeses.
Filliatreau 2018 Saumur Champigny Vieilles Vignes
(Arrives 5/9) 100% Cabernet Franc. The vieilles vignes in this case are estate vines ranging from 50 to 100 years old and scattered across a range of parcels on clay-limestone soils. The farming is certified-organic and is in conversion to biodynamics (on track for certification in the 2021 vintage). This new release of the Filliatreau "Vieilles Vignes" is a beautiful Cab Franc that can be enjoyed immensely now or in 15 to 20years. Bright black/red color with lovely aromas of ripe cassis, black raspberry, dusty stone, a bit of leather. The palate is lush and deep with a chalky texture and firm acidity beneath the black raspberry, cassis and black cherry fruit that is sapid, meaty and ripe. Long finish with dark chocolate, minerals, licorice, walnut and palate coating black fruits. Really lovely wine. Decant if drinking now, best after 3 to 4 years of cellaring then enjoy until 2040+. David Lillie
Grandes Vignes 2020 Anjou Mailles L'Endroit
A perfectly bone-dry Chenin Blanc from soils that are a mix of degraded gray schist, sandstone and talc. Very chiseled and stony, mineral... ideal! This is a relatively new cuvée for the domaine, and a welcome addition to their lineup of exceptional Chenin Blancs.
Guion 2018 Bourgueil Cuvée Deux Monts
(Arrives 5/23) From 70-80 year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). 18-month élevage ; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils and 2018 is a magnificent vintage for this wine! Tasted July 2022, the wine showed a deep red/black color and lush aromas of ripe cassis and black raspberry with hints of brown spice and oak. The palate is a lovely combination of ripe black fruits and bright acidity, dense and supple with graphite and saline minerals under the deep fruits in the very long finish. Forward enough to enjoy now, this will need time to unfold its mysteries and will be a very complex and beautiful mature wine, best to wait 5 years then drink until 2042 and beyond.
Guion 2018 Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige
(Arrives 5/23) 2018 brings us another great Cuvée Prestige from Stéphane Guion in Bourgueil, whose domaine has been certified organic since the 1960s. From vines averaging 45 years old on thin topsoils of sandy clay over limestone (tuffau jaune) in Benais, a terroir that produces some of the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. 2018 is a great vintage for Loire reds, despite the very warm and humid spring that brought attacks of mildew. The summer was perfect, warm and dry, without spikes of heat, and the soils retained enough moisture to bring freshness to the very ripe grapes. Tasted with Stéphane in February 2020, the 2018 Prestige showed elegant intensely perfumed aromas of red and black fruit liqueurs. The palate was complex and earthy, very calcaire, dense but not heavy with beautifully supple ripe red and black fruits, with a long finish of saline and mineral flavors quite present below the sappy fruit. We look forward to a more thorough tasting after the wine rests from its voyage, but it's quite clear that this will be delicious to drink as a young wine, and - although it may seem crazy to cellar a $17 wine for 20 to 30 years - those that do will be rewarded with a unique expression of this great terroir. I'm hoping to live to be 100 to have that experience myself! David Lillie
Guion 2019 VdF Methode Traditionnelle Rosé "Bête de Benais"
(Arrives 5/23) Stéphane has made his first ever methode traditionnelle sparking rosé from Cabernet Franc vines in a new parcel on clay/limestone soils in Benais. We can't say that it's equal to the Marie-Courtin "Indulgence," but it's a delightful wine! The color is a pretty very pale pink with subtle aromas of raspberry and earth; the palate is refreshing and dry, but not too dry, with a creamy mousse and classic Cabernet Franc berry fruit and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. $15.99! (The label commemorates (?) a monstrous wolf or wolves who attacked hundreds of people around the village of Benais in Bourgueil in 1693, if we believe the folk-tale. Google "La Bête de Benais" for many accounts in French and English)
Guion 2020 Bourgueil Cuvée Candide
(Arrives 5/23) This is another beautiful wine from the shy and affable Stéphane Guion who is quietly making some of the best wines in Bourgueil. His 2020 Cuvèe Candide (Formerly Domaine) is from not-so-young (15 to 40 year-old) vines, on clay/limestone terroir in Benais and is equal to the superb 2018 and 2019 perhaps even better! The balance is just perfect at 12% alcohol. The wine shows a deep, vivid black/red color with bright rim with intense, pure aromas of cassis, black raspberry and blackberry confit (a little bighter than the 2019), stone and violets - very deep and ripe but still bright with earth and minerals as well. The palate is medium-bodied, finely textured, sappy and very fresh with firm acidity and chalky, saline mineral flavors framing the very pure blackberry and black cherry liqueur fruits, which continue in the long chalky finish, which somehow remains light and balanced. Great wine! Drink now, served cool, with grilled chicken and pork, charcuterie, green vegetables and mild cheeses, or hold 5 to 8 years for a velvety mature experience. This is a brilliant wine, especially given the ridiculous price - enjoy! David Lillie
Arrives 5/23 (Retasted in September 2022 - the wine is showing beautifully, with fabulous complexity of fruit and mineral notes, with a great finish - drink over the next 2 years.) 50 years of organic farming and great traditional winemaking give this refreshing, perfectly balanced rosé from our friend Stephane Guion in Bourgueil. The wine shows bright strawberry/raspberry aromas with citrus, rose and earth. Raspberry, blood orange, melon and earthy flavors on the bone-dry palate which is framed in firm acidity and saline minerals. This is a real rosé of terroir, dry and balanced with moderate alcohol which needs a bit of time to open up. Drink now and through 2024, with grilled tuna, roast chicken, quiche lorraine, grilled pork and charcuterie.
Landron, Jo 2020 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Les Houx
Domaine Landron "Les Houx" (formerly known as "Hermine D'Or") is from a great parcel of thin sandy clay soils, rich with silica, quartz and iron, over a bedrock of gneiss and clay, close to the "Fief du Breil." Kept on the lees for 12 months. The 2020 is quite differe nt from the dense and powerful 2019, being more like the Cuvee Amphibolite in style at only 11.5% alcohol. The wine shows a very pale gold color; with aeration, lovely aromas of anise, almond, citrus and pear emerge, subtle and pretty. The palate is light, silky and crystalline with stone and earth flavors mingling with white fruits and citrus. Re-tasted in April of 2023, the wine has gained weight and density, showing a beautiful mid-palate of stone and pear with perfect acidity. This is a beautiful lighter style for Les Houx, making it a perfect wine for oysters and grilled fish and a delightfully refeshing aperitif as well. Thank-you Jo Landron! David Lillie
Landron, Jo 2021 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Amphibolite
(Arrives Friday 4/28) Amphibolite - a metamorphic stone generally formed from gabbro or basalt, with a high concentration of iron and magnesium, prevalent in the vineyard, over a bedrock of gneiss. The wine from this vineyard is low in alcohol (normally about 11 - 12.5%, the 2021 is at 12%) and high in acidity and mineral salts. Bottled after 4 months sur-lie aging and retaining a bit of CO2 from the fermentation, the Cuvée Amphibolite is refreshing, stimulating and a perfect complement to shellfish and light seafood dishes. In 2021 the wine is lovely, with subtle aromas of ripe citrus confit, almond, pear, granny smith and sea air in Maine; the palate is bone dry and refeshing with stone and white fruits, showing the lighter style for which it is famous. Enjoy over the next few years with some Glidden Point or Wellfleet oysters or any mildly flavored fish, even roast chicken. David Lillie
Landron, Jo NV (2019) Vin Mousseux de Qualité Brut Atmosphères (Dis 10/21)
Jo Landron's crystalline "Atmospheres" is made with roughly equal amounts of organic Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts. It's a Methode Traditionelle (Champagne method) that's very dry , refreshing and ethereal. Delicate aromas of citrus, pears and sea spray. The palate is vibrant and fresh with flavors of citrus and wet rocks and sea spray. It's a delicious aperitif and will pair well with oysters, salmon, crudites and charcuterie. (2019 vintage, disgorged October 1, 2021.) GH
Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) 2020 Vin de France Les Rossignoux (Sauv Blanc)
The 2020 Rossignoux is all Sauvignon Blanc, per usual, without the oxidative notes that are found in the long-aged 2019 release. Instead we have fresh flowers and tropical fruit on the nose, with sharp acid, and freshly cut grass. The wine was bottled this year and recently arrived (early Nov. 2021), so we'd recommend giving it a few more months in bottle before opening. -EL
Martin, Pierre 2022 Sancerre Chavignol Rosé
(Arrives May 12) The grapes for Pierre Martin's 2022 Rosé are sourced from a small high-altitude parcel in Chavignol with shallow soils of iron-rich clay over the limestone. This is a vibrant and refreshing wine with very floral and citrusy aromas and beautiful, creamy Pinot fruit in this rather ripe vintage, also showing the particular mineral and saline flavors of Chavignol. Delicious!
Orfeuilles 2019 Vouvray "Les Coudraies"
(Arrives Feb 21) Domaine D'Orfeuilles is known for the high concentration of flint in their clay/limestone soils, which one finds in the parcel of "Les Coudraies." The 2019 is a lovely "sec-tendre" somewhat in the style of the Pinon "Silex" or "Trois Argiles" having a bit of residual sugar to offset the wine's firm acidity. At a very modest 12% abv, the 2019 shows acidity in spades alongside it's hallmark flinty minerality and herbaceous nose rendering the RS as more of a juicy lemonade profile. Absolutely lip smacking and poundable in the best sense: at this price, an excellent party wine! Giselle Hamburg
Orfeuilles NV Touraine Brut Rosé
The Domaine D'Orfeuilles Touraine Brut Rosé is made primarily from Cot (Malbec) grown in sandy clay soils over limestone. This quite elegant rosé is a refreshing Champagne-method Brut, with a lovely deep rose color and complex flavors of red and black fruits - it's a sensational value!
Orfeuilles NV Vouvray Brut "Atemporelle"
(Arrives Feb 21) Domaine D"Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut "Atemporelle" - "At the start, a bead of fine bubbles and a delicate nose centered on fresh butter, brioche and citrus fruits. More floral notes invite themselves into an expressive palate that offers a fair compromise between roundness and freshness. The lemony finish puts the final touch to this brut without an ounce of austerity." Guide Hachette
Pépière 2021 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine s Lie La Pépie
Grape: Melon de Bourgogne. Domaine de la Pépière is one of the top estates in the Muscadet, run by Mark Olivier. Olivier harvests by hand and makes wine naturally, with zero pesticides, extended lees aging, and minimal intervention in the winemaking process, which is rare in Muscadet. Soils are sandy and granite-based. Farming is organic and harvesting is done by hand. fruit is direct-pressed and the juice settled naturally for 12 hours. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts. The wine is aged on its lees in large, underground vats until bottling. Wines are unfined and unfiltered, with moderate to very little sulfur used.
Pépière 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Cru Château Thébaud
(Arrives 5/23) The Château Thébaud comes from old vines in vineyards with great terroir on slopes overlooking the river Maine. The granite here (Granite de Château Thébaud, oddly enough) is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way. 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 here were among the best of the vintage in Muscadet and the 2019 will stand out as well due to the combination of density and minerality with the firm acidity and great ripeness of this very good vintage year for Muscadet. Our tasting in February revealed a superb Muscadet, not marked by the heat of the vintage, showing crystalline white fruit and stone flavors with firm acidity, fantastic purity, density and length. Of course this will offer briliant drinking as a young wine, but try to put some away for ten years at least...
Pépière 2021 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Les Gras Moutons
(Arrives 5/23) Les Gras Moutons is a great parcel on gneiss, in layers that permit a deep penetration by the vines, with sandy clay and amphibolite stones. The vines are at the top of a hill and on the south facing slope overlooking the Maine. (The name, by the way, does not refer to fat sheep, despite their presence on the label, but rather in local dialect, to the hilltop vineyard site.) This terroir produces lovely, classic Muscadet to drink over the next 5 to 8 years."It has a more perfumed and precise style than the granite cuvées (in 2021), although the wafting aromatics of crushed chalk and white peach feel familiar. The palate has a nice tension though, with a polished richness countered by a chalky oyster-shell freshness, with a white-peach purity. It is pervaded by a fine grip, with firm phenolics, and modest acidity."(winedoctor)
Pinon, François & Julien 2018 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé
(Arrives May 9th) François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex, from four parcels; Les Haut de Terne, Les Hauts de Mortiers, Chopet and Les Planches Favettes. The 2018 was hand-harvested in three passes in order to select the best grapes, with two additional selections - on a "table de tri" and again before the press. Thus the best and ripest grapes are selected, enabling this cuvée with no addition of sugar, as in a Champagne Brut Nature. Aged sur-lies for more than 3 years. This beautiful wine shows elegant aromas of ripe white and yellow fruits, floral and earthy with almond and bitter lemon. The palate is creamy and dense, round and ripe but with firm underlying acidity, with almond, earth and mineral notes lingering in the long finish. Enjoy it now for its beautiful depth and balance, but peak drinking will be 2032 - 2050. A profound Chamapgne of Chenin! David Lillie
Roches Neuves 2020 Saumur-Champigny Domaine
(Arrives May 9th) The Roches Neuves Cuvée Domaine is grown on limestone bedrock with sandy clay topsoil, the vineyard is lightly plowed, with natural grass cover. The grapes are hand-picked into wooden crates,There is a low temperature fermentation, warming slowly and followed by aging on the fine lees without sulfur. This is as classic as can be, little hints of red and black berries wrapped in purple flowers with a clay-y salty finish. This is beautiful now and will reward multiple visits over the next few years.
Tue-Boeuf 2022 Vin de France Vin Blanc
(Arrives 5/16) The 2022 Vin Blanc is 95% Sauvignon Blanc/5% Chardonnay. For this entry-level white, Tue Boeuf sources fruit from organic-farmer friends around home in the Cher Valley. The vines average around 20 years old, are planted on a variety of clay-limestone soils and are harvested manually by Tue Boeuf. Tasted with Thierry in February of 2023, the wine showed beautifully pure Sauvignon fruit, with hints of pear, fig and citrus, a round, supple mid-palate and a refreshing finish, really delicious and really benefitting from the low level of SO2. Terrific wine in 2022, 36 btls are available.
Tue-Boeuf 2022 Vin de France Vin Rouge
(Arrives 5/16) 60% Gamay/40% Côt. The Vin Rouge is typically mainly from locally sourced, organically farmed Gamay; in 2022, there is Tue Boeuf estate Côt as well, thanks to a bumper crop. As for all Tue B reds, the whole clusters go through a semi-carbonic maceration and spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts and without sulfur in vat. The wine is briefly aged in tanks and bottled unfiltered and--as for the entry-level Vins Blanc & Rosé--with a tiny dose of sulfur. Tasted in February, the 2022 Vin Rouge was just delightful, with beautifully ripe fruit, bright and refreshing, just plain delicious, wish I was drinking some right now... 36 bottles available.
Villemade, Herve 2022 Cheverny Rouge
(60% Pinot Noir, 40% Gamay grown on sandy clay and flint soils over limestone in Cellettes, Chitenay and Fougères sur Bièvre, AOC Cheverny; 15-day whole cluster fermentation, aged in old barrels) 2022 is another great vintage for this light and lovely Cheverny Rouge from Hervé Villemade, similar to 2018 and 2020 but perhaps a bit brighter, really lovelu! Slight reduction then very pretty aromas of plum, strawberry and blood orange with rose and white pepper; tart cherry and chalky raspberry/strawberry fruit on the palate, light but sappy and long with earthy citrus and berry fruits in the refreshing finish. This is a delightfully natural thirst-quenching red - serve cool with any chicken or pork dish, charcuterie and mild cheeses. DL
Villemade, Herve 2022 Vin de France Sauvignon Blanc
Hervé Villemade's 2022 Sauvignon Blanc showed beautifully tasted last February in Angers - the wine really hits the spot with classic Loire Valley aromas of exotic tropical fruit and invigorating flavors of lemongrass, ripe pear, and nectarine. The palate is supple and quite ripe in 2022 but remains balanced with a flinty, mineral quality that adds a refreshing tang and texture to this versatile wine. Perfect for sipping on a warm day with a variety of foods, I like this with grilled shrimp garnished with snap peas and summer vegetables.
Bastide Blanche 2021 Bandol Rosé
Some of the most elegant rosés in the world come from the varied limestone terroirs of Bandol, along the Mediterranean, where Mourvedre is the primary cepage blended with Grenache and Cinsault. The wines often take 2 to 5 years or more to reach maturity, so we're happy to have the 2021 Bastide Blanche which is showing beautifully in 2023. The estate farms with organic and biodynamic methods and makes a particularly delicious direct-press rosé, fermented with only wild yeasts. There is plenty of elegance and structure that you'd expect from a Bandol rosé, but it's still bright and full of energy - our colleague Mariko referred to it as a "happy Bandol," which is an apt description. The fruit is subtle but pretty and the minerality is sleek and stony, with great acidity that would make this a hit at any barbecue. It's an incredible value for a very serious rosé.
Bienaime, Bruno 2018 Arbois Trousseau
From John Gilman's View from the Cellar: "Bruno Bienaimé’s 2018 Trousseau comes in at a svelte 12.6 percent octane and delivers beautiful complexity on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is beautifully pure, complex and red fruity, wafting from the glass in a blend of bitter cherry, wild strawberries, woodsmoke, a hint of tree bark, chalky soil tones, peonies, dried rose petals and a gentle topnote of sweet botanicals. On the palate the wine is medium-full, tangy and very transparent, with a good core, lovely focus, complexity and grip, moderate tannins and a long, vibrant and bouncy finish. I love this wine’s girdle of acidity out of the blocks, which will carry it far into the future and already makes it a lovely companion at the table, though the wine is still a puppy and deserves further bottle age! A lovely, low fat and very complex example of Trousseau. 2021-2050"
Camin Larredya 2020 Jurançon Grains des Copains
Formerly called Costat Darrèr, "Les Grains des Copains" is a great introduction to the style of the domaine and how Jean-Marc Grussaute is capturing the concentration of the sugar with remarkable elegance. In 2020 this wine is 100% Petit Manseng grown by his neighbors (Pedeflus, Lacazette and Vignau) - they have another job and are tending their small plots for pleasure. The goal of this wine is to offer a delicious, refreshing moelleux in the way it was done last century at a fantastic price for value. Hand-harvested, picking was done of the ripe, dried grapes (no botrytis) from Oct 25 to Nov 10, the grapes are slowly pressed to extract aroma and structure from the Manseng. Vinification and aging, partly sur-lie, happens in small barrels and foudres. Volcanic sulfur is used with parsimony and the wine is sterile filtered. "Les Grains des Copains" is a delicious candy, a pure gourmandise with a little more concentration than usual. If you like orange marmalade, membrillo paste, cinnamon and lily of the valley, you will love this nose. Once again, the sweetness seems swallowed by the acidity, leaving the palate fresh and ready for another glass. Enjoy it today or keep it 5 years. A pan-sautéed foie gras with apple-cider reduction, a passion fruit panna cotta or a mild blue-cheese would make some great pairing. 100% Petit Manseng, 60 g RS.
Combel-La-Serre 2020 Cahors "Au Cerisier"
(Arrives April 6th) 100% Malbec. "Au Cerisier" comes from a single 1.2-hectare plot at 350 m. altitude, next door to a cherry orchard for which the Ilberts named this bottling. The certified-organic vines average 40 years old and are planted on red and yellow clay soils over limestone bedrock. This is a quite serious Cahors showing a dark red/black color and beautifull black raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas with hints of dark chocolate, violet and stone. The palate is supple and dense, quite elegant and not tannic, very full-bodied but not heavy and really showing the clay/limestone terroir, with a long finish of bright red and black fruits. Drink now with a long decant with a steak or stew, best to cellar five to ten years. This was oustanding at the March 2023 tasting - it's a lovely Cahors and highly recommended! David Lillie
Danjou-Banessy 2020 Cotes Catalanes Rouge La Truffiere
Carignan and Grenache Noir, between sixty and eighty years old. Planted in black slate-rich soils and aged two years in barrel. A beautiful Burgundy hue in the glass with red berries and flowers on the nose. The elegance of this wine, and the translucence in the glass remind of Burgundy Pinot Noir more than anything Carignan or Grenache-related. The flavors are of the South, with some garrigue and subtle herbs, but the prettiness is the major factor here. This is a lovely and serene wine made with a careful hand.
Deux Anes 2021 Corbières Premier Pas
Blend of Carignan and Grenache grape. Age of Vines: 20-35 years old. Yields: 45 hl/ha. 1600 cases produced. Soil: red Mediterranean type, scattered with limestone. Vinification Method: The premier pas is the lightest wine Magali makes, a whole cluster fermentation in stainless steel tanks. A pigeage occurs & fermentation lasts two or three weeks. Only natural yeast is used, and the wine is fermented and aged in the same tanks under temperature control. The wine is bottled without ?ning or ?ltration.
Domaine de La Borde 2019 Arbois Pupillin Cote de Caillot Chardonnay
Juilen Mareschal is one of the only people to make wine in the Côte de Caillot, right outside of Pupillin. Working organically with .25 hectares of 35-year-old vines planted in Bajocian limestone on the top of steep slopes at 600m in elevation, he crafts serious Chardonnay in the ouille style, showcasing the true terroir of the site. The wine ferments naturally with indigenous yeasts and is raised in old, 1200L barrels. In terms of taste it would appeal to seasoned Chablis and Mersault drinkers with complex fruit and walnut aromas, and an excellent structure anchored by a piercing mineral core.
Domaine de La Borde 2020 Arbois Pupillin 'Plous'saperlipopette'
A serenipitous "mistake," this is a partial carbonic maceration Poulsard. The name essentially means “oh shit” like a happy accident, because he was surprised at how good the wine came out.
Domaine de l'Aitonnement 2021 IGP Vin des Allobroges 'Dark Side'
The '21 Dark Side is 100% Mondeuse, the grape that was once planted so densely on the slopes of Aiton. In the glass, the color is of a glowing, translucent plum. The nose has very expressive floral aromas, with freshly cut stems of violets and dark roses. Great Mondeuse moodiness on the nose, with fresh black pepper, cinnamon, dates and blackberries - a very foresty and earthy bouquet. Flavors are of crisp raspberries and blueberries, with a salty undertone, ending with the telltale grassiness that Savoie's star red grape is known for. Structurally mineral and precise, with great acidity and just a dash of tannin. Serve with a bit of a chill and this will be your favorite red this summer, I promise! Awesome for grilled meats on a hot day, no doubt. -DH
Domaine de l'Aitonnement 2021 IGP Vin des Allobroges 'Nebula'
For Mondeuse die-hards this bottle is a must - even if there is some Douce Noir involved! Slightly more classic in expression than the '21 Dark Side from Maxime Dancoine, his '21 Nebula has a denser, plumper profile than it's lighter counterpart, the it's color is still clean and fresh. The nose has healthy, plummy dark stone fruit and a graphite-focused mineral expression. The floral smells are also more dramatic in this wine - with ripe smells of sweet red roses. On the tongue, juicy blackberry, raspberry and orange peel swirl around a core of tense briney coolness. Killer acidity, with the celebrated earthy tannic structure that the best Mondeuse can offer. The wine ends with a sweet kiss of blueberry. Wow. -DH
Domaine des Costes 2018 Pécharmant Cuvée Domaine
(Arrives March 7th) Nicole and Jean-Marc Dournel’s Cuvée Domaine is a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon that is vinified with native yeasts in tank and then is aged in the traditional large-format barrels of the Bergerac region. Aromas of cherry liqueur, cedar, and a hint of pipe tobacco rise from the glass. On the palate it is fresh with ripe, high-toned red raspberry coming forward before retreating, allowing layers of smoke, toasted earth, and dried flowers to take the stage. This is a serious and well- structured wine that is a unique and different version of an excellent Bordeuax. Decant or open well in advance, or cellar 5 to ten years.
Domaine des Costes 2019 Pécharmant Cuvée Tradition (Mar 7th)
(Arrives March 7th) The 2019 "Tradition" is another beautiful wine from Domaine des Costes, certified organic since 2007. The wine shows an earthy red/garnet color, with intriguing aromas of black raspberry, cassis, earth, roast meat and spice. The palate is dense and richly textured with deep red currant and cassis fruit, with tobacco and earth with a very firm mineral presence on the tongue and a very long finish of red currant, minerals and firm acidity. All this for $15.99! Bravo to the Dournel family for this beautiful big little wine...
Faillenc Sainte Marie 2021 Corbières
This delightful estate uses one-third Syrah, one-third Grenache and one-third Cinsault in their Corbières Rouge, grown on limestone/clay soils in the foothills of Mont Alaric, certified organic since 2007. The wine shows aromas of blackberries, ripe plums, and tiny wild blueberries, as well as notes of balsam wood. Like all the best Languedoc offerings, there's a wild edge here with a bit of funk that is tempered by juicy sleekness. Its excellent balance and wealth of ripe tannins make it a natural at the table - serve with a stew or grilled meats, a coq au vin with farm chicken or guinea hen, and full-flavored cow cheeses.
Finot, Thomas 2020 Coteaux Grésivaudan Étraire la Dhuy
Étraire de la Dhuy is a rare grape from the Vallé du Grésivaudan in the Isère, with only about 6 hectares currently in production. The 2020 Finot Étraire de la Dhuy is from a parcel of 70 year-old massale selection vines, with some new plantation, only 60 btls were available for the US. AKA Étraire de l'Aduï. According to Wine Grapes "DNA parentage analysis suggests a parent-offspring relationship between Étraire de l'Aduï and Persan. Indeed, both varieties belong to the Sérine ampelographic group."
Jonc Blanc Solera Vin de France Pure M Manseng
(Arrives 5/16) Wow, this a superb natural wine - 100% Gros Manseng from three vintages, 2018 - 20200, grown on a clay/limestone terroir (calcaire de Castillon). Elevage in 1800 liter Stockinger foudre. This is a more northern version of this grape of southwest France with aromas of exotic fruit, pineapple and herbs. The palate is vibrant with almond, pear and apricot fruit, and finishes with saline minerals. Zero added SO2, 24 btls for the US, enjoy!
La Bernarde 2022 Côtes de Provence Rosé "Hauts du Luc"
The La Bernarde "Les Hauts du Luc" a very dry and refreshing blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Rolle (Vermentino) and Syrah. Certified organic and fermented with wild yeasts, the grapes are grown in a high-altitude vineyard on limestone with clay and stones. The Cinsault is very present in the subtle aromas of peach and raspberry with citrus, spice and floral hints. The palate is light, with a silky texture and firm mineral flavors underlying the fresh red fruit, peach and citrus flavors. This is a lovely and versatile wine that will be a delicious aperitif or accompaniment to fish, white meats and lighter grilled foods. At $19.99 this a good value - pick-up a few cases for your spring/summer sipping!
Laguerre 2014 IGP Côtes Catalanes Oxy (5 years sous voile)
Eric has once again made a small quantity of "Oxy" - his extraordinary Grenache Blanc that spends five years sous-voile. The current vintage is 2014 (we think) - for any lover of Vin Jaune, or anyone making chicken with vin jaune and morels, this is a must buy! The wine shows lovely herbal, stone, citrus peel and strong oxidative aromas. The oxidation is less apparent on the palate which is extremely elegant and of course shows an intense minerality, with flavors of lemon zest, stone and dried pear, finishing with terrific length. Superb and unique wine! (No added SO2) David Lillie
Clos Marie-Louise/Château Lapuyade is a beautiful Biodynamic estate deep in the hills of Jurançon, south of Pau. Their wines are harvested by hand, fermented with wild yeasts and aged in old barrels purchased from Yquem and Haut-Brion. Château Lapuyade produces a complex, ripe, exotic style of "Sec" and the lovely 2020 is no exception. Produced from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng, the wine shows a bright gold color; ripe aromas of exotic fruit, lemon zest, almond, honeysuckle and hay; the palate is ripe and round with spiced pear, buttery lemon, earth and mineral flavors; very bright citrusy acidity in the finish with hay and minerals. This will evolve nicely re-corked in your fridge or with five to ten years of cellaring. Not for everyone perhaps, this is really a unique and intense bottle of Jurançon! Serve with chicken or fish in sauce, full-flavored cheeses, patés and Asian foods.
Produced by Jeremy and Isabelle Decoster in the Alpine region of Bugey. From hand-picked, organically farmed Chardonnay and Roussette (Altesse), planted at 500 meters above sea level. From soils of limestone and marl, above a granitic subsoil. Clear, with a very faint yellow hue. The nose has lemons, cucumber, and snap peas. A great floral aroma grows after the wine is open for an hour. The palate has salt, cured lemons, and crushed, zingy limestone. Green papaya and clementine, and a long, semi-bitter finish. The palate is medium bodied, balanced by wonderful acidity. -DH
Les Fouques 2020 Côtes de Provence La Londe "Estelle" Rouge
The beautiful 2020 Les Fouques "Estelle" Rouge is 71% Syrah, 22% Grenache, 4% Carignan, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, certified Biodynamic (Demeter). Tucked away in the Vallons des Borels, the estate illustrates biodiversity at its finest: vines, forests of eucalyptus, pines, even wild boars share a spatial harmony on the property. Harmony is key in a wine like the Cuvée L’Estelle - on the nose, there is a lovely mélange of black cherry, spiced plum, rose, smoke and candied ginger. The palate is rich and ripe, with soft tannins and fresh fruit. The finish is the highlight of the wine: a back and forth medley of red fruit, black currant, smoke and earth. A wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats ths summer....
Les Fouques 2022 Côtes de Provence Cuvée l'Aubigue Rosé
Year after year, Yves Gros, Christelle and Jacques at the Biodynamic Domaine les Fouques make our favorite Provençal rosés. This is what they say about the 2022 Cuvee Aubigue: "Cinsault 62% Grenache 15% Syrah 17% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Rolle 2%, (alcohol 12.5%) "Very pale pink color with melon nuances. The first aromas are concentrated, evoking ripe yellow fruits such as apricot and peach. After swirling, it's flat peach with white flesh, subtly enhanced by spices of white pepper and ginger. The palate is imposing, well structured, ample; dominated by notes of white peach but also by fresh citrus which reinforces the iodized side of this cuvée and gives it a certain freshness on the finish." We say... "the palate is round and refreshing with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is suave and awash with citrus and stone. A wonderfully versatile wine, this is lovely to sip by itself and will be a seriously delicious pairing with salads, full-flavored fish dishes, chicken and grilled pork all summer and all year...complex, subtle, refreshing and delicious - buy it by the case as we do run out from time to time...
Les Granges Paquenesses 2020 Côtes du Jura Trousseau 'Libellules'
'Libellules' is a tasty and very forward Trousseau from blue and grey marl soils on a south-facing slope in Poligny. A lovely cherry color in the glass, with notes of strawberry and red cherry on the nose. The palate is ripe and friendly, perhaps not screaming "JURA!" but it is very charming and in many respects a great way to entice newcomers to the region and its special wines. Notes of plums, cassis and fresh green herbs circling around a center of cool minerality.
Lulu Vigneron (Ludwig Bindernagel) 2019 Côtes du Jura BB1 Chard/Savagnin
Ludwig Bindernagel, a favorite of ours from the Jura, currently works with the newly-minted Lulu label. However, when he first came to the region in the early 2000s, he produced wines as Les Chais du Vieux Bourg, the domaine he had purchased. ‘BB1,’ though it may sound technical, or even scientific, stands for ‘Baby One,’ as it was the first cuvée Lulu ever created. It is a blend of Chardonnay and Savignin, and produced in a topped-up, or ouille, style. Hints of crisp apple and salt on the nose, with a delicate, slightly floral and oxidative character. Zingy on the palate, with pear, cured lemon, white pepper and salt. Incredibly balanced - neither the Savagnin or the Chardonnay steals the show in the glass. Spot on, Lulu! Bring on the Comte! -DH
Navarre 2021 Vin de France Lignieres Blanc
From a vineyard co-planted with old varieties - Ribeyrenc Blanc, Grenache Gris and Clairette du Languedoc - Thierry Navarre makes his unique and delicious "Lignières." It's a delighful wine with slightly spicy and floral aromas of white peach, lemon peel, almond, pear and honeysuckle, dry and dense on the palate, but nicely round and ripe, with mineral, herbal and stone fruit flavors with firm acidity - really lovely, a great aperitif or serve with fish or chicken in sauce, salads, sheep and goat cheeses. Three cheers for Thierry Navarre for making such a delicious, distictive and unusual wine from historic varieties. David Lillie
(Arrives May 12) The 2021 Pibarnon Rosé is drinking gorgeously now and will improve even more over the next few years - grab some now as of course the price goes up for the 2022. This wine has a wonderful ability to combine elegance, power, class, and distinction. A blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Grenache, the wine shows peach-y and stone fruit notes on the nose, mingling with the savory earth and iodine character of good Bandol Rosé. The palate offers silky textures, a certain voluptuousness, and a lovely balance of acidity to full ripe fruit.
Rouquette 2011 Monbazillac Chateau La Rouquette 500ml
(Arrival Mar 7th) The Dournel family produces this lovely Monbazillac under the Chateau La Rouquette label. Consider it a good Sauternes in everything except price, perhaps slightly less sweet. The 2011 is very elegant, fine and complex, with aromas of ripe white fruits, peach and lime flower. Supple, round and with medium sweetness on the palate with perfect acidity, the fruit is fresh and pretty, not at all heavy, really a delightful wine to sip by itself or with fruit desserts, patés and vegetable terrines.
Amphores 2020 IGP des Collines Rhodaniennes Detour Blanc
(Arrives Mar 7th) Domaine des Amphores, a long-time organic and Biodynamic estate in Chavanay, just south of Condrieu, produces excellent Saint-Josephs and Condrieu as well as red and white Vin de Pays. "Detour" is made from 60% Clairette blanche from 50 year-old vines with 30% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne from granite soils on lieu-dit "Richagnieux" at Chavanay, The 2020 is ripe, round and beautifully balanced with aromas of apricot, guava, mango, almond, lemon, hay and stone - the palate is supple and elegant with stone fruits, anise and mineral flavors, finishing with ripe white fruits and saline minerals. “Drink as an aperitif, or with salads, crudités, quiche, trout, fish terrine, fresh goat cheese” says the Domaine. This great value is highly recommended! David Lillie
Amphores 2021 Condrieu "La Côte"
(Arrives 5/16) The Domaine des Amphores Condriueu is 100% massale-selection Viognier from 0.5 hectare on poor granite-based soils at 250 metres on La Côte at Chavanay. The 2021 La Côte has a pale yellow gold robe. The nose offers a subtle and intriguing mélange of toasted nuts, salted pineapple, chestnut honey, pear, stone and a hint of spice. The palate shades savory with a granitic spine and roasted peach, and green almond flavors on a sleek and mineral palate. There’s a pleasing phenolic, stony bitterness and freshness closing out the finish, with teriffic length. This is a less exotic and exuberant expression, but perfect for the table—think skate with brown butter, halibut or roasted chicken with fricasséed morels!
Balazu des Vaussières 2017 Vin de France Cuvée Hysope
For lovers of natural wines - The new Rouge from Balazu des Vaussieres is the Cuvée Hysope, recently bottled after a brief passage in wood, then four years aging in tank. It's from 50% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 20% Carignan and 10% Cinsault, grown primarily in Tavel with additional vines in Roquemaure, nearby. The wine needs 1 - 2 hours of aeration (after it's four years in vat) then shows lovely black cherry, plum, violet, citrus peel and earth. The palate shows firm acidity and a dense earthy texture with ripe cherry, red currant and licorice with herbal and citrus notes. The finish is long and complex with earthy red fruits, citrus and brown spice. This is a beautiful living wine which will be fun to taste over many days, recorked in the fridge. Ten years of cellaring should be interesting...
Bonnefond 2020 Côte-Rôtie Colline de Couzou
The 2020 Bonnefond "Colline de Couzou" is 80% on northern sector schist in Rozier, Côte Rozier and Les Rochains, 20% southern sector loose granite from Tupin, Coteaux de Semons. "dark red; licorice, black cherry airs in an upright nose, has a clear tone, some blueberry mystery. The attacks strikes well - good dark fruits line the palate, are fresh, purposeful, carry depth. It holds well, the length good, the finale lip smacking. Its tannins come forward, are noticeable and ripe. 14°. “It’s silky, has bel balance,” C Bonnefond. (drinkrhone) Drink over the next 20 years.
Clos du Joncuas 2019 Gigondas Rosé
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose. Full palate with silky raspberry, peach, citrus and mineral flavors and firm acidity, beatifully balanced and refreshing. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth, and citrusy acids. This gorgeous rosé is still young – it should open up nicely over the next two to three years. It's elegant and delicious now and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!
Clos du Joncuas 2020 Vacqueyras La Font de Papier (4/18)
From 80% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre, grown on gravelly limestone terraces, always farmed organically, whole-cluster fermention and aged in concrete vats. Dany and Carole Chastan have made another superb Vacqueyras in 2020, more elegant than the opulent 2019 version, showing dark black/red color and bright aromas of blackberry, black olive and licorice with plum skin, garrigue, violet and bitter chocolate. This young wine is showing deep black fruits with firm acidity and terrific length with chalky mineral notes, earth, citrus and olive. This will be fantastic with grilled foods, stews and tagines and will develop nicely over the next 10 - 15 years. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
Clos du Joncuas 2021 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Séguret Blanc
(50% Clairette, with Roussanne and Marsanne, always organically farmed, wild yeast fermentation, aged in enamel vat.) This unique Rhone white shows subtle aromas of dried pear, peach, citrus and stone. The palate is dense and well-structured with flavors of citrus peel, white fruits, stone, hay and almond, a hint of anise. This has nice brightness, is not as heavy as the previous few vintages. This will accompany a bouillabaisse, full-flavored fish dishes, squid, octopus, roast chicken with herbs, full-flavored cheeses and patés. With aeration the wine becomes more aromatic, really lovely! This is a fabulous value and highly recommended...
Clos du Joncuas 2021 Gigondas Rosé
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose, a bit fresher and brighter than the last two vintages. Full, crisp palate with pretty red fruits and firm acidity. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth and citrusy acids. A bit lighter and better balanced than the 2019 and 2020, and very young - it should open up nicely over the next two years. It's delicious now though, and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!
Dumien Serrette 2020 Cornas "Patou" Vieilles Vignes
The 2020 Dumien-Serrette "Patou" is a "kick-ass" Cornas, as noted by our friend Livingstone-Learmonth at drinkrhone: "very dark robe; the nose is sunny, very well filled with busy, stylish black fruits, a note of Indian ink, squid-pulp, vegetal airs on board. It’s going to amplify and really blossom from a large glass. The palate is rolling, generous, starts on a willing sweep of cool black berry fruits before taking up dark tannins, pine needles, the depth on the finish resounding, the whole bunch presence noted there in its smoky canopy. The second half really shows Cornas and its kick ass nature, the first half is flattering, vintage 2020 poise present. This has captured the sunrays of Patou very well, is a real wine of terroir." Decant if drinking now, enjoy over the next 25 years.
Gripa 2011 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers
This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. "Fine yellow robe. Aniseed and hazelnut tally well together on the front nose; peach and acacia flowers are present, with a typical Saint-Péray tang of saltiness. The palate offers an intricate mix of fruit and more substantial, nutted flavours. It expands steadily on the later palate, has good length and gives a tickle of late acidity. It needs time to fuse – is not an obvious wine. Has something of a red wine in its make-up and late grounding." Livingston-Learmonth in DrinkRhône Tasted May 25, 2023 at CSW: The wine is showing beautifully, with secondary aromas joining the fresh white and yellow fruits. Perfect acidity, silky texture, very mineral and long. A great match for a full-bodied fish or poultry dish, just delicious. Drink over the next 3 - 5 years.
Gripa 2014 Saint-Peray Les Figuiers
This little-known wine from Bernard and Fabrice Gripa is one of the most delicious and fascinating wines of the Northern Rhône. From 50 to 60 yeal-old vines in Saint-Peray, 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. 2014: "yellow robe. The nose is varied, has interest. It combines soft flower airs with a light aroma of peach, apricot juice, lemon grass, some oak. The palate is close-knit, not yet really revealed. It grips steadily on the finish. Decant this, It is fresh and capable of gaining depth. The length is serious, the aftertaste glows. Work in progress. 13.5° - drinkrhone Tasted at CSW 5/25/23: Fresh, youthful citrus, haelnut, white and yellow fruits on the nose, the palate is brighter than the 2011 with a beautiful core of acidity and mineral flavors, young and vibrant, finishing with all minerals. Beautiful now and will drink well for another 8 to 10 years.
Jaboulet 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle
This wine is a 100% Syrah grape. Hermitage La Chapelle is a blend of terroirs, including the prestigious hillsides of Meal and Bessards. Each one provides its own aromatic characteristics. 40-60+ year old vines from the granite soils of Les Bessards and the limestone of Le Méal on the Hermitage hill – a magical combination of terroir. Completely converted to biodynamics in 2006. Incredibly low yields of 15-20 hl/ha. Aged in French oak (20% new)
Levet, Bernard 2020 Côte-Rôtie Journaries
The beautiful 2020 Levet "Journaries" is 60% from 70 to 80 year-old vines on the west part of La Landonne, 40% younger vines from Côte Brune, Côte Blonde, Côte Rozier. "...full, attractive robe; the nose is well poised, carries a discreet perfume, an air of black cherry, with oak touches, ground coffee beans. The palate gives ripe blue fruit, immediately engages, while the smooth tannins help its flow and length. This is serene flow wine, nothing hurried. It accumulates depth into the finish, with a compact depth on the aftertaste, the tannins within there. It is a freer run, more lithe wine than the Chavaroche." (drinkrhone)
Lionnet 2020 Cornas Terre Brulée
From 1960s Syrah on Mazards, 1940s Syrah on Combe, also Chaillot, Pied la Vigne, Chataignier/Saint Pierre, 2-3 week whole bunch fermentation. Aged 50% 600-litre, 50% 228-litre 2-8 year oak casks for 15-16 months. "...dark robe; the nose is sweet toned, comes with blackberries, herbs, smoke, licorice. The palate is marked by coffee-mocha, is blue-fruited, with kick late on, from within, iron a-plenty. Its suave tendencies are very typical of 2020, it has coated tones, agreeable, squeezy gras, pings of licorice-salt through it, southern links, black olives, late crunch. It’s very genuine Cornas, its juice running well on a zig zag late on, lively tones, zip, a good do. “It’s less muscled than 2019,” Ludovic Izérable. (drinkrhone)
Manissy (Florian André) 2022 IGP du Gard 'La Belle Etoile" Rosé
The grapes for the 2022 "Belle Etoile" originate from organically certified vineyards owned by Ch. de Manissy wine-maker Florian André's mother. Covering an area of 1.5ha, this site is bathed by the sun and swept by the mistral on a flat plain that is rich in limestone with a clay subsoil. Entirely hand-harvested grapes, 50% Cinsault and 50% Grenache, that have a cold maceration before being pressed. Low temperature fermentation with indigenous yeasts, aged in stainless steel tank. The high percentage of Cinsault brings freshness and delicacy to the wine, with hints of raspberry and stone fruits, orange peel and melon that linger on the balanced, refreshing palate. Great by itself or served with salads, goat cheeses and light summer meals.
Manissy 2021 Tavel Tête de Cuvée Rosé
Produced since 1915 this is the historic cuvée of Chateau de Manissy, retaining the ancient label and the ancient methods of production, now enhanced by Biodynamic farming. Similar in style to the Tavel 'Vintage" at Domane L'Anglore, the wine is a blend of Grenache, Clairette and Cinsault that undergoes a 24 to 48 hour maceration on the skins and then a cool fermentation with wild yeasts for about 2 weeks. The wine ages in old barrels for 9 to 12 months. This is a true Rosé of gastronomy that will drink beautifully for ten years or more. Showing a slightly darker hue than the 2020 vintage, it exudes bright aromas of pomegranate, red flowers and spice with a silky, cool palate and a light red wine feel, with flavors of red currant, tart cherry and saline minerals. "Can live 10 to 20 years if well cellared, drink with melon & cured ham salad, grilled meats, magret de canard (duck breasts), veal meatballs, white meats, chicken breast, guinea fowl with mushrooms & chestnuts" says the estate, or just sip by itself on a summer evening...
Pierre André 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
(CSW Price $49.99!) The superb 2019 Pierre André CDP Rouge is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. From drinkrhone: "handsome dark red robe; the nose has depth from within, a really inviting aroma of finely sweet plums, with some cedar, gently perfumed notes around them. It’s a very good start. The palate runs with a stately roll of red stone fruits, lovely engagement thanks to its stylish gras, its spherical shape most appealing. The balance is good. This is Châteauneuf of terroir, no make-up added, is a very bonny Grenache-inspired wine, has smoky, tobacco, menthol tones late on. Much harmony here, not sure what else one could demand from it - way to go, Jacqueline!" Drink 2025 - 2050.
Pierre Andre 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magnum
The superb 2019 Pierre André CDP Rouge is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. From drinkrhone: "handsome dark red robe; the nose has depth from within, a really inviting aroma of finely sweet plums, with some cedar, gently perfumed notes around them. It’s a very good start. The palate runs with a stately roll of red stone fruits, lovely engagement thanks to its stylish gras, its spherical shape most appealing. The balance is good. This is Châteauneuf of terroir, no make-up added, is a very bonny Grenache-inspired wine, has smoky, tobacco, menthol tones late on. Much harmony here, not sure what else one could demand from it - way to go, Jacqueline!" Drink 2025 - 2050.
Pierre Andre 2020 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Magnum
We consider Domaine Pierre André to be one of the greatest estates in Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Organic since 1980 (one of the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The red is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. Tasted with Jacqueline in January, the wine was quite remarkable, showing a relatively light red/garnet color with lovely aromas of tart cherry, red currant, rose and violet. The plate was supple, not heavy, with complex red fruits, earth and minerals with silky fresh tannins, finishing with terrific length of red currant and berries. "Un gourmandise" said Jacqueline and we couldn't agree more - but obviously built to age as well. David Lillie
The 2021 Rousset Saint-Joseph is from a one-half hectare parcel of 35 to 70 year-old vines in "Les Rivoires" on the lower slope in Tournon, a cool, very steep, late-ripening terroir with clay, sand and stones over firm granite. Aged 12 months, 30% foudre, 70% 1 to 5 year-old barrels.This is prime Saint-Joseph terroir (the Gonons have vines in "Rivoires" as well) giving a dense well-structured wine that is enjoyable young, as most of the grapes are de-stemmed, and that will drink well over the next ten+ years. The 2021 vintage has produced a brighter more floral style than the 2020, with a nicely balanced 13% alcohol. We love the review in drinkrhone: "quite a dark red; this has a country style aroma, wild blackberry, licorice, black pepper, is genuine. The palate gives a cool stream of black cherry fruit, is tasty and natural, with appealing purity, feels hand made, and is silky, elegant on the finish. It’s very fine, very bonny, aromatic St Jo, the balance good - most joli it is." Yes, most joli it is - quite delicious now, but put a few away to drink in 8 to 10 years as well. David Lillie
Rousset 2021 Crôzes-Hermitage Marsanne Vieilles Vignes
This is an oustanding Marsanne from vines planted in 1933 and 1965, aged in 10% new, 90% 1 - 3 year-old 400 liter barrels, 8 months on the lees, no batonnage. The 2021 Vieilles Vignes is an outstanding wine showing elegant aromas of white peach and plum, lemon zest, stone and oak; the palate is beautifully structured with the density, mineral flavors and firm acidity of the low yielding 2021 vintage. The finish is lovely with stone, white and yellow fruits, citrus zest, long and very elegant, really showing the old vines. Open well in advance or cellar 3 to 5 years, allowing the oak to fully integrate, then enjoy until 2035. (About 80 cases made) Pair this beautiful wine with full-flavored fish and chicken dishes and goat cheeses, or as the Roussets suggest, with rock fish, veal marengo and mushroom risotto! David Lillie
From hillside vineyards in Erome, Gervans and Crozes, mostly granite with some limestone/clay, average age 45 years, aged 30% in vat rather than wood in 2021 to preserve the fruit. This is no "ordinary" Crôzes-Hermitage, but a real wine of terroir from great vineyard sites, all on hillsides. Domaine Rousset is blessed with excellent terroir and the good sense to get that into the bottle with as little interference as possible. Redolent with black cherries, plums, wet earth and stony minerality, the palate follows through with dark chocolate covered cherries, blackberries and tobacco leaf with bracing acidity and a long finish. This is lovely stuff and positively sings in concert with a plate of poulet aux olives, but a bit of saucisson or terrine wouldn’t suffer for this; and come to think of it, if you have a wild mushroom pasta recipe tucked away, this pretty Crôzes would offer good company indeed.