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We're very proud to be working with these two outstanding Biodynamic estates - Le Jonc Blanc in Bergerac and Domaine de Crève Coeur in Séguret (Southern Rhone). Through great farming and superb natural vinifications, both domains are creating delicious, soulful wines that bely their modest prices and that exhibit the dedication and spirit of the vignerons...
Isabelle Carles and Franck Pascal at Le Jonc Blanc are delightful people whose committment to biodynamic farming, natural winemaking and the preservation of their unique terroir is inspirational. (And their dog is hilarious.) Located on an unusual outcropping of two different limestones with very thin clay soils, giving tiny yields, the estate produces wines that transcend the appellation Bergerac. They are mostly bottled as Vin de France and show marvelous complexity of fruit as well as flavors of earth and stone. The reds here are bottled with zero added sulfur and the whites with minimal or zero SO2 as well. Hugely respected in the French natural wine community, the wines of Jonc Blanc are rare and unique, and available in the US only at Chambers Street. While all of the wines in today's offer are simply delicious, we bring your attention to the two special cuvées: The 2015 "Pure T' is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on limestone ("Calcaire de Castillon") bottled without fining or filtration and with zero added SO2. The palate is supple and rich but with bright acidity, showing ripe cassis fruit, with earth, coffee, cocoa and sappy fruit liqueur - serve cool with grilled foods this summer. After a devastating frost in April 2017, Franck and Isabelle harvested the tiny secondary berries and made the sensational, light and lovely Petillant Naturel Bulles Rose - it's extraordinarily delightful and perfect for any summer gathering!
Pablo Hocht at Domaine de Crève Coeur is making beautiful wines at his 5 hectare estate in Sablet and Séguret. "I created the Domaine in 2010 to live my passion: that of wine, of nature and of respect for terroir. The vines cultivated in organic and Biodynamic agriculture produce authentic and original wines." After tasting with Pablo last winter, we couldn't agree more as the wines are deep, complex and elegant - wonderful examples of Grenache-based Rhone wines at their best. The estate has very old vines of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault - the oldest, at Sablet, were planted just after WW2 and the vines at Seguret were planted in the early 70s. The Sablet and Séguret are both blends of Grenache and Mourvedre, which undergo a four-week whole-cluster vinification with wild yeasts followed by 12 months in used barrels. The lovely Côtes du Rhône is all Grenache, made in a more forward, supple style and the Rosé du Coucou is a subtle and delicious direct-press of Grenache and Cinsault. All of these wines will drink wonderfully with grilled foods this summer as well as with steaks, chops and stews in colder weather. The young M. Hocht is doing great work at Crève Coeur - we hope you will try his artful wines. Pablo quotes Van Gogh "Art, it's man added to nature."
A beautiful natural wine from Isabelle and Franck Pascal at Jonc Blanc. Always a blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, raised in large 1500L barrels. The 2016 is super aromatic, with cocoa and earth on the nose, a deep purple hue in the glass with rich silky blackberry fruit. For anyone who is searching for natural wines but prefers to drink Cabs, Malbecs and the like, this is the wine for you! Biodynamic farming, no sulfur added... it's a natural wine through and through (yes not every natural wine is 11% alc. carbonic Gamay!). Just fresh enough to drink on it's own, this will be a knockout with a light chill and paired with grilled food this summer. Eben Lillie
This is a lovely Biodynamic white made from Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris by Isabelle and Franck Pascal, whose great vineyard work and natural vinifications are producing outstanding wines on their clay/limestone terroir near Bergerac. No SO2 is used except a tiny addition before bottling. The 2016 Les Sens du Fruit shows lovely aromas of lime-flower, spiced pear, melon, almond and honeyed citrus. The palate is round and ripe with stone and earthy flavors underlying ripe pear and creamy lemon fruit and is backed by firm acidity. The finish is long, ripe and refreshing. This is a complex and delicious natural wine that will shine with shellfish, a platter of cheeses or a fish or chicken in sauce, just delicous! David Lillie
Pablo Hocht of Domaine de Creve Coeur has 3 hectares of 60+ year-old vines in Seguret on sandy limestone marl soils, 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvedre. As with his lovely Sablet, the Seguret is certified biodynamic, fermented slowly with wild yeasts with the stems included. Aging is partly in one to five year-old barriques, partly in vat. In other words, great farming and old-fashioned winemaking, similar to that of the Gonons in Saint-Joseph. The 2016 Seguret shows a deep red/black color and aromas of ripe blackberry, black cherry and red currant, with earth, garrigue and cocoa - dark and rich but with good freshness. The palate is dense and round with a supple, grainy texture with ripe blackberry and black plum, showing the high percentage of Mourvedre, with hints of chocolate, citrus and provencal herbs. The finish is long with cool acidity and earthy black fruits. Serve this beautiful Seguret a bit cool after a decant of a few hours or cellar five to ten years. Great with stews and tagines, grilled meats and game. David Lillie
Isabelle and Franck Pascal make this beautiful natural wine (formerly known as "Classik") from Cabernet and Merlot grown on their Biodynamic estate near Felines, in Bergerac. The wine is aged sur-lie 12 months in barrel, and is bottled without filtration or added sulfur. The color is a dark red/black; the wine shows bright, vivid aromas of ripe cassis and boysenberry liqueur with earth, musk, violet and graphite. The palate is lush, ripe and vibrant with cassis, prune, chocolate, earth, stone and licorice lifted by firm, cool acidity that continues in the long, bright and sapid finish. Wow, delicious! Serve with grilled pork or beef, a daube provencal, strong cheeses and charcuterie or cellar for 5 to 8 years.
The 2015 Pure "T" is another beautiful natural wine from Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carles at Jonc Blanc! Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on shallow soils over limestone ("Calcaire de Castillon"), two year elevage in 18 hl Stockinger foudres, bottled without fining or filtration and with zero added SO2. The wine shows a very deep black/purple color with lush, vibrant aromas of cassis and blackberry with brown spice citrus, violet and black pepper. The palate is supple and rich but with bright acidity, showing ripe cassis fruit, with earth, coffee, cocoa and sappy fruit liqueur. The finish is lush, complex and long. This is a superb natural Cabernet, a joyful wine to serve slightly cool with grilled foods, stews and charcuterie, or just to sip by itself late at night with a good book.... Highly recommended. David Lillie
The vineyards of Jonc Blanc were hit by a devastating freeze in April of 2017. From parcels that were 100% lost, the tiny secondary berries were harvested to make this amazing sparkling rosé! Yields were 6.5 hl/ha at 11% alcohol; bottled for the second fermentation at 25 grams of RS per liter, it has turned into a beautiful and complex Bulles Rosé. The wine shows intriguing aromas of wild strawberry, tart cherry, rose, orange peel and brioche. The palate is creamy, light and pretty with tart cherry, rose-water, citrus and melon with a soft, refreshing finsh...could I have another glass? DL
The Creve Coeur "Coucou" is a beautiful direct-press rosé made with old vines of 60% Grenache and 40% Cinsault. THe wine shows a lovely pale pink/orange color with floral aromas of candied strawberry and cherry fruit. The palate is silky and elegant with nice density of raspberry fruit with hints of melon and citrus, finishing with mineral flavors and refreshing acidity. This is a lovely wine at a great price! David Lillie
This beautiful Cotes du Rhone from Pablo Hocht at Creve Coeur is made from 60 to 70 year-old vines of Grenache, with an interesting mix of semi-carbonic and traditional fermentations with whole-cluster and de-stemmed grapes. The wine shows aromas of ripe strawberry and cherry liqueur with garrigue and meaty notes. The palate is deep and ripe with lush cherry and berry fruits, earth and spice - supple and round with good length of sappy black fruits and firm acidity. This is a perfect match for grilled foods this summer served cool - it's a lovely wine and a great value! David Lillie
(From 60 to 70 year-old vines in "Le Planis," 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre) The 2016 Creve Coeur Sablet has all the elements we love in sothern Rhone wines: organic/biodynamic farming, old school fermentation in foudre and concrete, stem inclusion. Dark-toned, nearly heady aromatically, with black and blue fruits, lavender, blackberry, cherry pit on the nose. Dense purple robe. Plum, cassis, blackberry, black pepper and garrique on the palate. Real sense of the structural elements from the stems and limestone soils. Medium tannins and good poise for a decidedly southern wine. Long finish. Good energy for the concentration with a fine core of minerality within. Fabulous with pan-roasted lambchops and sheep's milk cheese. Delicious now, but should gain in complexity with time in the bottle. John McIlwain