Champagne, Rhone, and other French wine from Private Collections

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**These wines will be available for pick-up or delivery on Friday, Nov. 16th.

Agrapart NV Avize Grand Cru Extra Brut Complantée b16

This wine is based on the three classic Champagne varieties with the addition of Arbanne, Pinot Blanc, and Petit Meslier. The vines are planted in the "La Fosse" vineyard, the same vineyard that gives us the fabulous cuvée Vénus. The idea behind this wine is to see if terroir trumps variety, the ancient varieties sort of cancelling each other out to reveal greater expression of minerality. The wine is outstanding with fennel and red fruit notes on the nose, very fine mousse, and a beautiful, chalky finish. In general, these ancient varieties can yield a rustic Champagne, but, as we'd expect from Agrapart, this wine is the soul of refinement. (dosage: 5 grams) -Sophie Barrett

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Bedel NV Champagne Dis Vin Secret

What can we say? At a recent tasting of exclusively biodynamic wines, the Champagnes from Bedel blew us away yet again. Certified biodynamic since 1998, the third generation is about to enter the fold of winemakers at Bedel. In the village of Crouttes-sur-Marne, Bedel's eight hectares are planted mostly to Pinot Meunier. "Dis, In Secret" is from limestone soil and the wine has broad, vinous, Pinot Meunier character, a sweet tone to the nose, and a long finish full of mouth-watering acidity. -msb

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Domaine Paul Autard 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Cote Ronde

24 hectares of vines. Cote Ronde: Grenache 50%, Syrah 50%; aged 18 months (including malolactic) in new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.

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Bosquet des Papes 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition

The 2007 Tradition is a bit more forward than usual showing ripe black and red fruits with spice, herb and gamey notes. A lovely young Chateauneuf for current drinking, it has enough structure to develop over the next 8 to 10 years.

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Gonon 2009 Saint-Joseph Rouge

(From 3.5 hectares in Tournon, 1.2 ha purchased from Trollat at St-Jean-de-Muzols and the rest in Mauves, including some very old vines.) Another great effort from Jean and Pierre Gonon, similar to the superb 2005. Intense aromatics of violets, black cherry and licorice with hints of cocoa and musk. Very deep blackberry and blueberry fruit on the palate. This is fabulous now even with the good tannic structure and acidity in the finish. Drink over the next six months for the gorgeous fruit, then keep it for 5 or 6 years says Jean, peak drinking perhaps 2017 to 2025. This is one of the finest Saint-Josephs and one of the most traditional wines of the Northern Rhône.

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Monpertuis 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Classique

Paul Jeune of Domaine Monpertuis uses at least 75% Grenache in his cuvee classique, which gives the wine a wealth of juicy mixed berry fruit on the nose and palate. The remainder of the cepage is Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault. The old vines at Monpertuis (between 60 and 110 years!) impart depth and great concentration to the wines. The objective with the cuvee classique is to make a Chateauneuf that can benefit from some time in the cellar but that has approachable tannins and can be enjoyed young as well. The wine is very skillfully balanced; its well-integrated and relatively moderate alcohol coming in at 14% and melding quite compellingly with the other flavors and textures of the wines. A rare treat! -MSB

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Usseglio, Pierre 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

21 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache75%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 6%, Cinsault 5%, and 4% Counoise and Muscardin. Aged 18-24 months in large barrels and bottled unfiltered.

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Vieux Telegraphe 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape

My first visit to Vieux Telegraphe was on my birthday in 1993, and I bought two cases of the 1990. I therefore admit that I have a sentimental attachment to the wine (and a couple of bottles left in the cellar), but I’ve always loved the wine on it’s own merits, and still think that his Majesty RP has given the wine an unfair shake (and a mere 89 points). It’s true that Vieux Telegraphe has never gone for the sure-to-score-a-zillion-points-blockbuster. The house style is much more restrained and elegant than the recent top-scoring, Port-like monsters of Chateauneuf; by contrast Vieux Telegraphe transmits the essence of stony Chateauneuf terroir along with old-vine Grenache and Syrah without overwhelming your palate or your dinner. As with many other Grands Vins, I happen to like Chateauneuf best with some serious age; this wine is an unequivocal treat. JW

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Vieux Telegraphe 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape

54 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache 65%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 15%, and 5% Cinsault and others. Aged 18-20 months in concrete and large barrels, and bottled unfiltered.

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Ardoisieres 2013 IGP St Pierre de Soucy Argile Rouge

Every year I taste Brice Omont’s wines I find that I like them even more than the last. This year is no exception! His 2013 Argile Rouge is made of 80% Gamay and 20% Persan (grown biodynamically) and is fermented with native yeasts. The wine then spends nine months in three- to five-year-old barrels before bottling. It is a touch smoky on the nose with red raspberry compote, pomegranate seeds, and a hint of rhubarb. On the palate it is lean and mineral driven with a lip-smacking acidity. This wine is incredibly pure and would pair well with all kinds of fatty foods. I’m thinking grilled pork belly at a barbecue! Tim Gagnon

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Ganevat 2012 Arbois Chardonnay "Dolium" (Anfora)

From 60 year-old Chardonnay vines grown on marl soils, fermented with skin-contact and aged in large Italian amphoras for 30 months without added SO2.

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Dominique Lucas (Vignes de Paradis) 2014 Savoie Chasselas de Marin

This was perhaps my favorite wine I had tasted while visiting. The Chasselas for this cuvée is planted in granitic soils with glacial morass definitively making it the most mineral-driven of his wines, but it doesn’t lack any of the opulence found in the others. Deep aromas of yellow citrus fruit still on the tree and a hint of honeysuckle rise from the glass. On the palate it opens with honey-tinged, creamy tropical fruit and bright citrus and gives way to a rush of minerals that lasts seemingly forever. All of his wines seem to build on the finish, but this is downright impressive. Tim Gagnon

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