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During our search for organic Bordeaux a few years back, we were ecstatic to find Didier Michaud's Chateau Planquette! M. Michaud farms 1.7 hectares in Saint Yzans and Couquèques on high ground of gravel and clay over the limestone plateau, equal parts Cab and Merlot with a small percentage of an old strain of Petit Verdot, organic since 1978. The grapes are hand-harvested in small baskets and undergo a long fermentation with wild yeasts, with no attempt to extract - "more of an infusion" says M. Michaud, followed by two years in old barriques. There are no additives or corrections - the finished wine is analyzed at approximately 3 mg/liter total SO2. Certified organic by Ecocert and labeled simply "Planquette" Vin de France. In his quest to produce true wines of terroir, Didier says that his fermentations proceed almost entirely with the yeasts present in the vineyard, as he strives to keep his cellar and barrels free of other yeast strains. After a series of very short harvests due to frosts, thunderstorms, drought and mildew, 2016 finally brought an almost normal harvest and we are happy to offer a good quantity of this beautiful natural Bordeaux. Our first shipment sold out quickly - lovers of real Bordeaux, and soulful natural wines should buy this by the case, some to drink now and some for the next ten to fifteen years! (Arrives May 21st)
Were proud that all of our current-release Bordeaux are products of organic farming, which is sadly still quite rare, especially in the Médoc. Come-on Bordeaux, bring your soils back to life, make better wine and help fight global warming with regenerative agriculture! Here are a few of our favorites, in stock now, including the new vintage from Chateau Cru Godard. Cru Godard's vines grow on southerly exposed hillsides adjacent to the Saint-Emilion appellation and 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. Certified organic by Ecocert, it's a fantastic value!
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 usually no added sulfur. This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux. The 2016 vintage is wonderfully balanced, a wine both fleshy and tense at the same time. Ripe notes of cassis, blackberry, black cherry and plum are framed by lively acidity and herbaceous tones of blackcurrant leaf and slight menthol. This wine also displays a mineral edge, with graphite and wet stones present on the long and persistent finish. Perfect with a hamburger or a leaner steak, the 2016 Planquette is drinking very well now, but will surely improve with five to ten years in the cellar.
Château Cru Godard’s vines grow on southerly exposed hillsides adjacent to the Saint-Emilion appellation and 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 2015 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. This has good sap and good freshness and cries out for hanger steak with red wine shallot sauce or lamb chops grilled pink on the inside. John McIlwain
This biodynamically farmed wine is mostly Merlot (87%) with Cabernet Franc (13%). Showing off the terroir of gravelly and sandy clay soils, the wine is luscious and fresh with an energy unique to Pomerol. New oak is used but not in excess and sulfur is minimally added.
Le Colombier de la Métairie is Maison Blanche's second label. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from about 45-year-old vines located in Montagne, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and Libourne. The soils are clay-based, with a subsoil of limestone and gravel. Fermented with native yeast, the wine is aged for 15 months in cement vats and old barrels with minimal sulfur added before bottling.
One of the few Bordeaux estates to be certified Organic (since 2002), Château de Bellevue has 12 hectares of Merlot and Cabernet Franc on limestone and clay near Saint-Emilion. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermentations are with wild yeasts and the wine is bottled without fining or filtration. The 2008 has a dark ruby robe with a touch of bricking on the meniscus. A bit circumspect aromatically upon opening, but a quick decant (this has a touch of sediment) offers aromas of black currant, crushed herbs, and cigar box. The palate is dry, punchy, and racy with brambly hedge fruit flavors and a long, savory, mineral finish. John McIlwain
What a beautiful fresh Bordeaux! Certified organic since 2012, this estate has been making outstanding wines since the beginning, showing the expertise of the Clauzel family and superb terroir. This 2014 wine (a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is elegant and vibrant with a gorgeous bouquet of black and red berries, plum, exotic spices, leather and cedar box notes. On the palate, the wine is bright with acidity and minerality, and shows supple tannins with a long fresh finish. This is a vibrant Bordeaux which can accompany casual to fancy meals. Pair this wine with hamburgers, seared lamb, or with more elaborate dishes, such as roast beef or braised duck. A delicious wine to drink now or cellar for a few years. Caroline Coursant
The Clauzel family does not disappoint with this vintage! This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, planted on sandy gravelly soils and aged for about 15 months in barrels. Elegant and classic, the nose displays aromas of dark plum, crunchy cassis, prunes, nutmeg, light tobacco, dried violet petals and leather notes. On the palate, the wine is luscious and vibrant with good acidity, beautiful minerality and supple tannins. The finish is long with a delicate bouquet. A delicious Saint-Emilion to drink now or cellar for +10 years. Pair this wine with roast beef, grilled steak, nutty cheese or roasted lamb. Caroline Coursant
This is a delicious wine from a small biodynamic estate in Fronsac, next to Pomerol and St. Emilion. A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine displays a bouquet of ripe dark plums, crunchy cassis, tobacco, purple floral, and herbs de provence notes. With bright acidity and grippy tannins, the wine has a good complexity and persistent finish. Drink this wine now with braised duck, lamb shoulder, beef stew, or nutty blue cheese. You may also cellar the wine for several years (+5 years). Caroline Coursant
This biodynamic wine from the region of Sainte-Foy in Bordeaux is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The wine offers a bouquet of dark berries and plums with a touch of menthol, iron and spice notes. With good acidity and soft tannins, this Bordeaux wine has a delicious easiness to it.
The Le Geai "2015 "Pure Nature" is a natural wine with no added sulfur, certified Biodyanmic. Its unusual blend is 70% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 10% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a fresh, earthy and delicious Bordeaux, showing vivid aromas of black raspberry, red currant and cassis, ripe but bright; the palate is dense with cassis and red currant, quite lively and with underlying earth and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. For anyone seeking a more natural style of Bordeaux, with zero-added SO2, this is highly recommended! David Lillie
This second label of Chateau Coutet is a great value! With flavors of violets, red and black plum, dark cherry, tobacco, earth and musk, the wine displays an elegant bouquet that is lifted by bright acidity, grippy tannins and superb minerality. With a good finish, the lovely flavors linger on the palate. Pair this wine with a classic steak and fries, roast beef, and lamb shoulder. Caroline Coursant
Who said that no S02 red wine can't be classicly structured and delicious! L'Essai is mostly Merlot (90%) with a touch of Cabernet Franc (10%), planted on sandy gravelly soils. Aged for 15 months with no added sulfur, this wine showcases a beautiful structure of good acidity, light tannin and superb minerality while displaying a freshness of aromas, quite unique for this appellation. With a bouquet of juicy red berry, tart black plum, rose petals, white pepper, crushed rock and green tobacco, the wine is vibrant with its complex flavors lingering deliciously on the finish. Pair this wine with hamburgers, steak tartare or a plate of charcuterie and cheese. Caroline Coursant
This fantastic organically-farmed Saint Emilion is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, fermented in concrete tanks for 25 days and then aged for 22 months in first- and second-use barrels. With a beautiful minerality of clay and limestone, the wine shows the finesse and elegance of a great vintage. The bouquet is complex with dark berry, prune, plum, dry tobacco, cedar, violet and herbal notes and the palate is luscious with supple tannins, good acidity and a lingering finish. A delicious wine at a great value to drink with brisket, roasted lamb and hamburgers. You can also cellar the wine for several years (+7 years) if you would prefer to consume it later. Caroline Coursant