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*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
I have the upmost admiration for the triumvirate of grand French brandy; Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados. When distilled with care, aged with patience and bottled without any unseemly additions, they offer a spirited drinking experience steeped in centuries of hallowed culture and appreciation. Yet my love of good brandy extends beyond the traditional forms, and a good fruit distillate will always warm my heart. Today we're happy to offer four unique bottles from three renowned distillers/winemakers that have recently captured our imagination.
While not being a particularly cool guy myself, I can certainly appreciate all the cool folks doing cool things at PM Spirits; in our opinion the most interesting spirits importer in the country nowadays. I was thrilled to hear they started working with Roger Groult last year, as these fantastic expressions of Calvados have been available here for some time, but have perhaps not received the distinction they deserve. And I was also sure that there would be some fun one-off bottles in the mix as well. Lo and behold, not even a year has gone by and we have a single cask of Roger Groult 6 Year Old Calvados finished in Cantillon Kriek ale casks; a treat not only for lovers of French brandy, but all the beer geeks out there as well. Very cool indeed.
Next up are two exquisite Marc de Bourgogne from Julien Guillot at Clos des Vignes du Maynes. We've been selling and loving Julien's wines for over a decade now, impressed by his and his familiy's long-standing commitment to biodynamic farming and pure, unadulterated wines (more here). I've heard rumor of his fantastic Marc de Bourgogne from David and Eben Lillie from their trips to the domaine, but haven't had the opportunity to taste any until a few weeks ago. The history shared between Julien and our shop would be reason enough to stock these, but judged on their own merits the quality is truly outstanding, and undoubtedly some of the best Marc we have ever tasted.
The legendary Vittorio Gianni Capovilla is undoubtedly one of the most legendary distillers in the world. A Formula 3 racecar mechanic in the 1970s, he turned his attention to distilling in the 1980s and started making what is today the benchmark for grappa production. The years of work have lead to some pretty radical innovation and experimentation, both with the mechanical side of production (design of stills and other components of distillation) as well as the raw materials used. On a recent visit to the distillery I was thrilled to have the opportunity to taste the raspberry eau-de-vie (not available in this country; 50 kg of raspberries to make 1 liter!!!) as well as reacquiant myself with the wonderful Riserva da Sigaro, one of the most unusual products coming from Capovilla, and which is available today in limited quantity. Oskar Kostecki
As always, we cannot ship spirits out of state. The Items on today's email are evailable for in-store pick-up, delivery in New York City, or shipping within the state.
This a crazy one. This is grappa from Amarone grapes, distilled twice and then left to rest with tobacco leaves macerating in it. After that, it is distilled a third time (which essentially strips out all the nicotine) and then aged for a further 4 years in barrique. The tobacco notes are present, but not overwhelming, adding an herbaceous and slightly smoky element without overpowering the other components of the spirit. Dried apricot, sultana and plums work harmoniously with the oak spice, and there is an underlying vinous quality to the base grappa. Utterly delicious, and utterly unique. Oskar Kostecki
Cantillon is perhaps the most famous producer of Belgian lambic (wild fermentation, sour) ales in the world, and their Kriek, a maceration and barrel aging of lambic and cherries, is a prized acquisition for beer lovers across the world. This 6 year Calvados exhibits all the qualities of the fine apple brandies of the region, with wonderful notes of baking spice, apple peel, baked apple, and hints of caramel. Bottled at a slightly higher proof than usually, with a bit more punch. Yet there is also the other aspect, with the Kriek cask adding a note of red fruit (cherry and currant) and raisins, especially on the finish. A charming and very fun bottle, which continues to delight every time I drink it.Oskar Kostecki
Most Marc the Bourgogne that we've tasted has been thin, reedy, and quite underwhelming. A low-quality distillate made from the remnants of high-quality grapes. But not this one. A proper, intense, and delightful brandy, Julien Guillot's marc is deep and complex, and the 2004 vintage is a powerhouse. A beautiful combination of dried fruit (apricot, prune), oak spice and rancio (dried leaves, earth and a hint of varnish) character converge on a long and seamless finish. I was completely blown away by how good this is. A single cask, and limited to 240 bottles. Oskar Kostecki
The 1998 vintage of Julien Guillot's Marc de Bourgogne is an exercise in intensity and poise. The spirit is full-throttle, with deep notes of spice and rancio, think mushroom, earth, varnish and balsamic. It's almost too much; too intense, too rich and chewy on the palate, if only it wasn't as delicious as it is. The finish is insanely long. Incredibly impressive. Oskar Kostecki