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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.
We're happy to have back in stock the outstanding wines from these three over-achieving domains in the south of France, each one producing authentic wines of terroir be it from the foothills of the Pyrenees, the high-elevation granite soils of the Roussillon or the mountainside schists of Saint-Chinian.
Régine and Jean-Joseph Aurisset of Chateau Lapuyade/Clos Marie-Louise produce sensational dry, moelleux and dessert wines from Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng on their Biodynamic estate deep in the hills of Jurançon, southeast of Pau. The soils are primarily "poudingue," a conglomeration of calcareous stones and gravel deposited during the formation of the Pyrenees, with sandy clay topsoil. The Aurissets prefer a very full-bodied style of Jurançon - all their wines are aged in used barriques with late-harvested grapes giving an amazing complexity to the dry wines and a phenomenal richness to the moelleux Petit Manseng and the amazing dessert wine, the Cuvée Marie-Louise. Of particular note is their new Jurançon Sec, the Cuvée Dentelle, made from 100% Petit Manseng - it's an extraordinary wine and an adventurous food-pairing, either for current drinking or long aging!
For many of our Chambers Street regulars, Eric and Corinne Laguerre's wines need no introduction. His white EOS Blanc made from Grenache Blanc, Maccabeo and Vermentino is, in my opinion, the best under $15 white in the store. Laguerre's entry level reds are perfect for all occasions, with the softer palate of the Carignan/Syrah blend "Le Passage" contrasting nicely with the sharper, spicier EOS Rouge. Then, there is the special Le Ciste Rouge offering, a Châteauneuf-d-Pape of the mountains, which is accessible and delicious in it's youth, and well worth aging for anywhere from 3-10 years. Eric has been farming without pesticides or herbicides for decades, and, speaking of regenerative agriculture, he hasn't plowed in 20 years! His vineyards are beautiful and full of life, and the wines are as vibrant as the place and the people. (EL)
The soft-spoken Thierry Navarre is one of the champions of authentic natural wines in the Languedoc. His beautiful "gardens" are on steep slopes high above Rocquebrun, in Saint-Chinian, on soils of brown schist, where he tends old vines of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache as well as forgotten varieties such as Oeillade, Terret and Ribeyrenc. The two reds on offer today are delicous blends of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah that are superb accompaniments to any hearty cuisine, with the Cuvée Ollivier showing great depth and complexity from Thierry's oldest vines - and it ages beautifully for ten to fifteen years. His Lignières Blanc is a delicious taste of the past made from Ribeyrenc Blanc, Grenache Gris and Clairette du Languedoc, and his Vin de Grenache echoes the styles of the 19th century - it's a slghtly sweet and oxidative "orange" wine that's insanely delicious - try it if you dare!
All wines arrive Tuesday 1/14, and needless to say offer exceptional value!
A note about tariffs: Most of the wines in this email were subject to the 25% tariffs imposed in October on EU wines at 14% alcohol or below. We have lowered margins to keep the prices reasonable - but the proposed 100% tariffs on all EU wines will make importing beautiful wines such as these impossible - and, most importantly, will result in the loss of thousands of jobs in importing, distribution, retail stores and restaurants across the US. Please write your congressional representatives and Senators, urging them to oppose these ridiculous and counter-productive tariffs!
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 2017 is no exception. Produced from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng, the wine shows a bright gold color; ripe aromas of exotic fruit, lemon zest, butterscotch, 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, but this is really a unique and intense bottle of Jurancon! Serve with chicken or fish in sauce, full-flavored cheeses, patés and Asian foods. (PS - at 14.5% alcohol this wine escaped the first round of tariffs - enjoy it at $13.99 while you can!)
Régine and Jean-Joseph Aurisset of Chateau Lapuyade/Clos Marie-Louise produce sensational dry, moelleux and dessert wines from Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng on their Biodynamic estate deep in the hills of Jurançon, southeast of Pau. The soils are primarily "poudingue," a conglomeration of calcareous stones and gravel deposited during the formation of the Pyrenees, with sandy clay topsoil. The Aurissets prefer a very full-bodied style of Jurançon - all their wines are aged in used barriques which gives amazing complexity and phenomenal richness to the 100% Petit Manseng Cuvée Marie-Louise. This is a superb Jurançon Moelleux, harvested in late December, about 90 grams/liter of residual sugar. Wonderfully complex aromas of apricot, candied citrus, flowers and exotic fruit with a hint of vanillin. Lemon confit, apricot, brown spice and chalky acids on the palate. A young wine that is gorgeous now but perhaps best in five to ten years. With more acidity than Sauternes, this is a great match for foie gras, lemon tarts and strong cheeses, and for apple and mince pies on Thanksgiving! Absolutely superb! (The wine drinks beautifully for weeks, re-corked in the fridge.) David Lillie
Eric Laguerre's parcels for this cuvée are planted on plateaus fringed with flowering "ciste" bushes and wind swept trees. The Pyrénées loom in the distance and the afternoon sun reflecting off the decomposed granite gives his vineyards a sort of shimmering quality. Eric's bottling of "Le Ciste" is a faithful interpretation of each of these elements plus Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvèdre - some de-stemmed and some fermented on whole-clusters, separately, then aged for a year in barrel before being blended together in fiber tank. The 2017 has all of the bold flavor and texture of grapes that were allowed to fully ripen without any worry about lost acidity. At his altitude and with the help of granitic soils, Eric has little reason to pick early; his wines are vibrant and always have a marvelous backbone of mineral acidity. This is his fullest wine, with rich tannins and brooding flavors of fresh thyme, black pepper, bitter chocolate, and blood orange buoyed by ripe cherry. And while this is a handy and humble "grab n' go" for barbecues, Moroccan-themed dinners, etc., this wine has all of the potential to make us giddy and glad that we saved a few for 2030. Amanda Bowman
We're very excited about this new cuvée from our biodynamic friends at Chateau Lapuyade in Jurançon. Made from 100% Petit Manseng from 45 year-old vines always tended in organic and biodynamic farming, it's a tiny special production in the best vintages - we're fortunate to get 5 cases.The 2017 shows a bright gold color and beautiful aromas of lemon confit, apricot, almond, exotic fruit and brown spice. The palate is dense and round with dried pear, citrus, apricot, hay and mineral flavors with perhaps a bit of residual sugar. The finish is very long with firm acidity under ripe white fruits, citrus and stone. Lovely wine! Serve with foie gras, fish in sauce, Asian foods, goat chesses and patés. Sensational now and should be very interesting in ten years. David Lillie
Clos Marie-Louise/Château Lapuyade is a beautiful biodynamic estate deep in the hills of Jurançon, south of Pau. Their grapes are harvested by hand, fermented with wild yeasts and aged in old barrels purchased from Yquem and Haut-Brion. Their 2016 Petit Manseng is a gorgeous wine and a sensational value. Deep floral honeyed apricot, citrus confit and caramel aromas with sweet fruit on the palate—lemon oil, exotic fruit and brown spice lifted by firm acidity. Terrific length. With a few days open, more exotic fruit, pineapple and lychee emerge and the wine softens into something wonderful. Approximately 70 grams/liter residual sugar. An outstanding Jurançon moelleux that will accompany fois gras, patés, cheeses, fruit desserts and is fabulous on its own. Highly recommended.
"Eos Blanc" is a rewarding discovery for anyone seeking an intriguing wine of terroir at an affordable price. Eric Laguerre's vineyards are planted at high-altitude in Saint-Martin de Fenouillet, where the acidic soils are composed of gneiss and broken-down granite with some pockets of quartz. This composition forms a sturdy backbone of dense minerality and abundant freshness to this "entry-level" cuvée - a testament to Eric's excellent farming. The 2018 is made from 40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Maccabeo and 20% Rolle (Vermentino). The increased percentages of Maccabeo and Rolle have made this lovely wine even more distinctive, showing subtle aromas of dried pear, almond, hay, citrus, herbs and stone. The palate is refreshing and clean with pear, citrus peel, almond, thyme and stone flavors, round and supple but balanced and dry and with nice density and length. This very versatile wine will pair with everything from oysters, to grilled fish to roast chicken, and is a lovely aperitif by itself. DL
Eric Laguerre's "Eos Rouge" is an elegant blend of 80% Grenache from 40-year-old gobelet-trained vines, with some Carignan and Syrah from soils of decomposed granite, gneiss, and some veins of quartz. Like "Le Passage," the grapes are fermented in fiber tanks with native yeasts for about two weeks, then aged in concrete. The beautiful 2018 shows bright aromas of cherry, strawberry and black raspberry with hints of blueberry and musk from the Syrah, quite pretty and pure. The palate shows a potpourri of ripe red and black fruits, with earth, cocoa and spice in a refreshing frame of cool acidity and mineral flavors. The high altitude and the primarily granite soils give Eric's wines a bright and vibrant character that makes them great pairings with a wide variety of foods - we loved it with a grilled burger from grass-fed beef, but grilled pork and chicken would be great as well. This is one of the best values in the store - thanks to Eric and Corinne Laguerre for their great organic farming and delicious, affordable wines! David Lillie
"Le Passage" is a hardy blend of 65% Syrah (de-stemmed) and 35% Carignan from Eric Laguerre's highest parcel (1,700 feet), on soils of decomposed granite. The grapes are pressed into fiber tank for fermentation with native yeasts, then aged in concrete with minimal added SO2. This cuvee is fuller-bodied than his "EOS Rouge," with the high-quality of his low-yielding Carignan on full display. Robust and rustic, with notes of blackberry, brown spice, plum and black currant on the nose which carry over to the palate. The slight citrus tang from the acid is delightful along with some soft tannins. This pairs fantastically with roast lamb, ribeye, and sheep cheeses.
From a vineyard co-planted with old varieties - Ribeyrenc Blanc, Grenache Gris and Clairette du Languedoc - Thierry Navarre made the 2018 "Lignières." It's a delighful wine with slightly spicy and floral aromas of white peach, almond, pear and honeysuckle, dry and dense on the palate though a little riper than the 2017, with mineral, herbal and dried stone fruit flavors with firm acidity - really lovely, a great aperitif or serve with fish or chicken in sauce, salads, sheep and goat cheeses. David Lillie
Thierry Navarre's touchstone "Laouzil" is a blend of equal parts Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah from old vines planted on brown schist ("Laouzil" in the local dialect) soils in the rugged mountains of Roquebrun (Saint-Chinian). The grapes are de-stemmed and aged in neutral barrel before bottling with minimal sulfur. The 2017 has a beautiful robe of deep red/black. The nose shows decadent aromas of spiced plums, blackberry patch, sage, and deeper notes of espresso. The palate is creamy with fine powdery tannins. Perhaps a bit softer than the 2016, with less high-toned acidity, but wonderfully balanced and accessible for drinking now. Flavors of black fruits, peppercorn, and savory herbs cling to a core of dense minerals on the long, persistent finish. This is a fascinating wine of terroir that Thierry says will be perfect in 5 years (though it is delicious now). Amanda Bowman
Thierry Navarre's Cuvée Olivier is a blend from old vines of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah in Thierry’s 12-hectare practicing organic estate situated in the AOC of Saint-Chinian, grown in brown schist soils that give density to the finished wine. On the nose it is deep and complex with dusty dark plum, boysenberry, pink peppercorn, sage, lemon oil, and clementine zest. The palate is poised and structured, leaning towards more smoky and mineral flavors but is balanced by fresh fruit. Blackberries, citrus, and savory herbs come to mind on the finish that lingers on the palate. On day two the palate is beginning to open up with more fruit redolent of pomegranate seeds and minerals. Drink now or cellar for 10 to 15 years. Truly a great wine, perfect with grilled meats, tagines and stews and a fantastic value.
Every few years Thierry Navarre makes a new batch of his late-harvest "Vin de Grenache" - this version is outrageous - it's an oxidative orange wine (!) showing a dark orange color and aromas of dried fruits - apricot and prune - brown spice, walnut, honey and wildflowers with slightly sweet palate of ripe black cherry, dried apricot, brown spice and minerals. (It can be kept for weeks re-corked in the fridge) Serve with dried fruits and nuts, strong cheeses or just enjoy by itself - only 36 bottles for the US. David Lillie