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Since the 2010 vintage it has been our great pleasure to feature the lovely wines from Yves Gros and family at Domaine Les Fouques, near Hyères. Located in a lovely hidden valley a few miles north of the Mediterranean, the Vallons des Borrels, the estate's vines are on hillsides below wild-boar infested forests - a diverse and wild environment. The vineyard shares the farm with pens of biodynamic birds - ducks, geese and guinea hens that fertilize the vines with a little help from a flock of sheep. Yves is now joined by his daugter Christelle and son-in-law Jacques Rapée, who brings his nearby parcels, also in biodynamic farming, as well as his great energy and enthusiasm to the estate. Les Fouques is truly a special place, and the wines, far from the normal commercial productions of Provence, are a complex and beautiful reflection of their origins. Their "Cuvee de l'Aubigue" and "Cuvee L'Estelle" are particularly delicious in 2019 - real wines of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next few years.
A year and a half ago we tasted the superb Folle Blanche, Melon de Bourgogne and Muscadets from a young grower named Yoann Gillot at "Les Vines Jardinés" and his first shipment has finally arrived in the US! 2018 is his first vintage and it's immediately evident that he is a major new talent in Muscadet. Yoann practices great farming using biodynamic techniques and is inspired by Yves Herody. Plowing is kept to a minimum to encourage soil life and pruning is Guyot-Poussard method for more healthy vines. Very important to us is his minimal use of SO2 - only 10 mg/l added to the Folle Blanche and zero added to the "Vin pour tous" - which brings a great freshness and purity to the wines. His Folle Blanche is from 50 year-old vines on Gabbro (one of our favorite Muscadet terroirs!) and the "Vin pour tous" (Melon de Bourgogne) is from 18 to 50 year-old vines on both Gabbro and Granit. They are both beautifully light and refreshing, perfect for summer sipping and dining!
Sandrine Henriot We're delighted to offer the wines of Sandrine Henriot at Chambers Street! Ms. Henriot took over 3.5 hectares of beautiful Biodynamic vineyards from our friends Roland and Joëlle Pignard in 2018 - her first vintage is a great one in Beaujolais and the wines are gorgeous. For the moment, Sandrine is making the same cuvées as the Pignards; a Beaujolais-Villages from 40 to 60 year-old vines on decomposed granite soils in high-elevation parcels above Morgon (we're waiting for the 2019), a 'Regnié from 50-plus year-old vines on alluvial clay soils, always giving a well-structured wine, and two Morgons from 60 year-old vines, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," northwest of Villié-Morgon. The 'regular' Morgon is aged in concrete vat while the "Fut de Chêne" spends ten months in old barriques. The estate remains certified Biodynamic by Demeter, with plowing by horse and minimal SO2 is used in vinification. The 2018s offered today have the depth and ripeness of this excellent vintage in Beaujolais, but remain balanced and show the beautiful framework of mineral and earth flavors that we loved in the wines of the Pignards. Serve them cool this summer with grilled chicken, pork or beef, and save a few to enjoy after a few years of aging, drink until 2028-2030. We look forward to enjoying the wines of Sandrine Henriot in the years to come!
"L'Aubigue" is a generously round and fruit-driven rosé made from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Vermentino grown on soils of clay and schist near Hyères in Provence. Yves Gros and his family have been practicing Biodynamic agriculture at the domaine since 1991, and this meticulous care for their soils shows in the exquisite mineral depth of this cuvée. The 2019 is a beautiful pale salmon color and offers complex aromas of peach skins, raspberry, wild flowers, brown spice, and grapefruit pith. The palate is supple with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is long, suave and awash with citrus and stone, hinting at a nascent complexity that should reveal itself after a few years of cellaring. Another fantastic "Aubigue" Rosé that we will happily sip alongside salads, mild cheeses, and ceviche this summer!
Domaine les Fouques has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. The "Cuvee L'Estelle" is their best rosé, from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle grown on the unique terroir of "Côtes de Provence - La Londe." Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more complex expression of fruit and terroir. The 2019 is a subtle and beautiful wine with a bit more Rolle (Vermentino) than usual in the blend, showing a very pale pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry. The palate is elegant and silky with stone and saline mineral flavors beneath peach, wild strawberry, brown spice and citrus peel. The finish is refeshing and long with nice density. This is a lovely rosé of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next three years. Serve with grilled fish, pork and chicken, salade Niçoise, or just sip by itself. David Lillie
The Cuvée Aubigue Blanc from Les Fouques is made from 80% Rolle (Vermentino) with 10% Clairette and 10% Ugni Blanc. It's a delicious, full-flavored Provençal white with complex aromas of apple and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, candied citrus and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. A great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. Certified biodynamic (Demeter), wild-yeast fermentation.
"C'est Tous les Jours Dimanche" is a beautiful Folle Blanche (aka Gros Plant) from the young and very capable Yoann Gillot, grown on his new 3.5 ha estate in Monnières on slopes above the river Sèvre. Yoann is doing great vineyard work using organic and biodynamic methods and is using minimal (1 mg/L) SO2, added one month before botling, which bings a great purity to his delicate and very terroir-expressive wines. The 2018 Folle Blanche (his first vintage) is from 51 year-old vines on Gabbro soils in organic farming since 2000. The wine shows subtle aromas of stone, citrus, melon, almond and anise. The palate is bright and refreshing, with a very slight petillance, with citrus, herbal and mineral flavors, pure and delicate, finising wih stone, citrus and white fruits. Serve this delightful wine as an aperitif or with light meals of salads or quiche, goat cheeses and fried or broiled fish. Highly recommended! David Lillie
The 2018 "Tous Pour Un et Vin Pour Tous" is made from 18 to 50 year-old vines of Melon de Bourgogne grown on Gabbro and Granit soils in Monnières - a Muscadet without the AOC. Organic and biodynamic farming, in conversion, zero added SO2. This is a beautiful "natural" Muscadet from the talented Yoann Gillot at Les Vins Jardinés showing bright lemon/lime, almond, floral and white fruit aromas. The palate shows nice density and earthy white fruits, citrus and almond, quite mineral and showing the unique profile of Melon on Gabbro soils, finishing with lemony acids and mineral flavors. Delightful with seared scallops with anise and lemon. Highly recommended for lovers of natural wines! David Lillie
Sandrine Henriot's parcel in Regnié has more clay in the soil than in Morgon and always gives a well-structured wine. The 2018 shows a deep black/purple color and high-toned aromas of blackberry and black raspberry with violet and citrus peel, quite elegant. The palate is supple and deep but not heavy with lovely black raspberry, cherry and raspberry confit, quite sapid and long with firm acidity and finishing with lingering red fruit and mineral flavors. Delicious now this will open up over the next few years, drink until 2028. David Lillie
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Sandrine Henriot at Chambers Street. The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The 2018 shows a bright, deep black/red color and a very perfumed nose of ripe strawberry and black raspberry fruit, quite floral and fresh. The palate is round and supple with a lovely melange of sappy black and red fruits with earth and spice. This needs to open a bit but is already a delicious Morgon that will accompany charcuterie and grilled foods this summer, peak drinking 2022 - 2026. David Lillie
The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon, formerly belonging to Roland Pignard. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The cuvée "Fût de Chêne," like the Pignard "Tradition," spends 10 months in old barrels after aging in vat. The 2018 shows a deep red/black color and a bit of reduction on opening followed by elegant aromas of ripe strawberry and raspberry. The aromas are a bit brighter than in the regular Morgon, and the palate shows the extended aging, being a bit more elegant and long than the regular cuvée, with earthy strawberry and raspberry fruit with a long finish of minerals, firm acidity and pretty red fruits. This will age nicely, but is delicious now, try it with grilled pork or lamb this summer. David Lillie