2020 Roche Bleue "Belle D'Aunis" in fermentation

New Arrivals from the Loire: Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir from Roche Bleue, 2014s from Chevalerie, 2019 Luneau-Papin Muscadet "L" D'Or!

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Domaine de la Roche Bleue was established in 2008 by Sébastien Cornille, a native of Sancerre, with 3.5 hectares in Jasnières and 1.5 hectares in the Coteaux du Loir, and is now regarded as one of the top estates in the region.  The estate is certified organic and uses biodynamic methods as well, very much in the style of his neighbor in the vines, Eric Nicolas. Sébastien works the soils without deep plowing, harvests by hand, vinifies with wild yeasts and without additives and uses minimal SO2.

Sebastien Cornille, harvest 2018

The Chenins of Jasnières are quite unique, coming from a cooler spot, north of the Loire, along a smaller tributary, the Loir (tricky, these French) with vineyards on small hills of limestone with clay, silex and sandy soils. The wines are delicate and intriguing with aromas of white fuits, flowers, chalk, and honey. In warm vintages like 2018, which are now the norm it seems, the wines are more ripe and powerful and rival any Chenin Blanc. Sebastien's 2018 "Clos des Molières" is from one of the best parcels in Jasnières, a mid-slope vineyard of thin clay and silex soils on limestone. Fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques, this wine retains a more delicate, intensely chalky and earthy style, very dry and elegant showing complex herbal and mineral flavors with subtle white fruits in the background. It's a unique and fascinating Chenin to serve with a ceviche of fluke, grilled fish  or goat cheese.

Sebastien makes beautiful reds as well - "La Belle d'Aunis" from 100% Pineau d'Aunis and "Guinguette" from 80% Pineau d'Aunis and 20% Gamay. Both are vibrant and refreshing light-bodied reds with an extra dimension of beautifully ripe aromatics and velvety, high-toned sappy fruit on the palate in the very warm 2019 vintage.

2014 Bourgueils from Domaine de la Chevalerie! The wines of Domaine de la Chevalerie possess a somewhat indescribable quality - a unique balance between fruit and terroir flavors, enhanced by firm, bright acidity, giving the wines a unique feeling of vibrancy and life that seems to echo the vitality of the Caslot family itself. We're thrilled to have another shipment of 2014s from this superb Biodynamic estate! 2014 could be considered the last "classic" vintage for Loire reds - a difficult growing season saved by good weather in September giving wines that are beautifully balanced, fairly low in alcohol and very expressive of their terroir. Drink these beautiful wines in their youthful exuberance or cellar for 5 to 30 years depending on the cuvée. Missing from our last shipment was the unique wine from "Peu Muleau," a vineyard at the top of the slope on wind-blown sands of limestone with iron and silex - this is the earliest drinking single-vineyard cuvée, always on the raspberry and wild violet with very earthy supple tannins, but you can keep it up to 5 years to add nice secondary notes. We're happy to offer both the 2014 and 2015! And we thank the Caslot family for allocating a few more cases of the cuvée "Grand Mont!"  This is one of the greatest sites in Bourgueil - a high, south-facing slope on yellow Turonian limestone with shallow sandy clay soils, rich in mica. Wines from this vineyard are built to age and this rare bottling from Domaine de la Chevalerie is a beautiful example - really a perfect Bourgueil that will become a profound mature wine in ten to fifteen years - then drink until 2045 and beyond.

Vineyards of Domaine de la Chevalerie

More Muscadet - 2019 Luneau-Papin "L" D'Or!  This is one of the very greatest of Muscadet, from one of the estates that pioneered the resurgence of quality in the region (along with Guy Bossard, Michel Bregeon, Jo Landron, Marc Ollivier and a few others). We remember the 1976 that was kept 6 years on the lees, and some or you are still enjoying the superb 1989! 2019 was a vintage of heat and drought in the Loire and the "L" D'Or is a bit fuller and riper than usual, but wow it's just delicious and is drinking beautifully now especially with a full-flavored fish, lobster or white meats in sauce. Will it age for 20 - 30 years like the 1989? I'm not sure but I'd certainly like to find out! Very little of this wine was produced so Muscadet  lovers should grab some now

And speaking of Michel Bregeon, his estate is now in the very capable hands of Fred Lallier who has converted to organic farming and is making beautiful wines on his unique Gabbro terroir. His 2018 Domaine Cuvée is a complex and delightful Muscadet at a great price...!

(Wines arrive Jan 15th, but please allow 3 - 5 days for pick-up or delivery)

 

Roche Bleue 2018 Jasnières Le Clos des Molières

 From 30 year-old Chenin Blanc vines in a mid-slope parcel of thin clay and silex soils on limestone, yields of 25 hl/ha, certified organic with biodynamic methods as well, fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques. The wine shows subtle aromas of lemon verbena, dried pear and apple, chalk and stone, with hints of honeysuckle, almond and anise. The palate is very earthy and mineral with a chalky texture and subtle white fruits, citrus, and anise, scintillating and long, surprisingly delicate for a 2018.  It's a wine of contemplation that will open up nicely with time. "Richer than 2017 while retaining a beautiful freshness, with aromas of spices and very ripe fruits - ideal with white meats and cheeses" says Sébastien. Serve now with a mildly flavored ceviche, grilled fish, white meats and goat cheesees or hold for ten+  years. This is a lovely Jasnières, bravo to Sébastien Cornille.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Roche Bleue 2019 Coteaux du Loir La Belle D'Aunis

The talented Sébastien Cornille is making some of the most beautiful wines in Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir - The 2018 "Belle d'Aunis" is 100% Pineau d'Aunis from old vines in clay with silex soils over limestone in the Coteaux du Loir; 15 day semi-carbonic maceration, slow pressing and assembly with the "jus de goutte" followed by aging in 3 to 4 year-old barrels. The 2019 shows a lovely dark red/garnet color and penetrating aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, and violet, earthy and deep, really lovely. The palate is dense and ripe with a bit of skin tannin, but supple and bright with very sapid black raspberry liqueur  backed by firm and refreshing acidity in the long juicy finish. (Eric Pfifferling meets Pineau D'Aunis?)  This is quite delicious and should develop nicely with age. Serve with grilled pork or lamb, a farm chicken.  Sébastien says "more structured than the 2018, with very ripe black fruits and hints of spice - it will become more harmonious with a few months  of aging, drink with red meats and spicy or Asian foods."  Highly recommeded! David Lillie


  • red
  • 17 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Roche Bleue 2019 Coteaux du Loir La Guinguette

Sebastien Cornille's lovely "Guinguette" is made from a blend of 80% Pineau d’Aunis and 20% Gamay sourced from 30+-year-old vines in the Coteaux du Loir in organic/ biodynamic farming. It undergoes semi-carbonic maceration for 20 days in tank before the Pineau d’Aunis is pressed off to be aged in neutral barrique and the Gamay in tank. The 2019 is a beautiful version of "Guinguette"with pretty and very complex aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, violet, citrus, white pepper and earth, really lovely.  The palate is sapid and ripe with dense chalky  red fruits coated in firm earthy acidity. As with many 2019 Loire reds, the alcohol is higher than usual but it remains a thirst quenching and relatively light wine that should be served quite cool. Lovely with charcuterie, any lighter meat dishes and mild cheeses or just sipped by itself.  Highly recommended!  David Lillie

  • red
  • 14 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2014 Bourgueil Peu Muleau

Peu Muleau is located on the upper part of the hill, above the Domaine de la Chevalerie and just below the forest of chestnut, acacia, oak, pine and birch, on Cenozoic eolian sands with iron, clay and altered tuffeau. The vines are around 35 years old, and farmed biodynamically. The maceration last less than 20 days. Aging is done in a mix of tank and large used barrels with less and less oak. This is the earliest drinking single-vineyard cuvée, always on the raspberry and wild violet with very supple tannins, but you can keep it up to 5 years without a problem. 2014 Loire reds are really great wines, despite a tricky vintage for the producers. Yet with the best the wines are delicious, in a classic ligérien style. It means the Peu Muleau from the Caslot in just a winner, a terrific value and such a great Bourgueil to enjoy now!  Peu Muleau is always more linear than Les Galichets - it does not have the same clay-gravel flesh, dancing on its feet with great elegance. Very open now - a quick hour decant will be more than enough to enjoy it - the nose explodes with raspberry and cherry blossom, coriander seeds and Sichuan pepper. The ripe, salivating acidity is driving the palate, with supple tannins, and a lingering saltiness. It is ready to drink now, but cellared  for 4-5 years you will gain some nice earthy secondary tones. Pair it with  a beautiful pâté en croûte, duck rillette or a summer porcini risotto. 100% Cabernet Franc. Pascaline Lepeltier.

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2015 Bourgueil Peu Muleau

Peu Muleau is located on the upper part of the hill in Bourgueil, just below the forest, on Cenozoic eolian sands with iron, clay and altered limestone tuffeau. The vines are around 35 years old, and farmed biodynamically. The maceration lasts less than 20 days. Aging is done in a mix of tank and large used barrels with less and less oak. This is the earliest drinking single-vineyard cuvée, always on the raspberry and wild violet with very supple tannins, but you can keep it up to 5 years without a problem. Peu Muleau is always more linear than Les Galichets - it does not have the same clay-gravel flesh, dancing on its feet with great elegance. The 2015 shows a bright red color and aromas that are more earth than fruit with subtle raspberry, strawberry, citrus and spice. The palate is a lovely blend of earth and red fruits,fairly tight but quite elegant with firm acidity and mineral flavors blending with raspberry and violet in the finish. Warning - not a fruit bomb and best suited to those who like some rocks in their wine. Best to decant or cellar 3 - 5 years.  David Lillie  (Travelogue - On one of our early visits to the Loire, we were driving through the Coteaux du Loir, then headed south over the hills to descend into Bourgueil. This is the site of "Peu Muleau," as you come over the top of the hills, through the forest, with suddenly the Loire Valley revealed below, with the fabulous light, and the vineyards sloping gradually down to the river. ..)

  • red
  • 14 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2011 Bourgueil Les Galichets

Domaine de la Chevalerie's "Les Galichets" vineyard is on the lower part of the limestone slope just below the "Chevalerie" plot,  with clay -alluvial sand and gravel topsoils, rich in silex,  giving a wine that is more open and easy for early drinking.  The vines average about 60 years of age. The wine is aged in large old barrels, and bottled after 6 months unfined unfiltered. The 2011 is drinking beautifully now showing complex ripe plum and berry aromas with earth and brown spice. The palate is supple and round, the tannns velvety and soft with a minty freshness supporting the ripe fruit in the finish. Serve slightly cool with a pork chop in creamy mustard sauce.

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2014 Bourgueil Les Galichets

Domaine de la Chevalerie's "Les Galichets" vineyard is on the lower part of the Turonian slope just below the "Chevalerie" plot,  with clay -alluvial sand and gravel topsoils, rich in silex,  giving a wine that is more open and easy for early drinking.  The vines average about 60 years of age. The wine is aged in large old barrels, and bottled after 6 months unfined unfiltered. 2014 Galichets is an archetypal Bourgueil to enjoy now!  This wine is a fabulous mix of fruit and minerals, perfectly balanced and with terrific length: dense black/red color, with aromas that blend soil, stone and blackberry fruit with hints of cocoa and violet. The palate is dense and supple and round without any heaviness - a blend of stone  and ripe red and black fruits, continuing in the long, graceful mineral finish. This is a beautiful Bourgueil that can be enjoyed now with roast chicken, pork dishes, even a steak - or hold for ten to fifteen years for a mature experience. It's a fabulous value  - congratulations to the Caslots! 100% Cabernet Franc. David Lillie / Pascaline Lepeltier

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2014 Bourgueil Grand Mont

 "Grand Mont" is one of the greatest sites in Benais - a high, south-facing slope on yellow Turonian limestone with shallow sandy clay soils, rich in mica. Wines from this vineyard are built to age and this rare bottling from Domaine de la Chevalerie is a beautiful example. They started to produce it in 2009, and they consider it their grande cuvée. The wine ages in a one-year-old barrel and several older barrels for 7 months, bottled unfined unfiltered. 2014 Loire reds are superb - it was not an easy vintage for the winemakers, but the results were often fabulous, especially at Chevalerie, with a perfect balance of ripe black and red fruits with firm earthy acidity. The 2014 "Grand Mont" shows a very dark black/purple color with elegant aromas of black raspberry and blackberry with violet, earth, dark chocolate, citrus and game.  The palate shows silky tannins and complex red and black fruits - beautifully balanced with bright acidity and mineral flavours. This is really elegant and Burgundian, very long and built to last, really a perfect Bourgueil that will become a profound mature wine in ten to fifteen years - then drink until 2045 and beyond. Open the day before if drinking now, paired with a confit rabbit with cardamon & juniper served with roasted celeriac, or a coq-au-vin. 100% Cabernet Franc. David Lillie / Pascaline Lepeltier. 

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2015 Bourgueil Grand Mont

"Grand Mont" is one of the greatest sites in Benais - a high, south-facing slope on yellow Turonian limestone with shallow sandy clay soils, rich in mica. Wines from this vineyard are built to age and this rare bottling from Domaine de la Chevalerie is a beautiful example.  "This plot is just below the forest, the top part being on eolian sands, with more clay at the bottom. The tuffeau is not even 2 feet below. Vines are around 55 years old. Grand-Mont means high hill. This is the cuvée de garde of the domaine, macerated and aged longer (but never more than 10 months). Picked last as there is a cooler micro-climate allowing for hanging time, this is a dense cuvée for the estate. The texture is full right upfront, tannins are stonier with a remarkable freshness. I always decant young releases of this wine, but I would recommend to wait and enjoy them after 10- 30 years, as this is the point at which the wine begins to truly reveal itself."(PL)  Despite the ripeness of the vintage, the 2015 Grand-Mont is subtle, quite closed and tight at this point in its life. The aromas are complex and fascinating with some bright red fruits followed by blackberry, very earthy, with violet and hints of licorice and game. The palate is elegant and intensely mineral with firm acidity under silky blackberry, plum and cassis fruit, austere and stony, perfectly balanced and obviously built to age. This is quite special - I would agree with Pascaline, wait ten years then enjoy until 2050!  David Lillie

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Luneau-Papin 2019 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "L" d'Or Granit Vallet

2019 is a  great vintage for the Luneau-Papin "L" d'Or in a ripe, dense style that makes it a superb Muscadet for current drinking and medium-term aging as well.  The wine shows a fairly ripe gold color and complex aromas including pear, almond, stone, citrus and exotic fruit with anise and herbs. The palate is dense and long with ripe yellow and white fruits, almond and marzipan, really delicious, with the wine's unique granitic acidity hidden below the creamy, sapid fruit. The wine remains a good candidate for aging -  it's Luneau-Papin's only cuvee on a granite subsoil (granit a deux micas in Vallet) having a different character than the granite soils in Clisson or Chateau Thebaud. The vines are approximately 50 years old and and are farmed with organic and biodynamic methods. Vintages going back to 1989 of the L  d'Or are superb now, but this  very young 2019 would be perfect today with full-flavored fish dishes such as halibut and monkfish or with lobster and even white meats in sauce. David Lillie     

  • white
  • 16 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Brégeon, Michel 2018 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie

Fred Lallier is now in charge at Domaine Bregeon and is doing great work at this important estate - one of the leaders in the return to quality in Muscadet. Certified organic, the 2018 Muscadet is from average 40 year-old vines in Gabbro terroirs in and around Gorges - it shows distinctive aromas associated with this terroir - pear, stone, petrol, anise and mushroom, with lovely white fruits in this ripe vintage with hints of lemon confit and wet stone. The palate is round and ripe, framed in firm acidity and mineral flavors, with stone fruits, earth, almond, anise and citrus that continue in the long finish. This is a lovely Muscadet in a riper style that is quite delicious now and should open up nicely over the next five years. Please decant or open an hour in advance.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
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Chevalerie 2014 Bourgueil Bretêche

Bretêche (Domaine de la Chevalerie is the only estate claiming this vineyard name) is the easternmost vineyard, a rented plot on the border of Ingrandes-de-Touraine. On the southwestern exposed upper part of the mid-slope, the vines are planted on a meter-deep heavier clay with high mica content above the Turonian yellow tuffeau. The vines, biodynamically farmed, are between 25 to 55 years old. More powerful than Busardières with broader tannins, the wine maintains a great freshness. Hand-harvested and destemmed, the grapes are macerated for up to 20 days and aged in large used barrels in the magnificent underground cave dug into the yellow tuffeau for roughly 8 to 10 moths. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.  2014 is considered a great classic vintage in the Loire for Cabernet Franc, and it is indeed very good at Domaine de la Chevalerie, with fruit a little darker than the 2015 (this opposite to a lot of other estates in the region).  Ruby purple in the glass this cuvée as usual has more freshness, tension and a little austerity - 2014 enhances these typical quality of the wine! More open than the 2015, the nose has distinctive black cherry,  elderberry notes, Chinese badiane and spearmint. The palate is still deliciously youthful barely showing any evolution, with lean and brilliant acidity, and oolong-like tannins. It is already very-well structured and poised, not angular at all. Decant it 2 hours and serve it in Bordeaux glasses, or keep it 20 years or so - I would say it will reach another plateau by 2025. Enjoy it with a duck magret, the juice reduced with a touch of raspberry vinegar, or sweetbreads in a madeira sauce. 100% Cabernet Franc. Pascaline Lepeltier 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Chevalerie 2014 Bourgueil Cuvee Chevalerie (1/19)

We're big fans of the Caslot family at Domane de la Chevalerie, who  make soulful Bourgueils from organic/biodynamic vineyards on their superb terroirs.  The Chevalerie vineyard is on mid-slope Turonian limestone with clay and alluvial sand and gravel topsoils, rich in silex; the vines average about 60 years of age. 2014 is a superb vintage for the Cuvee Chevalerie which shows a lovely deep red color and fresh ripe black raspberry and cassis with black pepper, stone, prune and roast meat. The palate is well-structured and quite concentrated with complex black fruit liqueur, spice, bitter chocolate, licorice and truffle, with a long finish of sappy fruit and mineral flavors. This is a beautiful Bourgueil of terroir that can be enjoyed now with coq-qu-vin, steak au poivre and grilled lamb, best to wait  3 - 5 years, then drink until 2035 and beyond. Highly recommended.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $33.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur