Pinon harvest team 2013

New Arrivals from the Loire: Pinon 2012 Brut Non-Dosé, Breton, Closel, Great Sancerre from Vincent Gaudry and More!

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It makes us very sad to write about our friend François Pinon who passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, but I'm sure he would be glad to know that people all over America will be enjoying this beautiful Vouvray Brut, both as a young wine and as a superb mature wine over the next 20 years or more. Our notes from the original release: "The superb 2012 Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. 2012 is a beautiful year for this wine as the bright fruit and firm acidity of the vintage contribute to the elegance and structure of this cuvée. The wine shows aromas of creamy lemon, pear, brioche, fines herbes and stone, with pear, green apple. mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of dried herbs, citrus pear and stone flavors on the finish. This very young wine will develop nicely in the glass and will cellar beautifully for twenty years or more." We tasted the re-release last winter after 7 years "sur-lattes" and it is just a sensational wine showing amazing complexity and perfect balance for long-term aging. This is a one-time limited release with no additional wine available, arrival week of 2/22. Thank-you François and Julien Pinon!

Another wine that impressed us greatly last winter in France was the superb 2018 Chinon "Les Beaux Monts" from Domaine Pierre et Catherine Breton which has just arrived in NY.  Produced from old vines on clay/limestone hillsides in Beaumont-en-Veron, the Breton's vinify this wine to accentuate the lush fruit for enjoyment as a young wine. 2018 is a perfect wintage for this cuvée which shows great elegance and concentration with bright acidity and round tannns  - this beautiful natural wine is highly recommended for drinking over the next five to eight years. From organic and Biodynamic farming, with minimal added SO2 before bottling.

Pierre and Catherine Breton...a few years ago.

 

Evelyne de Pontbriand

Since taking over the estate from her mother in 2001, Evelyne de Pontbriand has taken the Domaine du Closel in Savennières to the highest level, and now produces some of the worlds' finest Chenin Blancs. Evelyne converted the estate to organic farming, certified in 2006, and to Biodynamic agriculture, certified in 2015. "The first priority of the work that we do is to maintain the biological balance and respect the natural cycles of the ecosystem. Working the soil and leaving natural grasses to grow allows us to respect the ground. Micro-organisms in the ground are active; oxygen circulates and allows for an optimal exchange between the ground and the vines. This is how we honor the terroir."  In 2018, a great vintage for the Loire Valley, the domain's top cuvée, the "Clos du Papillon," is particualrly outstanding and we're happy to offer it at a low, net price! Vinified dry, the wine shows extraordinary concentration and depth combined with great minerality and acidity - although it is superb now, the wine should drink beautifully over the next 20 to 30 years.

Vincent Gaudry (Photo: Alice Feiring)

Sancerre is one of those French appellations, like Chablis, that sells by itself - easy to pronounce (unlike Bourgueil) and reliably inoffensive, even poorly made wines sell like crazy in restaurants and growers have little incentive to work well in the vines and more naturally in the cellar. Happily there are a few producers who proudly work differently, producing distinctive wines of terroir, and over the last few years our favorite has been the soft-spoken and thoughtful Vincent Gaudry.  Vincent took over the family estate in 1990 at the age of 16 (!) and soon converted the 9 hectares to organic and then Biodynamic farming. There are eight hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and one of Pinot Noir and Pinot Fin, on the three main soil types of Sancerre. New plantings are all massale selection from a parcel of 90 year-old vines, harvesting is by hand, fermentations are with wild yeasts and aging is in vat or old barrels. Two of Vincent's superb 2019s have just arrived: the "Melodie de Vieilles Vignes" from 50+ year-old vines on clay/limestone (Terres Blanches) soils, and the 2019  "Constellation du Scorpion," from a small parcel of old massale selection vines on silex soils over limestone that is fermented and aged in old barrels. Both of these outstanding Sancerres will drink beautifully now and over the next five to ten years. These are "serious" wines that are highly recommended, and much loved by our friend Pascaline Lepeltier of Racines NY (Meilleure Sommelier de France 2018, MOF), see her notes below.  (And look out for the superb Gaudry red Sancerres (Pinot Noir and Pinot Fin), arriving later this spring.)

Natural wines from the Mosse and Menard families in Anjou!  The younger generations are producing beautiful natural wines at these two important organic estates in Anjou. From Joseph and Sylvestre Mosse comes the second edition of their delicious "Bangarang" Primeur made entirely from old vines of Pineau d'Aunis - it's very light in body and low in alcohol at 11.5% but very high in delicious, bright berry fruit enjoyment! The Menard family at Domaine les Sablonnettes - Christine and Joel and son Jeremy - are certified organic and Biodynamic and were early exponents of winemaking with zero or minimal SO2. Long before the phrase "natural wine" existed, the Ménards were making pure and beautiful natural wines, and they quietly continue doing so, without fanfare or hashtags. Their 2019 "Menard le Rouge," named after the first winemaker in the family who was a bit "revolutionary," is a delightful blend of Gamay, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc...

Joseph and Sylvestre Mosse
Jeremy Menard, now in charge at Sablonnettes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chateau de Coulaine

Chateau de Coulaine, with the young Jean de Bonaventure in charge, is one of our favorite producers of Chinon. A family estate since 1470 (!) they have been practicing organic and Biodynamic farming since 1994 and possess great terroirs, especially in the vineyards of "Les Picasses" and "Clos de Turpenay." We love the Coulaine 2017 Chinon "Les Picasses" from a parcel at the top of the vineyard with southern exposure, on the classic clay/limestone "tuffeau" in Beaumont-en-Veron. This is a dense and powerful Chinon that will age beautifully, but will drink well young, showing the classic Chinon aromas typical of the 2017 vintage. The estate's "Domaine" cuvée, from both clay/limestone and sandy gravel soils, is always a great value - in 2019 and 2019 the wine shows an extra layer of ripeness, making it perfectly delicious for drinking over the next few years.

Wines are in stock, except 2012 Pinon Brut Non-Dosé which arrives 2/23 and Gaudry which arrives 2/19. Please allow 2 - 3 days for pick-up/shipping.

Pinon, François 2012 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé (7 yrs sur-lie)

The re-release of the Pinon 2012 Brut Non-Dosé is drinking beautifully now, after 7-plus years on the lees. Even at my advanced age, I plan on cellaring a case of this very special wine for another ten to twenty years.

Here is our original review: François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. 2012 is a beautiful year for this wine as the bright fruit and firm acidity of the vintage contribute to the elegance and structure of this cuvée. The wine shows aromas of creamy lemon, pear, brioche, fines herbes and stone, with pear, green apple. mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of dried herbs, citrus pear and stone flavors on the finish. This very young wine will develop nicely in the glass and will cellar beautifully for twenty years or more - a few years ago we tasted a 1976 that was sensational.  David Lillie

  • white sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Coulaine 2017 Chinon Les Picasses

This is a superb "les Picasses" from Jean de Bonnaventure at Chateau de Coulaine, which has been practising organic and biodynamic agriculture since  1988. The parcel is at the top of the vineyard with southern exposure, on the classic clay/limestone "tuffeau" in Beaumont-en-Veron. This quite dense and powerful Chinon is aged in 15% new barrels and barrels of one and two wines. The 2017 is in a really nice place at the moment. Elegant tannins, pronounced mineral depth, with medium-weight and subtle black fruit and earth. All of the elements are in harmony here. A classic Chinon. 

  • red
  • 20 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pinon 2018 Vouvray Les Déronnières

The grapes for this new cuvée from Francois Pinon (first made in 2014)  used to be included in the Silex Noir, but this wonderful vineyard, the Pinon's best parcel on a hill-top directly above their cellar, much deserves to be bottled on its own.  The soil is clay over Turonian limestone, and the beautiful exposure gives ripe fruit that is normally vinified as a demi-sec. In 2018 it's fabulously ripe, dense and complex, and finished dry (for Vouvray) in 2018, with a technically sec level of 8 grams RS and 4.7 grams acidity. The wine shows elegant aromas of lime-flower, dried pear, lemon zest and stones. The palate is very supple and ripe, saline and mineral with round white fruits, citrus and herbal notes with impressive density and length. A great Vouvray with fantastic minerality  that will age beautifully!  Normally thought of as a fish wine, the flavors and texture of this wine will make it pair beautifully with poultry and white meats as well.  Highly recommended.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 24 in stock
  • $32.95

  • Organic
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Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2018 Chinon Beaux Monts

The Bretons make this beautiful Chinon from a clay/limestone parcel on high ground in Beaumont, just west of the town of Chinon. Picked by hand into small crates, the grapes are de-stemmed and undergo a 3-week fermentation with no additives, the wine is aged for one year in tronconic Grenier foudre, and is bottled with minimal added SO2. The 2018 is an outstanding example of this wine - tasted quickly last winter, the wine showed ripe, floral, lush red and black fruit aromas with a deep elegant palate and terrrific length of bright black fruits, minerals and firm acidity. Although this wine is normally meant to be enjoyed within about five years, I think that holding a few for ten to fifteen years would be quite interesting. Highly recommended! David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Closel (Château des Vaults) 2018 Savennières Clos du Papillon

"The Clos du Papillon is a small valley at mid slope, beautifully exposed southwest to the light of the Loire. There are schist, rhyolite but also quartz. The topsoil layer is very shallow (60 cm) which provides excellent drainage for rainwater. The vine growing conditions are difficult, forcing it to develop its roots deep in the rock cracks to draw nutrients. The climate in that parcel allows for a level of highly advanced maturity, with grapes that concentrate aromas under the action of botrytis.  The body and the very long finish make the Clos du Papillon a gastronomic wine to accompany lobster, scallops, smoked fish, Turbots, Saint Peter. It is also interesting with delicate white meats such as veal or capon, along with truffles or mushrooms. Classic mountain cheeses like old Salers, or 5 to 6 years old Comté are equally delicious with this great Savennières." -  Domaine du Closel.    2018 is a great vintage for the Clos du Papillon, combining excellent ripeness with bright acidity and great balance - the wine shows beautiful aromas of ripe pear and quince with honeysuckle, lime-flower and dried herbs with hints of smoke and earth.  The palate is superb, very ripe and dense with white fruits, citrus, almond and stone with very firm lemony acidity and mineral flavors. The finish is very long with bitter lemon and saline minerals. Drinking beautifully now, this should age perfectly, peak drinking perhaps to 2040 and beyond. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $47.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Gaudry, Vincent 2019 Sancerre Melodie Vieilles Vignes (7/26)

(Arrives 7/26) Domaine Vincent Gaudry, located in Sury-en-Vaux, has been organic and Biodynamic certified for man years. The 2019 "Melodie de Vieilles Vignes" is from 60+ year-old vines on kimmeridgian marl soils, and is fermented naturally with wild yeasts.  As Pascaline notes below, this is an oustanding Sancerre that we are proud to offer at Chambers Street— highly recommended! "Opulent, almost tropical nose with gentle notes of sage, anise  and kefir leaves. Much more focused and vibrant on the palate than the nose was suggesting. Acidity is on point from the start with a tension and saltiness as soon as the wine touches the lips, then develops more citrus than tropical, especially pink grapefruit, thyme, Asian pear that really lingers on the acidity. It is not a light wine, there is weight from the concentration of the vintage, but there is no lack of vibrancy or freshness. Really the old vines on limestone are doing their job!" - Pascaline Lepeltier 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Gaudry, Vincent 2019 Sancerre "Constellation" arrives 7/26

(Arrives 7/26) Vincent Gaudry's extraordinary Sancerre "Constellation du Scorpion" is from a small parcel of old massale-selection vines on silex soils over limestone and is fermented and aged in old barrels. (This is a Sancerre for terroir lovers, be sure to decant if drinking now.) "A bit closed on the nose, a little reduced, as expected for this cuvée on Silex. It is also more austere and restrained  on the palate, less broad and wild, more herbal than Mélodie. A great backbone of acidity with more bitterness, less fat and roundness than Melodie. Needs a decant. After 4 min in the glass, it opens up - very floral (seringa), and more on the white pomelo. Real aging potential - as silex tends to really ask for 2-3 years and more in bottle." - Pascaline Lepeltier.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Mosse, Agnès & René et Fils 2020 Vin de France Bangarang

(Last of NY Stock) The Mosse family's 2nd version of Bangarang in 2020 is 90% Pineau D'Aunis with 10% Cabernet Franc grown on clay/schiste soils in Anjou. 4 day whole-cluster maceration for part of the Pineau D'Aunis, direct press for the rest, 2 week maceration for the Cab Franc. 11.5% alcohol, 26 mg/l total SO2. Clear bright red color, aromas of ripe red fruits and white pepper, the palate is refreshing and bright with red currant, raspberry and earthy flavors with lively acidity - really a perfect match for some good charcuterie and a picnic in the park, just don't get caught with the open bottle..

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Sablonnettes 2019 Vin de France Menard le Rouge

From the label: "Millefeuille de trois cepages rouges de chez nous 'Cab-Gro-Ga.' Auguste Ménard, premier vigneron de la famille était surnommé 'Ménard Le Rouge' pour son côté révolutionnaire et sa moustache rousse"Roughly translated: A millefeuille (layered pastry) of Cabernet Groslot (Grolleau) and Gamay. Auguste Ménard, the first winemaker of the family, was nicknamed "Ménard the Red" for his revolutionary side, and his red mustache. This is a delicious and unique red that started with whole cluster Gamay grapes that were laid in a vat, covered with Groslot grapes about a week later, and finally a hefty portion of Cabernet Franc grapes a week after that. With the newest iteration, Chenin Blanc enters the mix too, though likely in small quantity, as it's still a red by all accounts. It's juicy, with medium body and very subtle silky tannins. Serve with a light chill. EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Coulaine 2019 Chinon Cuvée Domaine

This wine is an outstanding value in Chinon for current drinking. The estate is certified organic since 1997. The vines average 25 years-old and come from a variety of parcels around the estate on clay/limestone and on sand/gravel soils, vinified to accentuate the fruit and youthful enjoyment. There is a cold maceration in concrete vats with minimal extraction, fermentation with wild yeasts and aging in both concrete vats and old barrels. Minimal SO2 is used. The wine shows a deep red/black color and lovely aromas of black raspberry and cassis. The palate is supple and ripe with deep red and black fruit flavors with earth and minerals and with terrific length. Serve this lovely wine cool with white meats, grilled pork and lamb, green vegetables, charcuterie and fresh goat chesses, drink within 2-3 years. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pinon, François & Julien 2017 Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé

François and Julien Pinon make some of the finest sparkling wines in the Loire Valley. The superb Brut Non-Dosé comes from 45 year-old Chenin Blanc vines on Turonien limestone with topsoils of clay with silex. The fermentation lasts 4 to 6 weeks without added yeast or sugar. . The wine shows aromas of citrus peel, pear, green apple brioche, fines herbes, white flowers and stone, really quite elegant. The palate is creamy and dense, with pear, parsnip(?), stone, anise, mineral, herbal and bitter lemon flavors on the palate. (Sorry for the overwrought description, but the wine is extraodinary!) The mousse is fine and refreshing and there is fabulous length of white fruits and stone flavors lingering in the finish. This very young wine is superb now but is a great candidate for extended aging - for twenty years or more - a few years ago we tasted a 1976  Pinon Brut that was sensational!  Highly recommended! David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Pinon 2018 Vouvray Sec

A beautiful Vouvray Sec from our friends Julien and  François Pinon, which rarely makes its way to the US. The 2018 is a bit riper than usual at 9 grams/liter RS,  with bright aromas of lemon zest, stone, quince and honeysuckle. There is very firm acidity on the palate with citrus, stone, pine, earth and bitter almond with terrific structure and length. This should ideally be decanted or opened in advance if drinking now, and will be lovely in 10 years, or 20 years...  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic

Pinon 2018 Vouvray Les Trois Argiles

Another outstanding Vouvray from our friends François and Julien Pinon in Vallée de Cousse, the 2018 "Trois Argiles" shows subtle, complex aromas of lemon, pear, earth, lime-flower, wet stone and almond. There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, perfectly balanced with firm acidity, with mineral flavors, white fruits, lemon peel and herbal notes. The finish is very long with citrusy acids and saline minerals. this is a beautiful young Vouvray that is delicious now with fish or chicken in sauce, Asian cuisnes, vegetable patés, asparagus and mild cheeses. This will gain complexity and become dryer with age, drink at least until 2050. 22 gr/liter RS. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic