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We are thrilled to see all your shining faces (or eyes at least) back in the shop again! Thank you for all of your well wishes and renewed excitement to be in the store once more.
We have several fun, new pet-nats and sparking wines to share with you this week! From Argentina, we've discovered an excellent biodynamic producer in Mendoza, Alpamanta, who has created a sparkling red Criolla that we're really enjoying. Think of this wine like a lighter, chilled red, rather than a rosé or white sparkler and drink it cool but not too cold to really enjoy all the texture and nuance. A perfect pairing for pizza (similar to Lambrusco!) or burgers on the grill.
We didn't think we would see the day that Neil Rosenthal would bring in a no-sulfur pet-nat, but when they chose the Pueyo 'Galipette' as the first in their portfolio we were very intrigued! This creamy sparkler is clean, fresh, and easy to love. The rise of organic farming and natural winemaking has exploded in recent years and this wine encourages us to think about the wonderful possibilities in Bordeaux!
Speaking of Pet Nats, the sensational 2020 Mosse family "Moussamousettes" has finally arrived! Always one of the most delicious and refreshing bulles of the year, this blend of Pineau d'Aunis, Grolleau and Cabernet Franc is alive and invigorating! 60 btls only, perhaps more later in the summer...(Monday 6/14 arrival in store)
Summery new wines from the Finger Lakes as well! Alas, there is no more of the Bloomer Creek rosé to be had, but thankfully we were able to secure a case of their bright, chillable Cabernet Franc, appropriately name 'Vin d'´Eté' or 'Summer Wine'. From Chambers Street Wines staple, Eminence Road Farm Winery, we have the latest vintage of 'Acidalia' the perfect warm-weather Bordeaux Blend. At only 11.5% ABV this wine has lots of freshness and mouth-watering acidity, but also has great structure and firm tannins to hold up to heartier/fattier fare.
From the West Coast we have two new wines from one of our favorite Oregon wineries, Division WInemaking Co. We can never resist a wine from the stunning and certified biodynamic Johan Vineyard so when we heard that Division was able to bottle some Chardonnay from Block 6 we had to bring in a few bottles. Returning with a new vintage is the 'L'Isle Verte', an elegant, mineral driven Chenin Blanc from the border between Oregon and Washington in the Columbia Valley.
A few returning favorites from Portugal have trickled in, along with a new arrival from Luis Seabra and Miguel Morais of Quinta da Costa do Pinhao in the Douro Valley. We'll be expanding the Portuguese section a bit in coming weeks so stay tuned for more!
A bright, crisp, summery white wine from vines that are over a century old! Chile's largely forgotten vines of the Itata Valley are some of the oldest in the New World, and are largely own-rooted, bush vines on granite-rich soils. The "Grand Itata Blanco" is a blend of 40% Semillon, 30% Moscatel, and 30% Riesling, direct-pressed, aged in neutral oak, and then rested in bottle for three months before release. The aromas of this wine leap out of the glass with just-snapped jalapeno, white lillies, grapefruit, tarragon, and lime. On the palate the acidity is vibrant and bracing, notes of freshly squeezed lemon, chamomile, crunchy peppers, and sweet basil. A great pairing with tortas and tacos! Michelle DeWyngaert
Eminence Road has been working with fruit from the Lamb's Quarters Vineyard for several years now, and the quality is consistently great. Located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake on soils of silt-loam and gravely loam. The grapes are foot-crushed as whole clusters and fermented spontaneously before the juice is moved to neutral French oak where it ages for about a year and then bottled by hand, unfined, and ulfiltered at only 11.9%ABV.
We are always excited when this beautiful Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc comes back in stock! The 'L'Isle Verte" comes from 45+ year old, own-rooted vines on the Willard Farms which sits on a fascinating mix of volcanic and basalt bedrock with quartz, lime silica, and glacial sedimentary topsoil which give the wine beautiful minerality.Notes of dried yellow flowers, potting soil, fresh thyme, fleur de sel, apricot, and dried hay. The acidity is bright but not bracing, a really beautiful Chenin! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Johan Vineyard remains one of my favorite sites in Oregon for it's consistently high-quality, and terroir-expressive fruit. The vineyard is planted on marine sediment with broken granite and the Chardonnay block that Division has selected is grafted with "suitcase" cuttings from Meursault. For the fruit that survived the fires and smoke taint, 2019 was actually a great vintage for the Willamette valley with a relatively cool summer, and cool, dry conditions during veraison which allowed them to pick well into October. The wine was aged in one 300L neutral Austrian barrel, and one new 500L French puncheon. The location of the Johan Vineyard along the Van Duzer Corridor brings in wafts of cool Pacific air and adds brightness and salinity to the wines. This is an intensely mineral-driven Chardonnay when you first open it with bright acidity, and after being exposed to air it blossoms and presents its creamy silkiness on the palate. I highly recommend drinking one now and saving one in the cellar for several years. Michelle DeWyngaert
This frizzante is 100% Ortrugo. A grape once used mostly as a blending companion to the more fancied Malvasia, it is known for articulated acidity, thus making it a perfect foundation for sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. In recent years, it has come out of the shadows and is frequently used for single-varietal wines, mostly coming from the region of Colli Piacentini in Emilia-Romagna, known for its limestone soil. The Bulli Ortrugo begins with vines of 10-50 years of age. Guyot trained. The grapes are picked in September and October. Native yeasts are used to ferment the wine dry, and after waiting over the winter months, grape must from the autumn harvest is added to induce secondary fermentation. This, of course, gives the wine a sparkle. Like all wines from Bulli, it sees no added SO2. When first poured, before getting air, the nose is crushed and chalky limestone. Released soon after are aromas of savory/sweet Jordan almonds, nectarines and blossoms, along with a trace of that original, almost smokey, minerality. The palate is salty, with flavors of firm pear, sage, and a very long, dry finish of fresh lemon zest. The color is that of homemade lemon-water. Contrary to what is said about Ortrugo, I didn't find this wine incredibly high in acid. Well balanced flavors and structure here. Paired very well with Friday night sushi. David Hatzopoulos
From a perpetual cuvee , vinified in barrel. The fruit comes from Cramant, Chouilly, and Mesnil. Upon first opening, the wine offers aromas of white flowers and lemon verbena, giving way to notes of chalk and sea spray. The palate is creamy-textured with a fine bead and lemon and golden apple flavors enrobing a mouthwatering, deeply chalky core. This is a shimmering, age-worthy blanc de blancs , that pairs incisive minerality with elegant ripe white fruit, and nuance from the perpetual cuvee of vins clairs. Beautifully rendered and a joy to drink. Highly recommended. John McIlwain
Quinta do Costa do Pinhão is an old winery in the Douro Valley now in its seventh generation, run by Miguel Morais, who took the estate into organic farming in the early 2000s. Miguel fell in love with his family's estate following a career as a Civil Engineer, and after returning to take over the winery, restarted use of the old cement lagars, brought in large old barrels, and took advantage of the gravity system that was already in place in the 19th century building. These wines benefit not just from the non-interventionist wine-making and organic farming, but also the guiding hand of Luis Seabra, famed Portuguese winemaker, and a friend of the Morais family. He has been helping with the winemaking here, and we're excited to be able to offer wines from this new project. The Branco has a bit of skin contact, with juice and skins together during fermentation in the open top lagars. There is a subtle amber hue, and its by no means tannic, but the inclusion of skins provides beautiful structure to the wine, playing nicely with the minerality from the famous schist terroir of the Douro Valley. A field blend, consisting of mostly Rabigato, Gouveio, and Viosinho. Aged in old barrels for one year, then an additional 9 months in stainless steel before bottling. A real treat! -EL
Palhete is the local name for a wine that is made in a farmer's style, by blending red and white grapes to create a low-alcohol wine to drink during the day. As founder Vasco Croft explains, there was no soda or beer back in medieval times, and water was not reliable, so the Palhete wines provided the only trustworthy hydration at the time. This particular blend is 80% Loureiro and 20% Vinhão. The 2019 is, in my opinion, the tastiest Palhete we've had since starting to carry the wine several vintages ago. The wine is very light in body, but with plenty of savory, crushed red berry character in the mid-palate. Drink with a light chill. -EL
Move over Lambrusco, this is the sparkling red you didn't know you needed! The Alpamanta vineyards are situated at over 3000ft elevation in the Ugarteche sub-region of Mendoza. Criolla Grande (a cross between País and Muscat of Alexandria) is made sparkling with the methode ancestrale creating a frothy, savory, gently tannic wine that is begging to consumed with pizza or sausage and peppers. When we first opened this wine fresh from the fridge it seemed relatively unexpressive, but after letting it come up in temperature (the way you would treat a pipeno with just a slight chill) we were well rewarded with notes of clove, raspberry, smashed purple plums, mulch, cocoa shells, and wild blackberries. Michelle DeWyngaert
Bloomer Creek Vineyard is lovingly cared for by Kim and Debra Engle using organic methods, no herbicides, and no irrigation.Depending on the vintage, the Cabernet Franc at Bloomer Creek gets a different treatment. In cooler years, like 2020, the fruit is left in mostly whole clusters and is aged in stainless steel for a lighter, fresher style with crunchy red fruit and brambly vines. Definitely meant to be chilled and enjoyed young!
A bright, frothy, Finger Lakes pet-nat! Bloomer Creek is proof that organic farming and natural wine-making really is possible in the Finger Lakes! This sparkling Riesling is bottled with a bit of juice from the 2020 slow-fermenting outdoor cask of Riesling as the 'liquer de tirage' and then released without disgorging leaving the wine with a hazy golden glow. Slightly off-dry giving it notes of juicy, slightly over-ripe nectarine drizzled with honey with plenty of acidity to keep it perfectly refreshing!
This is a vibrant Bordeaux-blend for summer! Clocking in at only 11.3% ABV it is full of acidity and freshness, but does not lack on flavor or grip. The Elizabeth's Vineyard is located on the Eastern shore of Seneca Lake on silty-loam over shale. The 2019 blend is 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The fruit is foot-crushed as whole clusters, with once daily punchdowns throughout natural fermentation, then pressed and moved to old oak barrels where it aged for nearly a year. Notes of stewed raspberry, dried rosemary and tarragon, dried roses, and forest floor on the nose. On the palate is tons of acidity keeping this light and ilfted, with grippy, tongue-coating tannins perfect for pairing with something fatty, fresh off the grill. This wine really starts to open up after an hour in a decanter, but is even more expressive after several hours or even a day. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a brand new release for the Hermann J. Wiemer winery! 100% Pinot Noir from the Western slopes of Seneca Lake. The grapes are pressed in a combination of whole cluster and destemmed bunches and left to macerate on the skins for 12-18 hours which gives it its bright coral hue. Fermented with indigenous yeasts to complete dryness. Notes of juicy, ripe cherry, raspberry, tarragon, and a touch of white pepper. The palate is ripe and medium body, with pleasant acidity. A great summer wine to enjoy with or without food. Michelle DeWyngaert
As the name suggests, this wine is an attempt at "doing nothing" to the juice (other than adding a very minimal amount of sulfur) and creating a juicy, fresh, chillable red for the Summer. The blend is 27% Pinot Noir, 23% Pinot Gris, 20% Gewürztraminer, 14% Pinot Blanc, 10% Chardonnay and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon; everything but the kitchen sink. The grapes are fermented whole cluster with 83% going through carbonic maceration to add that bright, fruity, floral character, and then aged in a mix of French and Oregon Oak, and stainless steel for six months, before bottling unfined and unfiltered.There were only two cases of this available, so if you're as big a fan of Fossil & Fawn as we are, you had better get one quick!
Anima Mundi is a project from Agustí Torello Roca, who also makes sparkling wines under the AT Roca label. Based in the Eastern Penedès, where Macabeu is the most important local grape and also at its most expressive. This pet-nat is from adjacent parcels of Macabeu and Xarel-lo on limestone soils, partially fermented in old 225L barrels and stainless steel before bottling to finish fermenting in bottle with no filtering, sulfur, or other additives. Mineral, linear, and totally refreshing, this the perfect sparkling wine for hot summer days or drinking before dinner! Ben Fletcher
A collaboration between our dear friend Pepe Raventos and a fellow winemaker from Sant Sadurni D'Anoia, in Catalunya, Francesc Escala. Can Sumoi is an old farm dating back to 1645, at 600m altitude. This is a pristine sparkling from Ancestral method, and technically Brut Nature. Montonega is the grape, a local name for Parellada (or perhaps a distinct clone of Parellada). Alcohol is 9.5%, and the wine is completely dry and airy. A really impressive wine for the price. Thanks Pepe! -EL
(Last of NY stock) The Moussamoussettes is back and our friend Maya at Louis/Dressner Selections says the 2020 is sensational! A Chambers Street favorite, this years rendition is a blend of Grolleau Noir, Cabernet Franc and Pineau d'Aunis from 35 year-old vines. Fermented in underground vats and bottled with 10 grams RS/liter, finished dry. Flavorful and vibrant, pulsing with ripe red berry fruit with hints of blood orange, grapefruit and sweet spice with lively and refreshing bubbles. Grab some before it disappears...
Though Christophe Pueyo is the 5th generation of winemakers to work with this estate, he has brought them in a new direction with conversion to organic farming (and more recently biodynamic practices), and is making decidedly un-classic expressions of St. Emilion. The 'Galipette' is a far cry from the Bordeaux Blanc we're accustomed to, but is instead a delightful, no additive pet-nat of Semillon and Muscadelle. These two varieties, typically the minority in dry, white blends, are the star of this frothy sparkler. Notes of chamomile and white flowers, soft herbs, and fresh bread on the nose, and a creaminess and richness that you might not expect from a no sulfur pet-nat on the palate. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the kind of Mâcon wine I spend a lot of time chasing - not just impeccably farmed (the Bonhomme domaine is cerified organic), but crisp and transparent. This is a paramount bistro wine, the kind of inexpensive white Burgundy that should be on every wine list in Paris. It's all there - the crisp green apple and yellow pear notes, the little touch of baking spice and the limestone freshness. The ripeness and energy of the 2019 vintage is on full display. So buy yourself some skate to cook in brown butter, finish it with some capers and a little frisee on the side and pop one of these open. It'll be almost like getting on a plane to France. Sam Ehrlich
Frantz Chagnoleau is one half of a Maconnais power couple - he makes some of the most compelling St. Verans being produced today, while his wife Caroline is the winemaker for Dominique Lafon's Macon property. This is absolutely terrific, especially considering the price. It's full of crisp stone fruit and citrus pith, without any apparent oak influence, and with terrific ripeness and mouthwatering texture. The minerality is exposed and quite intense - there would be no mistaking this for anything but Burgundy. Tremendous. Sam Ehrlich
Diptyque is located on 1 to 2 meters deep sand, gravel intermixed with clay soils on an old alluvial terrace closer to the Loire, at the foothills of the coteau. This terroir gives supple, fruit driven cabernet without being green or too simple thanks to the biodynamic farming of the domaine. Maceration is short, aging is usually short (4-5 months) and only in tanks. The first vintage of this cuvée was in 2003. This is the vin de soif du the domaine - hyper quaffable, you can serve it slightly chilled, pop it open to pair with pretty much every type of food (except iodine and oily fish) and even keep a couple of years!. If you don’t believe cabernet franc can be delicious, juicy, savoury yet fruity, just try this wine! The 2017, a little tight last year, is now a pure delight after a quick decanting or using large stems. Quite purple in the glass, the nose if full of wild strawberry, crushed raspberry and hint of black berry. You pick up some iris root, Thai basil and forest floor too. In the palate, it is ultra fresh, with great, black raspberry like acidity, more herbal and floral. Tannins are really gentle yet present, with a liquorice root feel. Even if it is the vin de soif, you can drink it over a couple of days - it will only get better! Keep it up to 5 years with no problem. And as David Lillie said "Serve with charcuterie, pork chops or roast chicken and be happy!" 100% Cabernet Franc. Pascaline Lepeltier.
Pauline Broqua has been making wine for several years now in the Aveyron, under the tutelage of our friend Nicolas Carmarans. Though we missed out on the fuller bodied cuvée that she bottles, this lighter red, the 'Prima Vera,' is a perfect choice for the Summer. A blend of Fer Servadou and Cabernet Franc, with short maceration, but enough to provide good material and weight. The fruit profile is more Boysenberry and blackberry, with subtle herbs and floral notes. Partial whole cluster fermentation. -EL
A lovely, low-alcohol (10.5%) Pet-Nat from the Czech Republic. All Saint Laurent (Sankt Laurent), this tastes of summer berries and sunshine. Very pretty wine. -EL
A lovely soft and stone-fruited Roter Veltliner with skin contact. Nice viscosity and a clean finish. A great introduction to skin contact wines, and to the lesser known Roter Veltliner grape from Austria. The 2019 is probably our favorite vintage yet of this wine. Hazy in the glass, with almost a peach-hue, its suitable on its own or with light fare, salads, lunch, grilled veggies and the like. -EL
A blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and a touch of Merlot; the Biodynamically-grown grapes are harvested by hand and see only stainless steel, so although the wine is medium in body, it boasts an incredible freshness. The nose is rich with notes of cherries and plums, while the palate is bright with juicy blackberries, cassis, dark plums, smoke, red apple skin, and dark chocolate. Works well with or without a slight chill.
For a light, happy red that can be easily drunk in far more quantity than is appropriate, the Trollinger from Andi Knauss in Württemberg has quickly become a favorite. Plus, it comes in a handy 1-liter size so the party just keeps on going and going. Seriously, though, this wine is made of what the Italians would call Schiava, but to us it's more like a fresh Poulsard or Beaujolais-Villages. Notes of cranberry, fresh cherry, and a touch of soft herbs and bit of allspice. Juicy, refreshing, and the tinniest bit of tannin on the palate. Serve chilled with your next picnic or outdoor gathering! Michelle DeWyngaert
The wine has a densely purple core, with lighter violet on the edges. The nose has rich aromas of candied raspberry and blackberry, dense green herbs, and pungent dark flowers. The palate is plummy, with a dash of tart cherry, green stems and a vibrant mineral undertone. Wonderfully fresh acidity, along with some chewy tannin, balance out the mouthfeel. A great, bold red with a crunchy core and wild fruit - drink today!
So, just where exactly is Saale-Unstrut? It is located near Liepzig and southwest of Berlin, about as far north as Calgary, Kamchatka Peninsula, or Labrador. And vines have been cultivated there since at least the 10th century. That said, the terraced vineyards of this historical place aren't exactly a household name for most German wine lovers. Farming is biodynamic, fermentation is spontaneous, and depending on the barrel, some wines will be allowed to develop a flor as in sherry or the Jura. Here are the techincal stats from our friends at Vom Boden: Karsdorfer Ziegental, Steigrarer Hahneberg and Freyburger Schweigenberg vineyards; vines between 30 and 85 years old, on limestone soils, hand-harvested early; 3-6 day maceration before pressing in small basket press, natural yeast ferm, élevage in barrel, bottled w/very low SO2 (5-10 mg/l), unfined/unfiltered. And having tasted this there is a brisk, salty, coolness and tang with notes of lime skin, white flower, and bracken on the nose. While the palate is lean and punchy with a salty/ briny/ faintly oxidative note that hovers between Sanlúcar and Sèvre et Maine, and this character has me dreaming of tinned fish or gravlax on brown bread with French butter. Though cockles with a green herb sauce wouldn't be out of the question either. John McIlwain
So, just where exactly is Saale-Unstrut? It is located near Liepzig and southwest of Berlin, dear reader. And vines have been cultivated there since at least the 10th century. That said, the terraced vineyards of this historical place aren't exactly a household name for most German wine lovers. Farming is biodynamic, fermentation is spontaneous, and depending on the barrel, some wines will be allowed to develop a flor as in sherry or the Jura. Here are the details for the 2019 Portugieuser from our friends at Vom Boden: Freyburger Schweigenberge (terraced) and Karsdorfer Ziegental (both vineyards boast limestone soils) vines here range from 50 to over 85 years old and have tiny berries. Maceration for four days, then basket pressed whole cluster, élevage in barrel, bottled w/very low SO2 (5-10 mg/l), unfined/unfiltered.The nose is wild berry and brambly with some notes of white pepper and Oolong tea. The palate is bright and lithe with all manner of forest fruits, blackberry seed, and loamy soil notes on a distinctively sapid finish. This shows a fun sauvage character and makes me think this would be perfect with a bit of a chill with sausages grilled over a fire or smoked brisket.
From Utiel-Requena, this is a blend of Tardana and Macabeo, clearly a skin contact wine, if the name and the image don't make it obvious. This particular 'orange wine' is bursting with stone fruit flavors, and lower acidity. Very little tannins or toughness here, nice medium weight from the Macabeo. Very tasty! -EL
The Phaunus Pet Nat is all Loureiro, vinified in stainless steel with no added yeast or sugar. There is a short period of maceration, and disgorgement is after 5 months of aging, with no filtration or fining. Super dry, refreshing and textured, this is a nice addition to the ever-changing Pet-Nat section here at Chambers, and comes highly recommended for any fan of tasty bubbles. -EL
This is a Blanc de Noir of Baga from the Casa de Saima winery in the Bairrada D.O.C. Unfiltered, and peach-hued, with delicate mousse and very balanced and energetic bubbles. A great wine as a compromise between your Champagne loving friends and your natty Pet-Nat friends. -EL
Antonio Madeira is dedicated to celebrating the best vineyards in the Dão. He is focused on preserving old vines of native Portuguese varieties and farms his small parcels organically and all by hand. This bottling is a field blend of around twenty different grapes grown on granite soils, including Siria, Fernao Pires, Bical, and Arinto. Indigenous yeast fermentation and aging in French barrels. Madeira's whites are some of the finest in Portugal, with Burgundian charm, fresh acidity and a sturdy mineral backbone. This Branco from younger vines is medium-bodied. Aged mostly in stainless steel, with a portion in used oak barrels. -EL
The Bojo do Luar project is a collaboration between importer Savio Soares and one of Portugal's pioneers of biodynamic farming, Fernando Paiva. Deu Pinote is a blend of Arinto, Alvarelhão, and Vinhao. The Alvarelhão spends three weeks on the skins. An interesting technique is utilized here, thanks to research Fernando has been doing with ground chestnut flowers, which have been found to help stabilize wine without addition of sulfites. Some ground chestnut flowers are used during fermentation. Don't worry, the wine doesn't taste like chestnuts, or chestnut flowers for that matter. It's bright and zippy, with fresh red berries and satisfying tartness. Perfect with a chill. -EL
The name for this wine, Dnmc (or Dinamico), reflects the idea that expressions of the local Baga grape from different locations will produce a complex, and dynamic wine. It also could be seen as a nod to the biodynamic principles and treatments that Filipa Pato and William Wouters have introduced in their vineyards. They have been increasingly focused on organic and biodynamic viticulture as the years go by, much to our delight! 100% Baga, this medium-bodied red is fresh, and vibrant, with a touch of wild red fruit and dark berries, and subtle spice. Fermentation and aging is in tank with minimal extraction, but long maceration periods still provide good structure to the wine. Overall, it's a great introduction to the very enjoyable Baga grape, specifically here involving limestone terroir and the Atlantic influence of western Bairrada. -EL