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Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme is best known for his insanely delicious and affordable Vin de France Gamay "Le Telquel," but Pierre-O makes a wide range of superb and distinctive wines from Pineau d'Aunis, Menu Pineau, Meslier, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cot, Romorantin, Chardonnay and Sauvingnon Blanc (!) as well.
A newcomer in NY is Pierre-O's 2020 Vin de France Meslier de Saint-François, an old variety that is a cross between Gouais Blanc and Chenin. ("Uniting two families of grapes" say the knowledgeable folks at Vins Etonnants "those descended from Gouais Blanc - Chardonnay, Romorantin, Melon de Bourgogne and Aligoté - with the offspring of Savagnin - Chenin, Sauvignon and Manseng') At any rate it's a delicious wine and guaranteed to stump your wine geek friends in a blind tasting. Another favorite of ours is the almost orange 2020 "Ormeau Deux Croix Maceration" from Chenin Blanc grown on clay/limestone/silex soils, which undergoes a one month maceration in amphora and vat that imparts a pale orange/bronze color and a bit of skin tannin in the finish. One of our favorite Loire reds, though made in tiny quantities, is Pierre-O's "In Cot We Trust" - it's one of the most fascinating and delicious Malbecs of the Loire. The 2018 showed beautifully when tasted in January 2020 in the Loire, just a superb, vibrant natural wine, no added SO2. And be sure to stock up on "Le Telquel" before it disappears...
From the marvelous Mosse Family in Anjou we're happy to offer the new vintage of "Magic of Ju-Ju" (my favorite Archie Shepp record), this year's version being a blend of Chenin with Loin de l'Oeuil (or Len de l'El, a grape found predominantly in Gaillac) along with their light and lovely 2020 "Bangarang," (second bottling) a refreshing red blend of Cab Franc and Pineau d'Aunis. And don't forget that the Mosse family produces some of the most profound Chenin Blancs in Anjou, typified by the beautiful 2018 "Le Rouchefer." And of course the Mosse-made "Moussamoussettes" is one of the world's most delicious Pet-Nats - don't miss it!
Patick Lambert, a neighbor of the Baudrys in Cravant-les-Coteaux, quietly makes excellent Chinon on his tiny 6 hectare estate. The soils are plowed or left with grasses, according to the parcels and the estate is certified organic by Ecocert. Vinifications are traditional with wild yeasts and the wines age either in vat or in small old barrels in his cold cellar cut into the limestone hillside. Patrick has just sent us his 2019 "Les Deuzelles," which is incredibly delicious and should be consumed without moderation over the next couple of years! For something a bit more "serious," the 2017 "Vieilles Vignes" has just arrived - from 55 year-old vines on sandy clay over limestone, this classic Chinon can be enjoyed now or cellared for ten years or more. Many of you have come to appreciate Patrick's lovely Chinon Rosé, made very much in the style of his neighbors, the Baudrys - we just received the beautifully refreshing 2020 - the wine is just delicious and will drink beautifully through 2022! (And at $13.99, It's a sensational value...)
Wines arrive Wednesday August 4th
This is a beautiful almost-orange wine from Chenin Blanc grown on clay/limestone/silex soils in the "Ormeau des Deux Croix Ronne" vineyard near Monthou-sur-Bievre (Cheverny). The grapes undergo a one month maceration in amphora and vat which imparts a pale, slightly cloudy orange/bronze color and a bit of skin tannin in the finish. The 2020 seems a bit brighter than the 2019 with intriguing aromas of orange peel, spiced pear, beeswax, almond... The palate is finely textured with very firm acidity and flavors of ripe pear and granny smith, with citrus peel and spice in the long scintillating finish. Enjoy by itself or with full-flavored fish and chicken dishes.
This year's version of the "Magic of Juju" is 70% Chenin from the Loire and 30% Loin de l'Oeil from Gaillac. The grapes ferment and age on the lees in old barriques for 6 months with the blend done about 6 weeks before bottling. The fruit profile is dominated by honeydew melon, crisp yellow apple and green pear, with a tart salty quality in the mid-palate reminiscent of the best Greek yogurt drizzled with honey. There is good weight and a lovely sense of balance here. All in all, this is delicious. Be the first on your block to taste this unique blend!
The wines of Patrick Lambert have been a staple in our shop for some time now. His wines are classic, expressive, and made exclusively from his organically farmed estate. The 'Deuzelles' is selected from his ~25 year old vines planted on gravel, clay with silex, and sandy soils. The juice is fermented in concrete vats for 15-18 days, then aged in old barriques for 3 to 6 months. This is one of the best values I can find for excellent Cabernet Franc. This bottling is denser and more concentrated than the 'Gourmandises' but just as pleasurable and easy-drinking. The nose has notes of blackberry and raspberry bramble, freshly turned soil, and savory herbs, and the on the palate the wine is juicy with supple tannins. This was lovely when I tasted it on day one, and even better on day two, so if you have the time, give this some air before you enjoy! Michelle DeWyngaert
The delicious Chinon Vieilles Vignes of Patrick Lambert is from 55-year-old vines on sandy clay soils over limestone. Hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts, as are all of Lambert's wines, the Vieilles Vignes gets 12 months of aging in old barrels. The wine shows a deep red/black color and ripe blackberry and strawberry aromas with pepper, earth and citrus. The palate is deep and ripe, a bit softer and more forward than the 2016, showing earthy blackberry and strawberry compote with prune and bitter chocolate and firm structure. This is a complex, old-fashioned Chinon that will accompany roast chicken and anything off the grill, served a bit cool. While this is drinking beautiflly now, aging of five to ten years will bring an extra dimendion to the wine. David Lillie
This delightful Chinon Rosé comes from Patrick Lambert's 6 hectares of organic vines in Cravant, around the corner from his friend and mentor, Bernard Baudry. Hand harvested from 20-year-old Cabernet Franc vines on gravel and sandy clay soils over limestone. The 2020 shows lovely aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry, citrus and rose; the palate is silky and ripe with raspberry, cherry, citrus and stone flavors with nice density and texture, with juicy acids, berry flavors and saline minerals in the finish. This is drinking beautifully now and will open up nicely through the spring and summer. This is a fabulous value and highly recommended. David Lillie
The beautiful Baudry Chinon Rosé is 100% Cabernet Franc, usually 50% from clay/silex soils and 50% from gravel soils, as in "les Grézeaux." As always this is one of the most elegant and delicious of all French rosés, a reflection of the superb organic vineyard work and the great terroir possesed by the Baudrys as well as their great skill in vinifications with minimal added SO2. Matthieu Baudry's report on the 2020 Rose: "Rose 2020 looks like his older brothers, but the fermentation was much quicker than the 2018 and 2019. The Rosé 2020 is very dry: 1.2g/L RS versus 2.2 for the 2018 vintage. For me the flavors are more delicate and I prefer the balance of the 2020 over the 2018/19 which were more exotic." 6 bottle maximum, please.
A newcomer in NY is Pierre-O's 2020 Vin de France Meslier de Saint-François, an old variety that is a cross between Gouais Blanc and Chenin. ("Uniting two families of grapes" say the knowledgeable folks at Vins Etonnants "those descended from Gouais Blanc - Chardonnay, Romorantin, Melon de Bourgogne and Aligoté - with the offspring of Savagnin - Chenin, Sauvignon and Manseng') At any rate it's a delicious wine and guaranteed to stump your wine geek friends in a blind tasting. The aromas are slightly honeyed of ripe pear, almond and citrus; the palate is quite intense and viscous, with ripe pear, marzipan and stone flavors that linger in the very long, sapid finish with firm acidity and dense citrus. Serve this unique wine with a full flavored ceviche, grilled scallops, farm chicken in sauce. David Lillie
This "poil dur" is wagging its tail again in 2020, showing the ripeness and balance of this good vintage in the Loire Valley, with juicy aromas of blackberry, rose, spice and citrus. It's Gamay with a bit of Cabernet Franc in this vintage, with an extra layer of ripeness, and nice density of bright blackberry fruit, a bit floral and spicy. Quite refreshing with good length of lush berry fruits and citrusy acids in the finish. Serve a bit cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork - just delicious! David Lillie
Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme's "In Cot We Trust" is one of the most vibrant, fascinating and delicious Malbecs of the Loire! From a single parcel called "les Automnes" with 45 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils, 2 week whole-cluster maceration, fermentation and aging for 18 months in 500L demi-muids, zero added SO2. 2018 is a great vintage for this soulful wine, showing deep and ripe but very bright aromas, with beautiful ripe black fruits on the palate that is very fresh and long. Serve cool and enjoy! David Lillie
(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...
(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..
The Mosse family is making superb natural wines in Anjou, and the 2018 Vin de France Rouchefer is a classic example. From a 1.6 ha parcel of 50 year-old massale selection vines in soils of clay and quartz over schistes, the wine is produced with minimal SO2 (total 20mg/l) and is aged in barrel. The wine shows beautiful floral aromas of quince, pear, citrus, almond and stone. The palate is quite ripe, expressive and elegant without being heavy, and the lovely fruit is backed by firm acidity, herbal and mineral flavors, with terrific length - a real Chenin of terroir that will accompany a wide range of seafood and chicken dishes and mild cheeses. Serve cool, but not too cold, over the next ten to fifteen years. David Lillie