Domaine Laurent Barth: Tiny cellar, beautiful wines

New Arrivals and Returning Favorites: Rhône Reds for Fall, Laurent Barth is Back......and more!

Share

New Arrivals from the Rhône Valley

The banging steam pipes in our old East Village building tell me that it's time for some hearty reds from the Rhône, leading off with a Biodynamic beauty from Domaine les Aphillanthes, the Côtes du Rhône Plan de Dieu "Les Galets" -  a superb value showing great elegance and lovely fruit at a bargain price! One of the leading estates in the southern Rhône is Le Sang des Cailloux in Vacqueyras, also certified Biodynamic, where Serge, Frederi and Marion Férigoule produce superb, age-worthy Grenache-based wines on a terroir of "galets roule." The 2019 Cuvée Floureto is a magnificent wine both for current drinking and for cellaring until 2040. 

Marcel Richaud

Denis and Jean-Etienne Alary are producing delicious, authentic wines on their organic estate in Cairanne - their 2018 Cairanne "La Brunote" is a complex and stylish wine with lovely supple fruit, also drinking way above it's price-point, and their 2019 Cairanne "Estévenas" will really knock your socks off with its vivid aromas and deep, elegant fruit - drink now or in 15 years. Of course, one can't speak of Cairanne without mentioning Marcel Richaud and family, the leaders in organic farming and natural wine-making in the region over the last 30 years with son Thomas and daughter Claire now in charge. The 2019 Cairanne Sans Soufre is another beautiful wine from this great estate...

Our last stop in the southern Rhône is in Châteauneuf-du-Pape at the Clos des Brusquières, where Claude Courtil (nephew of Henri Bonneau) and family make immensely satisfying wines - "Top marks for genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, local style, authentic wines" says drinkrhone.com, and there is great value here as well...

Not geographically part of the Rhône Valley, the Costières de Nimes, formerly called the Costières du Gard, was moved to the Regional Committee of the Rhône in 2004. Wow, neat trick! Wherever it is, the terroir is mostly "galets roules" as at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the young Sylvain Boutée is making beautiful wines there at the Clos des Boutes in Bellegarde, certified organic and Biodynamic. If we follow the Mediterranean south of Nimes, we reach the Languedoc, where the Andrieu family at Clos Fantine has been quietly producing elegant, natural wines from their untrained vines in Faugères. With a style of infusion winemaking, they produce some of the most vital, energetic, and pure wines of the appellation, with garrigue and rustic flavors balanced by bright tones, low alcohol and fresh acidity.

Laurent Barth in Alsace

Laurent Barth makes absolutely delicious wines on his 4 hectare organic estate in Bennwihr, just north of Colmar. The wines have a silky texture and remarkable complexity of fruit, floral, spice and earth flavors that are vibrant and pure and unburdened by excessive use of SO2. These are my favorite Alsatian wines for sheer pleasure and value.  Please note that the superb Riesling Rebgarten Vieilles Vignes and the Pétillant Naturel are rarely available so be sure grab some soon...!

-David Lillie

Before leaving France we should mention a new addition to our Alsace selection, a clean, pure and in the best possible connotation - classic - Riesling from an estate that is new to the US, Amelie and Charles Sparr. Located near Colmar, and immersed in organic and biodynamic viticulture, they are producing an exciting lineup of whites (along with an impressive Pinot Noir) that are sure to please the Alsace afficianado. Though the Riesling 'Sentiment' is the only wine we have at the moment, stay tuned for more cuvées from Sparr in the future.

Speaking of Riesling, how about a moment for some Austrian selections! The Stagard Riesling Steiner Goldberg from the northern shore of the Danube above the village Stein, next to the Wachau border, in the Kremstal. The '17 vintage shimmers gold, with notes of almond, apple strudel and wet rocks. Opulent, yet with bracing acidity, the palate offers notes of juicy sorrento lemons, intense minerality and a hint of toffee. Not quite Riesling, but also Austrian and newly arrived is the Frischengruber Grüner Veltliner 'Ried Steiger,' from the Wachau. The vineyard site faces the Danube to the north and is a classical river-bed soil of gravel with deposits of paragneiss and a rich topsoil of humus and loess, which brings out a fruitiness in Grüner Veltliner that is especially suited to the expressive, mid-weight Federspiel style Georg makes from this site.

From Spain, we have several returning favorites, like the Maranones '30,000 Maravedies,' which returns after a nearly 5 year hiatus! The 2017 is pure Gredos Garnacha, packing both power and grace, and we're very happy to have it back on our shelves, just in time for Fall weather and harvest feasts. Our hunt for memorable Godello has led us to 'La Salvacion,' a dense and delicious expression from César Márquez Peréz in Bierzo. Not far from Bierzo in Ribeira Sacra, the Fedellos do Couto 'Conasbrancas' white returns, a 40-day infusion of Godello, Dona Blanca, Albariño, Treixadura, Lado, and Torrontes that is sure to impress any fan of fascinating whites. On the other side of Iberia, Ramón Saavedra at Bodega Cauzón is producing bright and vibrant wines from high altitude vineyards outside of Granada. A mischevous and playful personality, Ramón's wines are much like him, but at times more serious. The Cauzón, which is also the name of his Bodega, is a fresh and gritty Tempranillo with a hint of "funk" and light-medium body.

As always, feel free to call us or email office@chambersstwines.com if you'd like us to pick out some wines inspired by these new arrivals, or come visit us at and stroll through the aisles and ask us what we're into!  Wines arrive by 11/2

 

 

Sang des Cailloux 2019 Vacqueyras Rouge Cuvée Floureto

"If your Thanksgiving spread tends more to the savory than candied yam genre, this fine warming southern red is a winner with dark fruit set off by a deep-seated earthiness and a fine perfume of garrigue to set the heart racing."

One of the top domains in the appellation and of a benchmark for cellar-worthy Vacqueyras. Comprised of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah , 10% Mourvèdre/Cinsault/Carignan from 17 ha of biodynamically farmed plots on the Plateau des Garrigues. Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and fermented in concrete with native yeasts and aged in foudre. An old friend if ever there was one. A bottle of the 1995 Sang Des Cailloux enjoyed in 2010 taught me that one should really cellar at least a few of these every vintage. You expect Châteauneuf from a good producer to be humming along at 15 years of age, but Vacqueyras? But more than humming, that humble bottle sang (pun intended) with juicy black fruit, resolved tannins and a nose full of dried violets and garrigue. It was quite a wine and mustachioed vigneron Serge Férogoule (since retired) was quite a man. That bottle was enough to convince me to tuck away a few bottles of his wines nearly every subsequent vintage. And this is what I am urging you to do, as well. And the Sang des Cailloux 2019 Vacqueyras Cuvée Floureto is a cracking place to start. The robe is an inky purple hue to the rim of the glass. The nose is a bit circumspect upon opening, but a quick decant reveals aromas of crushed violets, wild blackberry, mulberry, and garrigue with hints toasted peppercorn and fennel seed. The palate is concentrated and firm just out of the bottle, but with a bit of coaxing reveals plummy rich black and blue fruit flavors. This shows a concentrated ripeness that nonetheless remains tethered to the deeply-pitched mineral core, ennobled by firm, but sophisticated, tannins and a mineral tang that speaks to the old vines and biodynamic farming. This is certainly young but displays exquisite potential in its “callow” youth. Lovely wine of terroir with oodles of upside. John McIlwain

  • red
  • 30 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Alary, Denis 2019 Cairanne Estévenas

65% old-vine Grenache, 35% Syrah (Serine, 1960, cuttings from Ampuis) from south facing clay-limestone slope soils on L’Estévenas, hand harvested, destemmed, The 2019 "Estévenas" is already singing and should drink well for another 10 to 15 years! Glass-staining red/black color with very deep ripe black cherry and raspberry aromas, quite elegant with a cool menthol aspect despite the ripeness. The palate is very round and sappy with red currant, black cherry and blueberry fruit, all in an elegant frame with bright acidity and finishing with terrific length of minty red fruits and mineral flavors. Drink now, slightly cool or hold ten years, lovely wine and highly recommended. David Lillie

  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Richaud 2019 Cairanne Cuvée Sans Soufre

 The Richaud 2019 Cairanne is a gorgeous wine made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre,  and this cuvée is made and bottled entirely without SO2. The color is inky black/red with lush aromas of black cherry, blackberry, prune and floral notes with  earth, licorice and dark chocolate. The palate shows lush, velvety fruit - a beautiful and intense melange of black and red berries, earth, anise and licorice - round, soft and deep, lifted by cool acidity and mineral flavors with fabulous length and purity of fruit.  Bravo to Marcel Richaud! Serve this lovely wine a bit cool with just about anything! David Lillie

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Clos Fantine NV Faugères Cuvée Tradition (No SO2)

We’ve always loved Clos Fantine due to their impeccable farming, thoughtful cellar work, and wild soulfulness of their wines. This cuvée is a harmonious blend of de-stemmed Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache vinified separately in large vats with indigenous yeasts, then assembled and aged in cement before bottling with no sulfur. Slightly more polished than previous vintages, this year is singing, with a nose that is bursting with aromas of wood smoke, baked red apple skins, citrus and garrigue. The wine shows a deep purple in the glass. The palate is lifted by cool minerality and structured with powdery tannins with flavors of juicy plum, cinnamon spice and dried herbs on the finish. This is a satisfying wine that would pair beautifully with grilled sausages and wild rice.

  • red
  • 35 in stock
  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Barth, Laurent 2018 Alsace Riesling Rebgarten VV

From old vines in a south facing vineyard of sandy granite soils in Bennwihr, Laurent Barth produced this superb dry Riesling that shows a bright pale gold color, with ripe floral aromas of pear, almond, citrus and spice. The palate however, while rich, shows a dense, ripe character, but without sweetness, very mineral and with firm acidity. Green apple, citrus peel, almond and stone flavors linger in the long, nicely balanced finish. This is a lovely Riesling to pair with a wide variety of fish and white meat dishes, highly recommended! (Open well in advance if possible, or cellar 3 to 5 years then enjoy till 2030.)

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic

Barth, Laurent 2019 Alsace Pinot D'Alsace

Laurent Barth makes beautifully balanced Alsatian wines from his tiny organic estate in Bennwhir, near Colmar. The 2019 Pinot d'Alsace (Pinot Auxerrois with a bit of Pinot Noir) is a lovely aperitif and a perfect wine for many fish and chicken dishes. Showing pretty aromas of pear, green apple, almond and lime-flower with citrus, pear, almond, honeysuckle and herbal flavors on the palate - really pretty, round and balanced  with minerals and white fruits in the  supple finish - this is a great value and a good introduction to the beautiful wines of Laurent Barth. David Lillie

  • white
  • 27 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Barth, Laurent 2019 Alsace Racines Métisses

Laurent Barth's 2019 "Racines Metisses" is a delightful blend of many grape  varieties from his tiny organic estate in Bennwihr. Always around 50% Pinot Auxerrois (fermented separately), with Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and a touch of Riesling. The idea here is to make a wine that is easy to drink, says Laurent, and he nails it! The wine shows bright citrus, lime-flower, white fruits and a subtle touch of spice on the palate. The 2019 has ripe orchard and stone fruit on the palate, with citrus and floral notes, and a chiseled, mineral finish, thanks to the granite soils.  Delicious!  Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 24 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Amelie et Charles Sparr 2017 Alsace Riesling 'Sentiment'

From vineyards near Colmar, this is a clean and zippy Riesling with medium weight and texture. Textbook dry Alsatian Riesling!  -EL

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Stagard 2017 Kremstal Steiner Goldberg Riesling

From the northern shore of the Danube above the village Stein next to the Wachau border. At 400 meters above sea level, Goldberg is the highest site in the Stein area with a clear view across the river to Nikolaihof  in the Wachau. Stagård’s vines there are 40+ years old. The soil consists of Glimmerschiefer, loam, and loess, and it is the site that is picked last every harvest. Pure loess soils a meter deep and direct southern exposure contribute to the signature expression of apple and citrus, herbs and sea salt. The '17 vintage shimmers gold, with notes of almond, apple strudel and wet rocks. Opulent, yet with bracing acidity, the palate offers notes of juicy sorrento lemons, intense minerality and a hint of toffee. Serve with some fowl like goose or pheasant.

GH

  • white
  • 30 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic

Frischengruber 2020 Gruner Veltliner federspiel Wachau Ried Steiger

From Rossatz – directly across the Danube from Dürnstein –- where the mighty river tapers to its narrowest span as it makes an ancient bend. Vineyards here slope gently upwards from the riverbank to meet the undulating edge of the Dunkelstein forest. The microclimate combines some of the world’s starkest diurnal shifts with a growing season that can stretch well into November. These are ideal conditions for grüner veltliner, on loess, to pick up tension and finesse, with an unmistakably piquant and vivid Wachau profile. Georg’s Smaragd veltliners reach a salty, sappy, spring-loaded ideal. This foot-slope vineyard faces the Danube to the north and is a classical river-bed soil of gravel with deposits of paragneiss and a rich topsoil of humus and loess.  This brings out a fruitiness in grüner veltliner that is especially suited to the expressive, mid-weight Federspiel style Georg makes from this site. Very nice minerality with balanced acidity, notes of green apples and pears, lime,  white pepper and white flowers. Lively and refreshing, perfect with Wiener Schnitzel, Vietnamese dishes , sushi, salads and green vegetables, cheese and charcuteries, white sausages with potato/cucmber salad. An all around winner! Giselle Hamburg

  • white
  • 23 in stock
  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Filaine (Fabrice Gass) NV Damery Cuvée Speciale Base 18

The tiny Champagne Filaine is one of our favorite Champagne houses.  And the singular Fabrice Gass is one of our favorite Champagne characters. His wines  are made up of  Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier from the south-facing village of Damery on the slope of the Grand Vallée de la Marne. The wines are made in the manner of 100 years ago. Fabrice farms without chemicals, ferments in wood, and due to the age of his barrels, naturally avoids malolactic fermentation.  This disgorgement is based on the 2018 vintage and balances nicely the classic richness of Damery and the ripeness of the vintage with a steely minerality. The palate balances ripe red fruit and a pervasive sense of chalkiness with a creamy texture on the broad, rich finish. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 19 in stock
  • no discount
  • $79.99

  • Organic

Dreissigacker 2020 Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken

Jochen Dreissigacker took over his family's estate in 2001 and works organically (certified). The entry-level trocken a mix of estate and purchased grapes (all organic), from mostly south/southeast-facing sites on loess and loam. Fermented with native yeasts and aged in stainless steel tank.Pale gold in the glass. Cool-toned and savory on the nose, with aromas of crushed herbs, honeysuckle, and flint. Dry and lively on the palate with fine mineral cut and mouth-watering acidity highlighted by red apple and stone fruit flavors, with a salty core and a bright minty coolness on the finish. John McIlwain



  • white
  • 25 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic

Celler del Roure 2019 Valencia Cullerot Blanco

Celler del Roure is making very interesting wines  with local grape varieties in the Valencia area. Many of these old, indigenous varieties are largely forgotten and Cullerot highlights three of them (Verdil, Tortosina, and Merseguera) together with Pedro Ximénez, Macabeo, Malvasía,  and others. In addition to their focus on indigenous grape varieties, Celler del Roure is employing traditional vinifications methods: hand harvesting, fermenting with native yeasts in stone lagars, and aging in very old clay amphorae. Cullerot has a bit of skin contact, and is medium bodied with notes of stone fruit, tropical notes, apple skin, and clay-y minerality.  - Ben Fletcher

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

César Márquez Peréz 2019 Bierzo 'La Salvacion' Godello

This is all Godello, coplanted amongst Mencia vines that Cesár harvests. He walks through the vineyard and ties ribbons to the vines he wants to harvest, and these are left on the vine, instead of being picked early. The benefit here is having fruit with full ripeness. Fermentation is in old oak, with one barrel that he does not top off, developing a thin layer of Flor. A savory and dense expression with a touch of an oxidative note on the nose.   -EL

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic

Fedellos do Couto 2018 Ribeira Sacra Conasbrancas

 "Conas brancas?" means "what to do about the whites?," referring to old vines of white grapes that were planted among the Mencia and Merenzao vines in the vineyards worked by Fedellos do Couto. For many years these grapes were too abundant to blend into the red wines, but not vigorous enough to bottle on their own. Eventually, this bottling became the answer: a field blend of Godello, Dona Blanca, Albariño, Treixadura, Lado, and Torrontes that reflects the terroir and the local white varieties of Ribeira Sacra. About 75% of the grapes are fermented whole cluster, then macerated on their skins for 40 days, while the Godello is pressed into old barrels. Finally, these are blended to produce a vibrant medium-bodied wine  with notes of beeswax and pear but also salinity and bright acidity. This would be well-suited to the table at Thanksgiving, a friendly, medium-bodied white wine to pair with roast potatoes, stuffing, or mushrooms.  -BF

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic

Celler del Roure 2019 Valencia Safra Tinto

Medium bodied, graceful blend of a local grape called Mandó and Garnacha Tintorera. Earthy flavors and nice acidity. A warming red wine for the Fall.  -EL

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bodega Cauzon 2020 Cortes y Graena (Granada) Cauzon

Ramón Saavedra produces this Tempranillo from high altitude (800-1000m) vineyards in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Granada. Ramon's approach is to emphasize freshness and intensity of fruit character through short maceration times and vinification in stainless steel. Here, the result is a wine with animal, garrigue, and red fruit notes on the nose. The palate is alive and changing: look for black cherry, red raspberry, game, and a pronounced mineral finish. There's body here and some nice, friendly tannins balanced by tense acidity that makes this wine gastronomically very friendly.  -BF

  • red
  • 16 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
Sorry, the Following have Already Sold

Aphillanthes 2019 Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu "Galets"

The 2019 Domaine les Aphillanthes "les Galets" is a very delightful Côtes de Rhône from 60% Grenache (1970s), 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre grown on clay-limestone soils on the Plan de Dieu, a terroir of gravel and clay near Gigondas. The wine shows lovely, bright aromas of black cherry and red currant, floral and quite pretty. The palate is supple and silky with cool red and black fruits, the finish is long with juicy red fruits and hints of spice with good length.  Really a lovely CDR at a great price - serve with Coq au Vin and be happy...

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Domaine Alary 2018 Cairanne "La Brunote"

Now under the hands of Denis Alary, a vigneron of a old, storied estate (this is the 11th generation), Domaine Alary is producing textured and lovely Southern Rhône wines. The estate lies in the commune of Cairanne, where Denis has a number of Cairanne terroirs. The mix of terroir is important in a cuvée like La Brunote - a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan from 55 year-old vines. The Grenache is harvested on the region’s “terroir garrigues” while the Mourvèdre and Carignan are harvested on a south-facing mountain slope made of clay-limestone soil. The wine is then fermented with natural yeasts for around 25 days. On the nose, the 2019 is a complex medley of lovely floral red fruits and spice: red currant, sour cherry, sweet pepper and plum. On the palate, the wine is sappy and supple  with deep red and black fruits with soft tannins from the Mourvèdre, lovely acidity and depth,  finishing with spice and mineral notes. La Brunote is a wonderfully balanced and complex wine to drink over the next 5 years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Clos des Brusquières 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

85% Grenache, some 100+ years-old, 15% Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. 70% de-stemmed, aged in vats and large old barrels. Bottled unfined, unfiltered. From our reliable friends at DrinkRhone:  "Top marks for genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, local style, authentic wines. The 2019 is very dark; the bouquet is inky, on dark fruits, floral airs, it’s a very firm, profound aroma. The palate bears layered gras, develops a real build of intensity as it goes, has a mighty body, contains succulence, with the finish clear, lines of black cherry, the tannins shapely." Drink over the next 20 years...

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $44.99

Barth, Laurent NV (2019) Alsace Extra Brut Petillant Naturel Rose

Perfect as a pre-dinner treat on Thanksgiving, even Aunt Hildegard will love it! Mostly Pinot Auxerrois with some Pinot Noir in the mix, this is a methode ancestrale "Pet Nat" from Laurent Barth... a wine we never knew existed since most of it is sold in Europe and Laurent keeps a fair amount at home to share with friends. The wine spends 18 months sur latte (sur lie) before disgorging. A fascinating and singular wine, with a beautiful creamy texture and subtle aromas of red berries, citrus and minerals that continue on the elegant, refreshing palate. This is one of the most delicious Pet Nats of France - rarely available, don't delay!

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bodegas Marañones 2017 Vinos de Madrid Sierra de Gredos 30,000 Maravedies

Mostly Garnacha, with 10% Moreto, from 30-70 year old vines planted on granitic sandy soils at 650-800m altitude, from a blend of parcels around San Martin de Valdeiglesias, the beginning of the Sierra de Gredos zone at the westernmost border of the Vinos de Madrid D.O. A very pretty wine, fermented in steel and aged in used oak for 1 year. Notes of savory earth and herbs, and loads of crunchy granitic soil.

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

  • Organic