Central Park Winter (Photo J. Lillie)

We've Got Some Rhônes to Keep You Warm! New Arrivals and Old Favorites to Get You Through the Winter...

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It seems that this nasty storm dumped rain on NYC rather than snow, and we offer our sympathies to those of you to the west and north. To help you through the rest of the winter we offer a hearty selection of wines from the Rhône Valley that will bring warmth and soulful pleasures to your winter meals, and at prices that won't put a chill on your bank account...

We lead-off with one of the finest values in the store, the 2019 Chateau de Manissy Côtes du Rhône "Oracle." Made from Grenache, Carignan and Counoise in organic/Biodynamic farming on sandy, brown clay/limestone soils, the wine offers great complexity and depth with good freshness - just an outstanding everyday winter wine!

Domaine des Aphillanthes has been certified Organic and Biodynamic since 2003. "Our objective" says their website, "is to above all respect nature, the soil and the vines in order to present a wine of terroir, of quality and of passion." The CDR Villages "Galets" is from the stony soils of the Plan de Dieu - "serve with roast duck, rib of beef, candied chuck of beef (?), coq au vin, free-range chicken" says their website....yum!

Many estates in Chateauneuf du Pape make superb Cotes du Rhones at very attractive prices - the Domaiine Ferrand "Cuvee Antique Vieilles Vignes" is made from 90% Grenache from 80+ year-old vines, 5% Syrah, 2% Cinsault, 2% Mourvèdre from 3.5 hectares next to the domaine in the northern zone of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine was a big favorite at CSW ten years ago and we're very glad to have it back, as the 2018 is drinking beautifully, with the lush, forward fruit of the 2018 vintage.

Vines at Domaine de la Monardière

We always enjoy the wines of Domaine de la Monardiere in Vacqueyras, though they are not widely available in the US. The estate converted to organic production in 2007 - "we use the ‘massale selection’ method of replanting to ensure a rich genetic heritage; we keep green cover between the vines in order to encourage the native flora and fauna; we maintain hedgerows and we plant trees and shrubs on the outskirts of our plots to preserve the biodiversity." The "Les 2 Monardes" is an authentic Vacqueyras from living soils (at a great price) that is delicious now and can be cellared for 15 years or more - highly recommended!

Domaine Les Pallières in Gigondas is undeniably one of the greatest, longest-running properties of the Southern Rhône—outside the village of Gigondas, woven into the foothills of the beautiful and brooding Dentelles de Montmirail. The domaine had been a continuously running farm within the Roux family since the fifteenth century. We visited the estate in maybe 1992 - a great experience seeing the magnificent site and tasting the very old-fashioned wine made by the Roux brothers (yes, you pronounce the "x"). I was sad when Lynch and Brunier took over, but recent vintages have shown that the new owners have improved the vineyards and adapted their wine-making well - the wines are now excellent and the 2019 "Racines" will be worth a spot in your cellar. "2019 is excellent at GIGONDAS (says DrinkRhone) - fresher, later vineyards have done well. It is rightly hailed as a very good vintage, with good balance and bundles of freshness."

150 year-old vines at Pierre André

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the quintessential winter wine and the wines of Jacqueline André at Domaine Pierre André are my very favorite! Every year her wines express the beautiful terroir and the ancient vines through 30 years of organic and Biodynamic farming and perfect no-nonsense vinifications. No over-extraction, no new oak, no de-stemmer, no manipulation and no chasing point scores, just honest, soulful wines that are the essence of each vintage. Her work and wines remind me of Domaine Baudry in Chinon and Domain Gonon in Saint-Joseph. The 2016 Pierre André is one of the greatest wines of this classic vintage for CDP. We've just received 5 more cases - the wine is drinking fabulously now, but please put some in your cellar to enjoy over the next 20 years...

Heading north in the Rhône Valley, we come upon the Domaine Pergaud wines from our friend Eric Texier, made from old vines of Serine, an old variety of Syrah grown mostly in Côte Rôtie. While the 2015 Brezeme Vielle Serine will definitely keep you warm at night, we recommend a long decant before serving. The 2014 St. Julien en St. Alban Vielle Serine, on the other hand, "is ready to drink" says Eric "enjoy it now for its round tannins, with low alcohol and minimal SO2. My parents love it because it goes well with confit de canard!"

And finally, one entry from the Northern Rhône, made by Emannuel and Marie-Agnes Barou in Saint-Joseph - their 2020 Saint-Joseph "un Autre Monde" it's a sensational Syrah showing a deep black/red color and gorgeous aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with violet, spice, citrus and roast meat, very floral and pretty. Ripe black fruits, bitter chocolate, earth, licorice and citrus continue on the very lush, supple palate which is framed in perfect, bright acidity (last 24 bottles)...$21.99?!

All wines discount 10% on a case or mixed case purchase. Please allow 5 - 7 buiness days before pick-up or shipping. (Quoted notes are from John Livingstone-Learmonth in DrinkRhone - we heartily recommend subscribing!)

Les Pallières 2019 Gigondas Les Racines

The Les Pallieres "Racines" is 80-85% Grenache (average age 70 years), 5-7.5% Syrah & 5-7.5% Cinsault, 5% Clairette blanche from vineyards near the cellars at 250 metres, 80% destemmed, gentle crush, 30-35 day concrete, oak vat vinification,  large oak vat aged 10 months, then large 60 hl barrel 7-9 months, unfined, unfiltered,  Domaine Les Pallières is undeniably one of the greatest, longest-running properties of the Southern Rhône — outside the village of Gigondas, woven into the foothills of the beautiful and brooding Dentelles de Montmirail. The domaine had been a continuously running farm within the same family since the fifteenth century! From DrinkRhone: "full red robe; there’s real depth on the nose, beef, bulls blood, intense black berry jam, Southern/sudiste tones, black olives. The palate gives a constant surge attack, a very good wheel of rolling black fruits, is well together, ends with a fine note of stylish juice, precision from the tannins there. It’s both elegant and full, well extended, a very good bottle, has a real upholstered finish." Drink this beautiful Gigondas over the next 30 years.

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $45.99

  • Organic

Château de Manissy 2019 Côtes du Rhône "Oracle"

The very talented Florian André at Chateau de Manissy makes this delicious Côtes d Rhône from Grenache, Carignan and Counoise in organic/Biodynamic farming on sandy, brown clay/limestone soils. "The wine shows a shiny dark red, purple tints; the bouquet charms thanks to its sunny curve of aroma that mixes dried herbs with blackcurrant fruit, all neatly presented. There’s a little smokiness. The fruit purity stands out on the palate, the blueberry fruit with notes of tar-tannin, licorice accompanying it as it runs with calm continuity. This is bang on the money Côtes red, a pleasure to drink with its keen clarity, the length in shape to allow red meats into the dining equation. The freshness contributed by the Counoise is very helpful." (DrinkRhone) This is a superb everyday red at a crazy price!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

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, rolled stones 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

Ferrand 2018 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Antique Vieilles Vignes

The Ferrand CDR Cuvee Antiques Vieilles Vignes is 90% Grenache from 80+ year-old vines, 5% Syrah, 2% Cinsault, 2% Mourvèdre, 1% Grenache blanc plus Clairette blanche from 3.5 hectares next to the domaine in the northern zone of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine was a big favorite at CSW ten years ago and we're very glad to have it back, as the 2018 is drinking beautifully as a young wine. "The color is dark red; mulberry, mixed black stone fruits, violets show in a confident, appealing aroma. The palate bears fluid gras, with a gradual increase in intensity that moves it towards the South, black olives territory. It holds lots of well struck fruit, has good spring in it, captures 2018 very well. There’s a bit of pebble grain at the end. Gives a good glimpse of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a much lesser price." Drink this lovely wine until  2029-31.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Monardiere 2019 Vacqueyras Les 2 Monardes

The 2019 Vacqueyras  "Les 2 Monardes" shows  a "very dark robe; the bouquet is deep, sustains on appealing black berry fruits, has a coffee side, a little roasting. The palate’s richness is enjoyable, doesn’t hold back, maintains its rolling depth throughout, with smoked, pine needle moments towards the close, a menthol surge on the aftertaste. It evokes a pine tree fringed vineyard, has a natural oiliness that holds it together well. This is high interest, genuine, really grass roots Vacqueyras of terroir, marks for character. 14°. From mid-2023, decant, drink until 2037-39." DrinkRhone

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Viret, Philippe 2016 VdF Renaissance

This is a full bodied, black-fruited blend from an estate that follows the principles of Cosmoculture, which can be likened to Biodynamics in its respect of lunar patterns and also energy fields and telluric currents. Though it might sound a bit "new-age," it's more accurately a look back to how ancient civilizations observed water sources and planetary movement to inform how, where, and what they would plant. Primarily Grenache, with Syrah, Mourvedre, and Carignan from several plots, the maceration is long (about 45 days) and aging is over 4 years in concrete, with no addition of sulfur. A complex and generous, earthy Southern Rhone red with great length, supple tannins, and nice aging potential.  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Pierre Andre 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

(Pre-Arrival) We consider Domaine Pierre André to be one of the greatest estates in Châteuneuf-du-Pape. Organic since 1980 (one of the first in the AOC) and Biodynamic since 1992. The red is 90% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscadin and Picpoul. Some parcels are over 100 years old, with the average vine age around 65 years. The 2016 is a beautiful glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, showing fresh, complex aromas of ripe blackberry with cherry, spice, rose, earth, tar, smoke and floral notes.  On the palate, the wine is perfectly structured, similar to the 2010, with deep blackberry and black cherry liqueur with spice, garrigue, earth and saline minerals. A great CDP for aging, this is delicious now in its vibrant youth, but will repay waiting for ten years and then enjoy until 2050! Very highly recommended. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Texier 2014 CdR St. Julien en St. Alban Domaine Pergaud Vieille Serine

From 70-year-old Syrah/Serine vines located on the west bank of the Rhône on granite soils that had been farmed exclusively by a protestant religious order known as D’Arbistes. There has never been a chemical introduced into this vineyard. "The 2014 St Julien Pergaud is ready to drink" says Eric "enjoy it now for its round tannins, with low alcohol and minimal SO2. My parents love it because it goes well with confit de canard!" The wine shows conplex, earthy aromas of blackberry, rose, black pepper and graphite with animal and smoky notes. The palate is cool and sapid with blackberry, prune, citrus and earth with a long finish with black fruit and mineral flavors. This is a delicious old vine Syrah reflecting the granite terroirs and M. Texier's superb farming and natural vinifications.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Texier 2015 Brézème Domaine Pergaud Vieille Serine

Made primarily from 80 to 90 year-old vines of Serine, grown in a small hillside parcel of limestone marl soil in Brezeme, generally regarded as an old version of Syrah (which evolved from Mondeuse Blanc and Dureza) with smaller berries which survived through massale selection, principally in Cote Rotie.  Serine gives a more aromatic and elegant wine that the larger berried modern Syrah. Eric Texier says "2015 Brezeme Pergaud is a different animal. Very reductive now, it needs decanting or, better, opening 24 hours before pouring. Personally, I will not touch it before 2025. I consider it as one of my best "old school" wines. A bit like 2010 with more depth, riper than 2013 with a similar balance. Not a fruit bomb." The 2015 shows earthy, complex black and blue fruits, with chalky strawberry and floral aromas. The palate is intense and earthy with blackberry, red currant, licorice and mineral flavors with pretty red fruits lingering in the long finish. Decant well in advance if drinking now, best to hold ten years or more.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $46.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Barou 2020 Saint-Joseph "Un Autre Monde"

Domaine Barou has been organic since the 1970s and also produces cherries, apricots and peaches. The Saint-Joseph vines are in Limony, on thin soils of decomposed granite over the bedrock. Shallow plowing ("griffage") is done in the summer, with rye and clover growing between the rows in winter. The grapes are 80% de-stemmed, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is primarily in old barrels. .The 2020 Saint-Joseph shows a deep black/red color and gorgeous aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with violet, spice, citrus and roast meat, very floral and pretty. Ripe black fruits, bitter chocolate, earth, licorice and citrus continue on the very lush, supple palate which is framed in perfect, bright acidity. The finish is soft and sapid and shows bright acidity and mineral flavors. This is absolutely delicious now but has the structure to age nicely for five to ten years. A sensational value and highly recommended!

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

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur