Look What We Found in the Cellar!

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Including a large group of Alto Piemonte wines, and other fine surprises.

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Francoli 1970 "Expo" Riserva

This wine is Gattinara — so says the previous owner, who we trust entirely — but is labelled in celebration of the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan. It wasn't easy to sell Gattinara in 1970, so the creative vendor tried some novel approaches... We don't know if it worked, but we do know that old Francoli is worth a try. JW

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Fontanafredda 1938 Barolo

Vintage is hand-written.

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Cornelissen, Frank 2018 Etna Munjabel Rosso

A blend of Nerello Mascalese grapes taken from each of Cornelissen's single vineyards; the vines are over 60 years old. 12,000 bottles produced.

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COS 2018 Sicilia IGT Frappato

Sicilian wine is generally perfectly suited for the Thanksgiving meal, as it goes so well with the mash up of savory and sweet sour that characterizes the island’s food - and our national feast. I’m a great fan of Frappato but rarely find compelling wines; COS makes the benchmark version, retaining freshness and avoiding the unfortunate opacity of flavor that most versions slip into. The COS Frappato is distinguished by haunting complexity, balancing fruit and earth and herbs, and showing depth and intensity, all with 12% alcohol. This wine is a crowd pleaser, satisfying the casual drinker and any serious geeks at your table. I’m now determined that we need some at our house! Jamie Wolff

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COS 2019 Sicilia IGT Frappato

The COS 2019 Frappato comes from the certified organic vineyards of one of Sicily's most recognizable and acclaimed producers. The 15 year old vines are planted to level vineyards, 300 meters above sea level. The soil in this area of Vittoria, on the islands southern edge, is mostly red sand of limestone and silica. The fruit is picked by hand before moving to the cellar for a natural fermentation on the skins in concrete. The wine ages for nine months in concrete and three more in bottle before release. For a Frappato, the COS '19 is rather deep in hue. The nose is full of freshly picked and sliced cherries and strawberries. Flavors on the palate are similar to the wine's aromas, displayed in a juicy, barely tannic (but still tannic) structure. Good acid and a dark mineral tone lend the wine a clean mouthfeel, full of freshness. A distinct expression of Frappato, definitely more pronounced than most others. Serve with a chill if you'd like. David Hatzopoulos

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Inaki Garrido 2019 Tenerife Las Toscas Blanco

Iñaki Garrido (who hails from the Basque country) produced this wine Las Toscas Blanco, his first wine from the Canary Islands, from a small vineyard of 150-200 year old vines of Listan Blanco at 1400 meters above sea level on Tenerife. Planted in poor volcanic soils, the half hectare at the top of  parcel Valle de Güímar produces only enough to bottle 1200 bottles of wine. The elevation and the volcanic soils yield a wine of incredible balance: herbal, citrus, and stone nights define the nose, while the long, vibrant palate shows charred lemon, fennel, and stone. This is a really remarkable Canarian white wine that expresses the incredible potential of these ancient vines and volcanic soils. Ben Fletcher

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López de Heredia 2007 Rioja Tondonia Reserva

The Viña Tondonia, a more than 100 hectare assemblage of vineyards acquired by the estate in 1913, is situated on a large meander of the river Ebro. This is the largest vineyard owned and worked by the Lopez estate, and the grapes are used in the production of both white and red Reserva wines, and in exceptional years a small number of Gran Reserva bottles.  (Information from LopezdeHeredia.com)

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Bouland, Daniel 2017 Morgon Delys Vieilles Vignes

Daniel Bouland is a great producer of old-fashioned Morgon.  From less than 7 hectares of old vines in the Douby, Côte de Py, and Delys, lieux of Morgon, plus small parcels in Chiroubles and Cote de Brouilly, he makes wines that can age 20 years, and are comparable to fine Côte de Nuits Burgundies.  De Lys (between Corcellette and Ville Morgon) was planted in 1926, on sandy granite soils.  All his grapes are hand-harvested and vinified with full clusters in order to extract all the organoleptic qualities, and bottled unfiltered. The 2017 is drinking beautifully, but cellaring of 5 to 8 more years would be very interesting.

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Clos du Joncuas 2006 Gigondas

What do we have here? Old-fashioned Gigondas? We are seldom fortunate enough to taste these.

Clos du Joncuas farms organically, vinifies whole-cluster in concrete, and does élevage in old large casks. The color of the 2006 is a bright intense ruby. The nose is floral, black-fruited, plummy with savory hints of animale and garrigue. This evolves into spicy and earthy notes without losing any sense of ripe-not overripe-fruit. There is good richness to the palate; the ripe fruit is at the forefront with a significant counter-balance of earth. Black pepper, violets, leather follow on the mostly-resolved, long finish. There is a hint of dryness, perhaps from the old oak, but no sense of austerity. Consider it refined rusticity.

Was lovely paired with grilled lamb and Borlotti beans.

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Ducroux, Christian 2016 Vin de France Exspectatia

Christian Ducroux' 5 hectare estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since 1985, and has operated as a nearly self-sufficient farm, producing its own fertilizer and compost, and plowing and harvesting almost entirely without machinery. The vines average over 60 years of age and are replaced by massale selection, giving extremely low yields. The 2016 Exspectatio (formerly Regnié) has delightful melange of red currant, cranberry, raspberry and blood orange aromas that darken to plum and blackberry on the palate with earth and saline notes in the finish. It's light and refreshing, an "alive" wine from living soil — a delightful reminder of what Beaujolais tasted like in 1950. Bravo to Christian Ducroux for his beautiful farming and for this complex, expressive natural wine! This is a living, changeable and profound wine of terroir that expresses the incredible farming and winemaking of Christian Ducroux - certainly one of the finest natural wines of France.(Decanting advised, no added sulfur - consume on the day opened.)

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Ducroux, Christian 2017 Vin de France Exspectatia

Christian Ducroux' 5 hectare  estate has been certified organic and biodynamic since 1985, and has operated as a nearly self-sufficient farm, producing its own fertilizer and compost, and plowing and harvesting almost entirely without machinery. The vines average over 60 years of age and are replaced by massale selection, giving extremely low yields. Tasted on arrival in NY, the 2017 Exspectatia (the wine formerly known as Régnié) shows a bright red/black color, with aromas of ripe black raspberry, cherry, spice, rose, licorice and citrus. The palate shows bright raspberry and blackberry fruit, earth, mineral and leafy flavors with a tight, long earthy finish. This fascinating natural wine is quite delicious now, but best to wait a few months - and a cellaring of five to ten years should be very interesting. Bravo to Christian for his beautiful farming and for this complex, expressive natural wine! This is a living, changeable and profound wine of terroir - certainly one of the finest natural wines of France.(Decanting advised, no added sulfur - consume on the day opened.)

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Ducroux, Christian 2018 Vin de France Esquisse Rosé

(Tasted from barrel and vat, January 2019) Lovely light pink/red color, pretty red currant, raspberry fruit, ripe, bright and earthy. Delicate and ethereal, slightly funky, yum...! 

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Ducroux, Christian 2019 Vin de France Esquisse Rosé

  The 2019 "Esquisse" Rosé seemed a bit lighter than the 2018, showing a pretty orange/pink color with aromas of citrus and raspberry, with subtle red fruits on the palate, fresh and silky with a clean mineral finish - a rosé that should gain in complexity over the next 3 - 5 years. David Lillie

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Souch 2010 Jurançon Cuvée Joe Dressner 500ml

Run don't walk, this is just an extra-ordinary bottle of sweet wine, at a fantastic price. Joe Dressner, the famous and very-missed importer who helped introduce to America some of the most soulful European vignerons, imported Domaine de Souch for a number of years. As a tribute after he passed away in 2011, Madame Yvonne Hegoburu selected three superb barrels of her remarkable cuvée Marie-Kattalin (a 100% Petit Manseng grown on a plot called La Palombière, richer in red clay bringing more concentration to the berries) still in aging. These barrels, which were showing more depth and concentration, tasting almost like a Vendange Tardive (a rarely used special mention in Jurançon for the latest picks), were kept a little longer to age for a total of 18 months. Now 10 years old, the wine is barely showing any sign of evolution! It tastes so fresh, with an explosion of tropical fruit, ilang ilang, lily, dried apricot and yellow plum. The palate shows some herbal notes as well, especially dried lemon verbena, orange blossom and saffron. It will be very hard to guess the real sweetness of the wine as the balance with the quince-like acidity is thrilling. This is a real treat, you can still keep 20 years at least - the wine will probably take more and more white truffle note! A special one, to sip by itself or enjoy with a confit rhubarb and wild strawberry almond pie  or a kumquat and alfonso mango soufflé. 76 g RS. pH: 3,12. Pascaline Lepeltier.

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Marie et Vincent Tricot 2020 VdF Blanc (Auvergne) Chardonnay Désiré

From the Auvergne—perhaps better known for Volvic mineral water and charcuterie than for wine—comes this incredible bottle of Chardonnay. Tricot is the village leader in Orcet, a small town with volcanic soil. With less than six hectares of vines, Tricot has been working organically for many years. The plot of Chardonnay that gives this wine was planted in 1973 and has been farmed without chemicals since then. Aged in old barrel, the wine is quite lush and full-bodied and reminds us in some ways of a ripe Mâcon wine. Made entirely without SO2, this is a squeaky clean yet lightly oxidative wine that is oh-so delicious. 

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Marie et Vincent Tricot 2020 VDF (Auvergne) Rouge Lux

Rouge Lux is a delightful cuvée from Marie and Vincent Tricot, all Gamay D'Auvergne, from soils of mixed volcanic origin, over limestone. Bright and vibrant, with some trademark spice and tickle. Great with a light chill.

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Marie et Vincent Tricot 2020 VDF (Auvergne) 3 Bonhommes

A pretty expression of Pinot Noir, from old vines on a mixed soil of limestone and volcanic rock. The fruit is destemmed, leading to a very bright, and elegant style. Acid level is ideal, making this an age-worthy wine, while it is still joyful and energetic enough to open now and enjoy.

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Marie et Vincent Tricot 2020 VDF (Auvergne) Les Milans

Les Milans is a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay from two of the Tricot's plots. The Pinot Noir is destemmed, and Gamay goes through whole cluster fermentation. The 2019 'Les Milans' was absolutely lovely last year, especially for having such little time in the bottle. Vibrant, with perfect mid-palate and grit from the mix of volcanic and sandstone soils. Well worth aging for 3-5 years.

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Villemade, Herve 2018 Cour-Cheverny Les Acacias

"Romorantin, the official grape of the Cour-Cheverny AOC, appreciates sandy clay/limestone soils where it offers a wine of great character that mixes elegant vegetal and floral notes (cut grass, violets, a touch of mint), often slightly honeyed with notes of ripe fruit (roast pear) lightly marked by the elevage in old barrels. The finish is fresh, tight with saline minerals and bitter anise. A wine with good aging potential." (Villemade.net)  In 2018, the "Les Acacias" is again simply outstanding and very distinctive, offering aromas of ripe peach and pear with spice, floral, caramel and oxidative notes. The palate is very round and ripe with stone, peach, earth and almond flavors, with fabulous length with honeyed lemon, anise and minerals.  Superb wine, to drink now or in 10 to 20 years. David Lillie

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Villet, Gerard & Christine 2015 Arbois Savagnin (Ouille)

The 2015 resonates with comforting aromas of creamy walnuts, smoke, red apple, and gingerbread spice upon opening. With time lifted aromas of  genepy and subtle mountain herbs emerge to reveal a wine that's playful but rooted in rich tradition. The palate is tightly knit with gripping acidity, spice, and delicious salty minerals. There is the faintest toasted walnut note on the mid-palate but the finish is all refreshing, mineral acidity. -AB

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Bodega Chacra 2019 Patagonia Rio Negro Chardonnay

Jean-Marc Roulot brings his incredible experience in Burgundy to the southern hemisphere with this stunning collaboration with Piero Incisa della Rocchetta at Bodega Chacra. The Chardonnay for the Chacra bottling comes from 40 year-old vines grown on river stones covered with crushed white calcareous rock and this wine is the perfect medium for displaying the unique terroir of Rio Negro. The grapes are picked in the early morning and pressed immediately into vertical steel tanks and aged in a combination of 20% concrete eggs, 15% stainless steel tanks and 20% used French oak barrels for ten months. This bottle is immediately transporting with the scent of the wax seal made from the beeswax of the hives situated throughout the vineyard. Upon opening the nose is subtle, but with time and air, blossoms with notes of fresh chamomile and honeysuckle, white peach skin, crème fraîche, and wet stone. The palate highlights minerality and vibrancy; clean, fresh, powdery texture invoking the calcareous soil, with plenty of refreshing acidity tempered by the partial oak aging. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle young, the balance and structure warrant cellaring for 5-10 years,  if you can be so patient. Michelle DeWyngaert

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