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We start off our vinous tour du monde with the Bardolinos of Casaretti...
The new vintages from Azienda Agricola Casaretti are delicious. Last year, we quickly sold out of the 2020 Rosa dei Casaretti, the estate's incredible rosato. We restocked it, of course... and then we sold it out again. That pattern continued until our supplier had no more left to offer. The demand was nuts, and the wine was aboslutely worthy of the hype - but compared to this year's bottling, it was a simpler style. The 2021 vintage of Rosa dei Casaretti has more texture and an enhanced display of fruit (without being "fruity"). If you like to swirl your rosé rather than just pour it down your throat, this bottle is for you.
South of Saumur and west of Chinon (but legally in Anjou) is the sleepy village of Oiron where Celine and Benoit Blet at Domaine les Terres Blanches make superb organic/Biodynamic wines on an interesting terroir of sandstone (grès) and limestone marnes under sandy clay/silex/quartz topsoils. We really love the Chenin Blancs from Terres Blanches, but prices will be rising 30 to 40% (deservedly so) with new vintages and a new importer. If you love Chenin, grab some of the last inventory of the 2020 "Les Trois Poiriers" and the 2020 Brut Ancestral, they're beautiful wines and great values!
Other Loire Valley News: The gorgeous 2018 Pinon Vouray "Silex Noir" is back in stock; new to CSW is the great value 2020 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc from Les Chardons; speaking of Sauvignon the outstanding and ageworthy 2020 Pellé Menetou-Salon "Les Blanchais" has just arrived; one of our very favorite Muscadet is back - the very mineral-flavored 2019 Jo Landron "Les Houx" - what a great wine for $18.99; we have a new cuvée of Bourgueil from the Caslot family at Domaine de la Chevalerie - "Noms d'Oiseaux" - dedicated to biodiversity in the vineyard - and we have a few more bottles of the great 2017 Antoine Sanzay "Les Poyeux!"
Burgundies from Rouges-Queues! Gorgeous fruit, vibrant and delicious!
Chambers Street has acquired a diverse collection of Central European wines for springtime sipping: a Savagnin from the renowned Swiss winery Cave Caloz which was designated in 2019 ‘Vigneron BioSuisse de l’anne´e (Organic Swiss Winemaker of the Year); A crackling Pinot Blanc from Burgenland, Austria; A dry Tokay and Kekfrankos (Blaufrankisch) from Hungary; and a slew of single vineyard 1er cru Gruner Veltliners and Riesling from some of Austria's top producers. It's stock up the cellar time if you can manage not to drink them all!
And get hip to this California trip....Matthiasson, Poe, Turley, Stolpman and Eyrie!
Wines are in stock, please allow 5 to 7 days for pick-up/delivery
This lovely rosato is 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Molinara, from organically tended vines on the shore of Lake Garda in the Veneto. Soils are rocky with clay. 12-36 hour maceration before natural fermentation. Aged in stainless steel. In the glass, the color is a cool pink. The nose is ripe with cherry fruit and accented with fresh herbal notes. On the palate, there is a zing of raspberry and a clean mineral drive. The palate has high acidity and a great textural swish. David Hatzopoulos
This wine is mostly Garganega, plus 10% Cortese, from organically tended vines on the shores of Lake Garda in the Veneto There is a five day maceration on the skins before a soft pressing. Fermented naturally in 500L tonneau barrel. The wine is aged for eight months in tonneau and concrete with occasional battonage. Three more months in bottle before release. The color is a fresh lemon hue in the glass with flecks of silver. The nose is herbaceous and savory, showing cured citrus peel, lean apricot, and salinity. The palate is also especially salty, with incredible briskness, and the crisp flavor of orchard fruit and lemon. David Hatzopoulos
80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella planted to Morainic soils on the eastern shores of Lake Garda in the Veneto. 10 maceration before natural fermentation. Aged for a year in 20 hl barrels of used oak. Six months of bottle aging before release. In the glass, the wine is a black cherry in color. On the nose, the wine is savory, with hints of spice and flowers, like a lovely potpourri. On the tongue, there is great fruit, with zippy cassis and red citrus, balanced by fresh black pepper. Structure here is rich, with fine-grained and plush tannic form and exceptional acidity. David Hatzopoulos
We love the wines of Benoit and Celine Blet at Les Terres Blanches in Oiron, grown on unique terroirs of limestone marls, quarts and sandstone. (In Anjou, but very near the border with Touraine, south-west of Chinon) "Les Trois Poiriers" shows elegant aromas of pear, apple and minerals and a beautifully silky palate with white fruit, herbal, citrus, spice and stone flavors with excellent length. "Elegant" is the key word for this very unique and delicious wine, certainly one of the best values in Chenin Blanc you'll find anywhere. Drink over the next five years. David Lillie
Les Terres Blanches Brut Ancestrale is 100% Chenin Blanc from low yielding vines in soils of sandy clay, quartz and limestone. The initial fermentation is in underground cement vats, without SO2, finishing at 22 - 23 gr/liter of sugar. The fermentation in bottle finishes quite dry and there is no dosage at disgorgement. This is a wonderfully elegant and crystalline Pet Nat showing lovely subtle aromas of pear, peach and grapefruit, with beautiful chalky, stony acidity and terrific length. Just delicious!
(Arrives Friday 3/24) Our friends Francois and Julien Pinon produce sensational Vouvray at their estate in Vallée du Cousse and the 2018 Silex Noir is another superb example. From approximatley 40 year-old vines on soils of clay and flint over limestone in the vineyards of Terné and Batailleries. The wine shows beautiful aromas of white fruits, citrus, wildflowers earth and honey. Chalky white fruits, earth, lemon and stone on the palate with a creamy texture typical of 2018, with nice finishing acidity and mineral flavors. A bit of residual sugar brings out all the best in this lovely Chenin Blanc, delicious now - decant a few hours in advance if possible - or cellar 20 to 30 years. Serve with rillettes and rillons, fish in sauce, lobster, langoustines and scallops, chicken in cream sauce, too. (26 g/L RS, 4.1 g/L total acid.)
Husband and wife team, Thierry and Sophie Chardon, founded their estate in 1996 in the village of Couffy on the Cher river, near the Clos Roche Blanche. Thierry came from a family of winemakers but, after his father was forced to sell his vineyards, decided to become a firefighter instead. Years later, Touraine and family history drew them back and he and Sophie began a winemaking estate of their own. They converted to organic farming and winemaking practices in 2007. The 2020 shows a typical nose full of lemon and herbaceous aromas. The palate offers notes of juicy grapefruit and herbaceousness coupled with high acidity, stony minerality and a ripe body due to the warm vintage. A wine definitely made for food pairings of white meats and fish, vegetables, salads and goat cheese. GH
The 2020 "les Houx" is a great Muscadet by Jo Landron coming from an organic/biodynamic vineyard on clay and sand over a sub-soil of gneiss, rich in iron and quartz and quite high in acidity. Kept on the lees for 12 months. In the glass, this white is a clear lemon in color. Aromatically defined by bright mineral stoniness, softened by smells of flowers and herbs. A richer, more concentrated core of yellow stone fruit develops as the wine gets some air. On the palate, mild flavors of cured lemon and apricot are accented by a hit of salinity, all culminating in a simple, precise finish of anise and flint. Lovely acid and a tender mouthfeel drives the structure. This will drink well young, with grilled or steamed fish and shellfish but also with crab, langoustines and lobster, especially after a few years of aging. For those who like some minerals in their Muscadet...
The new Chevalerie cuvée "Noms D'Oiseaux" is from two parcels symbolic of the domain, each situated at the two extremities of the slope overlooking the Loire. “Nom d’Oiseaux” to warn of the urgent need to respect our biodiversity, not just false pretences but through real actions. At any rate, the 2017 is a subtle and intriguing Bourgueil showing a bright deep red/garnet color with fresh aromas of raspberry, violet, citrus and earth. On the palate there is firm acidity and chalky texture with bright raspberry and strawberry fruit with mineral and spice notes. The fruit shows layers of complexity with aeration, the finish is long and tart with red fruits and earth lingering on the palate. This is a lovely light-bodied Bourgueil that will beautifully accompany a roasted farm chicken. David Lillie
(Pre-Arrival, due 6/10) The Pellé Menetou-Salon "Les Blanchais" is from a single vineyard of massale selection vines planted in 1966. The soils are clay and silex over Kimmeridgian limestone as in Chablis and in the commune of Chavignol in Sancerre. Like the best wines of Chavignol, the "Les Blanchais" is vibrant and delicious as a young wine and will develop beautifully in the cellar for ten years or more. As someone who’s mostly ambivalent about Sauvignon Blanc as a grape variety, I somehow find plenty of exceptions to the rule. White Bordeaux? Love it. Bright, if textured, examples from Collio, had some real good ones. Chavignol and Reuilly? I’m listening. Saint-Bris? Bring it on. So it should be no surprise that I find myself not only convinced, but charmed by the various beautiful bottlings of Menetou-Salon from Domaine Pellé in Kimmeridgian-rich Morogues. Paul-Henry Pellé farms the vines organically ferments the wines with native yeast and in the case of the parcellaires, élévage is a combination of barrels, foudre, and tank. The wines display a deft balance of ripeness, soil signature, and vivacity. And though they are delicious young, a bottle squirreled away for a few years will delight as the gorgeous fruit knits with the undercurrent of chalky minerality within. The 2020 Blanchais is brimming with energy and vibrant stone fruit character with a tangy succulence to the finish that beckons for the next sip. There are stone fruit and melon notes framed by lime zest brightness and a salty undercurrent acting as a foil lending balance and drive on a long and rising finish. The balance here is notable, as is the nose which plays up the white fruit and muskmelon aromas with enough limestone soil signature to place this in Morogues. Fabulous with a butter lettuce salad with smoked salmon with chives and dill and a mustardy crème fraîche vinaigrette, better still with pan-roasted pencil asparagus with brown butter and lemon zest. Though a flounder fillet stuffed with crabmeat and a lemon beurre blanc seems an intriguing possibility. Open this a bit in advance and this will delight. Cellar for 3-5 years and I imagine this will shine. John McIlwain
From 3 parcels of old vines in clay and limestone soils of the Les Saunières lieu-dit beneath Clos Rousseau.
Located on the lower slopes of the Mont de Sène, abutting Santenay with a sunny south-southwest exposure. The 40+ year-old vines produce small bunches of grape. Rouges-Queues makes beautiful, expressive Burgundies that deserve a place in one's cellar.
A very limited Eau de Vie from the Jura made by Pauline & Geraud Fromont, the duo behind cult-favorite Marnes Blanches in the Jura. Produced with Jensillard Savagnin and aged in glass. **Item Cannot Ship out of NY**
A very limited Eau de Vie from the Jura made by Pauline & Geraud Fromont, the duo behind cult-favorite Marnes Blanches in the Jura. Produced with Jensillard Savagnin and aged in glass. **Item Cannot Ship out of NY**
Located in Hemonville northwest of Reims just past Merfy, Champagne Minière F & R (Frederique and Rudolphe) fashion organic, barrel-aged Champagnes from 2 Ha of their 8 Ha holdings. The 2017 base Influence is comprised of 41% Pinot Noir, 36% Pinot Meunier, and 23% Chardonnay.The robe is a pale golden yellow with a soft mousse and ultrafine bead. The nose is a lovely mélange of golden apple, orange blossom and biscuity aromas. The palate is ripe and even a bit creamy, with a fine bead of chalky minerality driving on to the expansive and delicious finish. This has wonderful length and a sophisticated texture. This will delight fans of classically styled Champagnes and pair beautifully with richer dishes. John McIlwain
Christian Coquillette of Saint-Charmant is a firm believer in extended lees aging, and he disgorges only once the wines have been ordered. All Saint Chamant Champagnes are of a distinctive style and sophisticated quality, reflecting well the elegance and refinement of their maker. They display a heady, old-time richness and vinosity with extremely fine bubbles.
After being part of the local co-op for years, the Beurer family decided to make the change to crafting wines for their own label in 1997, and began to shift to organic farming starting in 2003, eventually becoming Demeter (biodynamic) certified. The wines of Jochen Beurer come from vines planted on the 'Keuperlandschaft', a local landscape that contains layers of different rocks from the Upper Triassic period. Jochen works with biodynamic treatments in the vineyards, and in the cellar, only spontaneous fermentation will do. His 2020 Weiss Trocken is a blend of estate-grown Kerner, Müller-Thurgau, and Weissburgunder, fermented and aged in stainless steel. Right out of the gate there are effusive aromatics: fresh cut apple, apple blossom, honeysuckle, honeydew, and salted lemon on the nose. The mid-weight palate is racy and lithe with plenty of brisk acidity and chalky mineral character to accompany the ripe orchard fruit flavors, with just a touch of cool herbaceousness to lend interest on a long, sapid, lip-smacking finish. This lovely Weiss makes for a snappy aperitif and is just the thing for a Spring dinner enjoyed outdoors. That a wine this fresh and pretty (and well farmed) can still be had for this price is gratifying. John McIlwain
A special site, “Les Bernunes”, is located on the high slopes sitting between the villages of Sierre and Salquenen. “Les Bernunes” was the first vineyard cited in the ancient historical records of the Valais region. This micro-climate, influenced by its position in a concave bowl in the slope, allows for age-worthy wines of structure and balance. Here, Caloz has planted the Savagnin grape, known locally as Heida-Paien, This version of the famous Savagnin does not share the oxidative notes of its cousin from the Jura. Rather, it is a dry wine with tantalizing aromas that capture the smell of the mountain herbs, the pine forest and the crisp Alpine air. A shy-bearing vine that matures late, the Heida-Paien requires a patient and talented vigneron to display its complex character. The “Les Bernunes” vineyard is recognized for its capacity to produce this grape variety at its best. The 2018 is a wine of unrivaled energy, electricity and briny, mineral character. Sandrine Caloz has been farming chemically free since the 90s and in 2019 won “Organic Winemaker of the Year” and it shows in this exceptional wine.
The Nittnaus family farms their Burgenland vineyards biodynamically, and they work in a totally natural fashion in the cellar, using no selected yeasts or artificial interventions. The Heideboden Pinot Blanc is a beautifully pure expression of the grape. Aromas of lemons, whiteflowers, green herbs and stony flint waft from the glass. Super mineral on the palate with bright acidity and a medium body, underscored by notes of green apple, meyer lemon, green herbs and limestone. An altogether delightful, versatile wine for all manner of spring dishes: pork schnitzel with asparagus and morels over spatzle. Giselle Hamburg
Reid Heiligenstein is Kamptal's 1er cru vineyard considered to be worthy of Grand Cru status. One of the top sites in Austria for dry riesling, Heiligenstein actually means “Stone of the Saints.” Just over a century ago, the Heiligenstein was one of first single vineyards in Austria to get its own name on a label – at a time when dry rieslings were a rarity in Imperial Austria and were much sought after. Visible from afar, the vineyard rises steeply like a mighty wall from the gently sloping vineyard landscape around the town of Langenlois, Austria’s largest winegrowing commune. On the summit, at 349 meters above sea level, stands a small, stone-built tower. The entire 35-hectare surface is covered with narrow terraces, many of which accommodate just three or four rows of vines. Schloss Gobelsburg owns a total of about three hectares . Having been blessed to attend Gobelsburg's 850th anniversary Heiligenstein Vertical Tasting with vintages going back to the early 70s, I can say that these rieslings are insanely age worthy with my favorites being from 1982 and 1973, showing an incredible electricty and vivacity unexpected in wines of 40+ years of age! The 2019 is an excellent introduction to this legendary vineyard as it was considered a very good vintage and hence more exuberant in it's infancy. Aromas of white flowers, peach, citrus and stony rocks reinforce the notes on the palate with a very bright, mineral finish. A pitch perfect embodiment of spring in a glass! Giselle Hamburg
Reid Heiligenstein is Kamptal's 1er cru vineyard considered to be worthy of Grand Cru status. One of the top sites in Austria for dry riesling, Heiligenstein actually means “Stone of the Saints.” Just over a century ago, the Heiligenstein was one of first single vineyards in Austria to get its own name on a label – at a time when dry rieslings were a rarity in Imperial Austria and were much sought after. Visible from afar, the vineyard rises steeply like a mighty wall from the gently sloping vineyard landscape around the town of Langenlois, Austria’s largest winegrowing commune. On the summit, at 349 meters above sea level, stands a small, stone-built tower. The entire 35-hectare surface is covered with narrow terraces, many of which accommodate just three or four rows of vines. Schloss Gobelsburg owns a total of about three hectares .
Having been blessed to attend Gobelsburg's 850th anniversary Heiligenstein Vertical Tasting with vintages going back to the early 70s, I can say that these rieslings are insanely age worthy with my favorites being from 1982 and 1973, showing an incredible electricty and vivacity unexpected in wines of 40+ years of age! The 2019 is an excellent introduction to this legendary vineyard as it was considered a very good vintage and hence more exuberant in it's infancy. Aromas of white flowers, peach, citrus and stony rocks reinforce the notes on the palate with a very bright, mineral finish. A pitch perfect embodiment of spring in a glass! Giselle Hamburg
The super deep, herbal nose pulls you into this very suave and complex gruner that’s first succulent, then profoundly mineral, retaining a wonderful lightness of touch through the extremely long, subtle finish. From biodynamically grown grapes.
Herbal, peppery and sweet vegetal (think snow peas) aromas, then a stunning mouth feel on the concentrated palate that’s at once creamy yet invigorating with a ton of mineral freshness pushing the finish out in the direction of infinity.
Hailing from the finger like Hungarian outcropping Sopron at the southern edge of Lake Nieuserdlersee in Burgenland completely surrounded by Austria on 3 sides. On this side of the border, Blaufrankish is called Kekfrankos but the soil and climate are exactly the same as across the border. The soils are slate lending a savory, mineral quality to the wines. Steigler is a new winery operating organically since 2018. Spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts, 6 days skin contact, aged in stainless and Hungarian oak barrels for 8 months, unfined and unfiltered. Minimal sulfur only at bottling. The estate Kekfrankos is redolent of dark fruit, pepper, paprika and earthiness on the nose. The palate is full of forest floor fruit and earth with smooth tannins in a medium body with a long finish. A terrific value due to a border change! Giselle Hamburg
Sanzon is an organic winery from a woman winemaker in Tokaj. The soils are volacnic and Erika uses spontaneous fermantation with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks, then ages in large Hungarian barrels (kadar) for 5 months. A small amount of sulfites is added only at bottling. This wine is truly emblematic; supple yet taut, with aromas of minerals and lemons. The palate explodes with green apple, ginger and salinity. A perfect balance of fruit and minerality with a long acidic finish that dry Tokaj is famous for. Giselle Hamburg
Quebec wines does not immediately spring to mind for most people when asked about great natural wines. But the fact is that our neighbor to the north is producing some truly remarkable bottles and Les Pervenches is near the top of the heap. Established in 1991, they have pioneered organic and biodynamic viticulture in Quebec, working with both hybrid and vitis vinifera varieties. "Couchant" is their top-end Chardonnay and the 2020 is a fairly stunning wine. Fully ripe and yet clocking in at a mere 12.3% alcohol, this has incredible precision, a fruit profile wavering between lemon and apricot and a spicy and salty mid-palate. There is the barest hint of reduction that comes only from fine lees aging and little stirring, as this has absolutely no sulfur added. Any fan of Burgundy or Jura whites should give this a look. A really outstanding effort. Sam Ehrlich
Steve Matthiasson has always been willing to experiment and try new things. Ancient White No. 1 is the result of a conversation with archaeologist Patrick McGovern, who specializes in wine and told Steve that he longed to taste Retsina as it was made two thousand years ago. The wine on offer today is based on recipes that date from 90 A.D. using Greco di Tufo that Steve planted in 2009. The fruit was fermented in whole bunches and during the fermentation he added Aleppo pine resin from trees in his mother's backyard. It was pressed and aged in old barrels. The final bottling is a blend of three vintages, with no sulfur added at all. Over the years we have tasted a lot of Steve's micro-cuvees and this is one for the books. Upon opening, the wine was incredibly dense and compact, salty and savory with brisk acid. But over the course of an hour it transformed, revealing aromas and flavors of new apricot and daffodils , with firm tannin and impressive structure. New layers continued to unfold as long as the wine was in the glass. All in all this was a remarkable bottle - all we could talk about were the things we wanted to eat with it, from grilled squid to jellyfish marinated in vinegar and dashi. Bravo Steve! Sam Ehrlich
Samantha Sheehan makes beautiful wines at Poe, wines with soul and flair. She works with outstanding growers, all of whom farm organically, and makes her wines without any gloss or artifice. This 2018 Pinot Meunier from the storied Van Der Kamp Vineyard is lovely - beautiful red fruit, accented by fresh-cut cedar, garden soil and baking spice. For those of you who think that Cali Pinot Noir is too ripe or full, this will turn your head. Sam Ehrlich
Certified organic Cabernet from one of the best-known and most respected producers in California.
The wines of Stolpman Estate are some of the best farmed and most fun to drink in Santa Barbara. Exhibit A: the Crunchie Roastie. This is Syrah, with a tiny addition of Viognier and fermented with carbonic maceration and bottled young for freshness. This is joyous - Syrah for Spring, full of crisp raspberry and blueberry fruit, baking spices and white pepper, brisk as anything. Not much more to say really. This is not wine for the long haul but rather to be bought now - TODAY - and drunk in vast quantities! Sam Ehrlich
Ungrafted, certified organic Chasselas from the oldest winery in the Willamette Valley!