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*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
2020 is another great vintage for the dry Montlouis cuvées from François and Manuela Chidaine, featuring the superb "Les Bournais," now recognized as one of the very finest Chenin Blancs of the Loire! In 1989 François discovered a mostly abandoned vineyard near a cliff overlooking the Loire called "Les Bournais" named after a unique type of clay/limestone soil that doesn't occur elsewhere in Montlouis. He called it a "magical place," and planted vines there in the late 1990s. Even the first vintages from young vines impressed us with complex aromatics (including hints of red and pink fruits!) and a dense and silky palate - it has been a favorite at Chambers Street since the 2005 vintage and we are happy to offer a limited quantity of the beautiful 2020.
2020 "Clos du Breuil" is another superb - and more typical - dry Montlouis produced by the Chidaines, on clay/silex soils with white limestone "tuffeau" bedrock. "Clos du Breuil" is a single vineyard near the winery with 60 year-old vines. The wine offers an elegant crystalline palate with subtle white fruits and fabulous mineral notes in the vibrant finish. These are superb food wines - great pairings with griled fish, lobster, shellfish and goat cheeses! And both wines wll benefit from 10 to 15 years of aging.
François and Manuela have been pioneers in organic and biodynamic farming in the Loire Valley. After taking over from his father in 1989, François converted to organic agriculture in 1992 and to biodynamics in 1999. Today, the Chidaines embrace "regnerative agriculture," a no-till farming approach (no plowing) where permanent cover crops of indigenous and sown plants coexist with the vines, improving the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and sequestered in the soil. Regenerative farming returns carbon, nitrogen and organic matter into the ground, where it feeds the teeming flora and fauna and microbial life of a living soil, generating the nutrients and micronutrients essential to life.
Winemakers all over the world are turning to limited or no-till farming to bring their soils back to life and produce better wine - and in so doing they are participating in the most practical and effective way to reduce atmospheric CO2!
Case/mixed case discounts apply, wines arrive Friday, July 1st
This is our favorite wine from François and Manuela Chidaine, long-time champions of organic and biodynamic farming in the Loire Valley. Named after the soil type "Les Bournais," a unique clay topsoil over limestone (tuffeau blanche) also found across the river in Vouvray and without the silex present in most Montlouis terroirs. First made in a sec-tendre style, recent vintages have been dry, with the 2020 showing power and balance at 3 g/L RS, 14.5% alc and 3.95 g/L total acidity. In the glass, the color is glimmering lemon. The nose is firm with apricot, citrus peel, and oyster shell, with healthy green herbs and lovely grassy aromas. The palate is salty, with a touch of anise, with lime zest and a touch of bitter nectarine. A great swish in the mouth, punctuated by a beam of vibrant acidity. The finish is long and mouthwatering. Delicious!
The Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire "Clos du Breuil" is from a single vineyard of 60 year-old Chenin Blanc vines, next to the Clos Habert, sloping to the northwest, on soils of clay with silex stones ("perruches") over the white limestone "tuffeau." Always a dry and very crystalline Chenin, equal in quality to the "Les Bournais" but in a more austere, mineral style more typical of Montlouis. The flinty soil is expertly displayed in this wine whose nose exhibits an abundance of minerality underscored by citrus, green pears and green apple. The palate is extremely mineral as well, supported by bracing acidity and a medium bodied structure that keeps it dancing on its feet despite it's intense, powerful profile and dramatic length. A perfect expression of the "iron fist in a velvet glove" idiom. Pair with fuller bodied seafood such as lobster or swordfish, roast fowl and pork dishes. New England Clam bake anyone? Giselle Hamburg