Get 10% off the purchase price with every order of 12 bottles or more of still wine not already on sale. The savings add up!
Candela Prol, highly experienced certified wine educator and friend of the shop, is available for tastings and training for private and corporate events. For rates and other inquiries, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
----- We recently asked our former colleague and #1 Savoie fanboy, David Hatzopoulos, if he was excited about any new arrivals from the Savoie, and he was kind enough to write up a piece about some new arrivals. We've tasted some of the wines from Domaine de l'Aitonnement with David and we were thouroughly impressed with the density and length of the wines, so we're happy to be able to offer some of these limited bottlings. ------
When I met Maxime Dancoine of Domaine de l’Aitonnement on an early Savoie evening last September, he wasn’t expecting the visit. In fact, my (now) boss, my wife, and I were in the small village of Aiton, on a slope overlooking the Arc River, accompanied by the fantastic Marie-Dominique Bachellier of Domaine les Sartos du Bec. She and her husband are winemakers in the village, which was once a hub for Mondeuse. The vineyards were too steep for tractors and other machines of the modernizing industry, however, and in the later half of the 20th century the legacy of winemaking in the village found itself almost completely abandoned. However, in 2016, Maxime came to Aiton and began collaborating with Marie-Dominique and her husband, Bernard - a couple who staunchly advocate organic and biodynamic viticulture.
If you’re a follower (or rather, a seeker) of French Alpine bottles, you might have stumbled upon Maxime’s wines on shelves in America. For a brief moment many years ago he was imported into the States. I found a bottle of his ‘16 Genesis (100% Jacquere) at a small shop in Brooklyn just a couple months ago. It was the last one in stock, standing all alone like a glowing gem - and the wine was brilliant when I opened it a few weeks later, healthily singing the salty, textured song of a perfect Alpine white.
After training as an oenologist in Beaune and Changins (Switzerland), Maxime came to the Savoie in 2010. Sandwiched between his time at the Chamber of Agriculture and a short career at an important regional oenological laboratory, he worked alongside the venerable Louis Magnin in Arbin. Like the Bachelliers, Louis has invested deeply in sustainable viticulture and, more successfully than most, has pushed the popularity of Mondeuse in the international wine market. Although Maxime was at Domaine Louis Magnin for only a stint of time, it was a chance for him to work closely with one of the legends of Savoie winemaking.
Today, Maxime farms two hectares of vines planted with Jacquere, Altesse, and Mondeuse, as well as less known varieties from the area, like Douce Noire, Blanc de Maurienne, Joubertin Noir, Mondeuse Grise, and Mondeuse Blanc - rooted in soils of gray limestone and degraded schist. Like the vignerons he’s been involved with, he is working completely organically, but he is also introducing biodynamic techniques to his small holdings. In the cellar, fermentation happens naturally and without the addition of sulfur. Limited SO2 is typically added at bottling.
Above his winery, me and the gang tasted with Maxime for nearly four hours. We listened to his story, his opinions on winemaking, and his dreams of future accomplishments. His wines, which I had only brief experience with beforehand, were chiseled, balanced, yet intriguing expressions of Savoie excellence. The small allocation of wines from l’Aitonnement on offer today should not be missed. He is joining a rather exclusive echelon of Alpine winemakers in the area, choosing to farm with nature in mind, and creating thrilling products this world is only getting more and more thirsty for.
Another in these ranks is Adrien Berlioz, a master of Bergeron. There are a few fantastic producers in Chignin, but none get the amount of attention that the Berlioz cousins receive. Gilles and Adrien Berlioz are lauded in cities across the globe for their “natural” approach to viticulture and their superb winemaking skills. We’re incredibly excited to showcase a lineup of wines from Adrien. These are well-fruited wines of depth and character - with an everlasting evolution in the glass. An open bottle from Adrien will continue to develop over an entire week, with compelling, morphing flavors and structure - and their cellaring potential is just as impressive. Because he is more well-known than Maxime in the American market, I’ll simply direct readers to the Living Wine website to read about his 7-hectare biodynamic estate under the glorious Bauges Massif. But, like the incredible bottles we’re offering from Maxime, the bottles below from Adrien Berlioz are essential experiences for those eager to revel in the power of French Alpine wine.
All wines will be available for delivery and pick up after Wednesday 4/19
A Bergeron from Maxime Dancoine! The color is a clean yellow in the glass. On the nose, there is a rich, herbal aroma above limestone, salt, and lemon pith. The palate is sparky - definitely crisper in style when compared to the fuller wines of Adrien Berlioz. There is lovely bitter quince, lemon and apple on the tongue - with an extra-long finish of airy baking spice. High acid and deliciously tender mouthfeel - this is dangerously fascinating on the tongue! -DH
100% Jacquere from Maxime Dancoine in Aiton, the '21 Genesis shows the high quality that this grape can achieve. A clear lemon in the glass, the nose is full of almonds, lemon pith, and a fresh grassiness. It's heady and ripe - so unexpectedly and beautifully layered! On the palate, this is a very salty wine, laced with incredible spice, and completed but fruits of green apple and yellow cherry. Very high acidity, awesome minerality, and a cool, tender mouthfeel. Man, I love Jacquere - and this is the definition of why! -DH
The '21 Dark Side is 100% Mondeuse, the grape that was once planted so densely on the slopes of Aiton. In the glass, the color is of a glowing, translucent plum. The nose has very expressive floral aromas, with freshly cut stems of violets and dark roses. Great Mondeuse moodiness on the nose, with fresh black pepper, cinnamon, dates and blackberries - a very foresty and earthy bouquet. Flavors are of crisp raspberries and blueberries, with a salty undertone, ending with the telltale grassiness that Savoie's star red grape is known for. Structurally mineral and precise, with great acidity and just a dash of tannin. Serve with a bit of a chill and this will be your favorite red this summer, I promise! Awesome for grilled meats on a hot day, no doubt. -DH
For Mondeuse die-hards this bottle is a must - even if there is some Douce Noir involved! Slightly more classic in expression than the '21 Dark Side from Maxime Dancoine, his '21 Nebula has a denser, plumper profile than it's lighter counterpart, the it's color is still clean and fresh. The nose has healthy, plummy dark stone fruit and a graphite-focused mineral expression. The floral smells are also more dramatic in this wine - with ripe smells of sweet red roses. On the tongue, juicy blackberry, raspberry and orange peel swirl around a core of tense briney coolness. Killer acidity, with the celebrated earthy tannic structure that the best Mondeuse can offer. The wine ends with a sweet kiss of blueberry. Wow. -DH
The '21 Cuvée Raipoumpou is the most herbal of Adrien's Bergerons. In the glass, it has a clean yellow hue. On the nose, there are smells of spiced apples and oyster shells. There is a dinstinct grassiness, along with savory aromas of thyme and other earthy herbs. The palate is more fruit-driven, with crisp lemon, just-ripe stonefruit, crunchy minerality, and salt. Exceptional acidity sets the structural tone with a lapping texture on the tongue. Simply delicious! -DH
The Lucien '21 is the most precise, electric expression of Bergeron from Adrien. The color in the glass is clear lemon. On the nose, salinity, limestone, zingy yellow citrus, salt shine - definitely a bouquet for those who like fuller styles of Loire Muscadet! On the palate, a clean salty thread links flavors of firm pear, lime and lemons. Great acidity and a lean mouthfeel create the most refreshing structure on offer today. Drink up! -DH
A standout from the rest of Adrien's lineup, the Marcelle '21 is 100% Pinot Gris, known as Malvoisie in the French Alps. It shows a bright yellow in the glass. Floral and rich on the nose, with lovely aromas of white flowers, yellow cherry, freshly baked bread and quince. On the tongue, guided by an underlying tender saltiness, are fruits of lemon and orange, with brisk limestone. Great swish in the mouth, with stellar acidity pushing a long, long finish. If you've never had Pinot Gris from Savoie, this is one of the best examples on the market! -DH
The color of the Grand Zeph '20 is a fresh lemon yellow. The nose has a softness to it, with fantastic aromas of almonds and lemon oil. The palate is complex, showing flavors of lemon, coriander seeds, apple and snappy salinity. Structurally gracious, with a lean richness and tasty acidity. A beautiful Bergeron! -DH
Possibly the most complex of Bergeron's from this line up of Adrien's wines, the '19 Euphrasie is a dynamic Alpine Roussanne. The color is a deeper yellow, with aromas of wispy hazelnut, green tea, and nori. The palate is smoky, with rich apple, lemon zest - and an exceptionally delicious minty, almost candied finish. Incredible, sturdy mouthfeel with high-toned acidity. So much going on in this wine, it is definitely a bottle to meditate on while drinking. -DH