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We're very happy to have just receved a new shipment from our Biodynamic friends, the Hubert family at Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. Chambers Street customers need no introduction to these two over-achieving Bordeaux estates located on the right bank of the Gironde (roughly opposite Margaux), and situated on classic gravel and clay/limestone soils - the great farming and winemaking at both domains produces some of the most authentic and affordable wines of Bordeaux.
Joining the Hubert family on our shelves are more superb Bordeaux from estates that have had the courage and good sense to embrace organic and Biodynamic farming - to make better wines of course, but also to protect the consumer, vineyard workers and the soil from the effects of applying systemic perticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical-based fertilizers. (Yes, the application of nitrogen/phosphorous/potassium fertilizers disrupts and destroys the natural functioning of a living soil.)
Chateau Micalet, with a few hectares in the commune of Lamarque was classified "Cru Artisan" by Feret in 1893. Acquired by the Fedieu family in 1972 the estate was enlarged slightly, never using herbicides, and with a new generation the conversion to organic agriculture was started in 2006. The estate now has 10 hectares on deep beds of gravel, planted at 8,000 pieds/hectare; the normal blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot - and 7% Petit Verdot, a grape the Fedieus feel is particularly important. The 2019 Haut-Medoc showed beautifully at our tasting wth the Fedieus last winter - It's a classic, well-structured Haut-Medoc for drinking over the next fifteen years. The 2019 "Origine" is a slightly lighter and more ready-to-drink version of their Haut-Medoc, with a shorter cuvaison and without aging in wood - serve it slightly cool with grilled foods this summer..
Planquette Didier Michaud (now retired) worked 1.7 hectares in the Medoc with 30 to 100 year-old vines on limestone with thin soils of clay with sand and stones. He has old vines of Merlot Queue Rouge and massale selection Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed organically with just a little compost and shallow plowing. Vinification with wild yeasts, no extraction and no added sulfur (total SO2 less than 2 mg/L). This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux - the 2019 is superb! (the estate is being continued with the same philosophy by Blandine Prévot and Jérémy Borde, their first vintage is 2021)
Clos Puy Arnaud is located near the town of Belvès-de-Castillon, at an altitude of 90 to 100 meters on an extraordinary plateau terroir. It lies on limestone with starfish fossils mixed with a few limestone veins from Castillon in the East continuity of Saint-Emilion, similar to the terroirs of Clos Fourtet, Canon, Belair-Monange, Trottevieille and Haut-Sarpe. Thierry Valette purchased the estate in 1999 after selling his shares in Chateau Pavie. Valette is a staunch supporter of biodynamic farming, and his vineyards have been certified by both Demeter and Biodyvin. His focus is freshness and drinkability. His wines rely on a dazzlingly focused mineral core as a foundation for both flavor and structure
Chateau Bellegrave, located in the southwest part of Pomerol covers 8.5 hectares of vines. Three quarters of the plots are planted to Merlot, with the remaining planted to Cabernet Franc. The soil “consists of stony surface gravel, clay and sand with a subsoil rich in iron oxide, also known as crasse de fer." Organic practices began in 2001 with Ecocert certification in 2009. No over-extraction or excess new oak here, making this a staff favorite for many years, we're happy to bring back this superb 2015 Pomerol at a new lower price.
Château Cartier is the second label of Chateau Fonroque, certified organic in 2006 and biodynamic in 2008 under consultant Alain Moueix. 100% Merlot, Château Cartier wines are well-rounded, giving them a friendly style. The tannins are soft and smooth. The aromas linger beautifully, with a fresh minerality coming through in the finish. Lively and harmonious with lovely tension.
Château Mazeyres in Pomerol, converted to organic and biodynamic farming in 2012, also under viticultural engineer and oenologist Alain Moueix. A blend of mostly Merlot, with about a quarter Cabernet Franc and a tiny amount of Petit Verdot. "Gravel soils endow this Mazeyres wine with smoky aromas and a chiselled,mineral texture. Clay brings undergrowth notes and a rounded, fleshy structure. Biodynamics promotes finesse and freshness. The texture of Château Mazeyres wines consistently offers the velvety touch characteristic of fine Pomerol."
Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne was established by Louis Despagne in 1812 and has passed down thrugh the generations to current owner and winemaker François Despagne. Under François the estate began organic conversion in 2010 and was certified in 2013, with biodynmaic methods being used as well beginning in 2018. Located in the north of the Saint-Emilion appellation, adjacent to Pomerol, the vineyard of Château Grand Corbin-Despagne is situated on two great soil types: sandy-clay with iron deposits and ancient sands over clay. In order to maintain diversity in our vegetal material in our vineyard, we have carried out massale selection on the old Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines planted at the beginning of the 20th century which we have used for new plantations and inter-planting."
Chateau Smith Haut Lafite This important estate in Pessac-Leognan (Graves) is now certified organic and uses biodynamic methods as well. "Underneath our precious soil lies a parallel universe home to a wealth of microbial life that gives our wine its distinctive identity. Composed of Günz gravel, Smith Haut Lafitte’s terroir features superb natural drainage forcing the vine roots to sink deep to extract water and mineral salts, over six metres below the surface, and a “mirror effect” reflecting the sun’s rays on the gravelly soil for optimum ripening." The 2016 "Les Haut de Smith" is made exactly as the "first" wine, but designed for earlier drinking - the 2016 is showing beautifully now and for another ten to fifteen years.
Wines are in stock, more inventory arrives 5/16. 10% case/mixed case discount applies
This year's Quintessence from the famille Hubert's estate in the Cotes de Bordeaux is composed of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from beautiful biodynamically farmed vines on clay limestone soils. The nose is dense and ripe on opening, showing ripe cassis, blackberry and raspberry, with hints of warming spice. With time open, the wine shows increasingly complex aromatic qualities, with more tobacco and earth coming through by hour 4 or 5. On the palate, the fruit is again ripe and dense, with cassis liqueur, ripe blackberry, and black cherry balanced by bristly tannins and limestone minerality on the long finish. After some time open, the palate leans more towards cacao and earth, but the ripe fruit remains dominant. A pleasure now with butter basted rib eye steak or roast beef, it will certainly improve over the next 10 to 15 years...
Chateau La Grolet has been certified organic and Biodynamic since 2000. Double Guyot pruning, spontaneous winter grass cover. Soil tillage during the spring, every other row ploughed. Treatments combining small quantities of Bordeaux mixture with herbal teas such as horsetail or nettle. The blend is 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet-Franc, 5% Malbec. The Hubert family's great farming creates this sensational value Bordeaux which is truly a subtle, complex and profound wine. The 2021 shows a bright garnet color and very pretty aromas of wild berries, violet and rose petal. The palate is really lovely with pure black raspberry and cassis fruit in a light, elegant frame - at 12% alcohol the wine is quite pure and refreshing, a perfect Bordeaux for summer sipping or with lighter grilled foods. Serve a bit cool and enjoy!
Our biodynamic friends, the Hubert family, make this lovely Bordeaux with the best juice from Chateau La Grolet, coming from old vines of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. The 2019 shows a dark garnet color and lovely aromas of ripe cassis and blackberry with floral, cedar, brown spice and stone, really quite pretty. The palate is elegant and well-structured with deep cassis and red fruits over firm acidity with earth and mineral flavors. The wine is powerful but nicely balanced, with terrific length. This is a real Bordeaux of terroir that is delicious now especially if decanted many hours in advance or opened the night before. Serve with a steak or griled pork - cellaring for ten to fifteen years will create a lovely mature wine. David Lillie
65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec. Harvest by hand, natural fermentation, and zero new oak. Château Cru Godard’s vines grow on southerly exposed hillsides adjacent to the Saint-Emilion appellation, geographically closer to Bergerac than to the city of Bordeaux. The wine is fermented by indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks and is then matured 50% in tank and 50% in used barriques that have seen two passages. The 2019 has a dark ruby robe. The nose offers aromas of sweet black fruits, tobacco, and cocoa. The mid-weight palate has soft flavors of black cherry, cassis, blackberry, and coffee framed by savory earth notes and fine-grained tannins. A great value!
Chateau Micalet, with a few hectares in the commune of Lamarque was classified "Cru Artisan" by Feret in 1893. Acquired by the Fedieu family in 1972 the estate was enlarged slightly, never using herbicides, and with a new generation the conversion to organic agriculture was started in 2006. The estate now has 10 hectares on deep beds of gravel, planted at 8,000 pieds/hectare; the normal blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot - and 7% Petit Verdot, a grape the Fedieus feel is particularly important. The grapes are harvested by hand and undergo a 3 to 4 week fermentation, the wine ages in barrique, 30% new. The nose on the Haut Medoc has dark plummy cassis fruit, with hints of vanilla and baking spice. Young leather notes and dark gravel tones as well. A little floral with dark violets and roses. The palate has deep, lush black cherry. Graphite and iron on the tongue give an earthy glimmer. Medium acid and soft tannin, but great density at its core and terriic length. Drink up - this is a sensational value for a very good Haut-Medoc!
(Last stock of the 2020) Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, good value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the rich clay soils in which it is grown, This wine offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat or sipped on its own.
(NY Times Thanksgiving pick - 48 btls arrive Tuesday 11/21) This is the twelfth vintage of the Hubert family's "Blanc Bonhomme" - the vines are now 17 years old, certified organic and Biodynamic. The grapes are hand-harvested in the early morning, pressed gently, fermented with native yeasts and the wine is aged partly in new oak, mostly in cement vats. Only about 650 cases are made. In 2020, Le Blanc is 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon, and 10% Colombard, and shows elegant pear, lemon, herbal and dried flower aromas, with pear, citrus and chalky mineral flavors on the palate. At 12.5% alcohol, the 2021 is lighter and brighter than the previous 3 vintages and it really shows the terroir with crisp acidity, lovely white fruit, a hint of dried pineapple, light oak and stony flavors in the finish. Really a lovely, balanced and food-friendly wine - serve with anything from oysters to grilled fish to roast chicken.
This wine is from the limestone plateau of near the village Belves-de-Castillon. It is 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, from vines averaging 35 years old. Fermented naturally in wood and cement. Aged in barrel, with 10% being new wood, for 8 months before going into cement vats for 5 more months. Clos Puy Arnaud is owned by Thierry Valette, who brought the estate into both organic and biodynamic certification. The wine is beautiful, and really shows itself 3 or so hours after opening. The nose is dense and heady, full of ripe dark flowers, crushed cherries, with a savory waft of dried fruits like raisins and dates. The palate has a spark of firm black plum and graphite. A broad and warming body with tannin on all corners of the mouth refreshed by straight, balanced acidity. Delicious!
The Chateau Micalet Haut-Medoc "Origine" is from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and 20% Petit Verdot grown on deep beds of gravel in Lamarque. The Fedieu family created this wine to be a slightly lighter and more ready-to-drink version of their Haut-Medoc, with a shorter cuvaison and without aging in wood. The Origine has a beautiful nose, with ripe blackberries, dried blueberries and an elegant combo of orange peel and clove. On the palate, the wine is full and bold, with black pepper, dark cherry and a zesty accent of cassis and plum peel. Structurally, the wine shows just enough generous texture, a mineral zing, and medium acid. A fantastic buy at under $20! David Hatzopoulos
Didier Michaud works 1.7 hectares in the Medoc with 30 to 100 year-old vines on limestone with thin soils of clay with sand and stones. He has old vines of Merlot Queue Rouge and massale selection Cabernet Sauvignon, farmed organically with just a little compost and shallow plowing. Vinification with wild yeasts, no extraction and no added sulfur (total SO2 less than 2 mg/L). This is one of the most "natural" and deliciously old-fashioned wines of Bordeaux. In the glass, the '19 is rich and plummy in color. The nose is heady, with awesome smells of mint, fresh garden soil, graphite, and pungent dark flowers. Flavors steer towards ripe forest fruits, like blueberry, blackberry, and cassis. Anise and herbs, with crunchy minerals, add flare to the wine's fruit. Great density, a velvety texture with engaging tannins and bright acidity. Definitely a bold Bordeaux, clocking in at 15% ABV, but so delicious, well structured and drinkable. Yum! David Hatzopoulos
"Blended at the same time as Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Hauts de Smith 2016 was crafted and aged with the same care as the estate’s Grand Vin; the entire winemaking process is exactly the same." - From the website of Smith Haut-Lafite. "The 2016 Les Hauts de Smith is pliant, racy and inviting. This Merlot-based wine offers tons of early accessibility and sheer appeal. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry, mint, rose petal and dried flowers add grace throughout. A range of striking floral/savory Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics add complexity, while the Merlot is felt in the wine’s fleshiness." Vinous
The second label to Chateau Fonroque, the Chateau Cartier sees none of the estate's Cabernet Franc. The Merlot that goes into this wine comes from under the limestone plateau of St.-Emilion, picked from biodynamically farmed vines on the limestone-clay and silty clay soils of the slopes and bottom-slopes. All fruit is picked by hand. The wine was fermented naturally and aged in a mixture of 75% barrel and 25% concrete vats. A very impressive partner to Fonroque, mimicking the minerally character that the estate is known for. The nose delivers scents of dark flowers and rich baked fruit - strawberry, cherry, blueberry. The palate shows deep red and black cherry and plum, with accents of warm cedar and herbs. There is great minerality, which lends the wine a structure of supreme freshness, but a textural softness making the wine quite delicious now in the sunny 2018 vintage. Great wine. David Hatzopoulos
Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne has been certified organic since 2013. The blend is 75% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 2019 is the 208th vintage by the Despagne family at Grand Corbin! "The 2019 Grand Corbin Despagne turned out beautifully. Readers will find a big, statuesque Saint-Émilion built on vertical energy. Black cherry, plum, graphite, spice, licorice and gravel lend nuance to this explosive, potent Saint-Émilion. Gravel, scorched earth, tobacco and incense lend gravitas on the substantial finish. This is an especially powerful, earthy Saint-Émilion. Quite simply, the 2019 is a flat out stunner. " Vinous
Another compelling vintage from Chateau Mazeyres in Pomerol, which converted to organic and biodynamic farming in 2012 under viticultural engineer and oenologist Alain Moueix. A blend of mostly Merlot, with about a quarter Cabernet Franc and just a tiny amount of Petit Verdot planted on clay soils, with some plots having additional layers of sand and gravel. Hand-harvested, fermented in steel and concrete, aged in wood for 14 months. The wine is really outstanding in 2020. On the nose, there are deep black and red fruits, hints of spice, blood orange, rose, earth and rich woodsy aromas. On the palate, the texture is warm and generous, quite dense with bold plum and black cherry, with accents of herbs and mint. This very young wine is delicious now, with a long decant, but will be best after ten to twenty years in the cellar. From the estate's website: "Gravel soils endow this Mazeyres wine with smoky aromas and a chiselled,mineral texture. Clay brings undergrowth notes and a rounded, fleshy struc-ture. Biodynamics promotes finesse and freshness. The texture of Château Mazeyres wines consistently offers the velvety touch characteristic of fine Pomerol."