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Sorry, no fancy Burgundies in today's email, just some amazing values for everyday enjoyment starting at $13.99 and some superb wines for 10 to 20 years of aging starting at $19.99!
Just arrived - the full line-up of wines from Eric, Corinne and Paul Laguerre, from their beautiful organic mountainside vineyards on granite soils in the Roussillon. Their white EOS Blanc made from Grenache Blanc, Maccabeo and Vermentino is, in our opinion, one of the greatest values in the world of wine and the Laguerre's entry level Eos red and rosé are perfect for all occasions. The top wines here are named after a flowering bush called Ciste that grows throughout the vineyards contributing to biodiversity and wind protection. Le Ciste Blanc, is a unique blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Vermentino, Grenache Blanc and Maccabeu, and is one of the most interesting whites of the Roussillon. The 2021 Le Ciste Rouge is once again a Châteauneuf-du-Pape of the mountains to enjoy now or in ten years.
Domaine Rousset, Crozes-Hermitage We're very happy to have another shipment of the beautiful 2021 reds from this outstanding domain. Like the Gonons across the river, the Rousset's produced superb wines in 2021, slightly lighter than the previous 3 vintages, but with gorgeous floral fruit and terrific minerality. While delicious now, "Les Picaudieres" will be best in 8 to 12 years - a 2012 tasted recently was a delight! A great new arrival is the 2021 Marsanne "Vieilles Vignes!" For those who appreciate Northern Rhône whites, this will be a real treat, especially after 6 to 10 years in the cellar. The new 2022 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc has just arrved as well - drink this lush and delicious Marsanne/Roussanne blend over the next 5 to 6 years...
Alos just arrived - The wines of Patrick Lambert in Cravant (neighbors of the Baudrys) vie with the Bourgueils of Stephane Guion as Best Cabernet Franc Values in the World! We are especially fond of Patrick's lovely 2022 Chinon "Gourmandise" which is a perfectly lush, supple and superb wine for current drinking, served cool. For more serious drinking and cellaring please try his 2018 "Veilles Vignes" and "Ame D'Antan." And although it's no longer summer, the Lambert Chinon Rosé is a year-round treat and the 2021 is perfect right now...
John and Nicole Bojanowski at the Clos du Gravillas in St. Jean de Minervois make superb white wines and three beautiful new examples have just arrived. We'll let them descibe them: "2022 Retour aux Origines" Ancient grapes Piquepoul gris, terret gris and Carignan blanc. Our newest quest, to find the true Languedoc white Wine. Plantation sourced from a conservatory of lost pink varietals in the Minervois. 2022 Minervois "L'Inattendu Blanc" The Unexpected. A surprising full dry white wine--fresh but mineral and very complex - Grenaches (plus a bit of Maccabeu) fermented and aged (10 months) on lees in 500L barrels. 2022 "Mademoiselle Lily" Viognier, Roussanne and Terret from a half acre that we planted in 2000 in a rocky field. It is a full white with subtle notes of white flowers and verveine. Lily is for the aperitif with new friends or a spicy curry with loved ones!"
Other recent arrivals: The elegant 2021 Guillemot-Michel Viré-Clessé "Retour a la Terre" compares favorably to Meursault at twice, I mean three times the price! The 2022 Domaine de la Roche Blanche "Guinguette" is wonderfully complex and delicious in 2022 as the lush bright Pineau d'Aunis and Gamay fruit blend beautifully. And Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal just featured the "Oree de la Berterie" saying "the beautifully balanced, decidedly lush 2022 Domaine de la Roche Bleue Cuvee L’Orée de la Berterie Coteaux du Loir was nothing short of stunning. Its producer, Sebastien Cornille, has earned a cult following for his Chenins, and I can see why."
All wines discount 10% on a case or mixed case. Please allow until Tuesday 11/28 fo pickup or shipping. Enjoy these beautifully made artisanal wines!
Eric Laguerre's parcels for this cuvée are planted on plateaus fringed with flowering "ciste" bushes and wind swept trees. The Pyrénées loom in the distance and the afternoon sun reflecting off the decomposed granite gives his vineyards a sort of shimmering quality. Eric's bottling of "Le Ciste" is a faithful interpretation of each of these elements plus Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre - some de-stemmed and some fermented on whole-clusters, separately, then aged for a year in barrel before being blended together in fiber tank. The 2021 has all of the bold flavor and texture of grapes that were allowed to fully ripen without any worry about lost acidity. At his altitude and with the help of granitic soils, Eric has little reason to pick early; his wines are vibrant and always have a marvelous backbone of mineral acidity. This is his fullest wine, with rich tannins and brooding flavors of fresh thyme, black pepper, bitter chocolate, and blood orange buoyed by ripe cherry. And while this is a handy and humble "grab n' go" for barbecues, Moroccan-themed dinners, etc., this wine has all of the potential to make us giddy and glad that we saved a few for 2030.
The 2021 Laguerre Le Ciste Blanc is comprised of 30% Grenache, 20% Marsanne, 20% Rolle, 20% Roussanne and 10% Macabeu. Showing an intensely mineral nose with aromas of citrus and garrigue, with hints of stone fruits from the Marsanne and Roussanne, the palate also exudes an intense stoniness with flavors of citrus, herbs, bitter melon and white peach. Bright acidity enlivens it's full body leading to a long, concentrated and complex finish. For lovers of white Chateauneuf du Pape at a fraction of the price!
The 2022 Cuvée LAG Orange, a 10 day maceration of Grenache Gris and Maccabeo that's just delighful, but frankly more pink than orange! The aromas are surpisingly delicate and complex with citrus peel, peach, spice and rose. The palate is well structured with a bit of skin tannin (not too much) with peach skin, orange peel and dried white fruits, finishing with firm acidity and a very long spiced fruit finish. Delicious wine and a great pairing with full-flavored seafood and vegetable dishes.
From their high-elevation vineyards on granite soils, the Laguerre family made this delicious new Syrah with minimal extraction - "This is a lovely light red made with 100% syrah that shows a translucent rubi color. Delicate aromas of young black fruit with a touch of black pepper, high acidity and notes of blackberries with a medium, savory and a little spicey finish. A wonderful great value chillable red that will not leave you indifferent!" Laura Tejuca
(80% Grenache, 20% Syrah grown in the Roussillon on very high-altitude vineyards of decomposed granite. Hand-harvested in small crates, yields of 18 hl/ha) Bright aromas of tart cherry and blackberry, with dark chocolate and floral notes, very pure. The palate is dense but not heavy with cherry and red-currant fruit with acidity that coats the mouth. Very long finish for a wine at this price, quite elegant with nice tannic structure. This will go very well served cool with grilled meats and will benefit from short-term cellaring. An interesting wine that really shows the influence of the granite soils. On day two there is lovely red raspberry and the tannins have softened a bit, still with bright acidity and terrific length. A fabulous value!
The 2021 Rousset Saint-Joseph is from a one-half hectare parcel of 35 to 70 year-old vines in "Les Rivoires" on the lower slope in Tournon, a cool, very steep, late-ripening terroir with clay, sand and stones over firm granite. Aged 12 months, 30% foudre, 70% 1 to 5 year-old barrels.This is prime Saint-Joseph terroir (the Gonons have vines in "Rivoires" as well) giving a dense well-structured wine that is enjoyable young, as most of the grapes are de-stemmed, and that will drink well over the next ten+ years. The 2021 vintage has produced a brighter more floral style than the 2020, with a nicely balanced 13% alcohol. We love the review in drinkrhone: "quite a dark red; this has a country style aroma, wild blackberry, licorice, black pepper, is genuine. The palate gives a cool stream of black cherry fruit, is tasty and natural, with appealing purity, feels hand made, and is silky, elegant on the finish. It’s very fine, very bonny, aromatic St Jo, the balance good - most joli it is." Yes, most joli it is - quite delicious now, but put a few away to drink in 8 to 10 years as well. David Lillie
Les Picaudières is perhaps the best vineyard in Crôzes-Hermitage, formerly owned by Raymond Roure and now tended by Stéphane Rousset. It's a steep slope of granite terraces, isolated in an oak forest facing due south and protected from the wind. (In the opinion of Livingston-Learmonth in "Wines of the Northern Rhône" wine from Les Picaudières is "certainly better" than many Hermitage from the eastern part of the hill.) The vines range from 20 to 80 years-old. The grapes are hand-harvested and mostly de-stemmed. The wine ages 16 months, 40% in foudre, 60% in burgundy barrels, 1 to 5 year-old. (no newer oak for the 2021) In the Northern Rhône, this ranks near the top for bang for your buck, and for terroir expression. The 2021 shows a medium-dark red/garnet color with vivid aromas of black cherry and blackberry with violet, citrus, blueberry and game. The palate shows nice weight and density but remains bright and balanced at 13% alcohol with a core of earth and mineral flavors blending with the fruit - black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry. There is darker fruit with floral notes in the finish, ending with all earth and minerals. Classy and delicious now, but it should be really singing in ten years - as was a 2012 we drank last year. Serve very slightly cool and enjoy! David Lillie
This is an oustanding Marsanne from vines planted in 1933 and 1965, aged in 10% new, 90% 1 - 3 year-old 400 liter barrels, 8 months on the lees, no batonnage. The 2021 Vieilles Vignes is an outstanding wine showing elegant aromas of white peach and plum, lemon zest, stone and oak; the palate is beautifully structured with the density, mineral flavors and firm acidity of the low yielding 2021 vintage. The finish is lovely with stone, white and yellow fruits, citrus zest, long and very elegant, really showing the old vines. Open well in advance or cellar 3 to 5 years, allowing the oak to fully integrate, then enjoy until 2035. (About 80 cases made) Pair this beautiful wine with full-flavored fish and chicken dishes and goat cheeses, or as the Roussets suggest, with rock fish, veal marengo and mushroom risotto! David Lillie
From 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne grown on hillsides of powdered granite with clay and gravel - great terroir producing this delightful wine from the Rousset family. The Rousset Crozes Blanc is lovely again in 2022 - the fifth vintage to include the new planting of Roussanne - and is a great value! The wine shows fresh, lush aromas of white peach, apricot, almond and lime-flower with a bit of white pepper. The palate is supple and dense with ripe pear, mineral and citrus flavors, with wet stone and caramel. The finish is ripe and long with firm lemony acidity. Serve with white meats, a ceviche of fluke, mildly-flavored fish dishes and a wide variety of cheeses. David Lillie
(Arrives 4/28) This delightful Chinon Rosé comes from Patrick Lambert's 6 hectares of organic vines in Cravant, around the corner from his friend and mentor, Bernard Baudry. Hand harvested from 25-year-old Cabernet Franc vines on gravel and sandy clay soils over limestone. The 2021 shows lovely aromas of berry fruits with citrus and rose; the palate is silky and ripe with raspberry, cherry, citrus and stone flavors with nice density and texture, with juicy acids, berry flavors and saline minerals in the finish. This is drinking beautifully now and will be delicious through the summer and into 2024. This is a fabulous value and highly recommended. David Lillie
"Gourmandise" is a beautiful "drink young" cuvée from Patrick Lambert, made from Cabernet Franc vines grown on sandy gravel soils near the Vienne. The wine shows a bright black/red color with lush high-toned aromas of crushed strawberry and black raspberry, with hints of citrus and pepper. The palate is supple and bright with luscious black raspberry and red currant fruit, quite lush and full-bodied in this superb vintage for the Loire but still with refreshing acidity. Serve this lovely wine quite cool with charcuterie and grilled chicken, pork or burgers, it's a perfect quaffing Cab Franc to drink over the next year or two... David Lillie
Ancient grapes Piquepoul gris, Terret gris and Carignan blanc. Our newest quest, to find the true Languedoc white Wine. Plantation sourced from a conservatory of lost pink varietals in the Minervois. Plus a newly acquired Carignan Blanc vineyard. this elegant and complex wine opens with aromas of hazelnut, white peach, lime flower and minerals with a hint of spice. The palate is silky and dense with stone, citrus, white peach and pear, finishing with citrus, mineral, melon and earth notes with terrific length. Beautifull now, we suspect this will age gracefully. Pair with any full-flavored fish or ceviche, white meats and mild cheeses or just sip and enjoy.
The Unexpected. A surprising full dry white wine--fresh but mineral and very complex Grenaches (plus a bit of Maccabeu) fermented and aged (10 months) on lees in 500L barrels. Floral, herbal, stone, white peach, dried pear aromas. The palate is dense and mineral with more stone flavors than fruit, with a beautiful finish. Forceful enough to enjoy with good canned sardines, mackerel or veal blanquette, a rare match for organic goat cheese, surprising with Apple Crumble!
A half acre that we planted in 2000 in a rocky field. It is a full white with subtle notes of white flowers and verveine. Lily is for the aperitif with new friends or a spicy curry with loved ones! Viognier, Roussanne and Terret, 100% delicious!
Created in 2017, this cuvee is issued from grapes in the "Champ-Rond" vineyard, vinified in amphora of 800 liters. The 65 year-old vines are grafted on "Riparia Gloire de Montpellier" an old root-stock obtained in 1880, giving very low yields with magnificent small grapes, of a deep gold color. The 2021 Retour a la Terre presents the exotic notes typical of the domaine with an extra dimension of expression due to the respiration of the amphora. The small grapes of "Champ-Rond" ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the elevage in amphora gives the wine a great purity. The wine shows elegant floral, white fruit, apricot, lemon and stone aromas. The palate is round, dense and silky with fabulous length and perfect acidity. This is a superb white Burgundy that is delicious now and will cellar beatifully for fifteen to twenty years. Highly recommended! David Lillie
This is a beautiful Chenin Blanc from Sébastien Cornille at Domaine de la Roche Bleue, from 30+-year-old vines on slopes (80%) and terraces (20%) in the lieu-dit "Le Haut Perray" in Chahaignes, Coteaux du Loir. Thin red clay soils over limestone and deeper clay soils with silex giving yields of about 30 ha/hl. The grapes are harvested late to counterbalance the vibrant acidity normal in this terroir. The 2022 L'Orée de la Berterie shows lovely ripe aromas - honeyed pear, peach and kiwi with almond, floral and mineral notes, elegant and pure. Dried pear, citrus peel, almond, stone and herbal notes on the round and ripe palate with terrific density and a long, quite firm citrus and mineral finish. This is an outstanding young Chenin that will open up over the next five to ten years, and it's a superb value as well. Serve with ceviche of fluke, fish in sauce, roast chicken and mild cheeses. DL A true expression of the warmer 2022 vintage, round and plush with honey and quince balanced by vibrant acidity typical of this northerly terroir. GH
Sébastien Cornille's lovely 2022 "Guinguette" is made principally from Pineau d’Aunis, with Gamay, sourced from 30+year-old vines in organic/biodynamic farming. Fairly short maceration, native yeasts, semi-carbonic fermentation of whole bunches and destemmed grapes according to the “millefeuille” principle. The 2022 Guinguette is a superb "vin de soif" offering bright aromas of peppery raspberry, cherry and violets, quite ripe and generous in this warm vintage. The palate shows light but sappy raspberry, plum and red currant fruit with chalky minerals, spice and citrus. The finish is long and refreshing. Serve this lovely wine slightly chilled with charcuterie, of course, grilled pork and lamb, bluefish (?) and mild cow cheeses. David Lillie Surprisingly vibrant and bright aciditity for such a warm vintage, showing a fruity nose of berries and cherries with baking spice and a lively body with crunchy cherries and zesty currants. Exactly the kind of wine to drink on a riverside barge whilst dancing to accordion music and nibling on cheese and charcuterie... a French Guinguette! Giselle Hamburg
The 2022 Laguerre Eos Blanc is just a beautiful wine, from 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Maccabeu and 10% Vermentino grown in Eric's high altitude vineyards on granitic soils. The aromas are elegant and distinctive with white flowers, pear, meyer lemon and stone. The palate shows the granite soils with a dense mineral/acid backbone under sapid white and citrus fruits, finishing with peach, lemon and intense mineral flavors, bright and refreshing with terrific length. Wow, all this for $15.99! Highly recommended. David Lillie
(Last of stock) The delicious Chinon Vieilles Vignes of Patrick Lambert is from 55 - 60 year-old vines on sandy clay soils over limestone. Hand harvested and fermented with wild yeasts, as are all of Lambert's wines, the Vieilles Vignes gets 12 months of aging in old barrels. The wine shows a deep red/black color and ripe blackberry and strawberry aromas with pepper, earth and citrus. The palate is deep and ripe in 2018, showing earthy blackberry and strawberry compote with prune and bitter chocolate and firm structure. This is a complex, old-fashioned Chinon that will accompany roast chicken and anything off the grill, served a bit cool. Age for five to ten years for a mature experience. David Lillie
This beautiful Chinon is from 70 year-old vines in clay soils over limestone in Sonnay, near Cravant. The wine ages for 18 months in old barrels, less than 200 cases are made. 2018 is a great vintage for Ame D'Antan, which shows a deep black/garnet color with elegant aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry with hints of violet, prune, citrus and crushed stone. The palate is dense but bright, with a silky texture, showing pure blackberry fruit with earth and licorice with firm mineral acidity. Good length with lingering berry and mineral flavors. Delicious now, it will age beautifully, probably best 2025 to 2035+. Highly recommended. DL
"Our orange wine is a dry macerated Muscat (3 to 4 weeks) which combines the notes of Earl Gray tea, orange blossom and apricot. Perfect with roasted squash or mushrooms accompanied by smoked bacon. Very interesting with an apricot tagine. Also goes well with full-flavored cheeses such as raclette, Mont d’Or, tartiflette," "One of the greatest dry muscats in the world" said Decanter magazine. The high praise is warranted, as it strikes a captivating balance of subtle fruit - think lychee, citrus peel, and pear - with delicate floral aromatics that suggest walking through a breezy meadow in full bloom. Then just when you think you have this wine pinned down you get a rush of chiseled minerality on the palate, a welcome twist that gives it lift and balance while still retaining its airy weightlessness. On the second day there was an added layer of complexity, with some honey and deeper apricot fruit peeking through. The acidity is in perfect balance and even on the third day it was still singing, suggesting some aging potential. While it's not a heavy, powerful orange wine, it's equally compelling as it seems to shift in the glass from sip to sip - definitely a bottle worth contemplating over.