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We're very excited about the arrival of two of our favorite Loire reds, both from the excellent 2014 vintage - the Stéphane Guion Bourgueil "Cuvée des Deux Monts" and the Bernard and Matthieu Baudry Chinon "Cuvée Domaine!" The Guion "Deux Monts" is a prime candidate for long-term cellaring and the Baudry "Domaine" will be wonderful as a young wine and will also keep beautifully for fifteen to twenty years. Both these estates are making superb wines that are unique and authentic expressions of the varied terroirs of Bourgueil and Chinon, and are great values as well. (All wines arrive, barring issues at port, by 10/28)
Stephane Guion is one of the finest producers in Bourgueil and his wines are certainly among the greatest values of the Loire Valley. The domaine, in the village of Benais, was started by Stephane's parents in the 1950's and was converted to organic agriculture in 1965. Stephane's "Cuvée Domaine" and "Cuvée Prestige" are well-known and loved by CSW customers - both are outstanding in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Stephane's new "Cuvée des Deux Monts," produced previously only in 2009 and 2010, comes from two vineyards, "Petit Mont" and "Grand Mont," located near the top of the slope in Bourgueil. Here the warm micro-climate, sheltered from the north winds, and the Turonien limestone bedrock with clay/silica topsoils, give the most elegant and age-worthy wines of Bourgueil. Tasted in February 2016, the wine was magnificent, with beautiful, complex fruit, superb density and perfect acidity and balance - obviously a wine that will warrant long-term aging. Hold for eight to ten years, best 2025 to 2040.
Just arriving, from our great friends the Baudrys in Chinon, is the wonderful 2014 Chinon Cuvée Domaine. It may not their best wine - that honor goes to "Les Grézeaux," "le Clos Guillot" or "la Croix Boissée," depending on the vintage - but in some ways it's our favorite. It's always a beautiful expression of Chinon, coming from both clay/limestone and gravel terroirs; it drinks with freshness and beautiful fruit as a young wine, and it has the structure to age well for twenty years and more - and it's very affordable! Tasted twice from barrel in the winters of 2015 and 2016, we can assure you that 2014 is a great vintage for this wine and we urge you to try it! On the subect of 2014, it was one of the very best years ever for "Les Grézeaux," which is still available, as are the last few cases of 2013 "La Croix Boissées" and "Le Clos Guillot."
For those with a craving for more Cabernet Franc, we offer a few recent arrivals from Domaine du Mortier, La Source du Ruault and Lise and Bertrand Jousset, all products of great organic farming that are drinking beautifully now!
We're very excited about the arrival of the superb 2014 Chinon "Cuvee Domaine" from Bernard and Matthieu Baudry. All Cabernet Franc of course, a blend of 75% from a parcel in St. Louans, where the thin clay/limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old wooden vats and casks. Tasted from barrel in February of 2016 the wine was quite beautiful , if a bit closed, showing lovely pure red fruit aromas with a supple, ripe palate, very deep and long and framed in perfect earthy acidity. Upon arrival in NY (October 2016), the wine is singing, with aromas of wild strawberry and red currant with white pepper, earth and cocoa. The palate is fresh and balanced with pretty red fruits, earth and citrus notes, really long and lovely. This will be a superb and unique Chinon, both to drink young and for cellaring of fifteen to twenty years. Serve cool with roast chicken, pork dishes, charcuterie, green vegetables and mild cheeses. Highly recommended. DL (Those who want a bit of the mature experience should: open the bottle, taste - yum - re-cork and put in fridge; wait three days, enjoy!) Featured in the NY Times "20 Wines Under $20" 01/12/17
From 80 year-old vines in "Petits Monts" and "Grand Monts" towards the top of the slope above Benais, facing roughly south-west, clay over Turonien limestone (tuffeau, craie micacée). This is the terroir giving the most elegant and age-worthy Bourgueils. 18 month elevage ; 40% in cuve inox, 20% in one new 400 liter barrel, 20% in one-year and 20% in two-year old barrels, assembled two months before bottling. Tasted in February 2016, the wine was fairly closed and tight, with deep, pure black fruits and perfect balance. This will be a sensational mature wine, best to wait eight to ten years, or more, then drink until 2040.
This is another beautiful wine from the shy and affable Stephane Guion who is quietly making some of the best wines in Bourgueil. His 2015 Cuvèe Domaine is from young (15 to 40 year-old) vines on clay/limestone terroir in Benais and is one of the finest he has made, certainly equaling the delicious 2014 in a riper style. The wine shows aromas of blackberry confit, dark chocolate and violets - very deep and ripe but still bright with ripe raspberry and earthy hints as well. The palate is medium-bodied and fresh with firm acidity and chalky, saline mineral flavors framing the ripe red and black fruits, which continue in the long earthy finish. Drink now, served cool, with grilled chicken and pork, charcuterie, green vegetables and mild cheeses, or hold 5 to 8 years for a velvety mature experience. This is a beautiful wine that transcends its price and at 12% alcohol shows that ripeness, even in a vintage like 2015, can be achieved without high alcohol. Thanks to Stephane Guion!
From 40 to 80 year-old vines on clay over limestone soils around Benais in Bourgueil. Certified organic since 1965! By now the great work of Stephane Guion needs no introduction to CSW customers, but the quality of his 2014 Cuvée Prestige deserves special attention. The wine is perfectly balanced, with the high acidity and mineral content always present in Stephane's wines framed by precisely ripe and supple fruit with depth and elegance. The aromas show raspberry and blackberry liqueur with hints of dark chocolate, earth and licorice, ripe but bright. Supple, ripe berry fruits on the palate with fine tannins and citrusy acids, deep and intense but forward and delicious now. This wine will drink beautifully over the next 20 years or longer and is highly recommended.
From 25 to 30 year-old vines on gravel and sandy soils over clay near the Vienne river. This "basic" cuvée from Bernard and Matthieu Baudy has gotten more and more "serious" as the vines age, giving a wine that is delightful to drink young, but that shows surprising complexity and mineral character as well. The wine shows aromas of ripe raspberry and strawberry with hints of earth, stone, pepper and herbs. The palate is quite mineral with firm stony acids underlying lush berry fruits, and is beautifully balanced at 12% alcohol. Quite structured for "les Granges," this is delicious now, served cool, with roast chicken, white meats, charcuterie and mild cheeses and will imporve with 3 to 5 years of aging.
(Tasted in January 2016) From 50 to 60 year-old Cabernet Franc vines on a gravel soil over sandy clay and limestone at the bottom of the hill of Sonnay in Cravant. Aged 12 months in 3 to 5 year-old barrels. The 2014 is certainly one of the greatest "les Grézeaux" from this wonderful estate! Beautiful deep red/black color, lush, complex palate of ripe dark fruit with perfect balance and fabulous length, with cool acidity lifting the fruit. As always the "les Grézeaux" is enjoyable young as the gravel soil gives a wine with a silky texture, but it ages beautifully as well, as anyone with the 1989 can tell you. This is a must for any lover of Chinon!
From young and old vines in a superb south-facing hillside vineyard of thin clay over limestone soils in Cravant. 24 months of aging in 2 to 4 year-old barriques. The difficult vintage of 2013 gave very low yields and less alcohol than usual, but the 2013 Croix Boissée is a superb, elegant Chinon that will age well and resembles a light, old fashioned Burgundy. The aromas are lovely and very floral with raspberry and red currant fruit. The palate is extremely mineral, not fat but with pretty red fruit, spice and earthy flavors over firm acidity. Given the vintage, this is an astonishingly good Chinon, but not exactly a fruit-bomb, that should be superb when mature, perhaps 2025 to 2035, and delicious young for those who appreciate more terroir than fruit in their Chinon.
A beautiful complex glass of Chenin from Chinon courtesy of Matthieu and Bernard Baudry from young vines in La Croix Boissee. Aromas of lime-flower, stone, dried pear and apple. A hint of hazelnut and spice. Palate opens with aeration to show intense dried pear, anise, beeswax and strong mineral flavors with very firm acidity in the finish. The intense citrus oil and dried herbs in the finish are typical of white Chinon. This is a beautiful and really unique expression of Chenin Blanc. Decant or open 1-2 hours before serving. Highly recommended!
From a "clos" of older vines on clay and limestone soils, 28 days of fermentation, aged one year in three year-old barrels. The 2012 Champ Fou shows deep black/red color and ripe aromas of blackberry liqueur and red currant with hints of blueberry, chocolate and mint. The palate is cool and ripe with very supple black fruits beautifully balanced with juicy acidity and mineral flavors in the finish. The palate deepens with time open, the fruit becomes more lush and deep. Really lovely for current drinking, this will improve with three to five years in the cellar. Fabulous value! - David Lillie
The Joussets made this lovely natural wine from organic Cabernet Franc grapes grown by Sébastien David in Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil. (The wine was harvested, vinified and bottled by the Joussets under their negoce label.) This juicy and delicious wine shows "sauvage" aromas of black-raspberry, plum, pepper and earth; the palate is soft and ripe with black fruit, spice and earthy flavors backed by citrusy acids, with lush fruit, earth and good acidity in the long finish. Just delicious! Serve quite cool with grilled chicken and pork, charcuterie and mild cheeses. David Lillie
A lovely Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil from an estate doing fabulous organic vineyard work and natural low or no-sulfur vinifications; 40 year-old massale-selection vines in a parcel of gravel/clay soils, aged in cement vat and in old barrels. this is a lovely version of the Mortier "les Graviers" showing pretty, ripe blackberry and red currant aromas, with plum, violet and citrus. The palate is round and supple but with bright acidity, showing lush berry fruits that continue in the long finish with earth and citrus. Delicioius now, served cool, with chicken, rabbit and pork dishes, chacuterie and mild cheeses. Age for five to eight years for a more earthy and complex experience. DL