Our Store & Staff

Chambers Street Wines opened in June 2001, the product of David Lillie's and Jamie Wolff's idea that New York might support a shop that indulged their love for naturally made wines from artisanal small producers. There are very, very few brand names here. We choose wines that express their origins, the talent and commitment of the growers and winemakers, and the inherent quality of the vintage. Every wine we stock is tasted, retasted, debated.... this is a shop where everyone who works here actually loves wine, drinks wine with food, and knows at least a little bit about what we're selling. Particular strengths here are the Loire Valley, Burgundy and the Rhone, Piedmont, Austria and Germany; we are always working to improve our selection, and your suggestions—especially for the New World—are appreciated.

Slow Food NYC Snail of Approval. Chambers Street Wines has been selected as one of the first recipients of the Slow Food NYC Snail of Approval, for our contributions to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the city of New York.

David Lillie Partner

David received his wine education schlepping cases for 15 years at Garnet Wines, one of NY’s leading discount shops on the Upper East Side. As a buyer and manager he was able to develop his interest in French wines, especially those of the Loire, Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon. His two previous careers, growing apples in Vermont for 4 years and with a jazz orchestra for 15 years, left him with a fanatical dedication to good, inexpensive wine. His heroes in the wine business are Mark Ollivier, Catherine Roussel and François Pinon, to name just a few. David's wife first introduced him to Loire Valley wines back in 1977, and they have three quite grown children, Georgia, Eben and Julia. He would like to thank Eben, who was part of Chambers Street in the beginning and whose hard work and good cheer helped us through the months after 9/11.

David Lillie's Reccommendations
Baudry 2010 Chinon Le Clos Guillot

Baudry 2010 Chinon Le Clos Guillot

Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chene Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand over the rock, permitting a tiny separate production from franc de pied vines) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 – it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons and in the 2010 vintage it has reached a level of quality putting it among the very finest reds of the Loire. Bernard and Matthieu Baudry are skilled, intelligent winemakers whose vineyard work and harvesting are exemplary, and whose careful vinifications seem to perfectly express the quite different terroirs of Chinon. The 2010 vintage in Chinon gave wines with a bit less alcohol and density than the excellent 2009s, but they have perfect acidity, great purity of fruit and a bit more terroir presence – in other words an excellent vintage, especially chez Baudry. The 2010 Clos Guillot is a deep red/purple color with astonishingly bright, pure and complex floral red fruit aromas. The palate is bright, pure and very long with slightly peppery red and black fruits. The Baudrys did a longer élevage for this vintage, 15 months in 3 to 7 year-old Burgundy barrels. (Case price $25.19 per bottle)

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $27.99
Guion 2009 Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige

Guion 2009 Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige

From 40 to 80 year-old vines on clay-limestone slopes in Bourgueil, certified organic since 1965. Tasted from barrel in February, 2011: "Complex red fruit, spice and floral aromas, full palate of black fruits, cassis and strawberry liqueur. Stays fresh and light on it's feet with good acidity and a very earthy finish." The bottling has tightened up the wine considerably — the aromas are more restrained with earthy strawberry, brown spice, game and licorice. The palate is tight with high acidity and chalky berry fruit, with the richness of this vintage waiting to open. This is an outstanding Bourgueil that will need long decanting (or opening three days before) for current enjoyment. Best after five to ten years, this wine should age beautifully with peak drinking being between 10 and 30 years of age. At $13.99 ($12.59 on a case) this is certainly one of the greatest values in the store!

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $13.99
Navarre NV Vin de France Grenache Rosé Demi-Sec

Navarre NV Vin de France Grenache Rosé Demi-Sec

This is a delicious vin doux naturel from Thierry Navarre made from very late-harvested Grenache. We imagine that it's a wine made the way wine used to be made all over the Languedoc before temperature control was an option. A bit sweet and somewhat sherry-like, the aromas are of prune and ripe cherry, with licorice and brown spice. Very long and nutty on the palate, perhaps the best way to imagine this wine is to think of an Oloroso sherry... then extrapolate! Absolutely delicious and a great accompaniment to chocolate, fruit tarts, dried fruits or simply by itself as an apéritif. Thanks to Thierry for finally making a label and shipping us some of this unique local specialty.

  • rosé off-dry
  • 2 in stock
  • Organic
  • $11.99
Magnien, Stephane 2010 Morey Saint-Denis

Magnien, Stephane 2010 Morey Saint-Denis

From four parcels in Morey, below the village, with vines averaging about 50 years of age. Lovely transparent red color, fresh wild strawberry and tart cherry fruit with earthy herbal hints. Real grip on the palate which is medium to light-bodied but with great intensity of meaty red fruits, herbs and spice with zingy chalky citrusy acids, really perfectly balanced. 2010 seems to be a superb vintage for the Magniens — there is no lack of fruit but it's contained in a relatively lean frame with good acidity. Great length and persistence of fruit in the finish. A beautiful wine that can certainly be enjoyed young but will age very well.

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $39.99
Jamie Wolff Partner

I grew up drinking French wine, but had a real epiphany with a bottle of Robert Chevillon's 1985 Nuits Chaignots. Eight years of owning a house in the central Loire Valley (in Touraine, near Cheverny), gave me a chance to get to know both the region and the feeling of living with wine, and also gave me the confidence to propose forming a partnership with M. Loire himself, David Lillie. Before meeting David, I spent five years in the salt mines of Christie's Wine Department - a somewhat thankless job made fabulous by the incredible range of mature wine, mostly Bordeaux, that I tasted on the job. My subsequent discovery of the natural affinity between Burgundy and Piedmont has produced a serious Nebbiolo problem, though Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, and Chablis will usually make me sit up and take notice. There's so much good wine in this store that it's getting hard to choose.

Jamie Wolff's Reccommendations
Amanda Bowman

Ariana Rolich Sales/Spanish Buyer

Candela M. Prol Sales

After working as a chef and then a baker in Rhode Island, she joined the Pier House Hotel as Sommeliere and then became the manager of the Cafe at Louie's Backyard, both in Key West, Florida. She has represented the Lenz, Palmer and Paumanok wineries in North Fork, Long Island. In 1997, she received the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma from the International Wine Center where she has also taught the class "Aromas of Wine". She is currently teaching the Wine & Spirit Education Trust: Intermediate, Advanced Certificates and Diploma classes. Candela is also the Professor of Wine Instruction for the Hospitality Department at the New York School of Technology. She is a Certified Wine Educator from Society of Wine Educators, Washington, DC. In Key West, Florida she is the Wine Educator for Louie's Backyard Restaurant, she teaches wine classes at the Restaurant Store, and writes a seasonal wine column for Solares Hil. At Chambers Street Wines she selects the Spanish and Portuguese wines and she is available to conduct corporate, public and private wine events.

Christine Manula

Christine joins the Chambers Street team after a 20+ year career in government and international development. During the four years she spent in Geneva, she became very familiar with the drive that led to the heart of Piemonte. Having consumed lots of wine and having made lots of friends in the area, Christine quit her job and worked the 2009 harvest at a small vineyard near Asti producing Freisa. Recently relocating to New York, Christine continued her studies and then decided to take the plunge and pursue wine full-time.

Eben Lillie Sales

John Rankin Sales

John offers, “When I first took a job at Chambers Street Wines over three years ago, I had no idea that I would still be here now. I first applied as a stock and delivery worker in the back room. Before long I was completely entranced with the world of natural wine. Finding wines like Stephane Guion's Bourgueil for $10.99 showed me that wine could be honest, delicious, and not only affordable to well-to-do bankers. From there I was hooked on the fresh and complex flavors of natural wines of the Loire.” It did not take long to amass a library of books, branching out to Beaujolais, the Mosel, Piedmont, Sicily, Burgundy, and the Rhone, and before long, John was hooked. John also buys all of the spirits, and assists in purchasing for other areas of the store. In January of 2010 John had the opportunity to travel to the Loire Valley and Beaujolais with the wonderful people of LDM Imports, and then in 2011 and 2012 has visited many of Italy’s most famous regions. A growing obsession with spirits has even led him to the far-flung islands of Jura and Islay to visit some of the world’s greatest distilleries.

John Rankin's Reccommendations
Varnelli Amaro "Sibilla" 1 Liter

Varnelli Amaro "Sibilla" 1 Liter

Named after the impressive mountain range in the Southwestern corner of the Marche, this spirit is a must-try for Amaro fans. The flavor profile definitely leans toward the drier, more herbaceous end of the spectrum and will seem quite bitter if you are used to Averna or Montenegro. The botanicals are wood smoked before maceration which adds a degree of complexity seldom found in Amari. Mountain honey is used sparingly to balance the bitter flavors. I have found Sibillia to be a delicious digestive, but also quite delightful at the shore when mixed with tonic and an orange rind. JR

  • herb liqueur
  • 1 in stock
  • $52.99
John Ritchie Sales

Originally hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, John (appropriately named among the four Johns working at CSW) wasn't bitten by the wine bug until moving far from Northern California and its world-famous, wine-producing counties. After time spent studying music in sunny Los Angeles and chilly Rochester, NY, he moved to the city to pursue a career in music but found wine retail to be much more profitable and stable (as well as an industry that isn't involved in a long-term implosion). After exploring low-end retail, high-end retail, really high-end auction houses and other various wine niches, he has found a suitable home at Chambers Street. Here his geekier inclinations and passions for both wine and music are not only tolerated but actually encouraged, and he couldn't be happier. Now based in Minnesota, he continues to work remotely for Chambers Street and loves his wife and new baby very much.

John Ritchie's Reccommendations
Jonathan Kemp Sales

Jonathan buys the German and Austrian wines for Chambers Street, but his wine education began on the Moselle in Luxembourg, while taking an undergraduate course in viticulture and oenology at the Miami University Dolibois European Center. He honed his New York wine retail chops by way of Crush Wine & Spirits and later managing and buying for Manhattan shops specializing in small producers and growers. He is also a songwriter and audio engineer who plays several instruments including guitar and drums. He loves the anachronistic pleasures of horse-plowed vineyards, old KLH hi-fi’s, fuzz pedals, and 35mm film photography.

Jonathan Kemp's Reccommendations
Stephanie Wallace Sales

Following lengthy stints in academic libraries and freelance web development, Stephanie’s culinary inclinations rose to the fore after chance exposure to single-estate chocolate in Cambridge, MA. She subsequently spent several years working as a chocolate buyer in Chapel Hill, NC while honing her tempering and emulsifying chops; though her tempestuous affair with chocolate eventually led to separation, her unwillingness to sever ties with terroir led to a natural transition into the wine industry. She worked at Astor Wines & Spirits for two years as Rare & Artisanal Wine Consultant. She currently helps to source old vintages for Chamber Street Wines and has become the wizard behind everything tech. She continues to experiment with macarons and confiserie in her Brooklyn kitchen.

Stephanie Wallace's Reccommendations
Tim Gagnon

Tim became enveloped in the world of wine while working in restaurants around New York City while attending Pratt Institute. After various forays into different creative outlets and touring with his band, he earned his WSET certifications while living in London. A stint working on a vineyard in upstate New York solidified his love for wine and he has since been working on the retail side of the industry. Being infatuated with natural wines, the Languedoc especially, Chambers Street feels like a second home. When not peddling fine wines, he can be found in Red Hook picnicking with his dog, Frank, or trying to find a rooftop to grill on.