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Chateau Cambon began as a collaboration of three of the best producers in Beaujolais (Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Claude Chanudet and Joseph Chamonard) is now in the hands of the Jean-Claude and Geneviève, the daugher of Joseph Chamonard. These three understood how special this 13 hectare parcel was despite not receiving designation; positioned between Morgon and Brouilly. Farmed organically/biodynamically since they purchased it, the vines are now over 50 years old. The grapes are left whole-cluster and allowed to go through carbonic maceration with native yeasts, and then rested on the lees before bottling with a very low dose of SO2.
From eighty year-old vines on clay and granite soil in Alain Coudert's beautiful Clos de la Roilette, just over the border from Moulin-a-Vent. By "Tardive," Alain Coudert implies that one should wait for this wine to mature, in this case probably about 5 to 7 years, although those unable to wait will certainly enjoy drinking it now. The 2019 shows a deep garnet color and is cool-toned and finely structured, at 13%. it's showing less fat than the 2018 and calling to mind the balance and bright minerality of the 2014 vintage. The wine shows elegant, intense aromas of black cherry and raspberry, violets, stone, smoke, and black pepper. The palate is creamy, earthy and floral on the attack then develops vivid flavors of black raspberry and crushed strawberry layered over earthy spice and stone on the grippy mid-palate. The finish is long and mineral and ends on a slightly bitter citrus note under lingering black fruits. An elegant and age-worthy vintage from Alain. Drinking now, but should develop beautifully with a few years of bottle age, best perhaps 2024 - 2032.
Considered one of the finest producers in Beaujolais, Clos de la Roilette has 9 hectares in Fleurie, with an eastern exposure, bordering the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and yields remarkably age-worthy Gamay. The Couderts feel that their particular terroir (mainly clay and manganese) and the age of their vines (30 to 80 years old) account for the richness and intensity of their wines. They are deeply colored, richly perfumed and seriously structured wines of relatively small production. The 2019 is a bit more "classic" than the very ripe 2018, and shows a deep red/garnet color with aromas of violet, ripe cherry, pomegranate and black raspberry, citrus zest and herbal notes; there is ample sweet cherry and raspberry fruit on the palate which is framed in firm acidity and prominent mineral and earth flavors, which continue in the long, sapid finish. Delicious now and over the next five to eight years... David Lillie
Sandwiched between the appellations of Morgon and Fleurie, Chiroubles is slightly less famous than its two neighbors, and can occasionally be referred to as producing wines of less complexity, with a more immediate and obvious charm. Yet there is no lack of excitement in the vielles vignes (old vines) offerings from Georges Descombes, and the 2018 Chiroubles is no exception, and showing quite beautifully right now, though a decant definitely helps. The nose shows wonderful deep fruit notes of dark cherry, cherry liqueur, blackberry, dark forest fruit, raspberry, raspberry leaves, blackcurrant tea, and a hint of baking spice and nutmeg. The palate is fresh and energetic, with vibrant acidity and is both expressive and showing great intensity of flavor. The fruit of the nose translates well, though slightly more red fruit tinged, and introduces a hint of orange zest and apple peel. There is also a bit of earthiness and minerality, which balances well with the fruit and spice notes. A delicious bottle now, this will only get better in the next 10 years. Oskar Kostecki
Somewhat similar to 2009 - the last Beaujolais vintage that received huge point scores in the American wine press - the warm and dry 2018 vintage produced wines that are ripe and lush, but lower in alcohol and with brighter, fresher aromas and flavors than the 2009s. The 2019 Fleurie Vieilles Vignes shows a bright red/black color and aromas that are a beautiful blend of violet, black raspberry and blackberry with a bit of brown spice and citrus. The grainy textured palate really shows the granite terroir, with very earthy black fruit liqueur, licorice and stone flavors in the long finish. A very young wine, decant if drinking now, this serious Fleurie should really sing after a few years in the cellar, drink until 2030+ David Lillie
Georges Descombes is one of the premiere vignerons in Beaujolais. His farming is certified organic and his winemaking is very traditional; using native yeasts, semi-carbonic maceration, and very little sulfur added at bottling.The 2018 Morgon showed beautifully, tasted with Georges in early February, a bit fuller and deeper than the Regnié and Brouilly, showing ripe aromas of raspberry and strawberry with elegant strawbery liqueur, earth and minerals on the palate with terrific length. It's a gorgeous wine that should be served slightly chilled with just about anything - enjoy over the next three to five years. David Lillie
The 2018 Regnié from Geroges Descombes is a finely balanced wine, even in a warmer vintage, Ripe and generous fruit is offset with lively acidity and a vivid intensity on the palate that keeps this wine lifted and fresh. On the nose there are high-toned aromas of red and black currant, strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, rose, violets, and licorice. The palate has soft and finely integrated tannins and shows notes of strawberry and raspberry liqueur, blackberry, pomegranate, orange peel, baking spice and a granitic minerality, especially on the complex and satisfying finish. This is a very versatile wine, and I wouldn't hesitate to pair with a wide range of foods, from roast chicken, to burgers or even a pork chop. It was equally at home accompanying the watching of a movie on the couch with just a little, hastily composed cheese plate for backup. A joyful wine for all occasions. Oskar Kostecki
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Sandrine Henriot at Chambers Street. The vines for this cuvée are 60 years old, planted at high altitude on steep hillsides in sandy clay soils over granite in the lieu-dit "les Charmes," just northwest of Saint-Joseph above Villié-Morgon. Biodynamic farming, with no SO2 added until a minimal dose before bottling. The fermentation is with wild yeasts with a relatively short period of carbonic-maceration. The 2018 shows a bright, deep black/red color and a very perfumed nose of ripe strawberry and black raspberry fruit, quite floral and fresh. The palate is round and supple with a lovely melange of sappy black and red fruits with earth and spice. This needs to open a bit but is already a delicious Morgon that will accompany charcuterie and grilled foods this summer, peak drinking 2022 - 2026. David Lillie
Sandrine Henriot's parcel in Regnié has more clay in the soil than in Morgon and always gives a well-structured wine. The 2018 shows a deep black/purple color and high-toned aromas of blackberry and black raspberry with violet and citrus peel, quite elegant. The palate is supple and deep but not heavy with lovely black raspberry, cherry and raspberry confit, quite sapid and long with firm acidity and finishing with lingering red fruit and mineral flavors. Delicious now this will open up over the next few years, drink until 2028. David Lillie
L'Ancien comes from Jean Paul Brun's home village of Charnay in the southern Beaujolais. The vines range in age from 40 to 60 years old and are planted on slopes sporting the area's signature sandy clay-limestone soils, featuring the particular local "dorée" or "golden" limestone that is laden with iron. These older vines have always been farmed organically and harvested by hand and yield small, thick-skinned Gamay berries. As for all Terres Dorées reds, the vinification is traditional Burgundian rather than the normal carbonic maceration in Beaujolais. The 2018 shows a bright deep red color. The aromas are high-toned and ripe with red currant, raspberry and wild strawberry, quite bright and floral. The palate shows lush, ripe berry fruits backed by citrusy acidity, quite refreshing. The finish is long and sappy with bright red fruits and tart acidity - stock-up on this crowd-pleasing Beaujolais!
Jean-Paul Brun's Chardonnay comes 35 year-old vines grown on sandy clay and limestone soils in the southern Beaujolais and is raised in stainless steel, with occasional use of old barrels (no new oak!). Bright aromas of peach, apricot, lemon zest, and thyme lead to flavors of pure white fruits, juicy lime, crisp orange blossom, subtle herbal undertones, and a long chalky finish. Paired with salad, seafood,chicken, goat milk cheeses, or nothing at all, this is a beautiful choice and great value in white Burgundy!
Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine des Terres Dorées has 2 parcels of 50 year-old vines on a steep section of Mont Brouilly with a south-east exposition at about 1,000 ft of altitude. The thin soil is almost entirely stones of granite with a high iron content. The 2018 shows lovely aromas of cherry and red currant liqueur with a touch of rose petal, cocoa and spice. The palate is ripe but balanced by refreshing acidity, showing pretty red fruits with earth and mineral flavors, with a silky, slightly grainy texture, finishing with nice length of sappy fruit and firm acidity. A beautiful Beaujolais for current drinking and over the next few years. "Contains very little sulfite," says the label "store in a cool place and consume rapidly after uncorking." We haven't noticed any problem keeping this wine, but consuming rapidly after uncorking will be easy... DL