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Translating to 'in the garden of the rectory', this is a plot planted in the 1960s on a flat terrain of heavy, alluvial soils mixed with eroded slate from the Hofberg above. As one can guess from the name, the vineyard once belonged to the rector for the parish of the town of Dhron. Fermented with natural yeasts, unfined, and aged in stainless steel, when tasted in June 2019, the wine was a bit closed on the nose, reflecting the recent bottling; thankfully the palate is fresh, mineral and balanced with a prickle of acidity lifting the slightest sweetness of green plum and mango along with white grapefruit zest, a delicious feinherb that should settle in nicely. Cari Bernard
Andreas Adam took on his family's estate with the 2000 vintage, revitalizing and restoring old-vine sites in the towns of Dhron and Piesporter. His sister, Barbara joined in 2013 and together they take care of both vineyards and cellar work. Grapes for the kabinett come from a terraced parcel in the Goldtröpchen, with vines planted in 1909, ungrafted. This is such a fantastic kabinett: bright and light with ripe mango, tangerines and orange zest, and an elegant, lengthy finish. Cari Bernard
The amphitheater-shaped Kirchspiel vineyard faces south-southeast with soils of limestone, marl, and clay. Jochen Dreissigacker farms these vines organically, and all spontaneous fermentation and aging occurred in stainless steel for this vintage. This is truly spellbinding Riesling with the beautiful concentration of 2015 balanced by bright acidity and the slightest bit of residual sugar. Honeysuckle, orange oil, mango and just-ripe peaches dance on the palate and linger on for ages. A delightful bottle that should age with grace for the long-term, and a thoughtful gift for the Riesling-head in your life. Cari Bernard
Jochen Dreissigacker took over his family's estate in 2001 and began to steer the vineyards towards organic farming, which are now certified as such. Their entry-level trocken is a sourced from a mix of estate and purchased grapes (all organic), from mostly south/southeast-facing sites on loess and loam. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, Jochen Dreissigacker was able to preserve a wonderful freshness and balance. This is a delightfully refreshing Riesling, with brisk acidity and notes of lush nectarines, tangerine juice and zest. Cari Bernard
Andreas Durst lives but a stone's throw away from Daniel and Jonas Brand, in Bockenheim, a small town in the northern Pfalz (very close to the Rheinhessen border). Working less than a hectare in total, and making wine out of his garage, Andreas has managed to produce some incredibly spell-binding Pinot Noir (not to mention Portugieser and Sylvaner), aged in old barrique. Really quite elegant, with subtle flavors of ripe sour cherries, red apple skin, baked strawberries, and a touch of lees, layered with savory notes of red flowers on the lengthy finish. In this case, 'S' is to mark that there is just a slight amount to sulfur added at bottling. Pair with roasted root vegetable tart, mushroom gratin, turkey and herbed stuffing. Cari Bernard
The two different Euchariusberg Spätlese bottlings (AP 6 and AP 14) are sourced from two separate parcels, found further up the Großschock slope from the plots used for the Kabinett wines. CB Fuder Förster, Ternes **wines available Wednesday, 8/21**
The two different Euchariusberg Spätlese bottlings (AP 6 and AP 14) are sourced from two separate parcels, found further up the Großschock slope from the plots used for the Kabinett wines. CB Fuder Klaus Lang
Yellow peach and blossoms on the nose, fruity and fun, perfect balance; the feinherbs from Falkenstein are often some of my favorite wines in the collection. This vintage is bursting with ripe nectarines, tangerines, green mango lemonade, and yes, residual sugar, but the acidity it poised to make this just the most refreshing and invigorating wine you never knew you needed. I love these wines because they are usually 10% alcohol, are incredibly affordable, and are the darling of any dinner situation they attend. Pair with Mexican food, Szechuan food, Thai, Indian, fried chicken and mac 'n' cheese, Schnitzel, most anything really, and come and tell me it's not the favorite wine of the night. Cari Bernard (Fuder Palm)
Gernot's parcel of the Ellergrub is 2.2 hectares of ungrafted vines, over 80 years old. Farming is organic, fermentation is spontaneous, and the wine ages in a neutral oak barrels. In a shocking twist, the 2016 Ellergrub is slightly off-dry! The wine boasts a floral elegance and herbal freshness on the nose, yet is still quite dense and rich, with notes of yellow apricot, roses, and white peach skin giving way to a touch of citrus zest and strawberries on the finish. Cari Bernard
This wine is sourced from a portion of a 1.1 hectare monopol within the Zeppwingert; created during the winters of 1841-1845 by blasting through the gray slate and quartzite with gunpowder charges. This area of the slope is extremely dry, with cooler temperatures and lower yields (~25hL/ha).Cari Bernard
Holger Koch's wines are the sleeper hits of Swabia. His Pinot Noirs run the gamut from fresh, red-fruited, and bright to structured, umami-rich, and quite serious; and the Weiss and Grauburgunder wines showcase his dedication to making quality, complex wines from these regionally less-exalted grape varieties. 'Ja Goutte!' is, as the label may suggest, a more casual wine for drinking in the now. A blend of younger-vine Weissburgunder, Müller-Thurgau, Gewürztraminer, and Grauburgunder (15% whole cluster fermentation) aged in a mix of stainless steel and 500L neutral barrel. White fruit and flowers, stone on the nose, the wine has a lovely energy bolstering ripe pineapple, green herbs, white peach, apricot, Fuji apple with saline minerality on the finish. Enjoy with meatier fish, roasted chicken, cheese plates, risotto. Cari Bernard
Koehler-Ruprecht farms a southeast-facing parcel that lies within the boundaries of the original Saumagen vineyard area; a storied, grand cru site with calcareous limestone soils.
Grey sandstone and pebbles mark the Steinacker vineyard, which sits just across the road from the Saumagen vineyard, Koehler-Ruprecht's grand cru site. On the nose, hints of apricot and lime zest compliment a fresh smokiness. The palate has supple flavors of golden apple and cured apricot. Structurally, there is a delicious marriage between sweetness and focused, bright minerality. David H
Lauer's parcel of the Neuenberg is located on the flank of the Ayler Kupp, closer to the base of the slope. Rocks and green apple skin, lemon balm, apricot, and white florals peek through on the nose and the palate, along with green mango, peaches, and orange juice concentrate (I'm talking frozen orange juice concentrate), with a beautiful tension--a graceful push-and-pull between the racy acidity and silky fruits, with a driving mineral thread throughout. Enjoyable now, this would be a real treat to check in on in 5-10 years. Cari Bernard
Don't let the name fool you , this is Saarfeils, a Grand Cru site across the river from Ayler Kupp, with a warmer climate and higher levels of gravel in the soil. CB
The grapes for this GG come only from mid-slope Ayler Kupp, at the turn of the hill. This legendary location makes for age-worthy wines with verve and complexity. CB
This steep site basically dead-ends into a cliff above the river and I found myself walking about one-third of the way down into the vines before deciding I still had things I wanted to do with my life, and tumbling off a cliff wasn't one of them. Proximity to the river gives adequate warmth and cooling breezes to provide the key diurnal temperatures that influence acidity and expressiveness of aromatics. The soil here is mostly blue slate, which also helps to absorb the heat from the sun. Cari Bernard
Fass 15, Stirn (forehead), comes from near the top of the Ayler Kupp where the hill curves around; the meager soils, cooler climate and wind at this altitude make for a site that is often harvested last. A nose flooded with gardenias and magnolia blossoms, sorrel, stone and wild strawberries, the Stirn is singing with zesty green plum and mango, key lime zest, grapefruit, and nectarine, great balance and tension built on a mineral core. Cari Bernard
Much like the Kabinett, grapes for the Spätlese are pre-selections from multiple vineyards on Ayler Kupp. Tasting notes forthcoming...Cari Bernard
Kern is a parcel on the west-facing side of the Ayler Kupp, extending from the top to the bottom of the slope, with slate at multiple levels of erosion, warmed by the afternoon sun. When we tried the wine a few months ago, it was showing a bit more reticence than expected (but we assume that's an unfortunate side-effect from tasting suitcase-carried bottles right after arrival). Subtle notes of green herb stems, delicate florals, and juicy orange, balanced with just a hint of sweetness. We look forward to re-visiting this bottle! Cari Bernard
Lauer's parcel of the Neuenberg is located on the flank of the Ayler Kupp, closer to the base of the slope. Tasting notes forthcoming...Cari Bernard
New to the US, sourced from a parcel adjacent to Stirn on the Ayler Kupp. Fass 3 is that electric, ever-so-slightly off-dry Saar Riesling we love: bright notes of juicy tangerine and nectarine are focused and practically shimmer on the palate. A lively pairing for ceviche, fried chicken, salty snacks, dry hot pot. Cari Bernard
Biodynamic Riesling grown on loess and loam soils in the Southern Pfalz, fermented and aged in stainless steel.
The Loewen family began purchasing parcels of vines back in 1805, with a focus on top-tier sites. Their current 15 hectares stretch from the Maximin Herrenberg, where they have a parcel dating back to 1896, to the Leiwener Laurentiuslay, a partially-terraced south-west facing site, with decomposed gray slate easily warmed by the sun and fed by underground water sources to support the vines during dry spells. Not sure what the official news is on botrytis, but there is a hint of saffron on the nose, along with white florals, the wine has a great concentration and richness with ripe peach, mango, orange and tart tangerine zest bringing up the finish. Cari Bernard
A fantastic Auslese from a warmer vintage: subtle and elegant nose of herbs and ripe citrus with no botrytis, the palate is layered and fresh, stone fruit and deep minerality with lemon candy and delicate florals. A bottle to cellar for at least ten years to begin to see the balance and intricacy of this wine. Cari Bernard
Ritsch is one of those classic, epic Mosel vineyards: punishingly steep (second only in grade to the Bremmer Calmont), terraced and foreboding enough to remain untouched by the big vineyard remodel that began in the 1970s. Soils here are a mix of gray slate and quartzite and many of the vines are ungrafted. Bracing acidity and saline tones give way long enough for white grapefruit to flood the palate, a bottle to cellar, this wine needs time, but should reward your patience. Cari Bernard
When was the last time we had a BA from Schaefer at the shop? April of 2014. Have we tasted this one? No, but when there's Beerenauslese available, you just say yes. (AP 16) Cari Bernard
The Schaefer family still only farms 4.2 hectares, the majority of which tower behind their hometown of Graach (2 ha on Domprobst, 2 ha on Himmelreich), as well as .2 ha on the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, all in total, they work over 100 separate parcels. Graacher Himmelreich (Kingdom of Heaven) is home to Devonian slate soils (blue/gray) with a south/southwest exposition; the Himmelreich and its neighboring vineyard the Domprobst both have access to a unique network of underground water veins that bring a cooling element and much needed support to the vines on this fairly warm site. Grapes are hand-harvested, gently pressed whole cluster, and spontaneously ferment and age in old Fuder. In contrast to the incredibly low yields of 2017, 2018 was practically a bumper crop (I exaggerate). Delightfully floral on the nose, the Himmelreich is creamy and medium-bodied with notes of freshly-cut Fuji apple, smoke, peach candy, mango, salted orange on the lengthy finish. This would be a delightful Riesling to pair with the mix of sweet and richly savory elements of your holiday table, just make sure you open maybe thirty minutes before serving. Cari Bernard
Beneath a layer of sandy-loam, Pechstein's soils hold basalt or pitched stone, the source of this vineyard's name. Along with the Jesuitengarten this wine was one of the clear stand-outs of Markus' 2014 campaign. It shines a golden honey yellow in the glass and welcomes with aromas of lilacs, chrysanthemums, grilled pistachios, lavender, and cranberries. The palate shows a fine minerality, offering tremendous length with notes of white truffles prior to a linden blossom finish. This is nuanced and impeccably detailed, dry Riesling! - David Salinas
Beneath a layer of sandy-loam, Pechstein's soils hold basalt or pitched stone, the source of this vineyard's name. Along with the Jesuitengarten this wine was one of the clear stand-outs of Markus' 2014 campaign. It shines a golden honey yellow in the glass and welcomes with aromas of lilacs, chrysanthemums, grilled pistachios, lavender, and cranberries. The palate shows a fine minerality, offering tremendous length with notes of white truffles prior to a linden blossom finish. This is nuanced and impeccably detailed, dry Riesling!
- David Salinas
Schimbock is a west-facing, slightly cooler, tiny parcel of gray and blue slate terraces with ungrafted, old vines with smaller, looser bunches (less-prone to botrytis). The grapes are pressed in a basket press over the span of 18 hours, and the wine ages in old fuder (1000L), whereas Daniel's other wines age in stainless tank. Three and a half days of skin contact gives beautiful structure and balance to the notes of soft white cherry, nectarine, and underripe pineapple--delicious! Cari Bernard
Alexander Götze and Christoph Wolber met while making wine in Burgundy. Their friendship led to their return to Germany, and they've made it their mission to find unique old-clone parcels of old vines, their total hectareage is currently at 1.5 ha. The vineyards range in soils from shell limestone, loam, loess, and gravel, to volcanic soils on the Kaiserstuhl. The Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is from 30-year-old vines, planted on loess and volcanic soils; whole-cluster basket-pressed, and aged in two 600 Liter barrels for twelve months followed by six months of settling in stainless tank before bottling with low amounts of sulfur. Cari Bernard
Riesling sourced from the Steffensberg, Schlossberg, Taubenhaus, and Sonnenlay vineyards. The ripeness of the 2018 vintage gives us a lush and concentrated wine with a youthful acidity; playful and fruity with notes of ripe peaches, Fuji apple, tangerine juice, with tart lemonade on the lengthy finish. Should pair quite well with spicier cuisine, fried chicken, Thai noodle dishes. Cari Bernard