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The 499 Friesa is one of the softest examples of this grape that I’ve ever tasted. In the glass, it shows a dark ruby color. The nose is savory, with all the classic smells of Piedmont - earth, herbs, and fresh red fruits. There are wispy aromas of smoke and black pepper, clear signs of this rustic variety. The palate delivers rich and fruity flavors of red plum, warm cherry, and semi-bitter anise. Medium tannin and moderate acidity create blanketing structure.
Castellero is located in the village of Barolo, between the more famous vineyards of Bussia and Cannubi. This steep slope is composed of well-draining calcareous marl which are perfectly suited to Nebbiolo. This site is planted to the historic Michet, Rosè and Lampia clones of Nebbiolo, and propagated by massale selection. The Castellero is deeper and shows more concentration than the normale bottling, with notes of cherry, red forest fruit, dried spices, herbs, floral notes of rose and violet, sweet spice, and undergrowth. Pair with roasted red meat or game, or cellar for a few decades. -Oskar Kostecki
To my taste I would have to guess this was a Barbaresco, but a Barbaresco of great finesse and elegance. If there’s a place in the wine to determine that you’re elsewhere, it might be the unbelievably suave and ripe tannins of the Bricco Ernesto. Aromatically the wine is expansive and rich, a lovely combo of dark cherry fruit and earthy Nebbiolo florality and earthiness. The palate is bright and intense, with an incredibly complex finish – a burst of black cherry, amaro-like herbs, citrus, balsam, and that very fine tannin to extend everything. This is a much deeper and more serious Roero wine than one would ever expect. It is, by any definition, a natural wine, completely unmanipulated, and with a final SO2 level of 27mg. Pretty brilliant wine, in my book, and it will be really interesting to see how it develops. I have a very high opinion of just two other Roero producers (Chiesa, and Val del Prete), but Bricco Ernesto is a game-changer. Jamie Wolff
You wouldn't think a Barbera to be so expressive and layered, but this bottle by Cantina del Lupo surely is. The nose has a classic Piedmontese mix of earth and fruit. Aromas of blackberry and cherry waft from the glass, along with hints of loose, healthy, pitch-black soil. On the tongue, there is red cherry, plum, and a woodsy flavor of birch and spice. Subtle but well placed tannin balance the the warm fruit on an edge of medium acidity. For those of you that loved the 2015 vintage of this bottle, we're sure you'll enjoy the 2018 just as much. David Hatzopoulos
Made from organically farmed grapes, by one of the Langhe’s largest organic vineyard owners, with vines on the margins of the great sites of Barolo and Barbaresco. They make more than they can sell under their own label, so we’ve lucked-out: the wine is delicious, ready to drink, and a great buy at the price. Classic Nebbiolo, with roses and a hint of dried red cherries, earthy forest floor, and fine acidity.
(Arrives 12/13) Very engaging on the nose, like uncovering a bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries while a breeze of light flowers and green grass stirs on a summer afternoon. Really, if the aromatics of this wine don't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will. The color is a translucent rhubarb hue. On the palate, there is vibrant acidity and only a minuscule tannic touch. The fruit on the tongue has more of an edge than it does on the nose, with tangy red cherry and crisp red apple. Edgy but deliciously fresh. David Hatzopoulos
From Nebbiolo planted to the calcareous limestone and sandy soils of the Rio Sordo vineyard in Barbaresco. Vines planted in 1978 and see no chemical herbicides. All fruit is picked by hand. Alcoholic fermentation and skin maceration lasted 14 days, before malo began. Aged in Slavonian oak cask (10-17 hl) for 22 months before being aged in bottle for 8 months. This is a darker, more concentrated Barbaresco, with wonderful earthy flavors and plummy fruit.
From Nebbiolo planted to the calcareous limestone and sandy soils of the Tre Stelle vineyard in Barbaresco. Fermented with skins for three weeks before moving to Slavonian botti (10-20HL) for 18 months. Aged in bottle before release. The Tre Stelle is Cascina delle Rose's more elegent style of Barbaresco. It is more floral, more red fruited, with a touch more mineral zip, than the Rio Sordo bottling.
The Poalin is from grapes grown mostly in the cru of Basarin, located in the Neive area of Barbaresco. 45 year old vines are planted to sandy, south-facing soils. Fermented naturally in concrete and aged in large casks of Slavonian oak. In the glass, the 2016 Paolin boasts a color of clear cherry with burnt red edges. The nose is exemplary, with enticing, rich smells of red berries, woodsy smoke, and pungent red flowers - as the wine opens up, hints of sweet plum and a hint of zesty citrus and ginger appear. The palate is edgier, with crisp flavors of cherry, mint, and loamy, minerally earth - culminating in a herbal, high-toned finish. Medium tannin with high acidity, with a fresh, fruity middle. David Hatzopoulos
Grapes from a small parcel in San Rocco Seno d'elvis in Alba. Grapes fermented naturally in concrete and aged for a year in large casks. The color of this Nebbiolo shows a clean cranberry core and lovely, burnt red edges. On the nose, aromas of red cherry, green herbs, and elegant floral tones combine with darker smells of orange rind, black pepper, and a touch of smoke. Plump flavors on the palate of cherry, savory citrus, and salt, leading to a bite of black tea. Structurally, this Nebbiolo has a mineral center, with a fantastic ounce of tender richness, healthy acidity and soft tannin. Truly out of this world! David Hatzoopulos
This needed some air, after which it was delicious, open and light-to-medium bodied, with fine balance. Very good indeed. Jamie Wolff
Dogliani is a small town south and west of Barolo, which gives its name to a DOCG wine zone – a ‘Dogliani’ must be made from Dolcetto (life was a little simpler for everyone when the wines were called “Dolcetto di Dogliani”, but the marketers won that conversation). The zone of Dogliani, is considered the best area for Dolcetto (which not so long ago was more expensive than Nebbiolo) where Dolcetto was historically given the best sites, whereas in Barolo and Barbaresco Dolcetto is generally relegated to lesser positions in the vineyards – “Bricco”, as in Bricco Molea, means the top part of the hill, which receives the most sun and ripens best.There are plenty of contemporary Doglianis that are an attempt to make what Italians call ‘important’ wines, and thus are dark, extracted, and often oaky; Trediberri’s Dogliani is a more traditional style, intended to be fresh and lively, a wine for food, for every day, to open a meal, to drink while your Barolo ages. But this is no simple wine, and it has remarkable aromatic complexity with bright current-like fruit, white flowers, chalk, and a deep savory aspect – altogether mouth-watering. It’s very appealing on the palate, light-midweight and with the fruit in balance with chalk, and expressing a strong sense of place. From vines that are 50-70 years old; fermented in concrete for about 10 days, and aged in a combo of concrete and steel. A killer Dolcetto! Jamie Wolff
I've tried to resist the temptation of a potential cliché, but: this made me think of Burgundy, because this is a really elegant Brunello with no sign of heat, beautiful balance – it’s intense, but not at all too rich, with good lift, and a clear sense of place. I’ve tasted Fornacina for about 10 years now, and terroir emerges in the wine; the relatively high altitude (400+ meters), and the high PH of the galestro soil, must play a role in how fresh the wine is, even in a hot vintage like 2015. The wine is very fragrant with “frutti di bosco”, or forest fruits (wild strawberry, blackberry, etc), clay and “sotto bosco”, or forest floor – leafy and earthy. After 4+ hours open, it’s showing even better: a very refined wine, aromatic, dynamic, and delicious. Jamie Wolff
A nice lively translucent color; both savory and meaty red fruit on the nose; very bright cranberry and current fruit on the palate, and somehow both powerful and elegant. After 4+ hours the wine relaxed and opened to become really drinkable – a very fine Rosso. Jamie Wolff
A Chianti Classico Riserva that pushes tender dark fruit and fresh earth into leading roles. 100% Sangiovese from the Sa'etta Vineyard on the Monte Bernardi estate in Panzano. This single vineyard has southern exposure, boasts soils of shale and limestone, and maintains vines of 40(+) years of age. The area is described by the producer's website as having the "best position, exposure, and terrain on the estate." The choicest grapes are picked by hand from vines tended with biodynamic practices. Once moved to the winery, natural fermentation begins in large oak casks. After malo naturally occurs in Austrian and German oak, the wine ages in wood for 18-30 months. Bottle aging before release is a minimum of 12 months. The wine is unfiltered. Powerful and full, the color in glass is black at the core, with dark burgundy edges. The nose is a basket of fresh black olives, sage leaves, bushy stems of oregano, dried dark cherries and milled cocoa. Large ripe plums and dates are the foundation to a dish of flavors that also include less forward notes of Provencal herbs and subtle black tea. There is an overarching "of-the-earth" quality, aromatically and flavor-wise, that makes this Sa'etta '16 so comforting and pleasant to drink. It has medium acidity and a tempered, though engaging, chew. Please enjoy in 2020, but know that the wine has been made to develop well over many years. Sipped alongside Parmesan-polenta with sausage, shrimp, onions and tomato. Looking forward to revisiting today after a night open... David Hatzopoulos
This is the only Super Tuscan we carry in the store, and an anomaly within the character. 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot. All estate grown fruit, picked by hand, from southern facing slopes. Natural Fermentation in steel, secondary fermentation in oak, with 18-24 months of aging in barrique and tonneaux before bottling. The color here is black cherry, especially dense in the center of the glass. The nose is minerally and bright, with a scent of crushed graphite. Additional aromas of soft vanilla bean, mosey forest floor, and fruits like cherry, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry fill out the profile. The palate also carries that stony character, surrounded by rounder flavors of plum and dark cherry. On the finish, that lean taste of graphite reappears to add an earthy final touch. This is a tannic wine, but tender on the tongue with a soft middle. Acidity is refreshing and vibrant. What a beautiful wine! Complex and so tasty. Drink now or age 10 years. David Hatzopoulos
Another fantastic vintage of this staple red from Monte Bernardi. 95% Sangiovese with 5% of Canaiolo Nero from estate vines in Panzano, Chianti. Wine is fermented naturally in oak and stainless steel before aging 18-24 months in oak. The nose is very fragrant, with notes of warm blueberry preserve, balsamic and freshly baked pie crust. Above those deep aromas, there are fresh red cherries and woodsy forest shrubs. On the palate, there are flavors black cherry, milled coffee beans, and a very lovely note of candied blackberry. The wine has a long finish of herbs and spice. Structure-wise, this Chianti has high acidity and healthy tannin. An incredible wine! David Hatzopoulos
The 2016 Ruvaln Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG from Adalia comes from vines 400 meters above sea level, planted to calcareous soils. The vines are planted in in the double pergola trentina trellising system, which gives the leaves the best exposure to the sun's rays, while keeping the grapes cool under a shady canopy. The Ruvaln is made up of 40% Corvina, 40% Corvina Grossa, and 20% Rondinella. The grapes are selected by hand in the first part of October and let to naturally dry for 3 months. At the beginning of February, the grapes are destemmed and gently pressed. Spontaneous fermentation begins in stainless steel, followed by malo. In the cellar, the wine ages in barrel for 24 months before release.
A while ago, my fiance filled me in on an interesting fact. Many of the grapes that go into the red wines of the Valpolicella DOC are named after the birds that eat them. Corvina is based on "corvo," which means "crow." Rondinella is based on "rondine," which means "swallow." The Adalia 2018 Laute is 35% Corvina, 35% Corvina Grossa, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara. The grapes are trellised in the regionally traditional pergola trentina system, allowing the leaves of the vines to catch optimum sunlight, while the grapes are shaded underneath their canopy. Fruit is picked by hand at the end of September, destemeed, and gently pressed. Fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. The wine sees one week on the skins before malo. Aged in stainless before bottling. On the nose, the Laute shows red cherry, stripped tree bark, clove and pepper. The palate has juicy cherry and plum, coffee, and with cool green herbs. The mouthfeel is fresh, lush with it's fruit, and soft with it's tannin. David Hatzopoulos
The Adalia 2018 Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore Balt comes from a blend of the regions traditional red grapes. Composed of 35% Corvina, 35% Corvina Grossa, 20% Rondinella and 10% Molinara from vineyards planted to calcareous soils at 300 meters above sea level. Like all of the Adalia wines, the vines are set up in the double pergola trentina system, allowing the leaves to obtain as much sunlight as possible, while shielding the fruit below the canopy. The grapes are picked by hand in the second half of October, before being destemmed and gently pressed. Fermentation begins with native yeasts in stainless steel. Maceration on the skins lasts for approximately one week. At the end of February, the wine is then "passed over" the skins of the dried Amarone grapes for 7-10 days. Aging is done in oak barrels for 18 months, where secondary fermentation finishes before bottling. On the nose, the wine has plummy dark fruit, with cherries and herbs. There is a hint of raisin. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, with cherry and earth on the palate. David Hatzopoulos
Grapes are grown in San Vito, Sardinia, to soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz. Fruit from these 10 year old vines is harvested in mid-September. Native fermentation is done in 1950s cement tanks. Wine ages in the same tanks for 5 months before being bottled unfiltered. If you enjoy Grignolino from the Piedmont, this bottle would be great for you. Extremely fresh on the nose, with a mix of fresh picked raspberries, blueberries, sprigs of Provencal herbs, and dark flowers. Over an hour open, aromas of black tea and mint shine through. On the palate, the wine has an aperitif-like profile. Flavors of blood orange, red cherry, and a mix of bitter but refreshing herbs create an appealing, easy drinking character. Like Grignolino, although the wine is approachable, and definitely chill-able, it has some tannic foundations. Grip is felt on the sides of the tongue and the tops of the cheeks. A long finish, shaped by appealing, strong acidity, is noted with flavors of red fruits and black pepper. David Hatzopoulos
Bardolino is just north of Valpolicella, and shares the same three grapes (Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella) as those wines. The “Nogara” is mostly Corvina, with some Rondinella; despite the fact that Corvina is the more structured grape, the Nogara is a lively and fresh expression in which it’s hard to perceive the relationship between Bardolino and Amarone. The color is quite light (a dark Rosato in some other quarters), and cranberry and strawberry fruit dominate, underpinned by lime peel and chalk – refreshing chilled, easy to drink at 12.5 alcohol, guaranteed to hit the spot on a hot day, and absolutely delicious. Jamie Wolff
(Arrives 12/13) Il Fortunato aced it with their Rosato Spumante; another lively sparkler produced from organic vineyards with only a minimal addition of sulfur. The nose is playful with a mix of bright berry fruits and fresh red cherries cut by tart apple skins. On the palate, a delicate mousse lifts the wine showing some weight, great acidity, and just touch of sugar. Absolutely lovely! Pair with charcuterie, simple pasta, or simply drink on its own. Andy Paynter
The 2017 Vignali from La Visciola has a deep red core, with earthy red edges. Freshly picked cherries and strawberries, red plum, dark flowers, loamy earth, and a hint of smoke and aromatic herbs combine on the wine's pronounced nose. The palate has a distinct flavor of roasted coffee, along with a depth of cherry and plum. A beautiful wine that doesn't lack strength, high in acidity with medium tannin. David Hatzopoulos
This effervescent Barbera is one of a kind! Just a little fizzy, the wine is perfect for denser holiday meals - like root vegetables and roasted white and red meats. In the glass, it has a dark ruby color. The nose is fresh, though full of dark fruits (cherry, blackberry, and small plum). There are aromas of birch, smoke, and savory orange peel. The palate has blueberries and raspberry, mixed with slightly bitter green herbs - before finishing with a light essence of strawberry. High acid on the tongue, and just a little sparkle, make this wine incredibly drinkable. You’ll want this in stock all winter long!
Liscone is an old Contrada, or farm; Paulo says that the fruit for the Liscone bottling comes from younger vines — only 30 years old... After about 2 weeks in open-top fermenters, the wine goes in old tonneau. It's intense — smokey, very mineral. Savory, with ripe tannin, this isn't a fruit-driven wine, but a really sophisticated expression of the Vulture. The wine is certainly drinkable now, but this is a fine candidate for mid-term aging.
2017 was a much riper vintage than 2016, and this wine shows it. Francesco added a tiny bit of sulfur just at bottling. The nose opens with notes of plum, a hint of prune, dark forest fruit, stewed raspberry and blackberry, dried cherry, grape jam (a high quality one), baking spice, nutmeg, and a hint of forest undergrowth. The palate is juicy, still with a lot of energy and acidity to retain balance. Though lacking some of the subtlety and fascination of the 2016 vintage at the moment, it may be best to hold for a year or two, as I feel this will be a wonderful wine with some time to settle. That being said, there is no harm in opening it now, and indeed at a recent tasting some folks preferred the more forward aspects of the 2017. Oskar Kostecki
2017 was not an easy vintage for producers on Etna. Extreme heat and no rain posed a huge threat to production. With yields down, many consumers were worried about the quality of the vintage. Masseria del Pino's I Nove Fratelli 2017 is one of the most expressive bottles of Etna Rosso that I've ever tasted. Complete with a mix of fresh and candied red fruits, green herbs and fresh volcanic soil, this is a dynamic bottle in aroma and taste. It doesn't lack structure either, though it is leaner and fresher than the 2016 vintage. It goes to show you how wonderful farming and great winemaking can turn a scary vintage into a real success. Bravo to Federica and Cesare for delivering such a fantastic bottle of wine, despite the hardship. David Hatzopoulos
The Sisma by Monterosso is structured, with bright acidity. The 2017 vintage was hot compared to the 2016. Earthy aromas of smoke, iron, and crushed black stones mix with dark cherry and cassis on the nose. On the palate, the flavors are framed by ripe, firm tannins, with bursts of earthy red plum and blackberry/raspberry fruit. This is an assertive Nerello Mascalese, especially in contrast with the gentler character of the 2016. A few years in the cellar should allow the flavors and structure to integrate. David Hatzopoulos
From 15 year old vines planted in both guyot and pergola training systems, Pranzegg's Lagrien is fermented with submerged cap for 4 weeks, and is a deeper expression of "mountain wine."Notes of dark fruit (blackberry, plum, and cassis) mingle with mineral notes wet stone and graphite. Framed by quite bright acidity, this is a great food wine, and will pair well with anything from a steak or roast pork, to a burger or barbacue. Oskar Kostecki
Sourced from 50 year-old vines trained in pergola and farmed biodynamically, this is a more profound expression of the grape Schiava than one usually finds. The wine is fermented with 30% stem inclusion and macerates for 6 weeks in large conical vats followed by elevage in old oak and cement tank for 10 months.
The Allegracore bottling from Romeo del Castello is 100% Nerello Mascalese from the younger part of their vineyard, planted in 2004. The wine is fermented in 5000L stainless vats for 20 days. The wine ages for a year afterwards, also in stainless. An elegant and approachable Etna Rosso, it has been a Chambers Street favorite since the 2009 vintage! The nose on the 2018 is a fresh bouquet of pitted, ripe dark cherries and plums and violets. Attractive green aromas balance the flowers and fruit with swaths of spring grass and ferns. The juicy palate is full of cherry, raspberry and plum - all bolstered by an enticing minerality of dark stones. The finish is long, ending the wine on notes of dried red fruits and herbs. As stated above, we always love this wine, but the 2018 is a knock-out. You'll want this bottle during summer meals outside. David Hatzopoulos
From the Veneto, this is a low alcohol rosato. A fresh blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara - grapes most famously used in the production of Valpolicella reds.
Vittorio Savino, owner of Fenicotteri, joined Foti’s small association of producers called i Vigneri (some of whose wines from Mt. Etna we always have on our shelves). I Vigneri offers unparalleled expertise in every aspect of viticulture and production (including the services of Ciccio, the group’s mule). Foti’s work at Gulfi, and his knowledge derived from the vines in Pachino must have been very valuable when trying to restore a vineyard that’s virtually on the shore of the lagoon. The farming is impeccable (only copper and sulfur and sheep manure are used on the bush-trained vines) but it’s the location that brings an incredibly compelling mineral and saline lift to the wine. Called Fenicotteri (flamingo, in Italian) after the migratory flamingoes who visit the lagoon next to the vineyard. JW Firmly medium-bodied, the 2015 shows beautiful notes of black cherry, blackberries, black currant, raspberry jam, a hint of leather, cut hay, cocoa, coffee grinds, with hints of black pepper and a black olive brininess. Well integrated and soft, but quite present tannins and medium acidity. Wonderful complexity which just keeps unfolding the longer the wine is open. There is a certain plushness, without anything extravagant. This wine is very compelling all the way through the bottle. Oskar Kostecki
In Emilia-Romagna, Terraquila creates red méthode ancestrale sparklings from organic Lambrusco Grasparossa. The wine goes through a cold maceration with the skins. It is aged for 15 months on the lees and is released without disgorgement. The color of the Falcorubens is a dense red. Aromatically, the wine offers roasted coffee and dark forest fruit, with a touch of barnyard and earth. Similarly, the palate is full of burly flavors like smoke, plum, raw herbs, and espresso. The structure is soft with a touch of tannin. A lovely wine to sip, a great bubbly for the cooler weather. David Hatzopoulos
A co-harvest of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, and Sangiovese from biodynamically farmed 53 year old, pergola-trained vines on the western shore of Lake Garda. Considered too atypical to be labeled under the Bardolino Chiaretto DOC, Daniele Deliani just labels this as a humble vino rosato.