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This is an off-dry (semi-sweet) expression of Gewurztraminer from granite soils. White flowers, spice, and mint blossom on the nose, with a silky and subtly sweet mid-palate, and nice structure in the finish. Textbook Gewurz! Eben Lillie
As implied by the "Vin sec" on the front label, this is a DRY Gewurztraminer, from old vines. Laurent always looks for botrytis, but there was none in 2015 so he made this dry expression, and I think it's perfect! All the aromatic complexity is there, with a touch of salinity in the mouth and a crisp finish. Not just a great wine for educational purposes or curious palates... This is a classy dry white that everyone should try! Eben Lillie
What a delicious wine... Pinot Gris on granite. Elegance and white flowers (Laurent says "Acacia flowers"). 10g RS (residual sugar), with total SO2 at about 30mg/l. When tasting this wine, I remarked to Laurent how it's demi-sec (a bit sweet) on the attack, and dry in the finish, and he said that this is a very typical experience for a wine from granite soils. Enveloping ripe fruit on the nose and palate, with loads of freshness, menthol and acid in the finish. Interestingly enough, I poured this wine for a bunch of people and no one found it to be sweet. Ripe is probably a better word. This is a fantastic wine to pair with food, and should age nicely. Eben Lillie
I'm a big fan of this Pinot Noir. It's uniquely Alsatian, and doesn't remind me of Burgundy, or California, or Oregon, or the Jura (or even the Alto Aldige!). 15 months elevage (ageing), half/half whole cluster and destemmed. 2015 was a hot year, so Laurent says he harvested when the grapes were ripe, but not TOO ripe. A lovely Pinot Noir, with notes of fresh rasberries on the nose. Fresh and elegant, with some tannin, structure, and a bit of pepper in the finish ("typical of granite," says Laurent). I think this wine should age nicely. Though I admit to not having a lot of experience in the field of aged Alsatian Pinot, I will definitely be putting some aside to see how they evolve... and of course drinking some soon too! Eben Lillie
Always around 50% Pinot Auxerrois (fermented separately), with Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and a touch of Riesling. The idea here is to make a wine that is easy to drink, says Laurent, and he nails it! There's a subtle touch of spice on the palate, with a crystalline minerality in the finish, thanks to the granite soils. Eben Lillie
This is a classic dry Riesling from Laurent Barth. It's approachable and very easy to drink, but also has emotion and depth, and will likely be a wine that one could keep for a while. 2015 was a hot year, so there's good ripeness here. Plenty of complexity and salinity with nice granitic character in the finish. Laurent uses the word "salivant" for this wine, which I take it has to do with salivating due to the minerality of the wine, but that's open to interpretation! Anyway, it's a fantastic dry Riesling and worth a try for any fan of the legendary grape, or any one new to the wines of Laurent Barth. -Eben Lillie
Mostly Pinot Auxerrois with some Pinot Noir in the mix, this is a methode ancestrale "Pet Nat" from Laurent Barth... a wine we never knew existed since most of it is sold in Europe and Laurent keeps a fair amount at home to share with friends (and to pour after his Pinot Noirs to prepare your palate for an onslaught of delicious white wines). Lucky for us the fine folks at Louis/Dressner Selections were able to score a handful of cases for the US market! The wine spends 18 months sur latte (sur lie) before disgorging. A fascinating and singular wine, with notes of tangerine and toasted coconut and a long elegant finish. Eben Lillie
This is one of the first Alsatian wines I tasted 10 years ago! Almost all Pinot Auxerrois, with a tiny bit of Pinot Gris. I always thought this was Laurent's big production wine, because it's approachable and a great price, but it turns out that production is miniscule, and grapes are harvested from 3 small parcels that total 70 ares (less than 2 acres). This is a pretty special wine for only $15. Crisp and clean, with pretty orchard fruit on the nose and good ripeness. Equally suitable on it's own as an apero or with salads, cheeses, and seafood. Eben Lillie
Occasionally Laurent will make this old vines Pinot Auxerrois, and it's always a remarkable wine when he does! In 2015, Laurent had some Auxerrois that was meant to be sparkling, but he noticed that the quality was so good that he ended up separating it. On top of that, he also wanted the best juice for this cuvée, so he didn't use any juice from the beginning or the end of the press. The result is a beautifully structured wine, simultaneously charming and serious, with ripe stone fruit on the nose and ample acidity on the palate. A rare and special treat! Eben Lillie
It's hard to imagine a better deal than this full liter of organic Grüner. The 2016 is a touch leaner than last year: crisp minerality and mouthwatering acidity lift notes of white blossom, yellow apricot, and salted lemonade. Cari Bernard
If you've read the Hirsch Heiligenstein note, you have a bit of a primer on how complex the soils can get here. Gobelsburg's Heiligenstein vineyard is home to some of the oldest Riesling vines of the estate, growing on a mix of silt, sandstone, feldspar, with rich sediments. Bright and powerful notes of lime flower, green mango, apricot, and a brisk stony minerality make for a wine with fantastic aging potential.
We are big fans of the 2014 vintage in Beaujolais and we were very happy to get another shipment of the lovely 2014 Regnié from Joëlle and Roland Pignard. (January 1st, 2018) The wine is opening up nicely with pretty aromas of ripe strawberry and black cherry mingling with earth, rose, truffle and brown spice. The palate has softened a bit with bright strawberry, cherry and red currant over the saline minerals and earth with citrus and herbal notes. The wine is subtle and perfectly balanced at 12% alcohol - a real Regnié of terroir that will continue to improve over the next few years. Delicous wine! (Notes from August 2016 below)The Pignards' Regnié is from 50 year-old vines on alluvial clay soils, always giving a well-structured wine. The 2014 shows subtle aromas of ripe red currant and strawberry, very floral and pure. The palate is less fruity, showing stone and mineral flavors with lighter raspberry/strawberry fruit, quite elegant, and finishing with stony acidity. This will need a few years to show at its best but is delicious now in its purity and restraint. Decant if drinking now, best probably 2019 - 2023.
We're very proud to have the lovely Morgons of Roland Pignard 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 their home in the hamlet 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 2015 Morgon shows a vivid deep red color with complex aromas of ripe black cherry and black raspberry, wild flowers, earth and black pepper. The palate is ripe and supple with black raspberry and cherry fruit, brightened by firm acidity with hints of orange peel and brown spice. The finish is long and ripe with lingering black fruits, citrus and mineral flavors. At 13% alcohol, this beautiful Morgon shows the ripeness of the 2015 vintage but in a balanced and nuanced style with a complexity and mineral character found in few of the 2015s. Delicious now, best 2020 to 2025, but who will wait? David Lillie
The Pignard's Morgon Cuvée Tradition is ripe, dense and delicious in 2015! Good friends with Christian Ducroux, the Pignards practise similar methods of biodynamic farming and natural vinifications. Produced from hillside vineyards of sandy clay over limestone in "Les Charmes," the wine ferments naturally, with only 10mg of SO2 added before bottling and spends a year in vat followed by a year in old barriques. The wine shows aromas of blackberry liqueur with earth, spice, citrus and herbal notes. The palate is silky and supple with ripe black fruits, bitter chocolate, earth, spice and citrus - having some aspects of northern Rhone wines in this very warm, dry vintage. The finsh is long with fruit liqueur, spice and citrusy acids. This shows the density and darker fruit flavors of the 2015 vintage but in a more balanced frame at 13% alcohol. Delicious now in it's youthful intensity, probably best from 2020 to 2025. David Lillie
The Pignard's Beaujolais-Villages is from a high-elevation parcel with 40 year-old vines in sandy clay over decomposed granite. There is a very short carbonic-maceration to preserve the fresh fruit and only a tiny addition of sulfur before the bottling. The 2016 ias a subtle, elegant and well-structured Beaujolais, showing pretty aromas of raspberry, plum and tart cherry, with hints of violet, citrus and herbs. The palate shows firm acidity and saline mineral flavors, framing the blackberry and raspberry fruit, with hints of mint, spice and citrus. This is a real Beaujolais of terroir that is elegant and delicious now and will improve over the next few years. David Lillie
The 2010 Bel Air Marquis d'Aligre is from very old vines and also from approximately 50 year-old vines planted by M. Boyer at 10,000 plants per hectare. One of the two parcels abuts Chateau Margaux. There is a long fermentation without extraction, the juice remains in cuve until spring, then spends 6 months in old barrels followed by two to three years in cement vat. These are wines made in the lighter "claret" style of the 19th century, although the 2010 shows an incredible density of flavor, given the less-extracted style. Upon opening the wine shows subtle aromas lf earth, red currant and cherry fruit with licorice and brown spice. The palate is deep and quite expressive with black cherry, strawberry, earth, licorice and mineral flavors, quite Burgundian in texture. The finish is very long with lingering tart cherry, sous-bois and mineral flavors. After two days open (re-corked) the aromas have broadened with prune, ripe cherry, tobacco, spice and rose and the palate is intense with red and black fruit liqueur, spice box and earth and ending with lingering red fruits and firm acidity. Delicious now with a long decant, this will be an extraordinay mature wine, best perhaps 2035 - 2050. David Lillie
I am excited to add this delicious certified organic wine to our Bordeaux selection! Domaine Les Trois Petiotes, a 3-hectare estate in the Côtes de Bourg owned by Valérie Godelu, has been a proponent of less is more on the field and in the cellar for more than a decade. Fully destemmed with stainless steel tank fermentation, the wine is aged in neutral oak for 4 years with minimal sulfur addition. The result is a very expressive wine with a beautiful structure combining vibrancy and texture. The wine, a blend of Merlot (around 65%), Cabernet Franc and Malbec, shows pretty notes of red plums, black and blue berries, cigar wooden box, and violet with menthol and savory undertones. With a superb minerality coming from the soil, a mix of sand, clay, limestone and gravels, supple tannins, and bright acidity, the wine is welcoming and exciting. Pair this wine with classic dishes, such a steaks, beef stews and barbecued pork. A delicious wine at a great price.
Certified organic since 2009 and biodynamic since 2013, this second label from the domain Maison Blanche is a secret to discover. Vibrant with tension, firm tannins and bright acidity, this wine will accompany many of your meals from casual to fancy. The palate is full of blackberries, cassis, plums with savory, mineral and herbal notes. The finish is long and beautiful. A great wine. Drink it now or age it for several years (7 years). Caroline Coursant
The Hubert family are owners of Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. The farming here is among the best in Bordeaux, certified organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are a fantastic oasis of greenery compared to the rest of Bordeaux, and are located on slopes of clay over limestone giving the wines good concentration and firm minerality. From 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec. Natural, wild yeast fermentations. Extraordinary quality here for the price. The 2014 Cote de Blaye Cru Bourgeois is a bit more forward than usual, showing deep cassis and red currant aromas, pure and ripe with hints of coffee, prune and spice. The palate is supple and deep with blackberry fruit, chalky minerals and terrific length. Serve slightly cool with anything from roast chicken to steak and full-flavored cheeses. Did we say this is a great value?
The Jobard Rully "En Villerange" is from a 2 hectare parcel facng south-south-east with old vines in clay/limestone soils. This is an elegant and well-priced white Burgundy showing aromas of ripe pear, lemon confit, lime-flower and almond framed in a bit of oak. The palate is supple and ripe with white fruit, herbal and mineral flavors framed in firm acidity and nicely rounded by the fermentation and elevage in barrel. Quite ripe and nicely balanced, it's delicious now and over the next 5 to 8 years.
(NOTE: This refers to a 2014 disgorgement - this wine, from the same lot, was disgorged in 2017.) The 1998 Ambonnay Brut has long been a staff favorite and this disgorgement does not disappoint. Brillliant, golden yellow in color and showing a finely-beaded mousse, this offers one of the two most expressive aromatic profiles of this current Beaufort lineup. Aromas of Mirabelle plums, toasted hazelnuts, and crème brüléee transition to notes of Jonagold apples, cinnamon, and wild flowers. The palate is generous and expansive and carries tones of brazil nuts, greengages, and irises that crescendo to a fine, zippy finish. This is complex and delicious Champagne! David Salinas
Emmanuel Brochet, produces Champagnes of particularly mineral character from the clay and limestone soils of a single lieu-dit called Le Mont Benoit located in the northern part of the Montagne de Reims. The vines are date from 1962 and 1984 and have been farmed organically since 2005 and certified since 2008. The current disgorgement of Le Mont Benoit Extra Brut is based on the the 2013 vintage with reserve wine from the 2012 vintage. The cepage is 39% Pinot Noir 37% Pinot Meunier, and 24% Chardonnay fermented in barrel with native yeasts and bottled with a dosage of 4 grams/L. Newly arrived, the wine is a bit aromatically reticent, though with air reveals pear skin and stony notes. The palate is quite chiseled and vinous, high-lighting a denser rather than chalky minerality or overt fruit. And while powerful, this is quite elegant, if coiled and shows quite long and dry, though not quite austere. Within this structure are lovely notes of blood orange peel, salt, and apricot with hints of autolyse. This is quite young, but has great energy within and will reward mid to longer term aging. John McIlwain
An organically-farmed Blanc de Noirs from the eponymous lieu-dit in the premier cru village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. The wine is a notable expression of this terroir, as Fabrice Pouillon reveals by vinifying with only the natural sugars from perfectly ripe Pinot Noir, in addition to only utilizing the indigenous yeasts present in the must. He accomplishes this by chilling unsulfured grape must in tank to a temperature low enough to prevent spoilage or fermentation. This must is then used for the secondary fermentation, as well as the dosage after disgorgement, rather than cane sugars or MCR. The resulting wine is layered and supple with a fine bead, displaying red fruits, blood orange peel, and spices, expressing the vinous character of Pinot Noir grown in the clays of the Grande Vallee de la Marne. John McIlwain
Les Ursules is a Blanc de Noirs from a single parcel of less than a hectare of the same name in the Côtes des Bars. As always Cédric Bouchard’s aesthetic is vineyard expression above all. This single vineyard, single vintage Pinot Noir is raised in stainless steel, to avoid any influence of wood that would mask the character of the terroir. The long, slow secondary fermentation and bottling without dosage produces a vinous, savory champagne that benefits from decanting and serving in a wine glass rather than a flute to better appreciate the concentrated, earthy character of the Pinot Noir grown in this vineyard. John McIlwain
Formerly known as Infloresence, as of 2012, Val de Vilaine, this blanc de noirs comes from a south-facing 1.49ha plot of vines in Polisy planted in 1974 owned by Cédric's father. If there's such a thing as an 'entry level' Champagne in Bouchard's lineup, this is it. Historically more approachable when young than Bouchard's other wines, Val de Vilaine, is now more tightly wound and concentrated as the already small yields were nearly halved to 26hl/ha bringing it in line with the other cuvées of Roses de Jeanne. Here you'll find a classic expression of Polisy terroir. -John McIlwain
While today we tend to think of most wines in terms of fruit or mineral descriptors, some transcend those notes with profoundly savory character. Ruppert-Leroy's 100% Pinot Noir Champagne Les Cognaux hits this sweet spot with loads of minerality, pure fruit, and a rich sapid character which makes it a natural for the table. Here's a wine that will stand up to all manner of savory dishes, while leaving the palate refreshed. A visit to the vines with Bénédicte Ruppert of Ruppert-Leroy is an illuminating experience. There’s a world of difference between the Aube and the Vallée de la Marne. Not only are the soils different, (Kimmeridgean limestone vs. chalk), but the undulating landscape itself is wilder and less manicured. Often the vineyards abut forest rather than village, which in the case of biodynamic growers is especially desirable to insure a biodiversity according to Bénédicte. Between the vines is a riot of vegetation and flowers, as Ruppert-Leroy has 30 different plants and flowers sown in the vineyard. One such vineyard is the Les Cognaux whose grey marl soils are planted to Pinot Noir and when we visited in the Spring was aglow with yellow flowers. (These flowers are made into a tissane by Bénédicte to treat the vines for mildew.) The wildness of the countryside is reflected in the wines which are energetic, exuberant, and vibrantly mineral. The 2013 Les Cognaux shows red fruit, peach skin, orange peel, and see spray aromas with notes of daishi and fond. The palate balances lush, ripe flavors of apricot, peach, and Rainier cherry with crunchy acidity, compelling umami character and a pungent sense of minerality. The finish is vibrant and luminous. As of 2013 Ruppert-Leroy vinifies and bottles without SO2. John McIlwain
A blend of 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, and 1/3 Pinot Meunier, the base wine comes from the classic 2008 vintage. For a Brut Nature (Dosage: 0 g/l), this Tarlant combines bracing acidity with remarkable fruit-forwardness. Lemon pith, preserved lemon, red apple flesh and red apple skin flavors sweep across the palate with broad brush strokes and a pleasing effervescence. With big flavors and deep cut, this Champagne definitely needs food to accompany it: caviar or smoked salmon anyone? (Disgorged: 09/14) - Jonas Mendoza
Domaine Gabriel Billard is now directed by Claudie Jobard. The four hectares of parcels in and around Beaune and Pommard have a very high percentage of old vines. While not organic, only natural composts are used, with minimal treatments in the vines and regular light tilling ("griffage") and wild-yeast fermentations. The 2015 Cuvee Milliane "Vieilles Vignes" is from vines near Pommard and shows complex aromas of ripe black cherry and strawberry, with violets, orange peel, earth and smoke. There are dense red fruits on the palate, quite sappy, also very earthy and mineral, and quite balanced for a 2015 at 13% alcohol. The finish is long and well-structured - the wine will obviously benefit from 3 to 5 years of aging, but it's quite delicious now in it's intense youth. This is a "serious"Bourgogne rouge at a great price!
Jean and Gilles Lafouge have produced a delicious "village" Auxey-Duresses in 2015 - those looking for value in red Burgundy should stock-up on this lovely wine! Tasted before bottling in January 2017 the wine showed a lovely bright garnet color with very pretty aromas of tart cherry and wild strawberry with violet and citrus. There is lovely ripeness on the palate with ripe cherry and red currant with nice concentration and balance, and a long finish with lingering red fruits and firm acidity. This will drink beautifully as a young wine, and over the next five to eight years. Given the reasonable price, this is highly recommended! DL
Jane and Sylvain have done it again! Another beautiful Passetoutgrain from 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Gamay, grown near Gevrey-Chambertin, organically farmed and quite delicious! The 2015 shows ripe aromas of tart cherry and raspberry liqueur with earth and violets. The palate is lively and bright with morello cherry and raspberry with stone, tobacco and citrus, quite vibrant and long. Really a refreshing and delicious wine, perfect for picnics and barbecues, served quite cool. This is a fantastic value and highly recommended.
This lovely Gevrey by our organic friends, Jane et Sylvain, is 45 to 60 year-old vines, certified organic, mostly in En Pallud (below 1er Cru les Corbeaux). The 2015 shows very pretty high-toned ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit with violet, soil, graphite and citrus peel. The palate is dense and balanced, with a mineral aspect missing in most modern Burgundies, with supple ripe cherry and strawberry fruit with citrus and herbal notes. The finish is very long with red fruits, spice, citrus and saline minerals. This is a lovely old-fashioned Burgundy that is delicious now and should age nicely, best perhaps 2022 - 2030.
A mere 200 meters from Les Essards, Les Plantes Aux Bois has clay top soils overlying the hard limestone mother rock. The nose is generous, perfumed, and dark-fruited with aromas of black raspberry and plum giving way to notes of game and spices. Flavors of blackberry, cassis, and plum dominate on the ripe, mid-weight palate. There is good freshness, with bright acidity providing lift and drive on a long, lingering, cool-toned finish. Lovely with a quick decant, but plenty of material to justify mid-term cellaring. I love the idea of this with a holiday meal. Light on its feet with good freshness to wake the palate, but enough minerality to whet the appetite of the discerning Burgundy aficionado. Delicious! John McIlwain
This is a delicious Bourgogne Passetoutgrain from the young and very capable Stéphane Magnien, whose great vineyard work and un-forced vinifications are producing superb, elegant Burgundies. The 2015 Cuvée Densité is from old vines of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Gamay and gets a longer élevage than his "regular" Passetoutgrain. This is a lovely and affordable Burgundy that shows deep aromas of cherry and blackberry with earth and citrus notes. The palate shows a potpourri of berry fruits with impressive length, finishing with juicy acidity and mineral flavors. Drinking beautifully now, and over the next few years - buy a case and make this your "everyday" Burgundy.... David Lillie
The young and very talented Stéphane Magnien is producing delicious, old fashioned Burgundies from his beautifully tended vineyards in and around Morey-Saint-Denis. The estate has never used herbicides and uses a plowing regimen designed to force the roots deeper into the limestone bedrock. The "village" wine is always one of my favorite recommendations in Burgundy due to its elegance, balance, lovely fruit and great value. The 2015 is particularly beautiful, showing a bit more depth and ripeness than the excellent 2014, with aromas of blackberry and strawberry liqueur, violet, brown spice, orange peel, smoke and earth. The palate is dense, but not over-ripe, with earthy black fruits, bitter chocolate, citrus and spice with a core of firm acidity and mineral flavors. Quite delicious as a young wine, this ripe and elegant Morey-Saint-Denis will be at its best from approximately to 2022 to 2030. Those looking for value in a 2015 red Burgundy should consider buying a case of this lovely wine. David Lillie
From a parcel of old vines grown in Les Faconnières, one of the best situated climats in Morey-Saint-Denis, located beneath Clos de la Roche and between the Millandes and Charrières premier crus. The 2015 Faconnières was the star of the premier crus tasted at the estate last January, with lovely aromas of black fruits and violets. The palate was dense, elegant, and chalky with black fruits, earth and mineral flavors that continued in the very long finish. 20% new oak. Hold for 5 to 6 years minimum, said Stéphane, best at 7 to 15 years. Fabulous wine! David Lillie
Organic since 2001, Taupenot-Merme, located in Morey St. Denis (with substantial holdings in St. Romain) produces classically styled Burgundies. The 2015 Bourgogne Rouge was fermented in tank and raised in older barrels. The nose is effusive and dark fruited, with aromas of black cherry, cherry stone , and violets, with notes of game and earth. The mid-weight palate similarly displays flavors of bing cherry, damson plum, underbrush and spice with good drive and life on a persistent, bright finish. Enjoy with roasted pork, or braised chicken, and strong cheeses. John McIlwain
The Brothers Brand have taken over the family vineyards, working organically with biodynamic treatments, using natural yeast fermentation, and low or no sulfur additions. This is the first year their pét-nats have made it over to our side of the pond, and just in time for longer, hotter days. Their 2016 rosé is a blend of mostly Pinot Noir, with about 10% old-vine Portugieser (vine age is about 40 years old). Deep magenta, jewel-toned rose in color, with a sprightly mousse and a mélange of tart and juicy red fruits: raspberry, watermelon, sour cherry, red plum all burst forth and wash over the palate, with bright acidity priming for the next sip. Cari Bernard
Weingut Frank John has been biodynamic since their first vintage in 2003, Demeter certified since the 2012 vintage, with a commitment to hand-harvesting, natural yeast fermentation, ageing in wood, and minimal sulfur additions. An incredibly elegant and layered Riesling Brut Sekt, with 41 months spent on the lees and close to 8 grams per liter of dosage. White and red grapefruit, star fruit and burnished peach on the nose, the wine is oxidative and broad, with a creamy mousse and aggressive attack. Powerful and vinous, with rich notes of apple, citrus oils and pith, a show-stopping sparkling wine. Cari Bernard
A cuvée of all Grand Cru vineyards boasting mostly ungrafted vines with a minimum age of 60 years. The 2015 is not tropical like 2014 Escheburg was, this vintage is bright with shimmering acidity, showing more peach and apricot notes on the palate, clover blossom and orange oil on the nose. Cari Bernard
Very rich and intense stone fruit nose, with much deeper aromatics than you'd expect from the normally reserved 2008s, but that just speaks to the fastidious selection for the Auslese 'R'. The acidity is prominent but not as much as in the '09 Spätlese; here it's layered deep beneath crisp fruit layers of such rich, fleshy fruits as nectarine and persimmon. As with many of these, it's very elegant, very long and just beautiful. Among the most youthful of the whole lot as well. -jfr
Thorsten Melsheimer has been farming organically in the Mosel since 1995 (certified ECOVIN) and became Demeter (biodynamic) certified in 2013. Sparkling wine accounts for 20 percent of Thorsten's production; he's been making serious, elegant Sekt since the early eighties. We are very excited to offer his Pet-Nat 'Rurale': made from biodynamically-grown Riesling and Johanniter, with no added sulfur. The wine has a lively, creamy mousse with notes of golden and green apple, ginger, orange zest, peach skin and yellow apricot with a lengthy finish. Cari Bernard
The 2014 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett shows a remarkably distinctive nose with aromas of delicate orange blossom, candied ginger, spearmint, green tea, and pine. The palate has impeccably razor sharp minerality that carries notes of oolong tea and shortbread through to a finely pointed finish. Stunningly wrought and filigreed to the nth degree. - David Salinas
From very old vines (replanted in 2015), this is very much in the same mold as the Chianti – and was vinified identically – but is considerably deeper and rounder without any additional wood, alcohol, or extract – just a direct expression of the old vines. I think this is remarkable – it strikes a fascinating balance between palate-enveloping darker fruit and finesse. Really a super wine. Jamie Wolff
Retromarcia means “to back up” or “to reverse” and is Michael Schmelzer’s reference to an old approach to Chianti that is hard to find today, focused on allowing the character of Sangiovese to show above everything else. The wine is made from 100% Sangiovese composed of young vines planted on a mix of galestro and sandstone soils. The grapes are fermented with native yeast on the skins for 2 weeks in stainless steel and then raised in a mixture of old barrels and unlined concrete tanks for 18 months before being bottled unfiltered. This wine to me is always quite pretty and the 2015 vintage is no exception. Pale ruby in the glass, it smells of bright red cherry fruit, violets, and woody herbs with slightly darker earthy tone underneath. On the palate, it is light and quite refreshing with great acidity and lots of sour cherry fruit backed by delicate tannins. As a classic Chianti should be the acidity is mouthwatering, warming up the palate for a range of food; try it with everything from classic red sauce pastas, sauteed greens, and saltier cheeses all the way to richer food like roasted lamb or game birds. Andy Paynter
San Fernando Ciliegiolo is a perfect example of how delightful the grape Ciliegiolo can be when made as a varietal wine. Produced from a 1.7 Hectare parcel of young vines the grapes are fermented with native yeasts over 12 days, rested on the lees for five months, and bottled unfined with only a light filtration. The wine smells of sour cherries, raspberries, woody green herbs, and just a whiff of lavender. The palate is playful, with refreshing acidity and very soft tannins giving the wine a juicy feel. This is an honest quaffable wine that will pair effortlessly with all sorts of food: try it with caprese salad, cured salmon, soft cheese, cured salami, braised pork or enjoy it on its own. AP
This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after August 7th.
From a tiny parcel in La Croix Boissée, with 15 to 25 year-old Chenin vines on thin sandy clay soils over limestone. Slow fermentation in 500 liter tonneaux until "sec" - under 2 grams per liter of residual sugar. The 2016 shows aromas of green pear, citrus, almond, lime-flower and stone, more subtle than the riper 2015. The palate is dry and elegant with almond and white fruit flavors backed with firm acidity and mineral flavors. This is an stylish young Chenin Blanc that will accompany any mild-flavored seafood dish, or cellar ten to fifteen years for a more complex experience. David Lillie
Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme makes beautiful natural wines in Touraine, from organic farming and with minimal or zero SO2. His 2016 Cheverny Rouge, a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, is pure and delicious, showing slight reduction, then pretty raspberry and tart cherry fruit with hints of rose, earth and brown spice. The palate shows earthy berry fruits with floral and herbal hints, quite silky and refreshing. The finish is long with juicy acidity, red fruit and mineral flavors. A lovely natural wine to serve cool with chicken and pork dishes, charcuterie, mild cheeses and fish dishes as well. David Lillie
This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.
We're big fans of the Caslot family at Domane de la Chevalerie, who make soulful Bourgueils from organic vineyards on their varied terroirs. The Chevalerie vineyard is on mid-slope Turonian limestone with clay and alluvial sand and gravel topsoils, rich in silex; the vines average about 60 years of age. The lovely 2012 Chevalerie shows vivid aromas of berry liqueurs, bitter chocolate, earth and brown spice. The palate is dense and supple with ripe blackberry, cocoa, earth and mineral flavors balanced by cool acidity. The finish is long and lush with blackberry, prune, citrus and saline minerals. This is a lovely old-school Bourgueil to drink over the next 15 years - delicious now perhaps best from 2020 to 2025.
The Chevalerie "Diptyque" is from sand and gravel soils in Bourgueil, producing a wine to drinkyoung, served cool - 100% Cabernet Franc, of course. The 2014 is particularly good, with lovely aromas of black raspberry and strawberry with hints of violet, pepper and earth. The palate is balanced and pretty with supple raspberry/strawberry fruit in a bright frame, typical of this excellent vintage for Loire reds. Serve a bit chilled with charcuterie, chicken and pork dishes and mild cheeses. DL
Cabernet Franc, with 2-3 days of maceration. I'm a big fan of Loire Valley Cab Francs in 2014, and this is no exception! Nice structure, dark and serious in a way, but very approachable. From newcomers to the New york market, Phillipe Delmee and Aurelien Martin. Eben Lillie
Beautiful dense and long expression of Chenin Blanc from around the Anjou appellation. Eben Lillie
Ca Faye Treize is a semi carbonic Cabernet Franc from 2015.... Don't be fooled by the large number 13 on the bottle, as you will see the Lot # is 015, and it is indeed from 2015! My tasting note in France was "yum." Of course not helpful to me now as I write this note, it is admittedly a yummy wine, with bright red fruit, crushed berries, and just the right touch of carbonic character to lift the aromatics and lighten the body of the Cab Franc, but without making it taste like any other Carbonic maceration wine. Enjoy with a slight chill!Eben Lillie
Chenin Blanc ! Pet Nat! Two coworkers here thought we'd all been duped and it was cider from Normandy, but it's not... It's just a very appley expression of Chenin Blanc. Refreshing and dry, with maybe half a gram or 1 gram of residual sugar that rounds out the fruit and gives the wine a really pretty nose. Eben Lillie
Grolleau and ..... Chenin Blanc! Because why not! As they say, it's neither red nor a white. Instead you have a wine that drinks like a white, with loads of acidity and zero perceptible tannin, and has the lively and bold red fruit of the Grolleau to give it the feel of an infused tonic of sorts. Very drinkable! You can also just keep it in the fridge like a white and sip on it anytime you like! Eben Lillie
Grolleau and Cabernet Franc blend in Pet Nat form, and a ridiculously charming label. It's quite pale in the glass, and dry. Very pure and mineral with fresh acidity and a bit of funk on the palate, but a clean finish (even hours later!). Eben Lillie
This humble wine has been a local favorite here at Chambers Street since we started working with Alain Bore a couple of years ago. It's not like many of the Gamay offerings we typically have from the Loire... it's made with a more traditional maceration, and has some tannin as a result. Though still providing bright red fruit and zippy acidity, it also shows some black cherry, and isn't too light. Medium bodied, graceful and pretty, while at the same time structured and dark as well. Truly one of the best values at Chambers Street! Eben Lillie
The Domaine du Fresche is a certified organic estate in Anjou producing delightful, fresh, vivacious wines from Chenin, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Grolleau. This lovely rosé of Grolleau and Pinot Noir comes from hand-harvested fruit and is vinified with wild yeasts giving pretty aromas of ripe red currant, blood orange and strawberry. The palate shows silky, pure fruit - red currant with hints of watermelon and citrus and finishes with round red fruits and juicy acidity. A lovely wine and a great value. Thanks to Alain and Christine Bore at Domaine du Fresche!
Alain and Christine Boré produce delicious organic wines on their estate in Anjou that are sensational values for everyday enjoyment. Their 2016 Anjou Blanc (Chenin) is superb, with lovely aromas of dried pear, fresh herbs, hay, earth and honey. The palate is round and supple but nicely balanced with firm acidity, showing green apple, pear, stone and citrus flavors that continue in the long finish. A bit "drier" and more mineral tasting than the previous two vintages, this is a simply delicious Chenin that will accompany seafood, grilled or in sauce, chicken, goat cheeses, etc...
This is a full-bodied and very delicious Cabernet Franc from our organic friends Alain and Christine Bore at Domaine du Fresche in Anjou. "Red wine for cellaring, powerful and rich" says the back label, and indeed this is a ripe and well-structured Cabernet Franc that is delicious now and will benefit from five to ten years of aging. The wine shows a deep red/black color and aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry liqueur with hits of violet, black pepper and citrus. The palate is supple and dense but balanced by bright acidity under the ripe berry fruits. Serve cool with roast chicken, stews and grilled meats and put a few in the cellar for five or ten years. David Lillie
Upon visiting Fernand Girard back in the early 90s we were happy to find someone who harvested by hand and fermented with wild yeasts - a rarity in Sancerre at the time and still sadly in the minority today. More than 20 years later we are still happy to feature the Sancerre produced by Fernand and Alain Girard, coming from their 2.5 hectare plot on a steep slope in Chaddoux on stony clay over limestone soils. The 2016 shows a bright pale gold color with aromas or pear and quince with hints of exotic fruit and lime-flower. The palate is a nicely balanced blend of mineral flavors with citrus and white fruits, with good density and firm acidity. This is a classic Sancerre in a more mineral style that will accompany a wide variety of seafoods, chicken dishes and white meats, and it's a good value as well.
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 a beautiful and economical choice for Thanksgiving - Cabernet Franc goes nicely with turkey and this young Bourgueil is just wonderful. (Be careful, however, with lovers of California Cabs, who might find it too acidic) When we started with Stéphane Guion, selling the 2005 Cuvée Prestige, we referred to the Revue Vin de France article on this unknown domaine - "These are not fashionable wines, due to the dynamic acidity, but for those who love the flavors of terroir they are a priority discovery that are a credit to the Loire." Indeed, organic farming going back to 1965, and a regimen of shallow plowing that keeps soil ph low, gives Stephane's wines a unique bright acidity and high mineral content underlying the beautiful fruit of his old vines. And in 2015 there was gorgeous fruit in Chinon and Bourgueil, despite the late rains that softened the wines at some estates. The 2015 Cuvée Prestige, from forty to eighty year-old vines in parcels around Benais, is a vibrant, joyous wine that shows a bright deep garnet color and elegant, ripe aromas of strawberry and red currant liqueur with hints of violet, dusty stone and black pepper. The palate is sapid and ripe but lifted by refreshing acidity, with lush berry liqueurs, saline minerals and citrus. The finish is long with lingering sappy fruit, earthy acidity and spice. Thanks to the Guion family for this soulful and delicious wine! (Aging potential of twenty to thirty years, but it's so delicious now that leaving it in the cellar will be difficult.) David Lillie
From 15 to 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils in Benais, in organic agriculture since 1965. The 2016 vintage shows quite deep red/black color with bright aromas of ripe black raspberry, black cherry, pepper, earth and clove. The palate is sapid and bright, with the firm acidity always present in Guion's wines. The black raspberry and red currant fruit is light and bright, at 12% alcohol, and the finish is refreshing and mineral. This young and vibrant wine will benefit from decanting well in advance (or opening the night before). Serve cool with charcuterie, roast chicken, pork chops and burgers. Thanks to Domaine Guion for two generations of organic agriculture and natural winemaking! DL
Lise and Bertrand Jousset began the "Exilé" project with fruit purchased from nearby friends who share their commitment to organic farming. The "Exilé" rose is a pétillant made from 100% Gamay and it's one of our favorites. The 2016 is decadent with coastal aromas of salty pineapple core, fleshy melon, almond skins, and lilac. At 12% it is almost completely dry with a lacy mineral structure framing rich flavors of bosc pear, creamy pineapple, and subtle hints of white tea and orange peel. The finish is long and fabulously mineral. Serve with salade niçoise, cheese, or as a life-affirming aperó after a long day. Amanda Bowman
This fun Vin Mousseaux (the general term for sparkling wine) has gained a following among Liv's neighbors in Rochefort-sur-Loire, for good reason: It's a delicious sparkling Chenin Blanc that is very easy on the wallet. Methode Ancestrale, from mostly younger vines and including grapes from a tiny parcel of old vines (planted in 1950) for extra character. It's dry, with an interesting texture and flavor profile reminiscent of raw honey. For the quality to price, it's pure gold
From a superb hillside vineyard on orthogneiss with clay and quartz stones. A great vintage for Jo's Fief du Breil! Yes, the aromatics are a bit more pronounced than in more austere vintages, and there is more presence of citrus and white fruits on the palate, but the wine retains a superb mineral character and the finish is brisk and very long. Simply a great Muscadet — drinking this alongside the Pepiere Clos des Briords would be a great lesson in the terroirs of the Pays Nantais! Tasted in February 2016, the wine is still youthful although the aromas are opening a bit, with intense minerality on the palate and fabulous length. Delicious now, this will be fabulous in 2025! Brisk enough for oysters and clams, perfect with cod, sole and flounder, complex enough for monkfish and swordfish - hurry down to Blue Moon Fish at the Greenmarket this Saturday!
(First produced in 2008, this great Muscadet is made from a three hectare parcel of old massale-selection vines on a slope above the Maine. The bedrock is Granite de Château Thébaud, a fissured rock that allows the vines to penetrate deeply, with ideal thin topsoils of clay, with sand and gravel allowing good drainage.) In 2016 and 2017, vineyards in the Loire Valley were hit with devastating frosts causing losses of 50% to 90% in some areas. Muscadet was particularly badly hit in 2016 - our old friends at Domaine de la Pépière lost 85% of their crop but salvaged enough fruit to make three cuvées - "la Pépie," "les Gras Moutons" and a small amount of the classic "Clos des Briords." Despite the frost damage in the region, quality has been very good for the wines produced - lacking the consistency of 2014 and 2015 perhaps but with some oustanding wines featuring vibrant fruit and bright acidities. At Pépiére, the cuvée "La Pépie" benefitted from the inclusion of much of the estate's old vine fruit, and the "Clos des Briords" is excellent, with good ripeness and firm acidity, perhaps similar to a vintage like 2005. The aromas show more white fruits than usual with hints of citrus and lime flower, backed with the saline and mineral notes always present in the aromatics of Briords. The palate is quite ripe and supple with round white fruits, fresh herbs, lemon confit, almond and white pepper - quite elegant with silky density and structured enough for medium-term aging. The finish is long with lingering citrusy fruits and a nice kick of bitter mineral flavors at the end. Congratulations to Marc, Rémi and Gwenaëlle for producing such a lovely wine in such a difficult vintage. Find some Glidden Point oysters, sole or cod and enjoy now, or hold for 10 to 15 years and serve with crab, langoustines and fish in sauce. David Lillie
From a plot of very old Chenin Blanc vines, François' Brut NV is kept on the lees for 18 months before bottling. It has pretty apple, pear, floral and toasty flavors with good acidity balancing the fruit. The current cuvée is from 2014 and it's one of their best ever - a bit riper than usual with round but well defined fruit—a great alternative to Champagne, it's delicious as an apéritif before the meal or afterwards with apple pie. This is a great choice during the holidays - a real crowd-pleaser at a great price, before, after or during the meal!
A full-bodied Sancerre from a single vineyard on a steep amphitheatre-shaped hillside in Sury, now tended with organic methods. The 2016 Les Godons shows pretty kiwi, citrus, lime-flower and pear aromas. The palate shows candied lemon, pear and mineral flavors with melon, citrus and firm acidity in the finish. Serve with full-flavored fish dishes, chicken, pork and goat cheeses.
From 25 - 30 year-old Chenin Blanc vines in a mid-slope parcel of thin clay and silex soils on limestone, yields of 25 hl/ha, certified organic with biodynamic methods as well, fermented and aged in 4 to 6 year-old barriques. Sébastien Cornille has quickly become one of the finest producers of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc on his 7 hectare estate in the Coteaux du Loir and Jasnières. The 2015 Jasnières "Clos es Molières" is an astonshing dry Chenin showing a bright pale gold color and subtle aromas of pear, dried herbs, almond, citrus and white pepper. The palate is dense but crystalline and intensly mineral with white fruits, almond, citrus and stone flavors that continue in the scintillating finish. Serve now with an elegant shellfish or fish preparation or hold for ten to fifiteen years and serve with fish or chicken in sauce. Beautiful wine! David Lillie
Our friend Hervé Villemade made a gorgeous "Les Ardilles" in 2015. Made from 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Gamay grown on clay over limestone in Cheverny with yields of only 15 hl/ha. There was a 20-day maceration with light extraction followed by aging in large old barrels, with no added SO2 during vinificaton. The wine shows a lovely light red/garnet color with aromas of red currant, raspberry and pomegranate, with hints of rose, earth, citrus and spice. The palate is sappy and dense with a beautiful melange of red fruits and cherry liqueur, brightened by firm citrusy acids, and continuing with saline minerals in the finish. Superb wine - serve cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork dishes and mild cheeses. Highly recommended! David Lillie
This special cuvée is a commemoration of eleven hundred years of winemaking, the vineyards in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes having been planted around AD 900 and wine first produced for the Abbey of Cluny around 910. This "medieval" wine is a field blend of Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir, including the old varieties Gamay Petit Grain and Pinot Fin. The grapes were transported in carts pulled by Charolais bulls, then pressed by foot, vinified and aged without sulfur and bottled by hand in the spring. ... Back to put a smile on your face, the 2016 Cuvee 910 is lively, wild on the nose, and delivers the bright funky fruit that made it such a favorite here at Chambers Street. From my extended experience consuming bottles of 910, I would recommend letting this one sit for a while. It just arrived (12/1/17) and I think it would benefit from a month or two of RE-harmonizing in the bottle before the drinking begins. Not that you won't enjoy it if you open a bottle tonight (or a mag with your holiday feast), but I feel it will show better with some time. Eben Lillie
This is 100% Syrah, from clippings that Christophe took from the Gonon family in St. Joseph. "Textbook" Syrah, with blackberry, roasted meat, and spice notes. Full and rich, with soft acids and plenty of earth. Definitely a wine for fans of full bodied and dark fruited reds, and a prime candidate for grilled meats and other Southern fare.
The Bordelet pear and apple ciders are a big hit on Thanksgiving, low alcohol too, so the kids get a sip or two. Also arriving on Tuesday: Poire "Granit" and Poiré Authentique. An apple cider from one of Normandy’s best, Tendre combines classic orchard flavors of ripe apples (Kermerien, Douce Moene, Frequin Rouge, Damelot, Marie Menard and 25 more) and a savory/sweet undercurrent of barley and dark honey. Compared to Bordelet’s pear offerings I find this to be more “beer-esque” than “wine-esque” so bring on the brats, or in true Norman fashion blood sausage, tripe, or perhaps for a lighter meal: crêpes. As with all his ciders, the farm is certified biodynamic and fermentation finishes in the bottle for a complex texture filled with small vivacious bubbles. John Rankin
From a series of cuvées that refer to Charles Mingus tunes (like a savagnin called "Oh Yeah!" and a Chard/Savagnin blend called "Straight No Chaser"), this is Patrice's "orange wine." All Savagnin, with 7 months maceration. There's a great nose, nice structure in the back palate, and a very long finish. It's not tannic, rather a really balanced and elegant white wine that looks cloudy and funky and is remarkably clean, with white stone fruit and a touch of viscosity. A real treat! .... Eben Lillie...(We have some 2016 also available, but the bottles look identical and I guess we only have room for one vintage of skin contact Savagnin from the Jura at a time... so if you're interested to try both vintages, feel free to reach out and ask!)
Poulsard from the Côte de Feule vineyard in Pupillin. Several other growers we admire have some plots here, such as Granges Paquenesses, Domaine de la Borde, and we're quite certain Houillon and Overnoy as well (it's a pretty well known vineyard site in Pupillin). The hue of this red is still very light, but there's a deeper burgundy shade and a bit more material than the Ploussard bottling from Patrice. Fresh, vibrant, and beguiling. Eben Lillie
Cheerful, fresh, funky... VERY light, and quite clean and balanced for a no SO2 offering. We're very happy to have this and other wines from Patrice, as a welcome addition to our Jura section. Serve with a slight chill! Eben Lillie
"Fou du Roi" (The Jester) is made from Grenache Noir, Cinsault, and Carignan from Axel Prufer's biodynamic vineyards planted high in the Black Mountains of L'Hérault. Axel moved to the Languedoc from East Germany in the late 90's to join the growing natural wine movement and make wines using minimal intervention. He promotes biodiversity in the vines and works only with indigenous yeasts and no added sulphur. This cuveé is made using carbonic maceration for a fresh, early drinking style that is simply joyful. The 2016 is cleaner than the 2015, bursting with juicy red cherry and blackberry fruits. There is vibrant snappy acidity that adds nice structure, this would be delicious with a slight chill. Amanda Bowman
A delicious blend of Gamay and Poulsard from the tiny appellation of Bugey. At 8.5% this delicately sweet pét-nat is the breakfast of champions or an invigorating aperitif. The nose is absolutely beautiful with vivid aromas of wild flowers, ripe raspberries, and hints of grapefruit zest. The palate offers sweet raspberry and crunchy blueberry fruit on the attack then finishes with thirst-quenching minerality. A purely enjoyable bottle at a great value. Serve chilled alongside fruit tarts, dark chocolate, or with tangy cheeses. Amanda Bowman
100% Chardonnay, "zero zero," as they say in France for bubbles that have no dosage and no sulfites added. The Thill Cremant is toasty and crisp, with bright golden fruit on the nose, subtle texture and a refreshing finish. 21 months on the lees before disgorging give the wine depth and richness. All in all, this is a ridiculous deal for a really complex, pure (and clean) natural Cremant from the Jura. Get some while it lasts! Eben Lillie
"Clos du Brey Rouge" is a blend of equal parts Trousseau, Syrah, and a varietal I have only come across in Ganevat’s “Y’a Bon the Canon” – petit Béclan, all planted in calcareous, limestone soils. The raspberry robe is cherry-fruited with a touch of funk on the nose. After a few hours heady aromas of blueberry, plum, and peppercorn mingled with bergamot, violets, and juicy red cherry notes. This is a heady and delicious, though somewhat serious blend. The palate is fruit-driven upon opening but evolves to reveal savory herbs, crunchy lip-smacking acidity and rugged tannins. Long decant highly recommended! Amanda Bowman
Bussoletti’s Ciliegiolo di Narni is a fresh, easy going red wine from central Umbria and a perfect example of why I have fallen in love with the grape. More commonly used as a blending partner for Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo produced as a varietal wine gives soft aromatic reds that are a joy to drink. Produced from a 4 hectare plot of younger vines planted facing north to encourage elegance over ripeness, the wine is fermented with ambient yeast in steel tank and bottled after resting for 6 months. The nose is rich with fresh red cherries and deep red floral notes with delicate herbal tones and bit of black pepper spice. Juicy on the palate with restrained acidity and very little tannin it shows more strawberry and raspberry fruit. This is a wine that can lift through richer foods: try it as a foil to mac'n'cheese, as pairing for charcuterie, or enjoy it on its own. Andy Paynter
Defino comes from organically farmed grapes (a friend who is one of Tuscany’s best winemakers consults on the winemaking), and it’s a really lovely fresh red, light and juicy but with plenty of intensity on the palate. This is on the short list for the ultimate pizza wine, but really we mean that in reference to: “it’s Tuesday night, and we want a glass of something delicious that doesn’t break the bank”. Actually Frappato is a terrific food wine — a red-wine-with-fish wine, and very versatile.
Torre Nova is 100% Negroamaro from 30-60 year old vines grown on clay and rocky pebbles. The 2015 is quite light and a bit higher in acid than the last vintage, but it’s really pretty on the palate. Think tart cherries and red plums, it’s very herbaceous with a hint of nuts and pepper on the finish. Try pairing this with roast pigeon, a simply prepared fish or even beef tartare. Christine Manula
Drogone comes from a small parcel of vines planted in 1964. The wine is aged for two years in older, large tonneau of French oak, and then for years in bottle — the 2007 is the current release. A wine of great depth and considerable density, it shares the elegance and finesse of all Madonna delle Grazie wines. It's very cool to taste the highest quality Aglianico that has some age; we're happy that it's still available at such a fair price. John Rankin and Jamie Wolff
Pranzegg 2016 Vino Rosso Leggero From our charming friends in the Alto Aldige, this is a blend of Lagrein and Schavia. A unique note to this wine is its fermentation on white grapes skins. Truly a light red (“Rosso Leggero”) wine, this fresh and vibrant wine captures the spirit of the European vin de soif, meant to quench our thirst while bringing us great happiness.
I am completely smitten with this Amaro. The primary ingredient is blood orange from Sicily with the bitter, herbal components taking somewhat of a backseat, and the result is a brighter, more feminine, style of Amaro that is complex and delicious. It is floral, fruit-forward, mineral, and long with red berry fruits and herbs building on the finish. This is simply a fantastic after dinner drink. Tim Gagnon
Historically, amari were made as a way to make full use of the harvest by macerating leftover herbs, botanicals, and fruits in distilled spirits. This of course means everything was grown locally, resulting in a myriad of different styles depending on where you were and what crops were planted. And while there are other American amari on the market today, it’s hard to think of one that truly capitalizes on its bountiful, regional raw ingredients. Most are based on traditional Italian – or even Scandinavian – recipes, which are delicious, but rely on herbs and botanicals that may or may not be native to where they are made. Enter High Wire’s Southern Amaro. Using a base of neutral corn spirit, they macerate Yaupon Holly (America’s only native caffeinated plant) and gentian root, along with wild mint, local Dancy tangerine, and Charleston Black Tea (the only colorant used), among other botanicals. It is then sweetened with neutral cane syrup which they make themselves from local sugarcane. It is wild and intriguing on the nose with brown sugar, sweet spice, and zesty citrus balanced by deeper aromas of black tea leaves, pine resin, smoke, and hints of brine and celery. The palate is quite lifted and herb-forward with a balanced sweetness, and it is here that the tangerine and mint really shine along with a touch of black cherry. Reach for this after a fantastic meal! Tim Gagnon
Sommeliers Nicholas Finger and Fairlie McCollough started St. Agrestis in 2014 after a three month trip through Italy solidified their love for traditional, regional Amari. Everything is done in their warehouse in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY from the maceration of organic herbs, roots, and citrus in neutral base spirit to the short-term aging in whiskey barrels (sourced from the Van Brunt distillery in Brooklyn), and the addition of organic cane sugar followed by bottling and labeling. The sugar rounds out the classic bitter components of this Amaro making for an easy going yet complex and balanced digestif that begs to be consumed after dinner this Thanksgiving! Tim Gagnon
We love the rich, feral Portuguese variety Baga - the great red grape of the Bairrada DOC, which abuts Portugal's Dão region and enjoys a mild, maritime climate. Sidónio de Sousa's Baga is as good as it gets, from 90-year-old vines, fermented whole-cluster and raised for 12 months in ancient Portuguese oak. Pepper and rose petals on the nose, with wild flavors of black currant, red currant, oregano, and rye combine with pine needles, purple flowers, and funky damp earth. It's hard not to dream of roasted or grilled meat with this wine! Ariana Rolich
(70% Grenache, with Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered.) Dense red/black color. Vivid aromas of blackberry and black cherry liqueur with hints of cocoa, citrus peel and licorice. The palate is dense and supple with berry liqueur, cherry pit and firm citrusy acids, fairly bright and cool in the finish. This beautiful young wine will benefit from decanting or 5 years of aging, serve with grilled foods, North African cuisine, strong cheeses. Great value!
Since its inception in 1992, Philippe and Véronique Grenier have practiced organic farming on their tiny estate in Chavanay, in the AOC Saint-Joseph just south of Condrieu. Their 2015 "Altitude 300" is a beautiful white Saint-Joseph made from 80% Roussanne and 20% Marsanne. The lovely aromas show the Roussanne, with hay, stone, pear, almond, brown spice and lime-flower. The palate is ripe, round and balanced showing stone, peach, apricot, citrus and dried herbs — really pretty, with saline acidity and white fruits lingering in the finish. This is an outstanding northern Rhone white to drink over the next 5 to 8 years and a superb value!
"Detour" is made from a blend of Roussane, Marsanne and Clairette from the Northern Rhone. The aromas are layered with white peach, nectarine and a hint of baking spice. The palate is supple and round with ample flavors of peach skin, ripe apricot, and zesty citrus balanced by a wonderful brightness and mineral quality from the Clairette. This wine was still delicious after being open for three days - not that we expect there to be too many half-finished bottles this vintage! Amanda Bowman
"Les Mesanges" is a cuvée of Saint-Joseph made from organic grapes grown on the best terroir at Domaine des Amphores in Chavanay, aged 18 months in 600 liter barrels. The 2015 shows a deep black/red color that coats the glass with aromas of black raspberry liqueur, quite ripe, with violet, spice, black olive and bitter chocolate. The palate is lush and supple with black fruit liqueur, menthol, spice, earth and mineral flavors, quite intense but very bright, lifted by firm acidity and quite balanced at 12.5% alcohol. This is a pure and delicious Syrah, showing the great organic and biodynamic farming of Philippe and Veronique Grenier. Please decant or open well in advance if drinking now, best probably 2020 - 2025. David Lillie
This is a 3 LITER BIB (Bag in Box), so you are getting the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine for $31.99! A tasty Cotes-du-Rhone from a co-op called Estezargues, which is the ONLY co-op we know of in the world that as a whole (about 10 growers are involved) vinifies all wines with natural yeast. Vineyards are worked organically (though not all certified) and there is no filtering or fining. This is a classic medium bodied Rhone red, with dark silky fruit and a touch of earthiness on the palate. Eben Lillie *** please note that due to the shape and size of the BiB, we cannot offer shipping. Only available for local or truck orders ***
From parcels of clay/limestone, rich in iron, on hillsides surrounded by woods and hedges, 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah. Like all the Ferme Saint-Martin wines, it's from organic grapes and bottled with minimal SO2. The 2015 Terres Jaunes shows lovely deep berry liqueur aromas - mostly red currant with hints of bright raspberry, with floral and earthy notes. The palate is round and supple showing ripe blackberry and red currant flavors with minerals, citrus and dark chocolate, that continues on the long refreshing finish. This is a big but bright and balanced Côtes du Rhône that shows the lush fruit and concentration of the 2015 vintage - it's the best Terres Jaunes ever and a great value! Serve with stews, steaks and chops or anything grilled. DL
Guy and Thomas Jullien make a small quantity of fascinating and delicious white Cotes du Rhône on their organic estate in Suzette, on the slopes of the Dentelles near Beaumes-de-Venise. "Carlina" is made from 45% Clairette, 45% Roussanne and 10% Grenache Blanc grown at high altitude on clay/limestone soils, vinified with some skin contact and with minimal SO2. Bright pale gold color, with aromas of spiced pear, anis, lemon peel and almond. The palate is round and ripe but nicely balanced, really showing the Roussanne with lemon confit, pear, hay and herbal flavors, with stone and mineral notes. This is quite delicious and complex, perfect with fish in sauce, Asian foods, chicken and pork dishes and full-flavored cheeses. David Lillie
Guy Jullien at the Ferme Saint-Martin is one of the pioneers of organic and natural winemaking in the southern Rhône, and his great work continues under his son Thomas. Made from hand-harvested young vines of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, the 2016 "Romanins" has deep, complex aromas of crushed blackberries with red currant, violet, licorice and spice. The palate shows dense red and black fruits, with strawberry, earth and mineral notes - more structured than the 2015, but remains balanced and pretty, with bright acidity, good length and lovely fruit lingering in the finish. This lovely, great value Côtes-du-Rhône will be perfect with a stew or steak, or anything grilled. Serve slightly chilled. (Bottled with minimal SO2, not fined or filtered.)
A lovely rosé of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grown in the Ventoux by Guy and Thomas Jullien at their beautiful organic estate in Suzette, above Beaume-de-Venise. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with only wild yeasts and the wine is bottled with minimal SO2. The 2016 shows lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry and rose with hints of spice and citrus. Beautiful palate with firm acidity and mineral flavors with hints of red currant, raspberry, peach and brown spice, with good density and length. This is a real rosé of terroir, which should open up nicely with aeration or a few months in bottle. A fabulous value!
From hillside vineyards in Erome, Gervans and Crozes, mostly granite with some limestone/clay, average age 45 years, aged 30% in foudre, 70% in one to 7 year-old burgundy barrels. This is no "ordinary" Crozes-Hermitage, but a real wine of terroir from great vineyard sites, all on hillsides. 2015 is an excellent vintage in the northern Rhone with great ripeness balanced by some rain before harvest. The Rousset 2015 Crozes-Hermitage shows a deep black/purple color with deep aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with hints of earth, bitter chocolate and musk. The palate is dense but brightened by firm acidity with black fruits, licorice, earth and mineral flavors. Black olive and red currant emerge with aeration, really lovely. This is a delicious Syrah from great terroir that will accompany grilled foods, stews, tagines and full-flavored cheeses over the next 5 to 8 years. David Lillie
Señora Aurora herself planted La Galapana vineyard 110 years ago to Mencía (with a tiny amount of Garnacha Tintorera) high in the mountains of Albares de la Ribera in the Bierzo Alto. Peaceful and secluded at 980 meters altitude, facing west on soils of red clay and granite. Surrounded by chestnut groves and flowering broom, La Galapana was recuperated ten years ago by Aurora's grandson, Germán Blanco, who re-grafted onto surviving rootstocks and replanted entirely where necessary in order to nurse the vineyard back to production. There is vital force to the wine that mirrors the efforts of the resolute woman who worked in the local coal mines and single-handedly planted her vines and farmed her land. Aromas of black currants, savory herbs, and mountain air inflect the complex palate of blackberries, resin, black olives, licorice, and ferrous soil. More open than the 2014, though equally complex. Ariana Rolich
100% Monastrell from the master of the grape, Jose Maria Vicente of Casa Castillo, whose impeccable farming and restrained aesthetic drives the profile of this wine. Spicy raspberry aromas flow into the bright, refreshing palate, bursting with juicy red berries. tart cherry skins, baking spice, Mediterranean herbs, and a touch of earthy funk. The typical high alcohol of Jumilla Monastrell is tempered without sacrificing its ripe, joyous fruit. Irresistible with a light chill and a slice of pizza! Ariana Rolich
A treat for lovers of Castellroig Cava, the Rosat is a refreshing rose Cava made from organically farmed Garnacha and Trepat grapes, fermented with native yeasts, and aged a minimum of 15 months on the lees before disgorgement. A lovely, rosy watermelon hue, dry and frothy, with deep and delicious flavors of raspberry, cranberry, orange rind, and Mediterranean herbs. A beautiful alternative to Raventos or Castellroig's superb basic Cava. Ariana Rolich
There is no Champagne method sparkler like this one, a collaboration between Sergi Colet in Penedes and Equipo Navazos, the Andalusian dream team behind La Bota. The base wine is Chardonnay from Penedes and the dosage is manzanilla pasada from Sanlucar de Barrameda; this combination is fascinating, with flor aromas from the manzanilla accenting the earthy bass notes of the wine. Long aging on the lees before disgorgement (40+months) and a process called autolysis create umami and yeasty bread notes in Champagne method sparklers that are found in fino sherries and manzanillas with age as well. Umami, salt, citrus, and long, briny, mineral profile make this a serious sparkler to build a seafood or poultry course around. Ariana Rolich
This incredible bargain is a full-bodied blend of bush-trained Bobal with a splash of young-vines Cabernet Sauvignon from 1000 meters up in the Utiel-Requena region of Spain. Dense and layered on the palate — rich cherry, tart plum, and ripe raspberry fruit, with velvety tannins, soft earth, and a hint of violet flowers. Certified organic. Ariana Rolich
Baboso Negro (better known as Alfrocheiro in Portugal) has a powerful and flamboyant personality, making every vintage of this wine is a new adventure. Ignios Baboso comes from a 20-year-old single vineyard on volcanic clay loam in northwestern Tenerife, converted to organic farming by intrepid Tenerife vigneron, Borja Pérez González. The 2015 is very fresh and balanced, displaying Baboso's distinctive perfume and acidity, along with a full, beguiling palate of sweet wild cherry, brambly black raspberry, blackberry sap, and musky blood orange, lifted by notes of apricot, citrus peels, celery seed, and grounded by clear minerality and pungent volcanic earth. Ariana Rolich
As the sun goes down and the fogs roll over Tenerife, there is no better pleasure than to sip a glass of Ignios Marmajuelo alongside local shell fish and fresh mojo (Canarian pesto made of herbs, garlic, and plenty of vinegar - email us for recipes!). Marmajuelo plantings are rare. In 2011, Borja Perez Gonzalez recuperated two tiny 20-year-old parcels, perched above the Ignios Baboso vineyard, amounting to a mere 700kg of grapes. The wine is equally unusual, combining forceful salty and savory volcanic island elements - ocean air and smoky soil - interwoven with juicy (dry!) tropical fruits, accented by mellow notes of banana leaf, lemon balm, green almond, and aloe, with long, ashen mineral notes on the finish. The complex braid of flavors is lifted by invigorating acidity. This Marmajuelo displays significant natural tannin and viscosity, endearing it to adventurous cooks in search of special white wine pairings. Ariana Rolich
A friend brought back a bottle of Júlia Bernet Cava from Barcelona 7 or 8 years ago. I still remember the integrity and succulent depth of that wine. After several attempts, I finally managed to visit Xavi Bernet three years ago and have since made his bodega in the tiny hamlet of El Pago a regular stop (where he also sells delicious Catalan cheese, fruits, and rancio). Xavi farms his grandparents' vines and makes a array of delicious, certified organic still wines and Cava, all of which display enormous quality and care. "U" is a new cuvée, bone dry, elegant, and refreshing, from 15-40 year-old Xarello vines. The Cava spends approximately two years on the lees, receiving no dosage and the bare minimum SO2. If Penedès were the object of such intense scrutiny and admiration as Champagne, there is no doubt that Xavi Bernet would be hailed as a grower of top talent and character. Ariana Rolich
Raventós stepped outside of the Cava appellation in 2012 to create the Conca del Riu Anoia designation, which is committed to prioritizing the area's indigenous varieties, estate fruit, longer elevage, and biodynamic methods. The de Nit rosé was the first Conca wine and continues to sate and impress us with its lively expression of Raventós' calcareous soils, rich with marine fossils. Lighter than ever in 2015, a pale rose gold, not quite the color of pale rosé, this is an incredibly versatile sparkler that has crisp, pretty stone fruit and under-ripe raspberry fruit, but is far more mineral-driven than fruity. Ariana Rolich
Siete Fuentes is the village red of Suertés del Marques, assembled from dozens of small parcels spanning various altitudes and terroirs in Tenerife's historic Valle de la Orotava. A fresh and fabulous introduction to the taut, pure side of Listán Negro from volcanic soils, the 2015 vintage displays savory aromas and a lifted, focused palate of juicy, muddled purple berries, herbal berry seeds, sweet and earthy smoke, pert florals, balsamic notes, and a complex bitter ash element that winds through the fruit and lasts on the finish. If I were teaching a class on Canary Island reds, this wine would be Exhibit A. It's also terrific when you need a red wine to pair with fish. Ariana Rolich
Complex and scintillating white wine from old vines of Listan Blanco from the historic Valle de la Orotava on the north coast of Tenerife. Whiffs of saline sea breeze fill the nose, flecked with bitter volcanic earth. Flavors are concentrated yet fine: tart apricot, Greengage plum, tingly acidity, aloe, brine, and long, savory minerality. On a recent visit to Tenerife, I stayed at the Suertes del Marques winery and had the opportunity to enjoy a number of wines over meals with Suertes' gracious proprietor, Jonatan Garcia Lima, and his family. Vidonia was a consistent standout, elegant and versatile with many dishes and styles of cuisine: vegetables (raw and grilled), soups, seafood, sushi, uni (especially uni!), poultry and pork. Ariana Rolich
2014 is an incredible vintage of Dits del Terra, a south-facing, single vineyard of 90+ year-old Carignan vines, one of the first plots Dominik Huber and Eben Sadie pinpointed when starting Terroir al Limit. This bottling is always a highlight of Dominik Huber's lineup. Structured and serious, layered and spicy, with crunchy black berry fruit, exotic herbs, and loads of gritty mineral earth, fermented with whole clusters and aged in large 3500L Stockinger foudre. Every year I take note of how Dits del Terra gets better and more interesting every year. Obviously, it is a perennial favorite! Ariana Rolich
53% Tepeztate 47% Sierra Negra / 203 Liters Produced / Ultra-Limited Edition!!
Baker Lane's "Colors" is bold, expressive Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir at an affordable price. Rich and ripe red fruit and wild berries and supple earth, with bright acid and impressive complexity in this price range. Highly recommended with seared duck breast, game birds, or vegetable stew.
I cannot think of a California winemaker working today whom we admire and celebrate as enthusiastically as Steve Edmunds of Edmunds St. John. Displaying a greater resemblance to L'Anglore Tavel than to the typical California GSM blend, 2015 Rocks and Gravel is juicy and generous with invigorating acidity and lots of life ahead. Perfumed and mouth-watering aromas of wild rose, black currant, tea leaves, and wild cherry with a terrifically spicy, bright and balanced palate of black raspberry, cherries and cherry skins, sweet tobacco, juicy young tannins and vibrant acidity. Medium bodied and crystal clear at 13.2% alcohol, this wine opens up beautifully and will reward cellaring. Ariana Rolich
This is a fresh and delicious Pinot that we would be happy to drink every night (happily, at $21.99, we could also afford to!). Pure fruits of dark cherry, baked strawberry and raspberry, aromas of violets, along with ripe nuances of Madagascar vanilla bean. The different vineyard selections for this vintage include Arroyo Seco & Antle vineyards and offer a satisfyingly gamey, savory contrast to the silky palate and makes this a distinctive new world Pinot Noir well worth stocking up on.
Belle Farms Pinot Noir is a perennially stunning single vineyard bottling from Ghostwriter, from 1.5 acres at 500 feet elevation, planted in 1999 to Champagne clones, just outside of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in the foothills of Mount Madonna. We recently learned from winemaker Kenny Likitprakong that Belle Farms was ripped out after the 2014 harvest and is currently planted with broccoli to enrich the soils before replanting (the vineyard had been struggling for years and ultimately failed). 2013 was a gorgeous vintage for these valiant vines, with aromas of dry earth, sweet cherry, birch bark, cardamom, and clove, which swirl onto the palate of crisp cranberry, rich cassis, black raspberry preserves, and spicy citrus oils, with a bold acidic core. This cuvée always needs some air, and flavors evolve on the second day open toward elegant, high-toned fruit with graceful florals and a fresh, salty, mineral layer. An aptly named vineyard! Please decant. Ariana Rolich
Under the Wire is the sparkling wine project of Morgan Twain Peterson and Chris Cottrell, whose ambition to make world-class California Champagne method bubbles is fed by truly excellent grape sources. This rose is Pinot Noir from David Hirsch's legendary vineyard on the true Sonoma Coast, just a mile from the San Andreas fault. The 2014 vintage was fermented with native yeasts in neutral barrels and disgorged in the spring of 2017 with 2g dosage. An American sparkler to celebrate!
The talented and tireless team of Cara and Aaron Mockrish have somehow managed to both take over farming prime slopes of Renaissance in North Yuba (Sierra Foothills) and combine Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier -- two of the wine world's most misunderstood, yet potentially lovely, varieties -- into something we can all agree on. Pearl Thief is irresistibly refreshing, flavorful, and textured, driven by tangy acidity and firm minerality (thanks, Renaissance!). Crisp stone fruits, fresh green herbs, honey-lemon and lemon balm intertwine with richer notes of sweet cream, pineapple, and intense apricot, on the way to a long, strongly mineral finish. A perfect accompaniment for curried vegetables and fish! Ariana Rolich
Tito's is made from 100% corn and is absolutely wheat & gluten free. It’s produced in Austin at Texas' first and oldest legal distillery. It's made in small batch by Tito Beveridge (actual name), a 45-year-old Geologist, who micro-distills 6x’s in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs.
A great value blend from Willet's reserve. The extra proof can beef up cocktails, but one might enjoy the sweet corn tones neat or on the rocks. JR
Warning: This Bourbon comes is a bottle shaped like a pot still. Some find this to be beautiful, while others feel that it is an eye-sore. No matter how you feel about the packaging the whisky inside is delicious. There is corn sweetness, but the finish has lots of drying rye. The oak is quite apparent, but in no way overwhelming. An overall supperior offering that has more class than most other whiskies at this price range. JR