Get 10% off the purchase price with every order of 12 bottles or more of still wine not already on sale. The savings add up!
Candela Prol, highly experienced certified wine educator and friend of the shop, is available for tastings and training for private and corporate events. For rates and other inquiries, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Offsite events are contracted to and coordinated by a 3rd party, and are in no way affiliated with Chambers Street Wines.
Weingut Christ makes an assortment of Gemischter Satz wines, this one hails from the Bisamberg, a windy area northeast of Vienna, with sandy loess topsoil and calcareous subsoil; wines from here tend to have high acidity and minerality, perfect for balance in Gemischter Satz wines which often include varieties that can be more fruit-forward. Dry and layered, the richness of orange oil and ripe peach is balanced by green notes of pear and apple. A note of olive brine when first opened, the brininess changes to lemon zest as time passes. This is a fantastic pairing for a vast range of food: think garlicky shrimp pasta or even a simple spring salad with hard cheese and fresh peas. Cari Bernard
100% Grüner Veltliner, from vines around 40 years in age, grown on a mix of loess and clay soils. Spontaneous fermentation begins in a mix of used oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Apple blossom and green apples on the nose, this pét-nat boasts a powerful and creamy mousse with notes of lemon zest, white raspberries, peach skin, with just a whisper of residual sugar, and a layered, long finish. Cari Bernard
Weingut Jurtschitsch is the oldest winery (est. 16th century) in the Kamptal region of Austria and has been in the family since 1868. Vineyards were converted to organic farming in 2006 and all 60 hectares have been certified organic since 2009. The Brut Sekt Rosé is mostly Zweigelt with the balance made up of Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent, from cooler vineyard sites with calcareous soils. The wine spends 2 1/2 years on the lees and receives 7 g/L dosage. Light, antique pink in the glass, the nose is fragrant with roses, blueberries, and raspberries. On the palate juicy red berries mingle with stony and salty minerality. Cari Bernard
Claus Preisinger has managed to delight us again! Light peach in the glass, this méthode ancestral (read: pét-nat) sparkler is 100% Sankt Laurent, picked early to preserve acidity. Aromatic and fresh, notes of white flowers and green strawberries give way to a lively mousse with vibrant flavors of tart peach yogurt, wild strawberries, and rose petals. Cari Bernard
The Mont Brouilly, a volcanic "bump" in the granite bedrocks of the Beaujolais, is a terroir of mineral-rich bluish rock with little or no soil, giving a quite different character to the wines. The Lapalu 2012 is from a one hectare parcel of old vines with northeast exposure, so late to ripen. The fruit was 80% destemmed and 20% whole cluster carbonic maceration, with 10 mg/liter of SO2 added only before bottling. This is a quite different style than the 2015s, showing a lovely garnet color and bright, complex aromas of red currant, raspberry, citrus, rose, earth and spice. The palate shows vibrant red fruits, quite dense and complex and lifted by firm acidity. The finish is very long with bright red fruits and mineral flavors coating the palate - this is an exuberant and delicious Beaujolais that is beautiful now and should really sing in three to five years. Drink until 2027. Thank-you Jean-Claude Lapalu!
The Cuvee des Fous, coming from the oldest vines (planted in 1900) in Jean-Claude Lapalu’s possession, is one of his most engaging wines. The grapes were 90% destemmed and then undergo a three to four week cuvaison. The wine ages in ten year-old barrels and is bottled without filtration and with no sulfur added. A high mark for the extremely warm and ripe 2015s, this is a wine of considerably more poise, restraint and elegance than some other efforts we’ve tasted from this hate it or love it vintage. It offers notes of a dark shade of red berry fruit, black cherry, cherry pit, soft baking spices, with mineral undertones. With good acidity and quite firm tannins for Gamay, this is a beautiful wine - I wouldn’t hesitate pairing this with a juicy cut of red meat, but also didn’t mind drinking it on its own. Oskar Kostecki
From vines averaging 70 years of age in the lieu-dit "La Croix des Rameaux" on a steep south-west facing slope with various degradations of granite. 90% of fruit was destemmed with a 21 to 24 day cuvaison. The free run and pressed wines were assembled just before final fermentation of sugars. Approximately two weeks later, the wine was transferred into neutral barrels (average age of 10 years) for elevage of 10 months. No added sulfur during vinification, 10mg/Liter SO2 added before bottling, no filtration. The 2015 La Croix des Rameaux shows a bright red-black color, with meaty aromas of ripe blackberry and earth with a bit of violet and black cherry. The palate is dense and a bit closed, showing deep black fruits with hints of citrus, earth and bitter chocolate, very textured and long. Certainly an impressive wine and better balanced than most 2015s at 13% alcohol. Decant in advance if drinking now, best served cool with a steak or grilled pork. This should be very interesting when mature, best perhaps 2022 to 2030.
A delicious wine from Fronsac, next to Pomerol and St. Emilion, in Bordeaux. Paul Barre has been applying biodynamic principles since 1990 and has been certified DEMETER since 1998. Paul Barre no longer uses any pesticides and herbicides in the vineyard and introduced horse plowing in 2013. A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the wine displays a bouquet of ripe dark plums, cassis and menthol notes. With bright acidity, integrated tannins, and smooth texture, the wine has a lovely structure with a persistent finish. A fantastic wine to say the least, I truly enjoyed it. You may drink it now or age it for a several years (+5 years). Caroline Coursant
Though Château Langlais, located in Puisseguin Saint Emilion, has been certified organic since 1996, the vines have never been treated with herbicides or insecticides. The 2000 vintage is showing beautifully, with aromas of cassis, blackberry, and cigar box. The tannins are resolving but there is plenty freshness on the long velvety finish. This is a fine value in an aged Bordeaux and a testament to great farming.
ARRIVES TUE. 5/23 - 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. The Quintessence of Peybonhomme is a selection of the best juice from tastings each year and is primarily Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, a portion of which is aged in new oak. The 2012 is a beautiful and lively Bordeaux showing deep aromas of ripe cassis, blackberry, black cherry, cocoa, spice and earth. The palate is supple and ripe, lifted by cool acidity, with complex black fruits, earth and mineral flavors with a long finish. The wine broadens and gains complexity with time open so decant if possible. A versatile food wine, this beautifully balanced Bordeaux will accompany anything from roast chicken to pork dishes to steak. Put a few in your cellar for a mature experience, best 2020 to 2025.(Featured in the NY Times "20 Wines for Under $20" October, 2016) DL
What's atypical about this delicious wine? It's a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc rather than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, giving the wine a more supple palate and quite different fruit character. The 2015 has lovely, deep blackberry and cassis aromas with red currant, cassis and cherry on the supple, lush palate, with hints of earth and smoke. More "forward" than most Bordeaux, and showing the ripeness and beautiful fruit of the 2015 vintage, this versatile wine will pair beautifully with almost any beef, pork or lamb dish and is a fabulous value!
Biodynamic farming, native yeasts, wild fermentations, good value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the rich clay soils in which it is grown, the 2015 offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, blackcurrant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat or sipped on its own. Amanda Bowman
Chateau Couronneau is a certified organic and Biodynamic estate located east of Saint-Emilion and south of Saint-Foy, producing wines in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux-Saint-Foy apellations. Made from 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Sauvignon Gris, the 2016 Bordeaux Blanc shows aromas of pear, fines herbes, citrus and boxwood. The palate is ripe but refreshing with pear, quince, ripe citrus and mineral flavors. This is an outstanding value that shows the organic and Biodynamic vineyard work in the pure fruit and mineral flavors - a delicious and versatile everyday white that will accompany seafood, chicken and pork dishes. DL
White flowers, lemon balm, honeysuckle, apple blossom on the nose; also Meyer lemon peel and acacia honey. A discreet kiss of wood. Ripe but focused, great balance, bracing tension between ripe stone fruit and dusty minerality. Real poise and another data point for grower over vintage.
Julien Guillot of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, makes this lovely Macon-Villages from certified organic parcels in Chardonnay, Montbellet and Viré-Clessé on Bathonian limestone with clay, rich in silica. Incredibly aromatic, with wildflower, lime blossom, green apple peel, beeswax and spiced poached apple and pear. Supple and ripe in this rather warm vintage with 13.5% alcohol, it’s balanced by excellent acidity and minerality with more orchard fruit, apricot, and salted peach. Remarkably textured and long with succulent fruit, toasted almond, citrus, and saline minerals and pear on the finish. Totally unlike the usual Macon Villages, this is a delightful wine that will accompany grilled fish, fish in sauce, roast chicken and mild cheeses - and it's delicious to enjoy by itself. TG & DL
"Les Boutonniers" is contiguous with Meursault "Meix Chavaux" on shallow soils of clay, high in iron, over the limestone bedrock, usually giving a somewhat lean and very "mineral" white Burgundy. The 2015 shows very floral aromas with pear, citrus and stone. The palate is crystalline and dense with subtle white fruits leading to a long finish with citrus peel, spice and mineral flavors. This is a lovely, very refreshing Burgundy to enjoy with grilled fish, roast chicken and goat cheeses. It's delicious now and will cellar nicely for eight to ten years. DL
The Meursault lieu-dit Les Casses Têtes is located on the hillside above the premier cru Les Gouttes d'Or and next to Le Tesson. The soils are thin and rocky producing wines of great energy and lift. The 2015 Lafouge is a very pale gold color with aromas of wet stone, pear, fresh herbs and lemon peel with hints of oak - showing a bit more richness and fruit aroma than usual in this ripe vintage. The palate is crystalline and vibrant with stony acidity and flavors of marcona almonds, bitter lemon, dried pear, anise and saline minerals. This is a beautifully structured Meursault to drink now in its rather intense youth with crab, broiled sole, flounder and cod, or cellar for ten to fifteen years or more. Highly recommended. David Lillie
From eighty year-old vines, in mid-slope on thin well-drained clay/limestone soils, the 2015 Meix Chavaux shows elegant pear, lemon, lime and floral aromas. The palate is rich and ripe with white fruits and exotic citrus covering the chalky core, with firm acidity and mineral flavors in the finish. Serve with full-flavored fish dishes, poultry and white meats, mild cheeses. This is a beautiful young Meursault that is delicious now and over the next ten years.
The wines from the Pernot family in Puligny-Montrachet are well-known throughout the world for classic Puligny and Bâtard style. They have rich concentration and fruit, but more importantly, good acidity that allow them to age gracefully and harmoniously. The 2015 Bourgogne Chardonnay is from vines in the village of Puligny and is an outstanding value in white Burgundy. The color is very pale steely gold, the wine shows lovely aromas of almond, pear, green apple, citrus skin and stone with a bit of lime-flower. The palate is dense but lean with elegant flavors of stone, almond and citrus with a bit of herbal honeysuckle in the end. The finish is very firm with bright mineral acids. This is a lovely junior Puligny that will accompany sole almondine, other fish in sauce, even oysters, and mild goat cheeses. Delicious now, but the 2015 is really worth buying to cellar as well, best 2020 - 2025.
This is a pretty Chablis from Patrick Piuze, one of the youngest stars of Chablis. This wine comes from a single vineyard near 1er Cru Forêts. This Chablis offers a nice balance of fruit and acidity despite the warmth of the 2015 vintage, with a bouquet of ripe fruit and spices. Stone fruit, apple and lemon are the primary fruit flavors with pretty musky notes on the nose and hints of vanilla on the palate. The minerality (clay and limestone) and acidity are quite good. This is a smooth, well-balanced Chablis with a nice finish and a good length. More refined and fresher than the Terroir Découverte, the wine can be served on its own or with a nice dinner. Caroline Coursant
Beaune 1er Cru "Les Coucherias" is high on the slope on the site of an old quarry and much of the sub-soil is limestone tailings, permitting root penetration and drainage, with a topsoil of mixed clay and limestone "marnes blanches." In biodynamic agriculture since 1979, the vineyard is a south-facing semi-circle—a very warm spot giving a full, ripe wine. Light gold/brass color. Lovely aromas of pear, quince, lime-flower and ripe citrus with a bit of oak. The palate is elegant and supple, with white fruits, almond, citrus and caramel framed in firm acidity and mineral flavors, showing good ripeness but finishing with firm stony acidity. Lovely wine. Delicious now, this should age gracefully till 2030 and beyond. DL
80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, harvested early at 9% alcohol from NE facing parcels. Elegant white fruit aromas. The palate is very expressive with white fuits, minerals and herbal notes, rich but balanced. (Tasted with 5 grams dosage, our disgorgement is Brut Nature.)
Towards the end of the tasting my notes became minimal, but this wine rated an enthusiastic "Superb!" Forget your prejudice against demi-sec Champagnes, this wine is fantastically complex and delicious. The French wine publication “Le Rouge et le Blanc,” in their review of André Beaufort, offers an explanation of how dosage seems to help the wines develop: “the aromas, timid in their youth, finish by exploding with age and the sugar becomes like a support to the aromas.” Only a few bottles available – we urge you to try it! (Notes from Jan 2017: "Super, rich, no flaws, Nearly sweet, wonderful, rich, complex nose. Totally fresh, or at least not old or even aging...")
Les Beaux Regards is a blend of two parcels of Chardonnay in Ludes on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims planted in 1964 and 1970. The loamy clay soils produce a Champagne more vinous in character, rather than exclusively taut and chalky. The 2012 displays floral and orchard fruit aromas, with delicate notes of spice and Meyer lemon following. The palate is distinctly mineral and racy, with overtly stony notes, cool notes of mint and lemon balm and a long tangy, expressive finish. Great energy and volume here. (Dosage 3g/l.) John McIlwain
Filaine is one of our favorite Champagne houses. And the singular Fabrice Gass is one of our favorite Champagne characters. His wines are made up of Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier from the south-facing village of Damery on the slope of the Montagne de Reims over looking the Marne. The wines are made in the manner of 100 years ago. Fabrice farms without chemicals, ferments in wood, and due to the age of his barrels, avoids malolactic fermentation. This disgorgement is based on the 2012 and 2011 vintages and balances nicely the classic richness of Damery with undertones of minerality. Aromatically the wines offer up aromas of baked apple, spices, and soil notes. On the palate flavors of ripe red fruit and a pervasive sense of chalkiness vie with with a creamy texture on the broad, rich finish. This is a perfect wine for the holiday table with its balance of generous fruit and earthy structure and the magnum makes us even more inclined to wish everyone a "Fabrice Navidad!" John McIlwain
Filaine is one of our favorite Champagne houses. And the singular Fabrice Gass is one of our favorite Champagne characters. His wines are made up of Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier from the south-facing village of Damery on the slope of the Montagne de Reims over looking the Marne. The wines are made in the manner of 100 years ago. Fabrice farms the without chemicals, ferments in wood, and due to the age of his barrels, avoids malolactic fermentation. This disgorgement is based on the 2012 and 2011 vintages and balances nicely the classic richness Damery with undertones of minerality. Aromatically the wines offer up aromas of baked apple, spices, and soil notes. On the palate flavors of ripe red fruit and a pervasive sense of chalkiness vie with with a creamy texture on the broad, rich finish. This is a perfect wine for the holiday table with its balance of generous fruit and earthy structure. John McIlwain
Though famed for their reds and the eponymous rosé, Riceys produces far more Champagne than still wines from its vineyards bordering Burgundy. And though the Kimmeridgian soils mean Pinot Noir in the Aube, they also make a convincing case for the underappreciated Pinot Blanc grape. Sourced from all eight of his terroirs, Olivier Horiot's Métisse, a blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Blanc, is based on the 2013 vintage with the balance made up of reserve wine from a perpetual cuvée stored in foudre. The nose is delicate and spritely upon opening with generous notes of white peach, lemon curd, and cool herb tones, opening to reveal aromas of brioche and ginger. On the palate, there is a sense of volume with generous stone fruit flavors underlain with a broad, stony character which lends drive to the long, lingering finish. This would be lovely with pan-roasted scallops, though there's certainly enough texture to accompany risotto with wild mushrooms, or roasted chicken. (Disgorged 3/15/2016, Dosage 2g/L) John McIlwain
The grand cru of Verzy, located on the northeastern slope of the Montagne de Reims, is perhaps best know as a source of racy Pinot Noir-based Champagnes, though the shallow chalky and silex strewn soils on the eastern reaches of the village favor the Chardonnay grape. The new blanc de blancs cuvée L'Angelique by biodynamic grower Mouzon-Leroux is a nervy, filigreed expression of the terroir. The soils of the parcels where the grapes grown are 50cm of light clay and silex over chalk. The initial fermentation is with indigenous yeasts, aging is 50-% in tank, 50% barrel, and the wine is bottled with 2.5g/l dosage.The nose on the 2011 is cool-toned and floral, with aromas of lemon blossom, stone fruit, and smoky notes. The palate is energetic, but broad with a soft mousse and fine bead, offering pretty white and yellow orchard fruit flavors with on a long, stony, sapid, and suave finish. (Sébastien Mouzon tells us that he waited an extra ten days to pick his fruit in 2011, which avoided the resulting green flavors found in others' wines from vintage.) John McIlwain
Located in the hills above Essoyes, Ruppert-Leroy's vines are a study of polyculture, in contrast to most of the vineyards of Champagne. All are adjacent to forest, with dozens of herbs, wildflowers, grasses growing between the rows. In the Spring, there is a riot of color between the vines. Martin-Fontaine is 100% Chardonnay, fermented with native yeasts, bottled without dosage as of the 2013 vintage sees no addition of sulfur. We are lucky to be able to revisit the 2011, which is in a beautiful place at the moment, with a nose redolent of shortbread, lemon curd, and wet stone. The palate is stony, saline, and quite savory with umami notes vying for attention with pure flavors of ripe white orchard fruits. Quite pretty and detailed, this shows the potential of the terroir in this part of the Aube. John McIlwain
This Pinot Noir rosé is a blend of the saignée from villages and 1er cru fruit in Maranges, a straight pressing of Hautes Côtes de Beaune fruit, and pellicular maceration of fruit from Hautes Côtes de Beaune. Pale salmon in color and oh-so-fresh, the 2016 Sakura is a bit lighter than the very ripe 2015, with racy minerality, bright acidity, and vivid fruit. The nose combines fresh strawberry, cherry, and crushed herbs, while the refreshing palate features wild strawberry, savory minerality, and a lively, somewhat spicy finish. Try this perfect summer quaffer with marinated goat cheese, grilled chicken, or a salad made with heirloom tomatoes and fresh local greens. John McIlwain
From a 4.8HA parcel of old vines closer to the center of the village. The 2012 Pommard 1er cru Grand Clos des Épenots shows pretty aromas of strawberry, dark cherry syrup, grilled meat, iron, and anise. Layered flavors of wild cherry, plum, and black tea, with firm ripe tannins and a long, persistent, deeply earthy finish. This is a prime candidate for aging. 10-15 years in the cellar and this should be singing. John McIlwain
La Chapelle is a "climat" within Les Breterins and Reugne, on the steep slope of la Montagne de Bourdon, facing south/southeast. The vines are well-placed in mid-slope and are mostly sixty years-old, giving the most "generous" of the three Lafouge premier crus. The soils here are partially "marnes blanches"which seems to contribute to the more supple and elegant style of wines from this site.
Les Duresses, according to Jasper Morris, is the best placed vineyard in Auxey-Duresses, on a steep south-east facing slope that continues into Monthelie. This wine is always well-structured, a bit less forward than Lafouge's La Chapelle and it ages beautifully.
From vines grown in the calcareous clay soils of Les Reversées premier cru toward the bottom of the hill in the center of the slope by Les Teurons. The 2008 shows the cool-toned precision of the vintage. The nose displays dusty black cherry and hedge fruit aromas with notes of herbs and wood smoke. The palate is overtly mineral and savory, with complex soil notes and crushed herbs giving way to more cherry fruit, red currant, orange peel, iron and spice on a mid-weight and persistent finish. This still has a bit of structure to resolve, but it is intriguingly sapid, and satisfyingly earthy. Best now with a decant, better still in 3-5 years. This would pair beautifully with hanger steak and shallots, pasta with wild mushrooms, or roasted guinea hen. John McIlwain
Jean-Claude Rateau has a large parcel in the 1er Cru Les Bressandes on a steep slope facing east with pebbly clay/limestone soils, conducted in biodynamic farming since 1979. The soil is warm and well-drained giving ripe, structured wines. There is a 21-day cuvaison with manual cap-punching followed by 18 months in old barrels.Even with the minimal extraction practiced at the estate, the 2015 Bressandes shows a dense red/black color and aromas of black cherry and ripe strawberry, quite deep with sous-bois, violet, graphite and citrus. The palate is dense and chalky with blackberry, earth, cocoa and minerals with terrific length of red currant, earth and juicy acidity. At 14% alcohol the wine still seems balanced and frames the copious fruit in ample acidity and tannin. This is a beautiful wine that will give great pleasure in it's youth and should be a superb mature wine as well, perhaps until 2032 and beyond. DL
Generous black cherry, boysenberry, notes of cherry pit and anise on nose. Ripe mid-weight palate, ripe black fruits, hints of iodine and iron and other soil beneath supple structure. Succulent acidity and savory mineral notes offset the ripeness and lend energy and drive on a rich, palate-coating finish. This has good punch, even if it's more generous than I associate with very young Rateau. The purity of fruit and earth notes are finely balanced and this is an excellent Burgundy for the mid-term. A fine pairing with braised chicken thighs with mustard, tarragon, and shallots. A great value from the pioneer of biodynamic Burgundy! John McIlwain
Bright and high-toned, red-fruited on the nose. Lovely red cherry, ripe raspberry, and wild strawberry flavors on a velvety, lissome palate with a rising, energetic finish. This is a pretty, rather than powerful expression of La Fussière and a delicious natural Burgundy. Tasty now, should make for immensely pleasurable drinking with a few years in the cellar. John McIlwain
From 3 parcels of old vines in clay and limestone soils of the Les Saunières lieu-dit beneath Clos Rousseau. The 2015 Santenay has a medium-dark robe and is densely aromatic, with scents of violets, black fruits, and game. The rich palate is deep and layered offering flavors of blackberry, plum, five-spice, with and underlying mineral character featuring notes of iron and salt on a expressive, lingering finish. This is a sensational Santenay and will pair beautifully with veal scallops and morels, coq au vin, or steak off the grill. If drinking now decant of hold for 7-10 years. John McIlwain
When it comes to Marsannay, Domaine Bart's selection of crus is an embarrassment of riches. Au Champ Salomon, one of their best, is located in a prime spot on the mid-slope, producing wines which marry power with elegance and longevity. The grapes from 35-year-old plus vines are hand harvested, fermented with native yeasts, aged for 18 months in barrel, of which approximately 30% are new. The 2015 Champ Salomon shows its relation to Gevrey-Chambertin next door with aromas of ripe black cherry and strawberry with earth and spice. The palate is dense and rich, with ripe cherry and blackberry fruit over earthy, mineral-laden acidity. This young Burgundy will accompany a steak or grilled pork, served cool, best held for three to five years for a mature experience...
From 90 year-old vines in the village portion of Combe d'Orveau. The 2014 is a classic expression of Chambolle-Musigny with pretty high-toned aromas of red fruit, rose petals, and spice. The mid-weight palate is silken and flavors of ripe red cherry, wild raspberry, and chalk dance on a long, fresh, precise finish. This is lovely and a fine value in Chambolle. John McIlwain
Jane et Sylvain: A refreshingly unpretentious name for a small organic estate in Gevrey-Chambertin. Their Bourgogne Rouge is from young vines in a parcel that has never been chemically treated and always tended organically. The 2015 Bourgogne Rouge shows a brilliant red/black color with lovely tart cherry, raspberry and violet aromas, very high-toned and bright. The palate shows the ripeness of 2015 with pretty strawberry and cherry fruit backed by firm acidity, and it finishes with refreshing citrus and red fruits. Serve this lovely Pinot Noir quite cool over the next five years - it's a delicious wine and a great value!
From low-yielding vines located in Comblanchien (probably more famous for its quarries and eponymous limestone than viticulture), planted in the 1960s by Antoine Lienhardt's grandfather. Les Essards is a short distance from another of Antoine's lieux dits, Les Plantes Aux Bois. There is a thin layer of rocky clay topsoil over Comblanchien limestone and the vine rows run from east to west. A bit circumspect upon opening, decanting reveals red plum and ripe cherry aromas with hints of mustard seed and black tea on the nose. The palate is nervy with bright flavors of brambly red fruit, vibrant acidity, and a pungent, verging on saline minerality on a persistent, and detailed finish. Great lift and purity with wonderful interplay between the pure red fruit and distinctly stony elements. Decant if planning to drink now or cellar for 3-7 years to allow the elements to integrate. John McIlwain
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. Delicious! John McIlwain
From two small parcels in "Aux Eletois" (below Grand Cru Griottes) and "les Epointures" (below 1er Cru Clos Prieur) on the more fine and aromatic side of Gevrey.The 2015 shows a lovely bright red/black color with high-toned aromas of ripe black cherry and strawberry with violet and graphite. The palate is dense and ripe with tart red fruits, very pure and long with hints of licorice and citrus with a chalky mineral backbone. Drink now to enjoy the lush, bright fruit or cellar five to eight years, then drink until 2030. Lovely wine. DL
Jochen Beurer's Trollinger rosé is back! The grapes are harvested on the first pass from a range of plots, representing a mélange of terroir (sandstone, gypsum, pebbles, marl). A salmon-tinted blush in the glass, with sharp notes of pollen, rose petals, gardenia on another sniff, watermelon and green apple sour candy, umeboshi umami. Flavors of juicy watermelon and tart strawberry lemonade pop with a brisk dry and saline finish. Would be a fun companion to soft-scrambled eggs dotted with goat cheese, green salad with citrus segments, briny oysters on the half shell with mignonette. Cari Bernard
Heady with the scent of peach blossoms and green apple, the wine is bursting with fruity notes of kumquat marmalade, juicy green melon and tart green plum; the plush velvety texture on the palate balanced by a wave of acidity on the finish. Fantastic! Cari Bernard
Located across the Mosel from the Clemens and Rita Busch's home, the Marienburg is home to a veritable rainbow of slate colors: red, blue, and gray.The vom Roten Schiefer is from vines grown on the red slate parcels, with a higher clay content in the soil. Savory and salty, fuller than the Riesling from the Grauen (gray) Schiefer, it is still incredibly lean and chiseled. The fruit skews more towards malic notes of green apple skin and apricot. Cari Bernard
Eva Fricke's journey from child of doctors in Northern Germany to winemaker in the Rheingau with ten leased hectares (only seven currently in production) and going for organic certification for the 2016 vintage is quite the story. Eva has worked at wineries in South Africa, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Australia, and also holds a degree in Oenology from Geisenheim as well as a Masters in Business Management from Oestrich-Winkel. During her seven-year tenure working with Johannes Leitz, she slowly began to branch out into her own vineyard plots and winery, officially leaving Leitz in 2011. Her determination and dedication to quality is inspiring. During her tasting in the store this past February, she spoke excitedly about the importance of organic farming, and the positive influence it has on her vines, even in difficult vintages. By choosing to work the steep slopes organically in the Rheingau, she has taken on a challenge rarely even considered in the region. 2015 was a stellar vintage for Eva, and across the board her wines have pitch-perfect clarity and vibrant acidity. The Lorcher Riesling trocken has grapes from both Schlossberg and Kapellenberg vineyards, grown on slate with loess and quartzite. The wine is stony and salty on the nose, with notes of citrus zest and dark slate; focused yet still has a sense of fullness across the mid-palate, with flavors of tart white grapefruit, juicy apricot, and a firm mineral structure. This wine should open up nicely in three to five years. Cari Bernard
Sparkling Pinot Meunier (aka Schwarzriesling), zero dosage, zero sulfur added...what else is there to say? The nose is delicate, with some subtle brioche aromas. On the palate, there's red fruit, lovely mousse, and a richness and textural complexity that leave quite an impression. It's rare enough to find 100% Pinot Meunier Champagnes (I have always been a big fan of Laherte and Bereche's offerings, for example), so we're very happy to have this delicious rendition from Andi Knauss. Champagne or not, it's a great wine and comes highly recommended. Eben Lillie
Off-dry in past vintages, this year it drinks very dry, lean, linear with stony minerality and notes of tart lemon juice, lime zest, and nectarine. At 10% ABV, this is an electric, easy-drinking Riesling perfect for all sorts of occasions! Cari Bernard
Xoriguer gin hails from Mahon on the island of Menorca in Spain and one of only three gins (along with Plymouth Gin and London Dry Gin) to have a geographic designation. Gin has a rich history on Menorca dating back to British occupation during the 18th century and is still made with the same traditional methods. This gin is made in wood-fired pot stills from a base spirit of grape distillate (as opposed to the more common grain-based distillate) and is rested in American oak barrels before bottling. This process gives this spirit decidedly fruity and floral aromatics as well as a softer, citrusy palate. For lovers of gin and tonics, try this for your next experiment! Tim Gagnon
Online only. Ships separately from other items.
Online only. Ships separately from other items.
It is a real treat to find a deep, savory Barbera that hasn't been clouded by new oak. The 2011 Clerico Barbera d’Alba is just such a wine. The nose is complex with notes of dark red berry fruit and black plums followed by violets, sweet spice, and a leafy undertone. Fairly full-bodied with a soft but present tannic structure, the palate is lifted by fresh acidity and more forward red fruit. Delicious on its own, it would pair wonderfully with pizza margherita, or pasta with chicken, tomatoes, and artichokes. Open early and enjoy! - Andy Paynter
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
Falanghina seems to be one of the great success stories of southern Italy, emerging from relative obscurity despite being a truly ancient variety into a nearly ubiquitous staple on the market. That has lead regrettably (and predictably) to any number of wines that fail to show the real virtues of the grape. Agnanum Falanghina is anything but predictable; produced from terraced vineyards of own-rooted vines ranging in age from 60 to nearly 200 year old, possible only because of the particular soil of the area, the wine is pure and piercingly mineral. The nose is tart, showing pithy lemon and orange with delicate white florals, notes of mint and lemon balm and a characteristic hint of peach pit. The wine is almost airy on the palate with a fairly soft texture and fresh acidity showing a more deliberately stone fruit character of yellow peach and fresh apricot with a delicate saline finish. it is an obvious match to simple fish dishes but would be equally suited to young cheese, Provencal cuisine, cured salmon, or pork tenderloin. Andy Paynter
Guy Bossard is one of the heroes of French viticulture, having rejected modern chemical farming upon assuming the family estate, becoming certified organic in 1972, then progressing to Biodynamic farming in 1996. And this in a region where there was little recognition or financial reward for his intense work and the higher quality of his wines. Happily, Guy has been an inspiration for many growers in the region and is still producing superb wines, while in semi-retirement, with his new associate Fred Niger Van Herck. The Domaine de l'Ecu 2015 "Granite" is particularly outstanding. As usual with this cuvée it's a bit musty and closed when first opened — decanting is advised — followed by aromas of lemon peel, dried pear, wet stone and lime-flower with hints of almond and petrol. The palate is dense and very long in this ripe vintage with intense stony flavors, pear, citrus and anis. A bit more open and accessible than some vintages of Granite but with ample structure and acidity for aging — perhaps best 2020 to 2029. Serve this summer with oysters, cod and sole, then with richer dishes after the wine matures. Bravo to Guy and Fred!
This is another beautiful wine from the shy and affable Stephane Guion who is quietly making some of the best wines in Bourgueil. His 2015 Cuvèe Domaine is from young (15 to 40 year-old) vines on clay/limestone terroir in Benais and is one of the finest he has made, certainly equaling the delicious 2014 in a riper style. The wine shows aromas of blackberry confit, dark chocolate and violets - very deep and ripe but still bright with ripe raspberry and earthy hints as well. The palate is medium-bodied and fresh with firm acidity and chalky, saline mineral flavors framing the ripe red and black fruits, which continue in the long earthy finish. Drink now, served cool, with grilled chicken and pork, charcuterie, green vegetables and mild cheeses, or hold 5 to 8 years for a velvety mature experience. This is a beautiful wine that transcends its price and at 12% alcohol shows that ripeness, even in a vintage like 2015, can be achieved without high alcohol. Thanks to Stephane Guion!
Chenin Blanc from two terroirs in Montlouis - 40 year-old vines on sand and silex soils over limestone and 70 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils, yields of 30 hl/ha, aged in 2 to 8 year-old large barrels. The 2015 Premier Rendez-Vous is a beautiful wine. Pale gold color; the aromas are very floral - iris and lime flower with pear, peach, apricot and citrus; the palate is silky and textured with chalky minerals beneath ripe white fruits and citrus peel; the finish is long and tart with refreshing lemony acidity. A delightful wine that is delicious now and will drink beautifully over the next five to eight years. DL
This beautiful Chinon is from 65 to 70 year-old vines in sandy clay soils over limestone in Sonnay, near Cravant. The wine ages for 18 months in old barrels, less than 200 cases are made. The 2014 Ame D'Antan shows a deep black/garnet color with elegant aromas of ripe blackberry and strawberry with hints of violet, prune, citrus and crushed stone. The palate is dense but bright, with a silky texture, showing pure blackberry fruit with earth and licorice with firm mineral acidity. Good length with lingering berry and mineral flavors. Delicious now, it will age beautifully, probably best 2020 to 2030+. Highly recommended. DL
Jo Landron's Fief du Breil is from a beautiful walled vineyard sloping towards the Sèvre, with clay, sand and quartz stones over a bedrock of orthogneiss. The vines average 40 to 50 years of age, the vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic and gives very low yields. Always one of our favorite Muscadets, even in the difficult 2013 vintage, the wine shows lovely aromas of citrus, pear and almond with hints of fresh herbs and wet stone. The palate shows elegant white fruits and mineral flavors with lemon peel, white pepper and a long stony finish. Drink now with oysters, grilled fish and roast chicken, or hold, not for long-term cellaring but it will open up nicely over the next ten years. (Importer's close-out, sorry no further inventory.)
Vera Cruz is a new cuvée from Luneau-Papin, from 40 year-old vines on a terroir of schistes and gneiss "a deux micas" in Vallet, farmed with organic and biodynamic methods. A wine of terroir rather than fruit, even in the ripe 2015 vintage, the wine shows elegant aromas of pear, grilled almond, stone and citrus. The palate is dense and very mineral, showing more flavor of earth than fruit, with a lovely finish of stone, minerals and white fruit that coats the palate. Perfect now with fine oysters, grilled dorade, sole, cod and scallops with lemon. Or cellar - this wine should be very interesting in 5 to 15 years. Label inspired by Mondrian and the varied terroirs of Muscadet. DL
Organic farming on Gabbro soils, hand harvetsing and wild yeast fermntations with no chaptalization produce light, very mineral flavored wines at Domaine Parentiere. The 2014 Muscadet Vieilles Vignes shows intriguing aromas of citrus, ripe melon, almond, anise and stone, quite typical of Muscadet from Gabbro soils. Pear, melon, citrus, and stone flavors continue on the palate with an earthy finish of meyer lemon and firm acidity. At 11.4% alcohol it's light but full-flavored, perfect with oysters of course, but will accompany sole, flounder, cod and richer fish like monk and halibut as well, not to mention roast chicken and mild cheeses. A fabulous value!
Domaine de la Pépière lost most of their crop to frost in 2016 but was able to produce this excellent Muscadet using grapes normally reserved for the Clisson, Chateau Thébaud and Monnières-Saint Fiacre cuvées as well as fruit purchased from neighboring parcels, harvested and selected by Pépière. (This is the only wine from Pépière in 2016 except for a small amount of Clos des Briords and Gras Moutons.) The 2016 La Pépie shows classic Muscadet aromas of pear, citrus peel, almond and stone with a bit of lime-flower. The palate is dense, with nice ripeness, balanced with firm stony acidity, with flavors of dried pear, citrus, stone and white pepper and finishing with good length of citrusy acids and saline minerals. This is a serious Muscadet that echos the characteristics of the estate's top cuvées. The domaine lost almost 85% of the crop in 2016, but the small amount of wine they did produce is lovely. Our thanks to Marc, Remi and Gwènaëlle for this delicious and well-priced Muscadet.
Beginning in 2005, Marc Ollivier has produced this cuvée from a small parcel of 50 to 110 year-old vines within the Pepiere vineyard. Originally called "Granite de Clisson" after the unique bedrock in the vineyard, Marc has changed the name to "Clisson" to agree with the new INAO Cru Communal classification. The granite is covered with gravel and clay with large stones, ensuring good drainage and deep penetration by the roots into the fissures in the bedrock, bringing the mineral elements indispensable to this wine. The 2014" Clisson" is subtle, fine and elegant, and at the same time dense and powerful, yet with only 12% alcohol. The wine shows lovely aromas of lemon zest, fresh herbs, stone and dried pear, apple, very elegant, with hints of pineapple, anise and brown spice. The palate shows nice ripeness, density and weight but remains delicate and fresh with pear, citrus and mineral flavors with a finish that is long and lemony and slightly astringent with food-friendly minerality. The 2014 Clisson is a delightful wine - serve as often as possible with oysters, little-necks, grilled seafood and roast chicken. Put some in the cellar to enjoy over its 20+ year evolution. Thank you Marc, Remi and Gwenaelle for another beautiful wine!
Recent tastings of the Olga Raffault "les Picasses" going back to 1979 have consistently revealed light, very complex and beautiful old wines, still possessing a core of red and black fruits with lovely secondary flavors of mushroom, sous-bois, licorice, and graphite with herbal and vegetal notes. Serve with wild mushrooms, truffle omelet, coq au vin....
Since Olga Raffault’s passing, the estate has been run by her granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric de la Vigerie. Vineyard work and winemaking practices are very traditional: vineyard maintenance is done by hand, native yeast fermentations, and long, slow élevage in large, neutral oak (sometimes chestnut, a local wood in the region) barrels. Les Picasses is their top vineyard with 50-year-old Cabernet Franc vines planted in hard alluvial clay soils with a chalk limestone base on semi-steep slopes facing south. This is the perfect terroir to showcase classic Chinon aromas of black cherry, currant, cool blueberry fruit, white pepper, and a touch of tangerine. The palate is fresh and vibrant with juicy plum and black cherry fruit dotted with spice. Tannins are quite soft, yet present, and the finish is long and mineral with dark berry fruit. This is an outstanding example of what Cabernet Franc can be! 2010 is a great vintage for this wine, with the depth and structure for long-term aging. Tim Gagnon
From a small parcel of clay and silex on limestone, 2/3 Cot and 1/3 Gamay. 35 year-old vines, organic since 1996, aged in old barrels, large and small. Thierry Puzelat was a pioneer of natural wine-making and he continues with this beautiful "Guerrerie" from the lovely 2014 vintage in the Loire Valley. The wine is extravagantly delicious with wild aromas of raspberry, cherry, violets, mint, pepper and earth. Cool red and black fruits on the palate with plum, citrus, pepper and earthy acidity. Just lovely - serve cool and enjoy! (most likely zero sulfur added)
A Cheverny blend of 1/3rd each of Sauvignon Blanc, Fie Gris (a varient of Sauvignon) and Chardonnay - five to fifty year-old vines on clay/flint soils. Eight months in neutral oak barrels before bottling, with minimal sulfur. Fresh aromas of pear, citrus, lime-flower, spice and minerals. The palate is dense and riper than usual in this exceptional vintage but is very lively and mineral over the flavors of pear, quince, citrus, spice and stone. Forget about Sancerre, the Tue-Boeuf Frileuse is complex, unusual and remarkably delicious! DL
Once again, our friend Hervé Villemade has produced an elegant and delicious Sauvignon Blanc that's a great value as well. The wine shows lovely aromas of pear, melon, lime-flower and boxwood, really pretty, with pear and apple on the palate with stone and lemon confit - perfectly balanced and refreshing. This is a very versatile wine that will accompany almost any seafood or chicken dish or appetizers like prosciutto and melon and goat cheeses. DL
A beautiful, pure expression of Malbec, this comes from a limestone parcel that Julien is very fond of. 20% of the fruit is whole cluster (not carbonic maceration) and the wine is aged in cement. It has a vibrant nose, with bright red cherry fruit and a little spice on the palate. Very light tannin, and a fresh mineral finish. This may not be as dark as some expect from Malbec, but it's definitely a hearty wine nonetheless. For me it's a perfect all weather wine, substantial enough to satisfy in the winter months, and fresh and lively enough to serve with a slight chill when the grills come out in the summer. Eben Lillie
The 2010 is in the zone. Expressively aromatic with notes of wildflower, papaya, toasted hazelnuts, and hints of bergamot. The palate is rich and giving with heady flavors of smoked pineapple, herbs, honeycomb, and citrus. Firm minerality carries the fleshy tropical fruit flavors through an extraordinarily long finish. Powerful and finessed, this bottle deserves a place on your dinner table alongside shellfish, grilled fish with creamy, herb sauce, or a traditional raclette. Amanda Bowman
Roi des Lézards is all Carignan, from vines ranging from 35 - 75 years, aged in a combination of 1500 L Austrian Stockinger barrels, and 500 L used barrels. This is a significant bottle of Carignan, offering dark, purple fruit and good grip. The famous French term "garrigue" immediately comes to mind, even from smelling the wine. Used to describe the aromas typical of the shrubs and fauna of the Mediterranean, such as Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender, one couldn't find a better descriptor for the flavor profile of this wine. Most likely best enjoyed on the dinner table with grilled meats, stews, or other hearty fare. Eben Lillie
Now this is a first: Syrah is pressed like a rosé, then the Cinsault grapes are tossed (whole cluster) into the fermenting juice for 4 - 5 days, without extraction. The wine is then pressed, and kept in stainless steel. My tasting notes provide this information and are then followed by one word: "Yummy." They call it a "wonderful light and fruity summer wine." Combine the two and you get the idea. This is juicy, fresh and very light bodied. Truly a FUN wine, and one that will benefit from a little chill. 11.5% alc. Eben Lillie
If there's a wine that best epitomizes the overall spirit and style of the offerings from Carolin and Niko, the Enfant Sauvage is it. A blend (60% Carignan 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre) from different parcels, fermented and aged in concrete. Whole cluster fermentation, without pigeage (punching down), and one week of maceration before press. A colleague summed it up well when she said, "It's complex, without being fussy." It truly is a complex wine, but it's balanced, and easy to drink, with just the right amount of tannin and acidity to pair well with a variety of foods. It's also smooth enough to have with simple snacks or without food altogether! Eben Lillie
The Jonc Blanc 2014 PURE T is 100% Merlot grown on a small parcel of "marnes á astrea," a limestone conglomerate with seashells with thin clay topsoil. The wine is made with zero sulfur dioxide or other additives, fermented with wild yeasts and aged for two years in 1200 liter Taransaud foudres. Less than 300 cases are made of this beautiful wine that shows a dark black/red color and deep aromas of blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate with roast meat and floral hints. There are lush black fruits on the palate, very silky and pure with good freshness, with firm acidity, berries and mineral flavors in the long finish. This is a gorgeous wine that will accompany anything off the grill, pork stew and coq au vin. Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carle are doing beautiful work at Le Jonc Blanc and their wines deserve your attention. DL
We're proud to be working with Isabelle and Franck Pascal, who make beautiful natural wines on their small estate near Félines in Bergerac. The estate is situated on a unique rectangular hill of two different limestones with very thin clay soils - really a great terroir, enhanced by superb Biodynamic farming. The 2015 Sens du Fruit Rouge is an outstanding wine, produced with zero added sulfur, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. The color is dark black/red; the aromas are elegant, high-toned ripe blackberry and red currant with bitter chocolate, prune, spice and violets. The palate is deep and cool with supple black fruits, dark cocolate, earth, licorice and spice. The finish is long and pure with black fruits and firm acidity. Just delicious, but a bit tight - decant if possible or open a few hours in advance. Serve cool with charcuterie, grilled foods, stews, full-flavored cheeses. $12.99? Our thanks to Isabelle and Franck for their inspiring work.
This is a delightful rosé from our biodynamic friends, Isabelle Carle and Franck Pascal at le Jonc Blanc in Bergerac. 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Semillon. The wine shows intriguing aromas of cassis, raspberry, orange peel, rose and spice with lovely cassis, citrus and mineral flavors on the palate that coninue on the long silky finish. This is an unusually delicious rosé that will sell out quickly, only 20 cases for the US! This estate produces outstanding wines through meticulous biodynamic farming and careful low or zero sulfite vinifications - we urge you to try all their wines, each one is delicious and inexpensive.
A beautiful Bandol rosè, primarily Mourvedre with Cinsault and Grenache. The Mourvedre is pressed and run off directly, the Cinsault and Grenache undergo 24 hours of skin contact. Certified organic grapes from the Bronzo family vineyard in Le Castellet. This is a complex, perfectly balanced wine, a bit brighter than the 2015, with lovely aromas of raspberry, peach, blood orange, rose and spice. The palate is dense with cherry and raspberry fruit, citrus and stone flavors, ripe and full with bright balancing acidity with terrific density and length and a bit of ripe cherry in the finish. Delicious now - please decant or open 1 hour in advance - this will improve over the next few years. Perfect with grilled tuna, Salade Nicoise, pork and chicken, bouillabaisse, of course, and mild cheeses.
This 100% Merlot from La Vrille et le Papillon has a dark, envoloping nose, with cassis and black fruit. There's impressive tannic structure and mineral complexity, and just enough acidity to lend length and lift to the finish. This is a serious full bodied red that is graceful enough to not exhaust your palate on it's own, and would be perfect for a BBQ or similar summer feast. Eben Lillie
Meryl and Geraldine Croizier are making lovely natural wines at their small estate in the Ardeche. The "Z" Rouge is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot and shows pretty black fruit aromas with rose, earth and citrus. The palate is silky and supple, light but with nice density, with cool, complex black fruits and hints of bitter chocolate, licorice and earth that continue in the long complex finish. Serve this delicious natural wine quite cool this summer with grilled foods, charcuterie and full-flavored cheeses. DL
Warning: Natural Wine! A light and lovely Viognier from La Vrille et le Papillon in the Ardeche. The wine shows bright floral aromas of lemon, lime-flower, peach, mint and stone, really quite pretty. There is a bit of petillance on the palate with creamy citrus, peach, apricot and hay. Light and refreshing, with citrus, stone and yeasty flavors in the finish, this is a perfect summer quaffer, naturally delicioius!
2016 is a great vintage for Eric Laguerre's EOS Blanc! From 30% Grenache Blanc, 40% Maccabeo and 30% Rolle (Vermentino) grown on granite soils in Eric's high-altitude organic vineyards. The increased percentages of Maccabeo and Rolle have made this lovely wine even more distinctive, showing subtle aromas of dried pear, hay, citrus, herbs and stone. The palate is refreshing and clean with pear, citrus peel, almond, thyme and stone flavors, very crisp and dry and with nice density and length. This very versatile wine will pair with everything from oysters, to grilled fish to roast chicken, and will be very refreshing by itself on a warm summer day. DL
Clos Marie-Louise/Château Lapuyade is a beautiful biodynamic estate deep in the hills of Jurançon, south of Pau. Their wines are harvested by hand, fermented with wild yeasts and aged in old barrels purchased from Yquem and Haut-Brion. Chateau Lapuyade produces a complex, ripe, exotic style of "Sec" and the lovely 2013 is no exception. Pale gold color; ripe aromas of exotic fruit, citrus, butterscotch, honeysuckle and hay; the palate is ripe and round with pear, grapefruit spice and mineral flavors; very bright citrusy acidity in the finish with hay and minerals. This will evolve nicely re-corked in your fridge or with five to ten years of cellaring. Not for everyone perhaps, but this is really a unique and intense bottle of Jurancon! Serve with chicken or fish in sauce, full-flavored cheeses, patés and Asian foods.
Domaine les Fouques has been has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provencal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2016 Rosé La Londe is a beautiful wine and a real rosé of terroir showing lovely pale pink color with subtle aromas of peach skin, raspberry, orange peel, spice and rose. The palate is light, balanced, dense and long with ripe cherry, peach, citrus, spice and saline mineral flavors. Drinking beautifully now, especially with a bit of aeration, it will improve over the next year or two and accompany an elegant ceviche, fish or chicken, salads and mild cheeses. Great sipped by itself as well, a delicious and "serious" rosé that is highly recommended!
MORE ARRIVING TUE. 5/23 - Our Biodynamic friends, the Hubert family at Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours, have finally made a dry rosé and it's quite delicious. Subtle aromas of strawberry, peach and citrus on the nose that continue on the round but dry and refreshing palate. This gains weight with time (better on the second day) and has surprising length for a rosé. This is a versatile wine to serve as an aperitif or with grilled tuna, melon and prosciutto, grilled chicken or pork and mild cheeses.
From the tiny appellation of Bugey, due east of Lyon, it is a blend of Gamay and Poulsard. On the nose it is exquisitely vinous with bright aromas of pomegranate seeds, brambly blueberry patch, unripe strawberry, mountain meadow, and tart red raspberry. It is incredibly balanced with an invigorating acidity and lip-smacking red berry fruits with clementine zest and minerals coalescing on the finish. At 8.5% in alcohol with significant sweetness, this would be a perfect brunch companion or as an aperitif! Tim Gagnon
A Vin de Liqueur made from Chardonnay with a bit of Trousseau, this is the first vintage of Larmes du Paradis that has been available to us, and we are very excited. Alternatively called Macvin in the Jura, this style of wine is made by arresting the primary fermentation with distilled grape spirit while there is still a fair amount of residual sugar in the wine. The result is a wine with deep golden color that shows aromas of warm golden raisin, fresh fig, hay, dried dates, sweet spice and a hint of cherry liqueur. Lots of depth and concentration on the palate, with excellent balance of sweetness and acidity; the finish is reminiscent of toffee candy with a hint of toasted walnut and an elegant salinity. This is great to have after dinner with cheese, but also makes for a great aperitif served well chilled. Tim Gagnon
Grenache, Grenache Gris and Carignan, aged for six years or more in ancient barrels, bottled without fining or filtration. Jean-François Deu at Domaine du Traginer makes elegant, complex and beautifully balanced Banyuls at his organic and biodynamic estate. The 2008 Banyuls Grand Cru shows fabulous aromas of burnt orange, prune, lemon peel, rose, earth and aged cheese...for starters. Very deep and complex. The palate is ripe and a bit sweet, but refreshing and balanced by bright acidity with prune, red currant, rose and deep berry confit with citrus, brown spice and earth. Beautiful wine - great to sip by itself or serve with fruit desserts and chocolate. Highly recommended. DL
Cuvée Octobre is made from equal parts Black Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Syrah from vines raised on steep slopes in the Collioure AOC. The organic vineyards are situated high above Banyuls-sur-Mer and are picked late which adds some warmth and depth to the cool minerality from the schist soils. The nose offers aromas of blackberry, thyme, and black-cherry. After being opened for a few days, the layers of aromatics deepened with notes of dried herbs, spice, and red fruit. The palate is round and supple with layers of blackberry, smoke, and hints of citrus, and rosemary on the lengthy finish. This is a food-friendly wine and would pair nicely with braised lamb or grilled steak. Complex and highly enjoyable. Amanda Bowman
Equal parts Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Syrah from the steep schist terraces of Banyuls-sur-Mer, this is a pure and concentrated expression of this dramatic coastal stretch of the Roussillon. Dark black red color. Lush aromas of blackberry, black plum, bitter chocolate, licorice, earth and brown spice. The palate is dense, ripe and supple with blackberry, strawberry compote, earth, licorice, ginger and spice, with cool citrus and red currant in the long finish. This is a beautiful Collioure that will accompany a steak, grilled meats, stews, grilled vegetables and tagines. Highly recommended. DL
This is a gorgeous Banyuls Blanc, that is to say a Vin Doux Naturel (at 17% alcohol) made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Muscat grown in Traginer's organic vineyards above Banyuls. Beautiful aromas of lime flower, apricot, citrus, pear and almond. Very floral. The palate is deep and medium-sweet with candied citrus, apriot and stone flavors and terrific length. Serve not too cool, as an apéritif or with desserts of peach, apricot, pear and melon. Absolutely delicious! DL
Jean-Francois Deu makes beautiful wines on his biodynamic estate in Collioure, including this outstanding 2015 Rosé "Le Gourmand." The wine shows a pretty pink/orange color, with aromas of red currant and strawberry with hints of prune, orange peel, rose and spice. The palate is round and ripe with deep red currant and strawberry liqueur, but nicely balanced by firm acidity. Serve this full-bodied rosé with grilled chicken and pork or with an appetizer of olives, cheeses and charcuterie. Lovely wine! DL
An outstanding and unusual white made by Jean-François Deu at the organic/biodynamic estate, Domaine du Traginer (Mule-driver) in Banyuls and Collioure. Made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Malvasia from low-yielding vines, on steep slopes of schistes above the Mediterranean. Light gold color. The 2015 is ripe but well-balanced with intense and beautiful aromas of dried white fruits, lime-flower, lemon, stone, almond and pine with hints of spice. Quite complex! The palate is supple and dense with mineral flavors, white and yellow fruits, citrus, pine and brown spice that linger in the very long finish with firm acidity. This is a delicious and versatile wine that will accompany shellfish, grilled fish, chicken in sauce, Asian foods and more. Highly recommended! David Lillie
The Traginer Banyuls Rimage (Vin Doux Naturel) at 17% alcohol is an insanely delicious wine as an apéritif or with deserts of chocolate or fruit (figs especially) and goat cheeses. The 2016 shows a deep black/red color and vivid aromas of ripe blackberry, prune, licorice, violets, bitter chocolate and earth. The palate is ripe and lush with blackberry, citrus and cocoa, but very bright and refreshing as well, just delicious. It finishes with citrusy acids and black fruits that linger on the palate - serve cool and enjoy! DL
This superb wine is made from Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc and Muscat, aged for 15 years in small, very old barrels. Complex aromas of citrus, tea, prune, flowers and caramel. The palate is balanced, with a pretty melange of citrus, white fruits, earth and secondary flavors, very long and lifted by nice acidity. A gorgeous vin doux naturel that will accompany aged cheeses, figs and foie gras, or beautiful by itself. Really a unique and delicious wine. DL
Named after Natalino’s wife Anne, this Negroamaro is from 30-60 year old vines grown on clay and chalk. At harvest, Natalino destems and presses the grapes 2 -3 times, puts it in cement tanks for five days of skin contact, racks the wine and then leaves it in cement from September to March. Before bottling, he puts the wine in stainless steel for a few weeks to refine and then adds a very low dose of sulfur at bottling. The result is a medium bodied wine with good tannins that tastes of dark cherries and cocoa, with a hint of nuts and pepper. Try pairing it with a traditional Pugliese dish like pasta with chickpeas and anchovies, slow cooked lamb with potatoes, or just throw a tuna steak on the grill. Christine Manula
Masseria del Pino’s I Nove Fratelli is a great example of why people get so excited about the wines of Mount Etna. Produced from one hectare of organically farmed 120 year-old bush trained vines of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, the wine is elegant and frankly delicious. The nose shows a smoky character up front with layers of tart black cherries and black raspberries over crushed violets and dusty earth. The palate is structured but lifted by bright acidity with flavors of ripe cherry fruit, blood orange,and woody herbs; I’d like to avoid any kind of pandering cliché here, but the wine tastes like it was made on the side of a volcano – like sun-baked lava – which a lot more tasty than it might sound. The tannins are bold and ripe but fade harmoniously towards a grippy mineral finish. I would recommend decanting for a few hours to enjoy this wine at its very best. Try it with fennel stuffed pork loin, roast game bird, grilled sausages, cured cheese, or rich mushroom dishes. Andy Paynter He took the words out of my mouth! Tasting notes are subjective, but Andy and I seem to agree about this one pretty much down the line (although for fruit analogs I was more on blackberry and cranberry). Also, I think this (like many of the other best wines from Etna) is very versatile when it comes to food pairings; I don’t disagree with Andy’s suggestions (he’s a damn fine home cook, btw), but you shouldn’t feel limited by them. Last night we had grilled swordfish with a sauce of fresh tomato, capers, and herbs, and it was a great match – our guests, who are not wine people, seemed to love it. Jamie Wolff
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
It is a treat to work with the wines of Quinta do Perdigao in the Dao, whose certified organic vineyards and sensitive winemaking shine across grape variety and vintage. Their profound white Encruzado and red Alfrocheiro are staples here, and the 2015 vintage of their exotic, age-worthy rose has just arrived. 40% Tinta Roriz, 35% Jaen, 15% Touriga Nacional, and 10% Alfrocheiro. Aromas of ripe raspberry, hibiscus, passion fruit, and oregano, with full-flavored, floral palate of wild cherry, spicy raspberry, red currants and rose, blood orange, and soft earth. Delicious all year round with grilled sausage, sushi, and complex, spicy fare. Ariana Rolich
A 1.5 ha parcel of about 50% Grenache, 50% Cinsault, sometimes with some Bourboulenc and Mourvèdre that averages just 35hL/ha annually. Organically farmed and entirely harvested by hand with sorting done in the vineyard. The 2016 Rosé shows a plae pink color and lovely aromas of raspberry, wild strawberry, rose and peach skin. The palate is silky and mineral with subtle raspberry and cherry fruit with stone and citrus flavors, quite long and elegant and finishing with refreshing acidity. This should open up nicely over the next few months and will accompany seafood, chicken and grilled meats this summer. Lovely wine!
Dumien-Serrette is a happily old-fashioned estate in Cornas with 1.5 hectares in the Patou vineyard, which has primarily granitic soils; the remainder, .3 hectares, is located in Les Savaux. The vines in Patou date back to the 1920’s, with some even exceeding 100 years old. Since the 2010 harvest, half of the fruit has been de-stemmed; grapes are pressed with an old-fashioned basket press and aged 2 years in 2 to 7-year-old barrels. The estate’s total annual production is around 300 cases (600 in 2014). The 2014 is old-fashioned Cornas with aromas of ripe blackberry and black cherry with violet, graphite, citrus, earth and spice. The palate is very earthy and mineral with ripe black fruits, really a wine of the soil. This will drink beautifully with grilled meats and will benefit from decanting or a few years of cellaring. Drink over the next ten to fifteen years. DL
This well-known family estate produces excellent Tavel from certified organic vineyards and includes Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Clairette, Picpoul, Bourboulenc and Mourvedre! The 2016 shows a bright pink color, with lovely aromas of raspberry and morello cherry with floral and citrus hints; ripe berry fruits on the palate, dense and rich but nicely balanced by bright acidity. The finish is long and refreshing with ripe berry fruits and minerally acidity. Drink over the next two years with a quiche lorraine, salade nicoise, middle eastern cuisine, even grilled foods, especially tuna and pork. Lovely by itself as well!
(Marcel Richaud has been making "natural wine" for over 40 years, since taking over from his father in the 1970s. Organic farming, low yields, hand-harvesting for perfect fruit and fermentations with wild yeasts with little or no sulfur.) From Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Counoise and Mourvedre on gravel, sandy, galet stone covered soils, semi destemmed, 8-10 day vinification - 65% semi carbonic maceration, 35% traditional fermentation, aged in concrete vats 6-12 months, unfined, unfiltered. The 2014s from Richaud are simply outstanding! The Terre de Galets shows lovely aromas of black cherry and black raspberry with spice and violets. Very supple, fresh palate with black plum, ripe cherry liqueur, citrus and black pepper with smooth tannins and bright acidity. Very long with ripe fruits and citrusy acids lingering in the finish. Lovely wine - serve cool with grilled meats, chicken, fulll-flavored cheeses.
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. The 2014 is aromatically beautiful with complex aromas of red currant, blueberry, violet, musk and citrus. The palate is softer than in the very structured 2013 vintage, showing red and black fruit liqueur lifted by citrusy acids and finishing with nice mineral flavors, floral notes and supple fruit. This is a very pretty Crozes to drink over the next 5 years, and a great value!
From 70-year-old Syrah vines located on the west bank of the Rhône that had been farmed exclusively by a protestant religious order known as D’Arbistes. There has never been a chemical introduced into this vineyard.
Viticulture in Brezeme, on the primarily limestone marl south facing steep hillsides, dates back to Roman times. Records from the early 1800's indicate plantings of Syrah from vines in Hermitage and Cornas. Eric Texier has been instrumental in reviving the vineyards, especially with his Domaine du Pergaud Vieilles Vignes and this lovely Syrah from younger vines. The 2015 Cotes du Rhone Brezeme is a big, well structured wine that retains the freshness and lively character always present in this cuvee. The wine was vinified naturally, without added sulfur. The wine shows vivid aromas of blackberry and black cherry with hints of musk, blueberry, earth and citrus. The palate is deep and textured with earthy black fruits, bitter chocolate and mineral flavors, quite pure and long. Serve now, slightly chilled, with grilled meats, tagines and full-flavored cheeses, or cellar fo five to ten years or more. (As Eric notes below, open the day before, taste, recork, for best results if drinking now.) Lovely wine! DL Notes from Eric Texier: "The 2015 Brezeme is as expected. Tannic, more vintage than terroir driven, needs time. Very similar to 2005 in my book. I still find the later a bit young and closed right now. I hope people will give it a chance to age a bit. At least until this fall, to recover from the mise. Or open it the day before drinking. Bottles open the day before show much better than at opening. Huge potential of ageing."
For many a Scot, Pitlochry evokes memories of childhood Highland holidays. The draw is no less emotive for the whisky aficionado. Visiting Edradour is like stepping back into the golden age of Scotch whisky. More interesting still is a visit to the Signatory warehouse, where a staggering number of innovative single casks, from throughout Scotland, are slowly coming of age. This particular bottling is burnished gold with aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, sage, prunes, graham crackers, and nutmeg. A medium bodied palate offers hints of pineapples, dandelions, and a toasted marshmallow finish. David Salinas
Kilchoman is the first new distillery on the famed island of Islay for 124 years. The concept is a "farm distillery" that houses every aspect of the production, from growing the grain to bottling the barrels. The results are fantastic with soft peat and salty citrus flavors. This bottle is a vatting of three, four and five year old whiskies, with meticulous barrel selection giving the scotch a more mature profile than one may think. JR
From Equipo Navazos: "In the wine cellars owned by La Guita on the road to Jerez outside Sanlúcar de Barrameda there are several Amontillado soleras identified by the number of butts that exist of each one, and by the legends “Manzanilla Pasada”, “Manzanilla Pasada Vieja” or “Manzanilla Pasada Viejísima”. All those soleras have survived practically untouched since La Guita rearranged its stocks in 1980 and moved most to the cellars on the road to Jerez. Among them, the Solera 1/10 of “Manzanilla Pasada Vieja” which actually is an exceptional Amontillado, very old and elegant, that shows the typical character of Sanlúcar. It is precisely from that solera that we have sourced the present release: La Bota de Amontillado 61 “Bota NO”. It is the second time we come to it, since in 2011 there was a release with the same name and source numbered as La Bota no. 31. Due to its evident age and depth it can be sipped as a midmorning drop on quiet leisurely days, or after a meal. It also displays a harmonious palate that makes it especially appropriate for intense dishes such as a hearty stew, arròs de muntanya, or lobster bisque, and also of delicate pieces of sushi with a dash of wasabi. Come to think of it, at a lower than usual temperature, this amontillado can be sipped successfully side by side to a refreshing ajoblanco or gazpacho."
100% Hondarribi Zuri from Agerre, third-generation wine growers in Getaria, whose refreshing, classic Txakoli ignites our thirst every year around this time. It is fermented with native yeasts, so you get salty, earthy, delicate notes without the confected character that pervades Txakolis made with commercial yeasts. Lime blossoms, brine, savory minerals, a hint of sweet smoke and dried herbs, sea salt air, and green apple acidity invigorate the appetite, making a perfect apéro next to snacks of goat cheese, oysters, and shrimp. Ariana Rolich
A refreshing introduction to the rare and complicated red grape Juan Garcia, coplanted on granitic sandy soils with (the almost as rare and complicated variety) Rufete and a number of other varieties in the village of Fermoselle, located in the Arribes del Duero National Park on the Spanish side of the Portuguese border. Alvar de Dios is a serious young winemaker from the south of Toro, who is actively exploring the neighboring Arribes region and all the vibrant varieties that straddle the Portuguese border. Savory, funky black currant, wild blueberry, and lavender aromas waft onto the brightly acidic palate of sultry florals and spice, with crushed blackberry, bramble, bitter herbs, and dark, mineral earth. Delicious with burgers and poultry, earthy root vegetables, salty charcuterie, and even chilled alongside tuna or squid with oregano and citrus. Ariana Rolich
Certified organic from a family winery in Emporda, Catalonia, this bone-dry, refreshing rose of 100% Garnacha is better than ever - simply an incredible value. Notes of crushed stone and wild flowers on the nose lead to a tangy, mineral-driven palate of citrus zest, blood orange, savory tropical notes, and sea spray. A delicious accompaniment for grilled shrimp or squid. Ariana Rolich
Baboso is the most bodacious of the Canary red varieties. Fruit-forward by nature, it takes a special winemaker to temper Baboso's tendancy toward boozy exuberance and sappy berry excess. Borja Perez Gonzalez (Ignios, Artifice) stays true to the grape's voluptuous core while emphasizing acidity and intense mineral expression. Heady florals, sweet smoke, and clove aromas precede a gushing, fruit-forward palate of black cherry, juicy purple plums, crushed black berries, spicy cloves, black pepper, wild flowers, kirsch, and smoky, volcanic earth. Borja's careful farming and precise, gentle vinifications render a vivid, vertical expression of this sultry, mind-bending grape! While most reds from the Canary Island pair fabulously with the local supply of fresh fish, Baboso cries out for meals of pork or red meat. Ariana Rolich
Borja Perez Gonzalez's complex and beautiful Ignios wines are proof that the future is very bright for this remote but prolific winegrowing region. Listan Negro is ubiquitous in the Canaries, yet this one is not like any of the others. From a striking single vineyard planted close to sea level on a banana plantation, picked early enough to retain freshness, fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts, and raised in a mix of French oak barrels. Aromas are cool and exotic, more herbal than spicy - sour cherry, dusty rose, hibiscus, smoky tea, dried herbs and funky earth. Tart and juicy, broad, but refreshing and light/medium-bodied, flavors are a delicious, palate-soaking tangle of fruit, musk, and earth: red plum, sour cherry, red beets, lime rinds, dried herbs, brine, and ash, with a smoky mineral finish. Serve with a chill and prepare to be awed. Ariana Rolich
We are avid fans of Xavi Bernet and regular visitors to his cave in the tiny hamlet of El Pago, where he sells delicious Catalan cheese, fruits, and rancio, in addition to his totally fabulous organic Julia Bernet Cavas (Julia is Xavi's young daughter). Xavi farms his grandparents' vines and makes a tiny amount of sparkling and still wine, all of which display enormous quality and care. Ingenius is 80% Xarello and 20% Chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel, and aged on the lees for a minimum of 18 months before disgorgement with no dosage. A flinty, smoky minerality pervades the nose of sweet cream and lemon blossoms, which is almost Chablis-like in its force and depth, and continues on to infuse the savory palate. Broad but not weighty, with tingly acid and flavors of golden plum, fennel, and marigold. This is a complex Cava that vastly exceeds its price point. If Penedes 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 supreme talent and character. Ariana Rolich
Sometimes when people live and breathe their vineyards and wines, the results are palpable. This is the case with Ismael Gozalo, a proud native of Rueda, gifted grower, and crafter of some of the region's finest and most serious Verdejo wines, first for Bodegas Ossian and now under the MicroBio label, which is a deliberate reference to both biological processes crucial to the character of the wines and the tiny scale of production. For his rose, Tempranillo is pressed directly into stainless steel for fermentation and blended later with a bit of Verdejo. The result is vivid and pure, with fresh bright berry fruit, cherry blossom, crunchy rocks, balanced bright acidity and no added sulphur at any stage. We are excited to be able offer this rose at a much lower price this year. Let's drink beautiful natural Spanish rose all summer long! Ariana Rolich
Oriol Artigas' wines weave unique flavors and intense minerality from the distinctive local grapes of Alella, a coastal DO just north of Barcelona. The Rosat is more golden than pink, made of 70% Pansa Rosada and 30% Malvasia from 75-year-old vines growing just one kilometer from the sea. Aromas of spicy citrus oils, waxen florals and herbs wind through the bold mineral palate, which is bone dry and mouth-filling, with vivid sparks of grapefruit and apricot skins, bitter brine, hints of smoke, Mediterranean garrigue, and sea salt. Everything with grill marks will be exalted by a sip of this rose! Ariana Rolich
Invigorating, juicy, thirst-quenching rosado from Rioja, made from a 2 hectare parcel of 25 year-old Garnacha vines at 600 meters altitude, bursting with jubilant crushed wild berries, tangy pink grapefruit zest, and delicate rosey florals, with buoyant acidity and and salty minerality. A peppy aperitif, complex, and food friendly, Pecina will make a great house rose this spring and summer! Ariana Rolich
Olivier Riviere, a Frenchman in Spain, makes clear and elegant Rioja wines from organic and biodynamically farmed fruit, Jequitiba is his white Rioja, composed of Viura, Malvasia, and Garnacha Blanca from 35-70 year old vines. Taut and silky, with Burgundian flare (Riviere studied biodynamics at Domaine Leroy before moving to Spain), subtle aromas of green apple blossom and cut green herbs, and flavors of tart, creamy citrus, tree fruit, and cool mint. I pine for a glass of this wine with a simple yet luxurious meal of Blue Moon's flounder a la meunière, prepared with butter, lemon, capers, and parsley. Ariana Rolich.
Lovers of white Rioja, Jurancon Sec, and Bordeaux Blanc will swoon over this unique (and uniquely delicious) white Priorat. Sara Perez and Rene Barbier Jr are the team behind the delicious and popular Venus La Universal wines from the Montsant. Both are Priorat natives and, as children of the great Jose Luis Perez of Mas Martinet and Rene Barbier of Clos Mogador, heirs to winemaking history. It was very exciting to taste a pair of Priorats from their "Sara i Rene" label that illuminate the influence of amphora aging on Garnatxa-based wines, a practice enjoying a resurgence in the region. Exotic, rich, and wild, the Partida Bellvisos Blanco is 90% Garnatxa Blanca and 10% Trepat Blanc (only 2 hectare of which are known to exist in Spain), fermented in locally-made, unlined amphora and raised partly in 15 year old 600L foudre before being moved back to amphora to complete its elevage. Full, sultry fragrances of elderflower, butterscotch, chlorine, jasmine and sweet golden fruit perfume the creamy, nutty, oxidative palate of orange, tamarind, almond oil, and tangy apricot peel; a voluptuous wine, perforated by tensile tannins. Ariana Rolich
Zorzal takes the Graciano grape to new heights with this inexpensive but outrageously delicious and well-made red from 35-year-old, organically farmed vines in Spain's Navarra region (Rioja's overlooked neighbor). This is a generous, crowd-pleasing, and thirst-quenching red on the fuller side of medium-bodied. It is pretty and perfumed, with flavors of juicy purple plum, ripe red raspberry, and dark cherry, violet flowers, soft funky earth, spearmint leaf, cinnamon spice, smooth tannins, rich texture, and just enough acidity. Unfined, unfiltered, and fermented with native yeasts. Ariana Rolich
One of the only mezcales that is certified biodynamic, Fidencio Clasico comes from the heartland of agave distillation in Oaxaca, Santiago Matatlan. Maestro Mezcalero Enrique Jimenez allows his espadin agave to mature for at least 10 years(most is cut down at 7) before harvesting and fermenting using only natural ambient yeast.
Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos consistently produce some of the most delicious Pinot, Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache in Santa Barbara County. Farming and sustainability are central at Ampelos - they are Demeter certified biodynamic, SIP certified, and even their bottles are produced in California. Their 2016 rose is fresh and flavorful, combining 80% Syrah, farmed and harvested specifically for rose, 15% Grenache, and a 5% splash of Riesling from recently planted vines on their estate. Juicy watermelon and strawberry blossoms, with crunchy pomegranate, blood orange, and orange zest. Also available in magnum! Ariana Rolich
Our domestic rose magnum this summer! Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos consistently produce some of the most delicious Pinot, Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache in Santa Barbara County. Farming and sustainability are central at Ampelos - they are Demeter certified biodynamic, SIP certified, and even their bottles are produced in California. Their 2016 rose is fresh and flavorful, combining 80% Syrah, farmed and harvested specifically for rose, 15% Grenache, and a 5% splash of Riesling from recently planted vines on their estate. Juicy watermelon and strawberry blossoms, with crunchy pomegranate, blood orange, and orange zest. Ariana Rolich
Cameron and Marlen Porter are making some of the freshest, most fabulous and recognizably "natural" wines in America. And they don't show any signs of running out of inspiration: '"Pink Flag," our first ever Rosé was inspired equally by the band Wire, and the winery Clos Cibonne. From Wire, the wine takes its name (an homage to their first, groundbreaking album), but also its spirit: joyous, playful energy brushing up against an angular, spiky core. From Clos Cibonne, we take technique.' Pink Flag is 100% Counoise, partially raised under a thin flor of yeast (the aforementioned Clos Cibonne technique), which imparts creamy almond and buttery apple notes on the nose and taut, salty counterpoint to the silky palate of ripe, musky orchard fruit. A thought-provoking and textured rose, very delicious with fish stew (summer dreams of bouillabaise at Clos Cibonne!), grilled vegetable, cheeses, and poultry. Ariana Rolich
Crisp and juicy, chaneling all the white wine energy that we love in summer's first fresh, cold roses, with the pretty red berry notes and nuance of our favorite French Gamay roses from the Loire and Beaujolais. Kate Norris and Tom Monroe pick their Yakima Valley (Washington) rose specifically for rose, capturing fresh cherry aromas and crisp, acidic and minerally palate of floral strawberry, orange peel, and tangy key limes. Ariana Rolich
What a delicious wine! This fresh and bright wine is 100% Gamay Noir, sourced from four organically farmed vineyards located in Willamette Valley. Kate Norris and Tom Monroe have great respect for this Burgundian grape and it shows. The vinification varies by vineyard to enable the best expression of the grape (carbonic maceration and traditional fermentation). Native yeasts are used and the wine is aged both in stainless steel tank and in French oak barrel.The wine is superb on the nose, reminiscent of classic floral Beaujolais wines. The first flavor that came to my mind was fresh and dried dark roses with slight baked rhubarb, spices and iron undertones. The bouquet of raspberries, strawberries and black cherries is full on the nose and mouth. The wine is beautifully structured with great acidity and minerality (volcanic clay soil with marine sedimentary overlay) with minimal tannin. This is a juicy, lean, fresh wine - perfect for the summer time served slightly chilled. Pair it with a chicken and goat cheese salad with strawberry vinaigrette. This will be a match made in heaven. Caroline Coursant
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.
While working in the music business in Germany, Hank Beckmeyer and his French wife, Caroline Hoel, caught the wine bug while traveling throughout Europe. They later moved to the United States and purchased a property in California’s Sierra Foothills in 2001. La Clarine Farm’s winemaking approach is minimalist: neither industrial yeasts, sulfur dioxide, nor new oak are used in the cellar. Cedarville Vineyard is organically farmed, lies upon a south-facing exposure on decomposed granite soils, similar to those in the Northern Rhone. With a lithe and sinewy texture, this Mourvedre impresses with dried black cherry and dark brambly fruit flavors, as well as licorice and sous bois undertones. Jonas Mendoza
Last year's Minimus rose was juicy and succulent Gamay. This year's Minimus rose is a brainy, bone-dry Pinot Gris from a hot, high vineyard in Willamette Valley, starting tense and angular, opening into a supple mix of citrus piths, watermelon, rosewater, blood orange, and papaya. Winemaker Chad Stock delights us so consistently with his experimental bottlings that we might start declaring Minimus inherently delightful. 100 cases of this rose were produced. Ariana Rolich
Precedent is the personal project of Nathan Kandler, winemaker at the excellent Thomas Fogarty estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've never had California Chenin Blanc or you're never been thrilled by one, Precedent is a pure rendition of the grape from 32 year-old vines planted on pink granite and silica-rich quartz soils in northeast Lodi; foot trodden and whole-cluster pressed (with a portion undergoing a few hours of skin contact), then fermented with native yeasts in used French oak. Fresh aromas of lemon blossom, golden fruit, and peach, with a clear, tingly, mineral palate of orange citrus and stone fruit, pineapple pith, chamomile, and a hint of beeswax. Broad yet delicate, distinctive and delicious. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur additions. Ariana Rolich
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