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Another fantastic cider from the Aaron Burr Cidery! The Appinette blends together NY apples and a local grape, Traminette (a genetic cross between Gewürztraminer and the French-American hybrid Joannes Seyve). Lively and complex with heady aromas of guava, pineapple, banana, and lemon curd. There is also a very pleasant vinous muskiness. On the palate, it is quite earthy and very dry with a gentle sparkle, making it almost more reminiscent of wine than cider. Salty minerals, delicate fruit, and a vigorous acidity balance it out and make it rather food friendly! Tim Gagnon
Banshee is 100% Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, including a significant amount from Charles Heintz Vineyard, as well as Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in Petaluma Gap, and another vineyard called Bohemian Green Valley. Rich and vibrant with notes of creamy lemon curd, juicy stone fruit, and a hint of vanilla bean, with invigorating acidity and a big but graceful build. A wine of great integrity for under $20. Ariana Rolich
From a single clone, this barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc has notes of pear and peach candy, with ripe and rich orchard fruit flavors and dried herb undertones. For those expecting lean-and-mean, cookie-cutter Sauvignon Blanc, they're bound to be disappointed by this wine's aromatic complexity and rich, leesy texture. We ran out of them in 750ml, but brought some back in magnums. Jonas Mendoza
Brian and Stephy Terrizzi's Broadside project focuses on sustainably farmed vineyards and minimalist winemaking (native yeasts, minimal handling, neutral oak), as well as purity of flavor and varietal expression.Their Central Coast Chardonnay is a quintessential example of their wine growing and winemaking philosophy; a bright and creamy Chardonnay with ripe lemon and peach flavors and a saline minerality. Jonas Mendoza
The 2013 was a wet vintage but strongly benefited growers who dry-farmed and took advantage of the sunshine after the late September rains. The Chardonnay comes from a dry-farmed, owned-rooted Wente clone vineyard on marine sedimentary soils in Willamette Valley. Bright and slightly oxidative, the palate resonates with flavors of lemon pith, lemon curd, underripe peach, and marzipan and brightens with the wine's pointilistic acidity and minerality. Jonas Mendoza
In addition to perfectly elegant, age-worthy reds, Steve Edmunds produces one of California's lightest, purest white wines from Vermentino and Grenache Blanc. Heart of Gold exudes fresh white florals, mineral water, and tingly orchard fruit aromas; flavors are bright and defined, graceful and deeply mineral, with gentle rays of citrus pith and crisp pear, golden apple, and yellow peach. Acidity is abundant and well-integated. Ariana Rolich
This dry Pinot Gris from the Finger Lakes is very much different from its slightly sweet Alsatian counterparts, but is nonetheless delicious! On the palate, baked golden apples, fresh tarragon, onion skin, and a distinct salty and savory quality. This benefits from a long decant and gets better after being opened for a day (and even two)! Jonas Mendoza
The philosophy behind Lo-Fi (just like music production) isn’t to create wine that is too polished or perfect, but rather that which embraces a more natural, raw expression. For winemakers Michael Roth and Craig Winchester, less is more: neutral barrels, native yeasts, little to no sulfur additions, and no acid adjustments. The Chardonnay is aged in 6-year old barrels, then racked and matured in concrete eggs for 6 months. The wine has a leesy texture and crisp snappiness, accompanied by flavors of ripe peach, banana, and white flowers. Jonas Mendoza
For as iconoclastic of a winemaker as Chad Stock, one wouldn't expect him to delve into the nuances of Sauvignon Blanc, but this is his second exploration with grapes sourced from the Stella Maris vineyard in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley AVA. The Sauvignon Blanc is fermented whole-cluster, macerated with Viognier, and then matured in 600L acacia-wood puncheons. There's the typical zippiness you normally get from Savvy B, but it's followed by a kaleidoscope of peach, gardenia, and candied pineapple notes, followed by lemon curd and and tropical fruit flavors. To Chad Stock's credit, the wine is assertive, rich, ripe, and unlike almost any other Sauvignon Blanc you've had before. Jonas Mendoza
Chad Stock's inspiration to make sparkling wine was Brut Nature Cava with long lees aging - a worthy fascination that should inform more new-world sparkling wine production! He has now released Experiment #17 (the same base wine as Experiment #10, disgorged after 24 months on the lees) this time disgorged after 48 months on the lees. Elegance and complexity are not guaranteed to increase with longer lees aging, but in this case the extra two years contributed great length and layers, harnessing the autolytic grit and glamour of our favorite long-aged Cavas. Creamy aromas of almond cake, agrumes, lavender honey, orange blossom, and yellow apple; the palate is dry, textured, long, and lovely, with gentle bubbles permeating the palate of yellow peach, Asian pear, meadow flowers and tea leaves, with gentle yeasty notes of bee pollen, chamomile, almond, brine, and a hint of bitter earth. This is dreamy wine, with enough breadth and complexity to compliment Captain Alex's smoked bluefish, shredded and tossed with herbs, lemon, and great olive oil, or a brunch of sliced smoked tuna with scrambled eggs. 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
This Chardonnay comes from younger vines in Rhys' Anderson Valley Bearwallow Vineyard, and aged for 14 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Like a riper Chablis, there are notes of zesty lemon, white nectarine, and just-ripe peach. On the palate, lemon juice, lemon pith, and saline flavors with bright acidity and a tight mineral core.A perfect introduction to Rhys' stunning Chardonnays. Jonas Mendoza
This is a great follow-up to the inaugural releases from Shacksbury! The past two vintages of the Limited Edition releases were a hit with cider geeks and staff members alike, and the first release from the 2015 harvest is equally great. Called Lost and Found, it is made from foraged apples sourced from the Champlain Valley of Vermont, and from heirloom varieties in New Hampshire, most of which were trees originally planted by homesteaders over 100 years ago. It is fermented with native yeasts and goes through secondary fermentation in bottle, with no SO2 added at any time. If you haven’t tried any of the Shacksbury products, you’re seriously missing out. Tim Gagnon
David Dolginow and Colin Davis created this dry, English-style cider in collaboration with two farms: Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall, Vermont and Dragon Orchards in Herefordshire, England. It is a blend of 7 different apple varieties (Browns, Ellis Bitter, Dabinett, Michelin, Jonagold, Spartan, and Somerset Redstreak) that are co-fermented and aged for 6 months before release. It is fresh with aromas of apple, pine, mango, and citrus oil. On the palate, it is dry and clean with minerals, citrus, and ripe apple fruit with medium-sized bubbles. This is a great choice for before, during, or after a holiday feast or for an alternative to beer while watching football. Tim Gagnon
Made from a blend of foraged heirloom varieties of apples and Vermont and English cider apples grown by Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall, VT, this cider is made using the Méthode Ancestrale. Just like the grape-based pét nats we all know and love, it is bottled while it is still undergoing fermentation and is aged for two months on the lees before it is released unfined, unfiltered, and with zero SO2 added. The result is a bone-dry cider with pretty aromas of red berries, ripe pear, and apricot blossom. Gently sparkling and dangerously drinkable, this is one of my favorite releases from Shacksbury to date. Tim Gagnon
For Nathan Kandler, winemaker at Thomas Fogarty, Portola Springs is the most extreme of their Santa Cruz Chardonnay vineyards, with its very steep slopes and cool marine air influence. The Chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly and yields are frustratingly low. Portola Springs has a characteristic lemon drop and verbena with flavors of lemon oil, sea spray, and dried thyme. Pair with roasted cauilflower or chicken. Jonas Mendoza
Under the Wire is a joint project of Morgan Twain-Peterson (of Bedrock fame) and Chris Cottrell developed to explore the potential of sparkling wine in California based on a single vineyard from a single vintage. Alder Springs is is located in far northern Mendocino County just 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean; the steep hills, cool nights, and low-vigor soils lead to small yields of intense flavorful berries. Wtih a salmon-flesh robe, this sparkling rosé displays red cherry skin and orange peel aromatics, and further reveals ripe strawberry, ruby red grapefruit and blood orange flavors, accompanied by dried thyme and tarragon undertones and a fine, yet firm bead. Jonas Mendoza