- Item #: i_351072Bottle Size: 750mlCERTIFIED ORGANIC
Catherine and Pierre Breton are the real life bon vivants vignerons of lore. They are passionate about what they do, they enjoy sharing it with others, and they entertain with a generosity and charm. That they make great wine with such integrity makes our appreciation of them complete. The Bretons farm eleven hectares of vines just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. They produce Chinon and Bourgueil, as well as a bit of Vouvray, creating honest wines for both early consumption and longer aging. The Bretons first introduced biodynamic practices into their viticulture in 1994, just after receiving their organic certification in 1991. Recently, they started the three-year process of seeking biodynamic certification. In fact, they have become international icons for the natural wine movement in an area where the climate and soil can make organic viticulture difficult. The Wines of Terroir from Chinon and Bourgueil are destined for long life in your cellar. Each of the Breton cuvées is unique, with differences in soil, vinification, and élévage all playing a role while still demonstrating a familial resemblance. Catherine and Pierre are fighting the good fight in a competitive market, adding work to their busy days all in the name of authenticity. This wine is from 40-year-old Cabernet Franc, and it is stupendous.
- Item #: i_374376Bottle Size: 750MLThe Champalous are masters of Loire Chenin Blanc, producing Vouvray in all styles; this still, dry rendition, aged in stainless steel, represents their flagship cuvee. Gentle and refreshing on the palate, it boasts a delightful balance of stony minerality with luscious, almost honeyed fruit and flowery notes, making for a great aperitif or easy pairing with all sorts of dishes.
- Item #: i_322154Bottle Size: 750MLWINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "A bramble- and bay leaf—edged version, with a mix of dark cherry and red currant fruit forming the core. Light singed tobacco and a fresh chalk threads line the finish. Long and refined, showing a lovely tug of earth at the end. Drink now through 2026."
Les Varennes du Grand Clos is a slope of siliceous clay and limestone that has proven its ability to yield complex Chinons that stand the test of time-old bottles from decades past are still in their prime. Farming is organic, and the wine ages for over a year in barrel before bottling. The trademark of Les Varennes is its finesse: while structure is certainly not lacking, there is a harmony to fruit, acid, and tannins that allows us to pull the cork today. Its earthy flavors pair perfectly with rustic French cuisine; try a beef stew or wild mushrooms for a guaranteed match.
- Item #: i_333574Bottle Size: 750MLCharles Joguet left his life as an artist and sculptor to take over his family’s domain in 1957. Until then, all the grapes were sold to negociants; Charles ended this practice, and dedicated himself to producing single vineyard bottlings from what he knew would be considered premier cru and grand cru vineyards in other regions. He made a name for himself and became one of the most highly regarded producers in the region. Today Kevin Fontaine is the producer, closely following Charles’ path and philosophies. He still vinifies plots separately, and farming is organic. This rosé is 100% Cabernet Franc from roughly 30 year-old vines planted on sandy soil. It’s fermented in stainless steel and does not undergo malolactic fermentation, in order to retain the freshness of the fruit. It just came in, and we haven’t even tasted it yet, so we’ll open it up together and see what it’s got!
- Item #: i_353023Bottle Size: 750mlOne of the oldest and most celebrated domaines in Savennières, Chateau d’Épiré is rich in history, not only for its fabulous architectural rendition of the Petit Trianon of Versailles, but most especially for its exquisite wines. This cuvée is dry and accessible with notes of exotic fruits. Delicious and spectacularly complex, and it shows a value disproportionate to their pedigree.
- Item #: i_350029Bottle Size: 750mlIn 2009, the château’s new owner, le Comte de Colbert, asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They accepted with a twenty-five year lease and immediately began a hard work of converting these historical vineyards to organic culture after more than fifty years of chemical farming. Today, five after many years of quality farming and the deft touch of Arnaud, the brilliance of the wines known centuries ago is reemerging.
Inside the bottle: The wine starts out aromatically expressing the magic that limestone imparts to its local vine community. Pure and striking fruits, like sweet lime, meyer lemon with lemon curd, exotic spice and flint dart out of the glass and into the nose. If you can manage to keep it in the glass for a couple of hours of slow observation and drinking, the wine will take you on a rollercoaster of highs that seem only to climber higher with every passing minute. Acidity? More than you can imagine but somehow it presents itself gently on the finish after a somewhat overwhelming initial attack from the first sip. The wine hasn’t a drop of tropical or rich, ripe fruit notes because this cold site rarely has a chance to develop botrytis, even in ideal years. The topsoil is pure sand with limestone gravel that has been unearthed from the tuffeau limestone that sits on thirty centimeters below the soil. It’s pure sand and limestone soils make it the most unique soil structure on the hill. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a white wine in the world that carries this fair of a price.
- Item #: i_344231Bottle Size: 750MLBrézé is a unique site due to its relatively high elevation and eminently nuanced geological profile. The high composition of tuffeau, a porous, chalky limestone also used in the construction of much of the Loire’s Renaissance architecture, results in finely mineral Chenin Blanc. Clay and sand also lend themselves to the diversity of the terroirs, giving body to the reds and richness to the whites. With five historic and clearly delimited Clos to work with, the Lambert duo has the incredible opportunity to truly understand and reveal the distinctions within this extraordinary appellation.
- Item #: i_345226Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92 PointsDecanter: 92 PointsDECANTER 92 POINTS - "The late Anne-Claude Leflaive bought this struggling biodynamic domaine in 2008. From 2ha of old vines, Grolleau – normally used in bland rosés – is taken to another level: bright acidity lifts crunchy pomegranate fruit, with spice and texture from 18 months in old Leflaive barrels."
- Item #: i_300049Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "This shows cassis, cedar and black pepper notes, fueled by vibrant acidity and imparting lovely freshness. A very elegant red, with lots of character, this is well-crafted and harmonious. The finish shows a bit of a grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2020 through 2026. 500 cases made, 75 cases imported."
- Item #: i_352097Bottle Size: 750mlThere are few winemakers in history as bullish or brazen, roguish or renegade, as the Loire Valley's Didier Dagueneau. High-standards, incredible risk-taking, impeccable attention to detail, zealous allegiance to his terroir, and a willingness to take a stand against convention made this once-professional motorcycle sidecar racer the stuff of legends.
However dare-devilish in both winemaking and in life, Didier's untimely death in a plane crash in 2008 shook the wine community to its core. Fortunately for all who love Didier's wines, his oldest son, Louis-Benjamin, is now steering the domaine with the audacity, passion and talent that many critics and wine-lovers agree equal those of his father.
Famous in the Loire and throughout the world for perfumed Sauvignon blanc, Pouilly-Fume sits due east, across the Loire River from Sancerre. Limestone soils with clay and flint (also called silex) contribute to the wines' freshness and often times smoky, flinty, mineral character.
- Item #: i_352282Bottle Size: 750mlThe legendary Didier Dagueneau changed the perception of Pouilly Fume. After his death in a plane crash in 2008, his son Louis Benjamin took the reins, and his years of working with his father led to a seamless transition. The Silex is among the greatest expression of Sauvignon Blanc in the world. The wine undergoes whole cluster fermentation, with varieties of native yeasts. Fermentation occurs in small stainless steel and oak barrels. After initial racking, the wine stays on the lees until bottling. There is no malolactic fermentation.
- Item #: i_353325Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "This has a smoldering profile, with bay leaf, tobacco and loam notes opening up to black olive, currant and cedar details that follow closely behind. Shows great harmony now, but the tannins could soften up a bit, which should be no problem with some time in the cellar. Delivers lots of character and energy."
- Item #: i_351796Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Piercing and pure, with pear, green apple and green almond notes carried by a sleek, minerally edge. Shows juiciness along the edges and flashes of honeysuckle and bitter almond in the background. Drink now through 2033."
- Item #: i_353565Bottle Size: 750mlThierry and Lydie are both very passionate about the job, working together on the Estate and completing each other on every level. She is in charge of the vineyard, making every detail possible all year long so Thierry can have the best conditions to get started in the cellar and master the vinifications. The domaine is ran under sustainable culture. No synthetic chemical treatment is done. The vineyards of Domaine Chancelle have been in the family for 5 generations with Lydie and her husband Thierry taking over the Estate in 2000. It is located in the village of Turquant, in the greater Saumur.
Tasting Notes: Strawberry-scented with flavors of cherry and cranberry that pop on a crisp, refreshing palate. Drink it as an aperitif or with your favorite foods off the grill.
- Item #: i_350577Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "From limestone-clay soils, the golden-yellow colored 2017 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec displays a deep and refined nose with fine chalky notes intermixed with juicy and well-concentrated lemon aromas. The attack on the palate is smooth, ripe and elegant. In fact, this is a very juicy, round, refined and persistently structured Vouvray with intensity, power and concentration but also fine acidity. It displays a long, vital, beautifully tensioned finish with grip and candied lemon, grapefruit and orange zest flavors. With dine yet tight tannins, this is an excellent, very elegant and textured Haut-Lieu that already drinks very well but will improve over time. Tasted in March 2019."
- Item #: i_351571Bottle Size: 750mlSince the Middle Ages, Fronton, just north of Toulouse, has been the home of the Negrette grape variety, which is nearly exclusive to the area. The region encompasses 2,300 hectares of vines dominated by dry heat and rocky soils and the landscape is marked by hills and valleys, ranging from 300 to 600 ft above sea level. The banks of the Tarn and Garonne rivers have particularly poor gravel soils. Vines grown in this area are forced to struggle and dig deeper for nutrients to establish a stronger root system. This gives the grapes very distinct flavors and they are commonly characterized as having notes of violets and licorice.
- Item #: i_302660Bottle Size: 750MLJean-Claude Pichot’s family is one of the oldest inVouvray, with origins as viticulturists and restauranteursdating back to 1739. The family cellars are located in thecharming village of Vouvray, in caverns hewn from therolling hills which were once quarried to provide stoneto construct the grand châteaux of the Loire. In fact, thePichot home is itself part house and part cavern, with adramatic hearth carved from the rock. Jean-Claude wasone of six sons, but the only one to continue the familytradition of vigneron.Tasting notes: golden raisins on the nose and on thepalate. Grape juicy, like table grape concentrate. Easyto drink, already well-balanced with some elements ofcloves, butter tarte tatin and a touch of maple sugar.Good fruit extension with some grapefruit and apple skinon the finish.
- Item #: i_351339Bottle Size: 750mlThe Vacherons are without question Sancerre’s leading winemaking clan. From the family’s pioneering work in identifying and exploiting the region’s top terroirs to their leading position in biodynamic viticulture today, there are few if any artisans in Sancerre as exacting or as respected.Natural winemaking at Domaine Vacheron is second nature. Taking care of the soil, and in turn the vine, is of the utmost importance to the family. Vines have been cared for biodynamically since the early 2000s, and the estate is certified in both organic and biodynamic practices. No synthetic materials whatsoever are used in the vineyards; the family makes its own organic compost. Yields are naturally low.A delicate wine, dry and invigorating, with aromas of orange blossoms and flavors of red raspberries. A selection of Pinot Noir grapes from an estate vineyard that boasts the regional classic mix of flint and limestone soils.
- Item #: i_333869Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Bold, lush and tropical in feel, with creamed papaya and mango notes seamlessly gliding together, while coconut, green plum, ginger, quince and white peach flavors fill in the background. Offers a succulent finish, but stays pure and steady thanks to perfectly embedded acidity. Best from 2015 through 2030. 250 cases imported."