Hello and Happy Friday!
It’s that time of year again…Craig will be leaving for his annual trip to Portugal in a little over a week! We wanted to let you all know ahead of time in case you just have to stop in a see him off. With the magic of his new iPhone 7 camera, he’ll be taking lots of pictures during his travels to share with everyone, so keep an eye out on social media.
Part of the trip will include the Simplesmente Vinho wine event, a pop up dinner with Chef Abe Conlon of Fat Rice in Porto, and Craig’s first ever trip to the island of Madeira!
While he’s away, the store will be closed on the following Mondays and otherwise operating on our normal schedule:
2/20 – CLOSED
2/27 – CLOSED
We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
Now, onto newsletter topics – This week we are very excited to offer new releases from 3 of our beloved French producers. All of these wines, while hailing from different regions, are fantastic examples of their respective places, and really showcase the magic that happens when you combine passionate wine makers with amazing vineyard sites. Definitely worth a taste!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
Exciting new arrivals from France!
Domaine de la Pépière
Marc Ollivier’s Muscadet-sur-Lie is the shining star of what the Melon de Bourgogne grape has to offer, in large part because it has lees contact until the time of bottling – generally in late May.
This extended contact gives it the crispness that makes Muscadet so refreshing, and such a classic pairing for the seafood and shellfish in the region. It is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception as more producers rush to bottle their wines by early January (5 months earlier than Ollivier).
Ollivier takes his time. He hand harvests (also a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are mostly comprised of 40+ year old vines from original stock: he is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.
If you’re a fan of mineral-driven, crisp whites that are complex and food-friendly, the Domaine de la Pépière line up is not to be missed!
2015 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet “Clos des Briords”
Ollivier produces this very-old-vine cuvée of Muscadet from a single-plot with schist soil, the “Clos des Briords.” This is one of the top wines of the AOC – not only delicious young, but something that can also age 10, 20 or 30 years!
Planted in 1930, the vines in the Clos des Briords plot are among the oldest vines in his estate. Because of the soil and greater concentration achieved with old vines, the Clos des Briords is a more powerful wine than most Muscadet. It is very mineral and quite austere in its youth, rather than fruity and light. Over a few months, or even years, if you can wait that long, it develops incredibly complex aromatics and structure.
$17.99 BTL / $215.88 CASE
*Also available in Magnum (1.5L)
$37.99 BTL / 3 bottles available
Domaine Humbert Frères
With Humbert, its clear that in our opinion this is the most underrated producer in all of Burgundy. The fourth generation Humbert brothers, Emmanuel and Frédéric, are among the best of Gevrey-Chambertin, and it is only because they don’t have a litany of big name Premier and Grand Cru’s that they don’t get the attention.
They are creating wines that reflect an old-school, uncompromising style of Burgundian winemaking that has fallen by the wayside. Their holdings in the north, close to Brochon contain some of the oldest vines planted on roche mère (mother rock) and this is the place where Gevrey becomes dense and tannic. The brothers work in a reductive style, insuring long-lived wines that will reward patient buyers. Cousin Bernard Dugat-Py is right next door.
The wines are perfumed, intense and at the same time delicate and racy. Their “simple” Bourgogne Rouge is all Gevrey fruit, all done in stainless steel and is a steal for the price.
2014 Domaine Humbert Bourgogne Rouge
Their humble Bourgogne Rouge is actually pure Pinot Noir all from Gevrey. Drinks beautifully now, mineral, red and dark fruits, such purity and finesse! Seriously don’t miss this, very few cases came to Illinois this year and we took as many as we could get our hands on!
$39.99 BTL / 5 cases available
2014 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes”
From old vines parcels underneath Estournelles & Etelois, adjacent to Grand Cru Griottes. Strawberry, mulberry, violet, mignonette, and rose all help to make up the vibrant aromas. More maturity brings out licorice, leather and hints of underbrush.
$71.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
2014 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin “Poissenot” 1er Cru
A fantastic, south-facing hillside vineyard on light, stony soil. An extension of the Estournelles vineyard. Only around 4,000 bottles produced per year. Rich and aromatic, the red fruit will evolve with patience and time into a gamey and earthy nose with hints of fine leather and licorice.
$115.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
Château de Béru
Just back in September we featured the remaining cases of 2014 vintage Chablis from Château de Béru. Even with the terrible weather that devastated much of the fruit in the region, some of the 2015 has managed to find its way to us.
Athénaïs Béru’s family has owned the beautiful Château and property in the village of Béru for 400 years. Pre-phylloxera, the vineyards were the entire revenue source for the Château. It wasn’t until 1987 that Athénaïs’s father, Éric took on the huge project of revitalizing the vineyards on the estate.
Athénaïs took over the project in 2004, and in my opinion has transformed this estate into one of the benchmark producers of the region of Chablis. This wasn’t easy, and I have been a witness to how incredibly hard Athénaïs works to produce wines with “energy.”
The Château de Béru wines have energy in spades.
2015 Château de Béru “Terroir de Béru” Chablis
A wonderful synthesis of all of Béru’s properties. Crafted from 30+ year old vines in a minimalist style yields a chiseled wine with a delicious core of fruit that everyone can enjoy.
$34.99 BTL / $419.88 CASE
2014 Château de Béru “Athénaïs” 1er Cru Montmains Chablis
The “Athénaïs” wines are a side project that Athénaïs Béru began in 2010 in order to create a range of wines produced in beautiful appellations in the north of Burgundy that mirror the quality and energy of her Chablis.
The Montmains vineyard is located on Kimmeridgian soils on a South/South-East facing hillside, on the left bank of the Serein River, which divides the vineyards of Chablis from North to South. The particularity of Montmains is its typical high minerality and beautiful strength due to a very rocky terroir.
$65.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
2014 Château de Béru “Athénaïs” 1er Cru Mont du Milieu Chablis
Mont de Milieu is a Premier Cru on the eastern banks of the Serein river in Chablis. Here, a southerly aspect and dry, limestone-rich soils have given a terroir that is considered one of the best Premier Crus in Chablis, producing an age-worthy, Chardonnay that is elegant, floral and racy.
$65.99 BTL / 12 bottles available