These are challenging times and we are committed to providing you with the finest wines available to humanity in the safest way possible. The April selection from the Champagne Society is coming up next week and we wanted to let you know that we are offering free delivery to your porch so that you can continue to maintain proper social distancing. Please reply to this email with your street address if you would like to take advantage of this option.
Surgeon general, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, along with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail or package delivery. Even so, know that we are obsessively disinfecting every surface in the shop, including the bottles that go our for delivery and pickup, and ourselves.
Price for Champagne Society: $250 (Regular Price: $293.62) The price includes tax and delivery, as well as the Champagne Society’s usual 15% discount.
Since we’ll already be heading to your doorstep, we thought you might want to take advantage of a special offer we are extending to our Champagne Society members that adds five bottles of red wine to your bottle of Champagne.
“Wine Aid” is a diverse mix of five bottles of red wine from some of France’s most significant producers. Included in the “Wine Aid” Box is one bottle of each:
1) Bertrand-Bergé “Jean Sirven” (Fitou 2013) Regular price $79
Extremely low yields produce this Mediterranean estate’s crown jewel named after winemaker Jérôme Bertrand’s great-grandfather. A blend of 45% Carignan, 45% Syrah, and 10% Grenache aged for 18-20 months in new French oak barrels results in a heady and concentrated wine loaded with fruit and capable of developing for over a decade if you can keep it out of your glass now.
2) Domaine Saint Patrice “Vieilles Vignes” (Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016) Regular Price $59
The unique character of this wine comes from the diversity of its many terroirs. A blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. In the cellar, maceration and fermentation are done in concrete tanks. Aging takes place over 14 months in concrete vats, large oak foudre, half-muids, and barrique with a further 12 months after bottling. On the nose are luscious red and black fruits with a hint of kirsch beneath warm terracotta and mint. A sip is simultaneously ripe and pulsing with wiry energy.
3) Domaine des Roches Neuves “Clos de l’Echelier” (Saumur-Champigny 2015) Regular Price $59
Biodynamically cultivated from a seven acre, walled vineyard of 40 year old vines in the commune of Dampierre sur Loire. Soils are very thin clay over Turonian limestone. 50% whole cluster fermentation before 12 months aging in 1,200L foudre and 600L demi-muid and then six months in bottle. A glass is filled with the sappiest black raspberry fruit with aromatic hints of herbs and rain.
4) Domaine Ragot “La Grande Berge” (Givry, Premier Cru 2014) Regular Price $42
This Premier Cru parcel is located along a rocky, east-facing slope in Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise. Aging takes place in French oak (30% new) for between 12 and 15 months. Grande Berge produces wines that are known for their subtlety and finesse and this 2014 is a prime example. A glass is bursting with aromatics, the foremost a heady floral component reminiscent of Chambolle-Musigny. Alongside are fresh berries, red licorice, and baked stone. A sip is simultaneously concentrated and spry, with a long, energetic finish.
5) Maxime Magnon Rozeta (Corbières 2016) Regular Price $38
A native of Burgundy, Maxime Magnon’s approach is to produce wines that speak of the land with emphasis on purity of fruit and drinkability. This philosophy couldn’t be more apparent in the 2016 vintage of “Rozeta,” a field blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Cinsault from vines of 50-60 years in age. A glassful exudes heady aromatics of strawberry jam and pink floral arrangements that rise above subtler scents of fennel frond and dusty earth. A sip is concentrated red fruit on a fine frame of coiled energy that unfolds over the course of a lengthy, mineral finish.
To encourage the recommended social distancing we are placing our Saturday tastings on hold. Our weekly emails will go out as usual with a bit more emphasis on regional discovery.
As always, we are happy to provide our deep insight over the phone to help you assemble anything you might need. We can easily process the payment of your purchase over the phone and delivery to your doorstep will be on us, or you can pick it up at our back door without having to leave your car. If you’d like to place an order for delivery or pick up at our back door, give us a call at 248-398-0030. You can also email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stone rarely looms as large in French life as it does along the Loire River Valley. The generous and celebrated local supplies of malleable limestone (tuffeau) are responsible for both grand old castles and Cabernet Franc-based wines that are lively, bursting with juicy black raspberry fruit. Yet the soils are as varied as the expressions of Cabernet Franc that come from these areas with the potential to produce France’s most refreshing, elegant, and profound versions of this grape variety. The center of it all are the appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Chinon, and Bourgeil, three of the most important sub-regions for red wine production in the Loire — all producing 100% Cabernet Franc wines.
Special prices based on purchase of 6-pack (mix-and-match)
Domaine des Roches Neuves
Thierry Germain conjures heady and uncompromising wines from his 69 acre estate, Domaine des Roches Neuves, just south of the city of Saumur. Raised in Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, at the family winery of Château Yon-Figeac, Thierry set out on his own at the tender age of 23 to make his name in the more challenging climate of northern France. Although receiving accolades nearly from the start, his winemaking style has gone through several stages of metamorphosis over the years, ultimately eschewing new oak and blowsy fruit for precision and sense of place. Thierry believes that the wines he has made over the past four vintages truly exhibit the highest expressions of Saumur.
We’re using the word “style” to talk about Thierry’s winemaking but the adjustment has really been about moving away from wines created in the cellar and toward wines created in the vineyard. The domaine has been certified biodynamic since 2002. Harvesting is done completely by hand in over 30 parcels, all of which are vinified separately with indigenous yeast. Yields are small and almost all of his wines are matured in larger casks, although he particularly likes the three-year-old barrels that he buys each year from the Burgundy producer Méo-Camuzet in Vosne-Romanée. Which is no surprise as one of Thierry’s goals is having his Saumur-Champigny rival the silky elegance of high level Burgundy.
~$22 “Thierry Germain” (Saumur-Champigny 2016)
A great value apocalypse wine. Juicy.
~$25 “Soliterre” (Saumur-Champigny 2016)
A touch more gravitas than its little brother, cuvée “Thierry Germain.”
~$37 “Terres Chaudes” (Saumur-Champigny 2015)
From 35 to 45 year old vines in the lieu-dit of “Les Dares” in the commune of Chaintres as well as the hillside of Poyeux.
~$49 “Franc de Pied” (Saumur-Champigny 2015)
From a three acre plot of sand and limestone in the commune of Saumur.
~$53 “Marginale” (Saumur-Champigny 2015)
Only made in top vintages. The 2015 “Marginale” is from a seven acre, south-facing plot of 45 year old vines in the lieu-dit of “Les Dares” in the commune of Chaintres.
~$53 “Clos de l’Echelier” (Saumur-Champigny 2015)
From a seven acre, walled vineyard of 40 year old vines in the commune of Dampierre sur Loire.
~$62 “Mémoires” (Saumur-Champigny 2015)
From a 1.7 acre vineyard in the commune of Dampierre sur Loire with vines planted in 1904.
Château du Hureau
In the small town of Dampierre-sur-Loire overlooking the Loire River, Château du Hureau is able to harness climate, soil, and vine to reveal some of the most striking wines of the appellation.
Fifth generation vigneron Philippe Vatan and his daughter Agathe use organic and biodynamic farming techniques and low yields to coax richness and terroir out of their 20 plots covering just under 50 acres. The varying layers of topsoil (it’s either fertile clay or a sandy type of soil) and diverse sun exposure affect every plot’s personality, expression, and importance in their various cuvées. The wines are vinified in a cave carved out of the tuffeau cliffs centuries ago. The wines see long fermentations with indigenous yeasts. The élevage lasts from 10 to 20 months deep in the tuffeau cellars in a combination of demi-muids and foudres.
All of these factors contribute to the elaboration of Cabernet Franc wines that are aromatically complex with the hallmark Saumur-Champigny scents of black raspberry and earth. Wines that are dark and intense yet supple and sappy, with the electrifying, palpable acidity you expect from northern France.
~$31 “Fours à Chaux” (Saumur-Champigny 2014)
From two plots “Les Fiefgarniers” and “Pavignolles” in the vineyards of “Fours à Chaux,” mixed sand and clay above a chalky limestone bowl that gets prolonged sunlight during the ripening season. The age of the vines varies between 20 and 50 years.
~$37 “Les Fevettes” (Saumur-Champigny 2014)
From the deep clay lieux-dits of “Les Fevettes” and “La Croix Blanche” – Château du Hureau’s oldest Cabernet Franc vineyards planted in 1943.
~$44 “Lisagathe” (Saumur-Champigny 2014)
The cuvée “Lisagathe” is named after Philippe’s two daughters, Lisa and Agathe. This is Château du Hureau’s top wine from a plot named “La Corde” that was planted in 1953 and located on the hillside just above the Château.
Clos Rougeard are among the world’s most coveted wines. The Clos Rougeard Cabernet Franc vineyards are located in the heart of Saumur’s tuffeau plateau, a deep bed of limestone overlain with different topsoils. The vineyards are located in Chacé, between Tours and Angers, and cover 25 acres in the Saumur and the Saumur-Champigny appellations.
The high quality of the estate’s wines is largely due to its rigorous viticultural standards practiced for decades by brothers Nady and Charly Foucault, including employing organic methods long before the idea became fashionable. The wine is vinified with as little intervention as possible.
At the end of December 2015, Jean-Louis “Charly” Foucault died and the estate was purchased by the French billionaire Bouygues brothers, current owners of Château Montrose in Bordeaux. Our stock consists only of wines produced before this acquisition.
Clos Rougeard (Saumur-Champigny)
Sourced from 50 to 70-year-old vines in the villages of Chacé, Varrains, and Dampierre.
Clos Rougeard “Poyeux” (Saumur-Champigny)
Fifty year old vines in a south-facing parcel of eroded sandstone over tuffeau, adjacent to the deep cellar in Clos Rougeard’s home village of Chacé.
Vosne-Romanée is full of Mugnerets, famous ones known through generations for producing great wines. The current winemaker at Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret, Vincent Mongeard, is obviously not a Mugneret. But his grandmother was. And in 1945, when Vincent’s father, Jean Mongeard, decided to bottle his wines instead of selling off barrels to other estates, he combined the last names of his parents, who had worked the land before him, as the name of his winery.
Today, Vincent Mongeard works about 74 acres spread over 35 appellations. While the estate is based in Vosne-Romanée, he produces wines from some of the most hallowed parcels in all of Burgundy, including Richebourg, Grands-Échezeaux, Échezeaux , Clos de Vougeot, and Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots.
All parcels are worked sustainably (la lutte raisonée) with a focus on soil health. Fruit is harvested exclusively by hand and manually sorted in the winery. Fermentation begins naturally with indigenous yeasts.
Most wines are matured in a range of new and used oak barrels with meticulous attention to sourcing fine-grain oak from Nièvre and the Tronçais forest in Allier. The oak is cured at the domaine for 18-24 months and a local cooper assembles the barrels.
We are pleased to offer several vintages and appellations of the wines from Mongeard-Mugneret. These are all wines that have been kept under temperature control in our shop since their purchase on release.
All prices based on purchase of 6-pack (mix-and-match)
“Les Dames Huguettes” (Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits)
100% Pinot Noir from six acres of calcareous and deep soils on Argovian marls. The average age of vines is 35 years and maturation takes place in one year old barrels.
~$53 Fixin (2014)
100% Pinot Noir from three acres of stony soils on argillo-calcareous subsoils. The average age of vines is 40 years and maturation takes place in 5-10% new oak barrels.
~$62 “Vieille Vigne” (Fixin 2017)
100% Pinot Noir from 1.4 acres of stony soils on argillo-calcareous subsoils. The average age of vines is 65 years and maturation takes place in 5-10% new oak barrels.
“Les Narbantons” (Savigny-Lès-Beaune Premier Cru)
100% Pinot Noir from 3.4 acres of limestone soil with sandy marls. The average age of vines is 53 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
~$80 Vosne-Romanée (2017)
100% Pinot Noir from five acres of limestone resting on stony and marly subsoils. The average age of vines is 45 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
~$89 “Les Orveaux” (Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru 2014)
100% Pinot Noir from 2.7 acres consisting of a shallow layer of fertile alluvial soil on limestone. The average age of vines is 25 to 52 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
~$62 “Les Plateaux” (Nuits-St-Georges 2014)
100% Pinot Noir from 1.75 acres of argillo-calcareous soil from the middle Jurassic. The average age of vines is 45 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
“Les Boudots” (Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru)
100% Pinot Noir from one acre of fine-textured clay loams on Bajocian limestone. The average age of vines is 30 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
$99 Gevrey-Chambertin (1996)
100% Pinot Noir from one acre of pebbly-alluvail deposits on argillo-calcareous soils. The average age of vines is 40 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
$108 “Les Cras” (Vougeot Premier Cru 2017)
100% Pinot Noir from 0.8 acres of hard limestone with clay. The average age of vines is 35 years and maturation takes place in 30-40% new oak barrels.
Clos de Vougeot (Grand Cru)
100% Pinot Noir from 1.5 acres of hard limestone with low clay levels. The average age of vines is 45 to 50 years and maturation takes place in 80-100% new oak barrels.
$198 Échezeaux (Grand Cru 2017)
100% Pinot Noir from 4.5 acres of hard limestone with clay. The average age of vines is 25 to 60 years and maturation takes place in 60-80% new oak barrels.
$279 “La Grande Complication” (Échezeaux Grand Cru 2017)
100% Pinot Noir from selected vines in a 0.8 acre parcel of hard limestone with a heavy clay content that was planted in 1945. Maturation takes place in 60-80% new oak barrels.
Grands-Échezeaux (Grand Cru)
100% Pinot Noir from 3.5 acres of rich clay on Bajocian limestone. The average age of vines is 40 to 68 years and maturation takes place in 100% new oak barrels.
Vines have been in Marie-Élodie Zighera Confuron’s maternal family for four generations but she is the first of the family to produce and bottle the wines under her own name. Living in Paris as a teenager, she would travel to the family vineyards in Fleurie on holidays. Wandering the rows on those trips made her feel closer to nature and by the time she was fifteen years old she knew that she wanted to make wine.
When her grandmother passed away the family moved to Lyon and she began the process of studying viticulture. The plan was that she would make the wine using fruit from the family’s domaine and her father would sell it. Unfortunately, her father died young and she would have to go it alone.
Marie’s work placements took her through Beaujolais, southern Rhône, and finally to Château de la Tour in Clos Vougeot where, in 2004, she tasted a Morgon wine from the 1911 vintage. It was such a magnificent bottle that it inspired her to produce her own wines in a similar, ambitious style — structured and cellar-worthy. A couple of years later Clos de Mez (a shortened version of her name) was formed.
The other relationship that informs her on the world of high-quality Burgundy is literally right at home. She is married to Jean-Pierre Confuron, the owner of the heralded Vosne-Romanée estate of Confuron-Cotetidot.
Today Clos de Mez is a certified organic estate of a little over 12 acres in size. Marie’s wine is made with indigenous yeasts, no temperature control, no insulation, and long fermentations with the stems — just like it would have been back in 1911. Maturation takes place in both old barrels and concrete.
All prices based on purchase of 6-pack (mix-and-match)
~$26 “Château Gaillard” (Morgon 2012) OUT OF STOCK
The soil in Morgon is rich in iron oxide with traces of manganese and volcanic rock, helping to create full-bodied, powerful, toothsome wines. “Château Gaillard” is the name of the lieu-dit where the 80 year-old vines grow to produce this cuvée. Aromas of ripe cherry, apricot, plum, and spice lead into a palate that is robust and fleshy.
~$26 “La Dot” (Fleurie 2012) OUT OF STOCK
Fleurie are renowned for their light and delicate aromas and hence the region is sometimes referred to as the ‘Queen of Beaujolais.’ “La Dot” is so named because it was a dowry gift for Marie’s grandmother’s wedding. It is a five acre plot of pinkish granite soils near the famous lieu-dit of Grille Midi in the south of Fleurie. The average age of the vines is close to 50 years old. Aromas of iris, violet, rose, and red fruit eventually give way to notes of spice. It is a wine of body, elegance, and finesse.