As promised, here’s a newsletter chuck-full of WINE! We’ve had freshly imported bottles come in by the truckloads – and many more to come – so it’s about time we gave you a little rundown.
There are tiny augmentations of established selections, like the cheerful Beaujolais tout-court we’ve added to our Marcel Joubert wines. And there are full-scale introductions of new producers, like the beautiful Burgundies from biodynamic pioneer Jean-Claude Rateau.
Scroll down to read all about it. But first, you might want to have a look at our new WINES OF THE MONTH which will be on offer at -10% for the rest of June. This month’s deal is going to make a lot of people very happy!
So without further ado, here they are.
WINES OF THE MONTH -10%
Squeekingly fresh vintage of an absolute favourite among customers and staff. ‘Stockwerk’ comes from a forest-enclosed vineyard on granulite soils and is this long-time organic domain’s entry-level Grüner.
The 2019 is ripe and friendly as always, but shows way more tight and linear than the previous vintage. Works a treat with lunch, green salads, smoked fish or light Eastern cuisine.
Delicate and invigorating Riesling from the steep slate soils of Trittenheim in the Mosel. Featherweight, juicy and precise, it is a textbook example of Eva Clüsserath’s elegant style.
This 2017 is starting to show a beautifully developed Riesling profile along its edges while retaining all of thirst-quenching energy. Gorgeous wine!
Delicious natural Beaujolais from an underestimated Cru. The vineyards of Chiroubles are the highest in the region (250-450 meters) and consistently yield light and energetic expressions of Gamay, comparable to Fleurie.
This one marries happy strawberry fruit with earthy mineral notes and delicious tension on the palate. Served slightly chilled alongside rustic snacks it is a perfect apéro red!
New Wines by Domaine Jousset (Loire)
We’re still sad about canceling last March’s in-store tasting with Lise and Bertrand Jousset, especially since it’s unclear when we’ll be able to host this type of event again. Luckily we just received a big shipment of goodies from Montlouis and our range of Jousset wines has never been bigger! We’ve added:
A restock of Gamay pet-nat ‘Exilé Rosé’ 2018 plus new vintage ‘Rose a Lies’ 2019. Rare old-vintage unsulphured Chenin pet-nat ‘Bubulle’ 2013. ‘Premier Rendez-Vous Version Longue’ 2017, a special edition of their great dry Chenin Blanc that’s been aged on the lees for full year extra. A very gastronomic Demi-Sec called ‘Trait d’Union’, plus the domain’s crown jewel from the ancient vineyard ‘Clos aux Renards’. And last but not least, the Jousset’s magical orange wine ‘Macération de Menu Pineau’.
New Wine by Domaine Marcel Joubert (Beaujolais)
Marcel Joubert is an old-school and relatively obscure natural Beaujolais producer whose ‘Brouilly Vielles Vignes’ has long been a favourite party-starter for many of our customers.
Last december we added Joubert’s ‘Brouilly Cuvée Renaissance’ to our shelves: an absolute beast of wine from 100+ year-old vines that’s built for the cellar and serious meals rather than simple glouglou-circumstances.
The other end of the spectrum however, and a strong contender for new top party wine, is this simple ‘Beaujolais Cuvée a l’Ancienne’. Gone is the grainy and structured juice of the Cru’s: this is smooth happy red fruit fun cut by thrilling acidity and a nice peppery finish. Low-alcohol despite the hot vintage, this will liven up any occsion.
New Wine by Domaine le Facteur (Loire)
Last year we introduced Fabien Brutout’s bone-dry sparkling Vouvray, a great value Crémant made from biodynamically farmed old-vine Chenin Blanc.
Having tasted the the young Brutout’s wines again last februari, we decided we needed to have his still Vouvray as well.
Great value Chenin in a lightweight and thirst-quenching style. Concentrated but bone dry, crystal clear and with laserbeam acidity. Tight and chalky right now, delicious with fresh oysters and a hot sun, but will develop a more round and honeyed profile over the course of time.
New Wine by Domaine Padié (Roussillon)
A blend of biodynamically farmed Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeo from mostly limestone and marl soils at the foot of the Pyrenees, vinified without additives in tank and old barrels.
Wow. In the wine business we tend to exaggerate the aesthetic connection between the taste of a wine and the soil from which it is sourced, but man does this feel like liquid chalk.
Thick, concentrated but highly refreshing, it subtly emanates hints of flowers and wild herbs, but other than that is is all about its grainy, intensely mineral texture. The wine is young and will gain a lot in complexity even in the next few months, but is hard to stay away from now.
Domaine du Closel (Loire)
The sun-exposed, schist-dominated slopes of Savennières can yield the most thunderously complex and powerful expressions of dry Chenin Blanc in the world. Ripe, broad, driven by immense acidity and usually layered with notes of noble rot and oxidative winemaking, these are wines that invigorate yet are so dense that they take a long time to chew through.
The aristocratic Domaine du Closel, operated from the Chateau des Vaults by Evelyne de Pontbriand, is one of the most esteemed producers of Savennières. With meticulous biodynamic farming, low yields even for the appellation’s standard, and minimalist but exact winemaking, they produce savoury wines that are as powerful as they are digestible.
We now stock 3 of their wines: the steely, non-botrytised and non-oak-aged ‘La Jalousie’ made for early drinking, the lush and oxidative ‘Les Caillardieres’ and the age-worthy grand cru ‘Clos du Papillon’. Although it’s built for the long haul, ‘Les Caillardieres’ 2016 is drinking beautifully right now!
Domaine Jean-Claude Rateau (Bourgogne)
Finally, a brand new Burgundy producer at Chabrol! Discovering quality Burgundy that is affordable and available is hard, so imagine our excitement when we found out Jean-Claude Rateau wasn’t imported in the Netherlands yet and had wines to sell!
Actually, ‘brand new’ doesn’t really apply to Rateau. He’s been farming a range of terroirs around Beaune for over 40 years and has counted as a leading light in organic farming for about as long. In fact when he set up his winery in 1979 he was probably the first in the Cote d’Or (and the fourth in the whole of France) to start experimenting with biodynamics, convinced that healthy, living soils are a requisite for real wines of terroir.
We met Jean-Claude last winter at the annual tasting of Les Renaissance des Appellations in Angers, and were struck immediately by the humble delicacy of his wines. From the modest Hautes-Cotes to his robust Beaune 1er Cru’s, each one showing great clarity of fruit, strikingly digestible and radiant with minerality. No new oak, over-extraction or fatness in sight: these were wines of purity and precision. And affordable too, relative to their pedigree.
So we bought everything we could. We’ve got young and juicy Aligoté 2019, dense and Chablis-like Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune 2018, a deliciously ‘open’ but layered Cote-de-Beaune ‘Clos de la Grande Chatelaine’ 2018, powerful Beaune 1er Cru’s ‘Les Coucherias’ 2018 (white), ‘Les Reversees’ 2017 (red) and ‘Les Bressandes’ 2016 (the top red), and a pretty Gevrey-Chambertin 2017.
We suggest you start with the Cote-de-Beaune ‘Clos de la Grande Chatelaine’, a deliciously airy Chardonnay with a slightly oxidatie touch that’s reminiscent of grower Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Highly addictive stuff.