Showing 1–12 of 14 results

  • Domaine de Belliviere Coteaux du Loir Vieilles Vignes Eparses 2016

    £46.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Gerard Boulay Sancerre 2020

    £27.99

    “This is a fruity, fragrant and fresh Sancerre, but there’s a little more to it than that. 40-year-old vines grown on limestone and clay-limestone yield a subtle and tender expression that caresses the palate before bright acidity zips the 2020 Sancerre together in a linear finish. It offers plenty of primary brightness, including florals, pear and just-ripe pineapple notes that linger on the medium-length, chalk-like finish. Enjoy in youth for both its vivacity and its succulent embrace. Drinking window: 2021-2028. 88 points”

    Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (08/21)

    In Stock

  • Gerard Boulay Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2019

    £39.99

    “The unfiltered 2019 Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu comes from vines averaging 45 years of age in a southeast-facing vineyard on loamy Kimmeridgian chalk and opens with an herbal and brightly fruity bouquet. On the palate, this is a clear, fresh, round, fruity and structured Sancerre with bright fruit, some hazelnut nuances and long grip and salinity. Entirely vinified in used barriques for 12 months. Tasted in February 2021. Drink: 2021-2033. 92 points

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (03/21)

    In Stock

  • Gerard Boulay Sancerre La Cote 2019

    £44.99

    “From a southeast-facing plot, the 2019 Sancerre La Côte is pure, deep and intense yet also fresh on the iodine-scented nose, with grip, lemon and tropical notes. The wine opens bright, clear and almost tropical on the nose and then shows tight, tense and lingering salinity and firm grip. Tasted in February 2021. Drink: 2021-2035. 93 points”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (03/21)

    In Stock

  • Gerard Boulay Sancerre Monts Damnes 2020

    £44.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Henri Bourgeois Pouilly-Fume La Demoiselle de Bourgeois 2018

    £29.99

    “Based in the village of Chavignol, Domaine Henri Bourgeois is one of Sancerre’s biggest and most savvy producers. Not only does it have parcels in some of the finest vineyards in Sancerre, but it also produces wines from Pouilly-Fumé and other Centre-Loire appellations like Menetou-Salon, as well as Marlborough, New Zealand. The entry-level styles offer a clean, crisp, uncomplicated expression of their appellations, but things get more interesting higher up the scale. If you want to discover the spectrum of terroirs, whether it’s Kimmeridgian marls (try the cuvées Le MD de Bourgeois and Jadis), chalky clay (Les Côtes aux Valets) or flint (Les Ruchons), the Bourgeois tasting room would be a good place to start. The on-site restaurant is also worth putting on your must-dine-at list in the region, dishing up possibly the best beef tartare I’ve ever had, as well as the full spectrum of Chavignol cheese.

    Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (08/21)

    In Stock

  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre d’Antan 2018

    £39.99

    “Tasted in early March, the 2018 Sancerre d’Antan offers a deep, rich and concentrated yet pure and flinty bouquet with characteristic sur-lie aromas and a bouquet that is pretty reminiscent of a fine Burgundy. Based on up to 80+-year-old, very low-yielding vines and aged in used barrels (including two rackings), this is a full-bodied, rich and juicy Sancerre with textural salinity and a long, intense and mouth-filling finish. This is a rich and intense yet also refined and vital 2018 and one of the exciting wines of the vintage. Bottled without fining or filtration. Drink; 2021-2029. 93 points

    Henri Bourgeois, run by the 10th generation, namely Arnaud, Lionel and Jean-Christophe Bourgeois but still also their father, Jean-Marie, remains a reliably outstanding producer in the Sancerre appellation. I tasted numerous wines from several vintages (2015-2019) in the past few weeks and months and didn’t detect any weak or disappointing bottling but several superb Sancerres. Two of the finest are the Côte des Monts Damnés and the Chapelle des Augustins, but I’d also recommend La Bourgeoise, the more so since all these are Sancerres in the lower or medium price range of the series, whereas the more expensive single-vineyard wines (Famille Bourgeois, yellow capsules) still don’t fascinate me in the same way. I find more purity, coolness and drama (or tension) in the nervy Henri Bourgeois bottlings yet more fruit intensity and richness in the special Famille selections from vineyards that are roughly one or more hectares in size, planted in the later 1980s (Le Cotelin, Les Côtes aux Valets) or in the 1970s (Les Ruchons on silex-ich soils). Please don’t forget that the Chavignol-based Bourgeois family, which works on a mosaic of many plots that are worked in respect of and in order to express their particular origins in the wines, not only produces a reliably excellent Pouilly-Fumé as well, La Demoiselle de Bourgeois, but also a remarkably fine Sancerre Pinot Noir from the Kimmeridgian marls of the Monts Damnés slopes, 2015 Le Graveron. There are many more Pinots from Bourgeois available that I haven’t tasted yet, though.

    From what I have tasted, Bourgeois represents the superb qualities of the last five vintages exemplarily. I have no idea about the 2020s yet, though, but I also appreciate the 2016s and 2015s and even the delicacy of 2014 a lot. 2019, 2018 and 2017 were all abnormal early vintages, and namely 2018 and 2019 were characterized by an “exceptional sanitary state” of the grapes during the harvest. The 2019 harvest started on September 13 under slightly cooler conditions than in 2018, when the first grapes were picked on September 10. Whereas the 2019 harvest went until October 3rd, the harvest was slightly shorter (yet more generous in terms of quantity) the year before, when the last press ran on September 28. In 2017, the harvest started on September 11 and was finished 15 days later but, due to severe spring frost, brought the smallest yields since 1945. Whereas the 2018 wines are similar to the 2015s and 2009s (or, speaking of red wines only, even to the legendary 1947s), the Bourgeois family compares 2017 with the excellent 1996, “one of the top 10 vintages of the 20th century.”

    2019 was the first vintage when Henri Bourgeois used their own, terroir-specific yeast selections. The domain is currently in the process to become a certified organic producer, so further improvements are very likely to come, even though the so-called “classic vintages” seem to be over. Global warming is finally also affecting the wine style of the Sancerrois.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (03/21)

    In Stock

  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Etienne Henri 2017

    £42.99

    “Based in the village of Chavignol, Domaine Henri Bourgeois is one of Sancerre’s biggest and most savvy producers. Not only does it have parcels in some of the finest vineyards in Sancerre, but it also produces wines from Pouilly-Fumé and other Centre-Loire appellations like Menetou-Salon, as well as Marlborough, New Zealand. The entry-level styles offer a clean, crisp, uncomplicated expression of their appellations, but things get more interesting higher up the scale. If you want to discover the spectrum of terroirs, whether it’s Kimmeridgian marls (try the cuvées Le MD de Bourgeois and Jadis), chalky clay (Les Côtes aux Valets) or flint (Les Ruchons), the Bourgeois tasting room would be a good place to start. The on-site restaurant is also worth putting on your must-dine-at list in the region, dishing up possibly the best beef tartare I’ve ever had, as well as the full spectrum of Chavignol cheese.

    Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (08/21)

    In Stock

  • Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Jadis 2018

    £38.95

    “Henri Bourgeois, run by the 10th generation, namely Arnaud, Lionel and Jean-Christophe Bourgeois but still also their father, Jean-Marie, remains a reliably outstanding producer in the Sancerre appellation. I tasted numerous wines from several vintages (2015-2019) in the past few weeks and months and didn’t detect any weak or disappointing bottling but several superb Sancerres. Two of the finest are the Côte des Monts Damnés and the Chapelle des Augustins, but I’d also recommend La Bourgeoise, the more so since all these are Sancerres in the lower or medium price range of the series, whereas the more expensive single-vineyard wines (Famille Bourgeois, yellow capsules) still don’t fascinate me in the same way. I find more purity, coolness and drama (or tension) in the nervy Henri Bourgeois bottlings yet more fruit intensity and richness in the special Famille selections from vineyards that are roughly one or more hectares in size, planted in the later 1980s (Le Cotelin, Les Côtes aux Valets) or in the 1970s (Les Ruchons on silex-ich soils). Please don’t forget that the Chavignol-based Bourgeois family, which works on a mosaic of many plots that are worked in respect of and in order to express their particular origins in the wines, not only produces a reliably excellent Pouilly-Fumé as well, La Demoiselle de Bourgeois, but also a remarkably fine Sancerre Pinot Noir from the Kimmeridgian marls of the Monts Damnés slopes, 2015 Le Graveron. There are many more Pinots from Bourgeois available that I haven’t tasted yet, though.

    From what I have tasted, Bourgeois represents the superb qualities of the last five vintages exemplarily. I have no idea about the 2020s yet, though, but I also appreciate the 2016s and 2015s and even the delicacy of 2014 a lot. 2019, 2018 and 2017 were all abnormal early vintages, and namely 2018 and 2019 were characterized by an “exceptional sanitary state” of the grapes during the harvest. The 2019 harvest started on September 13 under slightly cooler conditions than in 2018, when the first grapes were picked on September 10. Whereas the 2019 harvest went until October 3rd, the harvest was slightly shorter (yet more generous in terms of quantity) the year before, when the last press ran on September 28. In 2017, the harvest started on September 11 and was finished 15 days later but, due to severe spring frost, brought the smallest yields since 1945. Whereas the 2018 wines are similar to the 2015s and 2009s (or, speaking of red wines only, even to the legendary 1947s), the Bourgeois family compares 2017 with the excellent 1996, “one of the top 10 vintages of the 20th century.”

    2019 was the first vintage when Henri Bourgeois used their own, terroir-specific yeast selections. The domain is currently in the process to become a certified organic producer, so further improvements are very likely to come, even though the so-called “classic vintages” seem to be over. Global warming is finally also affecting the wine style of the Sancerrois.

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (03/21)

    In Stock

  • Luneau-Papin Muscadet Excelsior 2018

    £29.49

    “This is a lightly aromatic, youthful expression of Excelsior that has florals and nectarine characters, showing the warmer season. The 2018 retains a delicacy despite the warmer season providing fuller body and blossoming. It has still maintained its structure and sense of tension and could be approached at this early stage despite it being a cuvée that typically has longevity. I wonder if it has the intensity of concentration that some of the longer-lived vintages display. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 92 points

    If you aren’t convinced of just how good Muscadet can be, buy a mature bottle of Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin’s Excelsior and have your mind blown. It was my ah-ha Muscadet moment. Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin sits in the Goulaine area of Muscadet, with an increasing portion of vines on the much-loved admired Butte de la Roche hill, which go into the Terre de Pierre and Gula Ana cuvées. Having returned to the family domaine in 2005, Pierre-Marie Luneau worked alongside his parents until they retired in 2018. Assisted by his seemingly indefatigable wife Marie Chartier-Luneau, the couple and their young family are carrying on the work of the previous eight generations. They are focused on making the finest quality, structural Melon wines and respecting the land including the conversion to organic and biodynamic viticulture. Harvesting is almost entirely by hand, which is unusual in the region, but you don’t get to make some of the best wines in the region through machine harvesting. They produce nine Muscadet Sèvre et Maines and two under the Muscadet cru of Goulaine. Fine-wine lovers looking to add Muscadet to their cellar need look no further. Visitors can also expect an exuberant welcome from Jupiter, the dog.”

    Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (11/21)

    In Stock

  • Luneau-Papin Muscadet L d’Or 2020

    £21.99

    “Definite step up in quality from their Grange, with that distinct mineral quality and loads of lemon juice, apples, herbs and marine breeze. Persistent fruit with superb clarity and purpose. Drink: 2022-2032. 17+ points”

    Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com (03/22)

    “Pierre Luneau-Papin’s family has been growing Melon around Le Landreau for two centuries. Nowadays, 45 hectares split into some dozen principal parcels are farmed in that commune as well as those of La Chapelle Heulin and Vallet. Pierre’s son Pierre-Marie officially took over in 2011 after six years’ employment at the estate (before which he worked his way through cellars in far-flung regions of France). But this is still a conspicuously two-generation operation, with Monique Luneau-Papin and Marie Chartier comprising the female half of the domaine “directorate.” The Luneau-Papins have long been plowing their vines and eschewing herbicides, but following Pierre-Marie’s lead, a gradual conversion to certified organic viticulture has just been completed. Harvesting, carried out by a crew that is enormous by regional standards, is almost entirely by hand, especially important in that the Luneau-Papins like to allow for pre-fermentative skin contact (whose duration varies with their assessment of site potential). As a self-professed fan of Riesling who likes to draw comparisons with the “minerality” and ageability of Muscadet, it’s unsurprising that Pierre-Marie was enthusiastic about 2014’s qualities (though not, to be sure, about the quantities), but in fact the 2015s at this address are superbly focused and unusually bright, easily surpassing most Muscadet from that vintage. Interestingly, harvest in 2014 finished on October 6, only around a week later than it would in 2015. I tend to be relatively uninhibited in my prognostications of ageability for Luneau-Papin wines because I cellar many of them myself and consequently have a lot of positive experience with their evolution. For an idea of the slow pace at which they mature, just consult my notes below on wines from the impressive 2012 and 2010 vintages, as well as on one remarkable success from challenging 2011.

    Since I am reporting in detail on two vintages as well publishing notes on the just-mentioned older wines, a brief synopsis follows of the various Luneau-Papin cuvées, only two of which rely on vines younger than 40 years. “Pierre de la Grange,” while it’s their intro-level cuvée and sourced from a number of sites, is still terroir-focused and geographically specific, issuing from degraded gneiss and mica-schist near the winery in Le Landreau. There’s also a “La Grange Vieilles Vignes” variant grown entirely on schist. Also bottled in spring is the “Clos des Allées Vieilles Vignes,” from an eroded mica-schist enclave near the winery that has been in the family for many generations and was last replanted in 1970. “Le L d’Or,” bottled in summer, now also proclaims on its label “Granit Vallet,” though this site incorporates some regionally prevalent gneiss and mica-schist. “Les Pierres Blanches” issues from an eponymous site with 60-year-old vines, and its label now also carries the prominent information “Gneiss la Chapelle Heulin.” It always ferments spontaneously and is usually bottled in early summer. “Terre de Pierre” reflects a high-elevation location, La Butte de la Roche, featuring rare serpentine rock (depicted on the label) and vines recently turned 40. It gets raised in foudres and has usually been bottled within 14 months, though the élevage may be extended in some future vintages, which would preclude the wine from retaining a “Sur Lie” designation. (Talk about perpetuating a fundamentalist faith in terroir: the label for “Terre de Pierre” not only depicts a colorful cross-section of serpentine rock, but superimposed over that are the periodic symbols for its constituent elements: Mg, Fe, Si, Na and Ca.) “Excelsior,” named for the family motto emblazoned over the winery doorway, issues from a two-hectare schist and mica-schist site (the Clos des Noëlles, for which the wine was formerly named) whose 80-year-old vines reflect sélection massale. Its Chapelle-Heulin location, along with two years’ élevage, qualifies for “Cru Goulaine” status. From similar soils but vines of diverse clonal origin and still in their forties, “Pueri Solis” was first essayed in 2005. It will be rendered only in especially ripe vintages (2009 being, thus far, the only other one) and spend roughly three years in tank. Beginning with vintage 2015, a “Vera Cruz” has been designated from Vallet vines planted in 1975 on relatively clay-rich, mica-schist- and gneiss-derived soil; and a “Le Verger” – to be bottled exclusively in magnum – issues from La Chapelle-Heulin schist and vines planted in 1998 on the site of a garden grown by Pierre-Marie’s grandmother.”

    David Schildknecht, Vinous (05/17)

    In Stock

  • Thierry Germain Saumur Blanc Clos Romans 2020

    £52.99

    “Much of the finest Cabernet Franc from Saumur-Champigny is being now made by Thierry Germain at Domaine des Roches Neuves. After growing up at his family’s Château Yon-Figeac, in Saint-Émilion, Germain arrived in Loire from Bordeaux in 1991. He immediately became a leader in organic viticulture. By 1998, he was farming organically and by 2002 he had the first certified biodynamic vineyards in Saumur-Champigny. (Now a third of the vineyards in the appellation are organic.) Germain suggests that his farming has transcended science at this point: “Three years ago, I stopped all analysis, because it takes out all my emotion.” Currently, the estate is 28 hectares, with red wine making up about 85% of the 120,000 bottles annually produced. “Cabernet Franc is a rustic variety,” Germain said. “It’s vegetal, it’s volatile and it’s important to work around that. For me, Cabernet Franc over 14% loses all freshness and typicity. After 14% you lose the terroir.” The elegance, precision and purity of Germain’s Cabernet Franc is something else entirely, almost Burgundian. “It’s all about balance,” he said.”

    Jason Wilson, Vinous (07/20)

    In Stock