Thursday, November 22, 2012

Boutique fermée ce jour

Bonjour à tous,

La boutique de Spring sera exceptionnellement fermée pour Thanksgiving, aujourd'hui 22 novembre.
Réouverture vendredi à partir de 15h30.
Merci de votre compréhension.


Hello everybody,

Spring boutique is closed today for Thanksgiving.
We are back on friday 3.30pm.
Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Arrivals

2012_05_01 : New Arrivals
Vin de Pays de l'Hérault, Grange des Pères, 2009
What do say about Grange des Pères? It's a cult wine in France that is hardly known in other countries outside of sommeliers and wine geeks. Laurent Vaillé set up shop in the Languedoc and decided to devote himself to making killer wine. The red is a blend of Cabernet, Syrah, and Mourvedre, White is Roussane, Marsanne, and Chardonnay.  Allocations are tiny, and let's not even talk about the white. This needs at least 5 years in the cellar, and can easily sit 10-15 years. Sometimes people cry when they see empty bottles of recent vintage Grange des Pères. 


80.00€ TTC / 66.89€ HT   per bottle  
                
Marsannay Clos du Roy, Sylvain Pataille, 2010
Sylvain Pataille is a name to watch in Burgundy. When David Croix came by for a tasting and dinner in the fall, I asked him to recommend a few winemakers I should go visit in Burgundy. His buddy Pataille was the first name off the list  All of Sylvain's vines are in Marsannay, that village north of Gevrey that decided in the mid-century to concentrate on making rosé and bistro wine for Dijon - turns out that was a bad move, and people are just now realizing that the great terroirs in Marsannay such as the Clos du Roy can make some great Pinot. Keep an eye out - in the next few years Clos du Roy is the most likely candidate for the new 1er crus in Marsannay. 


24.50€ TTC / 20.50€ HT    per bottle      *        264.60€ TTC / 221.40€ HT     per case


Crozes-Hermitage Entre Ciel et Terre, David Reynaud, 2009
Man, we had to work to get these wines in here -- everyone was all "ooooooo Daveeed, send us your wine, it's sooo gooood." And David ate lunch at Spring and a few weeks later we had the wine on the list -- the classic 'way to the man's heart through the belly approach'. Entre Ciel et Terre is the grand cuvée, and one of the best wines I've ever had from Crozes. Old-vine Syrah is vinified for 18 months in concrete eggs (yes, folks, David is biodynamic, and he's also married). For a wine this rich, it's amazing that there is zero oak, but that's how it is. It's also bottled with zero sulphur, and yet ages surprisingly well - think 3-5 years on this one. 


35.00€ TTC /  29.26€ HT     per bottle     *        378.00€ TTC / 316.00€ HT     per case

Bellet Le Clos, Clos Saint-Vincent, 2010
100% Rolle from the tiny appellation of Bellet just outside Nice. I had the excellently humbling experience of being blind-tasted on this wine recently over at the Bristol. My expert analysis of the wine pegged it as 'probably from the east, judging from the great acidity and ripeness, but in any case delicious'. Turns out it was the same Bellet blanc that we've had on the list at Spring for a while now. The moral is, there's not many whites from the south of France that are this fresh, subtle, and tasty. A great summer fish wine. 


36.00€ TTC /  30.10€ HT     per bottle     *        388.80€ TTC /  325.08€ HT     per case



















Thursday, April 26, 2012

HOLY GRENACHE!




2010 Fitou 'Atsuko' Domaine Les Mille Vignes
Valerie Guerin

If you do a bit of research online, you’ll find very little information about this wine. If you do a lot of research at the local library you'll probably find even less. Only 2000 or so bottles of Atsuko are produced in a given year, and the wine is made only in excellent vintages. The domaine does not export their wines, and the bulk of the production goes directly to chefs and sommeliers at a selected few bonnes tables. In France, there are only a handful of retailers. For those outside the hexagon, apart from visiting us in Paris or having a friend smuggle bottles back in their rolled up t-shirts, this is probably your first opportunity to taste what is one of my favorite Grenache wines on the planet. 

Let's be honest, when most winelovers hear the word Fitou, here are some words that are unlikely to come to mind: delicious, elegant, low-yield, exceptional, ageworthy…
And yet those positive qualities are perfectly embodied in the wines of Valerie Guérin, proprietresse of the tiny Domaine Les Mille Vignes located in the heart of the Languedoc a few kilometers east of Carcassone, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Historically, the appellation Fitou, located just north of the town of Narbonne, has a reputation for producing lots of wine: mediocre, harsh, tannic, and red - for the most part served by the liter from gas-station style pumps and bottled at home. Tasting wines from Les Mille Vignes for the first time, one is flabbergasted that no other winemakers from the area have deemed the terroir of Fitou worthwhile to attempt making world-class exceptional wines. Yet Valerie does just that, and the cuvée Atsuko is consistently and by far my favorite wine from the domaine.
 
Atsuko comes from a single parcel of 75-year old Grenache vines called La Serre, surrounded by garrigue and thorns, exposed to the cooling breezes of the Mediterranean sea. The vineyard is carefully tended - one could easily imagine her or the vineyard workers leading a seminar at the Ecole Nationale Superiéure du Paysage in Versailles. Yields are only 18 hectolitres per hectare. To put this number in context, the average yield at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is 19 HL/HA. The wine is aged in small tanks for thirteen months, each of which holds a bit less than a barrel of wine. Valerie maintains that this approach allows her to keep a very close eye on each lot until the final assemblage. 
 
Instead of purity masked by barrels or alcoholic intensity covered up by new oak, in Atsuko, there is an aromatic floral bouquet matched with an intensity of ripe brambly fruit. It's easy to expect the wine to be smokey, with a rich heavy body from grapes that spent the season in the hot seaside sun. The fruit certainly doesn't disappoint - it's rich and ripe as advertised, but there is a suprise - the wine is somehow light and nimble, not heavy at all, and easy to drink.  

2010 Fitou 'Atsuko'    Domaine Les Mille Vignes                 
Export Price / No taxes:                            38.00€ per bottle / 410.40€ per case
EU Price / Includes all taxes:                    45.00€ per bottle / 486.00€ per case

2009 Fitou 'Atsuko'    Domaine Les Mille Vignes     (limit 3 per person)            
Export Price / No taxes:                            38.00€ per bottle / 410.40€ per case
EU Price / Includes all taxes:                    45.00€ per bottle / 486.00€ per case

If you would like to taste it - just give us a call or send an email  - we can ship worldwide. 


Best,
 Joshua Adler
 Spring Caviste
La Serre Vineyard

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Seasonal Wine Club - Spring 2012



We recently sent out our first shipment of the Spring Wine Club USA – but it makes more sense to call it the Spring Seasonal Wine Club, since the wines are shipped three times per year in Spring, Fall, and early Winter, and of course we can ship the wines anywhere. 

The next official shipment will leave in the fall, but we can still send out the Spring selection for the next few weeks until it becomes too warm.

If you’d like to join, you can sign up on this page, or just send us an email.

Keep reading below to learn more about the wines we sent out. I tried to make a selection that had a balance of wines from different regions, known and less well-known, as well as my favorites from some of the winemakers that I've had the pleasure of getting to know since I moved to France a few years ago.  Please share comments on the wines if you've had them, or ask any questions if you'd like to know more! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Original Viognier





2010 Georges Vernay Condrieu 'Coteau de Vernon'

Maison VernayThe historic home of the viognier grape is the tiny appellation of Condrieu, just south of Lyon on the steep slopes above the Rhone valley. In the late 1940s, the prices for viognier grapes in the Northern Rhone had fallen so low that growers were ripping out vines and replacing them with fruit trees, and the wine for several decades after was known and served only in local restaurants.

The most well known and most ardent supporter was Georges Vernay, who created the family domaine in 1953 with a 1.5 hectare vineyard known as the Coteau de Vernon, and continued to promote the appellation through the 1960s, even when total production fell to less than 10 hectares total! Thanks in a very large part to the efforts of George Vernay and the exceptional quality of the wines from the Coteau de Vernon vineyard, the story is quite different today. Condrieu remains a small appellation with a tiny production, but the wines are highly sought after, and of course the Coteau Vernon remains the mythic wine of the appellation, and today the vineyard has grown to 2 hectares, with an annual production of 4000 – 5000 bottles.

The Coteau Vernon is a rich, powerful, dry white wine that works exceptionally well with poultry or fish in cream sauces. Opinions are divided as to whether to enjoy great viognier young or old. When young, the wine has an intense fresh peach, floral and honey aroma that is incredibly seductive. Over time, it takes on more petrol aromas, gains enormously in complexity, yet with less of the fresh fruit aromas, typically arriving at maturity in 8-10 years. 
 Coteau Vernon Label










Georges Vernay 
2010 Condrieu 'Coteau de Vernon'

EU Price:      79.00€   TTC
(toutes taxes compris, all taxes included)

Export Price: 66.05€   HT  
(hors taxes, without VAT tax, for shipments outside the EU)


Click here for a currency conversion

This wine is currently in stock and can ship in the Spring or Fall.
Further Reading:
The Condrieu appelation web site (the pdf downloads have actually quite a lot of useful geeky information):
http://www.vin-condrieu.fr/condrieugb.htm

A Canadian blogger's visit to the domaine:
http://www.justgrapeswine.com/2011/10/the-pope-of-condrieu-tasting-at-georges-vernay/

The official website of the domaine: 
http://www.georges-vernay.fr/houk.htm

You can read parts of a really excellent write-up of Condrieu in John Livingstone-Learmonth's book The Wines of the Northern Rhone in Google Books, which hopefully will inspire you to get your own copy!:
http://books.google.fr/books?id=1ujX4TogXsQC&lpg=PP1&dq=wine%20northern%20rhone&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=wine%20northern%20rhone&f=false
If you are interested in ordering other wines please email us and we'll be happy to send a list of wines, or try to track down anything you might be looking for. 

Best,
 Joshua Adler, Spring Caviste

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A weekend with a Cousin


 By Brendan Stater-West

So I learned my lesson with Alexandre Bain (see post below). When any wine-maker invites you to visit their domaine, its for a good reason.

When the cold weather hit Paris in February, it had many staying at home, under the covers. It did something else to me- it provoked an urge to leave the city. Yes, people living in Paris need to get out from time to time! I picked up the phone and called one of our good friends at Spring,

Olivier Cousin, wine-maker in the Anjou region. The phone rang silent so I left a message giving my greetings with a small order for wine - It was an act of faith knowing that I might not hear back from a small wine maker such as him any time soon. Roughly ten days after I received an message on my cell phone telling me that he would be in Paris and would love to come by and chat at the boutique.
As he showed up in his rugged 4x4 with a near-to empty trunk, I was doubting what I actually ordered is what we would get in return. We didn't receive all the wines we wanted however what I received was an invitation to visit Olivier and his family at the end of February. When inquiring about the best place to stay in the area, Olivier's response was immediate, 'Our place! You can sleep in the stable with the horses! '. What? Really? Staying with a wine-maker and his horses for a weekend was an exciting idea that I never been able to . An opportunity like this could not be passed up!

On a cold, clear sunday morning I was off to the Anjou with no expectations. All I knew is that I
would most likely be suprised during my weekend. Indeed I was.

After our three and a half hour travel, we arrived to Olivier's farm- the first step out of the car had to be made with caution as I had parked next to the horse stable where my feet were welcomed by some fresh 'droppings'. Olivier's wife was there to welcome us warmly, proposing that we put on boots to go into in the vineyard where Olivier was.

As I entered the vineyard, I was immediately seduced by the soil- it was like stepping onto a
cloud, light and fluffy. How could soil be so sexy and so soft? Then when Olivier arrived, I was startled by something else other than sexy soil and his firm handshake. Around his left eye was one of the biggest black-eyes I had ever seen. My first thought was that he got into some fight at a bar while enjoying a few too many drinks. Perceptively picking up on my reaction, he said that while he was leading an afternoon training for young wine-makers learning to work with horses, he lost balance and fell behind the back hoof of his horse. He grinned as he explained it was nothing new to him to have accidents while working with animals.

Originally he left the town of Martigné-Briand in Anjou to work as a sailor. Then after a few years he returned to his native town to inherit several vineyards that his grandfather wanted to give him, as his parents we not interested in producing wine. After setting up shop, he worked his land for years with a tractor- until he couldn't deal with the noise, neck and back pain anymore. After reading about and meeting farmers still working with draft-horses, he introduced Joker, his first draft-horse to the vineyard.


It was past 2 pm and the stomachs were growling- a meal was in order. A delicious meal was prepared by Madame and the wine was served generously.It made us so merry that we decided to take a 'stroll' in the woods with the horses. Low and behold that 'stroll' that I pictured to be so romantic turned out to be a more rugged version of a family outing. Soon enough Olivier had whipped out the chainsaw and started cutting down trees- he called over the horses to pull the fallen trees out- his smooth and stern commands were efficient and smooth.
A fascinating observation I thought, until Olivier told me how easy it was and that it was my turn to steer the horse. This was for a good laugh, right? He was serious! I took the reins and soon found myself capable of doing the job - it was probably the most amount of
adrenaline I have experienced since finding myself in the city 5 years ago. After an hour of labor I finally asked why we were doing this on a sunday afternoon. The answer was simple yet precious : the wood serves as stakes in the vineyard to hold the wires. Instead of buying a stake at 2€ a piece, Olivier prefers to do the work himself to reduce the costs and wind-down- according to the family, its his way of relaxing on a sunday afternoon!

The sun went down and the fatigue hade me feeling as if I had traveled across the world. Somehow the day wasn't close to being over - a quick stop at the cellar was en vue so that I could taste all the wines that were in barrels. I shouldn't complain, this was probably the best reward for the experience I just went through with his horses. We entered the cellar and he went directly to his cement vat where was theYamag or Gamay, a floral and extraordinary aromatic wine bursting with pepper and spice. Juicy and almost too easy to drink. I wasn't there for business so of course I couldn't help but swallow. There was no time to be professional as we hurried down the steps into the moist and cold cave to taste his Pur Breton from 2011- a cabernet franc made from a carbonic maceration. I didn't even have to mention the question around sulfites- Olivier made it clear from the beginning that his wines never have any sulfites added to them. So what does he risk by not protecting his wines with SO2? Its more a question of how much of his harvest does he lose each year. It can go up to 30% depending on the year -- I was somewhat shocked that someone would be willing to accept such loss. However, he always looks for balance in what he does- meaning he allows his yields to be a little higher than others doing natural wines, in order to compensate for the loss expected in each vintage. I couldn't help but appriciate this approach - plus, the wines were tasting so well! His Pur Breton was ample and generous in its aromas of blackcurrant and cherry, while retaining a tight structure and acidity that gives the wine a good punch and clean finish.

We ended the day by eating a leg of lamb, drinking natural wine and talking all about it- during the discussion we found ourselves talking about the pricing of natural wines. It's never been a hard question for Olivier to ask, as he has kept his prices accessible for his friends. He said that his friends are farmers, cavistes and your average Joe who don't need Grand Cru wines on a daily basis. Plus, when the wines are cheaper he can trade a case or two for other products, keeping all his food at high quality and low cost! In certain ways I felt like I was experiencing life in the 19th century and it was like nothing I am used to. It was authentic and natural - in the image of Olivier and his family.

The weekend continued to prove exhausting in pleasure, as many other natural wines were opened and shared. Of course, the appropriate saying that all good things must come to an end was reality on that last evening with the Cousin family. The next morning I had 3 hours to process everything I experienced. My conclusion was and is that natural wine is not just about making wine to keep the trend of drinking natural wine alive, instead its a lifestyle that goes beyond wine making or the simple respect of nature. It's the expression of simplicity and authenticity in life -- which can is full of color and complexity that can never be understood, just felt.

Domaine Olivier Cousin
Martigné-Briand (Anjou)

Pur Breton (100 % Cabernet Franc) 2011
Yamag (100% Gamay) 2011
Les Moustiques (100% Grolleau) 2011

Friday, March 23, 2012

Think pink!

Alright, so no longer does a season between winter and summer exist, but we don't care because we see the vie en rosé here at Spring boutique!

Some are thinking about their gardens and others about laying under the sun- we are thinking of all who are enjoying this incredible sunshine, knowing that when the hard day of work finishes, its time to play hard. For those who have everything spring related on their minds (no pun intended), we brought in some delicious rosé to accompany your aperitifs, picnics, and seasonal dishes.

Recently Josh was out of the shop, tasting some really good wine in Sancerre and the surroundings- when he came back to Paris, he had a grin on his face when explaining that he also managed to get some white and rosé from François Cotat in Chavignol (Sancerre). Thanks to this act of faith knowing spring would be right around the corner, we are able to share the pleasure of Cotat's rosé made from 100% pinot noir. This is a rosé that showcases the complexity and beauty of pinot noir, even when made as rosé- it sings with aromas of strawberry, raspberries and hints of grapefruit. It's lovely to put on the table with sushi, salmon and asparagus at the beginning of a meal. Don't worry about drinking Cotat's rosé immediately, for they are known to taste well even years after sitting in the cellar!

François Cotat
Sancerre rosé 2010
18€ per bottle TTC / 15.05€ per bottle HT


Considering two is always better than one, we couldn't stop with just one good sancerre rosé- we were happy when arriving at the boutique this morning and finding the Domaine Vacheron Rosé 2010 - one that is delicate, expressing floral aromas with hints of zest. It's a great rosé to enjoy as an apertif, as it has less structure and body than other rosés made from pinot noir. I always find great pleasure in tasting rosé that has energy and purity- this wine from the Vacheron brothers is uplifting and cheerful whether you enjoy it under the sun or inside.

Domaine Vacheron
Sancerre rosé
15€ per bottle TTC /12.54€ per bottle HT


Don't fret, we haven't forgotten those who have a particular attachment to rosés from the south of France! To please your needs, we have Valérie Guérin's rosé from Domaine les Milles Vignes located in the Fitou appellation, way down south near Spain. This rosé from 2007 shows complexity, character and evolution. That's right, a rosé that is evolved. However, don't be fooled- it's made from mouvèdre, a rustic red grape that is known to age well. The palette of aromas is wide, ranging from touches flower, peach to even beeswax- its a rosé that can match well with all dishes with a mediteranean flavor and accent.

Domaine les Milles Vignes
VDP de l'Aude 2007
28€ per bottle TTC / 23.41€ per bottle HT


-If you need some sun and good rosé to go along, we can ship directly to your door-
Don't hesitate to write us at: boutique@springparis.fr or give us a call at
+33 (1) 58 62 44 30