June News From Pigeon + Friends: Cellar Sale Update
The sale is back on! After a week or two with no new bundles, we have 3 and 1/2 new wine packs for you.
We have a new seasonal sipper 6-pack to keep you properly hydrated this summer. Of course, we remembered Father’s Day, so we have a 3-pack of wines for Dad (or anyone that loves good wine), and we are exploring the wines of Gérard Boulay. We are offering 6 6-packs made up of 5 different Sancerres from different vineyards and one older bottle. We are also offering 6 2-packs that have a 2016 and a 2018 of his Clos de Beaujeu bottling.
TO ORDER select your wine bundle of choice, follow the steps to securely order your wine. All payments will be processed ahead of time through our website.
Once you order they will be available for pickup at Le Pigeon on Friday and Saturday, from 2 to 7 p.m. You can pick them up from our front door, or we can bring them out to your car. If those times do not work for you, please let us know and we can arrange an alternative.
We are all in this together, and when you’re drinking good stuff, well hey, you’re keeping it classy.
Father’s Day 3-Pack $130 (18 available) Ok, you neither have to be a Dad to enjoys these, nor do you need to give them to a Dad to buy them. We just wanted to make your shopping for Father’s Day easier if you were looking for an idea. Really these are 3 great wines for anyone – anytime. I would say these are wines are for a cool Dad, not just your Dad-Cab wines, but my kids would point out that it’s still just boring wine and I am not cool…. (that’s ok I’ll get over it). These wines are not shy and are certainly age-able, but they are also oh so finesse-full and approachable. If you do buy this for someone else we recommend convincing them to pull a cork or two this weekend.
Barolo, Fratelli Alessandria, 2013 Verduno, Piedmont, IT The Alessandria family has been producing Barolo since 1870. They are located in the commune of Verduno in the Northeastern corner of the Barolo area. Verduno has garnered lots of attention in recent years, partly because its proximity to the Tanaro river helps moderate heat in the era of global warming. This factor combined with the higher proportion of limestone in the soils helps to create more elegant expressions of Nebbiolo. This wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged for 3 years in large neutral casks. 2013 was a classic vintage with lots of structure, fruit, and savory notes. Great with any kind of roasted or grilled meat.
Syrah, Arnot-Roberts, 2017, Sonoma Coast, CA Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts are childhood friends who grew up in the Sonoma area. They started their winery in 2001 and began to craft wines inspirited by the old world (what they like to drink). They search California to find vineyards that have old vines and cooler temperatures which lend themselves to the restrained style of wine they like to make. Sourced from six organically farmed, cool climate vineyards, and fermented 100% whole cluster. This wine shows off the savory side the Syrah grape with lots of pepper and smoke.
Châteauneuf du Pape, Domaine du Banneret, 2015, Southern Rhône, FR This 3.5 hectare Lilliputian family-owned property is situated in the very heart of Châteauneuf du Pape. The estate traces its origins back to 1405, and is currently owned by Jean Claude Vidal who left a career in architecture to take over the Domaine in 1989. Jean Claude learned how to make wine from Jacques Reynaud (of Chateau Rayas fame) and Henri Bonneau-it is the Southern Rhône equivalent of having Michael Jordan and Lebron James teach you the game of basketball. The traditional blending is 60% Grenache with famous parcels located on the highest parts of “Grand Pierre” terroir (very close to the Rayas vines), 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre near the Rhône. The remaining 20% is comprised of the 10 other grapes that are part of the appellation and which bring the unique complexity only found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Many of the vines are 80 years old or older. This wine is both powerful and balanced and shows intense baked strawberry fruit notes as well as savory herbs and tobacco.
Seasonal Sipper 6-pack (take 3, or is it 4 ) $125 (40 available) The weather is finally starting to warm up! We wanted to give you some versatile warm-weather drinking options. We skewed heavier towards white and rosé wines, but the two reds are versatile and perfect for summer grilling!
Mâcon-Chaintré, Domaine Auvigue, 2017, Côtes Mâconnais, Burgundy, FR The Auvigue name has been known throughout the Mâcon and Beaujolais since the 1600s, this branch of the family started producing wine in 1946. This Chardonnay is grown on clay and limestone soils and is fermented and aged in stainless steel to accentuate the freshness of the varietal. It smells of lemons and stone fruit and has pretty white floral notes.
Verdicchio de Castelli di Jesi, La Staffa, 2018, Marche, IT Verdicchio is one of our favorite Italian varietals, it is a great summertime white because it is crisp enough to drink by itself but has the richness to pair with lots of different foods. The Jesi region is located close to the Adriatic Sea and you can taste the salty air in the wines! La Staffa is certified Organic and uses many biodynamic principles. The wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel.
Rioja Rosado, Exopto, 2019, Rioja, ES The wines of Exopto do not employ fancy methods or technique, rather they use the tried and true combination of old vines, complex soils, and organic farming. They are located in the Rioja Alta sub region at high altitudes to that the grapes slowly mature and the wines do not show excess ripeness and alcohol. This rose is a blend of 50% Garnacha and 50% Tempranillo and all the vines are 30-50 years old. This vibrant rose smells of berries and nectarines and the Tempranillo helps add some complex savory notes.
Rosé (Grenache/Mourvèdre/Counoise), The Withers, 2019, El Dorado County, CA This Rosé is inspired by the rosés of Bandol in Provence. Rosés that are light in color, but big in flavor, and still are wines made in a warm place for drinking in warm weather. Made with the traditional grapes of Bandol grown in the Sierra Foothills of California. Aromas of citrus, cherry, watermelon rind, and pepper. The palate has weight and acidity to. This wine has the aromatics to drink cold, but as it warms in the glass you’ll be rewarded with another wave of smells and flavors.
Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley, Smock Shop Band 2017 Nate Ready is a Master Sommelier whose resume includes restaurants like the French Laundry and Frasca. (He also has one of the strongest beards around). He moved to the Columbia Gorge and planted a small farm and some 14 acres of grapes with the revolutionary visions about polyculture, biodynamic farming, and biodiversity within the vineyard. Smock Shop Band is their negociant label that allows them to explore the diversity of climate and terroirs within the Columbia Gorge. This wine is sourced from 3 vineyards with varying soils, elevations and exposures. The grapes are food tread to begin fermentation, aged for 20 months in neutral French oak and bottled by gravity with very little sulfur additions. This shows a wild side of pinot noir, black cherry and wild berry fruit compliment intense spice and almost smoky aromatics.
Côtes du Marmandais, Le Vin est un la Fête, Elian Da Ros, 2016, Sud-Ouest, FR The Côtes du Marmandais could be considered a satellite appellation of Bordeaux, it is located to the Southwest of Graves along the Garonne river. Elain Da Ros is the first producer to establish a winery and make and bottle his own wine outside of the local co-op. Le Vin est un Fête means “wine is a party” and this wine is meant to be delicious and versatile for everyday drinking. It is 40% Abouriou, 40% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. Abouriou is a local varietal and can be very dark and tannic so Elain employs carbonic maceration to minimize the tannins and accentuate the bright fruit in the wine.
Domaine Gérard Boulay of Sancerre Sometime a region or type of wine because too well known for its own good. Cue Sancerre as an example. You can walk into any French Restaurant (well, pre-Covid) anywhere in the world, ask for a bottle of Sancerre and they’ll bring you something cool, bright, and wet. Often times us wine dorks are looking for something more off the beaten path. However, you have to ask why something becomes ubiquitous, why did the region grow, so that more growers could use the Sancerre name. The answer, in regard to wine, is usually that at the heart for the appellation and the start of the story the wines are amazing. When the right vigneron on the right plot of land turns the grapes to wine pure magic is produced. There are 14 communes in the Sancerre appellation, and few if any of them have more standout vineyards and wines than the village of Chavignol. There are bands of the same Kimmeridgian limestone in the vineyards that can also be found in Chablis and Champagne. This imparts unique minerality and textural elements to the wines. A number of great producers works these vines (a couple months ago we featured the wines of the Cotat Cousins), but few have a history that is as long as the Boulay’s family is in Chavignol. They can trace their family as grape growers back to 1380 in Chavignol. Gérard Boulay farms 8 hectares of vines in Chavignol which he meticulously farms with organic principles. He uses indigenous yeasts and a hands-off approach in the winery because he believes in letting each vineyard express itself without manipulation…in his words, “Nature makes the wine.” Great Sancerre made by masters of their craft are not simple bright wines. They are full of power, tension, and vibrancy. They speak deeply of where they were grown, and can be aged for years. This is a special opportunity to explore the terroirs of Chavignol through the lens of Boulay.
Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2016 & 2018 2 pack $115 (6 available) Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2018 This vineyard was originally planted by the monks of Beaujeu in the Middle Ages. The original clos or “wall” has been withered by time but Boulay’s parcel lies within the wall’s original boundaries. Farming this vineyard is no easy feat, there is a 60% gradient and there are stones and pebbles intermixed with the limestone. The 2018 is dense, deep, and concentrated. A warm vintage provides lots of power and fruit for both near-term drinking and long aging.
Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2016 The 2016 vintage was cooler and more lifted the 2016 shows that lift. The acidity is more pronounced and the fruit is a little more tart. An excellent-and delicious-comparison to learn about vintage variation in wine.
Domaine Gérard Boulay of Sancerre; Around the region 6-pack $320 (6 available)
Sancerre Chavignol 2019 This is a blend of young vines from the Kimmeridgian slopes of Chavignol. It is the only cuvée that is fermented and aged in stainless steel. It is bright and fresh and perfect as an aperitif or with shellfish.
Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2018 This vineyard was originally planted by the monks of Beaujeu in the Middle Ages. The original clos or “wall” has been withered by time but Boulay’s parcel lies within the wall’s original boundaries. Farming this vineyard is no easy feat, there is a 60% gradient and there are stones and pebbles intermixed with the limestone. The 2018 is dense, deep, and concentrated. A warm vintage provides lots of power and fruit for both near-term drinking and long aging.
Sancerre Clos de Beaujeu 2016 The 2016 vintage was cooler and more lifted the 2016 shows that lift. The acidity is more pronounced and the fruit is a little tarter. An excellent-and delicious-comparison to learn about vintage variation in wine.
Sancerre La Côte 2018 Another of the famed crus of Chavignol. This wine is the most linear and precise of the Boulay offerings. The aromas of grapefruit and lime meld wet rocks and fresh herbs.
Sancerre Monts Damnés 2018 Boulay’s vines in the “damned mountain” vineyard are an average of 45 years old. The full southern exposition of the vines ensure the grapes get optimally ripe and makes it one of the warmest vineyards in Chavignol. This wine is more plush and shows how Sauvignon Blanc can balance fruit and acid so well.
Sancerre Comtesse 2018 This bottling is a selection from a special block of the Mont Damnés vineyard where the vines are 50-75 years old. It is located towards the bottom of the slope very close to Vatan’s famous “Clos la Neore” parcel. This is arguably the most powerful and age-worthy of Boulay’s wines and if you can, wait a couple years before cracking open this beauty.