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Please feel free to contact
Amy Louise Pommier,
Prospect's manager,
with any questions or ideas.

Prospect's Selection
Of Delicious
Organic Wines --
Palate-Pleasing and
Planet-Friendly!
(Our listing of wines follows at the end of the article.)

We're delighted that
TIME OUT
NEW YORK
made note of our wide-ranging selection in their
100% Organic issue:

"One thing that all wine connoisseurs can agree on is that an organic label is no guarantee of a great wine -- which is why a great wine that happens to be organic is something to get excited about. Amy Louise Pommier and Linus Kessler, managers of Prospect Wine Shop, have made such vinos their specialty. While most wine shops carry a limited selection of organic labels, Prospect stocks about 40 organic and biodynamic wines, mostly from France and Southern Italy. The selection is always growing, and reflects the owners' commitment to supporting farmers who respect the planet and know how to make terrific wine."

Most recently, we were mentioned in an excellent and informative article about organic wines and how to shop for them in
ENERGY TIMES
:

FINE WINES - ORGANIC STYLE
by
Spencer Harrington

..."'I buy organic wines because I feel deeply that it's overwhelmingly important to encourage organic farming,' says Amy Louise Pommier, manager of Prospect Wine Shop in Brooklyn, NY, which stocks some 90 organic wines."

..."Since many organic wines make no mention of it on their labels, a knowledgeable retailer or sommelier is indispensable. 'Consumers need to go to a wine merchant they trust who's well versed on the issues,' says Amy Louise Pommier. 'They need to ask questions and to make informed decisions about which wines to buy.'"

We're also pleased that an article in
SATYA
"Organic Wine 101" by Stephanie Miller, mentioned us prominently as a source for fine organic wines. We're excerpting, but please read the entire article on Satya's Web site.

"Dinner is nearly ready. You’ve carefully selected and prepared a gorgeous array of organic, locally grown vegetables to accompany the fresh pasta. All that’s left is to set the table and open the bottle of wine. You know a lot about the origins of the food you have prepared, but what about that wine?

"Many of us put a great deal of energy into ensuring that the food we eat has been grown organically. But do you ever think about the origins of the bubbly with which you toast a special occasion or that glass of Cabernet that complements your favorite foods? Organic wine is growing in popularity and may be readily available in restaurants, bars and wine shops in your community—but what does ‘organic wine’ mean and why should you be so concerned about the origin of your wine grapes? ....

"The best way to learn about all wines, including organic, is by tasting. Explore wine shops and wine bars or restaurants in your neighborhood that carry organics....

"Creating a relationship with a local wine shop is one great way to experiment and learn about organic wines. Prospect Wine Shop in Brooklyn, NY features a section of primarily French and Italian organic and biodynamic wines (322 7 Ave.; 718-768-1232)...."

And, in her informative, entertaining article in the New York Daily News (Sunday, August 29, 2004)

BROOKLYN BY THE GLASS

Alia Akkam wrote:

"Amy Louise Pommier, manager of Prospect Wine Shop, is thrilled when customers come in with an openness to learn more....

"Capitalizing on the trend toward organic selections, it stocks at least 75 organic and biodynamic options, something especially popular with those who shop at the Park Slope Food Coop.

"'Just being organic isn't enough though,' Pommier says. 'It has to taste delicious.'"

Most recently, our involvement with organic wines was highlighted in the March 15-21, 2007, of
TIME OUT NEW YORK
"Wine vs Beer" Issue

Prospect Wine Shop
Saving the world can be as simple as ordering the right cabernet sauvignon. "Organic farming and ecology issues are important to me," says Amy Louise Pommier, manager of the seven-year-old Propsect Wine Shop."And fortunately I have the medium of wine to spread the word." To that end, Pommier stocks her store with 80 to 100 organic vintages, as well as a large number of German and Austrian bottles and a solid batch of artisanal wines (our suggestion: hit up the Saturday tastings -- when the weather is warm enough, they're held on the store's outdoor deck). Prospect's unconventional selection artfully reflects the unconventional background of its manager, who got her start in wine more than two decades ago following a career that meandered between publishing and pottery. "I get excited by wines that express something different and interesting -- and yet are still delicious and fun for people to drink," she says.
Feature by Kirk Miller, in the article Taste Buddies

So, here's Prospect's primer on organic, biodynamic and "green" wines (with an updated listing of some of our favorite selections following the text)....

We are very pleased to note an increasing number of truly fine wines that are organic (whether officially certified or not), biodynamic, or follow a majority of the principles of either persuasion. In every instance we select our organic wines first and foremost because they taste delicious! We are happy, also, to find that a growing contingent of our clientele seek out and enjoy these wines.

This trend is gratifying and important to us for a number of reasons. The benefits of growing wine grapes and other crops organically are many and far-reaching. A winemaker's commitment to not adding toxic substances to the soil and water positively affects the health of all of us. Organic vineyards are energy-saving and prevent soil erosion. Perhaps most importantly they promote biodiversity and the long-range viability of the land and all the planet's species and ecosystems.

But what does "organic" actually mean? We'd like to bring some clarity to what are truly complex and sometimes confusing issues around the creation of "organic" wines. Organic farming is generally taken to mean -- at a minimum -- that grapes and other crops are grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, and that the soil has been free of these substances for at least three years.

Standards for organic certification vary among countries, states and certifying organizations. The USDA's new national standards for labeling wines "organic" have been in effect since October, 2002, and certified producers are now able to have a USDA organic seal on their bottles. (However, many dedicated and excellent winemakers, for a variety of reasons, choose not to do so.) Totally organic wines -- as defined by the USDA -- not only have to be made entirely from organically grown grapes but also are strictly limited in what substances (including sulfites) may be employed in the winemaking process. Different limits are placed on wines labeled as "made from organically grown grapes." For more specific information, please consult the USDA's Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop (The National Organic Program).

European certifying organizations have their own standards -- two of note are Ecocert and Nature et Progrès -- but there are many others in France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany -- in many countries, now, where wine is made. (Demeter is an association of growers practicing biodynamic farming methods.)

Biodynamic farming is a facet of the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, who developed his principles of agriculture in the 1920s. He viewed the farm (or vineyard) as a holistic, self-sustaining entity, with the health and nourishment of the soil being fundamental goals. Vineyards may be treated with natural vegetable and mineral substances. The vineyard and winery work are done in harmony with the phases of the moon and movements of the planets.

Wines we refer to as "green" are made by scrupulous small growers who find the onerous European bureaucratic certification processes -- or the new USDA system -- financially unfeasible or philosophically unpalatable. Some people refer to such wines as "sustainable" -- but in researching this question we've found that some growers who describe themselves as sustainable still spray with insecticide, but far less than the norm, etc. We've chosen, for now, to only include growers who overall have chosen not to apply synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In some instances growers may reserve the right to treat their vines in very exceptional circumstances but in essence practice organic farming "full time." In any event, we work closely with importers we trust, who in turn work closely with their growers; sometimes we are fortunate to be directly in touch with the winemakers. One way or the other we do our best to ascertain that if we refer to growers as "organic," they are.

As for sulfites -- about which we have many inquiries -- practically speaking there are just about NO wines containing NO sulfites. A wine is required to be labeled "contains sulfites" if 10 parts per million or more are present. Sulfites naturally develop during the fermentation process, but the amount can be minimized through conscientious cellar practices, including the addition of as little as possible before bottling.

However, we feel it is helpful to remember that sulfites are preservatives; the shelf life of non-sulfited wines is precarious, since wine is a living, evolving substance. You might start by following the "instinctive" guidelines we use when tasting wines for purchase at Prospect: if you can smell sulfur (that "egg yellow" or "burnt match" or "sweaty socks" odor) in a wine, don't drink it (you probably wouldn't want to, anyway). In the "organic corner" -- as throughout the shop -- we seek to provide you with pleasurable wine experiences!

We offer some highlights from our growing range of organic and biodynamic wines. Please visit the shop and peruse the entire collection!

Please note that we've provided codes with each wine description:

CO - Certified Organic
COGG - Certified/From Organically Grown Grapes
GO - "Green" Organic (practicing organic farming methods)
GB - "Green" Biodynamic (practicing biodynamic farming methods)
NSA - No Sulfites Added
LS - Low Sulfites
WY - Fermented with Wild Yeasts
VG - Vegan

Red Wine and Port

Colonia Las Liebres
Bonarda 2008
(Mendoza, Argentina)
$10.99
A remarkably moderate-priced red-wine winner, showing that not only Bordeaux's Malbec grape but also Piemonte's Bonarda do beautifully on Argentine soil -- in fact, it's made by Italians. Aromas of super-ripe dark red cherry and raspberry are immediately appealing; on the palate there's plenty of slightly smoky and earthy cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit, with some dusty tannins on the finish. A serious -- but fun! -- little wine. (GO)

Luzon Verde
Monastrell 2007
(Jumilla, Spain)
$9.99
One of the most complex wines we've found in this price range. Basically dark and plummy, but with potting soil and slight funky barnyard notes adding complexity and depth and a bright black cherry and blueberry notes adding highlights. Just a hint of tannin in the finish makes this wine seem a bit more "serious." (CO)

Di Majo Norante
Sangiovese 2007
(Molise, Italy)
$10.99
Dark, ripe raisiny fruit that fills out to prune-plum and dark chocolate notes is complemented by overtones of nutty oak. Medium-weight -- a bit lighter that the 2004, but deliciously exuberant in its warm-toned southern-Italian flavors. (CO)

Iché
Les Hérétiques 2008
(Languedoc, France)
$10.99
Tempting notes of mulberry on the nose and palate develop into a veritable bouquet of berries, with a little bit of fruit skin texture on the finish. "Grapy" in the best sense of the word, thiswine shows how appealing the Carignan grape -- formerly the maligned workhorse cépage of the Languedoc -- can be when kept to reasonable yields, on excellent soil. The name honors the martyred Cathars who inhabited this "heretic" stronghold area in the middle ages. (GO)

Altos las Hormigas
Malbec 2008
(Mendoza, Argentina)
$11.99
Made by the same Italian team that produces the wonderful Colonia las Liebres Bondarda above, this is a serious and rather earthy Malbec. There's structure and richness of dark fruit, with a bit of tannin on the finish that makes it an excellent wine for steak or grilled foods in general. (GO)

Sentinelle de Massiac
Minervois 2008
(Languedoc, France)
$11.99
Mingling Syrah and Carignan in equal parts, this special bottling from Chateau Massiac (we also have their "regular" Minervois) is completely organic. Its sun-roasted fruit aromatics -- the mulberries of Syrah touched by a whiff of black pepper -- are fairly intense, but delivered without heaviness, making this delicious for quaffing on its own or for drinking with assertive Mediterranean dishes. (GO)

Honeyrun
"Honeywines" and Mead
$12.99
The blackberry and cranberry renditions are organic, the elderberry is wildcrafted. Basically, they are Mead, with pure juice from the fruits added. Deliciously true to the savor of the original fruits, with the cranberry in a lighter vein. They are all pleasantly sweet, with no added sulfites. (GO/NSA)

Domaine Bassac
Côtes de Thongue Syrah 2007
$12.99
(Languedoc, France)
The three brothers Delhon grow the organic grapes for this Syrah in the medieval Languedoc village of Puisalicon. It's easy-drinking, even though there's a bit of dusty fruit tannin that makes this wine just a bit sophisticated. Subtly rich in Syrah flavors -- the blue and black berry fruit notes are complemented by floral rather than smoky overtones. Grapy in the best sense of the word. (CO - Ecocert)

Domaine de Pelaquié
Côtes du Rhône 2007
$12.99
(France)
From Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes comes a drier, more traditional Côtes du Rhône that displays deep sun-drenched fruit yet is definitely not made in a "fruit-bomb" style. Dark woodsy wild mulberry aromas with leather and potting soil overtones lead to black plum skin and juicier mulberries with a light overlay of black pepper on the palate, with a liveliness beneath the primary layer of raisiny fruit with lightly dusty tannins. Not monolithic or heavy, delightfully rustic, great with food! ( Lutte Raisonée, going toward Organic - GO)

Domaine Monpertuis
Vin du Pays du Gard
"Cépage Counoise" 2006

(Rhône Valley, France)
$12.99
A highly unusual wine -- and amazingly complex for its price. Monpertuis makes one of our favorite, almost "Burgundian," Châteauneuf-du-Papes, and this cuvée is made from one of rarer of the 13 grape varieties allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Counoise, which is almost never bottled on its own. Dark blue and black fruits, with a touch of deep earthiness and pepperiness in a medium-weight structure make for a substantially and interestingly flavorful wine that's quite easygoing. A fine barbecue wine! (GO)

Yellow and Blue
Malbec 2007
(Argentina)
$12.99 (Prismapack Liter)
A great year-round "picnic wine" packed in box format to minimize its carbon footprint in shipping from thes southern hemisphere. Note that Yellow and Blue combined make...green. Not a heavy or tannic version of this grape variety, and loaded with juicy dark plum notes. Versatile for all kinds of outdoor and indoor party occasions. (GO)

Olivier Lemasson - Vins Contés
Pinoir de Soif (2007)
(Loire Valley, France)
$13.99
Olivier Lemasson makes idiosyncratically "hip" delicious wines from purchased, organic grapes form impeccable sources, with no sulfur added! He uses an extremely cold carbonic maceration and bottles without filtering, to retain the natural full succulence of the fruit. This wine is made entirely from 30-year-old Pinot Noir vines, revealing subdued and almost waxy dark cherry notes with hints of smokiness, potting soil and dark flowers. (GO/NSA)

Sierra Cantabria
Rioja Crianza 2007
(Spain)
$13.99
Sierra Cantabria makes Rioja in a style we think of as somewhat "modern,"though Marcos Eguren's winemaking, using a generous proportion of American oak, evolves from a long family tradition. This Crianza bottling has delicious dark berry fruit interwoven with dark, rich hints of oak; there is unexpected complexity of raisin and brown spice notes enhancing the ripeness of the fruit. Emphatic yet balanced. (GO/VG)

Andezon (Les Vignerons d'Estezarques)
Côtes du Rhône 2007
(France)
$14.99
From a cooperative of organic growers in the southern Rhone Valley comes a rather sophisticated wine. Its sleek texture and deep fruit flavors are quite seductive -- The aromas of black pepper-tinged mulberry and blueberry lead to ripe dark berries with a raspberry sorbet highlight on the palate. A moderate tannin defines the finish, but it's wonderfully silky and juicy. (CO)

Frey
Syrah 2006
(Mendocino, California)
$14.99
More supple in texture than the previous vintage -- and more pleasingly, richly "grapy" in its manner of conveying a cornucopia of purple fruits. A favorite among longtime aficionados of California organic wines, Frey's Syrah is a winner again in the 2003 vintage. No detectable sulfites. (USDA-CO/NSA/VG)

Bonterra
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 &
Merlot 2006

(Mendocino, California)
$15.99
Dark, chewy, ripe true California Cabernet and uncommonly rich Merlot are both fine examples from Fetzer's organic Mendocino vineyards. Both are substantial, with deep chocolatey oak notes complementing well-focused full-bodied fruit. (COGG)

Thierry Puzelat
Rouge "Telquel" 2007
(Loire Valley, France)
$15.99
Playfully serious Gamay from a "legend" of natural winemaking in the Loire. Dark red fruit with a somewhat charcoally feel, vibrant and graceful. Will happily fulfill the sort of the place at the table where a fine Beaujolais-Village would be right at home. (GB)

Faillenc Sainte Marie
Corbières 2006
(France)
$16.99
The garrigue landscape of the Corbières -- some of the best terroir of the Languedoc -- finds expression in this wine through beautifully smoky-earthy blackberry notes. The Syrah which predominates in the grape mix (60% -- Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre make up the balance), lends the dark fruit appealing hints of black pepper and shoe polish. Exceptional complexity for a wine in this price range. (GO)

Domaine Vissoux
Beaujolais "Pierre Chermette" 2008
(France)
$16.99
Vividly perfumy, open and juicy raspberry and strawberry notes are deepened by a ripe blueberry undertone, expressed in a gracefully medium-weight framework (with a bit more structure than the 2007) -- giving it a feel that's totally appropriate for authentic traditional Beaujolais. Hints of blue flowers and a soupçon of smokiness make this wine from Domaine Vissoux surprisingly complex for a "basic" Beaujolais bottling. (GO/LS)

Ferrando
Canavese Rosso 2007
(Piemonte, Italy)
$17.99
A blend of regional grapes: Barbera, Nebbiolo and Croatina, yielding a chewy but not heavy wine redolant of dark red cherries and wild strawberries, with a refined though earthy, inky overtone and a slight hint of earth on the finish. Beautifully balanced acidity -- an archetypal "food wine" -- though lovely on its own, it has a magical way of "folding in" to a wide range of simple to savory dishes. (GO)

Frey
Sangiovese 2006
(Mendocino, California)
$16.99
Totally different from the Tuscan renditions of Sangiovese, this exuberant, slightly sweet red from Frey is ripe and flavorful. "Grapy" and spicy, the flavors recall dark red cherry and plum, with hints of cola and coffee. There's a relatively discreet amount of oak, which adds depth but not tannin. This is truly an easy-drinking wine for those who like their wine "not too dry." (GB/CO/NSA)

Bricco del Cucu
Dolcetto di Dogliani 2006
(Piemonte, Italy)
$17.99
Classic and seriously elegant Dolcetto, with gently tarry and freshly turned potting soil overtones wafting around the deep black cherry notes, highlighted by enticing hints of violets and blue plums. There's a bit of fruit tannin to give the wine some structure, making it a fine partner for richer autumnal dishes, though it's graceful and appropriately medium-bodied.(GO)

Cline
"Ancient Vines" Mourvèdre 2007
(California)
$17.99
Dry farmed 60- to 100-year-old Mourvedre vines yield rich, dark, earthy dry plum, raisin and blueberry fruit notes, rendered with substantial depth and slightly dusty gentle tannin. The substantial oak element comes across as nicely olive-y and nutty, blending in artfully. A ready-to-drink bottling for those who like a "big" wine, from the grape variety of famed Bandol, the most structured and long-lived of Provençal wines. The "Ancient Vines" Zin has just as much depth, but a brighter red berry fruit core, with darker charcoally oak notes dancing around it deftly. (GO)

Frey
Biodynamic Petite Sirah 2007
(Mendocino, California)
$17.99
Subdued dark earthy plummy fruit comes through a with a dry yet not too tannic feel. There's a sort of yeasty, nutty note, especially in the finish, that's vaguely reminiscent of coffee-bean hulls or walnutskins, enhancing this Petite Sirah's feeling of depth. A fine match for richer autumn and winter cuisine. (CB/WY/NSA)

Juan Gil
2006
(Jumilla, Spain)
$17.99
Rich, raisiny and chocolatey, with a gentle complement of vanilla-scented oak. This rather modern-styled wine is full-flavored and of medium weight in this vintage-- an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats or sausages, but smooth enough to quaff on its own. Made entirely from Monastrell (called Mourvedre in France), it'srather like not-too-heavy Malbec with a southern Spanish accent. (GO)

Terra Savia
Petit Verdot Reserve 2005
(Mendocino, California)
$17.99
The least celebrated of the Bordeaux grape varieties is featured here, its subdued dark fruit of the woods complemented by a subsantial waft of vanilla-accented oak. (CO/NSA)

Bernard Baudry
Chinon "Granges" 2007
(Loire Valley, France)
$18.99
This is what Chinon is like when it gets serious. Quite dark-toned and minerally, with elegant fruitskin tannins, it displays the wonderful dark cherry notes with earthy (think roots freshly pulled from the garden), tobacco-y, bell pepper and purple flower overtones that are characteristic of Cabernet Franc from the Loire. This is a pleasurable dinner wine now , with some decanting, and it should age gracefully over the next few years. (GO)

Agnes and Rene Mosse
Anjou Rouge 2007
(Loire Valley, France)
$21.99
A sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the earthy and white pepper/rooty notes of which reveal thecharacter of theblack volcanic soils, a particular terroir called the "Anjou Noir." This is an enticingly exotic wine, with dark "roasty" plum notes highlighted by sultry hints of petunia. Full flavored, medium weight, fine acidity -- the perfectly autumnal accompaniment to seasonal cuisine. (GB - Very Low Sulfites)

Pierre & Catherine Breton
Bourgueil "Galichets" 2006
(Loire Valley, France)
$24.99
The Bretons make several cuvées of Bourgueil, some of which age superbly and become beautifully complex with a few years of age in bottle. The "Galichets" is usually quite wonderful to drink fairly young (though it will develop nicely for a few years). This 2005 reveals firm, ripe dark cherries and purple fruits, with overtones of tobacco characteristic of Loire Cabernet Franc, its richness deepened by fine tannins. The mineral underpinning is wonderfully typical of Breton bottlings. (GB/WY)

Domaine de la Monardiere
Vacqueyras "Les Deux Monardes" 2007
(Rhône Valley, France)
$24.99
Beautifully traditional in style, this wine radiates southern Rhône exuberance. The flavors are those of super-ripe (but not "jammy") Grenache (which predominates in the blend), expressed as dark raspberry with elements of Oriental pot-pourri, Middle-eastern spices and black pepper, plus a bit of chewy earthiness. We imagine this harmonizing beautifully with a Provencal lamb daube. Enjoy it with any fuller-flavored Mediterranean dishes.

Quinta do Infantado
Vintage Character Port
(Douro, Portugal)
$25.99
Made by brilliant young winemaker Joao Roseira, from vineyards grown for generations by the first Portuguese family to bottle and ship Port under their own label (rather than sell their grapes to the famous shippers). Uncommonly rich, deep and dense for a "Vintage Character Port," its subtle layers of dark mulberry and blackberry are graced with dark chocolatey and nutty overtones. Made in a "medium-dry" style, it nonetheless is a fabulously gratifying dessert wine. It definitely sets a new standard for the genre. (CO)

Muga
Rioja Reserva 2005
(Spain)
$26.99
Muga practically needs no introduction -- they are one of the standard-bearers for fine Rioja wines. Their various bottlings range from rather traditional (their Prado Enea and Reserva Especial, which we offer, as well, for example) to more intensely flavored and "modern" (the Torre Muga, which we also stock). Their Reserva bottling is somewhere inbetween, always revealing the character of the vintage yet coming through as unmistakably itself. In the hot 2003 vintage the wine shows the thick texture and ripe, rich, somewhat compote-inflected red fruit typical of that year -- interwoven with a hint of chocolate and licorice -- yet balancing assertiveness with elegance. (GO)

Emilio Moro
Ribera del Duero 2005
(Spain)
$27.99
Ribera del Duero wines are almost never subtle, and Emilio Moro's is no exception. We feel the 2004 is the best vintage since the very concentrated 2001, showing dark, full, dense berry notes interwoven with a good amount of rich, dark oak, melding into a whole that manages to have brightness and lift, as intense as it is. Lovers of "big wine" -- don't miss it! (GO)

Trinchero
Barbera "Vigna del Noce" 2000
(Piemonte, Italy)
$32.99
We love Trinchero's "Vigna del Noce" bottling (from his best vineyard site) so much that we're currently offering it in 2 vintages -- this 2000, as well as the rich and generous 1997 ($35.99). This wine is made with an extremely long -- 45-day -- maceration, making for gorgeous concentration, and is aged for two to three years in large botti. Dark berry and plum notes interwoven with earthiness and smokiness are expressed through roundly leathery texture. Traditional without being at all austere -- a Piemontese classic. (GO)

Domaine Bois de Boursan
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
(Rhône Valley, France)
$44.99
A wonderfully traditional-style Châteauneuf-du-Pape that's actually drinking well now (provided it's decanted and allowed to breathe for an hour or two) but should age very nicely for 10-15 years. Beautifully perfumed and smoky ripe dark mulberries and black cherries tend toward hints of black cherry liqueur (though there's no sweetness in this wine, of course). Overtones of black pepper and hawthorne add intrigue, and the finish has the leathery and potting soil notes that are a hallmark of this estate's wines. A majestic yet accessible wine that would be an ideal accompaniment to festive autumn and winter cuisine. (GO)

St. Prefert
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
"Réserve Auguste Favier"

(Rhône Valley, France)
$53.99
Fruit aromas redolant of a dark berry compote, with a measure of spice and flowers, expand on the palate to deepen the fruit and spice -- which tends more toward cinnamon than black pepper. This wine is big and ripe in the typical manner of Châteauneuf-du-Papes, but manages still to be very graceful and balanced. Though there's some tannin on the finish, it's quite pleasurable to drink now, especially with an hour or so of decanting. (GO)

Paolo Bea
Montefalco Rosso "Valentin" 2004
(Umbria, Italy)
$59.99
Bea is an Italian legend -- his exuberantly aromatic and traditional wines are sought after and much appreciated by serious aficionados. The flavors develop into a sultry, earthy cornucopia of wild berries and plums, smoked meats, and black olives. The wine is a feast for the senses by itself, but is totally made for enjoying with hearty, earthy cuisine -- whether Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern -- or even Chinese dishes where black mushrooms or soy sauce are involved. The word "savory" sums it up. (GO)

White Wine, Champagne, Sake and Cognac

Shochikubai
Organic Rice Nama Sake
(California)
$7.99
(300ml)
This draft type nama sake (which means unpasteurized, for fresher flavor) has an absolutely lovely clear, pure gently perfumed rice aroma and flavor. Delightful as an aperitif or with lighter fish or vegetarian dishes, as well as, of course, sushi. Serve chilled for optimally refined pleasure. (GO)

Comtesse Marion
Chardonnay 2008
(Languedoc)
$9.99
Quite an elegant rendition of Chardonnay at this price -- dry and unoaked -- rather like a refined Mâconnais wine. It displays a cornucopia of cool-toned and subtle fruit notes -- recalling yellow apple, mirabelle and banana, with highlights of lemon and grapefruit zest. It has a pleasingly mineral feel in the mouth. A sophisticated little party and picnic wine. (GO)

Badger Mountain
Johannisberg Riesling 2008
(Columbia Vallley, Washington)
$12.99
A springtime-y slightly sweet aromatic wine recalling white peach and melon. A perfect aperitif, it's also fine for sipping with lighter dishes and Asian cuisine. (CO/NSA/VG)

Jekel
Chardonnay 2007
(Monterey County, California)
$10.99
Rich and round, with a lovely "leesy" character, nicely typical of the Jekel style, expressed in hints of melon and yellow plums, with honied overtones. Gently "off dry." (GO)

Yellow and Blue
Torrontes 2008
(Argentina)
$12.99 (Prismapack Liter)
A great year-round "picnic wine" packed in box format to minimize its carbon footprint in shipping from thes southern hemisphere. Note that Yellow and Blue combined make...green. A sprightly version of one of Argentina's main white grape varieties -- it's reminiscent of passionfruit sorbet (though totally dry), with plenty of refreshing zip. (GO)

Eric Bordelet
Sydre Doux
(Normandy, France)
$14.99
A Paris sommelier returned to the family orchards to produce cider from hand-harvested biodynamically farmed fruit. Toasty, opulently ripe, somewhat sweet golden apple notes lead to a fine, crisp finish. (GB, GO)

Bonterra
Chardonnay 2007
(Mendocino, California)
$14.99
Lemony pear notes ring out clearly and brightly, with a touch of oak, coming through with silky texture. A fuller, heavier-bodied white; off dry in a very Californian way. From a winery that's a leader in Mendocino County organic farming policy. (COGG)

Eric Bordelet
Poiré Authentique
(Normandy, France)
$14.99
A bit drier than Bordelet's Sydre Doux, his "Poiré" is delightfully, perfumily redolent of ripe pears, graced with gentle, lively bubbles.. An original idea for a summer refresher or aperitif, and a fine accompaniment to lighter fruit desserts. (GB, GO)

Gruet
Brut Méthode Champenoise,
Brut Blanc de Noirs and Brut Rosé

(New Mexico)
$15.99
We recently learned that these perennial Prospect best-sellers are made from organically grown grapes, so we now offer them with joy and excitement on our organic shelves. It would be hard to find a better festive-ocassion sparkler in this price range, whether you prefer the bone-dry, super-crisp, vivacious and lightly flavorful Brut (from all three Champagne grapes -- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier) or the Blanc de Noirs (from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, $16.99) that transmits richer and more complex notes of red fruits, a gingery hint, and more fullness on the palate, while remaining quite dry. The Rosé ($15.99) is a pure delight, with enticing deeper red fruit aromas, yet with light and discreetly balanced hints of strawberry and peach on the palate, transmitted with juiciness and a festively foamy feel to the méthode-Champenois fizz. Why not try them all! (GO)

Muga
Blanco 2008
(Rioja, Spain)
$17.99
This elegant white Rioja, made from the Viura grape, almost reminds us of a refined Mâcon. A light touch of oak lends a dry marzipan note to understated Bosc pear, pineapple and white melon notes. Restrained richness in the mid-palate leads to a bright, dry finish. (GO/VG)

Domaine de La Pépière
Muscadet Sur-Lie "Clos des Briords" 2008
(Lire Valley, France)
$18.99
The most densely minerally, elegantly structured Muscadet we know -- a classic again in the 2008 vintage. While eminently lovely to drink now with any sort of seafood -- especailly shellfish, it will age beautifully for many years, developing uniquely subtle nuances. (GO)

Schloss Gobelsburg
Riesling "Gobelsburger"
2006

(Kamptal, Austria)
$18.99
There's always a lovely clarity in the Gobelsburg "basic bottlings." This Riesling is relatively cool-toned, and even more floral than Gobelsburg's Grüner Veltliner. Subtle Casaba melon notes, with some lime and Meyer lemon, are graced with notes of white flowers. Delightfully bright, with a crisp, pithy finish. (GO)

Maculan
"Dindarello" 2007
(Veneto, Italy)
$20.99 [375ml]
Made with exquisite delicacy from the evocatively named Moscato fior d'arancio (orange blossom Muscat), it reminds us of a Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise, but with a bit more body -- a Palladian villa of a dessert wine. Rose- and orange blossom-inflected notes of fresh apricot, mango, orange peel and Comice pear, with more honied overtones in this 2006 bottling, are delightfully expressed through a velvety texture. Perfect with lighter fruit and nut desserts, or just to sip on its own on a balmy evening. (GO)

Edmond Monot
Hautes-Côte-de-Beaune Blanc 2007
(Loire Valley, France)
$21.99
Our first taste of this wine made us exclaim "baby Meursault!" It's got the magic balance between full flavor and finesse (if not the Meursault structure for years of aging -- it's perfect to drink now and in the next couple of years). Classic white Burgundy notes of hazelnut and lime blossom with a lemon zest/lemon cream highlight. And all of this underlined beautifully with refined minerality and a long, dry finish. (GO)

Foreau
Vouvray Brut
(Loire Valley, France)
$25.99
From one of the best producers of Vouvray, a charming sparkling rendition of Chenin Blanc at its most refined. Floral, dry, with plenty of “lift” and liveliness. Springtime in a bottle! The best party or dinner alternative to Champagne we've found in this price range, with its own distinctive and vibrant personality. (GO)

Nanbu Touji
Tokubetsu Junmai Sake
(Iwate, Japan)
$26.99 [720ml]
Made with organic special brewing rice, this sake has an appealing round texture and a clear, open feel. Notes of white melon are accented with hints of nuts and anise, but the overall impression is pleasantly subtle. (GO)

Dureuil-Janthial
Rully Blanc "La Martelle" 2005
(Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France)
$31.99
Exuberant, rich, balanced ripe and pure Chardonnay. A superb example of winemaking, from a master in this region south of the Côte d'Or, that rivals many a Meursault. Enjoy the fullness of pear, yellow apple and melon notes with nutty overtones, interpreted in the perfect proportions that fruit from Burgundian soil can exhibit. Our favorite white Burgundy of the vintage in this price range, displaying generous, georgeous equilibrium. (GO/WY)

Dudognon
“Réserve-10 Years" Cognac
(Grande Champagne, Cognac, France)
$36.99
A sensuous bouquet of apricots, orange and nuts leads to multi-layered flavors of cherry, apricot and plum skin, with a delicately profound walnutty finish. Creamy texture, long-lingering. No additives (other than water) -- such as the sugar, caramel and wood flavoring that regulations allow in Cognac. (GO)

Jean-Luc Pasquet
"Coeur de Grande Champagne" Cognac
(France)
$42.99
We are delighted to be one of those introducing this Cognac producer who is new to the U.S.
Pasquet grows all his own certified organic Ugni Blanc grapes on calcaire soil, and this bottling is a blend of cuvées from 5 to 10 years old. The aromas are uncommonly rich, revealing hints of plum, prune and apricot along with more high-toned yellow fruits and melon, with a hint of nutiness. It's marvelously round on the palate, recalling English trifle and fruit-cake fruits (without sweetness) mingled with toasted almond. A total treat! We're also offering Pasquet's Cognac "Rare" ($208) -- with cuvées over 25 years old, is truly rare! The "Rare" has much deeper, more raisiny notes, with overtones of walnuts and leather and more perfumed dried fruits -- quince comes to mind. Gorgeously integrated and lush -- a treasure! (CB)

Roger Coulon
“Grande Réserve Cuvée" Champagne
(France)
$54.99
A Champagne of luxurious finesse, made from organically grown Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (with just a bit of Chardonnay). Seven years' aging on the lees gives it beautifully rounded rich leesy texture, while very minimal dosage keeps the finish delicately dry. It's toasty, gingery and spicy, with lively apple-y acidity and highlights of lemon zest. This Champagne would be equally at home at an elegant celebration, as an accompaniment to richer Champagne-friendly foods or a quiet romantic dinner. (GO)

 

Prospect's Selection
Of Delicious
Organic Wines --
Palate-Pleasing and
Planet-Friendly!
(Our listing of wines follows at the end of the article.)

We're delighted that
TIME OUT
NEW YORK
made note of our wide-ranging selection in their
100% Organic issue:

"One thing that all wine connoisseurs can agree on is that an organic label is no guarantee of a great wine -- which is why a great wine that happens to be organic is something to get excited about. Amy Louise Pommier and Linus Kessler, managers of Prospect Wine Shop, have made such vinos their specialty. While most wine shops carry a limited selection of organic labels, Prospect stocks about 40 organic and biodynamic wines, mostly from France and Southern Italy. The selection is always growing, and reflects the owners' commitment to supporting farmers who respect the planet and know how to make terrific wine."

Most recently, we were mentioned in an excellent and informative article about organic wines and how to shop for them in
ENERGY TIMES
:

FINE WINES - ORGANIC STYLE
by
Spencer Harrington

..."'I buy organic wines because I feel deeply that it's overwhelmingly important to encourage organic farming,' says Amy Louise Pommier, manager of Prospect Wine Shop in Brooklyn, NY, which stocks some 90 organic wines."

..."Since many organic wines make no mention of it on their labels, a knowledgeable retailer or sommelier is indispensable. 'Consumers need to go to a wine merchant they trust who's well versed on the issues,' says Amy Louise Pommier. 'They need to ask questions and to make informed decisions about which wines to buy.'"

We're also pleased that an article in
SATYA
"Organic Wine 101" by Stephanie Miller, mentioned us prominently as a source for fine organic wines. We're excerpting, but please read the entire article on Satya's Web site.

"Dinner is nearly ready. You’ve carefully selected and prepared a gorgeous array of organic, locally grown vegetables to accompany the fresh pasta. All that’s left is to set the table and open the bottle of wine. You know a lot about the origins of the food you have prepared, but what about that wine?

"Many of us put a great deal of energy into ensuring that the food we eat has been grown organically. But do you ever think about the origins of the bubbly with which you toast a special occasion or that glass of Cabernet that complements your favorite foods? Organic wine is growing in popularity and may be readily available in restaurants, bars and wine shops in your community—but what does ‘organic wine’ mean and why should you be so concerned about the origin of your wine grapes? ....

"The best way to learn about all wines, including organic, is by tasting. Explore wine shops and wine bars or restaurants in your neighborhood that carry organics....

"Creating a relationship with a local wine shop is one great way to experiment and learn about organic wines. Prospect Wine Shop in Brooklyn, NY features a section of primarily French and Italian organic and biodynamic wines (322 7 Ave.; 718-768-1232)...."

And, in her informative, entertaining article in the New York Daily News (Sunday, August 29, 2004)

BROOKLYN BY THE GLASS

Alia Akkam wrote:

"Amy Louise Pommier, manager of Prospect Wine Shop, is thrilled when customers come in with an openness to learn more....

"Capitalizing on the trend toward organic selections, it stocks at least 75 organic and biodynamic options, something especially popular with those who shop at the Park Slope Food Coop.

"'Just being organic isn't enough though,' Pommier says. 'It has to taste delicious.'"

Most recently, our involvement with organic wines was highlighted in the March 15-21, 2007, of
TIME OUT NEW YORK
"Wine vs Beer" Issue

Prospect Wine Shop
Saving the world can be as simple as ordering the right cabernet sauvignon. "Organic farming and ecology issues are important to me," says Amy Louise Pommier, manager of the seven-year-old Propsect Wine Shop."And fortunately I have the medium of wine to spread the word." To that end, Pommier stocks her store with 80 to 100 organic vintages, as well as a large number of German and Austrian bottles and a solid batch of artisanal wines (our suggestion: hit up the Saturday tastings -- when the weather is warm enough, they're held on the store's outdoor deck). Prospect's unconventional selection artfully reflects the unconventional background of its manager, who got her start in wine more than two decades ago following a career that meandered between publishing and pottery. "I get excited by wines that express something different and interesting -- and yet are still delicious and fun for people to drink," she says.
Feature by Kirk Miller, in the article Taste Buddies

So, here's Prospect's primer on organic, biodynamic and "green" wines (with an updated listing of some of our favorite selections following the text)....

We are very pleased to note an increasing number of truly fine wines that are organic (whether officially certified or not), biodynamic, or follow a majority of the principles of either persuasion. In every instance we select our organic wines first and foremost because they taste delicious! We are happy, also, to find that a growing contingent of our clientele seek out and enjoy these wines.

This trend is gratifying and important to us for a number of reasons. The benefits of growing wine grapes and other crops organically are many and far-reaching. A winemaker's commitment to not adding toxic substances to the soil and water positively affects the health of all of us. Organic vineyards are energy-saving and prevent soil erosion. Perhaps most importantly they promote biodiversity and the long-range viability of the land and all the planet's species and ecosystems.

But what does "organic" actually mean? We'd like to bring some clarity to what are truly complex and sometimes confusing issues around the creation of "organic" wines. Organic farming is generally taken to mean -- at a minimum -- that grapes and other crops are grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, and that the soil has been free of these substances for at least three years.

Standards for organic certification vary among countries, states and certifying organizations. The USDA's new national standards for labeling wines "organic" have been in effect since October, 2002, and certified producers are now able to have a USDA organic seal on their bottles. (However, many dedicated and excellent winemakers, for a variety of reasons, choose not to do so.) Totally organic wines -- as defined by the USDA -- not only have to be made entirely from organically grown grapes but also are strictly limited in what substances (including sulfites) may be employed in the winemaking process. Different limits are placed on wines labeled as "made from organically grown grapes." For more specific information, please consult the USDA's Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop (The National Organic Program).

European certifying organizations have their own standards -- two of note are Ecocert and Nature et Progrès -- but there are many others in France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany -- in many countries, now, where wine is made. (Demeter is an association of growers practicing biodynamic farming methods.)

Biodynamic farming is a facet of the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, who developed his principles of agriculture in the 1920s. He viewed the farm (or vineyard) as a holistic, self-sustaining entity, with the health and nourishment of the soil being fundamental goals. Vineyards may be treated with natural vegetable and mineral substances. The vineyard and winery work are done in harmony with the phases of the moon and movements of the planets.

Wines we refer to as "green" are made by scrupulous small growers who find the onerous European bureaucratic certification processes -- or the new USDA system -- financially unfeasible or philosophically unpalatable. Some people refer to such wines as "sustainable" -- but in researching this question we've found that some growers who describe themselves as sustainable still spray with insecticide, but far less than the norm, etc. We've chosen, for now, to only include growers who overall have chosen not to apply synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In some instances growers may reserve the right to treat their vines in very exceptional circumstances but in essence practice organic farming "full time." In any event, we work closely with importers we trust, who in turn work closely with their growers; sometimes we are fortunate to be directly in touch with the winemakers. One way or the other we do our best to ascertain that if we refer to growers as "organic," they are.

As for sulfites -- about which we have many inquiries -- practically speaking there are just about NO wines containing NO sulfites. A wine is required to be labeled "contains sulfites" if 10 parts per million or more are present. Sulfites naturally develop during the fermentation process, but the amount can be minimized through conscientious cellar practices, including the addition of as little as possible before bottling.

However, we feel it is helpful to remember that sulfites are preservatives; the shelf life of non-sulfited wines is precarious, since wine is a living, evolving substance. You might start by following the "instinctive" guidelines we use when tasting wines for purchase at Prospect: if you can smell sulfur (that "egg yellow" or "burnt match" or "sweaty socks" odor) in a wine, don't drink it (you probably wouldn't want to, anyway). In the "organic corner" -- as throughout the shop -- we seek to provide you with pleasurable wine experiences!

We offer some highlights from our growing range of organic and biodynamic wines. Please visit the shop and peruse the entire collection!

Please note that we've provided codes with each wine description:

CO - Certified Organic
COGG - Certified/From Organically Grown Grapes
GO - "Green" Organic (practicing organic farming methods)
GB - "Green" Biodynamic (practicing biodynamic farming methods)
NSA - No Sulfites Added
LS - Low Sulfites
WY - Fermented with Wild Yeasts
VG - Vegan

Red Wine and Port

Colonia Las Liebres
Bonarda 2008
(Mendoza, Argentina)
$10.99
A remarkably moderate-priced red-wine winner, showing that not only Bordeaux's Malbec grape but also Piemonte's Bonarda do beautifully on Argentine soil -- in fact, it's made by Italians. Aromas of super-ripe dark red cherry and raspberry are immediately appealing; on the palate there's plenty of slightly smoky and earthy cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit, with some dusty tannins on the finish. A serious -- but fun! -- little wine. (GO)

Luzon Verde
Monastrell 2007
(Jumilla, Spain)
$9.99
One of the most complex wines we've found in this price range. Basically dark and plummy, but with potting soil and slight funky barnyard notes adding complexity and depth and a bright black cherry and blueberry notes adding highlights. Just a hint of tannin in the finish makes this wine seem a bit more "serious." (CO)

Di Majo Norante
Sangiovese 2007
(Molise, Italy)
$10.99
Dark, ripe raisiny fruit that fills out to prune-plum and dark chocolate notes is complemented by overtones of nutty oak. Medium-weight -- a bit lighter that the 2004, but deliciously exuberant in its warm-toned southern-Italian flavors. (CO)

Honeyrun
"Honeywines" and Mead
$9.99
The blackberry and cranberry renditions are organic, the elderberry is wildcrafted. Basically, they are Mead, with pure juice from the fruits added. Deliciously true to the savor of the original fruits, with the cranberry in a lighter vein. They are all pleasantly sweet, with no added sulfites. (GO/NSA)

Domaine de Pelaquié
"Côtes du Rhône" 2007
$12.99
(France)
From Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes comes a drier, more traditional Côtes du Rhône that displays deep sun-drenched fruit yet is definitely not made in a "fruit-bomb" style. Dark woodsy wild mulberry aromas with leather and potting soil overtones lead to black plum skin and juicier mulberries with a light overlay of black pepper on the palate, with a liveliness beneath the primary layer of raisiny fruit with lightly dusty tannins. Not monolithic or heavy, delightfully rustic, great with food! ( Lutte Raisonée, going toward Organic - GO)

Domaine Monpertuis
Vin du Pays du Gard
"Cépage Counoise" 2006

(Rhône Valley, France)
$12.99
A highly unusual wine -- and amazingly complex for its price. Monpertuis makes one of our favorite, almost "Burgundian," Châteauneuf-du-Papes, and this cuvée is made from one of rarer of the 13 grape varieties allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Counoise, which is almost never bottled on its own. Dark blue and black fruits, with a touch of deep earthiness and pepperiness in a medium-weight structure make for a substantially and interestingly flavorful wine that's quite easygoing. A fine barbecue wine! (GO)

Olivier Lemasson - Vins Contés
Pinoir de Soif (2007)
(Loire Valley, France)
$13.99
Olivier Lemasson makes idiosyncratically "hip" delicious wines from purchased, organic grapes form impeccable sources, with no sulfur added! He uses an extremely cold carbonic maceration and bottles without filtering, to retain the natural full succulence of the fruit. This wine is made entirely from 30-year-old Pinot Noir vines, revealing subdued and almost waxy dark cherry notes with hints of smokiness, potting soil and dark flowers. (GO/NSA)

Sierra Cantabria
Rioja Crianza 2007
(Spain)
$13.99
Sierra Cantabria makes Rioja in a style we think of as somewhat "modern,"though Marcos Eguren's winemaking, using a generous proportion of American oak, evolves from a long family tradition. This Crianza bottling has delicious dark berry fruit interwoven with dark, rich hints of oak; there is unexpected complexity of raisin and brown spice notes enhancing the ripeness of the fruit. Emphatic yet balanced. (GO/VG)

Faillenc Sainte Marie
Corbières 2006
(France)
$16.99
The garrigue landscape of the Corbières -- some of the best terroir of the Languedoc -- finds expression in this wine through beautifully smoky-earthy blackberry notes. The Syrah which predominates in the grape mix (60% -- Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre make up the balance), lends the dark fruit appealing hints of black pepper and shoe polish. Exceptional complexity for a wine in this price range. (GO)

Ferrando
Canavese Rosso 2007
(Piemonte, Italy)
$17.99
A blend of regional grapes: Barbera, Nebbiolo and Croatina, yielding a chewy but not heavy wine redolant of dark red cherries and wild strawberries, with a refined though earthy, inky overtone and a slight hint of earth on the finish. Beautifully balanced acidity -- an archetypal "food wine" -- though lovely on its own, it has a magical way of "folding in" to a wide range of simple to savory dishes. (GO)

Bonterra
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 &
Merlot 2006

(Mendocino, California)
$15.99
Dark, chewy, ripe true California Cabernet and uncommonly rich Merlot are both fine examples from Fetzer's organic Mendocino vineyards. Both are substantial, with deep chocolatey oak notes complementing well-focused full-bodied fruit. (COGG)

Frey
Syrah 2006
(Mendocino, California)
$14.99
More supple in texture than the previous vintage -- and more pleasingly, richly "grapy" in its manner of conveying a cornucopia of purple fruits. A favorite among longtime aficionados of California organic wines, Frey's Syrah is a winner again in the 2003 vintage. No detectable sulfites. (USDA-CO/NSA/VG)

Cline
"Ancient Vines" Mourvèdre 2007
(California)
$17.99
Dry farmed 60- to 100-year-old Mourvedre vines yield rich, dark, earthy dry plum, raisin and blueberry fruit notes, rendered with substantial depth and slightly dusty gentle tannin. The substantial oak element comes across as nicely olive-y and nutty, blending in artfully. A ready-to-drink bottling for those who like a "big" wine, from the grape variety of famed Bandol, the most structured and long-lived of Provençal wines. The "Ancient Vines" Zin has just as much depth, but a brighter red berry fruit core, with darker charcoally oak notes dancing around it deftly. (GO)

Frey
Sangiovese 2006
(Mendocino, California)
$16.99
Totally different from the Tuscan renditions of Sangiovese, this exuberant, slightly sweet red from Frey is ripe and flavorful. "Grapy" and spicy, the flavors recall dark red cherry and plum, with hints of cola and coffee. There's a relatively discreet amount of oak, which adds depth but not tannin. This is truly an easy-drinking wine for those who like their wine "not too dry." (GB/CO/NSA)

Frey
Biodynamic Petite Sirah 2007
(Mendocino, California)
$17.99
Subdued dark earthy plummy fruit comes through a with a dry yet not too tannic feel. There's a sort of yeasty, nutty note, especially in the finish, that's vaguely reminiscent of coffee-bean hulls or walnutskins, enhancing this Petite Sirah's feeling of depth. A fine match for richer autumn and winter cuisine. (CB/WY/NSA)

Terra Savia
Petit Verdot Reserve 2005
(Mendocino, California)
$17.99
The least celebrated of the Bordeaux grape varieties is featured here, its subdued dark fruit of the woods complemented by a subsantial waft of vanilla-accented oak. (CO/NSA)

Bernard Baudry
Chinon "Granges" 2007
(Loire Valley, France)
$18.99
This is what Chinon is like when it gets serious. Quite dark-toned and minerally, with elegant fruitskin tannins, it displays the wonderful dark cherry notes with earthy (think roots freshly pulled from the garden), tobacco-y, bell pepper and purple flower overtones that are characteristic of Cabernet Franc from the Loire. This is a pleasurable dinner wine now , with some decanting, and it should age gracefully over the next few years. (GO)

Pierre & Catherine Breton
Bourgueil "Galichets" 2006
(Loire Valley, France)
$24.99
The Bretons make several cuvées of Bourgueil, some of which age superbly and become beautifully complex with a few years of age in bottle. The "Galichets" is usually quite wonderful to drink fairly young (though it will develop nicely for a few years). This 2005 reveals firm, ripe dark cherries and purple fruits, with overtones of tobacco characteristic of Loire Cabernet Franc, its richness deepened by fine tannins. The mineral underpinning is wonderfully typical of Breton bottlings. (GB/WY)

Quinta do Infantado
Vintage Character Port
(Douro, Portugal)
$25.99
Made by brilliant young winemaker Joao Roseira, from vineyards grown for generations by the first Portuguese family to bottle and ship Port under their own label (rather than sell their grapes to the famous shippers). Uncommonly rich, deep and dense for a "Vintage Character Port," its subtle layers of dark mulberry and blackberry are graced with dark chocolatey and nutty overtones. Made in a "medium-dry" style, it nonetheless is a fabulously gratifying dessert wine. It definitely sets a new standard for the genre. (CO)

Muga
Rioja Reserva 2005
(Spain)
$26.99
Muga practically needs no introduction -- they are one of the standard-bearers for fine Rioja wines. Their various bottlings range from rather traditional (their Prado Enea and Reserva Especial, which we offer, as well, for example) to more intensely flavored and "modern" (the Torre Muga, which we also stock). Their Reserva bottling is somewhere inbetween, always revealing the character of the vintage yet coming through as unmistakably itself. In the hot 2003 vintage the wine shows the thick texture and ripe, rich, somewhat compote-inflected red fruit typical of that year -- interwoven with a hint of chocolate and licorice -- yet balancing assertiveness with elegance. (GO)

 

Trinchero
Barbera "Vigna del Noce" 2000
(Piemonte, Italy)
$32.99
We love Trinchero's "Vigna del Noce" bottling (from his best vineyard site) so much that we're currently offering it in 2 vintages -- this 2000, as well as the rich and generous 1997 ($35.99). This wine is made with an extremely long -- 45-day -- maceration, making for gorgeous concentration, and is aged for two to three years in large botti. Dark berry and plum notes interwoven with earthiness and smokiness are expressed through roundly leathery texture. Traditional without being at all austere -- a Piemontese classic. (GO)

Emilio Moro
Ribera del Duero 2005
(Spain)
$27.99
Ribera del Duero wines are almost never subtle, and Emilio Moro's is no exception. We feel the 2004 is the best vintage since the very concentrated 2001, showing dark, full, dense berry notes interwoven with a good amount of rich, dark oak, melding into a whole that manages to have brightness and lift, as intense as it is. Lovers of "big wine" -- don't miss it! (GO)

Domaine Bois de Boursan
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
(Rhône Valley, France)
$44.99
A wonderfully traditional-style Châteauneuf-du-Pape that's actually drinking well now (provided it's decanted and allowed to breathe for an hour or two) but should age very nicely for 10-15 years. Beautifully perfumed and smoky ripe dark mulberries and black cherries tend toward hints of black cherry liqueur (though there's no sweetness in this wine, of course). Overtones of black pepper and hawthorne add intrigue, and the finish has the leathery and potting soil notes that are a hallmark of this estate's wines. A majestic yet accessible wine that would be an ideal accompaniment to festive autumn and winter cuisine. (GO)

St. Prefert
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
"Réserve Auguste Favier"

(Rhône Valley, France)
$53.99
Fruit aromas redolant of a dark berry compote, with a measure of spice and flowers, expand on the palate to deepen the fruit and spice -- which tends more toward cinnamon than black pepper. This wine is big and ripe in the typical manner of Châteauneuf-du-Papes, but manages still to be very graceful and balanced. Though there's some tannin on the finish, it's quite pleasurable to drink now, especially with an hour or so of decanting. (GO)

Paolo Bea
Sagrantino Montefalco 2000
(Umbria, Italy)
$90.00
Bea is an Italian legend -- his exuberantly aromatic and traditional wines are sought after and much appreciated by serious aficionados. The flavors develop into a sultry, earthy cornucopia of wild berries and plums, smoked meats, and black olives. The wine is a feast for the senses by itself, but is totally made for enjoying with hearty, earthy cuisine -- whether Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern -- or even Chinese dishes where black mushrooms or soy sauce are involved. The word "savory" sums it up. (GO)

White Wine, Champagne, Sake and Cognac

Shochikubai
Organic Rice Nama Sake
(California)
$7.99
(300ml)
This draft type nama sake (which means unpasteurized, for fresher flavor) has an absolutely lovely clear, pure gently perfumed rice aroma and flavor. Delightful as an aperitif or with lighter fish or vegetarian dishes, as well as, of course, sushi. Serve chilled for optimally refined pleasure. (GO)

Comtesse Marion
Chardonnay 2008
(Languedoc)
$9.99
Quite an elegant rendition of Chardonnay at this price -- dry and unoaked -- rather like a refined Mâconnais wine. It displays a cornucopia of cool-toned and subtle fruit notes -- recalling yellow apple, mirabelle and banana, with highlights of lemon and grapefruit zest. It has a pleasingly mineral feel in the mouth. A sophisticated little party and picnic wine. (GO)

Santa Julia
Chardonnay "Organica" 2006
(Mendoza, Argentina)
$9.99
Rich, ripe and not entirely dry -- rounded and easy-drinking -- this friendly southern-hemisphere Chardonnay appeals with bright notes of yellow apples and pineapples, its leesy overtones lending complexity. (CO)

Badger Mountain
Johannisberg Riesling 2006
(Columbia Vallley, Washington)
$11.99
A springtime-y slightly sweet aromatic wine recalling white peach and melon. A perfect aperitif, it's also fine for sipping with lighter dishes and Asian cuisine. (CO/NSA/VG)

Jekel
Chardonnay 2005
(Monterey County, California)
$10.99
Rich and round, with a lovely "leesy" character, nicely typical of the Jekel style, expressed in hints of melon and yellow plums, with honied overtones. Gently "off dry." (GO)

Eric Bordelet
Sydre Doux
(Normandy, France)
$12.99
A Paris sommelier returned to the family orchards to produce cider from hand-harvested biodynamically farmed fruit. Toasty, opulently ripe, somewhat sweet golden apple notes lead to a fine, crisp finish. (GB, GO)

Bonterra
Chardonnay 2005
(Mendocino, California)
$13.99
Lemony pear notes ring out clearly and brightly, with a touch of oak, coming through with silky texture. A fuller, heavier-bodied white; off dry in a very Californian way. From a winery that's a leader in Mendocino County organic farming policy. (COGG)

Argiolas
"Selegas" Nuragas de Cagliari 2006
(Sardinia, Italy)
$14.99
We find ourselves recommeding this wine especially often to go with a variety of foods ranging from fish to chicken dishes and pasta preparations that require fairly full flavor coupled with crispness. The subtle but rich yellow fruit notes of this indigenous Sardinian grape come through in a refinedly minerally way, making it a fine Italian wine choice when you're looking for something with flavors neither green nor floral. (GO)

Eric Bordelet
Poiré Authentique
(Normandy, France)
$14.99
A bit drier than Bordelet's Sydre Doux, his "Poiré" is delightfully, perfumily redolent of ripe pears, graced with gentle, lively bubbles.. An original idea for a summer refresher or aperitif, and a fine accompaniment to lighter fruit desserts. (GB, GO)

Domaine de La Pépière
Muscadet Sur-Lie 2008
(Loire Valley, France)
$13.99
A delightful red from our favorite producer of Muscadet, made from an unusual mix of Cabernet Franc, Côt (the Loire name for Malbec), Merlot and Gamay. Pleasing "grapiness" makes for easy drinking of this light-hearted red cherry- and strawberry-inflected cuvée from Marc Ollivier, but a little bit of dusty fruit tannin adds an air of sophistication. (GO)

Gruet
Brut Méthode Champenoise,
Brut Blanc de Noirs and Brut Rosé

(New Mexico)
$15.99
We recently learned that these perennial Prospect best-sellers are made from organically grown grapes, so we now offer them with joy and excitement on our organic shelves. It would be hard to find a better festive-ocassion sparkler in this price range, whether you prefer the bone-dry, super-crisp, vivacious and lightly flavorful Brut (from all three Champagne grapes -- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier) or the Blanc de Noirs (from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, $16.99) that transmits richer and more complex notes of red fruits, a gingery hint, and more fullness on the palate, while remaining quite dry. The Rosé ($15.99) is a pure delight, with enticing deeper red fruit aromas, yet with light and discreetly balanced hints of strawberry and peach on the palate, transmitted with juiciness and a festively foamy feel to the méthode-Champenois fizz. Why not try them all! (GO)

Muga
Blanco 2008
(Rioja, Spain)
$15.99
This elegant white Rioja, made from the Viura grape, almost reminds us of a refined Mâcon. A light touch of oak lends a dry marzipan note to understated Bosc pear, pineapple and white melon notes. Restrained richness in the mid-palate leads to a bright, dry finish. (GO/VG)

Schloss Gobelsburg
Riesling "Gobelsburger"
2006

(Kamptal, Austria)
$18.99
There's always a lovely clarity in the Gobelsburg "basic bottlings." This Riesling is relatively cool-toned, and even more floral than Gobelsburg's Grüner Veltliner. Subtle Casaba melon notes, with some lime and Meyer lemon, are graced with notes of white flowers. Delightfully bright, with a crisp, pithy finish. (GO)

Maculan
"Dindarello" 2006
(Veneto, Italy)
$20.99 [375ml]
Made with exquisite delicacy from the evocatively named Moscato fior d'arancio (orange blossom Muscat), it reminds us of a Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise, but with a bit more body -- a Palladian villa of a dessert wine. Rose- and orange blossom-inflected notes of fresh apricot, mango, orange peel and Comice pear, with more honied overtones in this 2006 bottling, are delightfully expressed through a velvety texture. Perfect with lighter fruit and nut desserts, or just to sip on its own on a balmy evening. (GO)

Foreau
Vouvray Brut
(Loire Valley, France)
$23.99
From one of the best producers of Vouvray, a charming sparkling rendition of Chenin Blanc at its most refined. Floral, dry, with plenty of “lift” and liveliness. Springtime in a bottle! The best party or dinner alternative to Champagne we've found in this price range, with its own distinctive and vibrant personality. (GO)

Nanbu Touji
Tokubetsu Junmai Sake
(Iwate, Japan)
$26.99 [720ml]
Made with organic special brewing rice, this sake has an appealing round texture and a clear, open feel. Notes of white melon are accented with hints of nuts and anise, but the overall impression is pleasantly subtle. (GO)

Dureuil-Janthial
Rully Blanc "La Martelle" 2005
(Côte Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France)
$27.99
Exuberant, rich, balanced ripe and pure Chardonnay. A superb example of winemaking, from a master in this region south of the Côte d'Or, that rivals many a Meursault. Enjoy the fullness of pear, yellow apple and melon notes with nutty overtones, interpreted in the perfect proportions that fruit from Burgundian soil can exhibit. Our favorite white Burgundy of the vintage in this price range, displaying generous, georgeous equilibrium. (GO/WY)

Domaine Weinbach
Riesling "Réserve Personnelle" 2005
(Alsace, France)
$29.99
The most distinguished Alsace estate producing wines in a more fine-lined, subtle vein has brought us this restrainedly lush bottling from a richly ripe vintage. The aromas of honeysuckle and white peach deepen to perfumy casaba melon and more tropical fruits on the palate; it's dry, but with ripe roundness. Sensuously delicate. (GO/WY)

Dudognon
“Réserve-10 Years" Cognac
(Grande Champagne, Cognac, France)
$36.99
A sensuous bouquet of apricots, orange and nuts leads to multi-layered flavors of cherry, apricot and plum skin, with a delicately profound walnutty finish. Creamy texture, long-lingering. No additives (other than water) -- such as the sugar, caramel and wood flavoring that regulations allow in Cognac. (GO)

Jean-Luc Pasquet
"Coeur de Grande Champagne" Cognac
(France)
$42.99
We are delighted to be one of those introducing this Cognac producer who is new to the U.S.
Pasquet grows all his own certified organic Ugni Blanc grapes on calcaire soil, and this bottling is a blend of cuvées from 5 to 10 years old. The aromas are uncommonly rich, revealing hints of plum, prune and apricot along with more high-toned yellow fruits and melon, with a hint of nutiness. It's marvelously round on the palate, recalling English trifle and fruit-cake fruits (without sweetness) mingled with toasted almond. A total treat! We're also offering Pasquet's Cognac "Rare" ($208) -- with cuvées over 25 years old, is truly rare! The "Rare" has much deeper, more raisiny notes, with overtones of walnuts and leather and more perfumed dried fruits -- quince comes to mind. Gorgeously integrated and lush -- a treasure! (CB)

Fontaine-Gagnard
Chassagne-Montrachet 2002
(Burgundy, France)
$55.99
Winemaker Richard Fontaine works the vines of this classically famous estate applying traditional methods in a meticulously clean manner. This wine shows the care involved with its elegantly sculpted structure highlighting the finesse of Chardonnay as it can only be expressed in the better vineyard sites of Burgundy. Lightly nutty hay and apple notes interwoven with subtle minerality are revealed through balanced, nicely reined-in richness. (GB)