We are a boutique, family-run wine agency now serving Ontario. We represent a small portfolio of wine growers dedicated to producing beautiful and delicious wines of unique identity and honest character.
We begin in Europe, with a focus on France in particular. In principle, and in due course our portfolio will not be limited by geography.
The wines represented here are all available through the LCBO private ordering system. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. We are now taking orders for the wines represented herein. We can accept full case orders, generally cases of twelve, and for a select few wines, cases of six.
Domaine Zusslin, Orschwihr, Alsace
With vines on the slopes of Bollenberg, Clos Liebenberg, and Grand Cru Pfingstberg, overlooking the village of Orschwihr, Marie and Jean-Paul Zusslin are the 13th generation in place. They have been producing wines of remarkable quality for as long as we can remember. Demeter certified since 1997, biological since always, they have shown that great wine is a product of nature. Their wines are made from grapes, nothing but; some will have a very low dose of sulfur at bottling.
The Bollenberg hillside is a dry moor, rich in bio-diversity with soils based on limestone and clay. It produces a Pinot
Noir of deep concentration and ripe red fruit flavours. Grand Cru Pfingstberg is a very steep terraced slope of sandstone and clay, facing South-Southeast. It makes a deeply mineral Riesling with tremendous aromatic complexity. Clos Liebenberg is a monopole of the Zusslin family, equal and adjacent to Pfingstberg, enclosed by stone walls and hedges. Pinot Auxerrois, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from this vineyard are blended for the Cremant d’Alsace ”Brut Zero” (no dosage, no sulphur).
Pinot Bollenberg 2014 …$45
Riesling Grand Cru Pfingstberg 2012 …$66
Crémant d’Alsace ”Brut Zero” …$35
Château Landra, Ventoux, Rhône
Château Landra is an old country estate in the Ventoux that had been gently falling into decay probably ever since the devastation of phylloxera. All that changed in 2007 when Cécile and Frédéric Renoux began the restoration and rehabilitation of the property. Yes, they have done heroic work on the château, the chai, the orangerie, etc. But their work in the vineyard has been equally important. The vines are very old, and they have been brought back into consistent production under biological cultivation. In the Ventoux, where for millennia nature has been so generously supportive of domesticated vines, it makes sense to seek the natural quality of a wine in the vineyard. Of course, there are choices to be made in the chai, hence the different bottling we have from Landra :
“P’tit Landra” Ventoux Rouge 2016 (Cinsault, Grenache) …$24
Château Landra Ventoux Rouge 2013 (Syrah, Grenache) …$28.50
Ventoux Les Boutières Rouge 2012 (Syrah, Grenache) …$33
Château Landra Ventoux Blanc 2016 (Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne) …$28.50
“Les Boutières” Blanc (Clairette, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne) …$33
“La Roteuse” Blanc, pétillant naturel (Clairette 100%) …$33
“La Roteuse” Rosé, pétillant naturel (Syrah 100%) …$33
Renardat-Fache, Mérignat, Bugey
Mérignat is a small medieval village, seemingly lost in time, hidden away in the foothills of the Jura mountains somewhere between Lyon and Geneva. In the cellars beneath these austere stone houses, there rises a thoroughly modern, thoroughly natural sparkling wine, the Cerdon du Bugey. In the hillsides above are vines and orchards – apples, walnuts, cherries – and Gamay. In the Renardat parcel you will also find Ploussard. The
farming, over generations, is a form of coddling and pampering; biological and biodynamic. The wine is méthode ancestrale, sparkling gamay rosé demi- sec, as wine should be. Of course, in this case it is also Ploussard (30%) which adds a dug-into-the-earth depth and complexity to the joyous and playful Gamay.
Le Cerdon …$27.50
Domaine Nicolas Gonin, Saint-Chef, Isère
In the early days of the millenium, Nicolas Gonin, œnologue, traveller, philosophe returned to his native valley in les Balmes Dauphinoises. He began to assemble and revive little parcels of vines that no one wanted to tend to anymore (possibly for good reason). This bootstrap operation to create a wine domaine for himself evolved into a mission to restore the historic varieties of the region. He has done very good work, indeed heroic, and he makes very good wine.
Persan and Verdesse are the rarest of wines, with noble character and storied
heritage. Mondeuse and Altesse are familiar from neighbouring areas in the Bugey and the Savoie. They are equally at home in les Balmes Dauphinoises. Nicolas’ Viognier makes the case for this as a northern variety.
Viognier/Altesse 2016 …$25.25
Altesse 2015 …$28.50
Verdesse 2016 …$32
Mondeuse Noir 2016 …$28.50
Persan 2015 …$32
Rosé (Mondeuse Noir) 2016 …$24
Méthode Traditionnelle (Jacquère, Chardonnay, Viognier, Aligoté) …$27
Clos du Joncuas, Gigondas, Rhône
When you get down to the Southern Rhône, getting off the A7, say, at Bollène, onto the D8 heading for Gigondas, you skirt the line between the Drôme and the Vaucluse. The route takes you through Cairanne and long stretches of flat plain, densely planted in vine as far as the eye can see. Arriving at Clos du Joncuas, you are below les Dentelles de Montmirail. When you get to the vineyard you are up on the lower slope, into cooler air, and above the newly discovered frost line.
The wines here are Grenache-based (which some of you know as Garnacha), with an assist from Mourvèdre (Monastrell). It turns out that Grenache
can be very terroir-transparent, and it sings in harmony with Mourvèdre.
Les Sœurs Chastan of Clos du Joncuas also have vines in Vacqueyras (La Font de Papier) and Seguret (La Garancière). These are similar hillside vineyards of Grenache. The Vacqueyras includes a portion of Syrah, the Seguret, some Carignan. The wines are clearly all in the same family, but with unmistakable individual character.
Gigondas 2015 …$43
Vacqueyras `La Font de Papier` 2015 …$37
Seguret ‘La Garancière’ 2015 …$33.50
Seguret Blanc 2015 …$33.50
Domaine Dupasquier, Jongieux, Savoie
The Marestel is a dramatically steep slope where Roussette vines bask in the Sun and soak up the radiant warmth of the nourishing limestone. The village below, fittingly named Aimavigne, is where Véronique, her brother David, and their father Noël make their wine. Along with the Roussette (Altesse), they have Jacquère, a small plot of Chardonnay, and for red, Mondeuse Noir, Gamay and Pinot Noir. The wines are raised on the
fine lees in old foudres until next year’s harvest, then rest in bottle several months or several years, until they are ready for release.
Jacquère 2014 …$22
Roussette 2013 …$28
Roussette de Savoie Marestel 2012 …$33
Gamay 2014 …$23
Pinot Noir 2014 …$26
Mondeuse Noir 2014 …$26
Perles d’Aimavigne blanc de blancs (Jacquère, Chardonnay, Altesse) …$28
Domaine Arsac, Saint-Jean-le-Centenier, Ardèche
A brand new estate born of generations of work in the family vineyards, Domaine Arsac lies at the south end of the Coiron Plateau. Here, easily eroded basalt meets limestony marne to create diverse and productiveterroirs. Joël Arsac, father, and his sons Dimitri and Sébastien work together as modern growers, as biological farmers. In this sunny, windy, wide open corner of the southern Ardèche, they grow Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Chardonnay and Viognier, all in IGP Ardèche.
Argence 2016 (Chardonnay) …$31
Les Galets de la Condamine 2015 (Syrah, Grenache) …$26
Terra Occidens 2015 (Merlot) …$29
Les Aoutres 2016 (Syrah sur sol basaltiques) …$26
Messis Ultima 2015 (Grenache) …$31
Immich-Batterieberg, Enkirch, Mosel
Dating back to the 9th century, this is a very old wine estate. The four vineyards here have always ranked in the top class. Three are on the Starkenburg slope south of the village looking southwest over the Mosel. These are Batterieberg, Zeppwingert, and Ellergrub, all very steep slopes of quartzite-rich blue slate. Then there is the Steffensberg in behind the village of Enkirch, facing due South, a warmer slope with richer soil on red slate.
Gernot Kollman makes the wine and Karl Höhlein climbs these very steep slopes to tend the vines. They took over this estate in 2009, and have been working to make their new estate old again, going back to the old ways of naturrein. The wines ferment naturally to dry or off-dry, without any additions or corrections. The results are wines in a very pure unadorned style, powerful with balanced ripe acidity.
C.A.I. (Kabinett) 2015 …$23
Escheburg 2015 …$28
Steffensberg 2014 …$37
Immich-Batterieberg, Enkirch, Mosel
Thorsten is the fifth generation Melsheimer crafting distinctive wines from Riesling grapes grown on the very steep slopes of the lower middle Mosel south of the town of Reil. Organic since 1995, Demeter and Ecovin certified, Weingut Melsheimer produces truly individual wines of character with exuberant fragrance, wonderful fruit aromas, elegant minerality and unparalleled delicate flavours.
Feinherb 2015 …$24
Kabinett Feinherb 2016 …$28
Molun 2016 …$35
Kellerchen Trocken 2016 …$46
Schaf Spatlese 2016 …$38