East Coast Specialist

www. chambersstwines.com​.

Size: Less than 1,000 wines
Focus: Loire Valley
Discounts: minimal
Shipping: Free local

Pros: Delivery is free in Manhattan.
Stunning Loire Selections.
Cons: Discounts are not much in evidence anywhere on the site.

Rating: ***

Not just another New York wine shop with a web presence, Chambers Street is highly regarded for its French wine selections. The store was opened in June 2001 by co-owners David Lillie and Jamie Wolff who hoped that New York might support a shop in Manhattan that zeroed in on organic wines produced by artisanal, small producers.

Things apparently went well as this website showcases their excellent selection of wines from Burgundy, Loire Valley and, as a bonus, the Rhone.

Make no mistake, these guys are specialists in French wine with over 500 in stock. Every selection is highly individualized. By that I mean of the 62 Champagnes, not one is a well-known brand. Not a mention of a Clicquot, a Dom, or a Deutz. Here you’ll find Beaufort Champagne, Bereche, or Pierre Gerbais, each made in small quantities whether vintage Champagne or special cuvees.

Among the 150 Burgundies, you’ll see a few well known producers like Dauvissat in Chablis and Simon Beze, Mugnier, Jobard and Louis Latour from other appellations. But in all instances, the quantities are miniscule.

And then there are the new discoveries like Jean & Sylvain in Gevrey-Chambertin. They organically farm a small vineyard in Gevrey and work with old vineyards from other growers.

However, this is the undeniable go-to place for Loire Valley wines. With over 125 listed, it is as complete as any one shop can be this side of France. Of course there are the Vouvray and Anjou whites and roses,  but if you love Chinon and Bourgueil, you will be in heaven here. Many are organically farmed.  

And for Sancerre, they carry two of  the best, Pascal Cotat and Girard.

Best Tip: if you are interested in many of these esoteric wines: start with the sampler cases. Chambers offers 12-bottle samplers for $150 and $250, for both reds and whites.