Julien Courtois "Ancestral" 2019

Julien Courtois "Ancestral" 2019

Regular price $54.00 Save Liquid error (product-template line 131): Computation results in '-Infinity'%

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Julien Courtois is the elder son of Claude Courtois, who was a pioneer of natural winemaking in the Loire. Claude moved his family there in the early 1990s after his organic farm and vineyards in Provence were destroyed by a forest fire. In the barely-populated Sologne area south of Orleans, he took over parcels that had been fallow for nearly a decade and were being reclaimed by nature. Julien and his wife Heidi Kuka (the labels draw from her Maori heritage) now work some of Claude's best old vines, though his brother Etienne may dispute that, as he is also making terrific wine down the road. No chemicals have ever been allowed on the property since the 1990s and Julien and Heidi work the vineyards with a horse, more gentle than a tractor on the soil.

"Ancestral" is made of Côt (Malbec), Gamay Chaudenay, and Gascon, a very obscure grape that Claude had grafted in order to increase the diversity in his vines. This did not go over well with the authorities, and Claude had to fight them in court to keep his Gascon. This illustrates a little of the stubborn, uncompromising personality of the Courtois family. Feral and yet vivid, the Ancestral is funkier on the nose than the palate, which is quite graceful and juicy. Black plum and crunchy blueberries are matched with a little sour cherry and lively tart acids. It's not mindless glou-glou, though it's tempting to knock it back, especially with a slight chill. There is a sense of minerals and spice that underpins the vibrant fruit and keeps it from being too rich or heavy. Instead it's lithe, supple, and invigorating. Jonathan Kemp

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NYC Delivery

Order before noon and get it the same day — anywhere in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan for just $15. 

Orders over $190 qualify for free delivery.

For our neighborhood customers, orders over $95 qualify for free delivery.  (See map for the neighborhood delivery zone). 

Our daily delivery window is 3pm to 8pm and customers will receive real-time notifications.

Our neighborhood delivery zone is 1/2 mile radius from our shop. Orders over $95 in this zone qualify for free delivery. There is a $15 delivery fee for orders under the minimum.


For delivery outside of New York we ship via common carrier. We currently do not ship to the following states: AL, AR, CO, DE, GA, HI, IA, KS, KY, NC, MD, MS, MT, OK, PA, SD, UT, VT, WI. As statutory laws are constantly changing, please note that this list is updated frequently, and acceptance of an order does not guarantee that we will ultimately be able to ship wine to you. Unfortunately, we are not able to ship spirits anywhere outside of New York State. 

We’d love to help you with whatever your needs are, no matter how specialized or unique! Email us at orders@vanderbilt.wine or call the shop during business hours and we'll find something that works for you.

Terms & Conditions

You must be 21 years or older to purchase and receive products from Vanderbilt Wine Merchants. If you request shipping you authorize Vanderbilt Wine Merchants to engage a common carrier to deliver your order. All shipments require an adult signature at the time of delivery. Therefore, either you or an authorized adult must be present at the time of delivery with proof of identification. 
If you wish to ship to a location outside of New York State, you assume all responsibility for shipment. We will notify you before processing your order if we are unable to ship wine to the state you request. For the protection of your wines, we will not ship during warmer months without your express request. All orders are packed immediately upon purchase but we may wait for optimal conditions to send. Since we cannot control the temperature of any common carrier, we do our best to send shipments out at the beginning of each week. We will always confirm any delays in shipment, and the choice is ultimately up to you.
Some of our wine is sold "Pre-Arrival." All "Pre-Arrival" items will be indicated as such on our website and include the estimated date of arrival. We will contact you once the wine has arrived and confirm any shipment or delivery requests prior to sending. 

We are here to help you with your order, so don't hesitate to text us at (718) 398-1800 or email us at orders@vanderbilt.wine with any questions!

From time to time we purchase private collections and offer these wines to you at competitive and, we think, very attractive pricing.  We only purchase cellars of top provenance bottles that have been stored in ideal conditions, and we only work with trusted acquaintances and collectors.  If the wine you are considering does not display certain information, or if you would like certain images of the bottles please email us at info@vwm.wine