'La Soif' Rosť and Other Fine Wines from Les Vignes du Lys are Back!

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We are delighted to bring you once again the expressive, well-made wines from Les Vignes du Lys. The 2014La Soif” Rosé (one of our favourites) is about to be bottled and along with it we have new vintages of ‘100% Chardonnay’ and Duché d’Uzès Rouge. We are adding another red this time, the charming “La Soif” Rouge and have created a mixed case sampler so you can try them all.  These wines are real crowd pleasers – ready to drink and excellent values. We suggest that you load up your cellar with them!

Les Vignes du Lys

Ray and Eileen  Monahan and Olivier Privat
The irrepressible Olivier Privat along with Eileen and Ray Monahan acquired the old vineyards and winery they renamed Les Vignes du Lys in 2008. For years the winery had sold the majority of its wines in bulk to the SAQ in Quebec. But like their good friends, the nearby Chabriers who also make excellent wines, they knew that with a little care and attention, not to mention oodles of Euros, they could produce excellent wines from the mature Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Petit Grain and Pinot Gris planted on their properties. 

Victoria and Olivier Privat
Ray is an Irishman and Olivier is pure laine from the Pays d’Oc. They have accomplished a great deal in a very short time to improve the vineyards and are converting to the strict organic regimen. They have also created an up-to-date wine making facility including all of the modern equipment and fermentation systems. Perhaps most importantly, they have retained the services of Emmanuel Gagnepain to supervise their winemaking. Emmanuel is a renowned oenologist who has earned 100 point ratings from Robert Parker for his work at Domaine la Barroche and Domaine Chante Cigale in Châteauneuf du Pape.

Here’s what the very critical French wine press has been saying about Les Lys:

We have been charmed by the wines. You must come to Blauzac for a tasting but be forewarned; you will stay for more than 30 minutes! ” - Terre de Vins, January 2012

The renaissance of a vineyard….” - Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve

A remarkable addition to these pages” - Guide Hachette 2012

The Wines of Les Vignes du Lys

We are delighted to offer the 2014 ‘La Soif’, a perennial favourite Rosé, the beautifully made, crisp 2013 100% Chardonnay, the luscious 2013 Duché d’Uzès Rouge and for the first time, the 2013 “La Soif” Rouge as well as a mixed case sampler of all four. These wines come in handy six-bottle cases. We want to make sure they are here by mid-summer, so have reduced the offer time to just one week. We will be taking your orders for the fine wines of Les Vignes du Lys to the LCBO on Friday, May 1st.

2014 “La Soif” Rosé - 13.0% Alc./Vol.                                              $16/$96 case of 6
“La Soif” (the thirst) is a strange name for a marvellous wine whose primary purpose will be to slake your thirst during the dog days of summer. Made from Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault from vineyards converted to totally organic farming in 2009, it is a most refreshing, satisfying rosé that is showing lovely red fruit with light citrus nuances and a nice crisp finish. While a fashionably pale salmon colour, this is not weak stuff made from young vines. The Syrah is between twenty-seven and thirty-seven years old and the Grenache is thirty-seven (average yield is only 35 hl./ha.). And, 2014 was a very, very good vintage for these varietals in southern France. This IGP Cévennes comes with a convenient screw cap to preserve its freshness (and make it wonderfully easy to get at!). I love this wine! It will go brilliantly with Asian cuisine, ham and salmon or by itself on a hot summer’s day. Order your thirst-quenching six-pack (or two, or three) of Rosé heaven now!

2013 100% Chardonnay - 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                       $19/$114 case of 6
This refreshing beauty is appropriately crafted from 100% Chardonnay plucked from 22 year old vines farmed completely organically since 2009. This is pure drinking pleasure – no oak and minimal filtration. This IGP Cévennes is a vibrant light golden colour and offers up delicious aromas of white blossoms, peaches, pineapples, citrus fruit and just a trace of anise. In the mouth it is fresh, medium bodied, beautifully balanced and crisp. It sports a screw-top – just as it should. This lovely white will go wonderfully with shellfish (particularly fresh oysters), roast chicken and soft cheese. It is also dandy companion for whenever you feel like a wee slurp. Order your sunshine in a bottle now.

2013 “La Soif” Rouge - 13.0% Alc./Vol.                                            $16/$96 case of 6
This is a new addition to our Les Lys line-up and it is a most delightful one. Crafted from Grenache, Syrah and Merlot, this splendid little sipper is a medium ruby colour and offers up lavish aromas of cherries, strawberries, exotic spices and just a trace of new leather. In the mouth it is medium bodied, nicely balanced and very pleasant. This IGP Cévennes is drinking nicely right now and will keep for a couple of years. This is a perfect companion for the barbeque or a big plate of charcuterie! Order your lovely little red now.

2013 Duché d’Uzès Rouge – 14.0% Alc./Vol.                                               $21/$126 case of 6
Any time someone carefully fashions a mixture of Grenache and Syrah in southern France you can bet I want to try it. The Duché d’Uzès Rouge from Les Vignes du Lys does not disappoint. Made from equal parts of these two succulent varietals, it is a deep purple with flashes of ruby red. Finished off with a bit of oak, it offers up lovely aromas of ripe plums, black cherries, blackberries, garrigue and a note of black pepper. In the mouth it is full, round, vibrant, fresh and surprisingly long. This AOC Duché d’Uzès comes with a decent cork and while drinking wonderfully now, it will keep nicely for another five years. This is a big chunk of wine for the money! It will go delightfully with just about anything off the barby, roast leg of lamb (a match made in heaven) or a plate of charcuterie. Order your ready-to-slurp red now.

The Les Lys Sampler – 13% - 14.0% Alc./Vol.                                  $19/$114 case of 6
Why not try all four of the Les Vignes du Lys beauties? You get a bottle each of the 2014 “La Soif” Rosé and the 2013 “La Soif” Rosé and two bottle each of the 2013 100% Chardonnay and 2013 Duché d’Uzès Rouge in this mixed case. Order your six-pack of ready-to-quaff pleasure now.

Important Note
The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

LCBO Delivery Notices!

The LCBO has started to mail out delivery notices to all our Members who order wine. This notice is being sent when the wine has arrived from overseas and has been cleared for delivery by the LCBO. The form letter is two sided, one with the numeric details of the transaction and the other with pick-up instructions. Please note - the pick-up instructions do not apply to our Members.


First, they instruct our Member to pick up the wine at the LCBO’s warehouse loading docks at 33 Freeland Street in Toronto. Our Members don’t have to do this – we either cause the wine to be sent to an LCBO retail store that is conveniently located near our Member or we personally deliver the wine.

Second, they infer that our Members owe them for the wine and warn that they will be penalized if the wine is not picked up within a prescribed period of time. Our Members have already paid for their wine and don’t owe any additional money. We look after payment for them.

Please disregard these form letters when you receive them.

We have requested that the LCBO either correct the message or not send it at all. We also asked that they send the message electronically (they have the e-mail addresses of everyone who orders) to save money and be environmentally responsible. They have thanked us for our suggestions and we hope they will act on them.

Why is the LCBO sending out these notices?

When we inquired, we were told that this has always been their procedure; they just haven’t been following it.

We can surmise that it is in response to last year’s ruling by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario (IPC) ruling that the LCBO stop taking personal information from wine club customers. In a subsequent Ontario Superior Court of Justice appeal hearing, the case was remitted back to the IPC for reconsideration, i.e., the LCBO and the other involved parties were told to work out their issues between themselves. A key point in the ruling was, “it is not clear whether the IPC actually made a clear or consistent finding on the issue of whether the LCBO's customer is the club or the club member.” Since then, the LCBO has been determined to make certain that we are all fully aware that it is they who control the customer relationship when it comes to the purchase of beverage alcohol in the Province of Ontario.

To reinforce this point, they have instructed us to prominently post the following wherever we display our prices:

The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

If you have any comments for the LCBO, please address them to Margaret Plant, Supervisor, Private Ordering (margaret.plant@lcbo.com) and copy Archie Karanxha, Acting Manager, Specialty Services (arqile.karanxha@lcbo.com) and Geoff Allaire, General Manager Operations, Toronto Retail Service Centre, Vintages Warehouse (geoff.allaire@lcbo.com).

All this reminds me of a very old joke. It seems that a little devil was involved in a most unfortunate tangle with one of Toronto’s Red Rockets that resulted in his tail being severed. He was rushed to the Toronto General Hospital but was refused admission. The ER receptionist explained, “I am afraid you will have to take him to the LCBO ... they are the only ones in Ontario allowed to retail spirits.”

Kate joins the team!
We are delighted to announce that our eldest daughter Kate (shown here with a bottle of Penfolds Grange from her birth year!) has officially joined the Arthur Sellers & Company team. She is an avid wine enthusiast with a very fine palate and is renowned for her frequent thirsty assaults on Arthur’s Cellar. Kate will be assisting us with the day-to-day operation of our wine club and will introduce our fine wines to her market demographic (recognizing that this old tippler needs a little help marketing to the younger aficionados of the fruit of the vine). Please join us in welcoming Kate to our wonderful world of wine.

Come Join Us in Provence this September
Hélène is taking reservations for September 2015. Long our favourite part of France, Provence is filled with so many wonderful things - marvellous markets, gorgeous perched villages, exquisite Mediterranean cuisine as well as the Mediterranean itself, a bevy of awe-inspiring Roman ruins, medieval towns, olive oil mills, Southern Rhône vineyards, sophisticated cities with great shopping, and constantly changing, spectacular scenery. And, you get to spend it all comfortably ensconced in your very own castle for a week, the enchanting Château du Goult. Maybe even get a group of friends to join you. That way, Hélène can massage her itinerary to meet your specific interests.

Where’s My Wine??
Generally, it will take three to four months from the time you order your wine till it is delivered. To find out where your next treasure is on its long journey from Europe, just click on Delivery Status in the side bar to the left. We update it regularly.

About our website

Our web site will grow and change as we respond to the needs and preferences of our members. We appreciate the time you take to tell us about how we can improve our web site, and invite you to pass your comments and suggestions along to us. Click here to send us an e-mail and let us know what you think.