Yannick Pelletier Saint Chinian “l’engoulevent”

This week’s 20% off bottle special is Yannick Pelletier’s Saint Chinian “l’engoulevent” 2013.

Yannick Pelletier’s estate currently consists of 10 hectares in the Saint Chinian, the oldest wine region, or AOC, in the Languedoc. He has been working these mostly old vines since January 2004. The parcels are relatively distant from each other which lets him take advantage of many different types of terroirs: 65% schist, 23% clay and limestone and 12% round stones. The youngest vines are 15, the oldest 70. The vines are all converted to organic agriculture. For the most part Yannick does goblet pruning in the vine, and the soil is worked with one or two plowings and a possible hoeing by hand. He fertilizes the soil with an organic compost; about 500 to 1500 kilos per hectare. Yannick’s guiding principle in the winemaking process is to preserve the integrity of the grapes and wine: manual everything, use of gravity to rack, and indigenous yeast fermentations. If the grapes are clean, pure, healthy and of good quality, he sees no reason to alter them with chemicals or oenology.

L’Engoulevent is a blend of Grenache (40%) Syrah (30%) and Carignan (30%). Part of the Carignan goes through carbonic maceration. Aged 18 months in cement vats, it has deep dark pitted fruits framed by leather and those lovely smell of Provençal flora that is called garrigue. What really makes Pelletier’s wines stand out among Languedoc wines is the lift provided by good acidity thanks to his carefully chosen terroirs which makes it an excellent match for a wide array of dishes. We particularly like it with our Merguez sausage, but it would be fabulous with any of our house made charcuterie or meat entrées!

Regular price: $48
Discounted price: $38


Piedmont Wine Imports Paired Dinner at Rue Cler Tuesday, August 8

We are excited to announce our upcoming dinner with local wine rock star, Jay Murrie, of Piedmont Wine Imports. We remember Jay from Schoolkids Records on Franklin Street, back in the day, and have known him throughout his rise in the wine world. Among other things, Jay ran the wine department at A Southern Season, taking it to a whole new level, before leaving to run 3 Cups. When he left to start Piedmont we were a bit apprehensive… did the wine world really need another boutique importer? The answer, in Jay’s case, is a definitive yes!

Jay has a distinct palate and philosophy about wine that shines through in the small growers he represents. They make very pure, unadulterated wines that speak clearly of where they are from, without any obscuring make-up. Jay has been a champion of just these kinds of wines for almost 2 decades.

The dinner begins at 7pm on Tuesday, August 8 and is priced at $69 per person. There will be limited quantities of Jay’s wines available for purchase, at special prices. Seating is limited. To reserve yours, please call the restaurant directly at 919-682-8844


The menu for the dinner is as follows:

Alla Costiera Prosecco 2016
House-Made Antipasto

Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese Feinherb 2015
Jambon de Bayonne and Melon, Marcona Almonds, Roasted Chili Crème Fraiche

Vallana Gattinara 2007
Duck and Mushroom Gnocchi, Fontina

Caparsa Chianti Classico Riserva “Caparsino” 2006
Skirt Steak, Lemon, Rosemary, Anchovie Butter, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Franco Terpin Jakot 2010
Plateau de Fromages: Boxcarr Cheese Makers Campo and Rocket’s Robiolo


July is Champagne Month at Rue Cler!

We’re back! After the July 4th holiday (and a couple of days to put on some fresh paint and spruce ourselves up) Rue Cler has reopened under our regular business hours.

Also, we’ve designated the month of July “Champagne Month!” All of our Champagnes will be 20% off by the bottle for the entire month of July. Chef Todd will be putting some dishes on the menu with an eye towards pairing with that most delicious bubbly. Many people think of Champagne only for a celebration, but we often have it with an everyday meal, as it compliments a variety of foods so well. Check out how well those nice, cool bubbles go with our l’Escalope de Saumon or with any of our NC seafood dishes.

We’ve still a few seats left for the Vintage ’59 paired wine dinner!

Rue Cler is happy to announce the next in our series of wine dinners by pairing with Vintage 59 imports. National sales manager Deb Lewis will be joining us to tell us more about the growers and the wines. We are doubly excited because this will be the first dinner with our new Executive Chef, Todd Whitney. Todd has been a friend for over a dozen years and we’re thrilled to finally have a chance to work together. Previously, Todd was Chef de Cuisine at J. Betski’s in Raleigh, Vin Rouge in Durham and a partner in Oval Park Grille. He’s an accomplished chef that would be at home in any kitchen in the country. We’re thrilled he’s here.

While this is our first dinner with Vintage 59, we’ve known the founder, Roy Cloud, for over 20 years going back to our days in the wine business in the DC area. We’ve known Deb for nearly as long and have immense respect for her knowledge and palate.
The dinner will start at 7PM on Tuesday June 13th and cost $79 per person.

The wines we’ve selected are uniformly excellent and the food should be as good as any meal you’ll have this year. Wines will be available for purchase in limited quantities at special prices the evening of the event.

There will be 20 seats available for the dinner. Please contact the restaurant directly to reserve yours: 919-682-8844


Todd Whitney Joins Rue Cler as Executive Chef!

Todd Whitney, the former chef at Vin Rouge in Durham and J. Betski’s in Raleigh, has agreed to join Rue Cler as the executive chef beginning in May 2017.

“Todd and I have been friends from his days at J. Betski’s, and I have long thought he was one of the most talented chefs in the Triangle,” said Rue Cler partner and wine director Nathan Vandergrift. “Rue Cler is a thriving business, and we really think Todd can take us to where we want this restaurant to be. We think that Rue Cler can be one of the best restaurants in the state, if not the Southeast. Todd Whitney would be at home in any kitchen in the country, and we’re thrilled to have him. When my partner Wes Rountree and I took over Rue Cler in 2013, we concentrated on bringing the wine program to a high standard by expanding the selection and purchasing Riedel stemware. These efforts resulted in consecutive Wine Spectator awards. Bringing on Todd will do for the food what we did for the wine—bring it on par with anything around.”

Whitney attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He worked in San Diego, Portland, and Atlanta, as well as the Boone area. Upon returning to the Triangle, he worked for Jean Paul Fontaine at Bistro 607 in Raleigh and then became executive chef at J. Betski’s in 2006. He moved to Vin Rouge as executive chef in 2011 and opened Oval Park Grille in 2014. He comes to Rue Cler in 2017 ready to dive back into his love of French food and wine. “I’ve known Nathan and Wes for a long time and the chance to finally work together is a really exciting opportunity. I’ve been really impressed by the commitment and skill of the staff. All the ingredients are here and the potential for what we can do is really high.” said Whitney.