Summer Shipping Special

Faraway Friends

box-34357_640Beginning now and for the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground [for the East, South and Mid-West for shipments normally travelling 4 or more business days].

This option is available in the shipping menu at checkout.

Good Neighbors

We offer flat rate UPS Ground shipping for our neighbors in Oregon and adjacent states for any size order [Oregon is $17, Washington & Idaho is $20 and California is $25].

This option is available in the shipping menu at checkout.

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Canos and Cabriac

Chateau de Cabriac and Clos Canos

Southern France Wines

First Time Available in the USA

Corbieres is an AOC within the Southern French region of the Languedoc-Roussillon: mostly known for its rich and herbal red wines. The Corbieres region produces only small amounts of white and rose wines. The northern portion, known as Alaric, has plains to the north and south-facing slopes along the Montagne d’Alaric. This is an excellent area for Mourvedre as well as other Southern French varietals such as Grenache and Carignan. In the center of the AOC is the Corbieres-Boutenac AOC, created in 2005. Corbieres-Boutenac is recognized for producing high quality wines from the ten communes that surround a limestone ridge covered in garrigue (a term for the scrubland herbs such as rosemary and lavender that is often used to describe aromas found in the wines). We at Vinopolis are excited to now premier the full breadth of newly-imported selections of two grower / vignerons chosen by the former owner and winemaker of Evesham Wood, Russ Raney. Russ has been a long-time part-time resident in this remarkable region. These wines offer excellent value in a range of genres: some complex yet easy-drinking, some powerful and full-bodied, and others are great cellar candidates.

 

Chateau de Cabriac

Cabriac from Russ Raney

Ch Cabriac Estate Courtesy of Russ Raney

Russ Raney Reports: “Chateau de Cabriac is located in the northwestern section of the rather large Corbières AOC – just downhill from the imposing Mount D’Alaric and facing the foothills of the Cavennes. The micro-climate here is still very much Mediterranean – surrounded by the typical garrigue landscape. They are a medium-sized family owned estate which produces both red & white wines under the Corbières appellation as well as ‘Pays d’Oc’ wines (e.g. 100% Carignan). The congenial proprietors are Jean and his wife, Michèle Cibeins. Jean is a native of the region as a result, understands well what is required to produce typical wines from this terroir (primarily limestone and sandstone). The predominant grape varieties used in their blends are: Carignan, Grenache and Syrah for red and Vermentino (Rolle) for whites. I was very much impressed by the ‘restraint’ and authenticity of their wines, which tend to not be so viscous and alcoholic as some from this warm region. Considering Cabriac’s long tenure, they have kept their pricing very reasonable.”

The domaine is composed of 70 hectares, with 25 hectares in the Corbieres AOC and 45 hectares considered Vin de Pays. The family was one of the first to introduce Syrah and Mourvedre into the AOC. The micro-climate allows for a slower maturation of the grapes, resulting in balance and in intense flavors without over-ripeness.

Chateau de Cabriac Available Here Now

Domaine de Cabriac Vermentino 2013 750ML ($12.95) $9 special

Winery note “[Translated] aged for four months in vat. Tasting notes: Notes of honey candy, caramel, dried fruits, and quince. Fresh, with a refined nose of anise, lily and acacia flowers. Bright acidity with good structure for a white. In the mouth it is peppery and spicy, with notes of cumin, honey, quince and lily of the valley.”

Domaine de Cabriac Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2013 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special

Case-12 Domaine de Cabriac Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special

Winery note: “[Translated] Aged in vats. Tasting notes: A ruby red color with violet hues that reveals aromas of ripe red fruits, currants and cassis accompanied by some spicy notes. The wine is elegant, well-structured with a roundness and ampleness in the mouth. The fruit flavors are followed by soft tannins with good persistence.”

Chateau de Cabriac Tradition, Corbieres 2011 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special

Case-12 Chateau de Cabriac Tradition, Corbieres 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special

Syrah/Mourvedre/Carignan/Grenache

Winery note “[Translated] Traditional winemaking. Separate vinification by grape variety. 18 months aging in vats. Tasting notes: Intense color, exuberant nose of black fruits. The palate is round, full, and fruity, with notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, and roasted coffee. The palate is fleshy, dense and powerful. Nice Balance. Lots of fun.”

Chateau de Cabriac Prieuré St Martin, Corbieres 2008 750ML ($19.95) $14 special

Syrah/Mourvedre/Grenache

Winery note: “[Translated] This is blended after careful tasting to produce a wine of power and intensity. Hand harvested. Long maceration in barrel, aging occurs in oak for 12 months. Tasting notes: A nose first of cherry, blackberry jam, green tomato, smoked and salted caramel, which then progresses to peanut notes, paprika and bay leaf. The mouth is full and ends with cumin, blackberry, nutmeg and woody notes.”

 

Clos Canos

Clos Canos bottles from Russ Raney

Bottle shot courtesy of Russ Raney

Russ Raney Reports: “Clos Canos is a small family operation (11,000 cases/year) situated on the edge of the village, Luc-sur-Orbieu – which is within the sub-appellation of Corbières-Boutenac, and more or less in the center of the AOC. The husband-wife owners are Pierre Galinier and Françoise Castel. Pierre is a 5th generation vigneron in Luc, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that he discountinued selling the estate’s grapes to negociants, and began to produce wine under their own label. The soil type in their location is largely claylimestone, and like Ch. Cabriac their predominant red grapes employed are Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. For the whites they use primarily Sauvignon Blanc and the Rhone variety Roussanne. Clos Canos also makes a lovely, floral and regressing rose… produced mainly from Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Grenache Noir. Canos’ wines are also in the ‘good value’ category, but they produce some excellent ageable wines as well, like their ‘Tradition,’ which is 90% old-vine Carignan with loads of character.”

Clos Canos Available Here Now

Clos Canos Rose, Corbières 2013 750ML ($13.95) $9.90 special

From the winery: “Light pink. Nose: very fine and floral; palate: full and fleshy. 25% Grenache Gris, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Grenache Noir, 25% Syrah. From clay limestone vineyards.”

Clos Canos Rouge, Corbières 2012 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special

Case-12 Clos Canos Rouge, Corbières 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special

50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Carignan

Clos Canos Tradition, Corbières 2011 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special

90% Carignan w/ Grenache & Syrah

From the winery “From quartenary period clay limestone. 10 months in barrel. Grenache is destemmed. Nose: Red fruits, palate: ripe fruits and garrigue (scrubland herbs).”

Clos Canos “Les Cocobirous,” Corbières 2011 750ML ($25.95) $21.90 special

Carignan/Grenache/Syrah

From the winery “Nose: red fruits and blackcurrant, palate: warm, very supple tannins, fine and well balanced. Age for up to 10 years.”

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2010 Brunello

2010 Brunello di Montalcino

The 2010 vintage in Brunello is widely considered by professional reviews to be one of the greatest. The growing conditions were near perfect, with ideal warmth during ripening and strong diurnal temperature swings that allowed for phenolic ripeness with retained acidity. The best show lush fruit, bright acidity and strong tannins, suggesting an aging potential of 10-20 years.

2010 is the top Brunello di Montalcino vintage of the new millennium because it shows the best traits of my other two favorite vintages, 2006 and 2007, in tandem. It beautifully combines the freshness, structure, linearity and aging potential of 2006 with the intensity, opulence, balsam distinctiveness and tannic richness of 2007. In 2010 you get it all.” -Wine Advocate’s vintage report

The year 2010 for Brunello di Montalcino is the greatest modern vintage of Italy’s most famous red wine region. Never have the wines been so profound in quality, character, and quantity from the best hillside vineyards of Montalcino. They represent a new paradigm for Tuscany’s unique sangiovese-based red.” -James Suckling

2010 Brunellos Available Here Now

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($49.95) $34.50 special
Case-12 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points “So much dried-lemon and orange-peel character here. Wet leaf, wet earth, stone and lightly smoked meat. Full body, integrated tannins and a savory, tangy finish. Fleshy and yummy. Fabulous deal. Drink or hold on release.” JS
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Bright red cherries, plums, smoke, tobacco, flowers, cedar and spices are all beautifully delineated in the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Vibrant and lifted throughout, the 2010 captures the freshness of the vintage in spades. Already soft and accessible, the 2010 can be enjoyed now or cellared for a decade or so.” AG
Wine Advocate 92 points “Caparzo’s 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a lush and voluptuous wine with soft cherry aromas at the front of spice, dark chocolate and toasted almond. The wine is more approachable in style with a drinking window that can offer pleasure to those too impatient to wait. The tannins are also more evolved and integrated for a more gentle approach. The finish is marked by an evident touch of vanilla from the oak.” WA

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 94 points “Very perfumed with flower, truffle, light wet earth and cherry character. Full body and full integrated ripe tannins and caresses your palate. Very fine and pretty. Slight soya undertone. Succulent and enticing. You want to drink this…”

Arriving in April

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 1.5L ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Aromas of lilac, dark berry and sandalwood follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and an intense and savory finish. Very intense and very long. Succulent. Amazing balance and depth to this red. It’s so beautiful to taste now but it will be much better in five to ten years. A triumph.” JS

Arriving in June

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Wonderful decadent aromas of musk, orange peel and plum follow through to a full body, with soft tannins and a long and rich finish. Salty and savory. Layers of gorgeous fruit. Drink or hold.” JS

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special – sold out!
Wine Advocate 96 points “The outstanding 2010 Brunello di Montalcino gives you everything you want to see in a great wine, a great Tuscan wine. This monumental expression of Sangiovese delivers top-notch intensity with seamless integration of aromas. They span from dark fruit and Morello cherry to chocolate, spice, licorice, balsam herb and rosemary sprig. The energy and vitality of the vintage is locked perfectly within. This Brunello exhibits especially soft, silky tannins with long persistence and momentum. There is nothing out of place and the price tag is certainly not exaggerated for this level of excellence.” WA

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Domaine Potinet-Ampeau

Domaine Potinet-Ampeau

From the Importer:

“Vincent Durrieu is the fifth generation of this family to work the domain, continuing with very traditional Burgundian methods.  Domaine Potinet-Ampeau is one of very few to make wine meant to be laid down and to hold vintages in their own cellars to allow them to age correctly before release. The family had strong ties to the American market as early as the 1920s, when Vincent’s grandmother’s family, winemakers in Meursault, was among the first to export to the US. And it was Vincent’s grandparents who, in 1951, started keeping ‘vins de garde’, so the domain always has an impressive array of older vintages on offer.  The Domaine Potinet-Ampeau is situated in the village of Monthelie in the southern part of the Cote de Beaune, near to Meursault, Volnay and Auxey-Duresses.The domain works 21.5 acres and produces as much red as white in appellations in the villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Auxey-Duresses, Volnay, Pommard and Monthelie. The vines are on average 30 years old, and the vineyards are plowed (without herbicides) and treated reasonably with natural compounds.  In summary:

– Vincent Durrieu is a traditional winemaker and his reds are built for long ageing. He only releases them after several years’ cellaring, so they are often missed by the major reviewers – otherwise they would be far better known

– From a walled vineyard named by Jancis Robinson MW as one of the “great names” of Volnay:  Clos des Chênes lies at the southern end of Volnay, where the best wines are found, and produces wines that are “very pure in their expression of fruit” with “the ability to age well” (Clive Coates MW).

– Also on Clos des Chenes, which produces some of the best wines of the region, it is situated south of Volnay and high up on the hillside. It contains a mix of limestone marl and clay-limestone. At the bottom of the vineyard there is more red soil with a higher level of iron and the further up you move the limestone takes over. The vineyard faces southeast and gets steeper further up. Two of the top producers from this vineyard are Domaine des Comtes Lafon and Domaine Michel Lafarge.”

 

Domaine Potinet-Ampeau Arriving Mid-April 2015

Domaine Potinet-Ampeau Clos des Chenes, Volnay Premier Cru 2001 750ML ($89.95) $59 pre-arrival special

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Selbach-Oster Block Picked Rieslings

Selbach-Oster and Block-Picked Riesling

The ambitiousness of Johannes Selbach has made this estate the region’s most prominent rising star. Since 1989, [Selbach-Oster is] always among the very best wines of the collection.” –Terry Thiese

The ancestors of the Selbach-Oster estate have been cultivating Riesling since 1600. Johannes Selbach and his wife Barbara currently run the estate with their son Sebastian. The Riesling vineyards here are steep, making mechanical farming methods impossible. Everything from pruning to harvesting to securing the vines with stakes must be done by hand. In the vineyard, modern practices and careful grape selection lead to ultra-low yields from the mostly ungrafted old vines. The fruit is handled as little as possible, with wild yeasts, cool fermentation and gravity flow transport for the juice.

The winery produces several micro-parcel bottlings of old vines, picked en-bloc (all ripeness levels picked at the same time) to showcase the unique terroir.  The wines are fermented slowly and naturally, and as a result in some vintages the wines are dry and others not.  The Schmitt bottling is from the Schlossberg vineyard.  The soil is deep, decomposed slate and loam.  The micro-parcel is steep, with an excellent southern exposure, and is warmed by the water and the shield of nearby houses.  The 2012 was fermented in steel and shows remarkable richness and acidity.  The Rotlay, from Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, is also a warmer site, near to the river, with soil rich in iron ore.  Anrecht, from the Himmelreich vineyard, is a slightly cooler yet steep site with broken slate, humus and loamy soil.  The grapes are block-picked, so it shows some notes of botrytis while still possessing the lighter body of a Kabinett or Spatlese-level wine.  It was fermented in Fuder with ambient yeast.

Selbach-Oster En-Bloc Wines Available Here Now

Selbach-Oster ‘Anrecht’ Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling 2011 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The block-picked, lightly-botrytized Selbach 2011 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Anrecht leads with a gorgeous though subtle amalgam of apple blossom, chamomile, sweet lime, pear nectar, and quince preserves, all of which reconvene on a silken-textured, subtly creamy and oily yet admirably juicy and utterly transparent palate, through which shimmer stony, smoky and saline notes. Allying a Kabinett-like sense of levity, primary juiciness and mineral interaction with the richness of flavor typical for a great Auslese – at just 7.5% alcohol yet not dominated by its sheer sweetness! – this perfectly illustrates precisely the point of block picking that captures all of the sorts of ripeness that are out there and layers them on the palate to render a masterpiece of counterpoint and harmony. Expect this to be worth following for a quarter century, though who can really tell, absent any recent track record for such a wine.” WA

Selbach-Oster ‘Anrecht’ Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling 2012 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “($38) Golden yellow. Expansive aromas of caramelized apple, candied peach and lemon curd. The succulent flavors of honey and apricot pith are kept vibrant by refreshing acidity. The long finish, offering complex notes of tangerine and toasted nuts, tastes almost dry.” ST

Selbach-Oster ‘Rotlay’ Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling 2011 750ML ($59.95) $48 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 91+ points “Carob and toasted nuts inflect baked apple and vanilla on the nose of Selbachs’ block-picked 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Rotlay, which comes to the palate expansive, creamy, and buoyant (at 8.5% alcohol), its apple joined by almost overripe Persian melon. Hints of pip and botrytis bitterness add interest, but there is not the subtle interaction of flavors or the layer of primary juiciness that rendered the corresponding Anrecht bottling so memorable, but instead a more dominantly honeyed, soothingly rich personality. This long-finishing beauty may well – as its author suggests – just need some time to reveal its multiple layers.”

Selbach-Oster ‘Schmitt’ Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling 2012 375ML ($37.95) $28 special, 23 half-bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “($54) Pale golden yellow. Rich bouquet of candied apricot, ginger and nut oil. Succulently juicy pineapple and crisp slate animate the supple, creamy texture. The seductive finish is only slightly sweet. Boasts excellent balance and considerable promise.” ST

See the full list of wines from Selbach-Oster by visiting our web store.

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Suertes del Marques and Binigrau

Diamonds in the Rough
Uncommon Varietals from Uncommon Regions

Across the world there are thousands of varieties of grapes lovingly cultivated and turned into wine, offering a startling amount of diversity beyond the standard varietals. While the international superstars such as Chardonnay and Cabernet still constitute the vast majority of wines served, some of the most intriguing values come to us from unrecognized and often-ignored appellations. Gathered below are a few producers who continue the traditions of their respective regions, working with the lesser known varietals indigenous to their area that have continued to please local consumers for generations. Trade out your go-to varietal choices for any of these wines; try something new and you are bound to be pleased!

Suertes del Marques- Wines of Canary Island

Founded in 2006 in Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Suertes del Marques is run by winegrower Roberto Santana and owner Jonatan Garcia Lima. Together they farm 9 hectares of vineyards with altitudes ranging from 350–700 meters, on the slopes of Mount Teide, an active volcano. The work here is as natural as possible, practicing organic viticulture, the use of native yeasts, and all the wines are bottle with no fining or filtration. All Suertes vines are pie franco (ungrafted) and many of the vines are over 100 years old, trellised with a system unique to the Canary Islands: el cordon trenzado (the braided cord), with a number of the trained vine’s branches braided together. Tenerife is unique in its location; highly influenced by the northern Alisio winds, this region’s fresh climate can be tasted in the invigorating structure of its wines, the old vines accounting for low yields and the intensity of flavor found in these rare varietals.

The main varieties produced at Suertes are Listán Blanco (the same grape as Sherry’s Palomino Fino) and Listán Negro. Distinctive and authentic, the wines are complex, notably perfumed, with a striking minerality. The 7 Fuentes is a blend of several plots of Listan Negro blended with a small amount of Tintilla (Grenache). Fermented in stainless steel, the result is a spicy and bright red wine. The Solana, a single vineyard plot from the estate with vines a minimum of eighty years old, are fermented in concrete before being aged in French oak barrels. With richness similar to nearby Spain’s Reservas, the Solana’s dark fruit flavors are mingled with the spicy aroma and bright minerality that the unique Listan Negro is loved for.

Available Here Now

Suertes Del Marques 7 Fuentes Valle de la Orotava 2013 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“(98% listan negra and 2% tintilla; aged for eight months in a combination of concrete tanks and 500-liter French oak barrels): Brilliant red. Spice- and mineral-tinged red fruits on the intensely perfumed nose and palate. Fine-grained and very well balanced, with sexy floral pastille and incense qualities coming up with aeration. Finishes with strong mineral cut, no obvious tannins and excellent spicy persistence.”

Suertes Del Marques La Solana Valle de la Orotava 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Brilliant ruby. A complex bouquet evokes intense raspberry, floral and mineral scents and a hint of Asian spices. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering lively red fruit flavors that gain sweetness with air. Silky tannins give shape to the finish, which emphasizes juicy red fruit and rose pastille qualities.”

Binigrau Mallorca Wines

Founded in 2006 and situated in over 30 hectares of beautiful countryside, the Binigrau winery sits right in the heart of Mallorca on the lovely Belearic Islands, located off the east coast of Spain. With a sandy topsoil covering layers of limestone and clay, the wines of Mallorca reflect their Meditteranean climate; high altitude vines, short mild winters and hot dry summers that produce wines of intensity and verve. A little heard of, much less tasted, area, Mallorca is a growing winemaking region providing flavor and value that rivals nearby Spain.

Working under bio-dynamic principles, the wines of Binigrau are made using sustainable vine-growing processes, strict grape selection and are harvested entirely by hand. With great respect for the ecology of the area, Binigrau works with several varietals that are indigenous to the area. Manto negro, which accounts for nearly 40% of total vineyard production in the area, is typically blended with other local varietals like Callet ( a dark-skinned varietal commonly used to add body and color), producing a wine that is bold and rich with smooth tannins. Prensal blanc (aka moll) is the most widely planted white varietal of Mallorca, loved for its fresh and herbal quality. Winemaking is done using small tanks and oak wine barrels made using specially selected wood, with extra care taken in each of step of the process to produce a truly unique wine.

Available Here Now

Binigrau Nounat Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands 2012 ($31.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points
“(85% native prensal and 15% chardonnay): Pale, green-tinged yellow. Highly aromatic nose combines tangerine, honey, iodine and chamomile. Deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and pick up notes of honey and smoky minerals with air. A bitter citrus pith note adds definition to the long, sappy finish.”

Binigrau Obac de Binigrau Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands 2009 ($31.95) $28 special
Winery notes
“A coupage of Mantonegro, Callet, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah grapes, matured from between twelve and fourteen months in fine-grain oak barrels. An elegant, dark ruby-coloured wine with a subtle shade of garnet. Aromas of spice, nuts, fennel and licorice, combined with a well-integrated underlying taste of mature fruit and wood.”

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