Terry Theise 2013 German Rieslings- Donnhoff

                                                            2014 Terry Theise                                                                                                           German and Austrian Offerings                                                     Arriving in our store the last week of November

Terry Theise Vintage Report for Germany 2013: “When 2013 works it gives wines of great relief and contrast; these are vivid wines. They’re almost never creamy, but they are sometimes quite silky. They can seem deliciously savage at times, like a raspy-voiced singer; it isn’t a “pretty” voice but still you love it. 2013s are high in acidity and stunningly high in extract; this is tactile and discernible, not a metaphor. That said, bottling will often subdue this component, not insofar as it exists but insofar as it can be tasted. At that point extract behaves as a buffer to acidity (and to sweetness if it is there) and confers a richness to the mid-palate. 2013s are often high in botrytis, and the degree to which botrytis was managed is a leitmotif of the vintage.

As such ’13 invites comparison to two previous vintages, 2010 and 2000. But it is both less ripe and not as monstrously high in acidity as ’10 was. It has in common with ’10 its tendency to an almost monumental solidity along with always-prominent (and sometimes unbalanced) acids. Regarding 2000, nearly every grower told me the conditions in ’13 were less challenging, there was less overall mildew, plus they’d learned from the earlier vintage and were better prepared this time. All of this may very well be true. The best 2000s have aged surprisingly well, but that “best” is a slim tip of a large iceberg.”




“In essence the BRÜCKE is a minerally wine; it shows a more masculine profile, it’s more fibrous and nutty than many other Nahe wines, but just at the moment you think you’re tasting everything in it, it comes at you with even more nuance, yet another facet of flavor. If new-world-oaky-creamslut wines are like basic addition and subtraction, these wines are like integral calculus—except that any ragamuffin palate (even mine!) can grok them.

“NIEDERHÄUSER HERMANNSHÖHLE is one of those vineyards that gives utterly miraculous wine. You shake your head in delighted perplexity that fermented grape juice can attain such flavors. It is a steep hillside, not very large (8.5 hectares), with ideal exposition and a soil whose complexity is mirrored in its wines. Walk fifty yards through the vineyard and you see a mish-mash of soils, as though this were a geological junction, an Arc de Triomphe of slate, porphyry, melaphyre and conglomerates—sometimes all jumbled together. The only possible drawback is drought in the drier years. Its favorable exposure makes Eiswein almost impossible.

“Dönnhoff is currently producing the very best wines from HERMANNSHÖHLE, and you need look no further to see one of the wine-world’s great confluences of a great vineyard and a great proprietor. I don’t care what a hot-shot palate you have, the complexities of these wines will tax it to its outermost limits. The fundamental aromas and flavors are a mingling of sharply sweet cherry, sometimes black cherry, and currant-cassis, but there is a hint of anise too, something spriggy, and an undertow of stoniness from the slate. Botrytis brings tropical fruit notes. I would go so far as to claim that NO SINGLE WINE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD IS AS COMPLEX AS DÖNNHOFF’S BEST FROM HERMANNSHÖHLE.”

-Terry Theise

 Arriving at Vinopolis the last week of November

Dönnhoff Felsenber Riesling GG “Felsenturmchen” 2013 ($69.95) $54.50 pre-arrival special                                                                                                                           Terry Theise “Distracted while tasting, so my note is sketchy. The wine is markedly sleek and delineated, and “greener” (in terms of tea and herbs, not lack of ripeness) than ’12. “

Dönnhoff Dellchen Riesling GG 2013 ($69.95) $54.50 pre-arrival special             Terry Theise “Remarkably approachable young Dellchen! It’s not that the wine is usually forbidding; it’s just closed until about 3-4 years old. But this is as pixilated and herbal-stony as I’ve ever tasted, so full of grasses and herbs and rock-dust. Ethereal finish, exceedingly delicate.”

Dönnhoff Hermannshohle Riesling GG 2013 ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special   Terry Theise “Surprisingly forceful and masculine, and showing a certain Calvinist rectitude, as if the Trimbachs had visited and vinified it. This view is likely distorted, as this among all the wines was the least forthcoming.”

Dönnhoff Oberhauser Leistenburg Riesling Kabinett 2013 ($31.95) $24 pre-arrival special                                                                                                                      Terry Theise “A trebly wine in general meets a trebly vintage in particular, and the result is like a St. Elmo’s fire of flavor; high-toned lemony aromas, talc, spearmint, with a scythe-like cut and relief; almost shockingly taut in this very young stage”

Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 2013 ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival  special                                                                                                                     Terry Theise “An aside—there’s no Felsenberg Spät in the small crop of 2013, as all of it went into the dry wine. Thus we head straight into Brücke, and into its quiet monastic stirring and yearning. That’s the essence of Brücke, this kind of ur-Riesling that seems to find our own primordial souls. In ’13 its acids feel more prominent, and it’s brooding just now, but serenely—Brücke can be obscure but is never austere. I opened the 2001 over the winter and it needs 4-5 more years, though you can drink Hermannshöhle now if you insist. “

Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese 2013 ($64.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special                                                                                                           Terry Theise “After the Brücke this was vividly lively again. Qualities of sublimity and qualities of almost hyperactive acidity. A decades- keeper, or if you drink it young, then food please. You need to carpet over an end-palate snappiness. The trebly skeins-of-herbs-and-flowers style of ’13 is well expressed here! But again—take this all with some grains of salt. I was early to this particular party.”

Dönnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2013, 375ml ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special                                                                                           Terry Theise “The first since 2006. Clarity goes without saying. Berries, mint and wintergreen and aloe vera; the transparency, reserve and intricacy are divine, and the Gyokoru and balsam finish is heart-rending. The best Auslese I tasted from 2013—so far”

Dönnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2013, 375ml ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special                                                                                 Terry Theise “Now we see the cherry and verbena elements of this greatest of all Riesling vineyards in the elevated form of a parfait. It’s sweet and overt yet also mysterious, as intense and as light as the best macaroons.”

Don’t Stop Here!

More 2013 German Riesling arriving November!

Click the “Shop Vinopolis Now” button to the right of the page to see them all!

Posted in General, Wineries and Wines | Comments Off

Bereche Champagne

champagne bereche vineyard

Champagne Bérèche et Fils 

Leon and Albert Bereche founded the family estate in 1847 with only 2.5 hectares of vineyard land in Ludes, Champagne.  The family mostly produced grapes to sell to larger houses.  Beginning in the 1950s, successive generations expanded the property and aquired land in the Vallee de la Marne.  Today, the estate has 9.5 hectares spread over 21 parcels in three areas of the Montagne de Reims and the Vallee de la Marne.

Although the family has been producing their own wines since the 1970s, it was the fifth generation of winemakers and the current owners, brothers Raphael and Vincent Bereche, that refocused the estate on production of their own wines and brought international fame and recognition for the impressive results.  The brothers studied vineyard management and oenology and practiced their craft in various traineeships.  They joined the estate in the early 2000s and quickly established a reputation as talented grower-producers.  Through their leadership, the estate has shifted toward naturalistic growing methods that respect the land on which the wines are born.

bereche family

(left to right) Jean- Pierre, Raphael and Vincent Bereche

Today, Bereche is a standout member of a small group of dedicated and brilliant growers and producers that are creating a quality renaissance in Champagne. Bereche wines are a must try for Champagne lovers, and their short supply makes them a worthwhile effort to seek out.  Known for their deeply vinous Champagnes with pitch-perfect clarity, their wines such as Reflet D’Antan have received high praise from wine publications around the world, counting them among the best Champagnes in the world.  2010 was a difficult year in Champagne, but careful attention to grapes throughout the growing season and rigorous sorting resulted in elegant and balanced wines, especially those based on Chardonnay.

Beginning this year, the brothers are also releasing wines produced from grapes grown by neighbors and colleagues in their region under the Raphaël & Vincent Bérêche Crus Selectionnes label.  They are beginning with unfinished bottles and will eventually produce the wines themselves from the purchased grapes.  The brothers have personally selected the wines to reflect a style similar to their own.  The focus of this new venture is to find new Champagne experiences and flavors in vineyards other than their own. The Crus Selectionnes are focused on what Raphael and Vincent view as unique opportunities, and are a chance for these talented winemakers to try something new while maintaining the high quality of Bereche wines across the board.

Bereche Champagnes Available Now

Bereche et Fils Les Beaux Regards Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV (2010) ($79.95) $69 special
100% Chardonnay from Montagne de Reims and Vallee de la Marne; 40+ year old vines.  The wine is based on the Les Beaux Regards parcel, which has been in the family for 3 generations.

Bereche et Fils Vallee de la Marne Rive Gauche Extra Brut NV (2010) ($99.95) $89 special
From Les Misy parcel in Vallee de la Marne.  100% old-vine Pinot Meunier, which the estate describes as being particularly well-adapted to the cold and humid climate and to the unique calcareous marl soil conditions.  4 g/l dosage.

Raphaël & Vincent Bérêche Crus Selectionnes La Cote Grand Cru Extra-Brut 1999 1.5L ($279.95)$219 special 

Raphaël & Vincent Bérêche Crus Selectionnes La Cote 1er Cru Extra-Brut NV ($89.95) $79 special 

Raphaël & Vincent Bérêche Crus Selectionnes Montagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut 2004 ($99.95) $89 special

Raphaël & Vincent Bérêche Crus Selectionnes  Vallee De La Marne Extra Brut 2002 ($119.95) $99 special SOLD OUT

Bereche & Fils Reflet d’Antan Brut NV [2008] (119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The NV (2008) Reflet d’Antan is incredibly delicious. At once rich yet weightless, it embodies a sense of pure aesthetic beauty that is hard to do justice to with mere words. Rich, burnished overtones develop in the glass, giving the wine additional volume, yet the Reflet d’Antan remains gracious and impeccably polished. Hints of almond, spice and orange peel add elements of exoticism. Bérèche’s Reflet d’Antan remains one of the most unique and compelling wines in Champagne. Reflet d’Antan is a perpetual solera, based on the 2008 vintage in this release. This bottle was disgorged in October 2012. Dosage was 6 grams per liter.”

Posted in General | Comments Off

Chateau de Saint Cosme

saintcosme logo

“Without a doubt, the leading estate in Gigondas is Louis Barruol’s Chateau Saint-Cosme. Located just outside the village, he releases an assortment of world class Gigondas, as well as a number of value priced, negotiate-styled Cotes du Rhone efforts that always deliver high-quality (these are normally released under his Saint-Cosme label and do not say Chateau Saint-Cosme). Both 2011 and 2012 are incredibly strong here and readers should not miss these wines!” Jebb Dunnuck in The Wine Advocate

The Saint Cosme estate is located in the heart of Gigondas in the Southern Rhone. The Chateau at the center of estate was built in the 16th century over the remains of a Gallo-Roman era villa and wine cellar. The family retained much of the original stonework, including the winemaking vats carved into the stone cellar that date from the 2nd century. The Chateau is surrounded by 37 acres of old-vine vineyard land. It is no surprise that the vines average an impressive 60 years in age, coming from an estate that was founded in 1490 and saw 14 successive generations of the Barruol family manage it. The estate is in the middle of two geological faults, resulting in a wide variety of soil types. The microclimate is quite cool for the region; grapes are usually harvested later than other estates in the area.

In 1995, Louis Barruol took over from his father, Henri. He expanded the business to include a negociant label for Rhone Valley wines. He takes a very active role in managing the vineyards, personally overseeing pruning, ripening and harvests. He oversaw the expansion of the wine cellar in 2007 into ancient Roman tunnels. Instead of destroying them to make room for a modern cellar, he saw the value in their longevity and ability to maintain the ideal humitidy and temperature for aging wine.

saint cosme vineyard pan

From the family-owned vineyards that line the foothills of the Dentelles-de-Montmirail mountains, Barruol produces several Gigondas wines. These wines are powerful and rich with a striking elegance. The Le Poste vineyard surrounds the estate’s chapel and was replanted by Louis’ father Henri in 1963. It is composed of several parcels of Grenache and one of Clairette. The vineyard was one the first purchased by the family in 1490 along with the estate. The soil is limestone yellow mall with many fossils. The winemaker writes that this vineyard makes the most feminine and elegant wine of the estate. Le Claux and the Hominis Fides vineyards were first recognized in 1902. Le Claux, planted in 1870, was scheduled to be ripped out in 1914 because the vines no longer produced large yields. The War and several deaths in the family prevented its destruction. The soil is yellow limestone clay and gravel. Now Le Claux is celebrated for its old vines that produce tiny, concentrated yields. It produces the most Burgundian character, with finesse and complexity. The Hominis Fides vineyard is composed of the oldest vines in the estate. It is made of sandy limestone soil that the winemaker believes help contribute to the fine tannins in the Grenache. It is their “most deep and enigmatic wine.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Wines – Available Now

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2013 1.5 LITER ($29.95) $21.90 special                    From the winery “The syrah from Vinsobres and from the Terrasses Villafranchiennes of the Gard give this year remarkable results. Be ready to taste this year a Côtes du Rhône full of fruit and fresh aromas, with a nice tight texture. It will be “interesting” to propose this wine as a blind taste to your friends (or your ennemies !!) to get them wrong. It is possible that a few of them think that this syrah comes from Cornas or Crozes-Hermitage.. It is my pleasure to offer every year a wine of this quality at a reasonable level of price. ”

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special        From the winery “It looks like month after month that 2012 is, for the domaines which work well, an excellent vintagewhich won’t stop surprising us. Its magnificent style recalls the great “cool” Gigondas wines. The superiority of 2012 relatively to 2011 becomes more obvious every day. Deux Albion 2012 is a perfect image of this reality: its texture and its depth recall the 2010. Co-fermented in concrete vats as usual, it develops a good density, good colour and a length that reminds of a great vintage. 80% of the cuvée was aged in concrete vat, which says a lot about the ability of the wines from our region to be “self-suficient”.. In fact, this is in the concrete vats that Deux Albions gets the best expression. Its fruit full of terroir develops its own truth with freedom. The work of the vigneron is to understand what the best technical way for its terroir, and then add to his work a search of beauty.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2012 ($44.95) $38 special                              Wine Advocate 90-92 points “Moving to the releases in barrel, the 2012 Gigondas (60% Grenache and the balance mostly Mourvedre, with some Syrah) has plenty of potential, with juicy black raspberry, sweet spice, licorice and toasty notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Nicely balanced, it shows the purity of the vintage, as well as a relatively approachable style that should allow it to drink nicely on release.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2011($59.95)$47 special                    Robert Parker 90-93+ points “The amazing 2011 Gigondas Valbelle illustrates what a strong vintage Louis Barruol produced in this more challenging harvest. Deep berry fruit, melted licorice, camphor, white chocolate, boysenberry, blackberry and smoked duck-like characteristics are found in this rich, full-throttle red. Consume it over the next decade.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux 2011 ($89.95) $59 special                   Wine Spectator 95 points “Delivers a blaze of cassis, steeped plum and blackberry fruit, tightly coiled with chalky minerality and backed by lilting bergamot, rooibos tea and blood orange notes. Shows great grip on the finish, with acidity-driven cut and precision. The better of two bottles tasted. Best from 2015 through 2030. 375 cases made.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2012($79.95)$66 special                    Wine Advocate 92-94 points “A bigger, richer effort, the 2012 Gigondas Valbelle is brilliant! Seamless, full-bodied, rich and beautifully textured, as well as with considerable structure, it offers notions of creamy raspberry, creme de cassis, toast and licorice in its impressive, layered personality. It got a big “Wow” in the notes and should be a wine to grab up on release.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2012 ($119.95) $89 special    Wine Advocate 93-96 points “Despite coming from sandy soils, the 2012 Gigondas Hominis Fides has a masculine, structured and almost burly profile. Underbrush, black raspberry, crushed rock, pepper and black licorice are just some of the notions here, and it hits the palate with full-bodied authority and richness. I expect it will flesh out nicely once in bottle, but it should still warrant 2-3 years in the cellar and have the capacity to keep for 20 years.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux 2012 ($119.95) $89 special              Wine Advocate 93-96 points “More aromatic and complex compared to the Valbelle, the 2012 Gigondas Le Claux exhibits notions of potpourri, leather, graphite and flowers to go with a full-bodied, elegant and pure profile on the palate. It too doesn’t lack for fruit or structure and should have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste 2012 ($119.95) $99 special                Wine Advocate 94-97 points “The 2012 Gigondas Le Poste might just be the star of the three single vineyards in 2012. More fine and elegant, with thrilling lavender, flowers, forest floor and sweet berry fruit, it is full-bodied, seamless and carries masses of fine tannin in its pure, refined texture. Gorgeous all around, it too should have upward of two decades of longevity.”



Posted in General | Comments Off

Jean-Louis Chave

JL Chave 2011 Hermitage and Saint Joseph

“Our role is to ensure the story continues, to act as a relay and in so doing not make any radical changes..”  -Jean Louis Chave, on his family’s famed history in Hermitage


For over five centuries, the Chave family has been producing Hermitage wines of extraordinary quality and complexity. The current producers, Jean-Louis Chave and his father, Gerard, draw from the accumulated wisdom transmitted down through the generations of Chaves that began making Hermitage in 1481.

The family has 37 acres of vineyards in Hermitage and draw from their numerous lieu-dits scattered around the hill of Hermitage (L’Hermite, Peleat, Meal to name a few) to produce their Hermitage Rouge and Blanc. A blend of cuvees, the fruit in the Hermitage Rouge varies from year to year depending upon the strength of the individual climats, but the Bessards, their most revered plot located on a steep granite slope, always plays a starring role. In their Hermitage Blanc, the 100 year old monopole Peleat is the core of the blend, providing the old vine Marsanne that comprises 85% of the Blanc, the remaining 15% Rousanne. In addition to their benchmark Hermitage wines, Chave has long made a beautiful traditionally styled St. Joseph Rouge, crafted from Chave’s original estate vineyards in the historic center of the appellation, showing excellent balance and longevity, with aromas of black raspberries, black olives, violets and smoke.

hermitage hillAll of their wines are crafted from vineyards with an average vine age of 60 years, each terroir vinified seperately. The grapes are partially destemmed and fermented in wood vats and cement for an average of 18 months before blending. The Chave’s methods for all of their wines are traditional- low yields, full ripeness, minimal new oak, and no filtering. An unmatched attention to detail and centuries of traditions all go into these pure expressions of the Northern Rhone, offered below.

Jean-Louis Chave Wines Arriving Late July

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph Rouge 2011 ($79.95) $66 special                                                                                                                                        Wine Advocate 93 points “Tasted out of bottle and a smoking St.-Joseph that savvy readers need to seek out, the 2011 St.-Joseph (which was just bottled prior to this tasting) offers gorgeous richness and depth, especially in the vintage. Black currants, charcoal, mineral, bouquet garni and ample background meatiness all emerge from the glass, and this medium to full-bodied beauty has brilliant purity of fruit, a great texture and fine tannin that should allow it to evolve gracefully. It’s a fantastic value that should not be missed!”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2011 ($319.95) $249 special                                                                                                                                       Wine Advocate 96 points “Just bottled, the 2011 Hermitage Blanc also shows the richer side of Hermitage with its full-bodied, voluptuously textured and up-front profile. Honeysuckle, licorice, toast, citrus oil and liquid mineral-like qualities all emerge from this beauty, and it stays beautifully fresh and focused on the palate. A blend of mostly Marsanne, yet with roughly 20% Roussanne, from the l’Ermite, Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche and Peleat lieux-dits, this substantial white should be consumed over the coming 2-4 years, or forgotten for a decade or more. It will have over two decades of longevity.”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 ($319.95) $249 special                                                                                                                                    Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 1.5L ($649.95) $499 special                                                                                                                                   Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 3L ($1,799.95) $1399 special                                                                                                                                       Wine Advocate 96-98 points “The 2011 Hermitage (also still in barrel), in comparison, is more focused and straight, with a slightly more serious feel to its tannin profile and overall structure. All of the samples (again, tasted in individual components) were beautifully perfumed, with the Les Bessards (which will make up the bulk of the blend) showing surprising density and concentration in a vintage that generally produced more up-front and supple wines. A serious 2011 that will certainly be one of the stars of the vintage, it should be reasonably approachable on release and have an easy two decades of longevity.”

                 This is the lowest listed price in the USA                              The average listed price is $323 / 750ML bottle

JL Chave Wine Available Here Now

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2008 1.5L ($449.95) $289 special                                                                                                                                      Wine Spectator 94 points “This is suave, with a smoldering tobacco note running from start to finish, while truffle, cocoa, braised fig and warm black currant confiture notes fill in the remaining space. Dense, but very silky along the edges, with remarkable harmony for the vintage.”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin 2000 ($2999.95) $2499 special                                                                                                                              OFF-SITE STORAGE. 1-2 DAYS FOR FULFILLMENT                                           Robert Parker 96 points “Surprisingly, there will be about 200 cases produced of a 2000 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin. Based on earlier visits, I thought this cuvee would not be produced again as the Chaves were embarrassed by all the attention previous offerings received. However, they will continue to produce it as long as it does not detract from their classic cuvee. The Cuvee Cathelin displays more new oak than the regular bottling as well as firmer tannin, yet also great length, palate presence, and structure. Boasting a chocolatey, blackberry nose, huge intensity, and super elegance and finesse, it will require 5-6 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040. This family-run estate continues to go from strength to strength, with the father and son (Gerard and Jean-Louis) team pushing all the right buttons to achieve success at all quality levels.”


Posted in Wineries and Wines | Comments Off

West Coast Flat Rate Shipping

flatrateVinopolis is pleased to extend our popular FLAT RATE SHIPPING program to customers in California.

Flat Rate Shipping is applied to single orders of any size shipped to a single delivery address.

California – $25 any size single order

Washington/Idaho – $20 any size single order

Oregon – $17 any size single order

(The Fine Print: Flat Rate Shipping applies to each order of any size shipped singularly to an address within each state only. Later additions, multiple order consolidations, and later arriving pre-arrival orders will be applied as separate orders, and will incur additional Flat Rate Shipping charges. Wine is shipped via UPS Ground. Adult signature is required.)

Posted in General | Comments Off

It’s Shipping Season!

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.08.21 AM

The weather outside’s delightful…
(well, at least it’s not frightful!)

The season has arrived to start shipping those wines which have been in hibernation in the Vinopolis cellar over the past several months.

If you have wine on hold here, we’ll be contacting you soon to start arranging shipping. Or feel free to contact us to get your shipment scheduled even faster.

NOTE: All new orders will be shipped upon receipt unless otherwise scheduled in advance. Weather holds will resume when summer conditions return.

Posted in General | Comments Off