Legendary Savings/Legendary Wine
Aldo Conterno on the Mind?
#Trending: Additional Stock Added to Our Hot Scott Paul Offer
Catch a Rising Star – Balthazar’s Stock Skyrockets
Molitor’s Nearly Perfect Dry Riesling
The Hottest Cool Climate Syrah
Last Day of the July Sale
On the Legendary
Aldo Conterno Bussia 2010
- Hallowed Appellation? Yes!
- Legendary Producer? Yes!
- Incredible Vintage? Yes!
- Great Vineyard? Yes!
- Massive Discount??? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Aldo Conterno is a top modern Barolo producer and his split from his family’s winery is a defining moment in the history of the region. Ever since 1969, Aldo Conterno has been one of the names to know and collect. This is a powerful, full-throttle expression of Barolo, with deep luscious fruit and all the power you could hope for from the famed Bussia Cru. 2010 was an outstanding Barolo vintage and this, one of the “entry level” wines from Conterno, drinks like the higher tier wines from many vintages.
Then there’s the price—it would be too good to be true if it weren’t, in fact, true. This is $25/bottle less expensive than our next closest competitor and over $30/bottle less than the average wine-searcher price. The wine arrives Friday and if you like Barolo, your order now locks in supply and price!
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($89.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is a gorgeous expression that hits all the high notes, both in terms of bouquet and mouthfeel. The nose is redolent of pressed cherries, tar, licorice, crushed granite and chopped mint. It offers the special characteristics that are so forth coming with the Nebbiolo grape. The wine caresses the palate with a fine and enduring sense of freshness and structure. The 2010 vintage is a stunner. Drink: 2016-2028.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is gorgeous and super-classic in every way. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, new leather and tobacco are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a beautiful version of the Bussia, with less of the approachability of some previous vintages, but tons of potential for the future. There is a lot to look forward to here. This is one of the best versions of the Bussia I can remember tasting. The 2010 stands out for its precision and crystalline purity. Readers looking for a great 2010 Barolo that won’t kill the budget should check out the 2010 Bussia.’
The next best price is $84
The average price is $90
Check Out Some of His Finest Bottles in Stock Now:
Based in the Bussia hamlet in Monforte, the estate’s wines have always been powerful yet polished, with dark rich fruit. These wines are bold Barolos, with great density and power—though they still have nuance and complexity.
Heading to the website to grab the Bussia offer above? These are some of the other fantastic wines in stock now from Aldo Conterno:
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($189.95) $133 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points “A gorgeous red, scented with rose, mint, menthol, cherry and leather notes, with intense flavors matching the aromas. Dense with tannins, finely wrought and dovetailing on the long, detailed finish, this is very harmonious, yet will need time to fully express itself. Best from 2018 through 2038. 200 cases imported.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia Cicala opens to a dark ruby color and a richly concentrated appearance. This wine will appeal to those who appreciate added texture and heft in their Barolo. A special nod also goes to the aging potential of the wine that promises to be long and steady especially given the high quality of the 2010 fruit. Bussia Cicala imparts deep textural richness with lovely finesse and structural integrity. Hold this wine for ten years or more. Its profound beauty is already evident, but the wine has barely started its evolutionary course. Drink: 2018-2035.”
The next best price is $175
Wine Spectator 96 points “Round and supple, with a fleshy profile enveloping pure cherry, raspberry and spice flavors. Ripe and harmonious, with no shortage of structure. A mineral element emerges on the tight finish. Best from 2016 through 2035. 200 cases imported.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2008 Barolo Colonnello is super impressive. It shows gorgeous richness and depth in its focused, energetic fruit. Sweet red berries, flowers and spices are woven together beautifully in the 2008 Colonnello. The elegant side of Barolo comes through, but with an extra degree of muscle. The oak, sometimes noticeable in this bottling, is very well integrated. Floral notes are woven throughout the finish. The Colonnello often gives the impression of being early to mature relative to the estate’s other Baroli, but the 2008 is surprisingly powerful and structured.”
Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($179.95) $125 special
Wine Spectator 98 points “A beautifully crafted Barolo, with ripe cherry, plum, leather, spice, mineral and smoke elements. Starts off supple and approachable, but the gripping tannins soon move in, securing the lengthy, spice-filled finish. An underlying mineral vein adds depth. Best from 2018 through 2036. 200 cases imported.”
James Suckling 100 points “Incredible aromas of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate and hints of cream. Roses, rose petals and leaves. Speechless. Full-bodied, tight and concentrated. The finish is endless. Perfect harmony. Made from a selection of the best grapes from the oldest vines: 70% romirasco, 15% cicala and 15% colonnello. All co-fermented and macerated for one month in wood. Aged in a 25-hectoliter cask for 33 months. Five years in bottle. Only 3,000 bottles. Perfect now and it will improve with age for decades ahead.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2008 Barolo Riserva Granbussia is an unexpected wine and is perhaps the least characteristic of the three Granbussia vintages presented in this mini vertical. The wine opens to a deeply ruby red color and bright aromas that show some very distant touches of jam or marmalade. This is a big surprise given the generally cooler conditions of the vintage. Franco Conterno tells me fruit was harvested very late —at great risk—during the first week of November. The Nebbiolo grape loves a long growing season. The aromas are dense and dark with blackberry, plum and black fruit. Those super charged tones continue with leather, spice and tar.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is beginning to open, with fragrant cherry, rose, leather and sweet spice aromas and flavors. Vibrant and intense, with a terrific finish of sweet fruit, spice, tar and mineral notes. Shows fine presence and harmony, yet this should only improve over the next decade. Best from 2018 through 2030. 250 cases made.”
The next best price is $525
Additional Stock Added
To Our Hot Scott Paul Offer
Kelley Fox makes the prettiest and most captivating wines in all of the Willamette Valley—fresh and delicate with a palate-pleasing intricacy. While her own label is well known now, she was the winemaker at Scott Paul for the 2005-2014 vintages, and it’s a few of the best of the wines we wanted to highlight today. We are offering a superb deal on two back vintages of Scott Paul “La Paulee” from the Kelley Fox era and wanted to highlight them at this excellent pricing.
La Paulee was the main wine Kelley made under the Scott Paul label—a wine that normally retails between $35-40. It’s a bit richer and showier than what Kelley makes under her own label, but these are definitely wines of grace and for the prices, astounding value. They arrive Friday, but most of them should be long gone before then.
August Clearance Sale Wines!
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($39.95) $18 pre-arrival special, ETA Friday, August 3rd
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Deep red. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying intense red berry and blood orange scents, along with candied rose and allspice highlights. Silky, sweet and incisive on the palate, offering juicy strawberry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy kick of white pepper. Closes very long and nervy; fine-grained tannins lend shape and closing grip.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Sophisticated and subtle, this lovely wine expresses varietal elegance, with a bouquet of roses and raspberries to begin. The jumble of pretty fruits is framed with citrus peel and a dusting of chocolate.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2013 Pinot Noir la Paulee comes from fruit sourced from Maresh and Nysa in the Dundee Hills, Azana in Chehalem and from the Ribbon Ridge, matured for ten months in neutral oak. It has a very natural, Côte de Beaune-like bouquet with ample brambly red fruit with hints of black tea developing with aeration. I appreciate the focus and definition here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, smooth in the mouth with just a faint honeyed note. Tart red cherries mingle with redcurrant and strawberry, segueing into a poised and fulsome finish. This should drink well over the next 7-10 years and represents great value.”
The next best price is $29.24
The average price is $33
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $18 pre-arrival special, ETA Friday, August 3rd
Winery Note “Brilliant red in color. The spicy nose starts with being savory and leads into an array of fresh raspberry, brambleberry, and marionberry. Finely pronounced tannins combine with layers of fresh elderberry and a great balance of acid are folded into razor focused tannins which has the palate finishing with class. Our home in Carlton, Oregon (a 1915 brick creamery) is an ideal spot to revel in the virtues of Pinot Noir, as we pursue Pinot Perfection. Our sustainably farmed vineyards are among the Willamette Valley’s finest (and dare we say, most perfect). Our 2014 bottling is a selection of superior lots from our blocks of Maresh and Nysa Vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana Vineyards on the Chehalem Mountains. Bold, bright berry flavors unite with a bounty of rose, spice and cherry aromas. Pure Oregon Pinot Noir.”
The next best price is $32.75
The average price is $37
Balthazar’s Stock Skyrockets
No region is hotter than Cornas right now. Interest has (rightly) surged and we keep seeing wines skyrocket in demand and (then) price. Franck Balthazar is the new “it” grower—his connections to Thierry Allemand (plus his fantastic wines) have seen these wines grow increasingly limited in the last three years. We could easily see him complete the transition to superstar producer and if so, these wines will double in price, especially the sought after “Chaillot” bottling we’re offering today.
Demand for these wines is high and supply is low, but we negotiated several cases (of a wine usually parceled out in tiny amounts) at a strong price. The fact that this is from the lauded 2015 vintage makes it an even bigger coup. Buy a half dozen or two and thank us in ten years when these are even more impossible to find.
Arriving Late August:
Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 96 points “Inky ruby. An alluringly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, candied licorice, exotic spices and incense, and shows a bright mineral topnote. Stains the palate with intense, spice-laced blackberry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors that deepen and become sweeter with aeration. Delivers a compelling blend of richness and finesse and finishes extremely long and spicy, with smooth tannins sneaking in late”
Molitor’s Magical Wehlener Dry Riesling
Back in Stock Soon!
We had a small tranche of this wine in the spring, which sold out, but we negotiated a few more cases out of the importer which arrive later this month.
Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 99+ points “Pure and flinty, with perfectly ripe stone fruit aromas that are seamlessly intertwined with the flavors of crushing stones, the 2015 Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (White Capsule) is powerful, rich and incredibly juicy on the palate but, at the same time, pure, finessed and crystalline. This is a highly complex and salty, endlessly juicy and stony Riesling of great precision and salinity. The finish is long and stimulatingly salty, very rich and powerful and still marked by its yeasty texture. Fermented and aged in 3,100-liter barrel from Stockinger. Bottled in September.”
(Please note this is not the more common, off-dry GoldKap version)
For sheer intensity of personality, it’s hard to top Cornas. All Syrah from the northern Rhone has its share of richness and power, but the truly special stuff speaks of a specific place and has a distinct persona. The character of Cornas is easy to identify—it’s raw, with a pronounced gaminess and a take-no-prisoners personality. While it’s possible to get Cornas into blueberry jam flavors, the natural state is intensely savory. Yet despite this predilection for rusticity and feralness, there are a stunning number of wines from the appellation that manage to harness that into something like grace and elegance.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Premices, Rhone 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Cornas Premices comes from a mix of granite terroirs and was mostly destemmed (75%) and aged in 20% new barrels. It offers an incredibly rich, opulent style in its plum, blackberry liqueur, lavender and peppery herb aromas and flavors. Thick, unctuous, and incredibly broad and expansive on the palate, with sweet tannin, it’s the largest production cuvée from this estate and is going to be an incredible value! Don’t miss it.”
Franck Balthazar Cornas Cuvee Casimir Balthazar, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Lurid ruby. High-pitched red and dark berry scents are complemented by exotic spice and floral pastille accents. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry cola and violet flavors sharpened by a spicy jolt of cracked pepper. Shows impressive purity and no rough edges on a very long, silky, floral-driven finish.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Solidly packed, with a bramble-edged core of dark plum, bitter cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with bay leaf and savory notes. The serious chalky grip through the finish will need some time to stretch out. Shows terrific interplay between the grip and fruit.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Bright purple. Powerful, smoke-accented black and blue fruit, candied flowers, licorice, olive and Indian spices on the deeply perfumed nose. Sappy, concentrated and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet blackberry, cherry compote, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Expressive and surprisingly lithe given its depth, finishing with building tannins and impressive, blue-fruit-dominated persistence.”
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Cornas Terre Brûlée comes from a total of seven different lieux-dits throughout the appellation (all are granite soils) and was vinified in concrete tanks before spending 18 months in older demi-muids. It offers a classic, traditional feel in its blackberry, peppery herbs, bouquet garni and violets aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity and superb concentration, it’s just another sensational Cornas from this vintage. Bravo to Corinne Lionnet and Ludovic Izerable!”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A terrific wine, the 2015 Cornas Terre Brulee combines smoky notes of grilled plums and meat in a full-bodied format. It’s richly tannic and velvety at the same time, with a finish that’s simultaneously drying (from tannins) and mouthwatering (from juicy fruit). Farmed organically, vinified with stems in concrete and aged in used, large-format oak, Cornas doesn’t get more authentic (or better) than this!”
Grapelive 95+ points “One of my favorite wines and producers, Domaine Lionnet makes an incredible and authentic Cornas that never disappoints this Syrah geek. It’s always a nervy, stemmy wine, but with gracious fruit and textures to balance everything out. I find these wines to have a raw sex appeal and with a dark earthy seduction. In terms of pure Syrah it rarely gets much better than this! Corinne Lionnet’s family has been here and wine growing since 1575. [Lionnet and her husband, Ludovic Izerable] have run this winery now for about fifteen years since she took the estate over in 2003. This is a small label. They only produce two bottlings, mainly this Terre Brûlée Cornas, though they have added a Saint-Joseph Rouge called the Terre Neuve, but have not exported yet to my knowledge. Ludovic’s style is all about nature, with 100% whole cluster, 100% stems and all organic farming. He ferments native and uses long maceration (three weeks) in cement vats before malos in large cask, all well used and never new, with lengthy elevate/aging. There are never any additions or adjustments with just a tiny amount of sulfur. Each parcel is between 40 and 100 years old, including four great lieu-dit sites: Chaillot, Combes, Brugeres and Mazards. [Each is] hand-picked and fermented individually. Each of these Crus add to the whole and give this wine its special personality and chemistry. Domaine Lionnet’s attention to detail really shows in the bottle. These are electric and thrilling wines, which I was reminded of recently at Rosenthal’s Rhone and Bordeaux Tasting in San Francisco, where I got to meet Ludovic and Corinne and taste through a mini vertical of their glorious Cornas from 2012 to 2015, the just released version. Each vintage has its own charm and all are fantastic, but as I’ve sampled the 2012 through 2014 previously, I was focused on the 2015 which promises great rewards. Though a bit taught at this point, it’s a star in progress. The 2012 is drinking great right now, and the 2013 is just getting itself together, while the 2014 is heavenly beautiful and more delicate than the rest, with this 2015 showing the full force of vintage and youth, it was the densest and exploding with fruit. A touch of air sets this 100% Syrah alive and releasing an inner perfume of violets, while a meaty wave flows underneath before reaching a climax of earth, spice and a core of black and blue fruit on the full bodied palate showing layers of boysenberry, cassis, blueberry, damson plum and kirsch along with vibrant peppercorns, dried basil, salted black licorice, bacon fat and truffle. This deep garnet hued Cornas lingers on and on recalling the violet and edgy stems for minutes in the aftertaste. This is a ridiculously great terroir-driven wine with stellar potential in 3 to 5 years. If you love Jamet or Allemand you’ll want this wine, and at almost half their price this wine is a rockstar value.”
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “(no new oak) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and olive on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the lush, creamy dark fruit.”
“The 2012… gives new life to one of Tuscany’s most historic wines”
Avignonesi Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) Was $77, Now $69 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 93 points “You’ll notice that this wine is no longer labeled “Riserva.” Avignonesi wanted to reduce the time it spends in oak and made the name adjustment accordingly. This seems like a good idea to me. The 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Grandi Annate gives new life to one of Tuscany’s most historic wines. There is more elegance and finesse here. I must say that past vintages have been a disappointment, but this expression seems to break all ties with the past. Fruit is sourced primarily from the Banditella vineyard that tends to produce more austere and concentrated Sangiovese. Indeed, this wine is highly redolent of black fruit, tar, licorice and even a touch of white mushroom. Everyone loves a comeback story and that’s what you get here.”
James Suckling 93 points “A chewy and silky wine with just ripe fruit, chocolate and hazelnut character. Fresh earth undertone too. Medium body, fresh finish. Drink now or hold.”
Domaine de Saint-Siffrein Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $29 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 90 points “Kicking off the 2012s, Saint Siffrein’s straight Châteauneuf du Pape offers loads of kirsch, mulled spice, blackberry and garrigue in its classic, medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured style. Made from 65% Grenache, 15% each of Mourvedre and Syrah and the rest Cinsault, aged 12 moths in stainless steel and foudre, it’s an outstanding, Provencal effort to drink over the coming 8-10 years.”
Tenuta Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 1.5L ($149.95) Was $99, Now $89 Clearance Price
Wine Spectator 93 points “This smells like beef bouillon, picking up pure cherry and plum fruit on the palate, along with savory elements. Lean, with well-integrated tannins and a long, meaty finish of tobacco and earth. Best from 2018 through 2030.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Col d’Orcia’s 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vendemmia is all finesse. Sweet floral and spiced notes open up in the glass, followed by veins of bright red stone fruits. Hints of orange peel and white pepper add an attractive, beguiling upper register of aromatics. The 2010 is still a bit raw and much less expressive than it was from barrel, but it is promising.”
Antonio Galloni “Brovia’s 2012 Barolo is classy, polished and absolutely delicious. With a little bit of air, the 2012 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough freshness and balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. I have seen Brovia’s straight Barolo age well, so I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case here as well. Floral and red stone fruit notes give the 2012 much of its freshness and mid-weight feel. This is an especially lifted, gracious Barolo for the vintage.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 4% Malbec, is scented of red currants, blackberries and wild blueberries with touches of olives and underbrush. Medium-bodied, tightly wound and packed with tense red and black fruits, it has a fine-grained texture and savory finish. 9,600 cases were produced.”
Agathe Bursin Pinot Gris Zinnkoepfle Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $69 Clearance Price
Ian D’agata – Vinous 96 points “Deep golden-tinged yellow. The perfumed nose combines ripe pear, lime blossom and powdered stone, plus hints of spicy botrytis. Sweet but taut, conveying a lovely light-on-its-feet quality and displaying noticeable tang to the citrus and floral flavors; the presence of noble rot adds personality. Closes minerally and very long. This very refined SGN offers noteworthy fragrance and vibrant acidity; in fact, it’s so stony that it’s almost Riesling-like. About 30% of the grapes were hit by noble rot, and this adds complexity to what is a memorable wine (check out these numbers: 5.7 g/L total acidity and 130 g/L total [sugar]).”
Thanks for your interest and we’ll see you in August!
Thanks for reading!