Mazzei: Tuscan Overachievers
Two Top Antinori Deals
A Staff Pick Rose of the Day!
A Name to Watch in Chablis
The Last Undervalued Great French Wine
The Outstanding 2014 Produttori Riservas
B. Leighton’s Under the Radar Reds
First Offer: 2018 Schäfer-Frölich
May Sale Roundup
Mazzei: Tuscan Overachievers
These are brilliant, bold wines with rich textures and emphatic flavor profiles. From their Chianti Gran Selezione to their Super-Tuscan blends, these offer outstanding drinking at prices far below their peers—for now. As with most ambitious producers, they aim to be in the extremely expensive wine market, so now’s the time to stock up.
In Stock Now:
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione, Chianti Classico DOCG 2013 750 ML ($69.95) $49 special
Case-6 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione, Chianti Classico DOCG 2013 750ML ($419.95) $269 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “An essence of sweet cherry grounds the surrounding flavors of leather, iron, spice and tobacco in this firm red, which remains vibrant and refined. Bracing acidity and dense, muscular tannins play out on the long finish. Drink now through 2028.”
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Concerto’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 96 points “This is fabulous with blackberry, blueberry and currant aromas. Some slate. Full body, dense and smooth with firm and silky tannins and intense fruit. This is a classic sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon blend. Don’t miss it. Needs three or four years to completely come together.”
Arriving Later This Month:
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Siepi’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Beautiful aromas of violets, berries and currants. Dried flowers, too. Full body, such intense fruit and acidity. Vivid and complex. Wild raspberry. Tight and dense. A triumph for Siepi. Half sangivoese and merlot. Better in 2022 but hard to not drink now.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has depth and complexity, featuring black cherry, plum, leather, spice and mineral flavors. The dense texture exudes refined tannins as this stays fresh through the long, saturated finish. Fruit, spice and tobacco elements linger. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Arriving Friday (But already in the May Sale!)
Rich, bright and absolutely fantastic for the price.
Marchesi Antinori Castello della Sala ‘Bramito del Cervo’ Chardonnay Umbria IGT 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 pre-arrival May Sale Special
Case-6 Marchesi Antinori Castello della Sala ‘Bramito del Cervo’ Chardonnay Umbria IGT 2016 750ML ($149.95) $99 pre-arrival May Sale Special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Hints of spice and lime blossom accent rich notes of melon and dried peach in this bright, medium-bodied Chardonnay, underscored by a tang of minerality that lingers on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2022. 9,000 cases imported.”
The next best price is $19.99
The average listed price is $24
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival May Sale Special
Case-6 Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($179.95) $119 pre-arrival May Sale Special (that’s only $19.83̄/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “This second wine shows such a great balance of round tannins and juicy, creamy and chocolate character. Full, flavorful and joyful. Salty and juicy. Savory and even meaty. Drink now or hold.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “This is absolutely one of the best value wines you will find in Italy and I suspect beyond. The 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Il Bruciato is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Syrah. With more than one million bottles made, there should be no problem finding it at your nearest wine merchant. Once you do locate it, I enthusiastically recommend that you pick up a few cases. This vintage comes together with seamless intensity and smoothness. You get so much dark fruit flavor, paired with soft tannins, spice, smoke and dried blackberry. Il Bruciato pulls off its magic effortlessly. It doesn’t try to be anything other than it is: Delicious.”
The average listed price is $28
Just click here for the full list online or keep reading to the end of the newsletter for some other highlights!
Staff Pick / Return of a Favorite
Tom Bove (the owner of La Mascaronne) has a track record in Provence that’s trending well. As a retiree in 1993, he rejuvenated a 1,000 acre property with an old 74 acre vineyard in Provence and sold it to a familiar pair of Americans: Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie (you may have heard of the Miraval wines). The secret is he kept the best vineyards from that land for himself; terroir that is pure Provence: rich with chalk and clay hills and the unbeatable Mediterranean climate. He’s now making wine that well surpasses the better known property in quality.
The wine not to miss is the stunning Quat’ Saisons rosé. This is quintessential Provence wine, which will have you wondering two things: who will bring you a bowl of good olives and why did you not buy more? It fills your nose with scents of wet stones, fresh citrus peel, and a whiff of red berries. The first taste resets your palate so that the aromas are instantly more pronounced, and the second taste confirms the brightness and firmness. It’s not a candy store rosé; it’s much more serious, and yet it still drinks so easily you’ll catch yourself quaffing it without thought. We regularly put it in the hands of customers who walk through the door who ask, “what is the best rosé you’ve had this year?” They all come back for more.
Chateau la Mascaronne Cotes de Provence Quat’Saisons Rose 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “This organic producer clearly merits more attention. The 2018 Cotes de Provence Rose Quat’Saisons offers up hints of wet stone, fresh herbs and citrus on the nose, then adds red currant, cranberry and cherry on the light to medium-bodied palate. It unfolds nicely, yielding pleasant notes of white chocolate on the long, harmonious finish.”
A Name to Watch in Chablis
The wines he’s making are some of the most beautiful in Burgundy, with rippling minerality, electric tension and pretty fruit framing the palate. They are classically Chablisienne in the best ways—practically begging for seafood to eat with the wines. We’ve got a modest selection of these wines arriving Friday and you’d be advised to buy broadly.
Domaine D’henri Chablis ‘Saint Pierre,’ Chablis 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine D’henri Chablis ‘Saint Pierre,’ Chablis 2016 750ML ($359.95) $269 pre-arrival special
Winery Note “The combination of the Kimmeridgian soils that are so typical of the appellation, and a continental climate allow the Chardonnay grape to produce this fine, elegant and racy Chablis, with a distinct minerality. Made from vines planted in 1988, 1989 and 2001 and vinified uniquely in stainless steel tanks, this is a great example of grapes harvested at full maturity. Marked by a beautiful acidity, this Chablis can be drunk as soon as its first year, but will continue to improve for 5 to 7 years.”
Le Domaine d’Henri Fourchaume, Chablis Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note “Planted half in 1964 and half in 1999, this is an elegant, refined fruit-driven wine with a good structured impression on the palate. The Kimmeridgian escarpment of Fourchaume is reputed to produce some of the best Chablis wines and the South West exposure of the vines means that they bask in the warm afternoon sun. Vinified in stainless steel tanks (89%) to preserve the minerality and freshness, and in oak barrels (11%) of 228-litres to add more complex notes, this wine will continue to improve for the next 15 years or so.”
Domaine D’henri Fourchaume Heritage, Chablis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Vinous 91 points “The 2015 Chablis has an overtly tropical bouquet of white peach, guava and hints of orange pith that come through with aeration. The palate is actually less tropical than the aromatics imply, thanks to a fine bead of acidity and the tension that develops toward the second half. It is almost as if the warmth of the summer tries to impress itself upon this wine, but then it remembers its roots and counters with tension and steeliness on the finish. This is a very well-crafted Chablis that comes recommended. Tasted blind at the annual Burgfest tasting.”
Winery Note “Our Cuvée Héritage is dedicated to the memory of Henri. Hand harvested and hand selected, this is a “première trie”, or selection, of the finest grapes from our oldest parcel of vines, planted in 1937. Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks (63%) and 228-litre oak barrels (37%), this is an elegant, precise yet racy wine, that expresses the tension and refreshing minerality associated with the great Chablis terroirs. For Henri, this was the purest expression of the Chardonnay grape. A grand vin that will start to reveal its full potential between five and twenty years. The Cuvée Héritage encapsulates our savoir-faire. By selecting only the very best grapes, the production is limited to only a few thousand bottles per year an the volume will vary each year, depending on the quality of the vintage.”
The Last Undervalued Great French Wine
Huet makes the top wines in Vouvray and has for quite some time now. What makes them amazing is that they make incredible wines from bone dry, mineral drenched Sec all the way to nobly sweet, honeyed dessert wines (and everything in between—including the Demi-Sec range, which are some of our favorites).
They seemingly age forever, gaining complexity and density, but impressively are priced like low-tier white Burgundy. It’s this last part that’s so perplexing. You can put well-aged Huet on the table with any top tier white Burgundy and it has a chance of being not only in the same league, but the best wine on the table. It often costs ½-1/5th that of the Burgs. That’s insane.
We have a bunch of great wines in stock across a number of very strong vintages. 2015-17 were all home runs for the star producer and we have most everything they produced in stock—plus some 2009 Cuvee Constance. Check out some highlights below or click here to view all 36 Huet bottlings and case specials in our web store.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Cuvee Constance’ Moelleux, Loire 2009 500ML ($199.95) $159 special
Wine Spectator 98 points “This stunning wine is fresh, pure and driven at first, with seamless ginger, creamed fig and glazed pear fruit, before showing its density and power via the honeycomb-, quince- and heather-filled core. Then the minerality cuts in, turning the finish back to racy despite the range of exotic fruit. A jaw-dropping display of richness balanced by precision. Drink now through 2040. 400 cases made.”
David Schildknecht 96 points “At 11% alcohol and 150 grams of residual sugar, the Huet 2009 Vouvray Cuvee Constance – fourth in the past decade, incidentally – offers a striking nose of honey, white raisin, and concentrated herbal and floral essences. Salted caramel, hazelnut cream, marzipan, white raisin, liquid floral perfume, and honey are all leavened with fresh lime, white peach, and grapefruit. Like a refined cocktail of essence-of-Chenin mingled with fresh fruit juices with dashes of salt and chalk, this finishes with ravishing and invigorating persistence and should be worth following for 3 or more decades.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Gorgeous, with creamy-edged nectarine, yellow and green apple, pear and quince flavors that are brightly defined from start to finish, flecked with verbena and honeysuckle hints and backed by a off-dry edge on the finish. Stays fresh and pure throughout. Tempting now but there’s no rush. Drink now through 2032.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “From 30-year-old vines on calcareous loam soils, the 2016 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec offers a clear, pure, fine and intensely aromatic bouquet with tropical fruit and chalky aromas. Round, lush and exotic on the palate, with a silky texture and salty piquancy on the finish, the 2016 needs up to a decade to integrate the 19 grams of residual sugar. The finish is lovey, concentrated, juicy and well structured, with a lingering and stimulating salinity. Tasted February 2018.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($229.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle—the lowest listed price in country!)
Wine Advocate 90 points “From the nine-hectare original vineyard of the Huet family, the 2016 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec shows a citrus color followed by an intense, fresh and chalky-mineral bouquet with lemon and some blossom aromas. Aged in demi-muids and bottled in April 2017, this is a medium-bodied, round, elegant, remarkably lush and delicate Chenin Blanc from calcareous clay soils. The residual sugar of seven grams per liter gives a beautiful exotic fruitiness and balance, the fine tannins a good structure. The 2016 is truly a pleasant Vouvray that already drinks perfectly. Tasted February 2018.”
John Gilman 90 points “The 2016 Le Haut Lieu Sec from Domaine Huet is a pretty wine and much less powerful than the 2015 version. The wine offers up lovely youthful aromatics of quince, tart pineapple, chalky minerality, orange peel, lanolin, a whisper of the honeycomb to come with bottle age and a gently floral top note. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely detailed, with good, but not great depth at the core, sound acids and very nice length and grip on the nascently complex finish. I like the shape of this wine very much, which does not have quite as much in reserve as many recent vintages of this bottling, but which has plenty of complexity and really impeccable balance. It may well age like the 1988 vintage here. 2017-2045.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Green plum and verbena notes lead the way for now, with a flash of quinine on the finish. This is juicy, but still a bit compact overall, with the core of ample pear, quince and ginger flavors in reserve. Just wait for everything to knit together and stretch out, as the purity and length are there. Best from 2018 through 2028.”
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Premiere Trie Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($499.95) $419 special
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2016 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie opens with a very clear, deep and flinty/herbal bouquet of ripe concentrated stone fruits intermixed with chalky/smoky aromas, very complex and truly exciting! Light, fresh and tensioned on the palate, that is very pure and salty but also tight and concentrated. The 2016 Le Mont reveals crystalline acidity, delicate but serious tannin grip and a long, complex, stimulating finish. This is Chenin Blanc full of energy and aging potential, provided with concentration, lingering salinity and vibrancy. This is a fascinating Le Mont, surely the top wine of Huet’s excellent 2016 series. Bottled with 92 grams of residual sugar, it tastes less sweet than the corresponding Clos du Bourg. Tasted February 2018.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Juicy in feel, with an intense beam of glazed peach, dried apricot, fresh ginger and heather honey notes, backed by baked mirabelle plum accents and a flash of almond cream on the long, rich finish. A wonderful balancing act, keeping the exotic fruit and sweetness fresh and delineated. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Just click here for a full list on our web store!
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘The Classic’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2016 The Classic checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc. This ruby/plum-colored effort offers up an awesome bouquet of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, truffle, tapenade, and damp earth that changes and develops beautifully with time in the glass. It’s elegant, seamless and light on its feet, yet also powerful and textured. It’s brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from this estate to drink over the coming 15-20+ years.”
A paradigmatic Rhone white—just brilliant.
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-6 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone, 2016 750ML ($289.95) $259 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “This team has made a terrific 2016 Saint-Péray, (50/50 Marsanne and Roussanne aged in 15% new oak) from an appellation that continues to produce more and more outstanding wines. Honeysuckle, white flowers, caramelized peach and white currant notes give way to a pure, elegant, layered white that has terrific purity and length. It’s going to drink beautifully for 3-4 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Pale yellow-gold. Fresh and incisive on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit scents complemented by hints of honeysuckle and chalky minerals. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe, offering juicy Meyer lemon and bitter pear skin flavors that pick up a spicy ginger note on the back half. Closes very long and precise, delivering a firm snap of minerality and lingering floral character.”
Averaen ‘Eola Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(50% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Vivid red. Spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry scents are complicated by hints of cola, pungent flowers and smoky minerals. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering energetic red and dark berry and vanilla flavors along with suggestions of rose pastille and blood orange that add complexity. Concentrated but vibrant and precise in character, delivering strong finishing thrust, interwoven tannins and excellent, floral-driven persistence.”
Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Fass 2 Riesling Extra Trocken, Mosel2017 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 91-92 points “Although this is a serious Saar riesling for the acid hounds, it has plenty of smoky and candied-citrus character. Generous substance, too. Better from 2019.”
Feudi di San Gregorio ‘Rubrato’ Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special
Case-12 Feudi di San Gregorio ‘Rubrato’ Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($249.95) $184 special
James Suckling 95 points “This shows such a beautiful density and texture with licorice and blackberry character. Full and layered yet always tight and focused. A fantastic young red. Drink or hold.”
Avennia is a name to watch in Washington wine and their ’16s are special
Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 ($41.95) $36 special
Case-6 Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($239.95) $199 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2016 Gravura checks in as 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 60% new French oak. It’s another rock star of a wine from Chris that sports a saturated purple color, complex notes of blackberries, black cherries, damp earth, and spring flowers, hints of subtle oak, medium body, and perfect balance. Drink this seamless blend over the coming 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(about 60% new oak; bottled in June): Bright dark red. Aromas of dark berries, licorice and hot rocks. Plush, smooth and concentrated, with something distinctly old-fashioned about its flavors of black fruits and spices complicated by leather, minerals and warm stones. A good portion of these vines date back to the early 1970s, says winemaker Peterson. Conveys a captivating sweetness owing to its glyceral character and slower wild-yeast fermentation but this is classically dry at less than one gram per liter of residual sugar. (14.6% alcohol)”
The next best price is $41.99
Produttori del Barbaresco is revered for producing classically-styled Barbaresco and Riservas of uncompromising quality and transparency. It’s a miracle that these wines are still affordable and available, especially when compared to the skyrocketing prices of Barolo. You’d be hard-pressed to find such consistent quality and complexity out of such an extensive range of single-vineyard Nebbiolos anywhere else. We are pleased to present the 2014 Crus – a range already receiving rave reviews from Italian expert Antonio Galloni:
“Piedmont fans will want to be on the lookout for the 2014 Riservas from Produttori del Barbaresco when they are released later this year. I can’t think of too many wines that offer this level of quality for what remain incredibly fair prices. Managing Director Aldo Vacca told me the 2014 harvest stretched from October 8 to 24, which is very late by present day standards. The 2014 Riservas are dark, potent and built for aging… In many years, this range includes one or two slight underperformers, but in 2014, the wines are superb across the board. Some will drink well earlier than others, of course, but this is one of the most consistently outstanding set of Riservas I can remember tasting here.” –Antonio Galloni
Consider yourself warned: These are HIGHLY limited in comparison to prior vintages (Rabaja 750’s are already sold out). Shop the complete list on our webstore now by clicking here!
These are do-not-miss wines for anyone who loves the K wines and old school, Rhone inflected Washington State reds. Full of generous fruit and beautiful earthy and floral tones, these are wines that are powerfull and delicious on release, but have the track record and pedigree to age.
In Stock Now:
B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Case-12 B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($599.95) $479 special (that’s only $39.92/bottle!)
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(from the Phelps clone of Syrah, which was brought up to Red Willow vineyard by David Lake in 1986): Bright, dark red. Sexy scents of raspberry, brown spices, black pepper and flowers are Côte-Rôtie-like in their soil-driven wildness. Tight and savory on the palate, with juicy dark berry and spice flavors showing terrific inner-mouth definition and energy. The firmly tannic finish features a note of roasted nuts and excellent rising length. Just 10% new oak here. Superb.”
Charles Smith / K Vintner’s Winery Note “Deep, dark, and brooding. Dare I say seductive? Black plum, exotic owers, grilled meats, sage, and wet earth. Finishes bold and lovely with purity. This wine is dynamic!100% Syrah / 100% whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 39 days on skins / 20% new, 80% once-used French oak puncheons / 19 mo. barrel-aged on lees.”
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(a field blend from vines planted in 2009 on volcanic soil at an altitude of 1,200 feet; winemaker Brennon Leighton originally created this wine for his wife, who loves Domaine Tempier; aged in neutral demi-muid and 500-liter puncheons): Medium red with a palish rim. Subtly scented aromas of strawberry, cranberry, spices, red licorice, tree bark and rose petal. Supple, savory and fine-grained, with an essentially gentle texture enlivened by spice and tree bark notes and nicely integrated acidity. This is really quite complex and suave, with its restrained sweetness countered by salinity and a light touch. If this blend doesn’t possess quite the body of the 2015, it has every bit as much energy and spicy persistence, not to mention excellent retention of fresh fruit. Finishes with a firm spine of ripe tannins. Another singular wine from the multi-talented Leighton. (14.5% alcohol)”
Charles Smith / K Vintner’s Winery Note “Another year, another beauty to be thankful for. Very expressive and vibrant with currants, cherries, fresh tobacco and star anise. This wine twists and turns broadly, but with focus, continuing with cured meats to a warm gravel finish.70% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 5% Syrah / 100% co-fermented and whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 33 days on skins / 100% neutral French oak puncheons / 19 mo. barrel-aged on lees.”
It would be understandable if you aren’t familiar with the Schäfer-Frölich wines—they’ve been pretty spottily imported into the US and aren’t “historically” important (it was really during the late 90’s when Schafer-Frolich’s quality ratcheted up to current standards). These days, though, they’re well represented on any top-tier wine list in Germany and highly allocated (especially on the top end dry wines).
We’ve been working to secure as much of the ’18’s (below) and ’17’s (on the website, click here) as they’re probably the best vintages ever at the address. 2018, in particular, looks to be a fantastic vintage—uniformly excellent across the board and even better at top addresses. The wines are charming, fresh and broad, with great richness and detail, especially in the hands of a master like Tim Fröhlich. The 2017s are selling quickly and we anticipate demand for the 2018 vintage to be exceptionally strong as well (especially given how hard these wines are to source in the US).
“…the nowadays sensation quality at this address is a function among other things of this family’s fanaticism and teamwork. But you may be sure that the Fröhlichs are out to achieve the best possible results from each and every site in which they have holdings. So when their Grosses Gewächs from the Felseneck (with that from Bockenau’s Stromberg seldom far behind) consistently edges-out their superb bottlings from four of the Nahe’s historically most celebrated sites (two in Monzingen, two in Schlossböckelheim), one can confidently state that Bockenau terroir is Grand Cru quality, even though that fact escaped notice until two decades ago!” – David Schildknecht, Vinous
Arriving ETA Fall:
Schafer-Frohlich Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($99.95) $77 pre-arrival special
VDP Note ” The VDP.GROSSE LAGE® FELSENBERG lies in one of the most spectacular parts of the Nahe. The south-facing slope is nearly black with melaphyre volcanic rock (rhyolite) and rises with a 50-60 percent gradient up to a belt of rock that protects the GL FELSENBERG from fall winds. The soil contains abundant rubble from the eroding rock belt and is loose and well-aerated. The soil’s rapid warming properties work together with its well-protected location to promote early vegetation and to prolong the ripening period. The high rock content ensures good drainage. The vineyard soil also includes porphyry, stony-gritty loam, and fine earth. The GL FELSENBERG is 11 hectares in size and lies between 130 and 200 metres a.s.l.”
VDP Note ” The VDP.GROSSE LAGE® FELSENECK is located in the Ellerbach River basin, a side valley of the upper Nahe. The vineyard faces due south and it rises a steep slope with 35-70 percent gradient from 250 to 310 metres a.s.l. up to a high forested plateau that protects it from cold fall winds. The soils are quite diverse and are dominated by Upper Rotliegend (Waderner Schichten Formation). Devon slate, quartzite, and basalt rubble are also found. The rocky soils are easily warmed and well-drained. The slope has easy access to light and warmth from the sun, which is advantageous for its macroclimate.”
VDP Note “The VDP.GROSSE LAGE® FRÜHLINGSPLÄTZCHEN is just what the name implies in German, a“special place in spring”. Its extremely steep 70 % gradient and south facing aspect allows the site to thaw early and the first messages of spring appear as the snow melts. The intense solar radiation and exposition of this GL allow early and persistent warming. The vines awaken from dormancy early and enjoy a longer vegetation period compared to other sites. Soils are predominantly red slate and gravel, often interspersed with red loam from the Rotliegend lithostratigraphic unit. The vineyard lies between 160 and 240 metres a.s.l.”
VDP Note ” The VDP.GROSSE LAGE® HALENBERG is one of the smallest vineyards in Monzingen, but it has the best reputation. It lies to the east of town between 160 and 220 metres a.s.l. The 20 to 70 percent slope with a south to southwest exposition is warmed in summer by thermal air. The convex and slightly overhanging peak above the vineyard captures and circulates this warm air, thus protecting the vineyard from extreme drops in temperature at night. The soil is weathered Waderner Schichten, a conglomerate of blue-grey slate and quartzite, that makes the steep vineyard easily warmed. The site is prone to dryness in summer. The difficult, arid growing conditions cause vines to compensate with small, highly aromatic grapes. Because these grapes are less prone to rot, these climatic conditions are advantageous for the production of noble sweet wines.”
VDP Note ” The terraced vineyard slopes of the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® KUPFERGRUBE are in a spectacular location directly next to a volcanic cliff. The site has a south to southwest exposition and a 30 to 70 percent slope gradient. The dark, mineral-rich, weathered volcanic soils with a high share of fine earth and rock warm rapidly. The soil is loose and very well-drained, which can lead to dryness in summer. The vineyard lies at 120 to 250 metres. Riesling and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) grow here.”
Importer Note “Schiefergestein comes from vineyards of slate in Bockenau and Monger as well as younger vines from the grand cru of Felseneck, planted to soils of blue Devonian slate, basalt and quartz. The 2016 vintage started tough but finished with a very cool picking season that lasted from September through November, allowing Tim to harvest at optimal ripeness. No added yeasts.”
Importer Note “Vulkangestein consists of vines planted to holdings with volcanic soils in and around Schlossbockelheim as well as younger vines from the grand cru Felsenberg, planted to weathered volcanic porphyry soils and quartz. Fermented naturally in a combination of 600 liter halbstück barrels and stainless steel tanks. Smoky and fruity. Great balance with a textured palate and a mineral finish that goes on and on.”
Newly Reviewed, Arriving ETA September:
Schafer-Frohlich Stromberg Grosses Gewachs Riesling, Nahe 2017 750ML ($99.95) $85 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Schafer-Frohlich Stromberg Grosses Gewachs Riesling, Nahe 2017 750ML ($599.95) $479 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “($123) Notes of lime and lemon introduce this firmly built white, while kiwifruit and bergamot flavors mingle at the core. Powerful acidity meets intense minerality here, creating lively energy. A bit tight now, but this will be a party when it unravels. Best from 2022 through 2031.”
Want to see all of the Schafer Frohlich wines available for purchase in our web store?
Just click here for the full list of 2017’s and ’18’s.
In Stock Now:
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 May Sale Special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has a lovely, perfumy mix of savory, mint, tobacco, blood orange, cherry and bergamot notes, with finely beaded acidity and silky but ample structure. Long, mineral- and shiso leaf-infused finish. Best from 2020 through 2035.”JM
Wine Advocate 94 points “The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.”
The average listed price is $81
James Suckling 95 points “10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”
The average listed price is $53
Wine Spectator 95 points “($48) Loads of chalky grip keeps this wrapped up tight, but the core of steeped plum, fig and blackberry fruit is brimming with energy, while bay leaf, licorice root and charcoal notes chomp at the bit on the finish. Cellaring will rein this in. Best from 2021 through 2035. 700 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Produced from 30-year-old vines and aged in 20% new oak, the 2015 Cornas Empreintes features classic Cornas notes of crushed stone, bloody meat and red plums. It’s full-bodied, rich and packed with fruit and tannin but supple at the same time. It’s mouth-filling and round, then finishes long, dry and mouthwatering.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93+ points “The 2015 Cornas Empreintes is unique in the lineup as it comes 30% from more limestone soils. It’s 75% destemmed and aged in 20% new French oak. It’s more elegant and focused than the opulent Premices and gives up lots of blackberry and cassis fruits, leather, crushed rock and pepper aromatics. Deep, rich, beautifully concentrated and pure, it needs short-term cellaring but is a brilliant wine that’s going to impress for 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Opaque ruby. Spice-accented dark fruit, violet and olive scents, along with suggestions of smoky bacon and cracked pepper. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed cassis, blueberry and spicecake flavors that become livelier as the wine opens up. Rich yet energetic in style, showing excellent delineation and dark fruit thrust on a very long, smooth finish framed by velvety tannins.”
The next best price is $44.94
Wine Spectator 93 points “Offers a ripe, dark profile, with a core of steeped blackberry and plum fruit that picks up bay, white pepper and iron accents through the finish. Shows solid depth and fruit for the vintage, displaying excellent energy. Best from 2018 through 2029. 1,500 cases made.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Bright violet. Vibrant and focused on the nose, displaying intense blue fruit, olive and cracked pepper scents and a hint of cola. Appealingly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy boysenberry and cola flavors and a touch of allspice. Supple tannins build steadily on the clinging finish, which features rounded tannins and a hint of candied flowers. ”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Saint Joseph Les Coteaux looks as good from bottle as it did from tank last year. Richly concentrated and velvety, this medium to full-bodied beauty features savory notes of black olive, allspice and clove, backed by supple tannins and a long finish.”-JC
The average listed price is $26