In Today’s Newsletter:
Cerretalto Subscriber Special
Historic Wines in the August Sale
The Best Deal in Traditional Gigondas?
Dog Days of Rosé – Top Sips for Summer Heat
Trending Wines with Momentum
2016 Prum – A Drink Now Classic
“It” Winemakers of the Northern Rhone: the Levet of Cornas
The Magical Isabel Ferrando
Our Most Popular Malbec Returns
The August Sale, Recapped
A Shining Star of Brunello
Casanova di Neri’s Cerretalto is an event of a wine. Produced only in the best years, with extra aging before release, it’s one of the true landmark wines of Italy. When a new release is imminent, you can feel the buzz—emails and phone calls come in while we work on negotiating the best price at the highest quantity we can. This year is a bit of a coup—we’re offering the ’12 Cerretalto at the best price in the country. It arrives Friday in OWC three packs and isn’t going to last very long—collectors take note!
Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($399.95), Was $319,
$299 Subscriber pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 98 points “Flavors of medicinal herbs, juniper, macerated cherry, plum, tobacco and spice are the hallmarks of this intense red, which is ripe and concentrated, yet sleek and focused. Spice notes chime in on the long, minerally and firmly tannic finish. Best from 2023 through 2040”
Wine Advocate 98 points ” The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto offers a prolonged, flowing and carefully massaged drinking experience that drapes over the senses with some studied intensity and lots of intriguing complexity. This wine nails that perfect balance between power and elegance (that elusive exchange that so many winemakers hope to achieve) with effortless precision. Bold cherry fruit and spice are tightly woven together. In the mouth, the wine shows texture, depth and succulence. Generally speaking, this is not my favorite vintage in Montalcino, but this wine suddenly made me forget that thought. (ML)
Limited to 12 bottles available now.
Historic Wines Elevate the August Sale
Nikolaihof is a giant of Austrian wine—a producer whose history and quality are unrivaled even in a country full of great producers. The estate dates back to Roman times and the Saahs family has run the property for over a century and a quarter. They produce wines of deep resonant flavors, that have fresh brightness but an undercurrent of vinousity is the real standout.
Large formats of these wines are rare—coveted by collectors and enthusiasts who know how broadly they pair with food and how complex they become over time. We’re offering deep discounts on a selection of Nikolaihof magnums, limited in quantity, as a way to kick off our August Sale. Many of these are the only offerings of large formats in the country and at these prices…well, why are you dawdling?
(We’ve also got a selection of a few other, notable magnums, included at the end of this section—not to be missed)
Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Smaragd Gruner Veltliner, Wachau 2010 1.5L ($149.95) Was $79, Now $69 August Clearance Price, 1 magnum in stock now
David Schildknecht–Vinous 89 points “Scents of clover and hay lead into a cooling, crisp and juicy palate of cucumber, celery stalk and green herbs. This finishes with nuanced diversity and mouthwatering salinity. I won’t be surprised if it becomes more interesting and alluring after a couple of years in bottle.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points “Bittersweet floral notes waft from the glass and continue to play across the palate. Roasted root vegetables mingled with dark leafy greens, smoky nut oils, moss, iodine-tinged shellfish reduction and tangy fresh lime make for an expression of Grüner Veltliner that is deep and dark but at the same time refreshingly juicy and stimulatingly crunchy. Finishing lift and utterly intriguing length further encourage the next sip.” DS
Terry Theise notes “Draw-you-in aromas, like the famous salad-of-seventeen-leaves, herbs and flowers they serve in the restaurant. All of them perfect. The palate here emphasizes the mustards, with the ’14 snap and bounce and spice; a lacy wine like the veins and tracings on the bottom of a leaf.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $85.99
David Schildknecht–Vinous 95 points “Prominent lemony brightness and underlying alkalinity do not convey an immediate impression of such a ripe, sunny vintage as this was. Aromatically alluring sea breeze, fennel pollen, and green and black tea persist in the mouth, where this wine also grabs hold of the palate and salivary glands in an outpouring of lemon-drenched oyster liquor. The combination of polish and clarity on display is similarly striking, though by no means unusual in an installment of what is in effect the Nikolaihof’s iconic offering. The long, vibrant finish displays kaleidoscopic flavor interactions no less memorable or mesmerizing for their being nuanced and understated; nor is there any let-up in the onrush of marine salinity.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2013 Riesling Federspiel Vom Stein offers a clear, ripe and well-concentrated bouquet of white stone-fruit aromas along with some nice terroir notes of herbs and stones. Medium-bodied, fresh and elegant on the palate, this Riesling is full of energy, mineral tension and vibrancy and demonstrates impressively, like great Mosel Rieslings do, that great dry wines do not need high alcohol levels to offer an intense, terroir-driven and stimulating taste. Still very young, this pure, piquant and firmly structured Federspiel reveals a good and piquant finish” WA
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “Caraway and celery root, apple and lemon, hedge flowers and roses: this smells as though somebody blended in Gewurztraminer. A sappy, silky palate incorporates corresponding complexity, with faintly bitter hints of huckleberry and a bite of radish adding stimulation and a suggestion of oyster liquor saliva-inducement to a sustained, infectiously juicy and (at 11.9% alcohol) strikingly buoyant finish.” DS
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “this lives up to its name with a stony, alkaline undertone. There is a faintly reductive hint of machine oil that, along with whiffs of gentian and iris, complements fresh and spirituous expressions of apple. The palate impression is fresh, juicy, and buoyant, with floral, mineral and herbal-spicy nuances. It’s a delightful example of the vintage paradox that despite high must weights and advanced flavor ripeness, the best 2012s can be elegant and light-footed. Coriander and fennel seeds add appeal to the sustained finish.”
Thomas Pico Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis, Burgundy 2014 1.5L ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 August Clearance Price, 1 magnum in stock now
Distributor notes “Aromas of fresh apricot, exotic fruits and a spicy hint of ginger. Rich and ripe but with lively acidity and a hint of salinity and stone.”
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 August Clearance Price, 5 magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “A lively version, displaying cherry, plum, licorice, spice and subtle tar flavors. Taut and balanced, exuding a mineral element on the long finish. Really elegant overall. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 August Clearance Price, 4 magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Complex and enticing aromas and flavors of macerated cherry, licorice, sandalwood, cigar box and tar are the hallmarks of this Barbaresco. Dense and firm for now, but this should develop nicely over the next decade. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
(Save $10/bottle on Pallieres Diable!)
Both Kermit Lynch and the Brunier Family (Vieux Telegraphe) are legendary names in the French wine trade. Kermit, obviously, is one of the most influential importers of wine and the Brunier’s make Vieux Telegraphe, a wine that help put him on the map. Both went into business together with Domaine Pallieres, in Gigondas and are now making some of the most exciting wines in the appellation.
Gigondas always represents some of the best value in the Southern Rhone, especially when compared to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Like its more famous cousin, the Les Pallieres Terrasses du Diable displays all the richness and density you would want, coupled with a savoriness that is unique to Gigondas. This is a wine for those that miss “old-school” Gigondas—with real length and flavors that go beyond fruit. When you taste it, you can immediately grasp the stylistic similarity with Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf.
We helped a distributor with an ‘excess inventory’ problem and so are bringing this wine to you today for the lowest price in the country (by $10/blt!) This wine is one of those that moves by the case—so don’t delay in getting your order in.
Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable, Rhone 2013 750ML ($49.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Dark ruby. Candied red berries, cherry compote and potpourri on the highly pungent nose; a mineral element adds vivacity. Energetic black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show excellent clarity and a hint of licorice pastille that builds as the wine opens up. The energetic finish repeats the floral and mineral notes, while supple tannins lend shape and grip.”
The next best price is $39.96
Rosés are super hot right now, along with the weather. Enjoy these highlights, or head to our website to see all 65+ bottlings in stock right now!
Archetypical Provence. Delicious and classy.
Case-12 Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Winery note “This is the unique cuvée of rosé from Calavon. It comes from a rigorous selection from the best parcels of Calavon. The vintage 2017, issued from a majority of Grenache, black and gray, offers the originality of a blend with Syrah and Rolle. Both round and fresh, it is the perfect rosé for summer lunches by the sea: grilled red mullet in garlic cream, bouillabaisse or lamb tajine with candied lemon.”
The next best price is $21.99
Grenache, Mourvedre, Bourboulenc, Cinsault. Organic.
VinopolNote: Charvin remains one of the best producers of old school, traditional Chateauneuf du Pape (the 2013, in stock now, is savory, gutsy and delicious). They also make a fantastic Cotes du Rhone rosé, all peaches and cherries on the nose. On the palate you get more of the same with a touch of citrus zest and a bright crisp finish. This wine is nicely medium bodied and one of those that you can pair with everything from grilled fish to hamburgers and grilled lamb. Like their reds, this is made from organically farmed grapes and fermented with indigenous yeasts.
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2016 750ML ($64.95) $51.90 special
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2016 1.5L ($139.95) $119 special
“The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe.”–Importer NotesThe best Sancerre rosé we’ve discovered, this packs all of the brightness and minerality of the appellation in to rosé form.
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 1.5L ($79.95) $61.90 special
Importer note “Always among our most coveted rosés (and for very good reason), Gilles Crochet’s 2017 Sancerre Rosé (100% direct-press Pinot Noir) is wonderfully classic in character, with tangy strawberries and punchy chalk on the nose, and a soft, mellow, pale pink color in the glass. The fruit is very cool and pure this vintage, with great drive and persistence on the acid-driven yet scrumptious palate. While Sancerre overall experienced around 15% losses due to frost in 2017, Crochet was thankfully spared completely.”
This is a delicious, fruitier rosé from Saint Tropez. A perfect drink if you want to feel glamorous.
Fleur de Mer Ile de Saint-Tropez Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($89.95) $59 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 $86.80
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($39.95) $18 pre-arrival special
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 2014 is the bigger and richer of the two vintages.
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $18 pre-arrival special
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.”
#3 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 375ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This shows the vivid, racy side of Barsac, with streaming flavors of pineapple, yellow apple, green plum and white ginger, displaying lovely energy from start to finish. Ends with enough honeysuckle and orange blossom notes to balance the richness. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
This is perpetually one of the best deals in Champagne.
Thierry Triolet Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “(90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir; 10 g/l dosage): Light yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, with suave floral and candied ginger notes adding complexity. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy green apple and orange zest flavors and a touch of white pepper. Closes silky and smoky, with good clarity and length.”
The average price is $36
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($519.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($519.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-93 points “Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed aromas of candied red and blue fruits, incense and peppery spices pick up a hint of potpourri as the wine opens up. Appealingly sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy raspberry, boysenberry and lavender pastille flavors and a spicy jolt of white pepper. Shows excellent clarity and mineral lift on the long, smooth finish, which is framed by slow-building tannins.”
The average price is $55
The JJ Prum wines are reference points for Mosel Riesling. No other producer in the middle Mosel is as respected or collectible. These are some of the most profound and age-worthy white wines in the world and given the status Prum enjoys, are almost miraculous in their pricing.
The 2016 vintage is another marked success for the estate, producing Riesling of beautiful charm and deliciousness. There’s no reason to think that these won’t be wines that improve for three decades, but they’re uncommonly tasty for young JJ Prum. From top to bottom, these are brilliant wines and with the stern 2017’s in the pipeline, definitely the most immediately delicious vintage in many years.
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 375ML ($37.95) $29 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese (AP 09 17) shows very fine botrytis and orange tea character on the delicate and nicely concentrated nose. Very elegant, piquant and lush on the palate, with mineral expression, refreshment and persistent structure, this is a serious and complex Auslese of great class. Highly recommended.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “What a fantastic bouquet! The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Gold Capsule is super deep, intense and precise on the nose where flinty/stony notes and very fine (and slightly spicy) raisin and grapefruit aromas are displayed. Rich, lush and super sexy on the palate, with highly delicate but intense and persistent fruit and very fine salinity, this is a gorgeous Auslese from the winner of the 2016 vintage chez Prüm: Graacher Himmelreich. This gold-capsuled Auslese (AP 10 17) is rich, finessed and almost weightless in its intensity. The salty and piquant acidity is alive and kicking. You can hardly produce a better Auslese in this delicate and filigreed style. 8% alcohol.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($79.95) $69 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett (AP 21 17) is deep, cool and flinty on the nose, pretty mineral though still a bit reductive. Round, intense and juicy, this is a densely woven Kabinett with ripe nectarine and plummy flavors as well as a tightly woven and refreshing mineral structure. The finish is pretty persistent and extremely stimulating. Compared to the Badstube, the Himmelreich is more aromatic and expressive. Tasted in March 2017.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese (AP 08 17) is discreet and smoky on the deep, well-defined nose. Juicy-piquant and salty on the well-structured and refreshingly mineral palate, the Himmelreich is tight and expressive, with the sweetness superbly balanced by the spicy, grippy phenols/minerals. This is a really complex Spätlese that is highly stimulating today and will still be so in 20 or 30 years.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($89.95) $77 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett (AP 22 17) is bright, deep, firm and flinty on the nose, which is still a bit reductive in early March 2018. Pure, fine and piquant on the palate, this is a light and very delicate Kabinett with a salty-piquant, lush finish that reveals ripe stone fruit and tropical fruit flavors.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($119.95) $96 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese (AP 23 17) is still discreet, floral and finely mineral rather than fruity on the nose compared to the other 2016 Spätlesen. Lush, piquant and juicy on the palate, this is a firm but sensual Sonnenuhr with remarkable finesse, lightness and lingering salinity. Tasted March 2018.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 375ML ($39.95) $33 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese (AP 13 17) is clear, fresh and vegetal/floral on the pretty complex but clear and refreshingly flinty nose. Bottled with 8.5% alcohol, this is a lush, piquant and well-structured Spätlese with good grip and a perceptible sweetness. The finish is intense and complex and reveals a firm mineral structure.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2016 750ML ($129.95) $119 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2016 375ML ($79.95) $66 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($279.95) $249 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese (Gold Capsule) is clear, fine and subtle yet concentrated, with vegetal and ripe fruit aromas. Rich, round and piquant, this is an intense and densely woven Auslese (AP 14 17) with a long, tensioned and refreshing mineral finish that lifts the sweet fruit. Gorgeous but made for another decade.”
There’s no two ways around it—Cornas has become the hot AOC in the Northern Rhone, perhaps in France. Allemand, Clape, Ooka, Paris, etc—prices have been going up, demand has been going up, and wines are in stock for shorter and shorter periods of time. Against that backdrop, we were offered a vertical of Domaine Lionnet’s Cornas and couldn’t say yes fast enough. The wines are from Rosenthal, the official importer, and are in great condition. For some of you, we’ve already said enough—you can find the wines on our website. If you want a little more info on the domaine, no fear, read on.
Lionnet is basically the Levet of Cornas—the heir to Robert Michel, stylistically. In fact, it was Levet that referred Lionnet to Neal Rosenthal, which tells you all you need to know. These are old-school Cornas, made with 100% whole clusters, fermented in cement vats and then aged in older, large barrels. No new wood, no pretension, and just one wine—the domaine only owns 2.2 hectares! We’re beyond excited to have these in the shop, though quantities are limited
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 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!”
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…. 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.… 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.”
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!”
The average price is $63
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Inky ruby. Mineral-accented black raspberry, violet and a hint of game on the high-toned nose. Takes a darker turn in the mouth, offering boysenberry and cherry flavors along with smoky bacon and cracked pepper nuances. Finishes sweet, smoky and very long, displaying repeating mineral and spice qualities and youthful tannic grip.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Dark in profile, with a tarry edge to the core of steeped black currant and fig fruit, along with smoldering tobacco, licorice root and singed alder on the finish. Maintains ample grip and drive throughout. Best from 2018 through 2028. 200 cases imported.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Made by Ludovic Izerable and crazy good, the 2012 Cornas Terre Brûlée is a stunning Cornas that spent 18 months in 2- to 8-year-old barrels and demi-muid. Offering up notes of black raspberry, cassis, currants, ground herbs, spice and insane minerality, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, rich, yet taunt and pure texture that carries vibrant acidity and length. Still reserved and backwards, give this beauty another 3-4 years and enjoy bottles through 2027+.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Her wines have become unfortunately allocated in recent years, so only a small quantity of each of these two cuvees makes it to the States. We secured a healthy allocation, but these are destined to sell out. If you seek some of the pinnacles of Chateauneuf du Pape, act quickly.
Arriving in September
Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Collection Charles Giraud, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points “Deep lurid ruby. Hugely fragrant raspberry liqueur, boysenberry, garrigue and Asian spice aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral flourish with air. Deeply concentrated but elegant as well, offering pliant red and dark berry and candied lavender flavors that reach every corner of the palate and show no rough edges. Cola and spicecake qualities emerge on an impressively long, subtly tannic finish that emphatically repeats the blue fruit note. The blend of richness and energy here is something else.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “I tasted several demi-muids potentially earmarked for the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Collection Charles Giraud, although some may slip down into the Reserve August Favier. The final decisions had yet to be made, so I haven’t offered a formal review of that cuvée. Despite being hugely ripe, sometimes even chocolaty, the concentration and density meant that none tasted overly alcoholic or warm, and even the super ripe Grenache retained excellent freshness, spice and complexity.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Vibrant and captivating, with exuberant fruitcake, cinnamon and black tea aromas leading the way for a fleshy core of raspberry pâte de fruit, plum sauce and cassis, all allied to a lovely velvety texture. Maintains intensity through the finish, showing a long echo of pastis. Best from 2020 through 2040. 1,300 cases made.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato, Argentina 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato, Argentina 2015 750ML ($319.95) $266 pre-arrival special (that’s only $22.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “The one blend in the Eggo range is the 2015 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, which mixes Malbec with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 2,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats where the wine matured for almost one year. This feels quite complete and balanced, with good ripeness while keeping the balance and poise. The palate is juicy and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a bittersweet finish akin to sour cherries. Very tasty and long. Super. Incredible for the price. 16,000 bottles were filled in January 2016.”
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