In Today’s Newsletter:
Rose of the Day
Burgundy’s Pink Secret
New Review for the 2010 Riserva
New Week – New Arrivals
Last Call: The Iconic Barbaresco of Gaja
Red Wines from Henri Prudhon Arrive!
New Arrival Featurette
Lingua Franca has made quite the name for themselves in a very short period of time. Helmed by legendary sommelier Larry Stone, the winery has spared no expense in pursuit of quality and the wines show this. The whites are lean, crisp and bright, with a reductive minerality and the reds are pretty, elegant and very inspired by Burgundy.
Of particular note are their two higher end bottlings, based off of estate vineyards. The Chardonnay comes from a site called Bunker Hill—a windy site just south of Salem in the heart of the Van Duzer corridor. The resulting wine manages to be intense without being overly rich—it’s as though they just managed to put more wine in the wine, resulting in a density and complexity that’s wonderful to taste. The Estate Pinot hails from their LS vineyard, in the heart of the Eola-Amity hills (and right next to famed sites like Seven Springs). Like the its neighbors, the vineyard shows classic Eola-Amity structure, perfume and concentration.
We’re excited to present a new set of wines from Lingua Franca, from the outstanding 2017 and 2016 vintages. These are wines that are rapidly becoming benchmarks for the Valley and belong in any Willamette Valley lover’s cellar.
Newly Arrived from Lingua Franca:
Lingua Franca ‘AVNI’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note “The aroma is complex with layers of mineral, citrus, and spice. On the palate, the wine is silky, round and supple, with long finish. The wine has an open texture and deeper flavor, reflecting the even growing conditions throughout the season. AVNI Chardonnay combines fruit from predominantly volcanic soils in the Eola-Amity Hills, including grapes from Yamhill-Carlton, and some fruit from Chehalem Mountains on marine sediments.”
The next best price is $37
Wine Spectator 94 points “Sleek and seamlessly complex, featuring expressive floral lemongrass and steely mineral aromas and plush yet refined green apple and lemon flavors accented by spicy lees. Drink now through 2022. 692 cases made.”
The average listed price is $52
Winery note “AVNI Pinot Noir 2017 reflects the greater impact of our own Lingua Franca Estate fruit in the wine. The resulting aromas are beautiful expressions of smoke, wet stone, rose petal, black plum, red cherry and savory elements. It has a remarkable structure, but is also layered with seductive fruit. The majority of the fruit for this vintage comes from Lingua Fraca Estate, from various blocks of Dijon Clones and Pommard. The remainder is comprised of fruit from selected vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills near to us that have similar terroirs and flavors.”
The next best price is $37
Winery note “Lingua Franca Estate Pinot Noir begins with a heady scent of roses and red fruits. On the palate, the wine is quite dense and rich, powerful in expression, with a perfect balance of red and black fruits, dark plum, pomegranate and raspberry, then the nuances of wet stone, savory herbs come through in the lifted lingering finish and velvety texture. Lingua Franca Estate is beautifully located in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills, dry farmed organically on Jory, Gelderman and Nekia soils.”
The average listed price is $57
Love Local? Don’t miss our subscriber case pricing on the Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot!
Arriving Friday, May 17th:
Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) $27 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($359.95) $309 pre-arrival special (that’s only $25.75/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Notes from John Paul: 12.6% alcohol. The 2017 vintage is a classic and high-toned. This is 60% Abbey Ridge fruit, which really shows on the nose with floral and cherry notes. You pick up the influence of Clos Electrique on the palate
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($299.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Delicious and bold! Drink now or cellar for 3-6 years.
And it’s even lower by the case!
The next best price is $31.17Case pricing ends Friday, May 17th at 6 pm Pacific
Rose of the Day
Burgundy’s Pink Secret
There’s not a lot of rosé made in Burgundy, especially in the Cote d’Or. That’s unfortunate, but understandable—it’s generally not as profitable to make rosé out of land that you can make serious reds and whites from. The exception (and a bit of an insider secret) is in the town of Marsannay, just north of Gevery-Chambertin, which has a long tradition of rosé and turns out some really stellar bottles.
A top example, and top value, is Domaine Collotte’s Marsannay Rosé. Made from 100% estate grown Pinot, it shows the unique combination of pretty, red and black fruits and floral tones that characterize both Burgundy and Pinot rosé. This is a rosé that’s loaded with character and doesn’t sacrifice any drinkability, either—a rare combination, especially for the price.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Domaine Collotte Marsannay Rose, Cote de Nuits 2018 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
VinopolNote: Marsannay is the only village in Burgundy that permits rosé bottled under its AOC. As you might expect, the rosé from the village is outstanding stuff and Domaine Collotte’s offers excellent value (just like their reds, for what that’s worth). Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the Marsannay rosé shows the dry and serious side of the genre, while managing to be delicious and fresh at the same time. If you love Pinot rosé from the Willamette Valley, you owe it to yourself to try the original.
The average listed price is $18
I’m a sucker for the reds of Bandol, especially in the summertime. That might be counter intuitive—these are big red wines from a warm part of the world, so why does my desire to drink them increase with the temperature (to a point—above 90 and it’s Spritz time, despite what the NY Times says). I think it’s because the wines retain a freshness to them that’s unique and pair so well with so many grilled foods—there’s something about Bandol that just screams “things cooked over flames.”My go to for a while has been Tempier’s “basic” Bandol rouge. Like all Bandol, it’s mostly made from Mourvèdre—a grape that slowly ripens, even in the Provençal heat, and retains a beautiful freshness. Unlike the single vineyards, it’s delicious now. It’s a big wine, for sure, but the tannins are just soft enough to go with a leg of lamb or some burgers off the grill. Often, I notice that lovers of Tempier go straight for the “top” cuvees, with the intention of aging them for 20+ years. The wines are stunning that way, but you miss the joyful, rich fruit of the wines in their youth. The 2016 is an exceptional vintage for this wine and I’d recommend that you buy this by the case and drink it with abandon.
Domaine Tempier Bandol, Provence 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Tempier Bandol, Provence 2016 750ML ($719.95) $499 pre-arrival special (that’s only $41.58/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Importer Note “75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 2% Carignan from 40+ year old vines on clay and limestone soils. Destemmed, fermented with indigeous yeasts and then aged 18-20 months in large oak foudres.”
“The La Tourtine parcel lies at a slightly lower elevation, in the Castellet region, and is more homogeneously clay soils. This parcel yields a powerful, rich, concentrated and surprisingly polished Bandol that has the fruit and texture to impress in its youth, yet the concentration to age beautifully.” –Jeb Dunnuck [no reviews for the 2016 vintage]
Importer Note “80% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 10% Cinsault from 40+ year old vines on clay and limestone soils. Destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts and then aged 18-20 months in large oak foudres.”
The average listed price is $79
“Lying outside the village of Le Beausset, the La Migoua vineyard is the highest elevation site of the three and sits at 270 meters above sea level; it consists of diverse clay and limestone soils. Possessing the smallest amount of Mourvèdre (~55%) and the most Grenache, this cuvee is always slightly less powerful and rich than the other two single vineyards, yet is always the most perfumed and complex.” –Jeb Dunnuck [no reviews for the 2016 vintage]
Importer Note “50% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 26% Cinsault, 4% Syrah from 40+ year old vines on clay and limestone soils. Destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts and then aged 18-20 months in large oak foudres.”
The next best price is $65.95
The average listed price is $79
One of the top-scoring wines in the recent Decanter blind tasting of 2010 Clianti Classico Riservas and Gran Seleziones!
Note on the estate from Decanter “Castell’in Villa is a small estate in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, at the southern end of the Chianti Classico region. While the estate has a long history, dating back to the 13th century, its present reputation for long-lived wine stems from the current owner, Princess Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa, who bought the estate in 1968. With a firm commitment to local, traditional winemaking, this riserva is made entirely of Sangiovese from the best plots on the property. The wine is aged in traditional botti (large oval barrels) for two to three years, depending on the vintage.”
Castell’in Villa, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Decanter 95 points “Susan Hulme MW: Initially reticent on the nose, with an edgy, nervy, vibrant style on the palate. Tenacious and assertive. Andrew Jefford: Its aromatic profile is soft and refined but very tempting, while on the palate it’s smooth, elegant and fine, offering great ripeness and tenderness. Gorgeous stuff. Monty Waldin: Well-constructed and offering lots of depth while being focused and bright, with a notable ‘Chiantiness’. Tannins are quite dense but it has the fruit to match. Drinking Window 2019 – 2024.”
New Week – New Arrivals
L15, Disgorged 4/18
Winery note “Attractive yellow hue with honeyed reflections. The complex nose offers white flowers, yellow fruits and candied citrus. 3 years of ageing in our cellars allows the champagne to develop a rich, smooth texture on the palate, with notes of stewed fruit, brioche and honey complemented by the generosity of Pinot Noir.”
J.L. Vergnon Blanc de Blancs Confidence Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2009 750ML ($99.95) $75 special
Burghound 93 points “Mild reduction isn’t enough to mask the aromas suffused with notes of petrol, yeast and a hint of citrus character. There is excellent depth to the delicious, intense and vibrant flavors that are supported by a moderately firm but fine effervescence before culminating in a dry but not particularly austere finale. Most 2009s are already drinking well but here I would advise holding it for a few more years first. In a word, terrific.”
Jaime Goode 94 points “From two parcels, all aged in barrel. Complex, appley and lemony on the nose with nuts and wax. The palate is savoury, intense and complex with good structure and high acidity. Powerful and complex with real intensity. Apples, lemons, nuts and spice here with good depth. Powerful and gastronomic. 94/100”
The next best price is $90
Doyard Oeil de Perdrix Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “Doyard’s 2013 Grand Cru Extra Brut Millésime Œil de Perdrix is showing superbly, bursting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of honeyed red apples, brown sugar, confit citrus fruits and warm, exotic spices that speak of mature grapes. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with tangy acids, a deep core of ripe, concentrated fruit, a frothy mousse and a long, sapid finish.”
Case-12 Domaine d’Henri Chablis ‘Saint Pierre,’ Chablis 2016 750ML ($359.95) $269 special (that’s only $22.42/bottle!)
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.”
The next best price is $26.60
Neal Rosenthal note “There is no better version of this modest white Burgundy than the one produced by Rollin. From very old vines (50 years plus) in a parcel of 1.7 hectares on the border of Pernand and the neighboring village of Echevronne, it carries the lively acidity that is part of the character of the grape but also the personality of the wines of Pernand. The age of the vines imparts density and body that shows this grape at its very best. We purchase fifty cases annually for the US market.”
Neal Rosenthal note “From a small parcel of Chardonnay planted in the western reaches of Pernand on into Echevronne, the Rollins produce a white of lively acidity but with a certain heft that comes from the strictly limited production levels required to achieve maximum maturity from grapes planted on these slopes that see less late afternoon sun.”
“Hints of matchstick and petrol can be found on the pretty pear aromas that are laced with plenty of lemon zest that continues onto the vibrant, stony and impressively precise flavors that are dry in the best sense and quite refreshing. Lovely for what it is.”-BurghoundDomaine Rollin Pere et Fils Les Cloux, Pernand-Vergelesses 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Burghound 90 points “Outstanding Top Value. Here the cool and airy nose is compositionally similar but offers a bit more elegance and complexity. Once again there is a lovely sense of vibrancy to the mineral-driven and beautifully delineated flavors that possess a beguiling texture before culminating in a chiseled finish where the complexity displayed by the nose returns. This too is really lovely.”
Domaine Rollin Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 special
Burghound 92 points “An airy and cool nose is composed by notes of admirably fresh Granny Smith apples, floral and soft citrus and spice wisps. There is excellent vibrancy to the notably intense middle weight plus flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the powerful, complex and persistent finish. Note that while this will certainly be capable of rewarding mid-term cellaring, it is less backward and tightly wound than usual.”
Case-6 Marchesi Antinori Castello della Sala ‘Bramito del Cervo’ Chardonnay Umbria IGT 2017 750ML ($149.95) $99 May Sale Special (that’s only $16.50/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 89+ points “For some reason, I tend to like this wine best in the most difficult vintages, like 2014 and now this edition. The 2017 Chardonnay Bramìto della Sala shows a more evident layer of richness and texture that you don’t get in the thinner 2016 edition. This wine is partially barrel fermented (with malolactic fermentation), and the fruit comes from the younger vines at the Castello della Sala. A portion of the fruit represents leftovers that never made it into the top-shelf wine, Cervaro della Sala. This wine offers fantastic value and easy-drinking appeal. It’s not too complicated, but it plays its few ace cards with an expert hand.”
Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 May Sale Special
Case-6 Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($179.95) $119 May Sale Special (that’s only $19.83/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 $27Spain
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($319.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(aged for two years in a combination of new and used French and American oak barrels) Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of ripe red fruits and candied flowers, along with allspice, vanilla and pipe tobacco topnotes. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors and a spicy nuance that emerges as the wine opens up. Finishes sappy, penetrating and quite long, with smooth, slow-building tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s sappy fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2014 Muga Reserva checks in as a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the balance Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and Graciano. This deep ruby/purple-colored effort gives up textbook currants, smoked earth, leather, espresso, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous and sexy on the palate, with sweet tannin, it’s a charming, forward vintage of this cuvée that dishes out loads of pleasure.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The Muga family thinks the rains of 2014 benefited many of their vineyards, which are in cooler places at higher altitudes and take longer to ripen. So, they are really happy with their 2014 Reserva, the flagship bottling which delivers the Muga style and the typicity of the Rioja Alta at a very attractive price and with good availability because they produced one million bottles of it! They select the gentler sites from within the cooler parts of Rioja where their vineyards are located, as this is their more approachable red. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts, matured in barriques for two winters and was bottled in its third year. It has the telltale aromas of spices and berry fruit, with the Muga signature and a medium-bodied palate with some dusty tannins that would welcome food. 950,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2016.”
Jorge Ordonez & Co. #1 Seleccion Especial, Malaga 2015 375ML ($21.95) $14 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Made all from the Moscatel de Alejandría grape, the 2015 Selección Especial #1 is brilliant stuff. White peach, tangerine, and pineapple notes all emerge from this sexy, exuberant, sweetly fruited beauty. It has good acidity, awesome purity of fruit, and a clean, even elegant style, that makes it a joy to drink. It’s going to be incredibly versatile and should work with tapas, cheese plates, or a fruit dessert. These are unfortified dessert wines and it takes 15 pounds of grapes to make a single bottle of this beauty.”
James Suckling 93 points “Extremely fresh and floral. The palate is frankly sweet, but with stunning freshness and a lovely lightness of touch. I love the succulent and refreshing, long finish that pulls you back for more. Drink now for the vibrant aromas.”
Only 7 half-bottles remaining!
Valdespino Macharnudo Alto Single Cask Palo Cortado Vintage Sherry, Jerez 2000 375ML ($159.95) $99 special
Sherrynotes.com 4.5 Stars “A complex and aromatic nose, which presents itself in a very elegant, smooth way. There’s a Fino side to it (hay, minerals, bread crust) as well as Amontillado (soft beeswax, orange oil, apricots and other fruity echoes) and Palo Cortado (a little tobacco, hazelnuts, caramel)…Mouth: a gentle entry. I’m struck by the delicate glyceric / buttery touch, making it seem a little sweet (toffee, apricots again). However it becomes sharper and deeper over time, with a gentle saline tang and balanced acidity. Soft herbal notes. Some lemon and olive brine. Roasted almonds and walnuts. Hints of old polished wood. Very long finish with the toffee and praline notes lasting forever.An exciting hybrid wine again. It could be described as a particularly buttery Fino with subtle traces of Oloroso, but it’s more complex than that. Absolutely lovely: a rare gem – let’s hope there are more casks like this in the bodega.”
Decanter Magazine 93 points “This was sealed in cask as a vintage wine, and over time it developed the characteristics of a Palo Cortado, so it was refortified to 17% and sealed again. There’s just one cask, so quantities are tiny, but it will make a great gift if you can track it down. It is delicate, vibrant, salty, and punchily fresh. Drinking Window 2018 – 2022.”
The next best price is $129.07
The Iconic Barbaresco of Gaja
Gaja is a name that requires no context in discussion—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and that the wines are epic, change-your-dinner-plans events. Angelo Gaja is one of the primary reasons we care about Barbaresco today and the wines bearing his name remain the most treasured and collectible of the region.
The one complaint we might have with Gaja, as with most wines that are full-on collectible, is the pricing. We’ve been working hard to offer you some of the top wines in the lineup for some really incredible prices, though. These are excellent prices (in the case of the Costa Russi, the national best). If you’re a collector (or if you’re looking to try some of these wines for the first time) you should really pay attention to this offer. Also of note: these wines are directly from the winery, offered through a local distributor—not purchased from a private collection.
Only 4 bottles remaining!
Gaja Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($249.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco is fabulous. In fact, this is one of the best Barbarescos I have tasted at Gaja in many years. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully sculpted in the glass, the 2013 possesses tons of understated intensity. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper and anise are all lifted in the glass. The 2013 is an almost shockingly classic Barbaresco from Gaja. The translucent color, vibrant Nebbiolo fruit and austere but noble tannins represent a move towards a much more traditional style. For readers who can find it, the 2013 is simply a must-have wine.”
Only 2 bottles remaining!
Gaja Costa Russi Langhe, Piedmont 2006 750ML ($499.95) $299 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Good full red. Reticent strawberry and plum aromas are complicated by a medicinal component. Rounder and sweeter than the normale, but also showing excellent inner-mouth lift for all its fullness. This very broad, fine-grained wine finishes with a juicy quality and excellent structure. In spite of its firm tannins, this makes the young ’07 come off as a bit drier by comparison.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2006 Langhe Costa Russi is a bit reticent at first, and two of the three bottles I tasted showed elements of reduction that eventually blew off. A gorgeous center of soft perfumed fruit lies behind the slightly unfocused bouquet. The wine reveals notable clarity and detail once it opens up in the glass, with dark cherries, flowers and minerals that linger on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.”
Force Majeure is a total Washington State insider’s wine. The name doesn’t come up as often as a winery like Cayuse, but these estate grown gems are typically completely sold out to a rabid mailing list. It’s a tough winery to source—and for good reason. These are big, bold, dense wines that have just enough elegance to keep them in beautiful proportion. Winemaker Todd Alexander made his name at Bryant Family in Napa before being enticed to Washington and he’s making those epic Cult-style wines for Force Majeure as well.
What really sets Force Majeure apart from many other top Washington producers, though, is their site. It’s relatively rare to have an estate vineyard in Washington (like in Napa, many producers buy grapes from a variety of sites). To have an estate in the tiny Red Mountain AVA of this quality, though, is a truly special thing—a secret weapon in creating some of the finest wines in the state.
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve secured one case each of their high scoring, hard to get bottlings and are eager for you to get your hands on them.
Arriving Friday, May 17th:
Force Majeure Parabellum Red Mountain, Washington 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 93 points “Checking in as a blend of 61% Syrah and 39% Mourvedre, the 2014 Rhone Parabellum sports a vibrant purple, semi-opaque color to go with fabulous notes of black raspberries, cassis, cedary spice and hints of pepper. This is a rich, elegant, incredibly polished red that has terrific purity, ripe, sweet tannin, a graceful personality and a great finish. It’s an entry-level wine that surpasses most estates’ top cuvees.”
The average listed price is $55
Wine Advocate 93-96 points “It’s going to be interesting to see if the 2015 Estate Syrah matches the 2014, and they both showed similar from barrel. The 2015 is a big, full-bodied Syrah that has tons of chalky minerality in its classic Syrah notes of blackberries, licorice and smoked meats. With good acidity, fine tannin and terrific elegance and purity, it will keep for 15+ years. Led by winemaker Todd Alexander, Force Majeure has now officially moved away from their Collaboration Series releases and is focusing exclusively on their estate vineyards on Red Mountain. The lineup is stacked with incredible wines, and I expect the quality to only go up from here as their vineyards age and they fine-tune the winemaking. The 2015s were structured and tannic, and while they’ll certainly be more polished from bottle, I suspect short term cellaring will be your friend. These are great wines, and even at their prices, these represent killer values.”
The average price nationally is $78
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Moving to the reds, the Mourvèdre-dominated 2015 Parvata GSM is a smoking effort loaded with deep, rich aromas and flavors of blackberries, currants, cured meats, and a hint of chocolate. It’s full-bodied, deep, concentrated, and perfectly balanced, and is a sensational wine.”
James Suckling 94 points “A fascinating nose of earth, brambles, forest floor, blackberries, herbs, black pepper, some animal and freshly cut herbs and tobacco. Full-bodied with firm, sturdy tannins, a wealth of bark and dark fruit, a lot of power, fresh acidity and an underbrush finish. Washington’s answer to the Southern Rhone! GSM blend. Drink in 2020.”
The next best price is $83
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “A Pomerol look-alike, the 2015 Epinette is mostly Merlot, yet includes 30% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. It’s another rich, mouthfilling effort and offers lots of darker, plummy fruits, chocolate, and scorched earth aromas and flavors. With building tannin and serious structure, it isn’t for those looking for instant gratification and is going to need a solid 3-5 years of bottle age.”
The next best price is $89.99
Forge Cellars Classique Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Jasmine and mustard seed notes lead the way here, backed by a mix of yellow apple, mirabelle plum and citrus oil flavors. Shows good intensity through the finish. Drink now through 2022. 5,773 cases made.”
Winery Notes “Our most important wine aims to reveal the true nature of the vintage and to explore the terroir of lower east Seneca Lake. Due to our focus on this narrow 8-mile stretch of slope on the southeast side which includes 13 of our 14 Riesling vineyards, this is our first labeling under the Seneca Lake AVA. In 2017, we chose not to make our top cuvée, Les Alliés Riesling, and de-classified our fruit in order to ensure the absolute best quality would remain in our core wine. Candied lemon, apricot peel, Asian pear, and anise join with salinity to give impeccable freshness. ‘You and I carry within us the genetic characters of all our ancestors, which have mixed together and made us unique, well-rounded, complex individuals. This is how our Riesling is born: it encapsulates the characteristics of all our vineyard sites and of our unfailing, passionate commitment to excellence.'”
Domaine de Fontavin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee David & Goliath, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $56 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “An impressive follow-up to the 2015 version, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape David et Goliath is full-bodied, creamy and plush, showing remarkable richness, length and purity, without excessive ripeness or weight. Cherry and peach fruit picks up hints of dried spices, thyme and bay leaf on the long finish. It’s almost all old-vine Grenache, sourced from the rolled stones of the Les Saummades lieu-dit and aged in demi-muids.”This is one of the top wines from Burgundy in ’16.
Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($449.95) $379 special
Wine Spectator 98 points “A rich, powerful version, backed by flashy oak and beefy tannins that sandwich the flavors of black cherry, blackberry, licorice, iron and tobacco. Concentrated, yet vibrant and long. Best from 2024 through 2050. 500 cases made.—B.S.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru is also showing superbly, offering up aromas of cassis, grilled meats, pungent spices and a savory bass-note reminiscent of oyster sauce. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with velvety structuring tannins, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. It isn’t quite as multidimensional or complete as this year’s spectacular Ouvrées Rodin bottling, but it’s a very fine Clos de Bèze.”
Big, rich and seductive, it’s a perfect wine to complement the grill.
Quinta da Falorca Touriga Nacional, Dao 2011 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2011 Touriga Nacional Quinta Da Falorca is a blend of Touriga grapes from three plots, two with 40 years of age and the third at ten. It was aged in new French oak for 18 months. The combination of power, finesse and seduction here make this more than a little enticing. To be sure, it is rather unevolved and it needs to pull in a little oak. Even now, though, it is slowly gathering itself. The crisp, flavorful finish, balance and good structure will support this for a couple of decades in all likelihood. It finishes with controlled power and persistent flavor. It is always a wine that leans a bit to the Burgundian and this year is no different. I liked last year’s version a lot. That may in fact be a bit lusher. This has a bit more lift, focus and penetration, granting that they are not now side-by-side. It is a very nice duo. In the long run, this will win out. It was far superior the next day, its combination of finesse and precision winning out. It has an Old-World feel (forgive the stereotype).”
Ferruccio Deiana Sileno Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, Sardinia 2014 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Case-6 Ferruccio Deiana Sileno Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, Sardinia 2014 750ML ($179.95) $146 special (that’s only $24.33/bottle!)
Decanter 97 points “A lovely juicy fresh nose of sour cherry and red plum, the palate has a really plush feel with layers of rich concentrated red and black fruit, with herbal savoury hints and lovely gentle tannin.”
William Fevre Chablis, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Burghound 88-90 points “A ripe and fresh nose offers up notes of iodine, oyster shell, mineral reduction, pear and plenty of citrus influence. There is fine density to the concentrated and sappy flavors that possess fine volume while delivering very good length and solid depth. Good stuff and worth a look.”From one of the hottest up-and-coming wineries in the Valley. Dry farmed, to boot!
Flaneur Wines Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Winery Note “This wine was fermented in a variety of stainless steel tanks and one large oak vessel. After a native yeast fermentation, it was aged in a combination of 228, 60t, and 2300 L oak vessels. Light and fresh, and boasting a balance of tart red fruit and earthy characteristics, this Pinot Noir is an ideal match for many meals…. or simply enjoyable on its own.”
The next best price is $29.99
“The Most Under Rated Producer in All of Burgundy” –Allen Meadow, Burghound
Red Wines from Henri Prudhon Arrive!
“The quality that this domaine consistently achieves is nothing short of remarkable… I have said this before but I would go so far as to say that Domaine Henri Prudhon is one of, and perhaps even the most under rated producer in all of Burgundy. The style is ultra-pure and completely classic. Moreover, the wines sell for very reasonable prices so if you don’t need a famous name on a label to be happy, try a bottle from Prudhon and in either color.” – Allen Meadows, Burghound
Most of the time when the phrase “cult wine” is used we think of small production, pricy wines with lots of points. But every now and then we see a wine that breaks that mold. The wines from Domain Henri Prudhon are prime examples. They aren’t expensive (or big or rich) but they are hard for us to source because they occupy a unique place in the Burgundy world. For one, they’re incredibly fairly priced, which seems to be rarer than ever before in Burgundy, but most of all, they’re mineral driven wines—including the reds, which we are highlighting below.
Newly Arrived Red Wines from Henri Prudhon & Fils:
Henri Prudhon & Fils Bourgogne Rouge Les Charmeaux, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “This cuvée is drawn from several parcels in Saint Aubin that comprise about 7/10 of a hectare. The vines are a mix of young (10 years) and old (40 years). Clay and limestone soils with a western exposure in the western most sector of the village of Saint Aubin. The wine is aged in small barrel for eight months but no new oak is used.”
Henri Prudhon & Fils Saint-Aubin Les Argillers Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Saint-Aubin Les Argillers Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($379.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note ““Les Argillers” sits on the upper reaches of the slope of Saint-Aubin, just south of “Le Ban” and bordering the forest. Prudhon farms two hectares of 30-to-60-year-old vines here, and the wine they produce tends to be snappy, mineral-driven, and floral—less about Pinot Noir plushness and more about the freshness and drive of a cool-climate red wine.”
Burghound “A pretty and fresh mix of red and dark raspberry aromas reveals earth and soft spice nuances. There is better volume to the sappy, round and succulent middle weight flavors that possess a bit more overall depth and length as well as slightly more supporting structure.”
The next best price is $32.98
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Frionnes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “The Prudhons own a solid hectare of vines between 30 and 60 years of age in this premier cru that lies just to the north of “Les Perrieres.” In keeping with the Prudhon house style, “Frionnes” emphasizes the freshness and raciness of Saint-Aubin—there is virtually no new oak used in its elevage, and there’s a certain restraint and brightness to the fruit that feels self-assured and very terroir-loyal.”
Burghound “A spicy and again attractively fresh nose offers up notes of red currant, black raspberry and a hint of violet. The mouth feel of the medium-bodied flavors is also sappy and round with reasonably good vibrancy to the naturally sweet finale. This should be enjoyable young if that’s your preference.”
The next best price is $40.99
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Rouges Gorges, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “his wine is produced from two separate parcels: one on a hillside above the hamlet of Gamay and the other from a parcel between Saint Aubin and Chassagne Montrachet. The average age of the vines is 50 years (as of 2011). A classic wine of this sector with compelling notes of animal and wild berries. The elevage is about 18 months before bottling; again, very little new oak is used.”
Burghound 87-90 points “Here the expressive nose is spicier still with its layered array of various red berries, soft earth and pretty floral nuances. There is a bit more volume to the slightly richer, seductive and caressing medium weight flavors that exude a subtle minerality onto the mildly austere and rustic finale. This could use a few years to round out.”
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur le Sentier du Clou Vieilles Vignes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Burghound 89-91 points “This possesses the most elegant and perhaps even the most complex nose in the range with its layered assortment of red and black cherry, plum, violet and freshly turned earth scents. The fine complexity continues onto the solidly concentrated and more obviously mineral-inflected flavors that possess a relatively sophisticated mouth feel while concluding in a balanced and lingering finish. This is really quite good and worth considering.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “This wine is from some of the oldest vines in the estate, planted between 40 and 80 years ago (as of 2011). The parcel is about 1.5 hectare in size and sits on a hillside between Saint Aubin and Gamay with an east-southeast exposure. There is an elevage of 15 to 18 months (with very little new oak used). Perhaps the most serious and complex of the red wines of the domaine with a character dominated by red fruits and spices supported by substantial backbone.”
The average price nationally is $38
Thank you for reading!