Suertes del Marques and Binigrau

Diamonds in the Rough
Uncommon Varietals from Uncommon Regions

Across the world there are thousands of varieties of grapes lovingly cultivated and turned into wine, offering a startling amount of diversity beyond the standard varietals. While the international superstars such as Chardonnay and Cabernet still constitute the vast majority of wines served, some of the most intriguing values come to us from unrecognized and often-ignored appellations. Gathered below are a few producers who continue the traditions of their respective regions, working with the lesser known varietals indigenous to their area that have continued to please local consumers for generations. Trade out your go-to varietal choices for any of these wines; try something new and you are bound to be pleased!

Suertes del Marques- Wines of Canary Island

Founded in 2006 in Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Suertes del Marques is run by winegrower Roberto Santana and owner Jonatan Garcia Lima. Together they farm 9 hectares of vineyards with altitudes ranging from 350–700 meters, on the slopes of Mount Teide, an active volcano. The work here is as natural as possible, practicing organic viticulture, the use of native yeasts, and all the wines are bottle with no fining or filtration. All Suertes vines are pie franco (ungrafted) and many of the vines are over 100 years old, trellised with a system unique to the Canary Islands: el cordon trenzado (the braided cord), with a number of the trained vine’s branches braided together. Tenerife is unique in its location; highly influenced by the northern Alisio winds, this region’s fresh climate can be tasted in the invigorating structure of its wines, the old vines accounting for low yields and the intensity of flavor found in these rare varietals.

The main varieties produced at Suertes are Listán Blanco (the same grape as Sherry’s Palomino Fino) and Listán Negro. Distinctive and authentic, the wines are complex, notably perfumed, with a striking minerality. The 7 Fuentes is a blend of several plots of Listan Negro blended with a small amount of Tintilla (Grenache). Fermented in stainless steel, the result is a spicy and bright red wine. The Solana, a single vineyard plot from the estate with vines a minimum of eighty years old, are fermented in concrete before being aged in French oak barrels. With richness similar to nearby Spain’s Reservas, the Solana’s dark fruit flavors are mingled with the spicy aroma and bright minerality that the unique Listan Negro is loved for.

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Suertes Del Marques 7 Fuentes Valle de la Orotava 2013 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“(98% listan negra and 2% tintilla; aged for eight months in a combination of concrete tanks and 500-liter French oak barrels): Brilliant red. Spice- and mineral-tinged red fruits on the intensely perfumed nose and palate. Fine-grained and very well balanced, with sexy floral pastille and incense qualities coming up with aeration. Finishes with strong mineral cut, no obvious tannins and excellent spicy persistence.”

Suertes Del Marques La Solana Valle de la Orotava 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Brilliant ruby. A complex bouquet evokes intense raspberry, floral and mineral scents and a hint of Asian spices. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering lively red fruit flavors that gain sweetness with air. Silky tannins give shape to the finish, which emphasizes juicy red fruit and rose pastille qualities.”

Binigrau Mallorca Wines

Founded in 2006 and situated in over 30 hectares of beautiful countryside, the Binigrau winery sits right in the heart of Mallorca on the lovely Belearic Islands, located off the east coast of Spain. With a sandy topsoil covering layers of limestone and clay, the wines of Mallorca reflect their Meditteranean climate; high altitude vines, short mild winters and hot dry summers that produce wines of intensity and verve. A little heard of, much less tasted, area, Mallorca is a growing winemaking region providing flavor and value that rivals nearby Spain.

Working under bio-dynamic principles, the wines of Binigrau are made using sustainable vine-growing processes, strict grape selection and are harvested entirely by hand. With great respect for the ecology of the area, Binigrau works with several varietals that are indigenous to the area. Manto negro, which accounts for nearly 40% of total vineyard production in the area, is typically blended with other local varietals like Callet ( a dark-skinned varietal commonly used to add body and color), producing a wine that is bold and rich with smooth tannins. Prensal blanc (aka moll) is the most widely planted white varietal of Mallorca, loved for its fresh and herbal quality. Winemaking is done using small tanks and oak wine barrels made using specially selected wood, with extra care taken in each of step of the process to produce a truly unique wine.

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Binigrau Nounat Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands 2012 ($31.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points
“(85% native prensal and 15% chardonnay): Pale, green-tinged yellow. Highly aromatic nose combines tangerine, honey, iodine and chamomile. Deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and pick up notes of honey and smoky minerals with air. A bitter citrus pith note adds definition to the long, sappy finish.”

Binigrau Obac de Binigrau Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands 2009 ($31.95) $28 special
Winery notes
“A coupage of Mantonegro, Callet, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah grapes, matured from between twelve and fourteen months in fine-grain oak barrels. An elegant, dark ruby-coloured wine with a subtle shade of garnet. Aromas of spice, nuts, fennel and licorice, combined with a well-integrated underlying taste of mature fruit and wood.”

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Quinta do Infantado

 Quinta do Infantado Port

quinta-do-infantado-tawny-port label

            Everything is different at Quinta do Infantado. Firstly, Infantado is one of the very few Port houses actually owned by Portuguese nationals and having a familial history on their lands. Based in Pinhão, Quinta do Infantado has been a leader in estate-bottled Ports since 1979. Prior to 1986, the British monopoly on Port required that all exported Ports be sent in bulk to Vila Nova de Gaia, 60 miles west of the Douro Valley, where they were bottled and shipped. This practice effectively prevented small private producers from exporting their wines, since the cost of running an operation in another town was prohibitive for these vineyard owners. In 1986 the laws were changed and Quinta do Infantado, already making their own wines, were amongst the first to begin exporting their wines.

quinta infantado- working in the vineyard

            The greatest uniqueness of Infantado Port is right in every bottle they make. The estate, run by the brother and sister team of João and Catherine Roseira, is famous for producing ports that are “meio-seco” or medium-dry in style. This starts in their vineyards, which are all ‘Class A’(the equivalent of Grand Cru status in the DOC regulation), even the entry level Ruby & Tawny bottlings. Into the winery, the hand-picked grapes ferment long and slowly in lagares (2-foot high stone tanks) and are still foot “trodden”. Less than 2% of Port is still made by this century old, labor-intensive method. Infantado’s wines have more natural alcohol and less sugar than other ports, meaning that less “aguardente” or grape brandy has to be added. They simply allow more extended fermentation and both delay and diminish the intervention that defines Port. The wines are therefore more vinous (still wine-like), more balanced and drier than most ports. In fact, Robert Parker has said of Infantado’s best vintage Port: “A saturated, black/purple color is followed by a huge, ripe, pure nose of jammy blackberry and cassis fruit that is vaguely reminiscent of such great 1990 Hermitages as Chapoutier’s Le Pavillon, Jaboulet’s La Chapelle, or Chave’s red label Cuvee Cathelin. Awesome concentration, massive body, an unctuous texture oozing with fruit, glycerin, and extract, and a blockbuster finish”.


We are pleased to offer the wide array of Quinta do Infantado wines below, all available here now at Vinopolis:

Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port NV ($19.95) $17 special                                  Quinta do Infantado Tawny Port NV ($19.95) $17 special                                  Their basic Ruby and Tawny Ports are outstanding examples of elegance and richness. The wines are normally from a blend of 2-3 vintages, with the Tawny aged in casks and small “toneis” (slightly smaller than barrique Bordelaise). Their Ruby is dark, rich and plummy with excellent balance of fruit, acid and tannins without an overwhelming sugary or jammy flavor. The Tawny is lighter, but still expressive of fruit with coffee and toffee; silky and elegant, with notes of golden raisins and roasted hazelnuts.  Both the Ruby and the Tawny are superb.

Quinta do Infantado Reserve Green Label Port NV ($27.95) $21.90 special      The Estate Reserve is a ‘vintage character” Port that is made mainly from a single undeclared vintage with amounts from other casks blended in to make a fully accessible, rich, harmonious wine that truly exemplifies the Vintage style.

Quinta do Infantado 10 year Tawny Port NV ($39.95) $33 special                    Their 10-year Tawny is an exceptional wine of deep amber brown color and incredible length and delineation of flavor. The finish is expressive of coffee and caramel with a round, silky texture. This wine has received its due attention by the critics and is tops in its class.

Quinta do Infantado Port Colheita 2001 ($41.95) $36 special                              Quinta do Infantado oldest vintage dated Porto is a Colheita from 1977. Well, believe it or not, it took them 24 years to make another Colheita. The first bottling of this 2001 Colheita tawny Porto was in 2010.

Quinta do Infantado Late Bottled Vintage Port 2007 ($29.95) $26 special  Quinta do Infantado Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008 ($29.95) $26 special  Given the opulent wine-making and the relatively short duration pre-bottling these are almost indistinguishable from the classic Vintage Ports. More open and accessible, no need to decant.

Quinta do Infantado Vintage Port 2003 750ML ($59.95) $39 special       Stephen Tanzer 88+ points ” Bright dark ruby. Cassis, bitter cherry, licorice and coffee on the nose. Juicy, primary and tightly wound, with youthfully penetrating flavors of kirsch and licorice. Offers very good purity and intensity. Finishes with rather suave tannins and very good length. I’d wait eight to ten years on this one.”

Quinta do Infantado Vintage Port 2004 ($59.95) $49 special                               The Vintage Ports of Quinta do Infantado are singularly distinctive in their “meio-seco” (medium-dry) style. The Roseira family is very careful when declaring a vintage year and will not do so if there is the least doubt about the concentration and quality of the vintage. The wine is remarkably rich, expressive and multi-layered while retaining the force, tannins and “old- vines” character of a youthful Port.

Quinta do Infantado Vintage Port 2007 ($59.95) $49 special                           Wine Spectator 90 points “The rich, grapey aromas are lovely in this full-bodied, very sweet young Vintage Port, which is luscious and juicy, with loads of plum jam and big, velvety tannins. Best after 2015.”



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Chevillon Nuits St Georges – Available Here Now

While Nuits-Saint-Georges does not officially have any grand cru vineyards, we are convinced that Chevillon is producing wines from the area that are firmly grand cru quality.  The Chevillons have been part of the winemaking history of Nuit St Georges since Symphorien Chevillon began producing in the early 1900s. Several generations of Chevillons worked to build their vineyards, with Robert at the helm until 2003, when he passed the winemaking to his sons Denis and Bertrand. Their land consists of roughly 13 ha in Nuits, mostly Premier Cru, from which they produce a wide selection of single vineyard bottlings each year.  The wines are all made in exactly the same way – only the quantity of new oak may vary between villages and 1er Crus.  The domaine sticks with 30% new wood for the 1er Crus, the villages normally being brought-up in something closer to 20% new wood, the remainder a blend of 2-3 year-old barrels. There are no tricks at Chevillon: the reliance is on old vines and old fashioned winemaking, an integral part of their process is to let a vine produce for as long as it can, replacing vines individually as they age. Domaine Robert Chevillon produce yardstick Nuits-St.-Georges with care and devotion. Famous for the transparency and consistency of their winemaking–Chevillon finds a way to let the vintage and the terroir speak for itself every year.
                                    Available Here Now at Vinopolis
Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Bousselots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($119.95) $99 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Good bright, dark red. Deep aromas of black raspberry, minerals, smoke and flowers, along with notes of licorice and dark chocolate; ripe and sexy. A step up in density and finesse of texture from the Chaignots, offering good acid spine to its wild dark fruit flavors. Quite dry and uncompromising today, finishing bright and long, with serious tannins and a juicy character. A very good showing.”

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Cailles, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($179.95) $149 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93-95 points “Bright, deep red. Pungent crushed-stone minerality accents musky black cherry and red berries on the almost liqueur-like nose. Juicy, supple and energetic on the palate, communicating a sappy, youthfully imploded character and a magically light touch for such a rich wine. The tactile, slowly building finish saturates the mouth with red fruits and crushed stone. Great potential here.”

Domaine Robert Chevillon Aux Chaignots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 90-92 points
“The 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Chaignots is one of the more supple wines in this range. As such, it won’t demand as much cellar time as many of the other Chevillon 2012s. Gently spiced notes open up in the glass, followed by sweet red berries, flowers and cinnamon. The 2012 is soft and understated, with lovely overall balance and tons of medium-term appeal. This is another gracious, totally inviting wine from Chevillon.” AG

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($199.95) $179 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93-96 points
“Bright, deep red. Explosive aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, espresso, mocha, licorice, minerals and sweet oak. Sappy, dense and fine-grained, with its substantial volume leavened by licorice and violet accents. The saline, classically dry, slowly mounting finish features a whiplash of fruits and minerals that leaves the taste buds quivering. Wonderfully tactile and floral on the aftertaste. This has grand cru energy and class.” ST

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Perrieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 92-94 points
“Chevillon’s 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Perrieres is striking. Iron, smoke, dark red fruit and menthol blossom in the glass as the wine fills out beautifully. The 2012 is wonderuflly complete, with great balance of fruit and structure. Readers will have to be patient with the 2012, but it is fabulous.” AG

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Pruliers, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($149.95) $119 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-94 points
“Good bright, dark red. Discreet, pure, rather reticent nose offers red cherry and raspberry. Juicy, minerally and a bit youthfully imploded, offering terrific density and lift to the flavors of raspberry, strawberry and minerals. Lifted by a distinctly floral character I did not find in the last couple of samples. Solid and densely packed but juicy and light on its feet, finishing with serious but fine tannins and a saline touch. A superb showing today.” ST

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Roncieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 92-94 points
“The 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Roncières is mesmerizing upon the first impression. Deep, rich, beautifully resonant layers of dark red/black fruit, smoke, cloves and new leather blossom in the glass. The Roncières is incredibly sumptuous for a young Nuits, but even so, there is plenty of detail in the glass. Most importantly, though, the 2012 also appears to be holding quite a bit in reserve, suggesting its best days are off somewhere in the future.” AG

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2012 ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 94-96 points
“The 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains is the most refined of these 2012s from Chevillon. There is no shortage of intensity in the glass, but here the tannins have just a little more silkiness than some of the other wines, while the flavors are generally a touch brighter and more lifted. Sweet red berries, mint, spices and freshly cut flowers inform the dazzling, virtually seamless finish. Simply put, the Vaucrains is superb in 2012.” AG

Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($54.95) $49 special
Burghound 91 points 
“Elegant and beautifully expressive aromas of white fruits and flowers trimmed in noticeable wood introduce detailed, fine and mineral-infused medium weight flavors that are both sappy and precise on the impressively persistent finish. This is beautifully well-balanced though the wood is hardly restrained.”

Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes 2011 ($69.95) $51.90 special
Burghound 87-89 points
 “A discreet touch of wood sets off equally fresh and bright red berry fruit and soft earth aromas that give way to mouth coating, delicious and vibrant medium-bodied flavors that possess good mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in a seductively textured, balanced and solidly persistent finish.”BH
Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Bousselots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Burghound 89-91 points
“The well-layered mélange of red currant, blue berry and wet stone nuances marries seamlessly into slightly earthy, precise and energetic flavors that possess a firm but not hard tannic spine, all wrapped in a delicious and saline-infused finish. This is also quite understated yet stylish and I very much like the purity of expression.” BH

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Cailles, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($139.95) $99 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“As complex as the Pruliers is, the Les Cailles ratchets it up yet another notch with its spicy and pure blend of cassis, plum, violet and distinct iron-infused earth. There is excellent richness to the cool and equally pure medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent focus on the explosively long finish. The tannins are dense but quite fine and this offers outstanding upside development potential.” BH

Domaine Robert Chevillon Aux Chaignots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Burghound 89-91 points
“Here too discreet wood spice frames a pretty and cool mix of red and dark pinot fruit that is trimmed in warm earth nuances that are also reflected by the refined, pure and silky middle weight flavors. There is fine complexity and verve to the well-defined and persistent finish. A classic Chaignots of grace and harmony with no lack of aging potential.” BH

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Perrieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($109.95) $89 special
Burghound 90-92 points
“Here the nose just soars from the glass to reveal strikingly fresh and pure red berry fruit, wet stone and discreet earth hints. There is an equally striking sense of energy to the precise, intense and stony middle weight flavors that possess very fine balance and depth, all wrapped in a lingering and notably firm finish that suggests that this will need 10 to 12 years to reach its apogee.” BH

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Pruliers, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
John Gilman 93 points
“The 2011 Chevillon Pruliers is a classic in the making, with its very black fruity and soildriven personality delivering a complex and very pure bouquet of black cherries, dark berries, gamebirds, fresh herb tones, woodsmoke, dark soil tones and coffee bean. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite broad-shouldered, with a rock solid core of fruit, excellent soil drive, ripe tannins and a very long, precise and transparent finish. Like the 2010 Pruliers, the 2011 is a very elegant young rendition of this fine wine.” JG

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Roncieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2007 ($69.95) $66 special
Stephen Tanzer 88-91 points
“Bright, full red. Dark raspberry, spices and an element of leathery reduction on the nose. Then densely packed but youthfully imploded and a bit reduced, with a distinctly darker character to the blackberry, blueberry and violet flavors. In a fruit-driven style, but this will require a good four or five years to blossom in bottle. Finishes supple, fruity and long, with excellent intensity”ST

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Roncieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2008 ($89.95) $69 special, 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points
“Medium-deep red. Sexy aromas of raspberry, flinty minerality and smoked meat. Sweet, bright and showy, with lovely cut and definition to its dense berry flavors. Combines brisk acidity and an impression of thorough ripeness. Very pure on the aftertaste.”ST

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Roncieres, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($99.95) $79 special, 32 bottles available
Burghound 90-93 points
“There is a trace of herbal tea that adds breadth to the otherwise exceptionally fresh and equally pure red currant and wild cherry aromas. There is really beautiful intensity to the precise flavors that are on the lighter side yet deliver that wonderful quality of power without weight. This is first rate as it’s balanced, harmonious and offers excellent depth and length.”BH

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2007 ($109.95) $89 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points
“Good dark red. Wilder on the nose than the Saint-Georges, offering black cherry, dark chocolate, smoke and a whiff of game. Wonderfully sweet in the mouth but youthfully closed, with a medicinal menthol note supporting the impression of power. Can’t quite match the Saint-Georges today for complexity or personality, but this is also very convincing on the back end. And this too calls for six or seven years of cellaring.”ST

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2008 ($119.95) $99 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points
“Deep, bright ruby-red. Black raspberry and chocolate aromas are complemented by sweet oak. Less refined than the Saint-Georges or Cailles but solidly built and quite powerful, with a youthfully medicinal character to the blast of dark fruit flavors. Extremely primary and impressively long. This may need the most patience of this excellent set of 2008s”ST

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Terry Theise 2013 German Rieslings- Donnhoff

                                                            2014 Terry Theise                                                                                                           German and Austrian Offerings                                                  

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

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




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

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

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

-Terry Theise

 Arriving at Vinopolis the last week of December

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Stop Here!

More 2013 German Riesling arriving November!

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

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Bereche Champagne

champagne bereche vineyard

Champagne Bérèche et Fils 

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

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

bereche family

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

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

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

Bereche Champagnes Available Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chateau de Saint Cosme

saintcosme logo

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

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

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

saint cosme vineyard pan

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

Chateau de Saint Cosme Wines – Available Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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