In Today’s Newsletter:
June Clearance Highlight: Kapcsandy/Napa’s First Growth
2013 Brunello of the Vintage: Piancornello
Trending Estate: Lopez de Heredia
New to Our June Clearance Sale:
Huet / Produttori / Gulfi
Emmanuel Darnaud: A Hidden Gem
Super Sellers For Your Stellar Cellar:
2016 J Christoffel Jr.
Exclusive New Offer!
Napa’s First Growth
Kapcsandy Family Winery
New to Our June Clearance Sale!
Well-earned fame and accolades have been showered upon all the wines coming out of the Kapcsandy Family Winery, so we’re happy to be able to present the 2015 releases – on sale and in stock now!
Lou Kapcsandy’s biography reads like a Horatio Alger story in a lot of ways. Man flees communist Hungary, lands in the US and makes a name (and business) for himself. Grows to love the wines of Bordeaux, so he starts an import company before he stumbles upon a once-legendary vineyard in Napa that has been ripped up and needs to be revived.
And that’s where we pick up. In 2000 Lou Kapcsandy discovered that the old Beringer State Lane vineyard, primary source for the Private Reserve Cabernet program, was ripped out due to phylloxera and was for sale. He bought the twenty acre vineyard, replanted it and starting in 2005 began producing some of the most lauded wines to come out of the Napa Valley.
The late Denis Malbec, formerly of Chateau Latour in Bordeaux, got the project up and running and served as a consulting viticulturist and winemaker, producing wines of depth and power. These are Napa wines with a Bordeaux spine and sensibility. Kapcscandy’s grape growing philosophy involves intense cultivation, involving meticulous hedging and maintenance with continuity in the way the vines are planted, cared for and harvested. Vines are planted 4-5 times more densely than is typical for Napa Valley, showing similarities with the plantings of 1st Growth Bordeaux’s. This higher density spacing creates smaller berries with higher skin-to-juice ratios and induces natural stressing of the vines without artificial human intervention, resulting in a higher intensity of flavors, complexities and aromas.
New to Our June Clearance Sale:
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Grand-Vin Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($499.95) Was $449, Now $389 Clearance Price, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 99 points “Composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard sports a deep purple-black color and has a classic nose of crushed black currants, black plums and cedar with hints of dried Mediterranean herbs, underbrush, smoked meats and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has youthful exuberance with tight-knit, muscular black fruits and spicy suggestions framed by firm, grainy tannins, finishing with great length and depth. Should age incredibly!”
Robert Parker 98-100 points “Another potentially perfect wine, with off-the-charts richness, is their largest cuvée of 700 cases, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard. The wine is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot harvested Sept. 10-25. Notes of graphite, black chocolate, crème de cassis, blackberry and subtle smoke are all present in this dense, seamless, full-bodied wine that has magnificent fruit purity, richness and depth. This is a 30-year wine, and a fabulous one at that.”
Kapcsandy Family Winery Rapszodia, Yountville 2015 750ML ($479.95) Was $419, Now $349 Clearance Price, 3 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95+ points “A blend of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot, the 2014 Rapszodia has a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully spicy nose of cloves, vanilla and cinnamon stick over a core of red and black currants, black cherries and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied with plenty of baking spice flavors complementing the ripe, expressive red and black berry flavors, it has a very fine-grained texture and plenty of freshness, finishing long.”
Robert Parker 98-100 points “Their 100% Cabernet Franc cuvee, the 2015 Rapszodia Proprietary Red, spent its whole life in 100% new French oak and is an exhilarating wine with off-the-charts richness, an exquisite bouquet of spring flowers, forest floor, rich blue and black fruits, voluptuous texture, incredibly fine, silky tannins, and, for a Kapcsandy wine, relatively elevated alcohol at 14.5%. This is a “wow” wine that should drink beautifully young and last 20-30+ years.”
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta’s Reserve, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($399.95) Was $399, Now $369 Clearance Price, 3 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points “Made from 100% Merlot, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and gorgeous nose of black plums, warm blueberries and mocha with touches of anise, red roses and spice box. Medium to full-bodied and densely packed with layers of blue and black fruits and perfumed notions, it has a firm yet plush backbone to support and a very long, layered finish.”
Robert Parker 95-98 points “Their 100% Merlot cuvée, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve, is another fabulous product with outstanding purity, great balance, loads of chocolate, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, silky, juicy tannins and terrific concentration, depth and overall balance. It will also be approachable upon release and last 20-25 years.”
We’ve also added Huet, Produttori & Gulfi to our June Clearance Sale.
Keep reading to see more June Clearance wines!
2013 Brunello of the Vintage
Arriving in July
“Two thousand thirteen is an excellent vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. If it is not quite the epic vintage that it appeared to be from cask, it is undoubtedly one of the better years for Brunello in some time – along with 2010, 2001, 2006 and 2004 in that order.” –Ian d’Agata, Vinous Media
Ian D’Agata recently published his report in Vinous raving about the 2013 Brunellos and 2012 Riservas. In it he described the 2013 Piancornello as one of the wines of the vintage, so we wanted to offer this wine (a Vinopolis staple) as soon as we were able to confirm pricing and allocation quantities. This arrives next month along with the even more highly rated 2012 Riserva.
New Releases from Piancornello Arriving in July
Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $48 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 96 points “Deep red-ruby. Highly perfumed, mineral aromas of raspberry, red cherry, violet and iron. Wonderfully sappy but youthfully imploded in the mouth, this remarkably precise and well-delineated Brunello offers an extremely refined set of flinty red and black fruit herbal flavors. Finishes with a firm edge of tannins and very good floral and spicy lift. An outstanding, very pure and deep wine that really needs about a decade of patience. One of the Brunellos of the vintage.”
The average price is $55
Ian D’agata-Vinous 97 points “Luminous deep red. Less stony and scented on the nose than Piancornello’s memorable 2013 Brunello, offering hints of gingerbread and exotic fruit elements to the red berry and cherry aromas and flavors. Thick and creamy in the mouth, but lovely acidity and a saline element give the wine a three-dimensional texture and keep it light on its feet despite noteworthy concentration of extract and flavor. This densely packed, rich and ripe Brunello will age splendidly. Not surprisingly, this 2012 Riserva is weightier and fuller than the 2013 Brunello from Piacornello, but still comes across as refined and steely in the typical house style.”
Only Two Magnums Remaining:
Lopez de Heredia
Lopez de Heredia is one of the world’s elite wine estates. This statement isn’t a surprise to anyone who reads at all about Spanish wines, but it bears repeating. “Why?” you might ask, “would you tell us something we already know?”
The answer to that question is that for all of the grace, complexity, age-worthiness and profundity of the wines, the prices are shockingly low. You can purchase the entry level wine from the greatest traditional Rioja estate for less than $30. You can buy their Reservas (for which the current releases are 2004/6!!) for under $35. Even their great wines–old Gran Reservas, with bottle age, will set you back less than the average bottle of 2010 Mouton.
How can this be?
The idea that you can buy a bottle of Gran Reserva Tondonia from the 1960’s, directly from the winery’s cellar, for the same price or less than a current vintage of top-tier Bordeaux? We don’t think this will last that long. We’ve got some new wines from Lopez coming in–from up and down the range, price wise. They all over-deliver.
Top Picks In Stock Now from Lopez de Heredia:
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco, Rioja DOCa 2008 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The first white I tasted was the 2008 Viña Gravonia Blanco, a true bargain traditional oak-aged Rioja from very old Viura vines (90 years old!) on gravel soils. 2008 was a healthy vintage, which resulted in a slightly smaller crop than 2007, and the white grapes were picked starting on October 9th. They have never added yeasts to their wines, and this fermented in centenary oak vats and matured in used barriques for four years. It was bottled unfiltered. It has the right balance between youth and freshness and the more-developed aromas. The notes of dried flowers, honey, nuts and petrol are intermixed with aromas of quince, medlar and other yellow fruit, with hints of saffron and spices, quite developed. The palate is very tasty, and it ends with a salty finish. This is a cool vintage, where the wines show very good freshness. They do their blends to achieve a homogeneous style that shows the fresh and mineral character of the Gravonia vineyard. Year in, year out, this is one of the greatest bargains in Rioja and Spain. They produced some 17,800 bottles, which were filled in November 2013.”
The average price nationally is $29
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 1973 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva is so sublime, so complete and natural that it may bring tears to the eyes. It has a complex bouquet of beeswax, lanolin, lemon curd and almond that is effortlessly combined. The palate is nigh-perfectly balanced with very good weight. It has a seamless waxy texture and a peacock’s tail of almond, creme brulee, marzipan and dried apricot. There is a beguiling sense of completeness here. Heaven in a glass, and one of the finest Tondonia Blancos I have encountered. Drink now-2020+”
The average price is $752
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2006 Viña Bosconia Reserva, always more rustic and powerful than the Viña Tondonia, was cropped from a warm and early harvest and is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine matures in used American oak barrels for five years. It has a very developed nose, and as winemaker Mercedes López de Heredia noted, “It could be confused with a Gran Reserva, as I see it more tertiary and developed.” These are amazing wines, clean and complex, with polished tannins and surprisingly good acidity. I have the idea of 2006 as a warmer vintage, but it’s not true throughout Rioja; as I’ve seen with other wines, like the ones from Muga, in this cooler part of Rioja, the vintage was much better. There are some dusty tannins and some flavors that still remind you of fresh fruit. 72,000 bottles were filled in June 2013.”R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2004 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that’s possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices, leathery notes, cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp, with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and very good persistence.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “[Reviewed May 2017] (aged for six years in American oak barrels) Deep red. Exotic, oak-spiced red berry liqueur, dried cherry and vanilla aromas are complemented by a smoky overtone. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, displaying a velvety texture to the plush black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut flavors. Shows no rough edges and picks up a suave floral note with air, finishing with excellent clarity, a hint of allspice and round, harmonious tannins.”
The average price nationally is $47
Wine Advocate 92 points “The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines–a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidity. This is so easy to drink that it can be dangerous. This was the Rioja clarete fino–the everyday red. It’s both elegant and powerful. Very good value, too. 99,000 bottles produced.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “(aged for three years in American oak barrels) Brilliant ruby-red. Aromas of fresh red berries, cherry pit and pungent herbs, joined in the glass by subtle vanilla and herb nuances. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively red currant and bitter cherry flavors that flesh out on the back half. In an energetic style, showing very good finishing energy and smooth tannins framing lingering red fruit.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is deep, rich and flinty on the nose, with caramel and vegetable flavors indicating a great complexity. Full-bodied, dense and powerful, this is highly complex and persistent, yet refreshing and transparent Chenin with a juicy fruit and lots of grip, energy and tension. Rather demure at the moment, this enormously structured wine has a great aging potential and I recommend to store it for 6-10 years, at least.”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2015 Le Mont Demi-Sec from Domaine Huët is an outstanding young wine, with even more depth and potential than the superb Le Haut Lieu Demi. The bouquet is bottomless, delivering scents of pineapple, sweet quince, incipient notes of honey, chalky minerality, a touch of lanolin, floral tones redolent of buttercups and lovely, esthery citrus elements in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, beautifully balanced and displays stunning depth at the core, with lovely acidity (particularly for the vintage!), great focus and grip and a very, very long, primary and exceptional finish. This does not have the backend cut or grip of a vintage such as 2007 or 2008, but it is going to be a great example of Domaine Huët Demi-Sec. It is deceptively easy to drink today, but its true apogee is at least a decade or more out from the vintage! 2016-2075. 95.”
The average price is $44
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is one of the least expressive of these wines. Inward, powerful and explosive, the 2011 is not in a mood to show much today, that is pretty clear. Still, there is an obvious energy here that is impossible to miss. A firm spine of tannin gives the wine much of its signature power. Dark red cherry, smoke, pomegranate and scorched earth blossom on the dramatic finish. A wine of real density and gravitas, the 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano stands out for its pure, unbridled energy and overall intensity.” AG
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is the biggest of the bunch. This wine delivers a lasting sense of structure and intensity that is especially apparent as this Barbaresco hits the palate. The bouquet exhibits signs of ripe fruit with soft layers of blackberry preserves and cherry liqueur. The wine’s tannic structure is solid and firmly stitched together, yet this wine is slightly softer and perhaps sweeter than the Riserva Muncagota, for example. This is yet another wine destined for long bottle-aging.”
The next best price is $52.95
The average price is $58
Wine Spectator 95 points “Broad and brooding, this muscular Barbaresco packs in black cherry, tar, licorice and spice flavors. More about power than finesse, with a long finish. Best from 2019 through 2035.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Pora is sweet, round and sensual. Beautifully layered in the glass, the Pora is absolutely exquisite, with plenty of sweet red cherry, plum, mint and spice notes woven throughout. The Pora is typically the most open of the Produttori’s nine Riservas, as it is once again this year. There is so much to like here.” AG
The average price is $59
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2011 Neromàccarj is the wine that, in my opinion, best encompasses the overall winemaking philosophy at Gulfi. Like the other Nero d’Avola selections presented, this wine boasts a super enriched and concentrated style. On top of black fruit and cherry marmalade, the bouquet offers Teriyaki, barbecue smoke and asphalt-like aromas. Neromàccarj presents a more balanced and complete picture because its large bulk is spread evenly in proportioned elements. In other words, the opulence of the bouquet is perfectly matched to the large footprint left on the finish.”
Now it’s even lower!
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2006 Reseca is Nerello Mascalese from vineyards on Mount Etna. It is one of the darker, more overtly fruit driven wines I have tasted from the Etna. The finish turns a bit more delicate and ethereal, though. It will be interesting to see the direction Gulfi takes with this bottling in coming years.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Gulfi’s 2007 Reseca, from a vineyard on the Etna, is full of Nerello Mascalese personality. Sweet dried cherries, crushed flowers, licorice and spices waft from the glass. The tannins are understated yet beautiful and nicely integrated. The delicate style is pure Etna and therefore totally different from the Nero d’Avolas Gulfi makes in Pachino.”
Wine Spectator “The ripe black cherry puree mixes with soft raisin, cocoa powder and loamy earth accents in this juicy, medium-bodied red. Light grip and a hint of black licorice drop shows on the finish. Nerello Mascalese.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $40
A Hidden Gem
A passionate advocate for terroir-specific wines, Emmanuel Darnaud has been crafting robust reds from individual parcels in the northern Rhone since 2001. His six parcels are spread over 15 hectares, where the grapes are hand harvested. Each is vinified separately with differing oak aging and maturation practices depending upon the wine. No matter which bottling, though, he manages to bring the best of the site to the wine.
Last year, Emanuel Darnaud’s wines were one of the best surprises and some of the best deals in red while they were in stock. None of the top American wine critics have reviewed the full lineup of 2016s yet, but if the 2015 vintage is any indication, these are wines to snap up before the ink dries on the prose. From top to bottom, the Darnaud wines over perform with density, power and drinkability. They are Syrah with soul and immediate appeal.
In Stock Now from Emmanuel Darnaud:
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”
The next best price is $25
15-16/20 La Revue du Vin de France “[Translated] Beautiful austere nose, full of black fruits. The slender palate is underlain by a great mineral impression. Beautiful aging capacity.”
The average price is $27
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special
Winery note “Nose: Delicate and subtle. Aromas of blackberry and licorice stick. An impression of wet stones. Mouth: The entry shows a great freshness. The tannins are velvety and offer a voluminous and racy mid-palate. This wine offers great harmony and will need a few years to reveal its full potential.”Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “A monster of a St Joseph, the 2015 Saint Joseph comes from the Dardouille lieu-dit (near Mauves) and was aged in demi-muids and second-fill barrels. It has a saturated purple/blue color as well as awesome notes of crème de cassis, freshly crushed rocks and cracked pepper. Rich, full-bodied, ultra-pure and with impeccably purity and balance, it’s another tour de force from this appellation.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “In addition to the impressive Crozes-Hermitage releases, Emmanuel releases a terrific Saint Joseph. His 2015 Saint Joseph La Dardouille offers a ripe, sexy, yet also fresh and focused style to go with notes of cassis, black raspberries, and spring flowers. Coming all from the granite soils of the La Dardouille lieu-dit, destemmed, and aged in equal parts demi-muids and barrels, it has terrific purity of fruit and can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade.”
Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special
15-16/20 La Revue du Vin de France “[Translated] The 80-year-old vines offer a wine with some bite. The nose gives an impression of granite and pencil lead. The grippy tannins are reminiscent of Nebbiolo.”
The average price is $42
For Your Stellar Cellar
Perrin is a legendary family in the wine world. They’re best known for their stewardship of Chateau Beaucastel, that benchmark of Chateauneuf du Pape, but they also make wines from other properties in the area. Of particular note are the two wines we’ve got re-arriving this Friday: the Clos Tourelles Gigondas and the Vinsobres Les Hautes de Julien. These are from more mountainous terroirs than Chateauneuf. Gigondas requires little in the way of further explication, but Vinsobres is a fascinating region, in the northern part of the southern Rhone, which is Syrah based and is like a hypothetical cross between Cornas and a Syrah from the south.
We’re having difficulty keeping these wines in-stock. Don’t worry, more’s coming on Friday. Act now to reserve your bottles!
Re-Arriving This Friday:
Famille Perrin Gigondas Domaine du Clos des Tourelles, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The finest vintage to date, the 2015 Gigondas Le Clos des Tourelles comes from a tiny vineyard located just inside the village of Gigondas. Incorporating a touch of Syrah, this Grenache dominated beauty reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as off the chart notes of black raspberries, black cherries, pepper, garrigue, and tons of that classic Gigondas spice. I wrote “Wow” more than once in my notes and this full-bodied 2015 has ultra-fine tannin, perfect balance, and a stacked mid-palate. Give bottles 2-3 years and drink over the following 15+ years.”
Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
Oregon Wines to Pause & Ponder Over
“I tasted most of Doug Tunnel’s recent releases in January during my tasting in London. So when I dropped by, Doug poured the outstanding recent bottlings that I did not taste alongside some intriguing mature bottles. I will leave the notes to speak for themselves – these are very refined and natural wines with minimal intervention, not surfeit with fruit, but surfeit with personality, freshness and nuance… Brick House comes recommended, but hey, I’ve said that before.” –Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
“One of the Willamette Valley’s iconic winemakers, Doug Tunnel was one of America’s earliest adopters of fully organic farming, achieving the certification in 1990 followed by Demeter Biodynamic certification in 2005. Tunnel’s wines are made in a distinctively and consciously Old World, low-octane style, favoring structure and detail with a discreet use of new oak. Like a steadily increasing number of his Oregon colleagues, Tunnel’s elegant, understated but eminently age-worthy wines, whites as well as reds, smack one inside the head rather than upside it.” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Doug Tunnel crafts some of the most achingly beautiful wines in shades of Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot. These are wines to move your soul and touch your spirit. Pour a glass of Brick House and contemplate how lucky the world is for Willamette Valley wines.
Brick House Vineyards ‘Cascadia’ Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 Chardonnay Cascadia is a “best barrel” selection from two of the estate’s four blocks. It was picked on 12 September and drained directly into barrel, of which 15% is new. The selection was made and moved into stainless steel for a further six months. It has a really quite lovely bouquet with yellow flowers, minerals, citrus fruit and a hint of white chocolate. The palate is fresh and vibrant with crisp acidity, full of energy with a poised, almost Chassagne-like finish. Another excellent Chardonnay courtesy of winemaker Doug Tunnel.”
Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($31.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Winery note “For centuries Gamay Noir au Jus Blanc has been the singular grape of the Beaujolais region of France. But the marine sediments of Ribbon Ridge share much in common with the rolling hills of Beaujolais, including low soil pH and an abundance of mica/silica. Bright, floral and often laced with hind of anise or licorice, Brick House Gamay has found many friends since first released in 1995.”
Brick House Vineyards Select Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery note “When Mother Nature offers a bountiful year, we routinely bottle this entry level Pinot Noir. As the name implies, the “Select” is a selection of barrels representing all the vineyard blocks on the farm at the discretion of the winemaker. The most easy-going and approachable of all our Pinot Noirs, the “Select” is a moderately priced, estate grown wine and a worthy accompaniment to a casual meal of salmon, lamb or wild game.”
Brick House Vineyards ‘Cuvee du Tonnelier’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “(30% new French oak) Deep red. Ripe red and dark berries, incense and candied flowers on the seductively perfumed nose. A smoky mineral accent adds vivacity to sappy, alluringly sweet cherry cola, black raspberry and vanilla flavors that are sharpened by a zesty Asian spice nuance. Fine-grained and seamless in texture, finishing with impressive power, a hint of smokiness and smooth tannins.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2015 Pinot Noir Cuvee du Tonnelier has a pale ruby-purple color and youthfully subdued nose of underbrush, dried herbs and truffles with a core of cranberries, red currants and pomegranate, plus a waft of lavender. Light to medium-bodied, the palate has beautiful poise with a nice understated intensity and a good grip of tannins, finishing long and earthy.”
Also Arriving FridayClassic Willamette Valley Producers:
The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($74.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Deep bright-rimmed red. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruits, potpourri and smoky minerals, backed by a sexy Asian spice flourish. Shows impressive energy and tension on the palate, offering gently sweet raspberry and boysenberry flavors that are underscored and sharpened by a peppery spice nuance. Shows outstanding clarity and floral lift on the strikingly long, penetrating finish, which is shaped by smooth, well-judged tannins.”
The average price is $76
Patricia Green Cellars Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Winery note “These vines do not have the root depth of the significantly older sections of the vineyard and therefore do not necessarily feed upon and drink the same material. Since we dry farm these younger vines, even at 16-18 years of vine age they are still under a bit of duress. This leads to small, tight clusters and generally fairly thick skins. This gives the wine its trademark dark, almost purplish color and hefty, dense tannic structure. This is filled in quite easily by liqueur-like dark fruit. This can be a bit savage in nature when youthful but it comes around surprisingly quickly and, of course, is good for years and years.”
The average price is $36
Colene Clemens Vineyards Dopp Creek Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: After the ’14 vintage was named one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100, we could never keep this bottling in stock. The ’15 offers the same delightful expressive spice and fruit notes coupled with nuanced tannins.
JK Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Vivid red. Spice-accented cherry pit and blackberry scents are sharpened by a suggestion of white pepper. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry, dark berry and succulent herb flavors that turn sweeter on the back half. Dusty tannins add grip to the long, spicy finish, which leaves a hint of cherry pit behind. This is pretty serious stuff for an entry-level bottling.”
The average price is $25
JK Carriere Vespidae Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 375ML ($24.95) $20.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Bright red. Spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry cola aromas are complicated by violet, musky herb and allspice accents. Sweet and chewy on the palate, offering densely packed red and dark berry flavors along with suggestions of licorice and bitter chocolate. Closes with solid dark fruit punch, mounting tannins and strong, spicy tenacity.”
2016 J Christoffel Jr.
Exclusive New Offer
Arriving Friday, June 15th
Like as in Burgundy, the estates of the Mosel are often interrelated through marriage and succession, leading to a number of wineries that have similar names. Sometimes, as a result, wineries slip through the cracks and aren’t as well-known as they should be.
That’s the case with the Jos. Cristoffel Jr. winery, related by marriage to the Prum family. They are a wonderful middle Mosel estate, run by Karl Josef Christoffel, that make very traditional wines and sells them for incredibly reasonable prices. The Christoffel estate’s Mönchhof winery in Ürzig dates back to the 12th century. Although the family didn’t begin making wines here for another six centuries, their skill and reputation today exceed most others along the Mosel. All the wines here are fermented with natural yeasts and aged in the traditional 1000L Fuder casks. The resulting wines are complex and incredibly age-worthy, but like most Mosel Riesling, delicious today.
Arriving Friday, June 15th
Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($34.95) $27 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “This offers a beautiful nose of pear, citrusy fruits, brown sugar and herbs. The wine proves quite racy on the palate as lively acidity provides the frame to fresh and zesty fruits. The finish is refreshingly tart, with a nice salty side. Still a bit wild, the wine will gain in presence and elegance at maturity. 2023-2036.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 90 points “Alluring, site-typical scents of lemongrass, sassafras and tangerine set the stage for a lusciously juicy, invigoratingly tangy, zesty palate impression. The finish is unabashedly sweet but so brightly juicy that it refreshes and calls forth the next sip. The vintage’s A.P. #1, this represents its first-picked fruit. But even then, we’re talking mid-October, so early picking goes only a little way toward explaining the modest degrees Oechsle on which this alcoholically featherweight bottling is founded. The vines themselves and how they are handled – certainly including the yields Christoffel permits – are important factors.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Christoffel is fond of saying that too few Würzgarten Rieslings live up to their name, meaning that they lack spice or herbal pungency (Würze). Leaving aside that “Würz” is actually a corruption of “Wirts” (from the expression for a restaurateur or tavern-keeper), he certainly has a point, and indeed his 2016 Spätlese displays Würze. Candied ginger accents its predominant scents and luscious palate presence of strawberry, apple and Persian melon. Glossy in feel and delightfully delicate, it finishes with invigoratingly incisive hints of cress and crystallized ginger lending counterpoint to the sheer sweet lusciousness of fruit.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This offers a rather reduced but quite elegant nose of fresh herbs and spices. The wine is nicely juicy and fresh, with some typical scents of brown sugar adding depth to the mid-palate. While being loaded with delicately ripe fruits and zesty flavors, the wine remains elegant and playful in the finish. 2023-2036.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “In his enthusiasm, Kajo Christoffel makes no attempt to disguise the fact that this “three-star” offering is his favorite wine of the vintage. And atypically, here Prälat delivers animation and primary juiciness comparable to what was observed in the same collection’s wines from Würzgarten or Treppchen. A decadent, musky, heady perfume of lily, narcissus and peony shares aromatic billing with glazed pineapple, candied orange peel, marzipan and green herbal essences. The creamy, glossy palate delivers a delectable corresponding layering of flavors and features enough fresh citrus juiciness to animatingly counteract the wine’s strong sheer sweetness. Licorice and vanilla add to the diversity of a lusciously and soothingly lingering finish.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “The gorgeous nose here suggests this “three-star” Auslese’s origins on the border with Erdener Prälat. Mint- and sassafras-tinged pear, strawberry and orange anticipate the lusciously juicy impression on a buoyant, glossy palate, where a slick of quince jelly points to the ennobling effect of botrytis. The aforementioned sheer juiciness carries the day on a finish that is very prominently sweet but still manages to refresh, and where mint and licorice add soothing allure while a hint of crystallized ginger lends stimulatingly bittersweet bite.”
The best kept secret about winery?They have an extensive library of wines that they release with some bottle age, giving wine lovers a chance to see what these wines can do as they become mature. You can shop the 25 different winery-cellared bottlings, including a 1976 Beerenauslese, that are in stock now by visiting our web store or browsing highlights below!
Highlights In Stock Now from J Christoffel Jr.:
Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese***, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
VinopolNote: Erderner Prälat occupies a mere 2.2 hectares. Entirely south-facing, the vineyard is surrounded by cliffs which insulate the vines – as a result, Prälat is one of the warmest plots in the region. Over time, it has also become one of the most sought-after vineyards. Given the limited space, only a few winemakers have access to the vineyard.
2003 Vintage: Wine Spectator 94 points “Ripe, opulent wines; best in Mosel, Nahe and Rheingau. Terrific BA and TBA, though not much botrytis.”
Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 2005 375ML ($89.95) $69 special, 20 half-bottles available
2005 Vintage: Wine Spectator 98 points “Lush, ripe Rieslings at all quality levels; acidity, though low in some, balances richness in most.”
1976 Vintage: Wine Spectator 96 points “Ripe, powerful; plenty of botrytis.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Thank you for reading!