La Fortuna – Fortunate Favors the Brave
Orin Swift, New to the August Sale
New Arrivals from Gobelsburg
Delas’ Northern Rhone Treasures
New Arrivals From:
D’Angerville, Larkmead, Scott Paul, Aldo Conterno and More!
2016 Dujac: Legends in the Making
New Grapelive Review – Cristophe Mignon
Trending Wines of the Week
A New Terry Theise Offer:
Alzinger, Nikolaihof, Gobelsburg,
Von Winning, Kruger-Rumpf, and AJ Adam
The August Sale Roundup
La Fortuna Brunello
Fortune Favors the Talented
A standout of the 2013 vintage, rich and pure.
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-6 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($319.95) $259 special (that’s only $43.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points “Aromas of blackberry and cherry with flowers. Smoky. Hot stone. Medium to full body, firm and fresh tannins and a delicious finish. Beautiful now but needs a year or two to soften.”
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Perfumed, with wild herb aromas and a subtle mix of strawberry and cherry fruit. Vibrant and dense, with fine acidity driving the long finish. Though elegant, there is intensity and fine energy on the aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2028.”
La Fortuna Giobi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 93 points “Some ash and spice undertones to the cherry and berry aromas. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Linear and focused. Better in 2020.”
La Fortuna Giobi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “Perfumed aromas of strawberry, cherry and rose burst from the glass, while wild berry, spice, tobacco and tea notes follow through and linger on the finish. Though tannic, there is sweet fruit to match. Shows fine equilibrium overall. Best from 2018 through 2032.”
Big Wines/Big Sale
Orin Swift Now Added
Into Our August Clearance Sale
Different grapes than the Prisoner, but the same attitude.
Orin Swift Abstract Red, California 2015 750ML ($37.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 Clearance Price
Case-12 Orin Swift Abstract Red, California 2015 750ML ($419.95) Was $259, Now $239 Clearance Price (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Moderately complex, though loaded with zesty, supple fruit and offering appealing notes of black raspberry, smoky beef and cracked pepper. Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2022.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $29.92
Orin Swift Mannequin, California 2015 750ML ($34.95) Was $21.90, Now $18 Clearance Price
Case-12 Orin Swift Mannequin, California 2015 750ML ($359.95) Was $229, Now $199 Clearance Price (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Winery Note “Bursting aromatics of honeydew, honeysuckle and ripe peach are complemented by a hint of jasmine, pineapple and cream. With lots of weight and viscosity, the full-bodied palate brims with ripe stone fruit, wet stone and a touch of sweet Meyer lemon. The fleshy, golden mid-palate evolves into a pointed, textured finish that closes with lots of minerality.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $24.90
Orin Swift Department D 66 ‘Pharaon’, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2014 750ML ($189.95) Was $136, Now $119 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 95 points “The top wine is the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Pharaon, and it’s a barrel selection that ended up being an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged in 75% new French oak. While the cooler, late vintage didn’t favor Grenache, Richard commented that Syrah excelled, hence the larger portion of Syrah in the blend than normal. About as sexy and textured as they come in the vintage, this beautiful 2014 offers lots of crème de cassis, black raspberry, chocolate and peppery nuances to go with a full-bodied, luxuriously textured, hedonistic slant on the palate. Despite the ripeness level, it stays fresh and lively, with notable underlying structure. Hats off to the team here. This beauty will cruise for another decade.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $160
New Arrivals from Gobelsburg
New to the August Sale
Schloss Gobelsburg Langenlois Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($31.95) Was $26, Now $20.90 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 Langenlois Kamptal Grüner Veltliner is sourced from different vineyards of the village including Redling, Geppling, Spiegel, Thal and others and opens with a clear, deep, fresh and slightly flinty bouquet of ripe fruits. Very elegant and mineral on the palate, this is a lovely, mineral, well structured, pretty complex and aromatic Grüner Veltliner that combines the character of the fruity-elegant loess and the vital, racy and gravelly Grüner Veltliner expressions. The wine shows good mineral structure, stimulating salinity on the finish and comes along as a pretty complex wine already.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $27.07
Schloss Gobelsburg Schlosskellerei Gobelsburger Riesling, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($19.95) Was $16, Now $14 Clearance Price
Wine Spectator 93 points “Peach and grapefruit flavors hold court in this focused white, picking up accents of floral, apple and mineral. Intense and long, with a vibrant aftertaste echoing the complex flavors. Silky texture. Drink now through 2025. 650 cases imported.”
The next best price on the West Coast is $16.99
The average price nationally is $18
Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($37.95) Was $28, Now $21.90 Clearance Price
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Fresh lime and ivy hits you first, followed by a leesy hint and some pear on the nose. The palate comes in with salty savoriness that suggests yeasty miso, chervil and lovage, with lots of white pepper accented by a little spritz. Brightened by fresh lemon notes, this makes for a spicy, elegant and slender wine with a light touch and real depth.”
The average price is $30
Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Zweigelt, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($17.95) Was $14, Now $11.90 Clearance Price
James Suckling 91 points “With its big black cherry and blackberry fruit but moderate tannins and a nice freshness this is rather like a good Beaujolais. An excellent picnic wine. Drink now or hold for a year or two.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $16.20
Just Arrived Northern Rhone Treasures
For whatever reason, the market has yet to catch up to the quality coming out of Delas cellar. The Northern Rhone has turned into one of the hottest markets in the wine world and we keep seeing producers blowing up and getting expensive. That hasn’t happened to Delas—yet. With the quality of recent vintages and the scores involved, prices are going to jump, though, so if you love these wines now is the time to load up.
Rich and sexy like an Italian Count.
Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Pale green-hued yellow. Penetrating, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and pit fruits are complemented by chalky minerals, violet and fennel accents. Juicy, focused and concentrated, offering intense pear nectar, Meyer lemon and honeysuckle flavors that show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. The mineral and floral notes carry emphatically through a silky, appealingly sweet finish that hangs on with superb focus and tenacity.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “A step up, the bigger, richer 2016 Condrieu Clos Boucher is blockbuster stuff, offering serious notes of crushed rock, buttered citrus, orange blossom, and a smoky, meaty, mineral character that’s hard to describe. Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate concentration and a seamless texture, this beauty will be even better this time next year and keep for 4-6 years.”
Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Inky ruby. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, along with complicating suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers, olive and vanilla. Deep, chewy and expansive in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and salty olive flavors that are complicated by a hint of smoky minerality and a building floral pastille note. Distinctly rich and powerful but surprisingly graceful as well, showing noteworthy clarity and mineral-driven thrust on the strikingly long finish.”
St. Joseph that drinks like Cote Rotie.
Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($44.95) $38 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Inky and concentrated, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon is no easy-drinking Saint-Joseph. It’s smoky, herbal and ashy all at once, yet it’s buoyed by ample black cherry fruit and vibrant acidity. This medium to full-bodied Syrah has plenty of tannins, but they’re ultimately silky and most apparent on the long, licorice-tinged finish. This is approachable now but should be even better in 3 years and should drink well for at least another 10 after that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Both Saint Joseph releases are brilliant in 2015. The 2015 Saint Joseph François De Tournon comes vines around Tournon, Mauves, Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, and Vion, and is always destemmed and aged in 30% new barrels. This full-bodied, rounded, sexy beauty shows the power and fruit of the vintage. With classic notes of black and blue fruits, violets, incense and pepper, drink this textured, expansive, terrific Saint Joseph over the coming 10-15 years.”
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($39.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Deep red. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying intense red berry and blood orange scents, along with candied rose and allspice highlights. Silky, sweet and incisive on the palate, offering juicy strawberry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy kick of white pepper. Closes very long and nervy; fine-grained tannins lend shape and closing grip.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Sophisticated and subtle, this lovely wine expresses varietal elegance, with a bouquet of roses and raspberries to begin. The jumble of pretty fruits is framed with citrus peel and a dusting of chocolate.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2013 Pinot Noir la Paulee comes from fruit sourced from Maresh and Nysa in the Dundee Hills, Azana in Chehalem and from the Ribbon Ridge, matured for ten months in neutral oak. It has a very natural, Côte de Beaune-like bouquet with ample brambly red fruit with hints of black tea developing with aeration. I appreciate the focus and definition here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, smooth in the mouth with just a faint honeyed note. Tart red cherries mingle with redcurrant and strawberry, segueing into a poised and fulsome finish. This should drink well over the next 7-10 years and represents great value.”
A bit richer than the ’13. Delicious.
Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $18 special
Winery Note “Brilliant red in color. The spicy nose starts with being savory and leads into an array of fresh raspberry, brambleberry, and marionberry. Finely pronounced tannins combine with layers of fresh elderberry and a great balance of acid are folded into razor focused tannins which has the palate finishing with class. Our home in Carlton, Oregon (a 1915 brick creamery) is an ideal spot to revel in the virtues of Pinot Noir, as we pursue Pinot Perfection. Our sustainably farmed vineyards are among the Willamette Valley’s finest (and dare we say, most perfect). Our 2014 bottling is a selection of superior lots from our blocks of Maresh and Nysa Vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana Vineyards on the Chehalem Mountains. Bold, bright berry flavors unite with a bounty of rose, spice and cherry aromas. Pure Oregon Pinot Noir.”
Larkmead Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Robert Parker 93 points “The 2014 “White Label” red wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which is a beauty. An elegant, Pauillac-style wine with notes of chocolate, cedar wood, fruitcake, unsmoked cigar tobacco and underbrush, it is dense, full-bodied and rich. It is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot aged 19 months in 75% new French oak. There are 2,705 cases of this wine, which finished at 14.7% natural alcohol. It should drink well for 20-25 years, but there’s no reason to defer your gratification.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Larkmead’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very pretty, understated wine. Bright red stone fruit, floral notes and spice give the 2014 its refreshing, vibrant personality. The fruit is nicely pushed forward, but the 2014 is light on its feet and gracious, especially for a Calistoga Cabernet. Even so, this is a relatively laid-back style built on finesse more than power.”
The black label bottlings are the real deal/epic.
Larkmead Vineyards Dr. Olmo, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The “Black Label” wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the clone of Cabernet that is also called Eisele. This wine spent 20 months in 62% new French oak. A magnificent wine by any standard of measurement, with notes of scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, and blackberry and cassis fruit, this dense purple wine has undeniable minerality, a beautiful, full-bodied texture and a voluptuous finish. Drink it over the next 25 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92-95 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo is holding back quite a bit of its potential. Dark cherry, smoke, licorice, tar and menthol give the Dr. Olmo much of its brooding personality. The tannins are quite firm, but that should be less of an issue as the wine won’t be released for about a year.”
It’s named for the founder, for a reason.
Larkmead Vineyards Firebelle Red, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 94 points “A blend of 72% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2014 Firebelle finished at 14.9% alcohol. It is a beautifully rich, chocolaty wine with notes of savory spices, black cherries and mulberries, some fudge and coffee bean. It has medium to full body, outstanding purity, concentration and length. It was aged in 66% new French oak for 19 months prior to bottling. Drink it over the next 15-20 years.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Firebelle, Larkmead’s Merlot-based wine, is terrific. Succulent black cherry, lavender, mint and dark spices infuse this pliant, creamy wine. Expressive savory and mineral-infused notes punctuate the finish. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to like and look forward to.”
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut, Champagne 2002 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “A core of mineral-accented smoke, spice and honey notes is wrapped with flavors of glazed apricot, lemon preserves and candied ginger in this vibrant and well-balanced version. Creamy, with a lasting finish. Drink now through 2025. 3,000 cases made.”
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Champans, Volnay Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($219.95) $199 special
Stephen Tanzer 95 points “Saturated ruby. Youthfully imploded aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis and licorice show no roasted character (“the color of the wine is the only thing that gives away the vintage,” noted Guillaume d’Angerville). More pliant than the 2016 but with a magical sugar/acid equilibrium and a complicating element of savory minerality. This insidiously palate-saturating wine finishes with outstanding slatey persistence and grip. I would imagine that this will be long-lived but will it ever really shut down in the bottle? It’s hard to imagine that this fruit was harvested on September 4.”
This should be Grand Cru and the ’15…
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Clos des Ducs, Volnay Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($319.95) $299 special
Stephen Tanzer 96 points “Dark ruby-red but a bit less deeply colored than the Champans. Alluring, expressive aromas of black cherry, minerals, black pepper and spices. Enters with outstanding silky refinement, then shows uncommon saline energy in the mid-palate, with wonderfully tactile flavors of red and black fruits, spices, flowers and minerals. The stunning whiplash of a finish conveys pronounced soil-driven minerality, a sexy suggestion of torrefaction and great length. This wine and the Champans deliver a magical combination of silkiness, density and energy.”
The best vintage yet, inside and out.
Jean-Luc Jamet Cote Rotie ‘Terrasses’, Rhone 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
John Livingstone-Learmonth 5 stars “Shiny dark red, a handsome robe. The bouquet is bold, on beef stock, iron, dense black berries, has a poised, integral sweetness, airs of raspberry liqueur, oak smoke. It’s a solid start. The palate has the theme of mineral well placed through it, a lot of mountain of matter, thickening towards the finish. It holds sparkling and dense fruits – cassis, soaked cherries. It is vibrant and very full; there is real flair off its sun-dialled deck. It has great juice; it’s a treat to taste this. Decanting advised. “It has a lot of black fruits, a belle freshness to underpin it; it’s very long,”
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is a gorgeous expression that hits all the high notes, both in terms of bouquet and mouthfeel. The nose is redolent of pressed cherries, tar, licorice, crushed granite and chopped mint. It offers the special characteristics that are so forth coming with the Nebbiolo grape. The wine caresses the palate with a fine and enduring sense of freshness and structure. The 2010 vintage is a stunner. Drink: 2016-2028.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is gorgeous and super-classic in every way. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, new leather and tobacco are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a beautiful version of the Bussia, with less of the approachability of some previous vintages, but tons of potential for the future. There is a lot to look forward to here. This is one of the best versions of the Bussia I can remember tasting. The 2010 stands out for its precision and crystalline purity. Readers looking for a great 2010 Barolo that won’t kill the budget should check out the 2010 Bussia.’
The next best price is $86.80
Legends in the Making
Dujac is known primarily for their holdings in and around Morey-St. Denis, though recent years have seen them add new parcels to their domaine. We’re focusing on their prime wines today—Grand Crus and a few 1ers from Vosne that might as well be, along with some rare whites. These are some of the most sought after wines in the world and although quantities are *extremely* limited, we wanted to put them in the newsletter in the spirit of fair play.
Arriving ETA September:
This is the wine Dujac is best known for—an icon of Burgundy
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($699.95) $579 pre-arrival special
Jasper Morris, MW 95-97 points: “A satisfactory yield approaching 45 hl/ha. Medium deep purple. Refined, reserved and really classy. Do not expect an explosion from Clos de la Roche but do expect something to make a long term classic. The balance on the palate is exquisite and subtly nuanced, as always it is a drier style but the fruit is infused throughout. Exceptional persistence. Magical. (Jan 2018)”
John Gilman 95 points (View From the Cellar): “The 2016 Clos de la Roche from the Seysses family was really singing at the time of my visit. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined blend of red plums, cherries, gamebird, a touch of fresh nutmeg, superb soil tones and a deft base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant out of the blocks this year, with a sappy core of fruit, outstanding backend soil signature, ripe, suave tannins and a long, complex and tangy finish. I love the balance and breed this exudes this year. 2030-2075. (Nov/Dec 2017)”
Domaine Dujac Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($699.95) $579 pre-arrival special
95-98 points Fine Wine Review “But even more of a star in this vintage is the Clos Saint-Denis. The wine is spicy (nutmeg) and pure with red currant and other red fruits. It is perfectly balanced and so light on the palate. About 90% whole clusters here, and about 75% new oak. (1/3/18)”
95-97 points Neal Martin (Wine Advocate) “The 2016 Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru has a superior bouquet to the Clos de la Roche, with ebullient raspberry and wild strawberry fruit, quite floral in style with orange blossom scents developing in the glass. There is an underlying sense of terroir, but it feels very discrete at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with fine delineation, harmonious and fresh with a long, tender, noble finish that is pulled out of the top drawer. This is a potentially awesome Clos-Saint-Denis that has a very bright future, one that might surpass the excellent 2015. Drink: 2022-2050. (Dec 2017)”
94-96 points Jasper Morris, MW “This year’s wine has a vibrant bright colour, with heady succulent fruit on the nose, very delicious. Good tension too, though not quite the same persistence though as Clos de la Roche. Juicily attractive. (Jan 2018)”
Domaine Dujac Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($599.95) $499 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin The Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2016 Echézeaux Grand Cru was reduced by 50% due to frost. It has quite a closed, quite broody bouquet that takes time to open. This is actually not unlike a Malconsorts. However, the palate is very classy with a fine line of acidity, red and black fruit mingling together with a saline, marine-like finish that defines the final third. It does not quite possess the effortless harmony and focus of the Aux Malconsorts. But it has a satisfying focus with impressive length, to wit, a great success considering the growing season.”
Domaine Dujac Aux Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru, 2016 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin- The Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts actually has a similar bouquet to the Les Beaux Monts but with heightened mineralité which is prioritized over the fruit. I was momentarily whisked back to my youth, pot-holing in the Lake District, that tang of limestone and moorland in the air. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin. As Alec Seysses remarked, there is more “wine” in the Malconsorts compared to the Beaux Monts. It has brilliant delineation and a very complex finish that fans out with real confidence. This is one of the top wines from Dujac. Chapeau.”
Domaine Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru, the usual blend of four premier crus (mainly Ruchots), has an engaging and well-defined, elegant bouquet with more red fruit than the village cru. I admire the focus and purity of the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite saline with a brisk, lightly spiced finish. Excellent—this is real class and comes highly recommended.”
Burghound 89-92 points “Here too there is just enough wood to notice framing the somewhat more deeply pitched and definitely earthier dark berry fruit-suffused nose. I like the underlying sense of energy on the attractively delineated medium-bodied flavors that flash a touch of salinity on the mildly austere and solidly persistent finale.”
Domaine Dujac Mont Luisants Blanc, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $133 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Mont Luisants Blanc is a serious step up from the village cru in my opinion. It has a lovely bouquet with passion fruit and light honeyed scents, a hint of ginger developing with time. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, just the right amount of salinité and a brisk, focused finish. Very fine and full of charm and character.”
Domaine Dujac Les Combettes, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 89-91 points “The 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes was also touched by the frost more severely than the Folatières. The vines here are older than those located in Folatières, but I feel that the frost impacted more acutely apropos vigor, since it does not emit the same brightness. The palate is well balanced with an attractive orange zest and apricot opening, smooth and slightly waxy with a brisk, nicely detailed finish. It’s a decent Puligny handicapped by the vintage.”
Domaine Dujac Les Folatieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres was touched by the frost, one plot more affected than the other. It has a clean and pure bouquet with subtle scents of lychee, citrus peel and minerals, tight at first but opening up nicely. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, a slightly waxy texture, very focused with hints of peach skin and spice on the finish. This is a well-crafted Folatières that may in fact surpass the 2015.”
For An August Sale Wine
Christophe Mignon Brut Nature Pur Meunier, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Clearance Price
Grapelive 94 points “One of Champagne’s many new generation of natural/biodynamic winegrowers, Christophe Mignon is one of my favorite grower producers and his latest Brut Nature is a gorgeous sparkler, it comes from a blend of 2013 and 2014 vintages with no dosage. Christophe Mignon is an absolute Pinot Meunier specialist, he comes from a long line of family farmers in the Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier area….[This] terroir suits the Meunier and allows for complex ripe flavors, which makes it easier for him to use almost non dosage on all of his dry offerings, and these are beautiful and detailed Champagnes with finesse, elegance and yeasty brioche notes that are not severe in style, they are wonderfully pleasing examples and shows Pinot Meunier at it’s finest. Mignon is guided by holistic farming and follows the lunar cycle in working the vines and in the cellar, he ferments in temperature controlled epoxy lined vats, each terroir parcel is vilified separately at each’s sites perfect ripeness in a fermentation that lasts up to 30 days with this Brut Nature being aged 24 months in bottle, raised with lees, and as mentioned with no dosage. This bottling was disgorged on April 18, 2017, 100% Pinot Meunier and is drinking great right now with lovely white flowers, subtle red berry aromas and toasty notes along with layers of lemon, golden figs, hazelnut and white cherry elements all lifted by vital acidity and a luxurious, but vigorous mousse that delivers a divine textural or vinous mouth feel and lingering finish. This is brilliant grower fizz with a perfectly balanced sense of density/body and vibrancy, it finishes with a grip of dry extract making this an enthusiast all Meunier bubbly that is sublime with cuisine, but also opulent and easy to love on it’s own, very impressive again from Christophe Mignon.”
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($119.95) $96 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese (AP 23 17) is still discreet, floral and finely mineral rather than fruity on the nose compared to the other 2016 Spätlesen. Lush, piquant and juicy on the palate, this is a firm but sensual Sonnenuhr with remarkable finesse, lightness and lingering salinity. Tasted March 2018.”
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
“A soft and fruity wine, with orange peel and berries and plums. Full body, with super fine tannins and a fruity finish. Refined and very pretty. Structured in the end. Fresh. Succulent. A style away from the over extracted one a few years ago. Try after 2018.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.” WA
Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”
Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($239.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The nose of this wine seduces you straight away with a great balance of autolytic and fruit aromas: toasted hazelnuts, warm apple tart and kaya (coconut and egg) jam. The palate is equally well balanced providing plenty of evolved fruit and toasty / yeasty flavors. Small, fine bubbles, seamless use of dosage and a long nutty finish. This fine if relatively unknown Brut NV takes first place in the derby – a shocker even for me!”
Importer notes: “Arlaux is a small family-run champagne house producing only 5,000 cases a year located in a small village on the Petit Montagne de Reims called Vrigny. Arlaux has been producing champagne since 1826 but the Arlaux-Marchal family have lived in Vrigny since the 13th century. Exclusively 1er Cru Champagne with a minimum of 4 years aging. They only use their own grapes from 20 to 100 year old vines which are hand-picked in order to select only the very best. All Arlaux cuvées are 100% Premier Cru and 100% Tête de Cuvée (meaning that they only use the juice of the 1st press).”
Big, rich, powerful…
Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $38 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”
From Star Importer Terry Theise
All ETA October:
The next best price is $43.50
Schloss Gobelsburg Sekt Brut Reserve RD, Kamptal 2008 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Schloss Gobelsburg Gobesburger Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[(+)] The wine is, dangerously, far too good for its “echelon;” this one has lovely lift and brightness for a ’17; sweet rice and goat milk butter; animated and delicious.”
Beautiful and haunting.
Weingut Leo Alzinger Ried Hohereck Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[++] How inconvenient that my usual-favorite of Alzinger’s Rieslings is the one they barely make. It’s a tiny plot and they get “around 800 bottles” in a good year. Yes—bottles. All I can say, after all these years, is—from this tiny place comes one of the earth’s great wines, the terminus of every great facet of Wachau Riesling, the herbs from this, the peaches and plums from that, the mangoes from another, the smoke from yet another—all there. The ’17 is, typically, complete. It’s the flavor of fullness, as if nothing else could be anticipated. Herbs, rocks, roasted veggies, salts. But the overall level of Leo’s ’17 Rieslings is so high that this doesn’t soar above as it often does. It’s just marvelous.”
Weingut Leo Alzinger Hollerin Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[++] Essentially the lower slopes of Höhereck (and Kellerberg, obliquely), it gives the most apricot-driven Riesling among Alzinger’s Smaragds. This one starts out with greener flavors than usual until a Victoria-Falls of stone fruit overwhelms, generously and lovingly. But it’s not a soft love, glorious though it is. There’s also a rock slide Christmas-tree thing above (or below) the white peaches. I don’t recall a Hollerin this schizy, and I think it is wonderful.”
Not inexpensive but a value vs. the Vinothek.
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Steinriesler Riesling, Wachau 2004 750ML ($99.95) $71.90 special, 3 bottles in stock now, more arriving in October
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Swirl this awake to reveal a world of dried hayflower, lemon peel and tart, baked apple. Its lifted, elixir-like chamomile scent goes straight to the pleasure center of the brain, signaling a celebration of maturing Riesling. Dry, taut and fresh, it shimmers with lemon zest and lemon-scented incense. Although immensely concentrated, it’s also quite lithe. Treasure this, with its deep, lingering flavors. Lovely now, it will continue to develop. Drink now–2040.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 95 points “Having been bottled in April 2016, this received a shorter stay in cask than its three Steinriesler predecessors. (The vineyard source is Vom Stein. On the origins of Nikolaihof Steinriesler, readers are referred to my inaugural Austrian report for Vinous; and for the origins of the name “Steinriesler,” to my review in the subsequent report of the vintage 2002 installment.) A nose mingling gentian, elderflower, seaweed, mussels, salt spray and chicken stock is about as intriguing and far from fruity as the nose of any Riesling can be. Sage, fennel, peach kernel, lemon, alkali and wet stone all chime in on the silken, buoyant (11.5 percent alcohol) palate, rendering a carpet of richness and intricate complexity that unrolls in a mouthwateringly saline finish of polished and prodigious length. Nor does this bottling forget Riesling’s first duty to refresh. Those unfamiliar with Nikolaihof Vinothek bottlings, or who have not stopped to contemplate the chemistry of maturation in a large cask that’s effectively sealed with tartrate deposits, may be surprised at how little old oak flavor or sense of oxidative evolution this wine displays, and what hints of both are present merely enhance its multifaceted depth.”
Terry Theise “[(++)] It’s the archaic name for Riesling, used now to designate a long cask-aged wine of Federspiel quality, by which we see (if we actually needed to see) that even “humble” wines can age. I have the two plusses in parentheses, and here’s why. At first I rejected this wine for being too oxidized. Letting it sit in the glass, the palate began to change, blanketed by the wines herbal juju, and the truly resplendent finish overcame all doubts. But what wine is it, really? Both? I will not be the guy who says “You have to decant it,” because that’s unreasonable (and often bogus). But I’m confused. Y’all taste it and tell me what wine it is.”
A unique monument of a wine.
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau 2002 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[++]This as you know is a concept whereby a Smaragd wine is left in (large) cask for fifteen years or longer, without sulfur. (There’s a parallel program called “Steinriesler” made from lighter material, but I wasn’t persuaded by the current vintage.) This is the best since the ’95; solid, powerful, smoky; strong but not heavy, an old iron stove of Riesling. The roast is reposing fragrantly, and the stove still smolders….”
Don’t miss if you like dry Pfalz.
Von Winning Riesling Estate, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[+] It’s a corn bisque in the form of wine. The 9 g.l of RS does nothing but good—too good, actually, but ’17 does like handing out upgrades especially in the Pfalz; it has some of the peachiness of Reiterpfad and the greeny twang of Paradiesgarten; rich, grainy and lush, and honestly kind of absurdly too good. Just don’t hate on me when the 2018 returns us to earth-orbit.”
The review says it all.
Von Winning Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 94-96 points “Weingut von Winning’s inspirational winegrower Stephan Attmann has adopted the single cane trellising, much like done in Burgundy. [The] Grosses Gewächs wines ferment in 500ML French barrels with native yeasts and no pumping as the winery is all gravity flow. Von Winning [practices] organic and sustainable viticulture to highlight each Grand Cru (GG) with this Kalkofen set on a combo of limestone, marl and loam, making it one of the more exotic and flamboyant of the top wines here. This was especially true in the 2011, 2012 and 2015 vintages, while this gorgeous 2016 is a bit more refined and vibrant: a near perfect expression of place and vintage. Von Winning’s wines transcend varietal. This glorious dry white has elements of a fine Meursault or Batard-Montrachet in its soul, even though it’s all Riesling at is core, with power from its extract and acidity, depth, and complexity adding to the intriguing stylistic charms in this GG. My tasting notes are from two separate barrel samples tried about 5 months apart. The final finished bottling certainly will be more complex, deeper in flavor and fuller in texture, but without question this was a special and beautiful dry Riesling even in its youth. In this primary form, it shows fantastic detailing already and has potential of greatness. Von Winning’s Kalkofen GG starts with a slightly muted perfume of white flowers, citrusy fruit, chalky stones and leesy brioche with a touch of reduction like a white Burgundy before its medium/full palate gets rolling with brisk stone/orchard fruits, delicate spices, steely mineral tones and salty essences. A bit of sulfur blurs the picture, this is due to this being a cask sample I’m sure, [and] luckily it blows off quickly allowing everything to come into bright and clear focus in seconds. There is lovely texture and length to admire here. Again it feels surprisingly majestic… in a Meursault sort of way, gaining depth with air adding green apple, lime, white peach, wet rock, rose water, tangy citronella, a hint of sweet oak and hazelnut. There’s a ton of underlying extract and brilliant acidity, which plays in a yin and yang way giving great focus and tension. This is a powerful wine that will only get better over time. This will be a wine to look for. It’s a fabulous expression of the Pfalz and Grosses Gewachs, with a touch of the exotic, but done in a wonderfully elegant way. It’s a Riesling to blow the minds of the Burgundy-only crowd, impressive and with star quality impact. Best from 2020-2030.”
Terry Theise “[++] This is always the bomb of the GGs, the strongest and most voluminous. Roasted corn, popped sorghum with brown butter, broiled peaches and soft persimmon over a backdrop of a stone wall seething in the hot afternoon sun. Also, like happy dogs. My mind works oddly at times….”
Von Winning Kirchenstuck Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[++] My plusses are subjective here, because this site is the hors classe of the Pfalz, and nearly always gives the most profound wine. As it may yet do in this vintage, but here I delineate between what I “judge” or admire, and what I love and adore. No question this is the ne plus ultra of profundity, in a more earnest and determined idiom. More pepper (Sarawak black), more brooding, swollen mineral. Pechstein is affirming; this is unsettling, antelucan. Pechstein is euphoric; this is grave, darker, and yet also conveys more faith, more trust. Pechstein guides you by the sun, Kirchenstück guides you by the stars.”
The next best price is $125.67
Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise “[+] I introduced my new book to a group of sales and marketing people who work for the publisher, and we thought we’d taste a few wines. But what wines? It wasn’t set up as a “wine seminar;” the wines were supposed to lubricate a meeting to talk about my stunning new book. But I picked the 2016 of this wine to show, however “esoteric” it may have seemed, because A) it was delicious and B) it had a story to tell, and the book is about all those stories, that live in every authentic wine. In this case it’s the story of an idealistic project for Georg Rumpf, obtaining and working a steep and difficult vineyard directly overlooking the Rhine on a vein of phyllite soil unique to the region, and seldom found anywhere. (The famous Rauenthaler Baiken is most noted for this soil.) The ’16 blossomed in the bottle (and wowed the tasters at the publisher) but the ’17 is a step ahead, darker and doughier than the ’16, with a high-pitched salty shimmer atop the savor of the complicated terroir. Seriously long, it made me want to live twenty more years to taste future vintages and see what this ground really has to tell us.”
The wine Adam has become known for.
Weingut A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise ” Richer, more middle and more extroverted. It’s earthy rather than slatey”
Weingut A.J. Adam In der Sangerei Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.Com 96 points “Super peachy with great brilliance and refinement. This is a great Spätlese that’s dry enough for the finest lobster dish, but it is also powerful enough to cope with the spiciest curry. The very long finish keeps pumping out fruit and minerals. Drink or hold.”
Terry Theise ” A cadaster parcel within the Hofberg, this has often been a beloved wine for me. This ’17 is quite serious, in the vintage way, not as suave as usual but with a different kind of grip and length. Half was lost to frost, so there’s just one Fuder, of an earnest, dark-toned mineral wine, with a pointed acidity that sucks up every one of the 25g/l RS.”
August Sale Recap
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