05-24-22 Tuesday Newsletter

In This Newsletter:

Best in Show:
Brunello’s Best from 2016

Felsina’s Fabulous Chianti  

Staff Pick:
Agape Cremant D’Alsace

Rose Feature:
Southern Rhone Rose

Collector’s Corner:
Thibaud Boudignon’s Electric Chenin


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Best in Show:

Brunello’s Best from 2016

There are few vintages that were as consistently good as 2016 in Italy. In Tuscany in particular the vintage was marked by textbook conditions, leading it to be crowned “The Vintage of the Century”. Brunello di Montalcino as the apex of Sangiovese and one of Italian wine’s crown jewels delivered this to the nines. Across the board critics awarded the vintage 98-100 points, with the promise of decades in further development in the bottle. We’ve assembled a selection of 18 different expressions of this knockout vintage for those looking to experience every facet of such a knockout year. 

2016 Brunello Highlights in stock now: 

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($289.95) $255 special, (That’s only $42.50 per bottle!) 
Case-12 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($499.95) $479 special, (that’s only $39.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “Ripe, sweet cherry and raspberry fruit are accented by floral, mineral and wild herbs in this alluring red. A backbone of dense, dusty tannins provides support, and the ripe fruit returns on the savory finish. Excellent length. Best from 2023 through 2043. 15,000 cases made, 8,500 cases imported. — BS”

Fattoria La Magia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) Was $46.50, Now $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points 
“Black cherry, walnut, bark and wet earth on the nose. Some mushroom, too. Full-bodied with firm, velvety tannins that are energetic and polished at the same time. Plenty of character at the finish, if a little subdued. Very persistent. Try after 2024.”
Decanter 95 points “Winemaker and owner Fabian Schwartz favours 500L French oak tonneau for ageing, with the percentage of new wood increasing up through his range of Brunello. Here, a moderate 30% is cleverly integrated and barely perceptible. Pristine and pretty, La Màgia’s estate Brunello doesn’t give up everything all at once: it progresses from floral notes to sunbaked earth and irony intricacies. Almost midweight yet with lovely depth of fruit, the palate displays an exotic citrussy element, framed by very fine powdery tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Expressive aromatics of lavender, fresh black raspberry, and sweet Mediterranean herbs are found in the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino. The palate is ripe and inviting, with black cherry, cola, and baked earth. It is open and generous, with a round structure and soft, supple tannins. Approachable now or enjoy over the next ten years. La Magia is located above Sant’Antimo in the Val d’Orcia, where Fabien Schwarz runs the family estate that was founded by his father in 1970. They are certified in biodynamic farming and their cellar has been fully energy self-sufficient since 2008.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.99

Cerbaia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points 
“The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a dark and rich expression with a generous delivery of dark fruit—prune, plum and black cherry. The vines are planted in galestro soils with clay and shale in a 3.5-hectare plot, resulting in a 14,000-bottle production. Winemaking is simple, with fermentation in steel and aging in botte grande for three years. There is some extra density or heaviness to the fruit that feels reinforced by the oak notes and ultimately by the wine’s tannins. This wine will be released in April 2021, and that sounds about right because it needs more time.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2016 Cerbaia is lifted with notes of raspberry, sour cherry, thyme, and dusty earth. The palate is brisk with fresh red fruits and tea leaf, while structured with lingering tannin and driving acidity. It needs time to loosen its grip and will be welcome over several years to come. It was aged for three years in large Slavonian oak and is sourced from Cerbaia’s largest vineyard, planted in 1989. Drink 2025-2036.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 92 points “Red licorice, dried roses, a dusting of cedar and black cherry form up to create the deeply alluring bouquet of the 2016 Cerbaia Brunello di Montalcino. It’s silky in testure with a sweet-and-sour expression of red berry fruits and minerals, all guided by zesty acids, as grippy tannins form toward the close. Hints of mocha, brown spice and purple inner florals linger over a coating of youthful structure.”
Decanter 91 points “Second-generation Elena Pellegrini left behind a career in corporate finance to take over her family’s property. She continues working with the estate’s long-time consultant, Paolo Caciorgna, crafting Brunello from 30-year-old vines on the Montosoli hill. Cedar and wet forest brush drape around dark wild cherry in this weighty, relatively fruit-laden, ripe 2016. Nevertheless, it remains balanced in its girth with grippy, grainy tannins lending support, and some welcome brightness on the finish. Drinking Window 2023 – 2033.”

Castello di Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The Camigliano 2016 Brunello di Montalcino offers a more robust bouquet compared to its peers, with its dark and saturated fruit. One thing Camigliano has going for it is that it always delivers the characteristics of its environment. In this case, the vines are located in a warm, sun-drenched corner of Tuscany, and the warm ripeness of the fruit is a testament of place. You also get aromas of scorched earth, grilled porcino mushroom and a touch of burnt rubber or summer asphalt. This is an ample 150,000-bottle production.”

Salvioni Cerbaiola Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 100 points 
“Cellar Selection. Absolutely stunning, this gorgeous red has enticing aromas of wild rose, forest berries, new leather and camphor. Full-bodied and delicious, the smooth, structured palate is all about flavor, focus and finesse, doling out succulent black cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and white pepper notes framed in tightly knit, refined tannins. Bright acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. Beautiful now and will continue to age and develop even more complexity for years to come”.
Eric Guido-Vinous 97+ points “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino slowly comes to life, opening with a smoky, brooding and dark bouquet. It first unleashes its florals with crushed roses and hints of geranium, then deepens to reveal black cherry and raspberry, and finally a chorus of tobacco and wild herbs. You could lose yourself in the glass. The 2016 is incredibly silky and textural, displaying a youthful density that tempts the imagination while casting a savory display of mineral-tinged dark fruits, more black than red, with hints of dried orange and exotic spice. A saturation of fine tannin awaits on the finish, previously masked by the Salvioni’s primary power, as a mix of sage and hints of licorice slowly fade. There is so much potential here; but today, the 2016 is in dire need of cellaring. I tasted the 2016 multiple times over the course of two days and it didn’t budge.”

Castiglion del Bosco Campo del Drago Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ML ($169.95) $139 special, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
 “Another structured, layered red with blackberry, plum, walnut and cigar-box aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with depth and intensity. Tight and structured. A wine with a long future. Fine-grained and refined. Try after 2025.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “A balanced, expressive style, offering plum, cherry, fruitcake, iron and spice flavors, which are fused to muscular tannins, but also vibrant acidity, keeping this energetic and defined. Fine balance overall and terrific length on the finish. Best from 2025 through 2048. 667 cases made, 150 cases imported. — BS”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Campo del Drago (with only 8,000 bottles made) comes from a little vineyard measuring just 1.5 hectares. It is located at a high 450 meters above sea level, and what this parcel lacks in size, it makes up for in terms of view and exposure. The entire Castiglion del Boco property is surrounded by thick shrub oak forests, as the very name of the estate suggests (“bosco” means “forest” in Italian), with wild boar, roe deer and foxes (plenty of foxes). You most certainly smell aromas of underbrush and forest floor in this wine along with dark fruit, cherry and plum.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “I’m not sure how Il Poggione manages to remain one of the largest producers of Brunello maintaining such a high level of quality and turning out some of the best wines of the vintage year after year – but they do. The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is yet another stunning example. Depths of mineral-encased black cherries sage allspice licorice tobacco and crushed violets lift up from the glass. It’s seamlessly silky even as the palate is peppered with tart red and black berries nervous acids and savory exotic spices. This shows the density and weight of the vintage in a youthfully monolithic stance yet with all the necessary components to maintain perfect balance. The 2016 Il Poggione seems to fold in upon itself through the finish which is dark mysterious and structured with only hints of black tea and licorice to tempt the imagination. It’s a classic in the making. (Drink between 2026-2040)”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This Brunello leads with black cherry black currant and violet aromas augmented by flavors of iron tobacco and spice. Dusty tannins emerge on the lingering finish while the sweet fruit persists. Should be compelling in a decade. Best from 2025 through 2047”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The Il Poggione 2016 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a medium dark appearance with pretty Sangiovese shine and a little ruby sparkle. This vintage shows a slightly untamed or wild side with a dense and heavier fruit profile. The focus here is on blackberry dried cherry tobacco and even a touch of smoky tobacco or horse saddle. The wine shows the firm grip and tannic backbone that is a common trait in this vintage especially with the vineyards on this southern sunlit side of the appellation. I also get a considerable flash of acidity on the close almost too much that certainly needs a few more years to soften. You really need to wait with this one. Production is an ample 200000 bottles.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($67.95) $56.50 special, 13 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
 “Very pretty ripe and dried fruit with blackberries and sweet cherries. It’s full-bodied with depth of fruit and creamy, polished tannins. Extremely compact and long. Pure fruit at the end. A gorgeous wine. Drinkable now, but better after 2022.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 95 points “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino displays depths of rich blackberry and cherry sauce with mentholated herbal tones adding lift, while notes of cedar and clove develop in the glass. Its textures are like pure silk, draped slowly across the palate, showing admirable density and weight, balanced by bright acids and minerals. This is so tightly wound up in its youthful state, yet it’s packed full of potential with a core of dark primary fruit that isn’t quite ready to reveal its charms. A web of fine tannin makes itself known only at the very end, as the 2016 slowly tapers off to hints of tobacco. The 2016 will take some time for this to come fully into focus, but it will be well worth the wait.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

San Polino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 26 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points 
“Attractive aromas of cherry, dark mushroom, bark and walnut follow through to a full body with lots of ripe cherry and berry character in the center palate. Firm, chewy tannins draw you down the palate. Extremely long. From organically grown grapes. Better than the superb 2015? Drink after 2023 and onwards.”

San Polino Helichrysum Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
 “Wow. This is really complex on the nose with black cherries, mushrooms, dried flowers and cedar. Some crushed stone and dry earth or tile. This is full-bodied and very layered with wonderful depth of fruit and creamy tannins. It’s focused and serene. Better than 2015. From organically grown grapes. Try in 2024 and onwards.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Made with certified organic fruit, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Helichrysum opens to full-bodied richness and concentration. It reveals a dark and velvety side to Sangiovese, and it shows the latitude of the grape, thanks to its fresh acidity and tannic structure. This special selection (with 6,000 bottles made) will benefit from more years in the cellar, but among these new Brunello releases from 2016, this wine should also perform nicely in a near or medium-term drinking scenario, maybe at your favorite Italian restaurant with ravioli in wild boar sauce.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 94 points “Exotic, spicy, enticing, sultry; these are just a few of the words that come to mind while taking in the bouquet of the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Helichuyrum. Sour cherries mix with mint, sage, cedar dust and white smoke to form a seductive display. It’s velvety in texture with ripe polished fruits that seem to come in waves, each time building more and more tension as minerals and fine tannins slowly saturate. The sheer density here nearly masks its structural heft, which is not to say that this lacks balance; in fact, the 2016 Helichuyrum is in perfect form. Lavender, blackberry and a hint of licorice linger long through the dark and dramatic finale.”

Tenuta Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($59.95) $44 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Eric Guido – Vinous 95 points 
“Dusty earth gives way to dried roses, incense, hints of cedar, sage, currants and black cherries in a display that makes the 2016 Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino a very special experience. It’s nuanced and perfumed from start to finish, boasting silky textures contrasted by tart berries and minerals, but with sweet tannins that frame the expression perfectly. Its inner sweetness is balanced by bright acids, creating an almost-juicy sensation, right up until the moment you realize that your palate is aching with youthful tension. There’s so much going on and much more to come, making me wonder what the Poggio al Vento might offer in the 2016 vintage. For now, that doesn’t even matter, because the 2015 Col d’Orcia impresses on nearly every level.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “An earthy, meaty version, sporting black cherry, plum, raw beef, iron and bouillon aromas and flavors. The fruit element intensifies on the palate, playing out on a long finish that is balanced and fresh, showing dusty tannins. Best from 2024 through 2043. 16,600 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. — BS”

Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2016 750ML ($54.95) $39 special, 19 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
 “This is a ripe and full red with complex aromas of cedar, cloves, tobacco and dried mushrooms. Distinct, earthy quality underneath ripe plums and licorice. Layers of chocolatey tannins. Black truffles, too. From organically grown grapes. Better after 2024.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “The Fornacina 2016 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a darkly saturated appearance and toasted aromas of roasted nut backed by dark blackberry fruit. Made with organic fruit, this Brunello is fermented in stainless steel and aged in large oak casks in a traditional and straightforward manner. Production in this vintage is 10,000 bottles. There is lot of intensity here, and the wine draws its power not only from the fruit, but also in large part from the oak aging. Indeed, its fruit-driven aromas share equal billing with campfire ash and smoked cedar or mahogany.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 91 points “The 2016 Fornacina is a dark and earthy expression of Brunello di Montalcino. Ashen soils, crushed stone and animal musk dominate its bouquet, with hints of black cherry buried deeply beneath. It’s silky and pliant, casting an array of black fruits and exotic savory spices across a medium-bodied frame. Balance is well maintained, and there’s a blending of sour citrus and nervous tension here that keeps you coming back to the glass. The Fornacina is quite unique yet highly enjoyable, and it won’t require much time to come fully into focus.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

2016 Brunello’s Arriving ETA June: 

Casanova di Neri Cerretalto Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ML ($469.95) $399 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles arriving 
James Suckling 100 points
 “Wow. Incredible purity and transparency with cherries, bark, mushroom, flower and slate/stone on the nose. Full-bodied yet agile and fresh with a fine tannin structure that runs the length of the wine and goes on forever. The polish, elegance and grace is breathtaking. Power with agility. A revelation for the 2016 vintage in Brunello. Drink in 2024 and onwards but wonderful to taste now.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points “Here’s an important keepsake from a classic vintage. The Casanova di Neri 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto needs time to open, especially if you plan to drink the wine earlier than is recommended (you’re best off waiting five years or more). This powerful wine is packed tight with black fruit, plum and summer ripe cherry. Those dark fruit tones segue to spice, baked clay, balsam herb and gardening soil. The oak is always more apparent in the Cerretalto (which is released one year later, as if it were a Riserva) compared to the Tenuta Nuova. The vineyard used makes a big difference, giving this wine more textural weight and thicker fiber. It’s all a question of taste, but if you want power (with 15% alcohol), richness, sensuality and voluptuousness in your Brunello, Cerretalto is the bottle at the end of the rainbow.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 97 points “There’s something intriguing, alluringly dark, earthy – animal, even – yet floral and packed full of rich black fruits and exotic spices that defines the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto. This impresses with its cool-toned dark berries and minerals, complemented by bright acidity and sweet inner herbal tones. It’s not yet ready to reveal all of its charms, though it drops subtle hints each step of the way. A bitter twang keeps the expression lively and fresh, while grippy tannins saturate deeply and leave the palate aching with youthful tension, as notes of licorice, clove and a hint of ginger linger. What a wine!”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Felsina’s Fantastic Chianti  

The ancestral home of Sangiovese, Chianti produces the widest array of styles in part due to stratified geological, topographical and administrative processes. As one of the first established wine regions in Italy after the country’s unification in the 30’s, Chianti is synonymous with Italy’s quality revolution in recent decades.

Felsina has been a major leader in this quality revolution, with their single vineyard Riservas being among the most collectible in the appellation, as well as age worthy. Their Riserva offering, called “Rancia” is sourced from a single vineyard formerly used to supply the Benedictine Monks with sacramental wine in the Middle Ages. Felsina rehabilitated the site and cloned the best vines throughout the vineyard, eventually spreading them throughout their other holdings. The dominant soil type of the vineyard is albarese, a type of limestone-infused sandstone that’s famous for the aromatic punch it contributes to the wine.       

If that wasn’t enough the 2018 vintage that we currently have the best price in the country for is known for it’s silky texture and elegance, born in part to a warm and dry vintage but not marked by heat spikes like in previous years. The consistent dryness and warmer temperatures during the daytime against cool evenings and mornings created small yields of intensely perfumed fruit.  

Felsina Rancia in stock now 

Felsina Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Felsina Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2018 750ML ($359.95) $285 special, (That’s $47.50 per bottle)
Case-12 Felsina Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG2018 750ML ($719.95) $549 special, (That’s $45.75 per bottle!) 
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is an absolutely stunning wine. The archetype of Rancia in the past has been of a big, potent Chianti Classico but in 2018, Rancia is a wine of mind-blowing elegance and finesse. Silky, perfumed and indescribably finessed, the 2018 dazzles from start to finish. It’s a magical wine in every way.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2018 is an unusual vintage that shows an especially austere character. Off the bat, it must be said that the Fèlsina 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia would certainly benefit from more cellar time and a long drinking window. The Rancia is elegant and streamlined with a medium-bodied style that breaks from some of the more concentrated vintages we’ve seen in the past. The bouquet reveals a lot of dark or black character with blackcurrant, tar, resin, iron ore and a dusty hint of dry graham cracker (which reminds us of the vintage heat). Structurally, the wine offers a solid and firm footing, but it would benefit from further evolution.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Check out our full assortment of Felsina in store and on our website!


Staff Pick: Agape Cremant D’Alsace

 Looking for a sparkler comparable to Champagne without the ever-rising sticker price? Cremant d’Alsace is a go-to among industry professionals for that reason, and the darling of any brunch attendee. Sourced entirely from biodynamically farmed estate holdings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, this is a dead ringer for Champagne proper at first glance. Priced like a Cava and tasting like a Champagne from an Aube grower, this is the deal to pounce on!   

With a slightly aggressive perlage on first pour, there’s a delicious aroma of fry bread and Meyer lemon blossom that fills the immediate area. Fruit character is slightly edged out by minerality but still exhibits a white cherry and strawberry note underscored by a finish of almond paste and Fuji apple skin. There’s a long, saline finish that speaks to the clay marl that makes up the dominant soil type of the estate and Alsatian terroir in general.   

In stock now: 

Domaine l’Agape Emotion Cremant d’Alsace France  NV 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
 “Wet chalk, tender apple and lot of lemon freshness appear on the nose of this wine. These notions are bound up on the palate in a mellow creaminess. It’s understated and elegant, with lots of fine fruit. The finish is dry and very moreish in its rounded way. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Shop our complete listing of Agape Wines both online and in-store!

Rose Feature:
Southern Rhone Rose

The Southern Rhone is best known for full bodied reds and powerful whites, but have you tried a rose made from the same grapes? The villages surrounding Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape that comprise the Cotes du Rhone have similar terroir and grapes as their more famous siblings, but feature cooler growing seasons in comparison. This works out perfectly for rose production, as it allows for more acidity to remain as the grapes ripen.   

Domaine les Aphillanthes has vineyard holdings in three villages of Cote Du Rhone, with soils that are largely composed of iron rich sand with veins of limestone and a smattering of Galets, or “pudding stones”. Certified biodynamic and plowing exclusively by horse for over 10 years, the owners Daniel and Hélène Boulle suspect that the roots of their grapevines go 100 feet underground! 

Their rose is the same blend as their red with Grenache leading followed by Cinsault, Mourevedre and Counoise. Expect an entire spectrum of fruits including raspberries, bing cherry, fresh redcurrant and watermelon. From an aromatic perspective there’s a symphonic combination of rose petals, fresh ground espresso and cinnamon apples.

Southern Rhone Rose in stock now: 

Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone Nymphea Rose France 2020 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Weygandt-Metzler Import note 
“Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Counoise. Biodynamic. Gailloux/Galets Roules over clay & limestone. Tasting note: Red fruit and bright acidity. Full body with a long and balanced finish.” Region: Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France.

Chateau de Manissy ‘La Belle Etoile’ Rose Rhone 2020 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 89 points
 “Pale orange-pink. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying fresh strawberry, white peach and orange zest scents, with floral and mineral nuances. Red berry and pit fruit flavors show sharp detail and a bracing hint of juicy acidity. The floral note repeats on the tight finish, which lingers with good tenacity.”
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache. Clay & limestone. Tasting note: Crushed stone, pressed flowers and white cherries. Medium body with a long finish.”
Region: (Tavel) VDF, Rhone, France.
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Collector’s Corner:

Thibaud Boudignon’s Electric Chenin

Have you ever had a Chenin Blanc from a French cult producer? You’ve heard of Boulay and Dagueneau’s history making Sauvignon Blanc but the Loire has another varietal amongst her crown jewels; Chenin Blanc. Cultivated in the Loire valley since 845, it’s known for being one of the most versatile on the planet; producing benchmark examples of still, sweet and sparkling wines with incredible longevity in the bottle. Across these styles you find an entire spectrum of Pomme fruit flavors, that can resemble green apples at their leanest to honeycrisp and quince at their most developed with an unshakable core of acid not unlike a well-made Riesling out of Germany. 

In spite of this pedigree the world is only just starting to discover these works of art from the Loire, with producers like Boudignon leading a new generation that are taking Chenin Blanc to new heights. Originally from Bordeaux, Thibaud Boudignon made a name for himself working in Burgundy at the legendary house, Philippe Charlopin. This tutelage is clearly evident in his current work, which features a purity of varietal character and mineral spine rarely seen outside of Burgundy. 

After producing exemplary work at Chateau Soucherie he purchased a small vineyard and initiated biodynamic conversion. His seminal vintage was in 2009 and immediately put him on the map in France, and he’s only gotten better since! His devotion to meticulous farming under biodynamic standards in addition to his masterful technical skill as a winemaker have made him a cult figure almost overnight. We only get small quantities of his wines every year with the majority selling out as pre arrival offers before they’ve even landed in the United States!

Boudignon wines in stock now: 

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de la Hutte Loire 2018 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Rebecca Gibb Mw-Vinous 97 points 
“The 2019 Clos de la Hutte is the site that spoke to Boudignon when he arrived in Savennières. Once the site of a monastery, it’s not yet a religious experience drinking this, but it’s not got far to go: there’s a sense of expansion in the mouth, followed by impressive structure, showing its serious intentions and a sense that it’s good enough to eat. There’s an intriguing white floral note alongside pear, followed up with energetic acidity. Excellent texture and sapidity on the finish, providing length and structure. This wine has it all: delicacy and power, structure and refinement. Unfortunately, frosts in 2019 were not kind so there is very little of it to go around.”
Importer note “[A new] addition to Thibaud’s range of Chenin Blanc comes from a half hectare plot within the Clos de la Hutte (1.5ha) lieu-dit. The vines are young but the wine is profound.  There is a long history to this site and Thibaud is channeling every bit of it here.  The volumes are miniscule –  1000 bottles released.”
Importer note “Clos de la Hutte is situated in the commune of La Poissonnière; the Clos de la Hutte is an ancient religious site of 7 hectares, of which 2.6 are planted with vines. At the heart of this ancient monastery are vines produced from a massal selection of Chenin Blanc coming from the best domaines of the Loire. 5 different varieties of Chenin were planted together so as to best express the intensity and singularity of this special place. 50% vinified in oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter. The ageing last one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel. The Clos de la Hutte seduces with its aromatic finesse and the intense minerality in the mouth.” 

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de Fremine Loire 2019 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Rebecca Gibb MW-Vinous 95 points
 “An elegant and pure style that offers a delightful silken texture. The 2019 Clos de Fremine floats delicately, almost as if you are tasting a cloud, despite containing plenty of intensity in its focused core of fruit. There’s a burst of fresh acidity and a bristle of fine-grained texture; whether that’s the tannin or the soil, it’s there on the finish. I could tell you it tastes of apples and citrus, but this is a wine that seems to care less about fruit descriptors and more about the essence of its place.”
Importer note “Just across a small road from Clos de la Hutte, in the hamlet of Poissonnière, Clos Frémine is an exciting addition to Thibaud’s stunning Savennières lineup. Just like it’s famed neighbor, the vineyard sits on pure schist that is found only 20cm below the surface. There is a bit more sand at the base of this site, which provides the wine with a delicate lift and added layer of elegance.”

Thibaud Boudignon wines arriving ETA June 2022: 

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc ‘a Francoise..’ 2020 Loire 1.5L ($149.95) $129 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc Loire 2020 750ML ($47.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc Loire 2020 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc ‘a Francoise..’ Loire 2020 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de Fremine Loire 2020 ($99.95) $85 pre-arrival special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Rose de Loire France 2021 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Importer note
 “While Thibaud has (rightly) become a superstar for his world-class Chenin Blancs, many insiders have discovered one of his best kept-secrets: rosé. Made from a plot of Cabernet Franc and Grolleau in Anjou that he simply could not pass up the opportunity to work with, this is one of the most saline and mineral rosés we have ever come across. 80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Grolleau. Shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and clay. Indigenous yeast fermentation. No malo. Direct press rosé. Aged in stainless steel. A noble, supremely saline rosé. Delicate texture. Made like a white wine to preserve salinity and structure.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!