Monday Bonus 2-7-22

In This Newsletter:

Pride of Aphrodite: Valentine’s Day selections

Pichler-Krutzler: Just Announced

Roederer’s Rhone Champion: Delas

Cava got your tongue? 
Spain’s Sparkling wine revolution

 
Zuni Chardonnay: Now on sale!

Italian Selections: 10 under $25
 

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Pride of Aphrodite:
Valentine’s Day selections 

 
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we’ve compiled a few selections that would be right at home in your gift basket or romantic dinner. 

Valentine’s Day Selections in stock now: 

Petrolo Torrione Valdarno di Sopra Tuscany 2018 750ML ($37.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Petrolo Torrione Valdarno di Sopra Tuscany 2018 750ML ($419.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
 “A red with plenty of blackberry, black-olive, floral and oyster-shell character. It’s full-bodied, yet layered, extremely polished and beautiful. A dusty texture. Hazelnut and walnut undertones. From organically grown grapes. A little more merlot and cabernet sauvignon in the blend. Gorgeous now, but better after 2021 and onwards.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This is such a fun edition of this wine with a fluttering heart sketched onto the front label. I imagine that the heart could be dedicated to proprietor Luca Sanjust’s rambunctious mother who recently passed away. Made with organic fruit, the Petrolo 2018 Val d’Arno di Sopra Torrione is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine opens to a dark and rich appearance with punchy aromas of tart cherry and wild berry. Warm aromas of tobacco, spice and cedar wood appear gradually as the wine opens in the glass. An ample 50,000 bottles and 1,500 magnums were produced.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado Getariako Txakolina 2020 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
 “Shimmering orange-pink. Pungent cherry and red berry scents take on floral and spice nuances with air. Shows silky texture and good depth to the zesty red currant and bitter cherry flavors, which turn sweeter through the midpalate. Smoothly blends heft and energy and finishes long and nervy, with a hint of bitter orange pith adding final bite.”
Importer note “The pink sibling of Ameztoi’s flagship white, this vibrant rosé is made from a mix of red and white indigenous grapes and is bottled with a little residual carbonation to give it a light spritz.”
Region: Getariako Txakolina, Pais Vasco (Basque Country), Spain.
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Bodegas Muga Conde de Haro Brut Rose Cava Rioja 2016 ($34.95) $29 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
 “Pale onion skin. Perfumed red berry, orange zest and floral aromas are sharply focused and take on a smoky mineral nuance with air. Taut and juicy in the mouth, offering fresh strawberry and tangerine flavors that unfurl through the midpalate. Finishes on a repeating red fruit note, showing very good, focused persistence.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 91 points “The sparkling rosé now carries the vintage on the label (thanks for listening!), and I tasted the 2016 Conde de Haro Brut Rosé, produced with Garnacha grapes from Najerilla/Cordovín. It fermented at low temperature to keep the primary aromas of the variety and was kept with lees for four months, hoping the wine would put on some more weight before putting it to referment in bottle, where it was kept with lees for 36 months, always keeping it at low temperature, which produces smaller bubbles. It’s pale and subtle and has more yeasty/toasty/leesy notes than the white, having had more time in contact with the lees in bottle. It’s elegant, and within its young profile, it has some complexity and reveals nuances of red fruit and spices. The palate is terribly tasty, dry and with some chalky feelings; it’s clean, long and persistent, really very good, the finest I have tasted to date. 25,560 bottles produced. The next vintage of this wine will be 2018. In 2017, with the short crop, they used the grapes for the still rosé.”     
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Rose de Blancs Premier Cru Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) $59 special, only 1 bottle left in stock now 
Antonio Galloni 91 points 
“The NV Brut Rosé de Blancs is a super-classic Gimonnet wine bristling with energy. The current release is based on 2018 and is predominantly Chardonnay (from Cuis and Vertus) with a splash (5%) of Pinot from Cumières. Crushed red berries, flowers, chalk and white pepper lend brilliance to this taut, chiseled Rosé. Dosage is 5 grams per liter.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “[Reviewed 2021] A firm rosé Champagne, featuring a lively bead layered with flavors of white raspberry, nectarine, Marcona almond and pickled ginger. A minerally waft of oyster shell lingers on the finish. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Disgorged October 2019. Drink now through 2024. — AN”
Skurnik Imports note “Cépage: 95% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir vin rouge. Assemblage: Mostly 2018. Village/vyd Chardonnay from 26% Cramant Grand Cru, (Buissons and Bateau), 10% Chouilly Grand Cru (Ronds Buissons), 9% Oger Grand Cru (Champ Nérons, Terres de Noël, Brulis), 41% Cuis 1er Cru (Croix-Blanche), 9% Vertus 1er Cru (Justices), Pinot Noir from Cumières 1er Cru Rouge. Elevage: Stainless steel. Sur latte 22+ months”
2018-base, disgorged May 2021.
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Liquore delle Sirene ‘Americano Rosso’ Aperitivo Italy  750ML ($39.95) $34.50 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
 “Natural red aperitif made by somm Elisa Carta, inspired by the Venetian heritage. Handmade in small batches, blending wines from the Lake Garda area and single botanical macerations. The natural color is extracted from Hibiscus and Monarda flowers. Not artificial colors or flavorings.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Le Galantin Bandol Rose Provence 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer note
 “Classic Provençal rosé with delightful tree-fruit and citrus notes (peach, nectarine, grapefruit) and a crisp finish. Structured and complex, with citrus and red fruit on the palate. Around 5850 cases produced. Around 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault and 25% Grenache, from vines planted on southwest facing hillsides, with clay/limestone soil.”
Importer note “The ancient steep vineyards of Bandol – first planted by Phocaean Greeks c.600BC – are the perfect home for Mourvèdre. This variety produces wines that can age at least three decades. As at le Galantin, the best vineyards are planted on poor clay and sandy soil on old terraces, known locally as restanques. The appellation’s 1400 hectares of largely south facing vineyards get an extraordinary 3,000 hours of sun a year, but the heat is tempered by constant wind and also humidity from the sea. Following the steps of her father Achille, who bought the land in 1960 and produced his first vintage in 1972, Céline Pascale took over the domaine in 1999. She is helped by her brother Jérôme, who takes care of the vineyards. Today, Domaine le Galantin farms 30 hectares of terraced vineyards located in Le Plan du Castellet. Everything is hand-harvested and done with organic methods.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Jean-Francois Merieau Les Bulles de Genie Loire  NV 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Importer note
 “The was a time when growers didn’t talk about their Pineau d’Aunis much less brag about their old vines of it. That was when much of this distinctive black cherry and peppery-flavored wine was blended away into generic sparkling wines or made into insipid sweet rosé. Jean François Mérieau treats his Pineau d’Aunis with respect and makes a delicious dry rosé, La Rosée, as well as a sparkling wine from his 60+ year old vines of this rediscovered variety. He adds a touch of Grolleau Gris to the final blend and always bottles the Bulles de Génie without any dosage.”    
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

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Pichler-Krutzler: Just Announced 

Erich Krutzler is a famous winemaker in his own right, having started the Moric project in Burgenland before moving around the region making internationally recognized wines, however until he married the daughter of FX Pichler, his name was less than recognizable to most wine lovers in the US.  His project with his wife, Pichler-Krutlzer, is based around the great vineyards of the Wachau and has captured our hearts.  Krutzler prefers brighter, fresher wines than his father-in-law, so these wines tend to have a little less power and a lot more versatility at the table.  They’re breathtakingly complex, but you can actually drink them with food.  Also (and more importantly) their priced much more reasonably than the FX wines.  

Pichler-Krutzler Wines Arriving in Late February

Pichler-Krutzler Durnstein Gruner Veltliner, Wachau 2019 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points
 “Complex aromas of peach pie, mango and flint follow through to a full body with a tight, concise palate of dried citrus and smoke. It’s long and flavorful. Drink or hold.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “A beautifully pure tone of green pear is surrounded by creaminess and lemon ripeness on the nose. A mossy, herbal tint adds allure. The palate is rounded, with a ripe, fresh juiciness that is edged by white plum and citrus. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Pichler-Krutzler Loibenberg Gruner Veltliner, Wachau 2019 750ML ($59.95) $45 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points
 “Did somebody say lobster thermidor? A noble grüner veltliner that is so ripe (apricot, mirabelle and just a hint of papaya), but every bit as subtle, with a very polished texture on the rich palate. Drink or hold.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Earth and salty yeast come together on the nose, promising texture and savoriness. The palate then adds a lovely Russet pear ripeness and roundness that sits well with the earthy, concentrated, yeasty backdrop that holds pithy concentration and lip-smacking freshness. This is lovely, round and expressive. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points “From the bottom of the cru and on loess soils, the 2019 Ried Loibenberg Grüner Veltliner is open and refined on the nose, with ripe and elegant yellow-fleshed fruit aromas and finely flinty notes. Elegant and round, with fine and ripe, lush fruit, fine acidity and an intense and mouth-filling finish, this is a Loibenberg that gets its phenolic grip from the maceration. 14% alcohol. Tasted at the domain in June 2021.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.98

Pichler-Krutzler Pfaffenberg Alte Reben Gruner Veltliner, Kremstal 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Vinified in a new, untoasted 900-liter oak vat, the 2019 Ried Pfaffenberg Alte Reben Grüner Veltliner was only bottled in spring this year. The intensely citrus-colored wine shows a flinty, precise, fine and fresh bouquet with ripe stone fruit aromas and spices of crunchy crystalline stones. Creamy textured, ripe, lush and very elegant, with some attractive oak notes but fine tannins, this is a sensual, well-balanced and perfectly round Pfaffenberg that has to be marketed as Kremstal Reserve because the oak influence was too dominant for the DAC tasters in Krems. There is 14.5% alcohol, which you don’t feel due to the mineral freshness and elegance. Tasted at the domain in June 2021.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.98

Pichler-Krutzler Kellerberg Riesling, Wachau 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 97 points
 “Cellar Selection. A still shy nose is not ready to give up its secrets easily, despite much swirling and air. It is the palate that lifts the veil on the citric depth and intensity at the heart of this wine. Tangerine and lemon seem to emanate from a deep, stony, steely and cool depth. That citrus heart is concentrated and seems to draw on a boundless energy that drives it forward with purpose. This is beautiful, chiseled and unbelievably vivid. Drink 2025–2050. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
James Suckling 96 points “Maybe I’m amazed, because this stunning dry riesling marries ravishing fruit aromas. The spectrum ranges from mirabelle to candied lemon via peach, also with wild-herb notes, plus stony minerality. The long finish flickers between lime zest and white chocolate. And all somehow remains delicate! Drink or hold.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Pichler-Krutzler Pfaffenberg Alte Reben Riesling, Kremstal 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 98 points
 “So ripe, fragrant and delicate, this is a dry-riesling masterpiece that squares the circle of concentration and lightness, the palate a star-burst of stone and exotic-fruit aromas. And at the end, this pulls you straight back to the moment you discovered its ravishing beauty. Drink or hold.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2019 Ried Pfaffenberg Alte Reben Riesling is clear, elegant and intense on the nose, with crunchy flinty notes, lemon oil and ripe stone fruit aromas. Full-bodied, lush and intense, with rich and ripe fruit yet also finesse and mineral vitality, this is a complex and stimulatingly salty Pfaffenberg that was bottled with 13% alcohol in spring this year. Tasted at the domain in June 2021.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Pichler-Krutzler ‘In der Wand’ Riesling, Wachau 2019 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points 
“A hint of creaminess creeps deliciously into the orange zest notes on the nose. The palate comes on light feet but is vibrant with zesty notes of ripe orange and Amalfi lemon. The body is slender but concentrated, almost fizzing with ripe and utterly fresh zestiness. The finish is clean, taut and dry with lasting, mouthwatering citrus. Drink by 2040. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
James Suckling 93 points “Lots of flint and gun metal with lemon and lime and some stone character. It’s medium-to full-bodied with lots of character and a dry, fruity finish. Already shows some bottle bouquet. Drink now.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $37
 
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Roederer’s Rhone Champion: Delas
 
Delas is one of the most notable landholders in the Northern Rhone, with holdings in some of the best vineyards in every major AOC, yet they still manage to be overlooked when people put together collections of wine from the region.  We’d like to remedy that, so permit us a few seconds to sing their praises.

Delas makes some of the most powerful, intense wines in the Northern Rhone at prices that make them one of the superior values in the region. Density and richness are a hallmark of both the reds and the whites—there are no shrinking violets in the lineup.  We turn to them for big, bold wines that often show very well young—a remarkable trait in their part of France.

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, with many wineries getting expensive overnight.  That hasn’t happened to Delas—yet.  With the quality of recent vintages and the scores involved, we definitely see it happening soon, though, so if you love these wines now is the time to back up the truck.

Highlights In Stock Now from Delas:

Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher Rhone 2017 750ML ($99.95) $69 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
 “Slightly deeper and richer, the 2017 Condrieu Clos Boucher offers beautiful notes of tangerine, honeyed limes, citrus, and brioche. It’s another fresher, elegant Condrieu that has bright acidity, medium body, and sensational balance. It’s as drinkable as they come and one of the gems in the vintage.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Pale, shimmering gold. Incisive aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, ginger and violet are complemented by suggestions of chalky minerals, fennel and white pepper. Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated pear, melon, white peach and Meyer lemon flavors that show impressive clarity and mineral drive. The pit fruit and floral notes come back emphatically on the vibrant finish, which hangs on with excellent, mineral-driven tenacity.”
“Owned by the Louis Roederer/Deutz Champagne firm, Delas Frères is another largely negotiate estate that is fashioning brilliant wines from throughout the Rhône Valley. The incredible quality has been led by Burgundian Jacques Grange, who joined Delas Frères in 1997, and he’s assisted by the talented Claire Darnaud. The 2015s, reviewed last year, are some of the finest wines ever from this estate (same league as the 2009s and 2010s). They’ve done a fine job in 2016, with the wines showing more elegant characters, missing the density or structure of a top year, yet offering balanced, very drinkable profiles. The 2017s should surpass the 2016s, but also have upfront charming characters. It’s worth noting that this estate has seen a progression in style since 2005, where the wines were more extracted and oaky, to the 2016s and 2017s today, which could be seen as more mid-weight and elegant.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos Rhone 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93+ points
 “Similar to the Domaine des Grands Chemins, yet with additional structure, the inky purple/ruby colored 2013 Crozes-Hermitage le Clos has lots of minerality in its smoky, meaty, dark fruited profile. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, structured yet balanced, give it 2-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards Rhone 2013 750ML ($249.95) $159 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 95 points
 “(aged in 70% new oak for 18 months): Inky ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, peppery spices and fresh flowers, backed by a hint of olive. Supple and appealingly sweet, offering intense, deeply concentrated blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a suggestion of star anise. Finishes pure, sweet and energetic on the penetrating finish, showing outstanding focus and slow-building tannins.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Closed, tight and backwards, the 2013 Hermitage les Bessards is a big, full-bodied, burly wine that offers first rate purity in its black raspberry, ozone, liquid rock, and creosote-like bouquet. It has plenty of material and density, but will need 7-8 years of bottle age to become approachable. As normal, it comes all from the “Bas de Coteau” portion of the Bessards lieu-dit, was completely destemmed and saw 18 months in 30% new French oak.”      
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!
 
Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($44.95) Was $38, Now $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
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.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Dark ruby. High-pitched red and dark berry and violet aromas show excellent focus and pick up hints of cracked pepper and sandalwood with air. Sappy and seamless in texture, offering fresh black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of candied licorice. Turns sweeter on the penetrating, impressively long finish, which features smooth, even tannins and lingering boysenberry and floral qualities.”    

 
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Cava got your tongue? 
Spain’s Sparkling wine revolution

 
In the grand scheme of the world of wine there are only a handful of wine styles that have undergone as much transformation as Cava. Widely marketed as “Spanish Champagne” due to similarities in production style, meeting demand unfortunately took precedent over quality. Fast forward a few decades and production has made a complete about-face, with cava now having production standards arguably more stringent than even Champagne. Under the new guidelines Cava must be aged for at least two years on it’s lees prior to disgorgement, grown organically with limited yields and hand harvesting. These take effect in 2025 with many producers having already converted! Other producers like Raventos have been already doing this and more, having formed their own breakaway consortium called Corpinnat. Either way you slice it these are incredible values that are getting better with every vintage. 

Cava’s in stock now 

El Cep Gelida Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature Reserva Cava Catalonia 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 Special, 16 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points
 “Limpid yellow. Ripe citrus and orchard fruit, floral and succulent herb qualities on the pungent nose. Dry and energetic in the mouth, showing good depth to the bitter pear skin and lemon pith flavors. Takes a spicy turn on the nervy finish, which features repeating citrus fruit character and a hint of tarragon.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “I love the 2016 Gelida Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature Reserva. This Champagne look-alike offers a great nose of sautéed orchard fruits, toasted spices, brioche, and white flowers. These all carry to a medium-bodied sparkler with a lively, nicely textured mouthfeel, bright acidity and a clean, dry finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. Enjoy this beauty any time over the coming 3 to 5 years.”
Importer note “Completely biodynamic viticulture. The grapes are sourced from estate vineyards. Macabeo from Can Simón, Xarel-lo from Can Prats, Parellada from Can Castany, and Chardonnay from Can Miquel de les Planes. Completely organic viticulture, certified by the NOP.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

AA Alta Alella Mirgin Reserva Brut Nature Cava Catalonia 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points 
“Light, bright yellow-gold. Displays pungent, mineral-accented aromas of dried pear, lemon pith, fennel and chamomile that show very good clarity and spicy lift. Weighty, focused and dry on the palate, which displays refreshingly bitter citrus pith, pear skin and quinine flavors and a hint of peachiness. Manages to come off hefty as well as graceful and finishes long and taut, with resonating stoniness and a touch of spicy ginger. (disgorged after 15 months on its lees).”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Raventos I Blanc ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Espumoso Conca del Riu de Arnoia Catalonia 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 94 points
 “[Best Spanish Sparkling Buy of 2021 by Wine & Spirits] Pepe Raventós adds depth and a touch of color to this estate-grown sparkler with fruit from monastrell vines planted in 1974. That addition lays a smoky note and red-fruit hints over a base of xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada. You could contemplate the narcissus scents, the peach fuzz, the brisk clarity of flavor for hours if you had some oysters, and if you didn’t immediately race through the bottle, as its elegance is hard to resist.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Pale, green-tinged yellow. Lively, mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruits and succulent flowers on the nose, along with fennel and ginger accents that build as the wine stretches out. Sharply focused and lively on the palate, offering intense Meyer lemon, pear skin and honeysuckle flavors underscored by a smoky mineral quality. Shows impressive energy and minerally thrust on the finish, which hangs on with strong tenacity.”

Agusti Torello Mata Brut Reserva Cava Catalonia 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Decanter 90 points
 “A blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo from organic vines aged 30-40 years. Subtle aromas of green apple, apricot pastries and ripe lemon. Evolved honeyed notes on the palate, alongside fresh apple and lemon citrus, with a creamy texture, gentle bubbles and a fresh lift of grapefruit acidity on the finish. Good value for money. Organic and suitable for vegans. Drinking Window 2021 – 2023.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Agusti Torello Mata Trepat Rosat Brut Cava Catalonia 2019 750ML ($27.95) $24.40 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Winery note
 “Vintage 2019: One of the best harvests with the right amount of rain that led to an excellent sugar and acidity balance giving notes of red fruit to this vintage. Tasting notes: Notes of strawberry, wild berries and cherries. An aromatic, fresh and agile cava to accompany appetizers, starters, fruits, fresh cheeses, or puff pastry sweets.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Avinyo Blanc de Noirs Reserva Cava Catalonia 2018 ($39.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer note
 “Avinyó was one of the very first wineries in Spain to plant pinot noir on an experimental basis when Avinyó founder Joan Esteve returned from France with vine cuttings in 1980. The resulting Blanc de Noirs comes from this original single-vineyard called La Fassina, planted in 2000 in Avinyonet del Penedès at 250m to 275m. La Fassina receives the most rain of the estate’s vineyards while being protected from the easterly winds by mountains. The fertile soil is deep and well-drained with a silty-clay-loam texture and accumulations of calcium carbonate ideal for pinot noir to flourish and express the unique terruño of the site. The surrounding mountains provide a perfect channel for the cool air to enter the vineyard at night, preserving pinot noir’strademark acidity. Blanc de Noirs is an extremely elegant expression of the La Fassina vineyard, a limited release once a year. Farming is organic.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Avinyo Seleccio La Ticota Gran Reserva Cava Catalonia 2014 750ML ($49.95) $37 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Importer note 
“La Ticota, Avinyó’s oldest single vineyard, is a 2ha plot planted in 1940 by their grandfather to 85% xarel-lo and 15% macabeo, in primarily clay-calcareous soil. La Ticota produces one of the most distinctive and complex single-vineyard méthode traditionnelle wines from Spain. Produced in very limited quantities from the best vintages, it is among the great single-vineyard sparkling wines of the world. La Ticota is currently undergoing the certification process in the newly-formed Cava de Paraje designation of the Cava D.O., a new category that recognizes the uniqueness of “a smaller area” of the appellation on the label, similar to Burgundy’s climats or lieux-dits.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

 
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Zuni Chardonnay: Now on sale!
  
After the explosive popularity of our exclusive Evening Land/Brasserie 19 offer last year, we jumped at the chance to offer another exclusive wine from Rajat Parr’s Sta. Rita Hills winery, Sandhi. Oregon wine fans may best know Parr for his Willamette Valley winery Evening Land and their pioneering Seven Springs vineyard. Some years before signing on to Evening Land, Parr’s founded Sandhi, an elite, small production winery that highlights the terroirs of Santa Barbara County. He and co-founder Sashi Moorman eschew extremes of ripeness, oak, or alcohol, instead crafting wines of elegance and restraint. Vineyard sources for the Sandhi lineup include the legendary cool climate Bien Nacido, best known by the single vineyard bottlings produced by the Bien Nacido estate, Au Bon Climat, and Qupe Winery, and the world-classic, historic Sanford & Benedict. 

This Chardonnay is a barrel selection from these illustrious vineyards. It was crafted with the wine director at one of SF’s finest restaurants, Zuni Café. We knew it would be a charming and food-friendly wine, but we were stunned by the quality when we tasted a sample bottle last week. Fans of Evening Land will be dazzled by the beauty and elegance through a Californian lens, fans of Sandhi will be impressed by the price.

Zuni Chardonnay in stock now: 

Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $239 special, (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Winery note
 “If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato.  The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

 
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Italian Selections: 10 under $25
 
Castello di Volpaia ‘Prelius’ Cabernet Sauvignon Maremma Toscana Tuscany 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 15 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points 
“A very pretty red with currants, blackberries and hints of lavender. Medium to full body, polished tannins and a creamy finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink after 2022.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G.D. Vajra ‘Clare J.C.’ Langhe Nebbiolo Piedmont 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points
 “This was one of my favorite discovery wines from last year, and it sure is a pleasure to circle back to this G.D. Vajra 2020 Langhe Nebbiolo Claré J.C. today. Showing a luminous and bright ruby color, the bouquet shyly reveals wild cherry fruit and cassis. In a second moment, you taste bitter almond, candied lilac and hints of fresh garden herb or rosemary blossom. It’s hard to image such a young wine tasting so good at this unbelievable price. Production is 12,000 bottles.”
Giuseppe Vajra note “Claré J.C. is a Nebbiolo made according to a 1606 note by Gian Battista Croce, the jeweler of the House of Savoia. This wine is a time-capsule into an era when Nebbiolo wines tasted fresher, slightly crisp and smooth. This is a wine for people who are young at heart and curious about the forgotten past of Piemonte.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $17.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special, (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Eric Guido-Vinous 89 points
 “The extroverted 2018 Fanti Rosso di Montalcino is showing masses of ripe strawberry, sweet spices and exotic florals with grounding notes of worn leather and hints of undergrowth. Silky textures meld into tart red berries with a peppery-herbal twist, in a soft and easygoing effort that’s energized by bright acids that only come forward toward the finale. A mix of red fruits resonate on the finish, along with wild herbs and florals, punctuating the experience on a Rosso that is very easy to like.”
 
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Castello del Trebbio Chianti Superiore DOCG Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $14 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Falstaff 92 points
 “[Translated] Bright ruby red. Intense and appealing nose with notes of cranberries and cherries. Good consistency on the palate, opens with fine-meshed, well-integrated tannins, clear fruit in the finale.”
 
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Castello del Trebbio De’ Pazzi Toscana IGT Tuscany 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“This rich red has mellowed, offering black cherry, blackberry and plum fruit, accented by leather, tobacco and herb hints. The chalky tannins are integrated. Should become even more supple with time. Drink now through 2023. 1,280 cases made, 350 cases imported”
 
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Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan ‘Cuvee Terlaner’ Alto Adige Trentino-Alto Adige 2019 750ML ($27.95) $22.50 special, 20 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
 “I like the minerality and spiciness of this blend of pinot bianco, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc with a medium to full body, creamy texture and lots of flavor at the finish. Some flint in the aftertaste. It’s compact and controlled. A blend of 60% pinot bianco, 30% chardonnay and 10% sauvignon blanc. Drink now.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points “The lovely 2019 Alto Adige Terlaner Cuvée is fresh and buoyant with citrusy notes that are followed by wild sage, crushed stone, spicy saffron, toasted pine nut, Golden Delicious apple and crispy pear. The cuvée is a blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, and the results are only partially aged in oak (about 20%) to add a little extra dimension and texture. The wine underlines its primary fruit and the youthful intensity that is achieved with the 2019 vintage. Salty mineral notes appear on the close. An ample 220,000 bottles were produced, and you get terrific value here.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 91 points “The 2019 Cuvée Terlaner makes for a great introduction to the Cantina Terlano portfolio. It’s a blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, which mixes salty, savory notes with penetrating yellow citrus, balanced by fresh florals and hints of ripe crushed apple. While there’s no shortage of tension here, the Cuvée Terlaner manages to come across as round and pliant, buzzing with energy while cooling and soothing the senses. Orange zest and a note of roasted almond lingers, making for a complete and truly satisfying experience.”
 
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Castello di Volpaia Citto Rosso Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 750ML ($19.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Castello di Volpaia Citto Rosso Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Importer Note 
“In the Tuscan dialect, “Citto” means “a young boy.” In the tradition of Bordeaux Châteaux — Mouton Rothchild has its Mouton Cadet, Cheval Blanc has its Petit Cheval — Castello di Volpaia has its Citto. Mostly Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were destemmed and crushed, then fermented in stainless-steel vats for 10 days at 26 C to 30 C (80 F to 86 F). After eight days, the juice was drained off the skins. This generous, silky wine displays ripe fruit aromas with intense cherry and red berry flavors on the palate.”     
 
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Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT Tuscany 2019 750ML, (21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Pure form Sangiovese vinified in stainless steel. Light, bright & fruity.
 
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Montepeloso A Quo Toscana IGT Tuscany 2018 750ML ($29.95) $20.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points
 “A blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Montepulciano, 15% Sangiovese, 15% Marselan and 5% Alicante Bouschet, the Montepeloso 2018 A Quo is the entry-level expression that unfolds to a rich and sultry display of dark fruit, spice and a touch of charred meat. The blend is quite eccentric, but the basic elements are all there, such as the structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon, the wild character of the Montepulciano and the perfumed intensity of the other grapes. This is a 35,000-bottle production and a terrific value buy.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92 points “The 2018 A Quo is rich and explosive in the glass, with superb presence and tons of intensity, but all in the gracious style of the year. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit and spice are front and center. In 2018, A Quo is supremely delicious. Best of all, it remains a tremendous value in artisan wine.”
 
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Castello di Volpaia ‘Prelius’ Cabernet Sauvignon Maremma Toscana Tuscany 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 15 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
 “A very pretty red with currants, blackberries and hints of lavender. Medium to full body, polished tannins and a creamy finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink after 2022.”
 
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
 

Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $17.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special, (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Eric Guido-Vinous 89 points
 “The extroverted 2018 Fanti Rosso di Montalcino is showing masses of ripe strawberry, sweet spices and exotic florals with grounding notes of worn leather and hints of undergrowth. Silky textures meld into tart red berries with a peppery-herbal twist, in a soft and easygoing effort that’s energized by bright acids that only come forward toward the finale. A mix of red fruits resonate on the finish, along with wild herbs and florals, punctuating the experience on a Rosso that is very easy to like.”
 
This is the only listing in the USA today!
 
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Producer Spotlight: La Ca’ Nova
 
“La Ca’ Nova remains one of the true undiscovered jewels of Barbaresco. Marco Rocca crafts intense, classically proportioned Barbarescos full of personality” – Antonio Galloni  

Winemaking at La Ca’ Nova is steadfastly traditional, with long macerations and élevage in neutral botti. Tradition is also followed in the vineyard as well, with no synthetic inputs being used on the vines at any point during the growing season. In addition to their flagship Nebbiolos they also vinify Dolcetto and Barbera from small plantings that they have on their estate.    

La Ca’ Nova in stock now: 

La Ca Nova ‘Montefico’ Vigna Bric Mentina Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, only 3 bottles in stock now 
Antonio Galloni 95+ Points
 “The 2016 Barbaresco Montefico Vigna Bric Mentina is dark, dense, powerful and super expressive. Black cherry, mocha, leather, licorice and menthol are some of the many notes that take shape in a Barbaresco that is bursting with energy. Chalk, orange peel, dried flowers and mint add layers of nuance as the wine opens up in the glass. This brooding, potent Barbaresco needs time to be at its best, but it is clearly a great wine in the making.”

La Ca Nova ‘Montefico’ Vigna Bric Mentina Barbaresco DOCG  2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, only 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 Points
 “The 2017 Barbaresco Montefico balances the structural framework typical of this site with the radiance of the year so well. Powerful and intensely mineral, the Montefico is a bit wild in its first approach, yet it has so much character. Bright red berry fruit, chalk, mint, sage and white pepper give the Montefico a brilliant upper register to play off its natural cut. I would plan on cellaring the 2017 for at least a few years.”

La Ca Nova Dolcetto d’Alba Piedmont 2019 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 88 points
 “The 2019 Dolcetto d’Alba is an attractive mid-weight wine with a super-classic profile of blue/purplish fruits, cloves and licorice, and that slightly bitterish note that is typical of Dolcetto.”