March 21st, 2022 Newsletter

In This Newsletter:

Chardy Party with Vinopolis

Vinopolis Closeout Selections: Mosel 

New Library Chablis Releases
From Daniel-Etienne Defaix
Arriving Friday, March 25th

Collector’s Corner
The Maven of Champagne 



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Chardy Party with Vinopolis

As “The noble grape that provides great wines in all regions and price points” you can find a bottling for everyone. We’ve compiled a selection of Chardonnays from around the world for “Treasure and Pleasure” as the saying goes. Regardless if you prefer your Chardonnay along the stylings of her birthplace in Burgundy, the tropical lushness of California or even sparkling we have you covered!

As you might have read in wine press over the past decade, Oregon is often compared to Burgundy in style and climate. After a string of highly successful vintages the Chardonnay especially is being lauded as some of the most complex and ageworthy in the New World. We carry a plethora of the best, including Cameron and Jim Maresh’s Tan Fruit lineup among other standouts. 

California is famous around the world for her Chardonnay with an entire ecosystem of different styles, growing regions and practices. After stunning the world in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, California chardonnay became comparable to white burgundy and has been a measuring rod ever since. In the ensuing decades since this upset, two styles have taken prominence in the State’s output. On one end of the spectrum there is the rich, plush and riper style that made California an icon; and a leaner, mineral and restrained iteration that’s meant to emulate the “French style” of winemaking. 

Chardonnay selections in stock and available now: 

Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Chardonnay Burgundy 2020 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Chardonnay Burgundy 2020 750ML ($239.95) $189 special, (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Domaine Rollin Pere et Fils Les Cloux Pernand-Vergelesses 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Rosenthal Wine Merchant note 
“Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc “Les Cloux”: “Les Cloux” is a well-situated lieu-dit on the north side of the hill of Corton, adjacent to the premier cru “Sous Fretille” (see below). It faces southeast on a high, steep part of the hillside, and a general lack of any direct breeze there encourages notable ripeness. The wine possesses a lower-pitched, deeper nose than the basic Pernand-Vergelesses above, but with an equivalent limestone intensity more solid in its character than powdered. The palate is richer and thicker as well, but suffused with the alert acidity typical of the Rollin style. Only 20% of the oak employed during the elevage is new.”

William Fevre Beauroy Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
 “The 2017 Chablis Beauroy 1er Cru is beautifully lifted and nuanced. Floral and citrus notes give the Beauroy striking lift as well as nuance. Readers will find a gracious, super-expressive Chablis that drinks well now and also has the potential to develop nicely in bottle.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Doyard Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Champagne 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 11 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95+ points 
“The 2013 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru has also turned out beautifully, unwinding in the glass with notes of citrus oil, peach, white flowers and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, it’s taut and chiseled, with serious reserves of concentration and a long, mineral finish. Disgorged in spring 2021, while its quality is apparent, this is predictably a little introverted out of the gates, so I look forward to revisiting it later this year.”

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne  NV 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 24 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The latest rendition of Delamotte’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is drinking very well out of the gates, offering up aromas of crisp orchard fruit and citrus zest mingled with hints of fresh bread and wet stones. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and precise, with bright acids and chalky grip, concluding with a dry finish, this is a classy, seamless wine that will offer a broad drinking window.”

Andre Clouet Chalky Brut Champagne  750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 22 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points 
“[Reviewed 2021] Brimming with fresh apple, lemon and wild-berry aromas underlined by a note of freshly baked baguette, this begins so charming, then it turns in a fascinating mineral direction with a pronounced saline quality. The excitement comes from the tension between these two sides of this very distinctive champagne. Very long, chalky finish. 100% chardonnay from the 2013 vintage. Drink now.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Chardonnay Toscana IGT Tuscany ($59.95) $49 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2019 Chardonnay Collezione Privata is a real achievement, especially in its natural ability to showcase varietal purity and textural importance in equal measure. The wine is fermented in oak and spends some time on the fine lees with frequent stirring. Aromas of poached pear, honey and stone fruit segue to a glossy note of latex or natural rubber that I personally find very attractive. The bouquet shows very light toast with some sweet nuttiness and almond paste. Drying mineral tones add a touch of linearity and extra elegance on the close.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cameron Winery ‘Abbey Ridge’ Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Abbey Ridge sits high atop the Dundee Hills; a collection of vines planted on their own roots in the mid-70’s. It’s unquestionably one of the most special sites in the Willamette Valley and though it’s better known for Pinot Noir, the Abbey Chard is fantastic.  This is the most limited of the Chardonnay bottlings from Cameron and isn’t produced every year.

Tan Fruit Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2019 Chardonnay Maresh Vineyard comes from Dijon clones planted in 1991, and it was matured in about 35% new oak. This vintage is pure and tensile, with scents of tarragon and fragrant herbs, beeswax and almonds, with plush white peach fruit. The palate combines intense ripe fruit with a spine of tangy, tense acidity, and it finishes with tremendous length. Allow it another 3-5 years in bottle.”

Tan Fruit ‘Tank Fruit’ Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 99 points 
“The Chardonnay Tank Fruit comes from the same Oak Grove fruit as that vineyard designate, but was aged a bit longer, with 12 months in oak and another 12 months in stainless steel. It is pure, ultra perfumed, intense and layered, with alluring white peaches and lilac interwoven with cashews and honeycomb on the nose. The palate derives incredible energy from the push-pull of those deeper tones with salty, energetic acidity, and it finishes with extraordinary length.”

Peter Michael ‘Ma Belle-Fille’ Chardonnay Knights Valley 2019 750ML ($134.95) $119 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97-98 points
 “Ma Belle Fille is the highest of the Peter Michael vineyards, located at 1,200-1,800 feet. Planted to a field selection of Hudson, Old Wente, Montrachet and Calera clones, it is also the earliest ripening vineyard. A tank sample due to be bottled in just a few days, the 2019 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille slips seductively out of the glass with tantalizing notes of warm apple slices, ripe nectarines and spice cake, giving way to a beautiful perfume of honeysuckle, beeswax and tangerine peel, plus a waft of cashews. Full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating stone fruit and spiced apple flavors with a lively backbone and decadent oiliness to the texture, finishing on a long-lasting honey-nut note. 2,017 cases were made.”

Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay Edna Valley 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 93 points
 “This comes mostly from the Wolff vineyard with some fruit from the Middle Ranch vineyard. The 2017 Edna Valley Chardonnay opens with wonderful aromas of honeycomb, orange blossoms, saline, crushed shell and loads of baked apple and quince with an earthy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, satiny and intense, with seamless freshness on the finish, which lingers with honeyed notions.”

Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay Edna Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2018 Chardonnay Wolff Vineyard from Edna Valley is pure, energetic and fresh this vintage. The nose is lovely, loaded with floral perfume and ripe citrus fruits. The palate is silky and expansive with a shimmering mineral character and a long, pure finish. It improved over the two to three days it was open and will benefit from a long decant. 4,256 cases produced.”

Don’t see your favorites listed ? Check out our full selections of Chablis and Chardonnay in general, but don’t forget our feature on Etienne Defaix’s latest release after our Closeout feature from Germany!


Vinopolis Closeout Selections: Mosel
Likely the first area in Germany to be planted en masse with grapevines, its first mention is by the Roman poet Magnus Ausonius in 370 A.D with their first settlement being founded in 15 B.C. In the same way that Neuschwanstein Castle is the face of Bavaria and German architecture as a whole, the Mosel Valley is the face of the Rhine and German wine. The Terrassenmosel, or Burg Cochem as it’s called by the locals, is one of the most visually spectacular areas of the entire valley. Featuring the steepest vineyards in the entire world, exceptionally old vines and unique soil composition of iron, slate and quartz these are some of the rarest and most compelling out of the entire valley. These are Rieslings that feature incredibly high acids, pervasive minerality and a plethora of secondary flavors like hoshigaki, saffron and ginger. From a stylistic perspective these are “serious” wines that are usually bone dry, with some sweet examples to be found in exceptional years. They require bottle age to even begin expressing their potential, with the best having almost unlimited life in the bottle. 

Mosel Selections in stock now: 

Heymann-Lowenstein Uhlen B Blaufusser Lay Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($69.95) Was $57, Now $49, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points
 “The 2016 Riesling Uhlen B ‘VDP Grosse Lage’ is pure, fresh and rich at the same time, with flinty aromas on the nose. Full-bodied, precise and piquant on the palate, this is an elegant, fresh and salty Riesling with a lot of tension and length. Powerful. Long.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This offers a gorgeous nose of candied grapefruit zest, some star fruit, ripe pear and apple, all wrapped into the telltale classy touch of fine spices and herbs so typical of the Estate. The wine is medium-bodied on the palate and leaves a beautifully pure, spicy and mineral-loaded feel in the long and delicately powerful finish. This is a gorgeous wine in the making with a hint of power and nice saltiness in the after-taste.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Uhlen Laubach Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 8 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
 “From a slate soil with 10% chalk, the 2016 Riesling Uhlen L ‘VDP Grosse Lage’ shows licorice, flinty and bright fruit aromas on the nose. Juicy, piquant and tensioned on the palate, this is an intense and complex Riesling with lush and intense fruit. The finish is long and promising. Tasted February 2018.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92+ points “This offers a stunning even if still rather reduced nose of pear, grapefruit, start fruit, ginger and smoky elements. The wine is beautifully balanced on the palate, where creamy fruits are nicely wrapped into a hint of acidity and some superb mineral and herby elements. The delicately powerful after-taste oozes refinement, under-toned freshness and multi-layered complexity. This is a gorgeous Uhlen L in the making and one with great upside potential as the wine gains in elegance at maturity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $65.25/btl

Heymann-Lowenstein ‘R’ Winninger Uhlen Roth Lay Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2007 375ML ($99.95) Was $59, Now $49, 16 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “Candied citrus, jujube, sweet spice and quince paste aromas and flavors mark this sweet, bracing Riesling, which is light on its feet and resonates on the finish with a mouthwatering feel and echoes of citrus. Best from 2012 through 2045.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Lowenstein’s 2007 Winninger Uhlen Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule Roth Lay (as in the corresponding dry wines, the letter “R” is prominent on the label of this A.P.#9) benefits from counterpoint and collaboration among bright citrus, rich pit fruit essences, and the honey of botrytis. For all of its enormous sheer ripeness and concentration, this retains a striking sense of delicacy. A snappy, spicy, pungent streak – taken together with vivid, diverse pit fruits and citrus – serves for exhilaration in a finish of memorable length and energy, with a vivid impression of crushed stone one hardly expects in a wine of such sweetness and prominent botrytization. There seems to be something of a personality role reversal at work this year, because the corresponding Rottgen Auslese is cool and refined whereas this Uhlen displays more of the piquancy and (as French growers might say) nervosite that I associate with Rottgen. But then, botrytis is always something of a wild card, so that a wine like this is profoundly and unpredictably influenced by the precise microclimatic conditions for and differences in the nature of that fungus. No doubt this too will be worth following for two or more decades.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein ‘R’ Winninger Uhlen Roth Lay Auslese, Mosel 2010 750ML ($199.95) Was $99, Now $89, 27 bottles in stock now
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese** “Herzlay”, Mosel 2013 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 8 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 90 points 
“Offers lots of pastry puff notes to the airy peach and melon flavors. Spicy and lush, with a pillowy finish that lingers with dried ginger accents. A delicate style. Drink now through 2038. 5 cases imported.” WS
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Rotlay Riesling, Mosel 2011 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $33, 21 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
 “The Rotlay is a great wine in this vintage, and offers very complex and fine flavors of spices, salt, mineral, bakery products and apricot flower. The zesty, pure and delineated structure is impressive. This is superb. 2021-2031.”
Wine Advocate 91+ points “Carob and toasted nuts inflect baked apple and vanilla on the nose of Selbachs’ block-picked 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Rotlay, which comes to the palate expansive, creamy, and buoyant (at 8.5% alcohol), its apple joined by almost overripe Persian melon. Hints of pip and botrytis bitterness add interest, but there is not the subtle interaction of flavors or the layer of primary juiciness that rendered the corresponding Anrecht bottling so memorable, but instead a more dominantly honeyed, soothingly rich personality. This long-finishing beauty may well – as its author suggests – just need some time to reveal its multiple layers.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Easily the most famous of the Mosel’s sub- regions is Bernkastel or Middle Mos. Called the “heart” of the Mosel Valley; it is the most planted in terms of acreage and also production. Some of Germany’s most famous vineyards are nested in this area including Ürziger Würzgarten, Bernkasteler Doctor, and Wehlener Sonnenuhr. The confluence of slope and refraction create a richer and fuller bodied style of Riesling that defines the area and also acts as a measuring rod for the rest of the country. These vineyards feature vast percentages of the trademark blue and gray slate which also aids in ripening, and contributes a clean slate-like character to the wine. The more favorable growing conditions allow for the entire spectrum of Riesling to be produced ranging from dry to lusciously sweet (Sometimes from the same vineyard). Bernkastel also holds the crown for highest price ever fetched at auction for a German wine. The bottle in question? A bottle of 1921 Berncastler Doctor Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese that had been secretly hidden in their underground cellar for decades. It was sold in 1986 for over $16,000.

Bernkastel Selections on sale now: 

Selbach-Oster ‘Schmitt’ Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling, Mosel 2012 375ML ($37.95) Was $28, Now $24, 3 half-bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“($54) Pale golden yellow. Rich bouquet of candied apricot, ginger and nut oil. Succulently juicy pineapple and crisp slate animate the supple, creamy texture. The seductive finish is only slightly sweet. Boasts excellent balance and considerable promise.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

The Ruwer is one of the most unique of the Mosel sub- regions, in that it does not receive the benefits of refracted sunlight off the surface of the river like her sisters Bernkastel or Terrassenmosel due to the smaller size of the Ruwer river. Climatologically speaking this slows ripening and requires longer hang time on the vine, reflected in the in the wines produced with higher sugar levels and pronounced floral aromatics. The soil here is deeper than other sub-regions and contains veins of iron but still featuring a base of slate like the rest of the Mosel. Examples from this area usually feature generous amounts of fruit, refreshing herbaciousness, high acidity and a slightly spicy finish. This was one of the most favored winegrowing areas by the Romans, with archeological sites showing wine production dating back to the first century (Making it one of the first colonized and planted by the empire!) If you appreciate the delicate and ethereal qualities of Riesling, this is a sub-region to try!

Ruwer Selections in stock now: 

Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese 24, Mosel 2015 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $69, 9 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points
 “This offers gorgeous scents of peach and herbs on the nose. Star anise, ginger and coconut join the flavors on the creamy yet racy palate and leave a superbly racy, cassis and mint-infused feel in the long finish. What a beauty! 2025-2050.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2015 Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese 24 is super clear and very intense on the bright and concentrated nose. Fresh and piquant on the palate, with a good mineral grip and complexity, this is a highly finessed, intense and piquant Auslese of great class and with a distinctive character. The berries were shrivelled to raisins without a noble rot, says Carl von Schubert.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “This was picked near the end of October, “principally,” as von Schubert explained, “from shriveled [rosinierte] and to a lesser extent botrytis-affected berries. The dominance of desiccated berries made for high acidity as well as must weight. Right after this picking, we got another rain,” he added, “so it was good that we had finished up.” Persian melon and white peach inform a heady nose and a glossy, expansive, almost custard-rich palate. There is just enough primary juiciness to supply welcome refreshment, but for now at least, the elevated acidity isn’t evident. Hints of marzipan and licorice lend a confectionary cast to the lusciously lingering finish.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Superior Riesling, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Very clear and smoky on the still discreet and yeasty-flavored, dense nose, the 2014 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Superior is a very elegant and round, finesse-full and persistent Riesling; it has a long and salty, very complex but beautifully fine, yet firmly structured and great finish. Impressive Riesling for the next 25 or 30 or more years.”
Wine & Spirits 92 points “Since Kraml came on in 2004, he’s weaned the vines off of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, dropped yields and moved to ambient yeast fermentations, many of which he does in traditional, large oak fuder made from the estate’s own trees. He’s also introduced the “Superior” wines, made in a traditional feinherb style, fermented in fuder and bottled with a little residual sugar. In 2014, the treatment seems to magnify the character of each vineyard, and lends the wines extra strength. The Abtsberg emphasizes the filigreed delicacy and peach scents common to the fruit off its cool blue slate, as well as the profundity of its mineral flavors. It’s not recognizably sweet; rather, this is sugar as muscle, making the best of a vintage short on sun.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese ***, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) Was $33, Now $29, 27 bottles in stock now
 Erderner Prälat occupies a mere 2.2 hectares. Entirely south-facing, the vineyard is surrounded by cliffs which insulate the vines – as a result, Prälat is one of the warmest plots in the region. Over time, it has also become one of the most sought-after vineyards. Given the limited space, only a few winemakers have access to the vineyard.
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Peter Lauer ‘Kern’ Ayler Kupp Fass 9 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $33, 16 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 94 points
 “Tropical and creamy, but it also shows a very firm core — Kern means core in German. This is another stunningly original wine from Peter Lauer. A lot of power at the finish. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The 2017er Kern Fass 9 comes from old vines in a prime south-west-facing part of the original Ayler Kupp hill situated well into the side valley and was fermented down to almost fruity levels (40 g/l of residual sugar). It offers a delicately vibrant nose of candied grapefruit, cassis, lemon zest, ginger and fine herbs. The wine is beautifully focused and just fruity-styled on the palate and leaves a vibrant feel of zesty acidity and bitter lemon in the long and delicately tart finish. This is a beautiful expression of fully off-dry tasting Riesling in the making! 2022-2032.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $43.99

Peter Lauer ‘Neuenberg’ Fass 17 Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39, 19 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points 
“The 2015er Ayler Kupp Neuenberg Fass 17 is fermented off-dry from parcels in the former single vineyard Neuberg situated just below the Ayler Herrenberger. It offers a gorgeous nose of white and yellow peach, ginger, herbs and spices. The wine is beautifully balanced on the palate, where grip provides great structure and adds to the saline feel in the long finish. This only needs a few years to develop its inner balance and shine.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “Alluringly aromatic and succulent ripe white peach and cherry are accented by piquant fruit pit and crystalline stony inflections for a performance that’s luscious but also dynamic and full of intriguing counterpoint. As with the corresponding Unterstenberg, there is a high-toned distilled fruit aura; and as with this year’s “Senior,” oily richness of texture is entirely compatible with refreshment and transparency to mineral nuance.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $33, 6 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
 “This offers a rather ripe nose of grapefruit, pineapple, Limoncello, bergamot, herbs, almond and spices. The wine is nicely made and fruity on the palate and leaves a clean and fresh feel in the zesty but powerful finish. This is nicely made in a very enjoyable style! 2023-2035”
Importer note “Yellow color with green highlights. Beautiful peach aromas on the nose, rich and ripe fruits on the mouth with a refreshing acidity and honey notes. A very pleasing wine. The estate, founded in 1850, is located in the tiny hamlet of Monzel, not far from Bernkastel-Keus, overlooking the steep sloping vineyards and Mosel River. The average total production is 3,300 cases, and their wine is sold mainly in Germany, Switzerland, U.K and the U.S. The current owners are Armin Vogel (husband) and Mona Bastgen (wife) who began working in the winery in 1993. Mona and Armin meticulously tend 4.5 ha (11.11 acres) of which 80% is Riesling. The soil is made of slate. The vineyards are located in Kesten and Brauneberg, on a steep terrace, and planted to 50-year old vines. The vines produce very small, ripe berries that are very tasty.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Clemens Busch Marienburg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2018 750ML ($34.95) Was $24, Now $19.50, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points 
“Lightly smoky with some lemon pith and dried spices. There’s some light sweetness here, but it’s nicely balanced out by the edgy acidity. Taut and very precise on the finish. Drink now.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 91 points “White peach, apple, honeydew melon and lime are tinged with lemongrass and cilantro on the nose, and with nippy cress on an otherwise polished, lusciously fruited and subtly soothing palate. Nearly 60 grams of sugar manage to come off as entirely supportive, and the lingering finish both soothes and stimulates. (This year’s village-level Busch Kabinett seemed oddly out-of-sorts on the sole occasion – side by side with this Marienburg – that I was able to taste it, so I have left it un-reviewed.)”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Shows yeasty notes at first, with accents of jasmine and hops, followed by electric acidity that fuels the green apple, lemon and nectarine flavors. Balanced and beautiful in terms of texture, exhibiting substance. Smoky details emerge on the well-defined finish. Best from 2021 through 2033. 550 cases made, 60 cases imported. — AZ”
AP #11
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $29.99

Weingut Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($49.95) Was $33, Now $28, 28 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Rich and exotic, featuring mango, brown spice, slate, smoke and citrus notes. Open and fluid in style, crafted with precision and intensity. The submerged acidity reveals itself on the finish, along with a tactile sensation on the palate. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
James Suckling 95 points “A very impressive Spätlese that’s so aromatic and expressive; it leads with dried apricots, passion fruit, melon sorbet, milk ice cream and earth. Sweet and powerful for this category, but the acidity runs right through the center palate, bringing the stone-fruit and tropical flavors to life and leaving the mouth with wicked resolve. Drink now.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 91 points “White peach and nectarine are garlanded in heliotrope, leading to a lusciously fruity and perfumed performance on a soothingly creamy palate. The lingering finish is intensely fruity, with just enough brightness and piquancy of fruit pit to push back against the overbearing sweetness.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2018 Marienburg Spätlese is clear and bright on the nose, offering ripe and elegant fruit. Light, lush and piquant on the palate, this is a stimulating, not all too sweet yet perfectly balanced and salty Spätlese. It doesn’t need to be cellared for decades—it already drinks very well. Tasted from AP 1419 in July 2020.”
AP #14
This is the only listing in the USA today!

New Library Chablis Releases
From Daniel-Etienne Defaix
Arriving Friday, March 25th  

“A genial gourmet, Daniel-Etienne Defaix is one of Chablis’s personalities, and his wines are no less characterful. He releases his sapid, gourmand expressions of Chablis at maturity—that’s to say, some 15 years after everyone else in the region….These are textural, complex wines that evoke the white Burgundies of yesteryear, and they may confuse consumers habituated to the tart, brittle, processed wines that are often passed off as expressions of region’s “terroir.” Their potential to develop in bottle and their capacity to pair with a thrilling variety of foods, however, make them fascinating, at least to this writer. Much of the production is sold to France’s best restaurants, but what reaches the export market is well worth seeking out.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Daniel-Etienne Defaix wines arriving Friday, March 25th 

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Cote de Lechet Chablis Premier Cru 2006 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points
 “The 2006 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet is a superb example of the vintage, offering up aromas of citrus oil, beeswax and oyster shell complemented by subtle hints of clear honey. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive, its textural attack segues into a bright, chiseled mid-palate, concluding with a mouthwatering, intensely saline finish. More chiseled and tightly wound than its 2005 counterpart, this is a 2006 with a long future ahead of it, transcending the vintage’s limitations.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys Chablis Premier Cru 2006 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2006 Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys is showing beautifully, offering up inviting aromas of pear, honeycomb, mandarin oil, warm bread and oyster shell. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive, with an enveloping core of fruit, racy acids and a long, saline finish, it’s fleshy but controlled, with more texture than the Côte de Léchet and more structure than the Vaillons.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The Maven of Champagne

We can’t introduce these wines any better than Antonio Galloni of Wine Advocate: “This is a breathtaking set of wines from proprietor Dominique Moreau. I can’t say enough good things about these artisan Champagnes. If Moreau keeps making wines like these she will soon be one of the superstars of Champagne. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fabulous wines.” 

Dominique opened the vineyard in 2005, naming the house after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, who she described as a “woman of the earth”. That same spirit in mind, Dominique has set out to produce single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from biodynamically-grown grapes, using indigenous yeasts and no dosage. Dominique also embraces a spirituality in her production and pays devoted care to the evolution of the grape in the vineyard as well as in the wine. Each of the estate’s four cuvees have their own personality and spiritual significance to Dominique. With these wines, Marie Courtin is quickly becoming a recognizable name in grower champagne. These are champagnes that require time both in the cellar and in the glass to fully unfurl.

Marie Courtin wines in stock now: 

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2017) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
No review for the 2017-base. 2016-base review provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 92 points
 “The 2016 Extra Brut Resonance, 100% Pinot Noir from a tiny parcel of 40 year-old vines in Polisot, bristles with energy and tension. Orchard fruit, white flowers, sage, chalk and mint all race out of the glass. With a bit of air, the richer side of Pinot starts to emerge as the wine gains breadth and volume. Proprietor Dominique Moreau has captured energy as well as richness, while avoiding the stark austerity that once defined her Champagnes. Bright floral and savory overtones linger effortlessly. Disgorged: November, 2019.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Collector’s Corner:
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo

Son of the famous Giacomo Conterno, Aldo purchased his own estate in 1969, Favot, to explore alternatives to the strictly traditional methods of the family estate. He took inspiration from Angelo Gaja and from his experiences while traveling through the United States. Although he introduced some modern winemaking techniques that improved the quality of the wines, including temperature-controlled fermentation, he never fully embraced the “modern” style. He eschewed new oak on the Barolos and continued to hand-harvest the grapes, using gentle pressing and shorter macerations in the cellar. The results were polished and elegant wines with pure and bold fruit profiles. Since his passing in 2012, his three sons have run the estate. These are standard bearer wines for the region, and worthy of a dedicated spot in your cellar.

Poderi Aldo Conterno ‘Il Favot’ Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “A combination of strawberry, cherry, currant and iodine aromas and flavors are the hallmarks of this juicy, complex red. Firms up at the end, with a subtle length. Drink now. 1,500 cases made, 300 cases imported. — BS”

The average price is $49

Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia shows a dark but busy quality of fruit that speaks more to the power of this hot vintage than it does the nuanced side of Nebbiolo. In this respect, the wine is quite typical of the 2017 growing season. It takes a while before the wine finds focus in the glass, but it does slowly come together to reveal broad layers of dark cherry, cassis and plum. There is some tannic tightness that leads to sour berry. A bit awkward at this young stage, it needs a few more years of cellar age to flesh out and reach balance.” 

Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($219.59) $179 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “A solid, powerful style, this expressive red is well-marked by new oak, with plum, cherry, cigar box, menthol and sun-kissed hay flavors. Balanced and lively, with refined tannins and a long, spice-infused finish. Best from 2025 through 2042. —B.S.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 91 points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia Cicala reveals a deep garnet color with some dark copper. Like the other 2017 wines from this celebrated producer, I can’t help but suspect that these areas of Bussia suffered from the heat and some of the other weather challenges associated with this growing season. A clear note of overt ripeness comes across as dried strawberry or sweet crème de cassis. The finish is similarly weighed down by the fruit weight and oak tannins.”

Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia Colonnello shows good focus, structure and a sharper character that is often the distinguishing factor in this wine. The bouquet is redolent of dark fruit and plum, but it also shows a solid framing of iron ore and dark stony mineral. These give the wine greater lift and contoured edges. This is not the first time that Colonnello is my favorite wine in this lineup, and I suspect it won’t be the last.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Offering plum, cherry, iron, eucalyptus and black pepper aromas and flavors, this broad red has absorbed the oak treatment pretty well already, with a dense matrix of tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and long, ending with elements of mineral and spice. Best from 2025 through 2043. —B.S.”

Shop our additional bottlings from Conterno clan on our web store!