Friday, May 20th, 2022 Newsletter

In This Newsletter:

Bold not Brash: 
Low ABV Robust Reds

Trending Rose

Bodegas Avancia:
Value and Old-Vines

Domaine du Vissoux:
The Forefront of Beaujolais

Mad for Mufatto: 
Top Tier Malbec from Gualtallary

Collectors Corner 
Best in Brunello: 
Biondi Santi 


We’re Open for In-Store Shopping!
10AM – 6PM Daily
We also offer Curbside Pickup
Order Online / By Phone / By Email


Bold not Brash: 

Low ABV Robust Reds

Can you imagine a time when the average red wine was at most 13% ABV? Thanks to climate change ripening is rarely ever a concern anymore, with the exact opposite now occurring around the world. The struggle for ripeness used to be so common, that minimum alcohol levels are part of French appellation requirements to ensure quality maintenance which oftentimes required chaptalization or boosting the finished alcohol by adding sugar. Beyond the winemaking concerns of maintaining balance in the finished wines, higher alcohol wines aren’t exactly health drinks. Regardless, we’ve compiled a list of wines that are big on flavor and with an alcohol level of yesteryear, for those looking to enjoy with less guilt.   

Low-ABV selections in stock now: 

Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2018 750ML ($79.95) $54.50 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
 “The 2018 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault is one of the more up-front, fruit-driven wines in the lineup. It offers ample Bing cherry and almost blackberry and mulberry-like fruit supported by sappy herb and flower aromas and flavors. Nicely textured on the palate, medium to full-bodied, up-front and juicy, it has lots of charm and will unquestionably continue to drink nicely for at least 7-8 years, and I suspect even longer.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “Jasmine Hirsch blended this wine from 45 of her family’s 67 parcels of vines, spread across two ridges on the far Sonoma coast; the Hirsches farm and vinify all of them separately. In 2018, San Andreas comes in at 12.9 percent alcohol, the ripeness achieved through cold and sunny days that broke through an initially foggy veraison, then a week of heat after September 7 that boosted the color and flavor intensity in the grapes. This is the best San Andreas Fault bottling in recent memory, a powerfully bold, juicy and intense wine without any weight. The structure is fit and lithe, a cold, crisp pinot saturated with dark cherry-skin tannins, resonant with notes of cherries and coastal forest. If it’s anywhere close to within your budget, buy a case of this wine. (3,280 cases) —J.G.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Powerful and refined, with a concentrated blend of spiced cherry, red currant and dried berry flavors that are backed by crisp acidity and firm tannins. The finish is propelled by intense minerality and savory spice notes. Best from 2022 through 2027. 3,280 cases made. — KM”
James Suckling 94 points “Lots of pure fruit here with crushed strawberries, flowers, dried mushrooms and bark on the nose, following through to a full body with loads of ripe fruit and chewy tannins. It’s an intense red with lots of fruit-driven character but, it’s got freshness and energy. Give it another two or three years of bottle age. Try after 2022.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2018 750ML ($99.95) $84.50 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Powerfully fresh and crunchy, with plenty of minerality to the dried cherry and berry flavors that are backed by crisp acidity. Shows cedary notes and hints of juniper berry on the lithe finish. Best from 2022 through 2027. 527 cases made. — KM”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate East Ridge is juicy, open-knit and seductive. Sweet red cherry, red plum, spice, mint and blood orange infuse the 2018 with tons of nuance and character. In this tasting, the East Ridge stands out for its mid-palate density and creaminess, along with slightly darker/purplish tonalities of fruit.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “Bright, spicy and clean, this pinot noir shows the riper side of the Hirsch far-coast vineyard, from parcels on the relatively protected eastern ridge. It opens to immediate pleasure, rich with a smoky sandstone rasp to the tannins, but it really only shows its depth of flavor a day or two later. What starts out as glossy gains complex detail, refreshed by mineral tones layered with red-grapefruit and cardamom spice. (527 cases) —J.G.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Similarly hued, the 2018 Pinot Noir East Ridge has a slightly more mineral-laced, marine, and savory earth-driven bouquet that includes plenty of ripe red fruit, forest floor, and spring flower-like aromas and flavors. It’s vibrant, racy, and nicely focused on the palate, with good acidity, building minerality, and a great finish. It’s certainly a racier, more vibrant style of wine compared to the East Ridge and will benefit from short-term bottle aging. It has a kiss of background oak as well, but that will integrate with a year or two in the cellar. It’s another Burgundian, complex, age-worthy wine from this estate.”
Decanter 94 points “Smouldering, introspective nose of black cherry, red plum, cocoa and potting soil. The same characters are subsequently broad and mouthcoating on the palate, which has a spry, lifted finish. You could cellar this a few years to let it unwind. This site, with low-yielding, 30-year-old vines on steep slopes, has less oceanic influence than the rest of the property, producing the richest of the Hirsch single-block wines. Drinking Window 2024 – 2039.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Cellar Selection. Structured and wildly complex, this wine is just starting to reveal itself, offering a quiet wealth of juicy pomegranate, black tea and rocky tannin. Textured, it is both savory in nature and bursting in acidity, providing a lengthy freshness as it goes. Still, time in the cellar is recommended; enjoy best from 2025–2028. -Virginie Boone”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2018 750ML ($99.95) $84.50 special
Decanter 95 points
 “Hirsch produces both an East Ridge and West Ridge bottling, and vintage conditions seem to determine which shows better; the West Ridge in 2018 is exceptional. The nose is charming and poised, with ripe but delicate redcurrant fruit. The attack is fresh and svelte, and the palate has ample grip without being extracted. It shows far more punch and drive than the low alcohol suggests, and the finish is balanced and long. Drinking Window 2022 – 2035.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate West Ridge is soft and gracious, yet retains the nervousness and translucence that runs through the 2018s here. Deceptive in its mid-weight feel, the 2018 possesses striking depth. Sweet red cherry, red plum, spice, new leather and cedar all flesh out. Vibrant and intensely mineral, the West Ridge is compelling. The core of West Ridge is a Block 7, which is planted with Mt. Eden Clone planted in 1990 that are now heavily virused and therefore naturally produce a small crop.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “One of the more lightly colored Pinot Noirs in the lineup, the 2018 Pinot Noir West Ridge has a translucent ruby color to go with a more subtle nose of ripe mulled cherries, dried flowers, savory herbs, and a touch of marine-like minerality and iodine. More round, supple, and elegant on the palate, it still brings plenty of ripe tannins, terrific overall balance, and just a charming, interesting, satisfying style. My money is on it benefiting from another year or two of bottle age and keeping for a solid decade.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Vibrantly fruity and minerally, with cherry, currant and berry flavors that are sculpted and precise. The juicy finish hums with cedar and underbrush accents. Drink now through 2025. 486 cases made. — KM”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2018 Pinot Noir West Ridge opens with touches of leather and angostura bitters over a core of bright red berry fruit and citrus peel. The light-bodied palate offers firm, fresh, crunchy fruits with loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long.”
Wine & Spirits 93 points “This comes from a collection of parcels on the ocean-side of Hirsch’s far-coast estate, on ridgetops once covered in redwoods—timbered more than a century ago to rebuild San Francisco after the city burned. The wine carries a memory of those coastal redwoods in its foresty red-berry flavor, along with a gentle rain of tannins, persistent in their mineral spice. You might imagine the exposed sandstone of the ridges or scents of the kelp beds of the Pacific as the pretty red fruit lasts. (486 cases) —J.G.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Exotic elements of blood orange and tangerine are lifted by a carbonic underbelly of complex freshness in this salty, subdued wine. Silky in texture, it has a beautiful nose of rose petal and sea spray, with finishing touches of cardamom and black tea. -Virginie Boone”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Southern Right Pinotage Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2020 750ML ($49.95) $30.90 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Importer Note:
 Southern Right is re-defining Pinotage with this intense classically styled, clay-grown wine, packed with complex berry
fruit, beautiful tannins, and subtle spice. Full ripeness and the longer hang-time afforded by cooler sites, combined with the
complex, more classic fruit aromas and structure resulting from clay-rich soil, make this wine a highly individual expression of South Africa’s unique grape variety

The Hermit Ram Whole Bunch Zealandia Pinot Noir North Canterbury 2019 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Winery Note:
 “This Pinot Noir comes from two vineyards, one a small close planted vineyard on the Omihi slopes and the other on the valley floor. The soil in Omihi is predominantly clay with bands of limestone and iron oxide, and the valley floor has glacial gravels with layers of silt and the odd bit of broken limestone dispersed throughout the profile. The clay parcel brings a richness and flesh to this wine whilst the gravel site adds spice and finesse. The use of whole bunches helps to add floral aromatics and length to balance out these textures and to knit the whole wine together. The structural elements and aroma gained from using whole bunches in Pinot Noir from North Canterbury also serves to promote longevity in the wine. It’ll make for fascinating drinking over the coming years. This wine has approximately 50% whole bunches in the ferment. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts. It underwent natural malolactic fermentation. It has no Sulphur added until bottling. It is unfined and unfiltered. 20 ppm SO2 Total.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Mother Rock ‘Force Majeure – Force Celeste’ Cinsault Swartland 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Importer note 
“A medium-bodied red with ripe tannins, depth and drinkability from whole bunch fermentation. A great addition to the Force Majeure range.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Mother Rock ‘Holocene’ Swartland 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Fragrant and distinctive, this tangy red is light- to medium-bodied and racy, offering an expressive profile of steeped raspberry and peach fruit flavors meshed with notes of dried flowers, blood orange zest and medicinal herbs. Lingering, zesty finish. Carignan, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Drink now through 2025. 222 cases made, 56 cases imported. — AN”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Celler del Roure ‘Safra’Valencia 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 Points
 “The 2019 Safrà was produced with a base of Mandó, but it’s a different Mandó from Parotet, livelier and more fluid. They say it’s a red with the soul of a white. In any case, both wines change in 2019 with the addition of Arcos. They harvest the grapes early and use some 30% stems for the vinification in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. This 2019 is a blend with 30% Arcos, an almost forgotten grape they are recovering and to which they are paying very much attention. Like many of the other wines, it matured in ancient buried 2,600-liter tinajas in their impressive 17th-century cellar. I’ve always liked the floral and aromatic expression of this wine, which has nice aromas and complexity, developing beautiful notes of sour cherries; and in the palate, it’s more serious than you expect, longer, deeper and very tasty. This is more ethereal than Vermell and less spicy that Parotet. I think it has gained in freshness and complexity with the addition of Arcos, which is part of the blend for the first time in 2019. In fact, this is better than ever! 20,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2020.”
Decanter 93 Points “Mainly Mandó grapes with Arcos (rather than Garnacha Tintorera as in previous blends) – a change that brings greater finesse to this aromatic wine. Bright, mid-weight, juicy, with sour cherries and cranberries and the faintest rasp of tannin. Fermented in stainless steel and matured in buried clay amphorae in the remarkable cellar. Organic. Drinking Window 2021 – 2024. -Sarah Jane Evans MW.”

I Custodi delle Vigne dell’Etna ‘Pistus’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 90 points
 “This is a terrific entry-level red from the talented folks at I Custodi. The 2017 Etna Rosso Pistus shows a dark color and a mid-weight style with dark cherry and blackberry. Those primary aromas are followed by the usual succession of oak spice and volcanic ash. Here, however, the delivery of those aromas is particularly bright and balanced. There’s nothing too complicated in this wine, but it hits all the necessary pleasure points and would surely make a great companion to porcini mushroom risotto. The blend is 80-20 Nerellos Mascalese and Cappuccio.”


Trending Rose

Looking for a style of rose that can stand up to heartier fare like barbequed meat, but is still at home with lighter options like sheep’s milk cheese? Try our Malbec rose from Cahors! Tu Boi Coa is a rarity in that it is the only non-red wine that they make at Domaine Berangeraie, a portfolio otherwise dominated by Malbec based blends. The rose is a perfect example of the fruity and playful side of Malbec, yet with a solid backbone of minerality evocative of the gravely loam and native Causses (Limestone plateaus). Additional flavors include crushed blue and blackberries, strawberry and bing cherry with medium plus acidity and aromatic intensity. 

100% Malbec from Cahors, this is a rosé made for barbeque
Domaine de la Berangeraie ‘Tu Bois Coa’ Rosé, IGP Cotes du Lot 2019 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Importer note
 “Malbec rosé. Sustainable. Ripe cherry flavors with fresh strawberry and raspberry. Medium body with a long finish.”
Winery note: 100% Malbec. Very aromatic (raspberry, wild strawberry, blueberry), with a pronounced pomegranate color. The palate is rich, vinous, and unctuous. Drink as an aperitif, or with BBQ and exotic fruits.
This is the only listing in the USA today!

This is Portland’s favorite non-sparkling pink and Bandol rosé at its crisp-est. This is always the first rosé we sell out of each year. Partly because our supply is limited (we get more cases of Ameztoi Rubentis) but mostly because it’s just so damn delicious. We have just shy of ten cases in stock. For this wine, that’s not a lot. 

Le Galantin Bandol Rose, Provence 2019 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!

Bodegas Avancia:

Value and Old-Vines

When looking for premium offerings in the world of wine Spain is without a doubt the biggest “Bang for your buck”. With grapevines planted from tip to tail and a beautiful assortment of styles, there are also large amounts of old vines still planted throughout the country. As stewards of these old vines, Bodegas Avancia cultivates their vines just as their ancestors did; eschewing any synthetic inputs whatsoever including irrigation as well! 
Based in the Valdeorras, or the Valley of Gold region, their champion grape is the indigenous Godello grape. A rarity in that the varietal is shared by both Portugal and Spain, the grape reaches its apex in the high elevation hills of pure schist and black slate. Sourced from a single vineyard planted in 1939 these are among the oldest vines still utilized for commercial production. The flavors include a plethora of orchard character such as apple and pear blossom against a delightful pear skin, quince, nectarine and summer peach flavor. The judicious use of new French oak brings additional structure against the slatey minerality not unlike well-crafted White Burgundy or Savennieres. 

The Mencia is equally compelling. Primarily the latter varietal there is also being small amounts of Garnacha Tintorera (The same cultivar of Grenache used in Priorat to the south) and indigenous varietals Mouratón (Juan García), Gran Negro, Sousón, Cariñena. As a traditional field blend aged in neutral oak this is a Mencia inspired by iterations of centuries past, while still delivering a clean and refreshing red fruited character. The exceptional terroir is evident throughout, with pervasive aromatics and a refreshing finish evocative of slate. 

Bodegas Avancia Wines in stock now: 

Bodegas Avancia Nobleza Old Vines Godello Valdeorras 2020 750ML ($69.95) $56.50 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
 “Pale gold. Intensely perfumed pear nectar and orange zest qualities on the nose; honeysuckle and mineral notes add lift. Juicy, penetrating and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated citrus and orchard fruit and floral flavors along with suggestions of salty minerals and bitter quinine. Deftly melds depth and vivacity and finishes extremely long and briny, with outstanding clarity and repeating florality.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 92 points “A new top-of-the-range white, the 2020 Nobleza Godello is a barrel selection from the wine from the Finca Aeiroá, which was planted in 1939 on schist and slate soils above the village of O Barco. They selected 900 liters from three 600-liter barrels, one of them new. It’s textured, voluptuous and ripe at 14% alcohol but with balancing acidity. It’s peppery and spicy and a little marked by the oak, with a dry, slightly astringent finish. It should improve with time in bottle. 1,148 bottles were filled in July 2021.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodegas Avancia Mencia Valdeorras 2019 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
 “Dark plums, blackcurrants, grilled herbs, roasted coffee and smoked meat on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with firm, velvety tannins. Smoky, rich and concentrated. Very smooth-textured. Drink or hold.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


Domaine du Vissoux:

The Forefront of Beaujolais

Gamay’s explosion in popularity over the past decade has resulted in an excess of fantastic options from Beaujolais and beyond. However there is probably no producer anywhere in the world, let alone Gamay’s spiritual home, offering better value than Domaine Vissoux. The estate has been one of the region’s visionary producers ever since Pierre Chermette took over for his parents in 1982. During his nearly four decades at the helm, Vissoux has remained at the forefront of Beaujolais’ quality movement.

Neither modern, nor traditional, Vissoux’s wines defy simple categorization. Like many of their neighbors, they focus on sustainable viticulture, but are less sanctimonious than some of their more famous peers. And perhaps because they don’t fit easily into a stylistic category, they continue to fly under the radar in a region where a compelling ethos often times trumps quality. So if it’s deliciousness you’re after, without the side of self-righteousness, these are the Beaujolais wines for you. See for yourself why Vissoux is our best-selling Beaujolais estate each year.

Vissoux wines in stock now: 

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais Les Griottes France 2020 750ML ($21.95) $17 special, 27 bottles in stock now

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Rose Beaujolais 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points 
“Translucent orange-pink. Lively and sharply focused on the nose, presenting ripe red berry and floral scents and a hint of botanical herbs. Smooth and broad on the palate, offering bitter cherry, red currant and candied rose flavors that firm up and become spicier with air. Closes long and silky, with resonating floral and spice notes and strong cling.”
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Gamay. Sustainable. Quartz & clay. Tasting note: Bright watermelon, strawberry and citrus rind with a touch of rosemary. Medium body with a short finish.”
Region: Beaujolais, France.

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

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Aromas of raspberries, plums and orange rind preface the 2018 Brouilly Pierreux, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine with a satiny attack that segues into a fine-boned, elegantly structured mid-palate, with lively acids and a fragrant, expansive finish. This cuvée, which sees six months’ élevage in old foudres, has turned out very well.”

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

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie les Garants Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 27 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points 
“Chermette’s 2018 Fleurie Les Garants delivers a striking bouquet of raspberries, peonies, warm spices and candied peel, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny but incisive palate that remains lively and tensile, despite its abundant endowment of ripe, succulent fruit. Elegant and precise, this is one of the high points of the portfolio.”

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

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie les Garants Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 21 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points 
“The 2019 Fleurie Les Garants has turned out beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of plums, raspberries and pomegranate mingled with hints of rose petals and subtle spices. Medium to full-bodied, pure and precise, it’s seamless and delicate, with sneaky concentration, striking balance and a long, penetrating finish.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Saturated garnet. Mineral- and spice-accented red and blue fruit aromas pick up a sexy floral quality with air. Concentrated yet lively in style, offering juicy raspberry, bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors that show fine clarity and back-end cut. The floral note repeats emphatically on the gently tannic finish, which lingers with strong persistence.”

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Saint Amour Les Champs-Grilles Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92+ points
 “The 2018 Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés is a serious wine, “not just for Valentine’s Day,” as Jean-Étienne Chermette observes. Revealing attractive notes of raspberries, rose petals and cherries, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and spicy, with a muscular chassis of fine, powdery tannins. As usual, it’s a cuvée that stands to gain from a couple of years in the cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Mad for Mufatto: 

Top Tier Malbec from Gualtallary
You’ve had Argentine Malbec before, but have you had a single-vineyard expression from the “Grand Cru” of the country? The Gualtallary region is famous for her combination of gravel, chalk and layers of prehistoric sand all knit together by exceptionally high elevation (5100 feet above sea level). These factors converge to create wines of incredible depth and power, with a steely backbone of acidity thanks to excruciatingly cold nights. These marginal conditions make for tiny yields, with only 150 cases being made in the entire vintage by Mufatto.

Farming organically and using 100% whole clusters, the Mufatto family has made a powerful yet restrained work of art. With a whole spectrum of purple and black fruits, spice, botanicals with an ever present mineral dust component; there’s an entire production going on from the first pour. Incredibly exuberant at this point in the bottle, there’s easily a decade’s worth of life ahead of it before peaking.  

In stock now: 

Michelini i Mufatto ‘La Cautiva’ Malbec Gualtallary 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, only 5 bottles available!
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The nose of the 2017 La Cautiva, a pure Gualtallary, has violets, flowers, herbs and spices and opens up as the wine sits in the glass, quite complex and layered. There are some more tannins than in 2016, possibly amplified by the chalky texture provided by the limestone-rich soils, incredibly juicy, with a big structure. Someone mentioned Cornas when we were tasting this wine… I later visited the zone and was amazed by the chalky soils where they are planning to build their winery and house. I think they have discovered a very special place here where they have planted more vines, next to the plot from where these grapes were sourced. I retasted the wine after seeing the soils, and my view was completely different. 
Michael Schachner Wine Enthsiast “Editor’s Choice 96 points “Top of the mark, top of the heap is where this Malbec from Gualtallary in Tupungato ranks. Pure blackberry, cassis and plum aromas are impeccably clean and welcoming, while this feels squeaky fresh on the palate. Blackberry and dark chocolate flavors set up a minerally finish that plays out with fruity subtleties and stony infusions. Drink through 2026.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Collectors Corner: 

Best in Brunello: 

Biondi Santi 

In the beginning there was Biondi Santi….  

Yes, Biondi Santi created the genesis of modern Brunello: the combination of bottling 100% Sangiovese wine from Montalcino, propagating the Sangiovese Grosso clone, and finally (in 1966) helping draft the regulations for the Brunello DOC. The foundational work did not stop there however, with Biondi Santi undertaking some of the first Massale or heritage selections on their estate to identify the best clones for winemaking. These results paid off in spades, with Biondi Santi’s genetic material being some of the most sought after clones of Sangiovese in the world. We’re excited to offer several exciting selections in stock now, including multiple vintages of their riserva and an extremely rare winery cellared release.

Biondi Santi makes Brunello that all other estates are judged against.  Their estate, Il Greppo, occupies some of the most hallowed ground in the Brunello appellation, in the heart of Montalcino.  Their standards are high (they rarely release riservas) and their style defines classic. The wines are powerful, but not overwrought, elegant but emphatic. With the oldest vines on their estate now approaching 90 years old, there’s a level of depth and power in Biondi Santi that’s unprecedented anywhere else in Montalcino. We’ve just secured our allocation of their entry level; the Rosso Di Montalcino made from their younger plantings and declassified barrels from their other bottlings.

Biondi Santi in stock now: 

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Elegant, graceful and fine, the Biondi-Santi 2018 Rosso di Montalcino offers a delicate approach to the senses and it spreads over the palate with polished and silky intensity. The acidity is elevated in this vintage. A handful of historic producers in Montalcino are bringing the Rosso category up to the next level, and the venerable house of Biondi-Santi is one of them. This was a somewhat unusual vintage with prolonged cool spells alternating with moments of intense heat. However, this wine shows even ripening and is quite vibrant and tangy in terms of its acidity. In spectacular Sangiovese style, the wine ends with lingering tones of wild cherry, sweet earth, potting soil and perfumed violet.”

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Kerin O’Keefe- Wine Enthusiast 96 points
 “Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better in 2020.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($579.95) $459 special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94+ points 
“Dark red. Musky nuances give way to brighter red fruit, licorice and herbal aromas. Rich and dense, with flavors of red cherry and minerals lifted by hints of orange peel and bergamot, not to mention noteworthy but harmonious acidity. Finishes long with youthfully chewy tannins and lingering hints of violet. This strikes me as a slightly readier to drink version of Brunello Riserva from Biondi-Santi, but as always, it improves greatly with aeration so decant at least six hours ahead for maximum enjoyment.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “A warm summer yielded this rich and opulent 2011 Riserva. Only fruit from the estate’s oldest vines (some up to 80 years of age) makes it into this bottling, and that old-vine concentration shows in the wine’s dense flavors: notes of black cherry and umeboshi plum layered with iodine, basil and smoke. The tightly packed flavors need time to unfold, so it’s best to decant this several hours before serving.”

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 1983 750ML ($1,499.95) $1,199 special
***Winery Cellared Release***
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
 “[Reviewed July 2021] This precious bottle is part of Biondi-Santi’s late-release program for collectors (I tasted bottle number 10,723). The 1983 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is showing beautifully on its aging timeline, although this bottle is slightly more evolved since I last tasted this vintage in 2019 before the pandemic. With slow and measured determination, the bouquet embraces dried fig, cured bresaola, burnt caramel, wet campfire, dried oregano and a familiar aroma that reminds me of the Florence leather market. However, there is a lot of life and vertical lift in this Riserva, thanks in great part to the beautiful freshness that keeps the tannins alive and adds a pop of pretty acidity to the close. The wine shows its age with pride and grace, and the final results are quite spectacular. In fact, I’m opening the drinking window up by an additional five years thanks to the latitude and depth shown here.”