Friday Night Newsletter 9-16-22

In This Newsletter:

New Arrival from Sequitur

New Weekend – New Arrivals

Sassetti Pertimali’s Traditional Brunello


New Arrival from Sequitur

Mike Etzel, the founder and winemaker of Sequitur, is a living legend in the Willamette Valley. He co-founded Beaux Frères in the late 1980s and was the winemaker there until recently passing the duties to his son. Never one to rest on his laurels, though, he began planting a vineyard adjacent to Beaux Frères in 2010—a project that became what we know as Sequitur.

It’s helpful to think of Sequitur as a distillation of everything Mike Etzel learned while starting and producing Beaux Frères over the decades. The Sequitur vineyard sits right next to the Beaux Frères “Upper Terrace” but is planted to a wider array of clones at tighter spacing. It’s been farmed biodynamically since the beginning and is sheltered with Douglas Fir—in short, it’s the fully realized vision of a man who’s helped define Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

The winemaking style is exactly what you’d expect—these are wines that are made by the same hand that delivered so many high scores to Beaux Frères. Big, powerful and bold, these nevertheless have energy and grace that we think comes from the extra-attentive farming and unique clonal selection in the vineyard. In short order, Sequitur has established itself as one of the very best producers in the Willamette Valley and deserves your attention as such.

Featured New Arrival:

Mike Etzel suggests a light chill on this bottle, as you would with a Beaujolais
Sequitur Amphora Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Limpid ruby-red. Expressive scents of ripe red berries, candied rose and Asian spices, along with a mineral element that emerges with aeration. Silky, sweet and focused on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors complemented by a hint of spicecake. In a seamless, graceful style, showing impressive clarity and smooth, rounded tannins on the strikingly long, floral-tinged finish. Fermented and aged in clay amphoras for 10 months.”

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Highlights In Stock Now:

Sequitur Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2019 750ml $66 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2019 Sequitur Chardonnay is deeply scented of golden orchard fruits with tones of beeswax, almonds and chamomile. The energetic palate is minerally and fresh, with expansive, honeyed layers opening up over the extended finish. Yum!”

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Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ml $79 special, 12 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points
“Limpid ruby-red. Smoky, mineral-accented aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola and incense carry a strong spicecake overtone. Stains the palate with sappy red berry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that are lifted and given definition and tension by juicy acidity. At once rich and nervy, with no excess fat but showing excellent depth and intensity of flavor. Finishes with sexy notes of candied violet and smoky Indian spices and superb, gently tannic persistence. This wine’s Beaux Freres bloodline is very clear to see.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Broad and spicy, open-textured and generous, with ripe plum and currant flavors, shaded by pepper, sage and coffee notes as the finish sails past fine-grained tannins. Completely harmonious and made to age. Drink now through 2024.”

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Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ml $79 special, 23 bottles available
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points
“Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $88

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New Weekend – New Arrivals


Klinker Brick Winery Albarino, Lodi 2019 750ml $14 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 88 points
“Dry, bracing and light, this nervy wine is powered by crisp fruit acidity and subtle flavors of peach skin and lemon. -Jim Gordon”

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Peter Michael ‘L’Apres-Midi’ Sauvignon Blanc, Knights Valley 2018 750ml $59 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc L’Après-Midi captures all the personality of the year in its wonderfully lifted, airy feel. Sage, orchard fruit, lime, graphite, mint and white pepper all grace this exquisite wine. L’Après-Midi is so elegant and so precise. Deceptive in its mid-weight personality, the 2018 offers terrific persistence and a long, mineral-laced finish. Aeration brings out the wine’s textures so well. This is a fabulous edition of L’Après-Midi.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Balances elegance and power. A smoky thread weaves in and out of succulent peach, marmalade, lemon sherbet and candied ginger flavors, set on a supple and fleshy texture. The acidity is pure and refreshing, keeping all the details in focus on the long finish. Drink now. 2,939 cases made.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc l’Apres Midi is composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc (one-third is Musque Clone) and 10% Semillon. It springs from the glass with lovely peach juice, lime cordial, gooseberries and fresh grapefruit notes with hints of honeycomb, bouquet garni, musk perfume and baker’s yeast. Medium-bodied, the palate has great intensity with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and a zippy line of freshness, finishing long and zesty. 2,939 cases were made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.97

Peter Michael ‘L’Apres-Midi’ Sauvignon Blanc, Knights Valley 2019 750ml $59 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“One of the finest expressions of this variety I was able to taste for this report, the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc L’Apres-Midi has a rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied style as well as stunning notes of stone fruits, toasted nuts, and sappy green herbs. This isn’t your simple, quaffable Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s textured, has plenty of mid-palate depth, and stunning length.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc L’Après-Midi is a powerful, savory wine that really needs to be served at the dinner table. Dried pear, sage, mint, dried flowers all grace the 2019. L’Après-Midi emerges from six blocks in Les Pavots. I would be very tempted to cellar the 2019, as it is clearly a special wine.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc l’Apres Midi is composed of 90% Sauvignon Blanc (one-third is Musque Clone) and 10% Semillon, grown alongside Les Pavots in Knights Valley. Due to issues with fruit set, the crop was naturally a little smaller this year. Exuberant scents of passion fruit, gooseberries and lime cordial come bounding out of the glass with suggestions of honeysuckle, wild thyme and wet slate. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and plenty of freshness, finishing long and savory. 2,320 cases were made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $76

Ridge Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2019 750ml $49 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2019 Chardonnay Estate is super-elegant and precise. Scents of tangerine oil, mint, apricot and chamomile all grace this lithe, wonderfully expressive Chardonnay. Bright acids and a very slight touch of reduction frame the close. The Estate is made for near and medium-term drinking. I would prefer to open it well in advance though.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $58

Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2016 750ml $79 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2016 Chardonnay Reserve is the stuff dreams are made of. Towering and statuesque in its pedigree, the Reserve shows why the Santa Cruz Mountains is such a special place. The 2016 is deep, powerful and intense, and yet it remains remarkably finessed as well. Tangerine oil, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all develop with a few hours of aeration. The Reserve is a blend of 11 barrels (all neutral oak) that spends its second winter on its lees in tank, an approach that is common in Burgundy, but that is not often seen in California. All I can say is: Wow!”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2016 Chardonnay Reserve improved over several days and is just beginning to hint at more to come with bottle age. The nose offers warm citrus and floral perfume with a deep core of orchard fruits. The palate is silky and expansive, with a streak of mineral-like undertones, a flush of juicy acidity and long, layered finish. It deserves more time in bottle. 231 cases were made.”

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Failla Haynes Vineyard Chardonnay, Coombsville 2019 750ml $49 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2019 Chardonnay Haynes Vineyard shows why this Coombsville site is so magical. Ample and textured, the Haynes possesses remarkable depth in every dimension. Lemon confit, apricot, almond, sage and dried flowers open effortlessly, revealing a Chardonnay of pedigree and class. Don’t miss it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $60

Raen Royal St. Robert Cuvee Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2016 750ml $69 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert has slowly unfolding scents of dried red cherries, amaro, wet leaves, tobacco and graphite. The medium-bodied palate features loads of finely grained tannins and fresh acidity to support its concentrated fruits, and it boasts a very long finish with layer after layer of spicy accents.”
James Suckling 95 points “Strawberries, crushed stones, cedar and hints of meat. Dried flowers, too. Medium-bodied with chalk and spice. Dried citrus. Delicious and wonderful to drink now.”

Raen Royal St. Robert Cuvee Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2017 750ml $69 special, 18 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“Aromas of rose petals, rose stems, orange peel, thistle leaf, tea and dried strawberry. It’s medium-to full-bodied with a creamy texture. Fresh mushrooms and moss. Complex. Gorgeous now.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2017 Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert is absolutely gorgeous. A wild array of floral and savory notes make a strong opening statement. Expressive and multi-faceted, the Royal St. Robert is positively dazzling from the very first taste. The interplay of fruit, whole cluster savoriness and structure results in a captivating Pinot that has more than enough pedigree to reward a number of years of cellaring. This is a brilliant showing. Wow!”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert was made with 100% whole cluster. Pale to medium ruby-purple, the nose offers boysenberry, blackberries, crushed red cherries, smoky charcuterie notes and spicy cranberry sauce scents plus touches of forest floor and moss coming through with time in the glass. It’s light to medium-bodied with concentrated, spicy fruits with well-woven tannins and juicy acidity to refresh the finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $84.99

Wine Spectator #1 Wine of the Year 2021!
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2018 375ml $219 special, 17 half-bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak. With an essence of Cabernet-like character in its darker currants, green tobacco, cedar, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors, this gorgeous wine is full-bodied and has bright yet integrated acidity, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. It’s just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine. It’s going to take a decade to hit maturity but will evolve for 40-50 years in cold cellars. It is as good as it gets in classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon!”
James Suckling 100 points “This is incredible on the nose, offering hot stones, blackcurrants, iodine and wet earth. Full-bodied with a tight center palate, then it opens with a tannin structure that is weightless and spreads across the palate. Totally integrated on the palate. This is a magic-carpet wine. Really incredible. One of the reference points for the vintage. Drinkable now and please try a bottle, but it’s one for the cellar.”
Wine Advocate 99+ points “Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Dominus slowly emerges from the glass with profound notes of blackcurrant cordial, ripe black plums, boysenberries and Black Forest cake with hints of violets, star anise, cracked black pepper, raspberry leaves and pencil lead, plus a touch of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impactful black fruit layers, creating a beguiling sense of richness that is beautifully countered by invigorating freshness and great poise, framed by super ripe, plush tannins and beautiful tension, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note and, finally, lots of mineral sparks. For all that it is at the moment, one cannot help but feel that this 2018 is holding something back. Give it a good five years in bottle, at least, and then get set for what I suspect will be a mind-blowing transformation over the next 30 years+.-LPB”

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Pahlmeyer Jayson Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $59 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“This has a lovely feel, with creamy plum sauce and blackberry compote notes gliding through, gently inlaid with alder, anise and sassafras hints. A subtle loamy edge carries the finish, letting the fruit linger nicely. Drink now through 2028. 4,155 cases made.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 91 points “Out of the gate, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Jayson Cabernet Sauvignon delivers bold blackcurrant cordial and blackberry pie scents with hints of bay leaves, tilled soil, unsmoked cigars and cedar chest with a waft of pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has crunchy black fruit and loads of minty/herbal sparks, framed by grainy tannins and loads of freshness, finishing long and earthy. 4,155 cases were made.”


Weingut Nigl Brut de Brut Rose, Niederosterreich 2016 750ml $29 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 88 points
“Slight hints of yeasty strawberry appear on the nose. The frothy palate adds lemony freshness to these flavors and shows some roundness on the palate. The finish is fresh, bubbly and dry. -Anne Krebiehl MW”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $36

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Smaragd Gruner Veltliner, Wachau 2016 750ml $66 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“Bottled with 13% alcohol at the end of July 2019 but filtered in early 2017, the 2016 Im Weingebirge Grüner Veltliner Smaragd offers a fascinatingly clear, fresh and coolish apricot aroma intermixed with morel/mushroom aromas and flinty notes of crushed stones. Full-bodied, round and fleshy on the palate, this is a generous and mouth-filling wine with rather delicate acidity and a slightly bitter, well-structured finish with lingering salinity and mineral freshness. Very promising. Tasted from lot 1420619 at the Nikolaihof in September 2019.”

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Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Gut’s Riesling, Wachau 2013 750ml $21.90 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise:
“23 g/l of residual sugar, as it happened, and every wine here is as-it-happened. So Nikki declined to futz with it. The result tastes like something Florian Weingart would have made in the Wachau, all the mirabelle and herbs but with a different twangy terroir here. I don’t know what “use” you’ll make of it; I only know I like it.”

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Sassetti Pertimali’s Traditional Brunello

Simply put, Brunello di Montalicino would not be the wine that we know and love today without the Sassetti family. Livio Sassetti is one of the founding fathers of Brunello and the wines coming off of his “Pertimali” estate define the genre. This is a Grand Cru site in Montalcino and the wines are thrilling whenever you get a chance to taste them. 

These are wines that define what “traditional” means within the context of Brunello—robust personalities with delicate aromatics, long aging in botti and the capacity to age for a long time in a cool cellar. The 2014 is the vintage to drink early—the year yielded wines that have a bit less power but an approachable personality. The 2015, on the other hand, is a wine that’s surprisingly soft for how much depth there is, but is really something to hang onto for a while. We’d stock up on both.

In Stock Now:

Sassetti Livio Pertimali ‘Mulino’, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ml $59 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Eric Guido-Vinous 93 points
“This is the first vintage of the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Mulino from Pertimali, a lower-elevation cru that’s noted for the high level of marine fossils found in its soils. Here I find a classic display of dried roses, black cherry, dusty earth and freshly-tanned leather. It envelopes the palate in fleshy textures offset by a mix of tart wild berries, zesty acids and savory spice, as building tension puckers the cheeks, seeding them with fine-grained tannins. This comes across as structured yet remarkably balanced, and it’s a beautiful expression of the vintage. Lose your bottles in the cellar for two to three years, and then reap the rewards.”
James Suckling 94 points “Dried leaves, chocolate and licorice on the nose, followed by black olives. It’s full-bodied with firm, focused tannins and a long, savory finish. Dark chocolate and crushed walnuts. Tar and hints of asphalt. Drink from 2023.”

Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2014 750ml $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2014 750ml $279 special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points
“Some earthy and savory aromas dominate the dried red cherries initially, then dried wild herbs and quite intense notes of spicy dried red cherries emerge. The palate has a very taut, structured feel with handsomely proportioned tannins carrying gently leathery dried red cherries. Long finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ml $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ml $399 special (that’s only $66.50/bottle!)
Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 1.5L $159 special, 14 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“There’s something ethereal in the nose with flowers, cherries, strawberries and shitake mushrooms. Full body. This grows on the palate with super tannin and fruit structure. So much berry flavor and round, caressing tannins that fill your mouth. Tight at the end. This needs four to five years to show its true greatness. Try after 2023.”

Sassetti Livio Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ml $119 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Firm and dense, this red sports cherry, leather, cigar box and sweet spice flavors. A juiciness midpalate adds depth. Finishes with tannins and a combination of earth, mineral and tobacco notes. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
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Sun Goddess Sauvignon Blanc Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2019 750ml Was $11.90, Now $9.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 90 points
“A white with dried-lemon and mineral character, as well as some sliced green apple. It’s medium-bodied. Crisp and bright at the finish. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $21

Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2019 750ml Was $14, Now $11.90 special, 31 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 90 points
“A fun, tasty rosé made with pinot grigio that shows light strawberry and lemon-rind aromas with hints of white pepper. It’s medium-bodied with pretty fruit and a delicious finish. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $20

Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2019 750ml $19.90 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“…I also tasted the 2019 Pétalos, a very balanced vintage that shows moderate alcohol and great balance. It is very approachable right now, open aromatically, and despite what the parameters might read, the wine comes through as fresher than the 2020. This is a wine produced with around 80% purchased grapes and 20% grapes from their own vineyards. There are notes of berries but also plenty of herbs; it’s aromatic and complex, with very fine tannins. It’s a classical continental vintage from Bierzo…”

“If you’ve never heard of a winery called Gunther Steinmetz, we suggest you look it up… Senior Editor Stuart Pigott first met Stefan Steinmetz, 42, of the Günther Steinmetz estate in Brauneberg/Mosel just over a decade ago and his wines were already very good then with a distinctive style. But he said that nothing prepared him for the recent tastings of the Steinmetz 2019s. He was blown away by the quality.” –Stuart Pigott, writing for James Suckling

Weingut Günther Steinmetz Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule, Mosel 2019 750ml $49 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 98 points
“Totally seductive nose with all manner of exotic fruits but primarily pineapple and papaya. Mind-blowing concentration and mineral brilliance on the palate. Just keeps pumping the exotic fruit out at the very long, super fresh finish. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points “The 2019er Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Auslese GK was made from slightly botrytized fruit harvested at 116° Oechsle, and was fermented down to fully noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a stunning nose of ginger, elderflower, melon, minerals, and smoky smoke. The wine proves already remarkably open on the palate, where passion fruit zest mingles with minerals and apricot-infused cream. It leaves a great feel of tension and depth in the long and focused finish. The aftertaste is all about raciness and apricot cream. This gorgeous noble-sweet wine proves already quite enjoyable now, but it will only reveal its true colors in a decade, once the nuances will have a chance to emerge. 2029-2059.”

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De Venoge is an old-school Champagne House that’s relatively unknown in the United States, a fact that means even their finest and rarest wines continue to be undervalued relative to their peers. 
Champagne de Venoge Louis XV Brut Millésimé, Champagne 2008 750ml $249 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”

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Be well & drink well.