Vinopolis Newsletter – Monday 07/31/2023

 In This Newsletter:

Special Arrival
New Arrivals
Arnot Roberts, Bibi Graetz, San Polino, Vina Ardanza, and more!Close Out Sales
New discounts on top rieslings, burgundies, and sicilian wines
One Week Sale

Magnum MadnessCollector’s Corner
Gone West: European Winemakeres in America

Special Arrival
 BORDEAUX BONANZA! (and sauternes and barsac)
 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere St Emilion 2019 750ml $89 special, 6 bottles available
Vinous 97 Points “The 2019 Canon La Gaffelière is utterly fabulous. All the elements come together in a Saint-Émilion that dazzles with its completeness and total sense of balance. Raspberry jam, blood orange, spice, lavender and dried flowers infuse the 2019 with captivating nuance. La Gaffelière is a rich, potent wine that exudes class and pedigree right out of the gate. In a word: superb.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points “The 2019 Château Canon-La-Gaffelière is another brilliantly perfumed wine in the vintage that shines for its complexity, finesse, and nuances. Giving up awesome notes of red and black currants, tobacco, exotic flowers, cedarwood, and loamy earth, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, beautifully polished, integrated tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. This is serious juice that warrants at least 4-5 years of bottle age and will evolve for 30 to 40 years.”
Chateau Capbern Saint-Estephe 2018 750ml $36 special, 36+ bottles available
Chateau Capbern Saint-Estephe 2018 Case of 12 750ml bottles available $389, 3 cases available
Chateau Capbern Saint-Estephe 2018 Case of 6 750ml bottles available $199, 6 cases available
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points “The 2018 Château Capbern checks in as a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that includes 37% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 60% new barrels. It has a deep, dark, earthy, classic Saint-Estèphe bouquet that gives up lots of cassis and almost blue fruits as well as ample chocolate, damp earth, and leafy herb-like aromas and flavors. With a full-bodied, rich, opulent mouthfeel, loads of sumptuous dark fruits, sweet tannins, and a great finish, this brilliant 2018 brings lots of fruit and opulence, yet stays weightless and balanced, with solid underlying structure. A hidden gem in the vintage, this is every bit as good as the 2016, and it’s going to shine for two decades or more.”
Chateau Coutet Barsac 2016 750ml $51.90 special, 19 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points “One of the top sweet wines in this report is the 2016 Château Coutet, which has the vintage’s plush, opulent style as well as thrilling purity and good acids. Pineapple, white flowers, sugared peach, and honeyed notes all emerge from this full-bodied, layered, balanced Barsac that’s already impossible to resist yet will evolve gracefully 2+ decades.”
Chateau Coutet Barsac 2019 750ml $49 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 Points “The pale lemon-gold colored 2019 Coutet is a thrill ride from the get-go, exploding from the glass with fantastically intense scents of tangerine peel, lime blossoms and lemon marmalade over a core of pineapple upside-down cake, candied ginger, ripe apricots and clover honey plus suggestions of chanterelles and musk perfume. The palate is equally electric and exhilarating, prancing around the palate with a whole myriad of candied citrus, stone fruit and citrus flavors, charged by a racy backbone of acidity, finishing beautifully textured and with an epically long firework display of minerals. Apart from all that, it is pretty darn delicious.”
Carmes C Des Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan 2019 750ml $39 special, 30 bottles available
Decanter 96 Points “Beautiful fragrance to the nose, perfumed and delicate yet so expressive, nothing out of balance with cherries and violets bursting out of the glass. Gorgeous smooth mouthfeel with some milk chocolate dusting on the fruit, tannins are delicate and softly mouth filling with a lovely salinity to the palate – creamy and unctuous but at the same time there’s lots of acidity. This has a verticality to it, layered but with an aerial quality too, the flavours just glide across the palate with lift on the finish – so satisfying and drinkable. Just a glorious, shining, bright, velvety, succulent glass of wine. Pure elegance.”
Chateau Gloria St Julien 2019 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 96 Points “The 2019 Gloria has a compelling nose: black fruit, crushed rocks, tobacco and very subtle marine scents that are all beautifully combined. Perhaps the most precise and delineated nose among an impressive array of Saint-Julien’s this year. The palate is medium-bodied with a lively opening. A touch of soy infuses the black fruit; fine-boned with wonderful sapidity on the finish. Extraordinary length. Serious.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points “Showing beautifully, with the polished, pure, elegant style of the vintage, the 2019 Château Gloria sports a deeper ruby/purple color as well as great aromatics of cassis and assorted blue fruits to go with smoked tobacco, cedar pencil, damp earth, and floral notes. I love its purity, and it’s just a quintessential, medium to full-bodied, layered Saint-Julien that can be drunk today or cellared for a solid two decades. It should be a no-brainer purchase for the wine lovers out there.”
Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2009 375ml $39 special, 4 bottles available
Vinous 97 Points “The 2009 Guiraud is one of the gems of Sauternes this vintage, one of the finest offerings in recent years. It has a wonderful, beautifully delineated bouquet with expressive scents of wild honey, orange pith, Seville orange marmalade and just a hint of pineapple. The palate is beautifully defined with pure botrytised fruit, supremely well balanced with a vivacious, ginger and white pepper tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. Outstanding. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.”
Chateau Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2018 750ml $66 special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “Pretty blackberries, blueberries and violets with some crushed-raspberry aromas follow through to a full body with wonderfully crafted and pure tannins that intertwine wonderfully with the blue fruit and blackberries. Long and endless. A triumph here. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2026.”
Chateau Laforge St Emilion 2009 750ml $75 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “From proprietor Jonathan Maltus, this blend of three terroirs, two on sand and one on gravel, is a blend of 92% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. About 2,000 cases are produced, and the prodigious 2009 is the finest vintage to date. Inky blue/purple, with notes of licorice, camphor, black truffle, blackberry and blueberry, this full-bodied wine has massive concentration yet at the same time displays elegance and harmony. The equilibrium and 60+-second length make for a huge, massive, but incredibly well-balanced wine, like a shadow of the proprietor himself. Drink it over the next 15 or more years.”
La Gaffeliere Saint Emilion 2018 750ml $99 special, 7 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 99 Points “The 2018 La Gaffelière is hands down one of the wines of the vintage. Towering in its stature and vertical lift, the 2018 dazzles right out of the gate. Inky dark fruit, mocha, spice, licorice and leather all run through this deep, wonderfully pliant Saint-Émilion. The 2018 is rich, deep and beautifully resonant, with tremendous depth and tons of stature that builds, all framed by beams of supporting minerality that confer vibrancy. La Gaffelière is distinctive, alluring and arresting right out of the gate. It is another magnificent showing from this reborn estate. The blend is 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc. Magnifique!”
Larcis Ducasse Saint Emilion 2016 750ml $119 special, 7 bottles available
James Suckling 99 Points- #7 James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of 2019- “The aromas here are so spellbinding with shitake mushrooms, wet earth and moss, as well as tree bark and, finally, dark fruit. The palate is incredible as it builds and grows with full body, but always tight and reserved. It shows so much depth and complexity. Please try not to touch this until 2025”
Chateau Leoville Barton St Julien 2019 750ml $119 special, 12 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points – #7 TOP 100 – “The flagship 2019 Château Léoville Barton is brilliant, showing both the style of the estate as well as the vintage beautifully. It’s never the biggest or richest wine, yet it has a classic, vibrant, structured style that ages beautifully. Pure cassis, black currants, scorched earth, new leather, and graphite are just some of its nuances, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a lively spine of acidity, beautiful overall balance, and a great finish. This textbook Léoville Barton demands a decade of bottle age and will keep for 30-40 years.”
Chateau Leoville Poyferre St Julien 2014 750ml $99 special, 36+ bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2014 Léoville Poyferré is gorgeous. Dark, sumptuous and ample on the palate, it possesses remarkable depth. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, scorched earth, licorice and menthol all flesh out as this radiant, deeply expressive wine shows off its considerable pedigree. The 2014 is going to need time to fully come together, but it is super-impressive.”
Chateau Le Crock Saint Estephe 2016 750ml $41.90 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points”Cellar Sellection. Under the same management as Château Léoville-Poyferré in Saint-Julien, this estate belongs to the Cuvelier family. With its structured Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is made to age. Big tannins and concentrated fruits are full and dense.”
Decanter 94 Points “Clearly standing out in this line-up, an impressive, well-crafted wine with great tannic hold; a wine you would be thrilled to own. Cassis, bilberry, blackberry, hawthorn, black chocolate, slate. Great texture and balance, and full of St-Estèphe signature. Great stuff.”

Chateau Malescot St Exupery Margaux 2019 750ml $79 special, 11 bottles available
Vinous 96 Points “The 2019 Malescot Saint Exupéry has a well-defined bouquet, although it does not quite possess the intensity that it showed from barrel. Touches of licorice and allspice gently unfold with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, and lightly spiced with white pepper and clove toward the detailed, persistent finish. This is a serious Margaux that deserves time in bottle.”

Chateau De Myrat Sauternes 2007 750ml $49 special, 1 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “Tasted at the de Myrat vertical at the property. The 2007 Château de Myrat is the vintage were this historic property finally “got back into the ring” after it recommenced production in 1990. It has an attractive dried honey, apricot blossom and quince scented bouquet that still feels vigorous and with more to give for those who prefer their Sauternes with age. The palate is medium-bodied with a viscous opening, a fine line of acidity, harmonious and refined with a finish that just seems to “flow” with lovely citrus fruit, honey, mandarin and spice notes. This comes recommended—an excellent wine from Xavier de Pontac. Tasted April 2016.”
Pichon Baron Pauillac 2019 750ml $199 special, 8 bottles available
Inside Bordeaux 98 Points “Highest proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon on record, a reflection of how exceptionally well this grape did in 2019. The aromatics are all-enveloping, powerful and nuanced and totally delicious, drawing you in and refusing to let go. Slate, pencil lead, cassis, damson, layer upon layer of brilliance, if not quite the over-aweing concentration and enveloping character of the 2016. 80% new oak.”
Wine Advocate 97-100 Points “Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with layer upon layer of black fruit, mineral and exotic spices, framed by beautifully ripe, finely-grained tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with a lingering soft-spoken whisper of floral and earth notions. This is an absolutely beguiling expression that is classic Pauillac, and yet it is Pauillac like no other.”

Pichon Lalande Pauillac 2019 750ml $249 special, 5 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “Deep, full-bodied, and pure perfection on the palate, it has this incredible marriage of Latour-like stature and regalness buffered by wonderful, sexy, seamless fruit, which no doubt comes from the higher Merlot content and makes Comtesse de Lalande so singular and unique. It builds slowly with time in the glass and has remarkable purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannins, perfect balance, and a finish that just begs you to pour another glass. It has a seductive, seamless profile that offers pleasure even today (although it needs lots of air to show at its best) yet needs 7-8 years of bottle age to hit the early stages of its prime drink window and will evolve for another 40-50 years if stored properly.”

Chateau Rieussec Sauternes 2003 375ml $49 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 Points “Big, rich and juicy. Voluptuous, with aromas of caramel, apple and light tropical fruit. Full-bodied, round and very sweet, with loads of ripe fruit and a long butterscotch and piecrust aftertaste. Viscous texture. Hard not to drink it now. A wonderful sticky. Best after 2010. 6,250 cases made.”
 New Arrivals
United States

  In 2021 Arnot-Roberts decided to make a wine inspired by old-school California Cabernet-based blends.They were fortunate to secure old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the historic Massa Vineyard, perched 1300′ above the Carmel Valley, the first planting in the AVA. They were also honored to work with Cabernet from the historic Bedrock vineyard, owned and farmed by Morgan Twain-Peterson in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. Cabernet also came from the Gordenker Vineyard, growing in the volcanic red clay loam of Sonoma Valley’s Moon Mountain District. The Cabernet Franc comes from Persia Vineyard, located in the volcanic cobble of the Chalk Hill AVA.
Arnot-Roberts California Red 2021 750ml $59 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2021 Red Wine California is a new Bordeaux-based red wine that Duncan Arnot and Nathan Roberts made initially to take the place of the 2020 Cabernets that would have been released around this time but were compromised by smoke. The Red Wine was initially intended to be a fun project, but Arnot and Roberts may have stumbled into what is really a pretty serious red with real potential. The 2021 is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot. A powerful, old-school wine, the 2021 is going to need a few years to shed some tannin. I loved it.”
Arnot-Roberts Rose California 2022 750ml $28 special, 12 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “75% Touriga Nacional, 9% Tinta Cao, 9% Trincadeira, 7% Grenache
We began making Rosé from Touriga Nacional in 2010. We were compelled by the grape’s deep color, brilliant acidity and aromatic complexity even at low sugar content. Touriga is a late-ripening Portuguese variety that needs some heat to mature, and we have sought out vineyards suited to this hearty variety.”

 Delamotte Blanc De Blancs 2014 750ml $79 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 Points “Delamotte’s just-released 2014 Blanc de Blancs has turned out very well indeed, opening in the glass with scents of citrus zest, crisp orchard fruit, fresh bread and wet stones. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and incisive, with excellent depth at the core, racy acids and a chalky finish, this isn’t as muscular as the 2008 or 2012, but it has real cut and persistence and should age very gracefully indeed.”
 V. Girardin Quintessence Corton Charlemagne 2017 $219 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ Points “The 2017 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Quintessence de Corton-Charlemagne was one of the most introverted wines in the range when I revisited it from bottle, unwinding to reveal scents of pear, white flowers, confit citrus and a delicate top note of petrol. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and satiny, with a deep and intensely concentrated core, but it’s still very reserved after its recent bottling. Some patience will be in order here, though at maturity, I’m sure my score will look conservative.”\
Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 2019 750ml $199 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98-100 Points “Might this be the next vintage of La Chapelle to crack triple digits? Knockout aromas of crushed stone, violets, blueberries, and cassis mark the nose of the 2019 Hermitage La Chapelle, while the full-bodied palate is undeniably more intense and powerful than the more elegant 2018. Rich and velvety, it coats the mouth with dark fruit and creamy-textured espresso, yet retains remarkable length and licorice-derived peppery freshness on the finish. Wow!”
 Altesino Brunello Di Montalcino 2012 750ml $69 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points “Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours.”
Altesino Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 750ml $49 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 Points “Sanguine, iron and loam aromas lead off, followed by cherry, balsamic and herb flavors. Rich and chewy in texture, with sweet fruit and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2023.” 

Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT 2018 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Decanter 100 Points “Finely textured, with a nuanced perfume that fills the glass and takes you to the intense underbrush of Tuscany. Succulent and yet savoury, this has a lilting freshness that is overlaid with ripe berry fruits, sage and white pepper spice, and clear minerality in terms of its scraping texture that makes your mouth water on the finish. Feels light and sculpted and yet has an intensity that skewers you to the spot. This is a great wine, with scope and imagination that doesn’t want to let you go. Genuinely stands out among the wines of this tasting, and these are a fine array of wines. As with Colore, Bibi Graetz selects only old vines, the youngest 50 years old from five different vineyard sites across Tuscany, all farmed organically. Fermentations in open 225l barrels with natural yeasts and manual punch downs.”
Castiglion Del Bosco Brunello Montalcino 2015 750ml $69.95 special, 4 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “Wonderful aromas of flowers, plums, terracotta and white pepper. Intense, yet ever so subtle. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and intense finish. Shows excellent length. Drink after 2021.”

Piaggia Carmignano Riserva 2019 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 96 Points “It’s hard to put the glass down while exploring the depths of raspberry compote, dried orange peels, roses, exotic spice and a dusting of cocoa that form the absolutely stunning bouquet of the 2019 Carmignano Riserva Piaggia. This is pure elegance. It’s silky and refined as liquid violet florals and ripe red and black fruits easily rush across the palate. Its vibrant acidity maintains exceptional finesse despite the massive primary concentration slowly taking hold. The 2019 finishes long with a coating of sweet tannins and balsamic-tinged cherry. The balance here is amazing, which might trick readers into finishing their bottles far too quickly, but trust me, the best is truly yet to come. This is Rock Star juice.”
Piaggia Il Sasso Carmignano 2021 750ml $34.50 special, 24 bottles available
(Not yet Reviewed, 2020 Review Provided For Context)
Vinous 94 Points “An intense mix of black raspberry, wild herbs, air-dried meats and smoke form an incredibly deep and characterful bouquet as the darkly alluring 2020 Carmignano Il Sasso opens in the glass. For all of its animalistic nature on the nose, this is remarkably finessed and vivid on the palate. Saline-infused acids energize tart berry fruits. This finishes only lightly structured, marrying a bitter cherry pit twang with hints of blood orange that keep me looking back to the glass for more. The 2020 may be a thrill ride on the palate today, but with a short stay in the cellar, I expect it to explode aromatically. A total knock-out.”
Roccolo Grassi Valpolicella Superiore 2016 750ml $33 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 94+ Points “An enticing mix of incense, black tea, cracked pepper and red wild berries emanate from the 2016 Valpolicella Superiore.  This is undeniably elegant, with its silky textures that seem to coat the entire palate in a seductive layer of violet-tinged fruits and suave lavender and chocolate notes. That said, this is not sweet nor overly rich; in fact, the 2016 is truly harmonious and poised, boasting tremendous concentration that’s lifted by saline-infused acids. It leaves the palate completely saturated with cloves and allspice, as it tapers off structured and long. This is next-level Valpolicella Superiore, and it may even one day warrant a higher score. Marco Sartori uses 30% appassimento grapes in his Valpolicella, which are dried for twenty days. This wine is refined in a 50% – 50% mix of large oak cask and barrique, of which only about 20% are new.”
San Polino Brunello Di Montalcino 2016 750ml $66 special, 34 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “Attractive aromas of cherry, dark mushroom, bark and walnut follow through to a full body with lots of ripe cherry and berry character in the center palate. Firm, chewy tannins draw you down the palate. Extremely long. From organically grown grapes. Better than the superb 2015? Drink after 2023 and onwards.”
Talenti Brunello Di Montalcino 2017 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 93 Points “The bouquet on the 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is to die for, offering cloves and balsamic spices that give way to crushed cherries, sage and fresh mint. It’s elegant yet lifted in feel, with silky textures carrying the ripe wild berry fruits effortlessly across the palate. Saline-minerals combine with grippy tannins toward the close, slowing the 2017’s momentum ever so slightly, yet still permitting the most beautiful display of hard red candies and violet florals to linger incredibly long. What a gorgeous 2017, and with short-term cellaring potential as well. Of note is that Talenti’s production was down by 25% due to the conditions of the vintage, and there will not be a Riserva, as all of the juice went to the Brunello.”
 Bodega Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin 2016 750ml $36 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 91+ Points “Bright medium ruby Blackberry, cassis, licorice, herbs and complementary oak spices on the nose, plus a violet high note. Densely packed and smooth, with its brooding flavors of crushed dark berries currently carrying strong oak notes of licorice and bitter chocolate, not to mention the firm herbal edge of the vintage. Quite pungent–even peppery–after the 2015 Colección, finishing with dusty tannins and a penetrating quality that augurs well for improvement in bottle. This blend will need at least a couple years to reveal its full personality.”
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2015 750ml $39 special, 36 bottles available
James Suckling 96 Points “A rich nose of raspberry, crushed strawberry, blueberry, coconut, cedar and sweet spice. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Creamy, balanced and layered with vibrant, spicy character. Long and polished.”
Vinedos Paganos El Puntido Rioja Gran Reserva 2007 750ml $59 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “Putting my nose in the glass of the 2007 El Puntido Gran Reserva transported me to the classical Riojas from yesteryear. The wine has a fully developed nose with all the textbook descriptors of a good aged Rioja—forest floor, cigar ash, cold bonfire, truffle, cherries in liqueur, blonde tobacco, spices and iodine. But this is a classical Gran Reserva that has something that was not that traditional, and it comes from a single vineyard and matured in brand new French oak barrels for 28 months.”
Quinta Do Noval Touriga Nacional 2016 750ml $46.50 special, 11 bottles available
Decanter 96 Points “Made only in top years from the best lots, like all Noval’s reds this is fermented in stainless steel then aged in French oak – in this case for 10 months in 35% new oak. Signature orange blossom riffs make for a delicate interplay of fruit and flower. A plume of fine, schistous tannins and bright acidity gently but persuasively anchor and extend its inky, perfumed black berry and plum fruits, with hints of bergamot, milk chocolate, clove, cedar and cinnamon. Very fine and such a great example of the variety, and nearly half the price of the Reserva!”
Graham Vintage Port 2017 750ml $99 special, 30 bottles available
Decanter 98 Points “Based on Touriga Franca from south-facing slopes at Quinta dos Malvedos, with Touriga Nacional from quintas Vila Velha and Vale de Mealhadas  topped out with fruit from old vines at Quinta da Tua and 10% Sousão. It’s a very deep blue-black colour with an expressive, super-ripe nose of plum, mint and bergamot which springs from the glass. The palate is rich, velvety and voluptuous in typical Graham’s style. The initial richness makes the tannins, which show up on the ripe, broad, mouthwatering finish. Wonderful purity and definition. A real wow of a wine!”
Bodega Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin 2016 750ml $36 special, 24 bottles available
Vinous 91+ Points “Bright medium ruby Blackberry, cassis, licorice, herbs and complementary oak spices on the nose, plus a violet high note. Densely packed and smooth, with its brooding flavors of crushed dark berries currently carrying strong oak notes of licorice and bitter chocolate, not to mention the firm herbal edge of the vintage. Quite pungent–even peppery–after the 2015 Colección, finishing with dusty tannins and a penetrating quality that augurs well for improvement in bottle. This blend will need at least a couple years to reveal its full personality”

Close-out Sale – Price Reductions 
Julian Haart “1,000l” Riesling 2020 750ml WAS $24 NOW $19, 7 bottles available
Importer Note “This is legally Trocken in 2020 and sourced from 25-year-old vines in the Grand Cru Goldtröpfchen vineyard. The “1,000L” is so-named because it is a wine that was, originally, a chosen Fuder – a 1,000L barrel. The entire barrel was bought, and that was that. The wines is always brisk, tense with high-toned citrus, good minerality.”
Julian Haart Riesling Moselle 2021 750ml WAS $31.90 NOW $28 special, 4 bottles available
Vom Boden Importer Note “The Moselle Riesling comes essentially from the Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, with in addition grapes from the Wintricher Ohligsberg and Piesporter Gunterslay.”
Hamacher “H” Pinot Noir WV 2018 750ml WAS $24 NOW $20.90 special, 18 bottles available
Winery Note “From bud break to harvest, we work closely with our growers and their dedicated crews to provide the best environment and growing conditions possible. Careful vineyard management combined with traditional minimalist handling in the winery, result in supple wines of balance and richness.”
Hammer & Tongs Vermouth Sac’resine 750ml WAS $19 NOW $14.50, 8 bottles available
From the Producer “Sac’Resine is an original formula vermouth crafted with botanical resins of antiquity. These “Sacred Resins” were used as perfumes in rituals from birth to burial, prescribed medicinally both internally & externally, and were among the most valuable commodities dominating the ancient trade routes of South Asia and China.
Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2020 750ml WAS $39 NOW $33 special, 26 bottles available
93 POINTS WINE ENTHUSIAST “Black pepper and black olive nuances blend with black cherries and dark choc- olate in this medium- to full-bodied wine that includes 24% Malbec. An elegant feel, silky texture and nicely restrained flavors give the wine a charm all its own. Best through 2030.”
Domaine D’henri Chablis L’homme Mort VV 2017 750ml WAS $47.50 NOW $41.90, 31 bottles available
Winery Note “Planted in 1970, this parcel reflects the nobility of the Fourchaume appellation, with notes of forest floor and a racy, balanced palate, underlined by a good acidity. The Kimmeridgian escarpment of Fourchaume is reputed to produce some of the best Chablis wines and the South West exposure of the vines means that they bask in the warm afternoon sun.
Hirtzberger Gruner Velt Rotes Tor Smaragd 2018 750ml WAS $59 NOW $49 special, 13 bottles available
Stuart Pigott 94 Points “The nose here has a very restrained and rocky feel with such intense aromas of ripe citrus fruit, pepper and pears. The palate is dry, sheer and linear with good, fresh acidity drive and a smoothly rendered finish. Drink or hold.”
Cantina Horus Corda Pazza Rosso 2020 750ml WAS $29 NOW $24, 24 bottles available
Importer Notes “La Corda Pazza” was the title of a book published in 1970 by Leonardo Sciascia, a Sicilian by birth who was an influential critic, public intellectual, and playwright. It is an in-depth exploration of Sicily’s unique history and culture, one made more exceptional (and insular) due to its island geography “a crazy chord,” or corda pazza, of influences exerted by generations of invaders and colonizers.”
Cantina Horus Grillo Sole E Terra 2021 750ml WAS $26 NOW $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Importer Notes  “First time we’ve brought in this wine but the response to the reds was so great we had to try the Grillo.  From hillside vineyards at 170 meters in Ragusa.  He sneaks about 10% of the wine into barrel to facilitate the aging potential of Grillo and give it just enough texture to reach escape velocity.  (Love my Sicialian tank reds but the tank whites sometimes leave me wanting). The timing of the arrival is perfect.  Just look outside your window and you’ll see.  Go ahead..  take a look.  It’s nice, isn’t it?”
Cantina Horus Vittoria Frappato Sole E Terra 2021 750ml  WAS $28  NOW $24, 18 bottles available
Importer Notes “Giuseppe Romano is the grower-winemaker — he’s the in-between neighbor of Giusto (COS) and Arianna Occhipinti, and many folks feel he is “the guy” who put Valle dell’Acate and Frappato on the map in decades past.”
Cantina Horus Corda Pazza Rosso 2020 750ml WAS $29 NOW $24, 24 bottles available
Importer Notes “For those accustomed to bigger, darker, sappier expressions of Nero d’Avola (many in the ’90s and 2000s aimed for Shiraz-level intensity), this will be a revelation: It is medium-bodied, silky, and bright, more Burgundian in scale but resolutely Mediterranean in its flavor profile.”
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Magnum Madness

Buy 3-6 bottles for a 5% discount
Buy 6+ bottles for a 10% discount
Benanti Contessa Particella 587 Rsva Etna 2016 1.5L $249 special, 6 bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2016 Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa Particella No. 587 Riserva is dark and savory in the glass, grumbling up with notes of crushed rocks and ash that evolve further to reveal musky black currants, hints of licorice and dried violets.”

Chateau De Pez Saint-Estephe 2018 1.5L $119 special, 5 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points “From the team of Nicolas Glumineau at Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, the 2018 Château De Pez is a gorgeous 2018 that should be on every Bordeaux lover’s radar (and should be a great value as well). Notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, candied violets, and graphite define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, rockingly polished tannins, terrific purity, and a great finish. It’s terrific and is going to have 15-20 years or more of longevity. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.”
Clerico Langhe Rosse Arte 2011 1.5L $66 special, 34 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 Points “(90% nebbiolo and 10% barbera; aged for 18 months in new French oak):  Good medium red.  Perfumed aromas and flavors of plum, redcurrant, tobacco and spices.  Intense and vibrant, with lovely inner-mouth aromatic lift.  Very classy, delineated wine.”
La Gerla Brunello Di Montalcino 2015 1.5L $119 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “Black cherry and black currant fruit is accented by tobacco, earth and mineral flavors in this sleek yet dense red. Balsamic elements of juniper, thyme and olive add depth as this cruises to a long finish. The potential lies in the excellent length. Best from 2023 through 2042. —B.S.”
Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2021 1.5L $89 special, 1 bottle available
Importer Notes “Aromatics typical to Morgon are: cherry, violet, raspberry and a very light touch of licorice. The texture of the wines combine both a lightness and richness. Morgon has an aging potential of around ten years on average although many vintages age much longer.”
Lopez Heredia Tondonia Reserva Rioja 2001 1.5L $219 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 96 Points ” I had the chance to taste a bottle of the 2001 Viña Tondonia Reserva 10 years after it was released, and the wine has evolved beautifully and quite slowly—at least that is the case for these bottles that have been kept in the winery for all these years. It’s austere and elegant, with balance and concentration, polished tannins and a chalky texture, long tasty and dry. This is lively and should continue developing in bottle for quite some time…”
Lopez Heredia Tondonia Reserva Rioja 2004 1.5L $189 special, 2 bottles available
“The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001 the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that’s possible?umami?) and developed with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices leathery notes cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and very good persistence.”
Lopez Heredia Tondonia Reserva Rioja 2005 1.5L $179 special, 2 bottles available
Decanter 96 Points “Traditional Rioja at its ageworthy best, the Tondonia red is a cuvée of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 5% each of Graciano and Mazuelo. Leafy, gamey and sweet, with tangy acidity and a volatile lift. Drinking Window 2018 – 2025.”
Montille Pommard Pezerolles 1er Cru 2016 1.5L $289 special, 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 Points “(from the north side of Pommard above Les Grands Epenots on active limestone soil; vinified with one-third whole clusters and aged in one-third new oak): Good dark red. Tight aromas of black cherry, redcurrant and rust (there’s a bit of iron in the soil here as well), lifted by a floral quality. Savory and fine-grained, with red berry flavors enlivened by saline minerality. Not a big wine but offers an attractive blend of sweet, savory and acidic elements. This minerally, salty wine finishes with big, mouth-dusting tannins.”
Oddero Barolo Vigna Rionda 2007 1.5L $369 special, 1 bottle available
James Suckling 96 Points “This is drinking wonderfully now with so much depth of fruit and lots of juicy character. Full body, layered and intense. Plenty of dark berry and chocolate. Fantastic. Drink or hold.”
Peyrassol Le Clos Peyrassol Rose 2021 1.5L $149.95, 14 bottles available
Vinous 94 Points “Vivid onion skin color. A highly perfumed and complex bouquet evokes fresh citrus and pit fruits, strawberry and pungent flowers, along with building mineral and succulent herb elements. Shows excellent clarity and depth to its juicy red fruit, nectarine and mango flavors, which are sweetened by a background of vanilla note. Finishes impressively long and silky, with the mineral and floral note resonating. “
Bollinger R.D. 2004 1.5L $519 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 98 Points “Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2019. The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028. -Roger Voss”
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc 2020 1.5L $145 special, 2 bottles available
Vinous 91 Points “Unlike his Savennières, the fruit for Boudignon’s 2020 Anjou Blanc is purchased. The result is a pure, clean wine with delectable purity. There are delicate flavors of just-ripe pineapple, citrus, nettles and a subtle hint of vanilla. It is fermented and aged in both 500-liter barrels and oval Stockinger ‘cigars’. A line of acidity pulls this wine through to a refined conclusion. It can be approached now for its fine fruit but will go on.”

Brovia Barolo Garblet Sue 2015 1.5L $189 special, 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 Points “The 2015 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is dense and powerful in the glass. A rush of black cherry, plum, lavender, iron and sage literally burst from the glass. Ample, full-bodied and intense, the Garblèt Sue’ is another stellar wine in this range. The typically incisive Garblèt Sue’ tannins are nearly buried by the sheer richness of the fruit. Today, the Garblèt Sue’ is distinguished by its wild, feral profile and huge core of fruit. In this vintage, the Garblèt is the overachiever in the range relative to how it shows in most vintages.”
Brovia Barolo Villero 2015 1.5L $249 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 Points “The 2015 Barolo Villero offers richness and darkness with fruit from Castiglione Falletto, and it’s one of the more intense wines I tasted within this selection. The Villero is a balanced and polished Barolo that opens to nicely integrated fruit and spice tones, expertly interwoven and united. The wine has a beautiful entry to the palate. Indeed, this pretty wine presented a united front, with seamless and graceful integration.”
Castello Di Ama Chianti Classico Ama 2015 1.5L $39 special, 5 bottles available
James Suckling 92 Points “So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now.”
Clos Erasmus Laurel Priorat 2018 1.5L $149 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “The second wine here and one that is easier to drink, the 2018 Laurel was produced with fruit from the younger vines, a couple of barrels that are declassified from Clos Erasmus and the Cabernet Sauvignon, more or less 70% Garnacha and 15% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has good ripeness and still a ph of 3.3. It fermented mostly in oak vats and 2,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in 20,000-liter oak and concrete vats, second use barriques and some clay amphorae.”
Clos Erasmus Priorat 2020 1.5L $599 special, 1 bottles available
Wine Advocate 100 Points “The still young and primary 2020 Clos Erasmus feels very floral and ethereal (within Priorat and Clos Erasmus); it’s a fresher and lighter expression but without being weak. It’s still a baby that needs to burn the baby fat (there are still some lactic notes from the malolactic in barrel). The wine is always around 3.2 or 3.3 pH and has some 15% to 15.5% alcohol, but the sensation this year is of a much fresher, more balanced and elegant wine. This should make an elegant bottle of mature Priorat with a decade in bottle, and I guess it will be long lived.
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Collector’s Corner
Gone West: European Winemakeres in California

Manfred Krankl – Sine Qua Non
Sourcing fruit from a wide variety of growers from year to year, and increasingly from their own vineyards has caused the winery to never make exactly the same wine twice, of which Krankl has said, “People buy Sine Qua Non. They don’t seem to give a toot where it’s from.” Krankl is unique among European winemakers turned American winery owners as he did not start in the wine industry until after relocating to America. A man of assuredness and many talents, Manfred is famous for not only his wines but the original artwork that adorns each new bottling he produces.
Sine Qua Non Inaugural Grenache Eleven Conf Vineyard 2003 750ml $3199 special, 1 bottle available
Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points “In addition to these new releases, I was also able to taste through a number of older vintages, including the 2001 Albino, 2006 Hoodoo Man, 2003 The Inaugural, 2004 Ode to E, 1998 E Raised, 2001 On Your Toes, 2005 Nail in My Cranium and 2007 Syrah Dangerous Birds. To say I came away impressed would be an understatement. Anyone who claims this big, rich style can-t age needs to taste these wines. I opted to just list my scores for the older releases as I find Bob-s initial write-ups spot on.”
Sine Qua Non Inaugural Syrah 2003 750ml $1499 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 100 Points “The mind-boggling 2003 The Inaugural Syrah is an emotional experience to taste as well as drink […] Awesomely long, I still tasted this wine 60 seconds after I had spit it out – no easy task, even for a professional. This majestic Syrah should be a modern day legacy for Sine Qua Non, ranking alongside the other stunning Syrahs they have produced, such as the two 2002 cuvees, Just For The Love Of It and Heart Chorea. This is a nuanced, complex wine, whereas the 2004 Poker Face is more exuberant and flamboyant. It should age beautifully for 10-15+ years.”
Sine Qua Non Into The Dark Grenache 2004 1.5L $1399 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 99 Points “More up-front and open-knit, as is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off.”
Stephan Asseo – L’Aventure
Stephan Asseo, a winery owner in Bordeaux was at a creative impasse, feeling too boxed in by the strenous regulatoins of the French wine industry. He followed a vision of “Bordeaux meets Rhône in Paso Robles” in 1998 and quickly became a cult favorite in his new home, California.
L’Aventure Estate Cuvee Paso Robles 2019 750ml $119 special, 20 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points “Pure perfection from Paso Robles […] Incredible cassis and black berry fruits as well as violets, chocolate, graphite, and who knows what else emerges from the glass, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a concentrated yet weightless mouthfeel, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s more seamless and approachable than the more backward, structured 2018 and will have two decades of prime drinking.”
L’Aventure Estate Cuvee Paso Robles Red 2020 750ml $119 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 Points “Deep ruby-purple, it has a pure core of cassis and slowly unfolding accents of licorice, cured meats, tobacco leaves, cedar and truffle. Full-bodied, juicy and alluring, it floods the mouth with layers of blue fruit, floral perfume and spice. It is supported by powdery tannins and boasts a tremendously long, detailed finish.”
L’Aventure Cote A Cote Paso Robles Red 2020 750ml $109 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “The 2020 Côte a Côte is a beautiful blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre and one of the most successful wines I tasted from the challenging 2020 vintage. Deep ruby-purple, it offers pure aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, tar and pipe tobacco, continually unfolding with each return to the glass. The full-bodied palate offers wave after wave of perfumed fruit and tremendous spicy accents. It’s powerful yet harmoniously structured with powdery tannins and seamless acidity, and it offers a very long, detailed finish.”

Christian Moueix- Dominus and Ulysses
Christian Moueix, proprietor of wineries such as Chateau Lefleur-Petrus and Cheateua Trotanoy chose the name ‘Dominus’ (‘lord of the estate’ in Latin) to underscore his longstanding commitment to his first wine prjects in America.
Dominus Estate Napa 2018 750ml $419 special, 8 bottles available
Dominus Estate Napa 2018 375ml $219 special, 19 half bottles available
Wine Spectator #1 Wine Of The Year 2021!
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!”
Dominus Estate Napa 2019 750ml $319 special, 13 bottles available
The Wine Independent 100 Points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose slowly unfurls to unveil beguiling floral notes of candied violets and rose oil over a core of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, and plum preserves, giving way to notions of licorice, Indian spices, iron ore, and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with taut, muscular black fruit layers, intertwined with gorgeous floral and exotic spice accents, and framed by firm, finely grained tannins with seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced.”

Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Oakville Napa 2018 750ml $145 special, 19 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “Just about pure perfection and the finest wine I’ve tasted from this address, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon yet includes smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a site just north of Dominus. This deep, inky hued beauty offers up a beautiful, full-bodied, richly textured, and incredibly concentrated style that carries ample black and blue fruit as well as notes of crushed stone and scorched earth.
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