Vinopolis Newsletter – Wednesday 10/11/2023

 In This Newsletter:

Special Arrivals
Your guide to all things Envinate
Pegau, Anne-Sophie Dubois, Bartello Mascarello, Arnot-Roberts,
Champagne Pommery, Lafarge library seletions

Gasparini Prosecco and Pieropan Soave
Wine of the Week
Bergstrom Cumberland
Recently Reviewed
Great reviews for Vietti and Giant Steps
Close-out Sales
A selection of discounted Italian wines!
Collector’s Corner
The Rhone’s finest: Chateauneuf and Beyond
Special Arrivals Friday
Envinate (“Wine Yourself”)
Envínate is a small group of winemaking friends (Alfonso Torrente, José Ángel Martínez, Laura Ramos, and Roberto Santana) that seek to highlight the individual terroirs of the Canary Islands and Ribeira Sacra. The friends produce wines of purity with low-intervention winemaking and vineyard management using ancient vineyards.  The wines are highly sought after as authentic expressions of their terroirs and forerunners of the “New Spanish” wine movement.
“While winemaking driven by these ideals [of old-school and low-intervention management in the vineyard and winery] is commonplace in many parts of Italy and France—where the natural wine movement is manifest—Spain has been slower to adopt a less-is-more aesthetic over the ‘Big Flavor’ (i.e. ripe, excessively oaked) wines that came to define its wine culture. Envínate, for many buyers, is today’s best representation of the alternative. The wines have an undeniable transparency.”
-Megan Krigbaum of Punch Magazine
If you’re not familiar with the winery or wines from the Canary Islands more broadly, let’s get you up to speed fast:
Despite being warm, tropical islands, the Canaries are home to several wine-growing regions, particularly along the foggy cliffs and slopes that line the Atlantic Ocean along the northern coastline on the main island, Tenerefe. Roberto Santana takes the lead for Envínate here, having consulted with Suertes del Marques and having extensive knowledge of the ancient vines, terroir, and local varieties.
The Ribeira Sacra wines are composed of ancient native vines of mostly Mencía co-planted with other varietals. The vines are ancient, starting at 60-years-old at minimum with single vineyard bottlings going well up from there. These are excellent examples of what this profound and profoundly Spanish grape can do. Much like Terre Nere’s work with indigenous Sicilian grapes, Envínate’s Mencía can give international superstars like Syrah and Pinot Noir a run for their money.
These are fascinating, age-worthy expressions of “New Spain” wines that are not to be missed.
Arriving Friday
The “village” wine from Lousas, but not to be snubbed, this is composed of at least 60-year-old vines in the Ribeira Sacra region of Galicia.
Envinate ‘Lousas’ Vina de Aldea, Ribeira Sacra 2021 750ml $44.50 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available
Envinate ‘Lousas’ Vina de Aldea, Ribeira Sacra 2021 1.5L $99 pre-arrival special, only 3 magnums available
James Suckling 96 points “Excellent depth with a vibrant lift of pepperiness to the wild and airy bramble fruit and minerality. Chalky and broad on the palate but really weightless with chalky tannins and a fresh, refined finish. Delicious now.”
Envinate Lousas Doad, Ribeira Sacra 2021 750ml $59 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 95 points “Fine, chalky nose with fresh brambly fruit, pomegranate, tile and white pepper. Lots of wild fruit on the palate with fine, fresh tannins and a long finish full of wild herbs and some cooked grapefruit. So drinkable now, why hold?”
89% Mencía, 10% other varieties
Envinate Lousas Parcela Rosende, Ribeira Sacra 2021 750ml $54.50 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
Importer note “From a single vineyard of 28-60-year-old vines in Rosende, in O Saviñao, the soils here remind them of the northern Rhône with granite crystals flecked through the sand. The wine is full of cherries, berries, wild strawberries and a slightly savoury, umami finish.”
85% Mencía, 15% other varieties
A Chingao Vineyards & Envinate ‘Misturado de Abeleda,’ Ribeira Sacra 2021 750ml $54.50 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Jose Pastor importer note “Misturado de Abeleda is sourced from a centenarian parcel located in Ribeiras do Sil. This is a rare, mixed-planted parcel, with about 70% red and 30% white grapes. The grapes were hand-harvested, foot-trodden and co-fermented 100% whole cluster with wild yeasts in open top plastic tubs, then raised in used 300 and 400 liter French oak for 11 months with no racking. The finished wine is bottled without fining, filtration or added SO2. A throwback to Ribeira Sacra’s early days.”
In Stock Right Now:
Envinate ‘Benje’ Tinto 2021, Canary Islands 1.5L $79 special, 2 magnums in stock now
Decanter 94 points “Some of Tenerife’s highest altitude vines, at 1,000m, combined with a pronounced Atlantic influence and volcanic soils make this a quintessential example of the island’s idiosyncratic reds; in this case Listan Prieto (aka País) is the red variety for a wine with a certain crunchiness of texture and a puff of peppery smoke to the blackcurrant fruit.”
“90% Listán Prieto, 9% Listán Blanco, 1% Tintilla.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Envinate La Santa de Ursula, Canary Islands 2021 750ml $54.50 special, 8 bottles available
James Suckling 96 points “Beautiful nose full of white pepper funk, grapefruit, wild raspberries, chalk and mineral. On the palate, this is ethereal and lively but super tense with a bit more verticality than the equally attractive, funky but linear Táganan. Textured, mineral and wild finish that develops in the finish. Goes on and on. Delicious and so drinkable now, but this can age, for a decade, too, if not more.”
The Orotava Valley wine, Palo Blanco, represents a cool region along the northern slope of the Teide volcano. Here the Listan Blanco (white, also known as Palomino) vines are trained in the traditional “cordon trenzado” style of braiding the vines along the rows.
Envinate ‘Palo Blanco,’ Canary Islands 2021 750ml $54.50 special, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “Fresh, reductive nose with a hint of white sesame. A mineral coating to the tangy lime citrus and pomelo skins. White chalk, freshly cut parsley and celery as well. A laser beam of piercing acidity provides energy, sharpness and speed to the pure and bone-dry palate that’s full of tension but no flesh. Demanding and austere, yet so delicious and effortlessly pure and gastronomic in nature, with electric linearity and a mouthwatering finish. Even more extreme than 2020? Only 11.5% alcohol. Embrace the acidity! Drink now.”
Envinate ‘Lousas’ Vina de Aldea, Ribeira Sacra 2020 1.5L $88 special, 2 magnums in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2020 Lousas Viñas de Aldea is slightly higher in alcohol and has less freshness than the 2019. It was a very early harvest (September 2nd to 14th), and they kept 20% of the wine in concrete and the rest in oak barrels and 2,000-liter oak foudres for 11 months. The grapes were very small, so the ratio of juice to skin was different from 2019. The wines from 2020 had less maceration and more stems; they have more bones but are still fluid, with some dusty tannins. 22,500 bottles and 400 magnums produced. It was bottled in November 2021.”
New Arrivals

Elise Dechannes Tradition Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 2017 750ml $49 special, 36 bottles available
Importer Notes Made entirely from Pinot Noir … It’s gorgeous and delivers as much pleasure for a young Champagne as seems possible.”
Pommery Cuvee Louise Rose 2004 750ml $219 special, 36+ bottles available
James Suckling 95 Points “This is a new release and shows wonderful finesse and beauty. You know that the moment you see the pale-amber color. It’s medium bodied with freshness and energy and a long, vivid finish. A joy to taste. Drink now.”
“Domaine Michel Lafarge, new library selections”
“Perhaps nobody has embodied the allure of Burgundy as well as Michel Lafarge, whose family estate in Volnay makes wines that Burgundy lovers prize for their deep, soulful beauty.”
-Eric Asimov, New York Times
Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 2020 750ml $119 special, 4 bottles available
Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 2011 750ml $99 special, 15 bottles available
Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Selectionnees 2019 750ml $119 special, 4 bottles available
“Domaine Arlaud”
Domaine Arlaud Clos Saint Denis 2021 750ml $599 special, 3 bottles available
Vinous 96-98 points “The 2021 Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru has what is often termed “transparency” on the entrancing nose, airy yet vigorous with lifted red berry fruit, petrichor and light citrus aromas. There’s just a hint of reduction but minor. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannins, quite deep and intense, elegant and lightly spiced towards the persistent finish that lingers in the mouth. Unerringly symmetrical.
“Domaine de Montille”
Montille Beaune Greves 1er Cru 2020 750ml $115 special, 17 bottles available
Decanter 94 Points “Showing pronounced cassis and plum fruit, with a floral edge and a hint of pepper. The full body and supple tannins are enlivened by a bright acidity to produce a very energetic impression on the palate. Good extract and length. The 1.26ha de Montille parcel of Beaune Grèves is just south of Bouchard’s Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus. The vines here are almost 50 years old. The fruit ripened extremely well in 2020 and the grapes were fermented with nearly 50% whole-cluster before ageing in 25% new casks.”
Montille Beaune Sizies 1er Cru 2020 750ml $75 special, 8 bottles available
Decanter 93 Points “Bright pomegranate and black cherry aromas, with floral notes and a hint of spice. There is plenty of freshness and a slightly rustic, tannic edge on the palate, yet the wine is showing nicely and should age well over the mid-term. De Montille has 1.62ha in Beaune Sizies at the foot of the slope in fairly deep clay soils. Picking started early here, yet there is nothing tart or astringent about the wine. The grapes were vinified with one-third whole-cluster and aged in 15% new casks.”

Montille Bourgogne Blanc Clos Chateau Puligny-Montrachet 2020 750ml $39 special, 8 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note 
“Le Clos du Château” is essentially a vineyard of approximately five hectares that sits in front of the Château de Puligny and is entirely enclosed by walls. This facilitates their biodynamic farming methods. Classified as Bourgogne AOC, this vineyard is remarkably well situated in the village on the border of the Puligny-Montrachet vineyards. The deep soil, consisting of silt and clay gives the wine a lovely generosity. From the vineyard to the winery, we do everything possible for this Clos du Château to be an exceptional Bourgogne Blanc that honors its origin and location.”

Montille Bourgogne Rouge 2020 750ml $38 special, 4 bottles available
Winemaker Notes “Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Rouge benefits from the same bio-dynamic viticulture and the same attention as the most illustrious Premiers and Grands Crus. It is an introduction to Burgundy and the Domaine. This wine is accessible from its earliest youth and reflects the quality and character of the Domaine: purity, authenticity and elegance.”
Montille Nuits St Georges Aux Thorey 2020 750ml $119 special, 5 bottles available
Decanter 94 Points “Grapes were fermented with 50% whole clusters to give this slightly rustic wine a deep blackberry fruit, firm tannins and moderate length. The domaine acquired this parcel of 0.73ha from Dujac who had purchased it in the Moillard acquisition. The vines are situated fairly high on the slope with a southeast exposition, just to the south of Chaignots in sandy soils with a chalky profile.”
Montille Pommard Pezerolles 1er Cru 2020 750ml $179 special, 4 bottles available
Decanter 94 points “From a lieu-dit on the border with Beaune, this is a silky, elegant wine with none of the slightly rustic edge one associates with Pommard. The fruit is high-toned red berry fruit with a floral edge, and the finesse and velvety texture on the palate are a joy. Winemaker Brian Sieve notes that the profile of the 2018s and 2020s have some similarities, but acidity in 2020s is more evident, accented by an early picking date. Drinking Window: 2025-2060.”
“Renato Ratti, Piedmont”
Renato Ratti Barolo Rocche Dell’Annunziata 2019 750ml $149 special, 6 bottles available
Rocche dell’Annunziata’ is considered a ‘Grand Cru’ of La Morra and Ratti’s top expression.
Wine Enthusiast 97 Points “The stunning wine opens with a mix of tart red and blue berries, rose and sweet and savory spices that evolve into more savory and earthy notes. The palate is refined, framing the cherry-driven sip with tobacco and wild herb flavors to near unison. It’s sublime on the finish, with vibrant acidity and fine tannins that will give the wine life for years to come.”
Renato Ratti Barolo Serradenari 2019 750ml $149 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 97 Points “This wine expresses itself with aromas of wild cherries, tart red plums, dried violets and oolong tea leaves. The palate is elegant and almost dances across the mouth, leading with ripe red fruits that give way to savory flavors of fresh bay leaf, clove and balsam. Drink 2025-2040.”
“Brovia, Piedmont”
Brovia Barolo 2019 750ml $69 special, 32 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “On a shortlist of “annata” wines to buy from Piedmont this year is the Brovia 2019 Barolo. Made from a blend of fruit from Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba, this wine delivers a very sharp and chiseled performance that puts a priority on directness, freshness and length. This pretty wine has a pronounced fruity side and a mineral side, and these two parts converge beautifully. There are hints of dried mint and licorice on the close of this must-have wine. 25,000 bottles were produced.”
“Fratelli Alessandria, Piedmont”
Fratelli Alessandria Pelaverga Speziale 2022 750ml $24 special, 21 bottles available
Not yet reviewed, 2021 review included for reference
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points “[2021] Speziato means spicy in Italian and true to its name, this lithe, delicious red has aromas and flavors of white and black pepper that add depth to a core of juicy Marasca cherry. Supple tannins and fresh acidity keep it well balanced.” 
Best Price on the West Coast!
“Yangarra Estate Vineyard”
Yangarra Estate Roux Beaute Roussanne 2020 750ml $69 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “As an Australian, it is hard to read “Roux Beaute” and not think “you beaut.” Thankfully, the internal rhyming suggestion is apt. The 2020 Roux Beaute Roussanne is concentrated and broad, with layers of phenolics in the mouth—bitter almond, green apple skin, white flowers, caper berries, cheesecloth, brine and feijoa, even custard apple, perhaps. It’s good. It’s really good. It shows that textural breadth and depth can still be lively and bright. This is an exciting wine and very well handled. You beaut.”
Yangarra Estate Vineyards High Sands Grenache 2019 750ml $249 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “The fruit for this 2019 High Sands Grenache is sourced from the highest plot on the estate, from old bush vines planted in 1946. This an incredibly complex wine that undulates and ripples across the tongue; it brings blood and ferrous, crushed quartz and pink peppercorns, poise and succulence, but never, ever heaviness. Weight: no. This has silken sway and lithe flow, but no heaviness. What an amazing wine that lingers and echoes through the finish. An emphatic, resounding, YES. In fact, I was almost done with this tasting note, and it occurred to me that there is also framboise, licorice, a hint of anise, salami and graphite through the finish. It’s a crime to spit this out—so I won’t.”
Yangarra Estate Vineyards Ovitelli Blanc 2020 750ml $69 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “When I was at Yangarra, we tasted the component parts of the 2020 Ovitelli Blanc straight from egg. For those of us who have been to the estate, I am certain you will join me in saying that there is much to love and admire, from the organically/biodynamically farmed and certified vineyards (and winery) to the understanding of the inherent benefits of the McLaren Vale region and its suitability to Rhone varieties, all the way through to the eggs, the amphorae and the other good-looking ceramic vessels in the winery. This is a place of specificity and purpose, responsible for wines of poise and impact. So, to the wine. Composed of 50% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne, 12% Clairette, 9% Piquepoul and 4% Bourboulenc, all components contribute to the whole. You’ll find white spice, flowers, chalk, white tea, apricot kernel, green apple skins, a faint whiff of honeydew melon and nashi pear. The acidity is threaded throughout it all in such a way that it pulses with life, but the main event is still the phenolics, which is a pretty cool balance to strike. In terms of white wine, this is the future of McLaren Vale.” 

Yangarra Estate Vineyards Ovitelli Grenache 2020 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles available
96 Points Wine Advocate “The fruit for the 2020 Ovitelli Grenache is sourced from bush vines planted in 1946, just after the second World War. This is incredibly fine. It is pure and layered with blood, red licorice, crushed minerals, black tea, satsuma plum, black cherries and framed by ferrous tannins. What a joy this is… it lingers in the mouth long after the wine is gone, allowing for a bit of chew and thought before the next sip. Elegance 101.”
Arriving Friday
“Château Pegau, Rhône”
Pegau Chateauneuf De Pape Cuvee Reservee 2019 750ml $79 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 Points “The 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée looks set to rival the best examples of this bottling. Made up of approximately 80% Grenache, with 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre and smaller amounts of other permitted varieties, it’s impressively complex on the nose, with scents of black cherries, blackberries and black olives, plus mysterious wafts of violets and garrigue. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it finishes long and velvety, a sure-fire bet for cellaring.”
“Anne-Sophie Dubois, Beaujolais”
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste 2022 750ml $31.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Importer’s Notes “L’Alchimiste is named after the Paulo Coelho novel, a book about pursuing ones dreams and learning life lessons along the way… 100% destemmed, l’Alchimiste is a selection of vines over forty years of age. It is aged for around 15 months in a combination of cement and a range of different sized neutral oak barrels. Anne-Sophie bottles her wines unfined and unfiltered.”
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Labourons 2022 750ml $37.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Importer’s Notes “Formely known as `Clepsydre`, now re-named and carrying the name of its Lieu Dit starting with the 2017 vintage… Whereas previously the wine was a selection of the oldest fruit, Anne-Sophie has decided to take the selection one step farther and make it a selection of the best fruit from the old vine parcel. Les Labourons is the name of the lieu dit in Fleurie. In 2017, after recieving her organic certification, she wanted to rename the wine and have a new label drawn to showcase the new chapter in her winemaking.”
Also currently available from Anne-Sophie Dubois:
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste 2021 750ml WAS $33 NOW $29 special, 15 bottles available
Vinous 91 Points “The 2021 Fleurie L’Alchimiste is well-defined and focused on the nose, with blackberry and raspberry fruit as well as a touch of loam and orange rind. Detailed, though never powerful. The palate is medium-bodied, cohesive and smooth with fine-grained tannins. It shows fine precision and a little more depth than the Labourons this year. Lightly spiced on the finish, this is a very endearing Fleurie from Anne-Sophie Dubois.”
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Labourons 2021 750ml WAS $39 NOW $33 special, 29 bottles available
Vinous 90 Points “The 2021 Fleurie Les Labourons has a very pure and pretty bouquet that blossoms in the glass: black cherries, wilted iris petals, hints of blood orange -this is wonderful. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly candied entry. It’s fleshy for a Fleurie, maybe just missing the delineation on the finish that Dubois can achieve in a more benevolent season. Yet this remains a quite delicious proposition.”
“Bartolo Mascarello, Piedmont”
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG 2019 750ml $319 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ Points “Coming to market this fall, the Bartolo Mascarello 2019 Barolo represents a classic vintage in between two challenging growing seasons. Both 2018 and 2020 were hotter than 2019, resulting in higher alcohol levels. With fruit harvested on October 8th and 9th, this expression from 2019 shows extra freshness and a more streamlined style compared to the texturally generous 2020 or the softer and more open-knit 2018. Extraction and structure came easily in 2019, and delicate pump-overs sufficed. Maria Teresa Mascarello opted against submerged cap fermentations in 2022, 2019, 2017 and 2013. It was performed in 2016, 2014 and 2010, however. The fruit represents a blend of Monrobiolo in Bussia (a site with a lease that ends in 2025), Rue and Cannubi in Barolo and Rocche dell’Annunziata in La Morra. San Lorenzo will return to the blend in 2020. This bottle promises a decisive, vertical delivery of fruit (lots of “skeleton and bones”) with a pretty moment of crunch, elegant acidic freshness and tannic structure. If you are nostalgic for a tight, acidity-driven Barolo that is good for long cellar aging, the 2019 is for you.”
Vinous 96 Points “The 2019 Barolo is a very beautiful, delicate wine that captures the best this vintage has to offer. Gracious and light on its feet, with striking inner sweetness, the 2019 is captivating from the first taste. Kirsch, rose petal, mint, hard candy, cedar and orange zest all grace this super-classic, perfumed Barolo. Young Nebbiolo tannins are there, but they are very elegantly woven into the wine’s frame. Vineyard sites are Cannubi, Ruè, Monrobiolo di Bussia and Le Rocche dell’Annunziata, co-fermented in the style that is such a house signature.”
“Fratelli Alessandria, Piedmont”
Fratelli Alessandria Pelaverga Speziale 2022 750ml $24 special, 24 bottles available
Not yet reviewed, 2021 review included for reference
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points “[2021] Speziato means spicy in Italian and true to its name, this lithe, delicious red has aromas and flavors of white and black pepper that add depth to a core of juicy Marasca cherry. Supple tannins and fresh acidity keep it well balanced.”
HOT!  Secret Squirrel (Corliss) Rhone Red Blend 2017 750ml $19 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Notes “Secret Squirrel is owned and operated by Michael and Lauri Corliss.  Made by the crew at Corliss Estates, Tranche Cellars consistently delivers serious, impeccably made wines that over-deliver.   Secret Squirrel wines are made from declassified Corliss and Tranche fruit with all estate fruit on all wines.  The Secret Squirrel is heavily Red Mountain estate fruit (70%) and the remainder is from their Blue Mountain Estate vineyard in Walla Walla Valley. Leonetti Winery is their neighbor winery.”
Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 24 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “The Watson Ranch vineyard is perched on a steep hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay in the southernmost end of the Napa Valley. The vineyard can be seen on the top of the hill just east of the Green Island Vineyard which we sourced fruit from 2007-09. Exposed and austere, the Watson Ranch is a wind whipped site planted in 1993 by the talented grower Salvador Ramos on marine deposits over limestone. This soil type is extremely rare on the North Coast and lends itself perfectly to growing world class Chardonnay. This soil coupled with organic farming techniques and cool windy conditions give this parcel great potential to produce Chardonnay of singular character.”
Arnot-Roberts Syrah California 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 12 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “The Sonoma Coast Syrah bottling hails from the Clary Ranch, Que Syrah, Baker Lane and Solas vineyards. All four of these amazing sites are located in various portions of the Sonoma Coast region and consistently produce fruit that is loaded with intense character, making this one of our hallmark bottlings.”
Loredan Gasparini Asolo Prosecco Superiore NV 750ml $16 special, 24 bottles available
James Suckling 92 Points “[Reviewed Oct 2021] Lots of initial froth here, which takes a while to subside and allow the lovely lemon and lemon blossom aromas to rise out of the glass. There are hints of licoricy chalk here, too. On the rather dense palate, the chalk turns to fresh cream and the lemon is absorbed into the creamy mineral texture with enough fizz to keep the sparkle up. Lovely, enduring and creamy yet biting finish. This is very fine Prosecco. Drink now.”
Recently Reviewed
Vietti Barolo Riserva 2015 750ml $149 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points ” A rich, round profile carries maturing aromas and flavors of cherry, plum, rose and sweet spices, with grace notes of wild herbs and autumn woods. This is impeccably balanced, with refined, resonant tannins and a lingering aftertaste that echoes ripe fruit and vanilla, adding a mineral element. Complex and approachable now with decanting. Best from 2025 through 2042.”
Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 750ml $74.50 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “This is made with fruit from the Sexton Vineyard, at 200 meters in altitude (80 meters higher than Tarraford). Within the vineyard, the clones are dominated by Gingin (brought over to Victoria by Phil Sexton), followed by Dijon clones, planted in the 1990s. The 2021 Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay is composed of 60% Gingin. Twenty percent of the parcels went through malolactic fermentation—clone 277 and some of the 96. This is salty as anything—a very good thing in my book—and the sheer intensity of flavor in the mouth is mouthwatering. Preserved lemon and grapefruit pith lace the edges of the mid-palate. Very smart—it has the Yarra precision of acid and streamlined phenolics, but it brings concentration of flavor and thrilling phenolics. Super smart wine.”
Lowest Price in the USA!
Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $79 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points “Fragrant and expressive, with polished, creamy tannins setting the stage for blueberry, raspberry and cardamom flavors. Delivers details of palo santo, brown sugar, dried violet and sweet mint tea on the long, impressive finish. Drink now through 2034.”
Wine of the Week
Bergstrom Wines
As we’ve noted before, 2021 is shaping up as a classic vintage in the Willamette valley. Despite the heat dome in June, winemaker Josh Bergstrom says, “The rest of the summer went beautifully […] with precipitation, winds and autumn weather nearly perfect.”
Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir 2021 750ml special new price$44.50 special, 26 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “Medium ruby-purple, the 2021 Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve offers generous aromas of cranberry sauce, floral potpourri, blood orange and wafts of dried herbs. The medium-bodied palate is youthfully gregarious and focused on generous allspice flavors, although its chalky, tensile frame and long, latent finish suggest this has more to give with additional time in bottle.”
Close-out Sales
All Italian
Kellerei Kaltern Quintessenz Classico Superiore 2017 750ml WAS $16 NOW $11.90 special, 11 bottles available
Vinous 91 Points “Bright red. Spicy herbal red berries and flinty red cherry on the nose, then brisk and easygoing in the mouth, with smooth flavors and a hint of peppery bite on the long back end. Not the last word in complexity but juicy and full of early appeal. Try it lightly chilled.”
Kellerei Kaltern Saleit Chardonnay 2018 750ml WAS $16 NOW $11.90 special, 3 bottles available
La Fortuna Brunello Di Montalcino 2017 750ml WAS $59 NOW $49 special, 32 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “The mid-weight 2017 Brunello di Montalcino shows a smooth approach with cherry fruit and cassis. No part of this wine is overblown, and in fact, this Brunello maintains a silky personality overall. The alcohol is high at 15% in this hot vintage, although it feels relatively well tucked into the subtle fiber of this accessible Brunello.”
La Gerla Brunello Riserva Gli Angeli 2015 750ml WAS $99 NOW $89 special, 19 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points “Rich and round, here is a red full of macerated plum and cherry flavors, with almond, leather, spice and earth accents. Firms up on the finish, where the vibrant fruit echoes. Best from 2025 through 2050.”
Pagliarese Chianti Classico Riserva 2018 750ml WAS $33 NOW $28 special, 10 bottles available
Vinous 93 Points “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva is another gorgeous old-school wine from Pagliarese. Black cherry, cloves, licorice, leather and woodsmoke give the 2018 its distinctive, somber feel. This dense, super-expressive Riserva certainly has tons of character. Tasting the 2018 is like stepping back in time thirty years.”
Rizzi Barbaresco Riserva Boito 2015 750ml WAS $99  NOW $89 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 96 Points “Cellar Selection. Camphor, pipe tobacco, iris and mature black-skinned fruit aromas shape the nose on this full-bodied red. Delicious and structured, the firm palate delivers succulent black cherry, raspberry and licorice framed in firm, tightly knit but noble tannins. Drink 2023–2030.”
Wine Advocate 94 Points “The Rizzi 2015 Barbaresco Rizzi Riserva Vigna Boito features the artwork of proprietor Enrico Dellapiana on the front label. With only 3,176 bottles produced, the wine reveals broad shoulders, width and impressive depth. This vintage offers a complete picture of the Nebbiolo grape and of the distinctive elegance of Treiso, one of the cornerstones of the Barbaresco appellation. This Riserva offers a solid center of gravity with ample fruit rendering and framing. The vintage achieves a richer, more concentrated style that suits the wine very nicely.”
Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo 2017 750ml WAS $59  NOW $49 special, 13 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 95 Points “Rose, violet and perfumed berry aromas lead the nose followed by whiffs of camphor and culinary spice. Full bodied, supremely elegant and surprisingly fresh for the hot vintage, the savory palate delivers ripe Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and crushed mint alongside taut, refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. Drink 2022–2032.”
Rocca Di Montegrossi Vin Santo 2009 375ml WAS $89  NOW $79 special, 22 bottles available
Vinous 94 Points “The 2009 Vin Santo is a rich, exotic wine, as it always is. Readers will find one of the richest most intense Vin Santos being made today. Plush, tropical and ample in feel, Rocca di Montegrossi’s Vin Santo is bold and racy to the core. The 350 grams of residual sugar leave the wine with tremendous textural plushness.”
Giovanni Rosso Cerretta Barolo 2016 750ml WAS $89 NOW $79 special, 22 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 97 Points “Rose, red-berry, camphor and dark-spice aromas slowly emerge in the glass. Showing Serralunga’s hallmark of firm structure and finesse, the full-bodied, youthfully tense palate delivers juicy red cherry, raspberry compote, dried mint and licorice set against a backbone of noble tannins. Bright acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. Drink 2026–2056.  -Kerin O’Keefe”
Giovanni Rosso Comune di Serralunga Barolo 2016 750ml WAS $59 NOW $49 special, 31 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 96 Points “Iris, woodland-berry and pine-forest aromas shape the nose. On the focused, vibrant palate, mint and star anise notes accent a core juicy Marasca cherry. Taut polished tannins and bright acidity provide balance and a firm lithe structure.”

Collector’s Corner
The Rhône’s Best: Chateauneuf and Beyond
Henri Bonneau CDP Celestins 2012 750ml $419 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 97 Points “This defines old school, with savory detail and notes of roasted chestnut, fresh tobacco leaf, cedar and brick dust leading off, backed by a core of currant, cherry and plum fruit flavors that is lightly dried yet nonetheless fresh and racy in feel. Singed juniper and bay leaf hints score the finish. Likely to hold just like this for some time. Best from 2020 through 2040.
Chapoutier Ermitage L’ermite Rouge 2013 750ml $249 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 97 Points “Sleek, with mouthwatering flavors of red currant, raspberry and cherry preserves forming the core, while a dusting of cocoa, a snap of red licorice and a long, lingering iron spine complete the picture. Very pure and focused. The minerality wins out in the end. Best from 2019 through 2032.
Clos Des Papes Chateauneuf Du Pape 2017 750ml $119 special, 4 bottles available
Vinous 95-96 Points “Shimmering violet. Pungent aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, potpourri and smoky minerals, along with a spicy nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Youthfully chewy and deeply concentrated, displaying sappy black raspberry, bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors and suggestions of candied lavender and licorice. Shows impressive finesse for its depth and finishes extremely long and precise, with building tannins that meld smoothly with the wine’s densely packed fruit.”
Delas Cote Rotie La Landonne 2019 1.5L $549 special, 3 Magnum bottles available
Decanter 97 Points “Immediately this has the darkness and aromatic austerity of La Landonne. Very full-bodied, expansive on the palate with mouthcoating flavour and tannin but not heavy. This is seriously tannic, but it’s not tough. Great character, great power and perfect balance. Alcohol is just a little raised, but this is a blockbuster. Around 3,000 bottles made. Fermented in open-top concrete tanks for 20 days, then matured in new and one-year-old barrels for 14 months. Drinking Window 2026 – 2035.”
Delas Cote Rotie La Landonne 2019 750ml $279 special, 6 bottles available
Decanter 97 Points “Immediately this has the darkness and aromatic austerity of La Landonne. Very full-bodied, expansive on the palate with mouthcoating flavour and tannin but not heavy. This is seriously tannic, but it’s not tough. Great character, great power and perfect balance. Alcohol is just a little raised, but this is a blockbuster. Around 3,000 bottles made. Fermented in open-top concrete tanks for 20 days, then matured in new and one-year-old barrels for 14 months. Drinking Window 2026 – 2035.”
Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2019 750ml $219 special, 36+ bottles available
Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2019 1.5L $449 special, 8 Magnum bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “My favorite release from this estate is consistently their Les Bessards Hermitage, and their 2019 is no exception. Coming from the western part and pure broken granite soils on the west side of this magical hill, it sports a dense purple hue to go with a brilliant perfume of cassis, graphite, scorched earth, burning embers, spring flowers, and peppery herbs. Hats off to the team at Delas for another incredible wine.”
Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 2017 750ml $189 special, 29 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “The 2017 Hermitage La Chapelle comes from the firm’s vineyards on the western half of the Hermitage slope, primarily Le Méal, but with substantial contributions from Les Rocoules and Les Bessards. Classic notes of cassis, black olives, mocha and roasted meat are joined by hints of baking spices in a wine that’s full-bodied, deep, dense and rich, with a velvety texture and a lingering finish.”
Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2020 750ml $128 special, 16 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 97-100 Points “At the moment, the 2020 Gigondas Hominis Fides looks to be the standout of the three single vineyards, although all three are beautiful wines in the making. It certainly offers the most power and concentration, with lots of ground pepper, Provençal garrigue, violets, and loamy soils notes, as well as a darker cassis and berry-driven core of fruit. It builds beautifully on the palate, with ample structure, incredible balance, and a great, great finish.”
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