In This Newsletter:
Happy Holidays from Vinopolis!
We will be closing early at 4pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
On December 26th, we will be resuming our regular hours (10-6).
Wines Of The Week
New Arrivals To Help Make Your Season Bright
Failla, Ridge, Donnhoff, Royal Tokaji, and more!
Featured Winery: Domaine Tempier
Bold and Beautiful Wines from Bandol
Top Italian Wines for Less
The Rhine’s finest wines for your Holiday table
Castello do Papa is produced from the Godello grape in Valdeorras, which borders the renowned Ribeira Sacra, in Spain. The finest Godello wines come from this area where vineyards are tended along the banks of the coveted river Sil. This wine embodies the grape’s pure character highlighting its mineral profile. With enduring acidity and great balance, it stands as a versatile selection for diverse pairings and an excellent winter white wine option.
Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello, Valdeorras, Spain 2021 750ml $18.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine & Spirits 94 Points “About as pure an evocation of mountain grown Godello as you can find: This is a selection of the top 20 percent of fruit from Ladera Sagrada’s vines on granite and slate terraces at 2,000 feet of elevation. Macerated for half a day in stainless steel before fermenting without additions, this wine sees no malolactic conversion of the acidity. The wine is a little funky, a little sweaty and quite beautiful, yielding scents of acacia blossoms, notes of kumquat and Buddha’s hand in a minor key. It’s savory and long with the feel of cool slate. Pour it with rabbit braised with olives and herbs.”
24 dollars elsewhere
Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $39 special, 36 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 Points “Drappier’s new NV Brut Carte d’Or delivers attractive aromas of golden orchard fruit, stone fruit, honeycomb and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s charming and elegantly vinous, with a flavorful core of fruit, lively acids and a chalky finish.”
Wine Spectator 90 Points “Racy acidity enlivens this crisp and lacy Champagne. Well-knit, with the delicate mix of ripe white cherry, blanched almond, yellow plum and grated ginger flavors. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported.”
Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir, California 2021 750ml $19 special, 36 bottles available
Winery Notes “Calera is a vision, and Calera’s wines truly express the sense of place. Rather than follow the recommended path, Josh Jensen became a pioneer in American Pinot Noir. Taking his cue from the great domaines of Burgundy, which have grown grapes in limestone soil for centuries, he set out in search of the perfect spot in California to create wines unique to the world but in the style of the greatest wines of France. Site selection was vital as he ventured off the grid to plant on the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains of California’s Central Coast.”
The winery itself says of this vineyard, “this may be one of the more dramatic-looking vineyards in the area. Eastern facing, situated among Douglas fir trees on a bed of volcanic soil, Seven Springs is Biodynamic and dry farmed. We feel this meticulous attention to farming generates grapes of depth and complexity.”
Failla Seven Springs Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity, Oregon 2021 750ml $59 special, 18 bottles available
Winemaker Notes “Aromatically the wine has notes of bramble, tart blackberry, cigar box, Asian spice, and black tea compliment a balanced tannin structure. This wine will age in a cellar for years to come. On the palate, there is a hint of riper fruit flavors, as well as restrained tannins that showcase just how cellar-worthy this bottle is.”
Vinous 95+ Points The 2021 Lytton Springs is fabulous. Bright and vibrant to its core, the 2021 impresses with its poise. Readers will find a Lytton Springs that is very much in reserve, as opposed to the rest of the 2021s in this report, all of which are more approachable. Salivating acids and veins of tannin lend shape and persistence, but the 2021 needs time. Red cherry fruit, blood orange, rose petal and sage are some of the notes that linger on the close.
Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, California 2021 750ml $47.50 special, 12 bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is a wine of tremendous stature. Vertical and composed in bearing, the 2021 has a ton to offer, but is also a bit reserved today. Time in the glass brings out a mesmerizing range of red/purplish fruit, spice, cedar, new leather, tobacco, mocha and dried flowers. Pagani Ranch remains a beacon for Sonoma County Zinfandel-based field blends. This is a fine rendition.”
Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2022 750ml $95 special, 12 bottles available
Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2022 1.5L $219 special, 3 bottles available
Stuart Pigott (Suckling) 98 Points “What an exquisite stone fruit nose this super-fine and filigree dry riesling has! Yes, it is also very concentrated, but this and the power are completely underplayed. The result is an almost weightless palate that hangs like a white cloud in the still air. Extraordinary purity and precision at the almost endless finish. From organically grown grapes with Fair’n Green certification. Drink or hold.”
Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2022 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Stuart Pigott (Suckling) 99 Points “The restrained beauty of the peachiness in the nose is hard to describe, but easy to be overwhelmed by! On the compact palate this has staggering concentration yet still manages to be very light on its feet. The finish is blade-runner sharp, but the blade also flashes in the sun. Breathtaking drive and energy for the very warm and dry vintage. Then comes the remarkable wet-stone minerality and you can’t wait for the next sip. From organically grown grapes with Fair’n Green certification. Drink or hold.”
Royal Tokaji Kabar First Generation 6 Puttonyos, Tokaji 2018 750ml $79 special, 12 bottles available
Importer’s Note Rich intense nose with hints of tropical fruits and spice. Very fine and elegant wine, full-flavoured with vibrant acidity, citrus and peach on the palate with a long, balanced finish.
Enjoy at this young age or cellar for future enjoyment as the wine matures. Sip on its own as an aperitif, serve with fruit based desserts or hard cheeses or enjoy this mouth watering wine on its own instead of a dessert.
Royal Tokaji Furmint Aszu 6 Puttonyos, Tokaji 2013 375ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 97 Points “This ethereal Tokaji Aszú is golden in color, with aromas of delicate acacia flower, honeysuckle, fresh peach and tinned apricot. The flavors come alive on the palate, showing luscious apricot, floral honeycomb and fresh pear juice. The acidity is perfectly balanced to prevent this delightful wine from being too cloying.”
Royal Tokaji Szt. Furmint Late Harvest, Tokaji 2016 375ml $39 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points “This late harvest wine from Hungary is comprised of Furmint, Hárslevelu and Muscat. It has aromas of acacia flower and pear, with flavors of apricot, pear juice and dried rosemary. The finish is pleasantly sweet without being too cloying.”
Winemaker Notes “Pale gold color with delicate aromas of exotic fruits and spice. Light and fresh on the palate with hints of white peach, the wine is medium sweet with an excellent acid balance, a silky texture and a clean, long, crisp finish.”
Blend: 47% Furmint, 26% Harslevelu, 20% Yellow Muscat, 7% other native varietals
Casa Emma Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2018 750ml $54.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 Points “Pretty aromas of violet, kirsch, raspberry and black currant herald this elegant, vibrant red, which is firmly built, with a supple texture offsetting dusty tannins. Approachable now for its balance and fruit, but this should age well too. Best from 2023 through 2040.”
Wine Advocate 93 Points “The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione represents a selection of Sangiovese grapes from the areas with the highest limestone content and the most stones to loosen up the soils. These conditions are especially favorable to Tuscany’s finicky Sangiovese. This expression (with 15,000 bottles made) shows dried cherry, lots of dusty earth and black plum. The wine offers a pleasing medium to full-bodied style.”
Casa Emma Harenae (Amphora Aged) Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT, Tuscany 2018 750ml $44.50 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points “Made entirely in amphora, this delicious Sangiovese has inviting, earthy aromas of ripe black plum, truffle, blackberry, baking spice and blue flower. Reflecting the nose, the enveloping, chewy palate doles out mouthfuls of fleshy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon and tobacco. Velvety tannins provide the almost lush framework while fresh acidity picks up the finish. Drink through 2025. -Kerin O’Keefe”
James Suckling 94 Points “Aromas of dark plums, mulberries, black tea and black licorice. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins. Structured and focused with rich, intense layers of dark fruit. Pure fruit here. Sangiovese. Made in amphorae. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 Points “A dark and sultry expression of Sangiovese fermented in spherical amphorae, the Casa Emma 2018 Harenae doles out plenty of dried blackberry, plum, tobacco, spice and grilled herb. This is a full and generous expression that reflects the soft hills of Tuscany in its generous, mid-weight style and the sunshine of Italy in the textural darkness and richness of the fruit. This is a lovely wine with punchy bright fruit aromas to pair with a gilled, fatty steak. This is a terrific discovery I am very happy to recommend.”
Casa Emma Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 94 Points “Good ripeness to this red, which shows fruit cake, cedar, tobacco and dried cherries and plums. Full-bodied and chewy with plenty of wood showing through, but the driven acidity is more than capable of handling it. Layered and long on the finish. Drink from 2022.”
Wine Spectator 94 Points “A dose of new oak and pipe tobacco marks the aroma here, backed by flavors of black cherry, plum and iron. Firm and compact on the finish, with a lingering essence of woodsy, tobacco and spice elements. There’s a lot going on here, but this needs time. Best from 2022 through 2040. 700 cases made, 410 cases imported. — BS”
Casa Emma Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ml $49 special, 29 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 Points “I love the manner in which this wine hits the palate, showing velvety softness and firm structure at the same time. The Casa Emma 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is bright and true with a dark center of gravity and lots of luscious fruit. Dark cherry, wild berry and plum are framed by soft tones of earth, spice and blue flower. This balanced wine emits fine notes of candied cherry and tart fruit, giving it a punchy, genuine personality. This is a knockout vintage from organic farmer Casa Emma to try with pasta made with polvere di Sangiovese, the estate’s unique pomace flour from Sangiovese.”
Hailing from the underrated region of Boca in Piedmont producing Nebbiolo dominant red wines that are bright, highly acidic, and structured. These wines make for excellent food pairing opportunities.
As winemaker Christoph Künzli has said, “I’ve been [in the Boca] since 1998 because I believe in this region historically dedicated to the production of fine wines. The Boca, almost disappeared and forgotten, to be awarded among the 50 best wines in Italy, adding 23rd place in the Best Italian Wine Award and to have best scores and articles among the most important guides worldwide. I would like to thank all those who with commitment and will have believed and given space to our ideas. “
The new wine in the line-up this is a generous and friendly expression of Nebbiolo from the Novara hills. Aged nine months in tank.
Le Piane Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2022 750ml $28 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “Produced with Nebbiolo and Vespolina grapes from the Novara hills. This wine is the fruit of Altopiemonte’s vocation for flavour, fragrance, crispness of fruit and drinkability. Produced in the simplicity of our tradition, macerating for six days with a daily pumping over and maturing for about nine months in steel containers. Although an affordable wine, it is the result of careful harvesting and ageing that give it softness of tannins and excellent harmony, perfect for even meals with great personality.”
A blend of 70% Nebbiolo, 25% Croatina, and 5% Vespolina that sees two years in oak .This is an approachable and refined Piedmont red.
Le Piane Mimmo Rosso Alto Piedmonte 2019 750ml $33 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “Mimmo is dedicated to a friend from Boca who collaborated with us for many years to improve the quality standards in our vineyards. The wine can be defined as a good door-opener to Le Piane wines. There is a nice floral and fruity flavour with a soft elegance and long-lasting taste. Mimmo does not need to age for long but matures well over a period of 3 to 6 years. Very flexible use of this wine for sea fish, white meat, braised meat, vegetables and pasta dishes.”
…Bold and Beautiful Wines from Bandol
One of the most coveted and storied producers in all of France! If you haven’t experienced Domain Tempier before then this is your chance round out a benchmark piece of your wine education, and if you have experienced it…..it’s time to stock up!
Although the history of viticulture in the Bandol region is believed to date back to the Phoenician era, the modern origins of Bandol and Tempier itself date back to a man named Lucien Peyroux. Lucien, recently married to Lulu Tempier, who tasted a pre-phylloxera Mouvedre wine and was so impressed he began a campaign to bring the grape back to prominence and over time convinced the I.N.A.O. (Institut National des Appellations d’Origines) to make Bandol an AOC of its own. For this reason he is known as the Godfather of Bandol.
These wines are structured, elegant, and meaty. There is no finer wine for your holiday roasts than a fine Tempier Bandol.
Domain Tempier Bandol Blanc, Provence 2021 750ml $49 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Primarily Clairette (60%) and Ugni Blanc (30%), with bits of Bourboulenc, Marsanne and Rolle, the 2021 Bandol Blanc was still in tank when I visited early last year. It presents a striking juxtaposition of ripe pears and honeyed richness with brighter notes of fresh lime juice on the nose and medium-bodied palate, finishing with a sense of plush richness balanced by mouthwatering citrus zest and brine.”
Best price in the USA!
Domaine Tempier Bandol Pour Lulu Rouge, Provence 2020 750ml $56 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 91-93 points “Tasted from foudre, the 2020 Bandol Cuvee Classique had been blended the week before my visit. Already showing classic notes of tree bark and truffle layered against cherries and raspberries and a touch of olive, it looks relatively precocious. In the mouth, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with a long, plush finish.”
Domaine Tempier Bandol La Migoua, Provence 2020 750ml $81.80 special, 30 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2020 Bandol la Migoua—tasted from foudre—is a bit tarry and rubbery (expected, to some degree, in young Mourvèdre-based wines) but opens up to reveal seductive, ripe notes of blackberries and mulberries. A blend of approximately 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault, 15% Grenache and 5% Syrah, it’s medium to full-bodied on the palate, concentrated but silky in feel and elegant on the long finish.”
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge Cuvee La Tourtine, Provence 2022 750ml $89 special, 34 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Mainly Mourvèdre (85%), with Cinsault and Grenache, the 2020 Bandol la Tourtine was still in foudre at the time of my visit last year. Scents of cola, smoke and red berries provide ample complexity on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is concentrated and almost creamy in texture while remaining fresh and dynamic on the lengthy finish.”
San Giusto a Rentennano ‘Percarlo’ Sangiovese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ml WAS $199 NOW $179 special, 20 bottles available
Vinous 99 Points “The 2016 Percarlo captures all of the beauty it has always shown in the cellar. Pliant, silky and exceptionally polished, the 2016 simply has it all. Freshly cut flowers, rose petal, mint, spice and blood orange add striking aromatic nuance to a core of brilliant Sangiovese fruit. Powerful and ample, with superb aromatic lift, the 2016 Percarlo is exceptionally beautiful and moving from the very first taste. A whole range of floral and mineral notes extend the finish effortless. The tannins need time to soften, so readers should plan on at least a few years of cellaring. In a word: compelling.”
Horus ‘Corda Pazza’ Rosso Sicilia, Sicily 2020 750ml WAS $29 NOW $24 special, 20 bottles available
Importer Notes “Giuseppe used a third each of Nero d’Avola, Frappato, and Syrah and aged the wine only in tank to preserve its freshness and soil character. 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.”
Siro Pacenti PS Pelagrilli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2018 750ml WAS $59 NOW $49 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 Points “In an elegantly designed bottle, the Siro Pacenti 2018 Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli delivers lots of dark fruit and blackberry, and the quality of the fruit is bold, fresh and still very much alive. The house style prizes concentration and oak spice, but the detailed-minded winemaking is impeccable. The wine is structured and firm and stands apart in a crowd, but alas, it does show an unfortunate 15% alcohol content.”
Tua Rita Giusto di Notri Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ml WAS $79 NOW $69 special, 17 bottles available
James Suckling 96-97 Points ” Best Giusto di Notri ever? Full body, ripe and powerful tannins, as well as beautiful fruit. Chewy yet polished tannins and a lingering finish. This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with merlot and cabernet franc. Pretty barrel sample. This is coming along very nicely. Can’t wait to taste in bottle. Made from organic grapes.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 Points “Here is a high performance wine from Stefano Frascolla and his family. The 2015 Giusto di Notri is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The wine is contemporary, complex and gorgeous from tip to toe. You get a lot of power here and generous oak-driven tones of sweet espresso, chocolate and spice that surround a succulent core of dark fruit and candied cherry. All these elements appear even bigger and bolder in this warm vintage.”
Giovanni Rosso Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ml WAS $59 NOW $49 special, 3 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.”
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2018 750ml WAS $79 NOW $69 special, 12 bottles available
#9 Top 100 Cellar Selections 2022 – Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast 95 Points “Cellar Selection. Heady aromas of violet, camphor, leather and tobacco lead the way on this fragrant red. On the palate, tightly knit, fine-grained tannins accompany ripe Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry and licorice. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Drink 2025–2035.”
Castello di Volpaia Balifico Tuscana IGT, Tuscany 2018 750ml WAS $85 NOW $74.50 special, 25 Bottles Available
Vinous 96 Points “The 2018 Balifico, Volpaia’s Sangiovese/ Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is fabulous. Rich and inky, the 2018 offers up a compelling mélange of dark berry fruit, dark spice, licorice and espresso. I especially admire the wine’s textural richness. I imagine the 2018 will drink well for many, many years to come. In this tasting it is a total knock-out.”
Molitor Erden Treppchen Auslese *** White Capsule, Mosel 2019 750ml $119 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ Points “Partly from the Felsentreppe, the 2019 Erdener Treppchen Auslese *** (White Capsule) opens with a pure, fresh and flinty, iron-rich and refined bouquet of tropical fruit aromas with notes of broken (red) slate, lemon oil and lemon juice. Fat but refined, this wine combines the incompatible. Round and wide as well as precise and piquant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and concentrated yet powerful, vibrantly fresh and persistently salty Riesling with cognac or whisky features due its oaky and iodine character. Highly vital and salty, very elegant and complex, vibrantly fresh, with seriously firm tannin grip and a generous tropical stone fruit aroma, this is a giant in the making, but it needs some years to celebrate its class. Any Meursault would honor this Mosel Riesling that has been aged in a 770-liter Stockinger vat and a Burgundy pièce.”
Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 2017 375ml $149 special, 7 bottles available
100 Points Wine Advocate “The 2017 Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten Beerenauslese opens with a very clear, elegant, highly aromatic and finessed bouquet of ripe tropical and domestic fruits intermixed with stony notes. On the palate, this is a lush and salty-piquant BA with great mineral vitality and lingering energy on the finish. What a filigreed, lean, finessed and light-footed sweet wine with refreshing grapefruit notes on the nose and palate. This is incredibly elegant and refined, and I can’t imagine this BA could have been done any better. It’s incredibly charming and will tickle your palate now and forever. Tasted at the domain in April 2019.”
Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese*** GK, Mosel 2017 750ml $299 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 100 Points “As always, Molitor’s 2017 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is one of the ripest and most concentrated Auslesen of the vintage. Incredibly clear and intense notes of ripe peaches and mangoes on the nonetheless delicate and fresh nose intertwine with noble slate, fine oak and nougat aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, with stunning vivacious, filigreed acidity that gives it lightness, great finesse, lots of salt and tension and stimulating grip. This is still a baby, but in terms of complexity and finesse, it’s one of the finest wines Markus Molitor has produced in 2017. I cannot remember having tasted a three-starred Auslese from the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr that was so fresh, lean and filigreed. This 2017 Sonnenuhr is precise as a Swiss watch. Tasted at the domain in April 2019.”
Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenhuhr Beerenauslese *, Mosel 2017 750ml $399 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 100 Points “The 2017 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Beerenauslese * (Golden Capsule) is intense, fine and flinty on the highly precise nose with crunchy slate and grapefruit notes. Dense and concentrated on the palate, it has sweet but elegant and highly refined fruit intertwined with salty-finessed slate salinity and delicate acidity. This is a beautifully balanced BA from Molitor’s most important grand cru vineyard. Many readers might prefer its sweet and charming richness to the delicate finesse and crystallinity of the Würzgarten BA, which will be ready to drink sooner. But this Zeltinger Sonnenuhr in turn will gain even more finesse and drinkability over the years. Tasted at the domain in April 2019.”
Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese ** GK, Mosel 2019 750ml $499 special, 12 bottles available
Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese ** GK, Mosel 2019 375ml $249 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 Points “The 2019 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Trockenbeerenauslese is deep, intense and flinty on the nose that exhibits clear, ripe and concentrated fruit with very fine botrytis notes intertwined with aromas of crushed slate and candied lemon rind. Round and elegant on the seamless palate, this is a rich yet finessed and elegant, super tensioned and mineral TBA with electrifying acidity and a highly stimulating finish. There are not many TBAs around that are as digestible as this one, which is really extraordinary. 6.5% alcohol. Tasted in May 2021 (AP 29 20).”