Vinopolis Newsletter 5-8-17

New Week – New Arrivals; Vin Santo; Fire Up the Grill for Staff Picks; The Majesty of Pinot Gris; New to our May Sale; May Sale Recap


New Week – New Arrivals


Chapter 24 Vineyards ‘The Last Chapter’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points “Bright magenta. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, potpourri, vanilla and Asian spices, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet raspberry liqueur, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out smoothly with aeration. Displays a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes with subtle tannic grip and superb, floral-tinged persistence.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chapter 24 Vineyards Fire + Flood Series ‘The Flood’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 375ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Vivid ruby.  Powerful aromas of dark berry preserves, cola, licorice and lavender are energized by a bright mineral flourish.  Palate-staining boysenberry and black raspberry flavors are given bite by a hint of blood orange.  Sweet and broad on the long, sappy finish, which repeats the floral note and shows just a trace of tannins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the 375ML!

Maison l’Envoye The Attache Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($37.95) $28 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2013 Attaché is matured in 40% new oak and comes across a little sweeter and plush on the nose compared to the Two Messengers: kirsch, blueberry and a touch of violet coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth tannin, again, very well-judged acidity and a sense of natural poise that cannot disguise the Burgundy influence from Louis-Michel Liger-Belair. Like the Two Messengers, this is not only impressive, but exceedingly good value.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $34

Maison l’Envoye Two Messengers Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($27.95) $19 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Brilliant ruby-red. Vibrant, mineral-accented red and dark berry aromas, along with hints of woodsmoke and cocoa powder. Juicy and energetic in style, offering black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen slowly and become spicier on the back half. Closes very long, smooth and gently sweet, delivering resonating dark fruit character and silky, slow-building tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $26


Tranche Cellars Blue Mountain Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2010 750ML ($39.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Tranche Cellars Blue Mountain Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2010 750ML ($419.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “A gorgeous effort, the 2010 Syrah Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard offers up ripe, full throttle aromas of smoked black fruits, hints of chocolate, toast and spice to go with a full-bodied, rich and layered profile on the palate that has no hard edges, a great mid-palate and ripe tannin that emerges on the finish. A superb value, it will dish out loads of pleasure over the coming decade. Made by the team at Corliss, these Tranche Cellars releases are not only superb, they represent excellent value as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $31.20


Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is powerful and richly textured, almost shockingly so for an Arnot-Roberts wine. Ample and voluptuous because of the low yields of the vintage, the 2015 exudes intensity in all of its dimensions. Apricot, hazelnut, vanillin and dried herbs build into the creamy, deeply expressive finish. All things considered, the Watson Ranch handled the challenging conditions of the growing season well.”

Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) is another of the many highlights in this range from Arnot-Roberts. Inky and intense, and yet light on its feet, the 2015 has it all. Violet, lavender and black pepper add aromatic nuance. The 2015 was done with 100% whole clusters, but the stems aren’t especially noticeable. This is a fabulous wine from Duncan Arnot and Nathan Roberts. Even better, it is a stunning value. Don’t miss it!”

France – Rose

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Cuvee Tradition Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
“Aromas of orange peel with spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant with fruit tones and saline notes.”–Importer Notes

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tibouren Cuvee Speciale des Vignettes Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 special
“Intense color, on the nose it is spicy with hints of quince and roasted nuts. The palate is bold and fresh with a long finish.”–Importer Notes


Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($219.95) $199 special
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “This offers a gorgeous nose of melon, grapefruit, spices, herbs and honey. The wine develops a superbly clean feel of aniseed fruits, pear and a hint of apricot and honey on the palate, which gives way to a delicately creamy sense of fruits and herbs in the delicately honeyed finish. This is a beautifully elegant and superbly balanced wine in the making. 2030-2055”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2012 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2012 375ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 96+ points “More reductive on the nose than the Himmelreich Auslese Gold Capsule, the 2012 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule (AP #19 13) combines its deeper mineral character with a perfect expression of highly noble botrytis. The finish is piquant and firm and also more grippy and stringent due to the reductive style. The wine lacks the finesse and elegance of the Himmelreich at the moment, but is provided with the density and complexity for a long flight over the years.”

Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 97 points “Almost floral aromas open the pure and fresh 7% alcohol 2013 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule and intermixes flavors of wet stones, lemons and limes. On the palate this is an electrifying signature Riesling of 2013: sweet, lush and piquant and always precise, though super-concentrated. The finish is complex and long, always salty and stimulating. This is surely a wine made for decades.”

Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “This wine (fermented to legally dry levels) offers a dead-gorgeous nose of cassis, white peach and mint. The wine is nicely crispy and even somewhat sharp at the moment on the palate but leaves a gorgeously clean and fresh feel in the long finish. This light beauty needs time to develop in the bottle but should turn into quite a great wine.”

Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel  2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling GG has a deep, intense and flinty bouquet of perfectly ripe Riesling and citrus aromas. Full-bodied, intense and concentrated, this is a well-structured and mineral Grosses Gewächs with a long, complex and salty finish. However, this wine is more VDP GG-styled than what you were used to getting from the former Spätlese trocken.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This offers a stunning even if backward nose of slate, grapefruit, cassis, mint and herbs. The wine is gorgeously elegant and refined on the palate, with superb acidity coming through in the finish. This is still on the sharp side but only needs some bottle rest to shine. 2020-2030+”

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Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Lots of crème brûlée and pastry notes in this languid style, which offers accents of roasted almond and coconut meat. The finish has a pear tart flavor that lingers. Drink now through 2040.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2015 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Spätlese is deep and intense on the clear and smoky/flinty nose but still discreet at this stage. On the palate, this is a sweet, lush and piquant picture book Spätlese with vital acidity and remarkable complexity. Still shy and tight, the 2015 should turn out as a great wine in 15+ years. It has very good grip and concentration, and its sweetness will be reduced the older the wine gets.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93+ points “Harvested at 93° Oechsle, this offers a rather reduced nose of spices, herbs and cassis. The wine is gorgeously elegant and fresh on the palate and leaves a stunning feel of herbs and zesty citrusy fruits in the long and mouth-watering finish. This is a superb effort with great upside potential. 2025-2045.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner Langenlois, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 90 points “In order to have a village-level wine transitional in price, and because, like many Austrian growers and legal trend-setters, he is inspired by the VDP’s “Burgundian” classificatory and marketing ideas, Moosbrugger has inaugurated this new bottling. (But “Langenlois” as defined in the new Austrian classificatory hierarchy includes immediately surrounding towns, including Gobelsburg.) In addition to being sourced from young vines or lesser locations in the Grub, Lamm and Renner, it also reflects two sites without single-vineyard counterparts at this estate, namely Redling and Thal, both located in the commune of Gobelsburg itself, where fruit was especially concentrated and ripe this year due to the May hail and consequent low yields. The nose features lightly caramelized white peach, almond extract, cooling, high-toned green herbal essences and sea breeze. The polished, lush palate impression is correspondingly multifaceted, accentuating the wine’s sense of ripeness in its evocation of mango. A juicy, soothingly lingering finish incorporates intriguing hints of smoke and stone.”

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Coto de Gomariz Blanco, Ribeiro 2014 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Coto de Gomariz Blanco, Ribeiro 2014 750ML ($299.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “They have changed the label and image for the white 2014 Coto de Gomariz, which is mainly Treixadura with some 30% between Godello, Albariño and Loureira grown on different soils, granite, schist and clay in the village of Gomariz. This is an unoaked cuvée matured in stainless steel until the following spring when it’s bottled. The wine is very clean and expressive, serious, full of white flowers and with the fuller palate of the Treixadura, which gives it a great textured mouthfeel. Treixadura takes longer to ripen as it’s almost a tannic white variety, with a faint bitter aftertaste. This is a structured, complex white (despite being young), able to age and able to stand to powerful food, including white meat. Great showing for this wine in 2014.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $23


Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special (that’s only $10.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The super-tasty and gulpable 2016 Aupa Pipeño is a blend of País with some 30% Carignan (and whatever is found in the old vineyards) from a slightly cooler year. It keeps the style of previous vintages with the bright red fruit and the freshness of short macerations. In the dry-farming part of Maule they only saw 30 to 50 millimeters of rain when in the central valley they got 200! These grapes were harvested before the rain anyway, but the wine retains the freshness of a cooler year, fresher than 2015, more in line with the 2014 and 2013.”


Vin Santo

vin santo collectionVin Santo is a special dessert wine made in Central Italy from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes. Rarer still is the Occhio di Pernice, or eye of the partridge, a rose style made from Sangiovese grapes. Grapes selected for Vin Santos are picked as whole clusters and traditionally left to dry on straw mats in the warm rafters of buildings. Very little has changed in production despite the pulsing waves of modernity running through Italian winemaking:

“It’s a humbling experience to be in the presence of a wine that leaves its producer no option but to essentially let it make itself…..Vin Santo can be a rather unruly wine. With the recipe unchanged for centuries, many winemakers have come to believe Vin Santo production “oenology free.” They’ll take on a laissez-faire mentality, sealing their barrels with wax, never checking up on their wines and hoping for the best once it comes time to bottle. Truthfully, they’re not all that far off—Vin Santo operates with a mind of its own. But, each winemaker is tasked with a series of decisions that will help guide the product into becoming a fine wine of the modern era…..” -Bryce Wiatrak, Vinous Media

We’ve highlighted a number of producers that make some of the finest versions of this Italian classic. Travel with Bryce Wiatrak of Vinous Media as he explores the histories and traditions of each estate.


“No other Tuscan estate has come to emblemize modern Vin Santo’s entry into the realm of fine wine quite like this property…. The grapes, Malvasia and Trebbiano for the traditional Vin Santo and Sangiovese for the Occhio di Pernice, were left to dry in the appassitoio for six months. Around March, the grapes are manually crushed in a process that takes two weeks due to the density of the shriveled fruit. The wine then rests in one hundred year-old Slavonian oak caratelli for a period of ten to twelve years. Once each year, the winemakers will break the wax seal of a single caratello to monitor the Vin Santo’s progress.” -Bryce Wiatrak, Vinous Media

Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano 2000 375ML ($249.95) $179 special, 5 half-bottles available
Ian d’Agata Vinous Media 92 points “Bright amber-yellow. Fabulous high-toned aromas of raisin, caramel, white chocolate, hazelnut, roasted apricot and honey. Wonderfully glyceral yet tangy on the palate, with a chewy quality and uncommon acid thrust to the creamy, honeyed flavors. The palate-staining finish goes on and on but turns a little tannic at the back. This is usually Italy’s best Vin Santo, but I still think that the decision made a few years ago to increase the wine’s barrel aging by one year (it’s now ten years rather than nine!) has changed its marvelous balance; it is now thicker and tougher than it was previously.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $212

Arriving Mid-May

Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo di Montepulciano 2001 375ML ($319.95) $259 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 100 points “This wine merits every one of these 100 points. The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice (375 milliliters) is a singular work of art and a profound expression of Tuscany. I know Avignonesi owner Virginie Saverys would like to draw attention to the other wines in her portfolio, and she has every right to do so. But I just want to cry. When you have a wine as profound and perfect as this, everything else fades fast into the background. Virginie likes to say that Occhio di Pernice (made with red grapes) is the “male” and the Vin Santo di Montepulciano (made from white grapes) is the “female.” This is a great observation. The bouquet here is smoky and savory, but brilliant and sophisticated at the same time. You get an infinite array of caramel, maple syrup, espresso bean, licorice and candied fruit aromas. There’s so much dried fig as well. The concentration and thickness is out of this world. This wine is built like a tank and I’m not sure it will ever exit its drinking prime.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano 2001 375ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano (375 milliliters) is a divine and superbly delicious sweet blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Grechetto. The results are super concentrated and simmered down to a virtual reduction sauce of deliciousness. There are so many aromas to name, but some of the most evident highlights include candied orange peel, almond marzipan, caramel, toasted coffee bean, vanilla stick, mocha, dark honey and fragrant yellow rose. The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and deeply layered. I’m suggesting a slightly shorter drinking window here compared to the Occhio di Pernice. But, the truth is: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure these wines will outlive anyone of legal drinking age.”

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Badia a Coltibuono

“Badia a Coltibuono’s Vin Santo comes from vineyards active since approximately 1050 AD, when the old monastery that houses the winery was built. Stucchi relies on “perfect” Sangiovese clusters for the Occhio di Pernice, loose and healthy. He crushes the fruit in a basket press, but leaves the must there for two days for the skins to impart more pigment. The 2006 sweeps across the palate in broad strokes of coffee grounds, poached figs, toffee and buttered popcorn. A thread of acidity keeps the Vin Santo focused and long, needling its way through the fleshy, brooding wine.”

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice, Tuscany 2006 375ML ($79.95) $69 special, 27 half-bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice is one of the best wines I have tasted from Badia a Coltibuono in some time. Sweet, dark and voluptuous, the 2006 shows all of the richness of a 100% Sangiovese Vin Santo, yet also possesses remarkable restraint for such a big wine, with plenty of intensity but no excess weight. A bevy of leather, licorice and clove notes round out the silky, mid-weight finish.”

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Fattoria di Fèlsina

“Fèlsina lies on the southernmost end of Chianti Classico, its vineyards rolling into the gentle hills of Chianti Colli Senesi across the border. Proprietor Giovanni Poggiali aims to produce a Vin Santo that sits at the middle ground between the old and new styles… Fèlsina repurposed the top floors of a series of thousand year-old farmhouses sprinkled across their celebrated Rancia vineyard as appassitoio. There the grapes dry on bamboo shelves until crush around late December or early January each year. Afterward, the wine is aged for seven years in one hundred liter casks, made from a mixture of Hungarian and French oak and F. Renzi caratelli, before spending an additional year in bottle before release. Poggiali checks about fifty percent of barrels at the one and five year marks.

“Malvasia drives the blend of Fèlsina’s Vin Santo at about forty percent, the rest evenly divided between Sangiovese and Trebbiano. Despite the relatively high dose of Sangiovese, this Vin Santo falls just slightly on the lighter side. Perhaps the most refreshing Vin Santo I tasted, the current release 2005 blooms with bright citrus flavor – freshly-squeezed lemonade and orange blossom. It has a high acidic lift that carries the wine to a long finish. Giovanni Poggiali also prefers his Vin Santos served slightly chilled, a smart move that accentuates the youthfulness of his wines.”  -Bryce Wiatrak, Vinous Media

Felsina Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2005 375ML ($47.95) $39 special, 4 half-bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “Made with Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sangiovese, the 2005 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico opens to a brilliant amber color and thick viscosity that hugs to the rim of the glass. Oak-driven tones of vanilla and caramel are immediately apparent, but quickly followed by candied fruit, butterscotch and orange peel. Clusters undergo a natural drying process on mats until February of the following year. The must is transferred to sealed oak casks containing the “mother,” or gelatinous remains from previous vintages.”

Isole e Olena

“Vintner Paolo de Marchi claims one of the smartest decisions he made was moving his two vinsantaie to the ground floor in 1991. Although it forgoes tradition, he believes having the barrels closer to the cool ground helps preserve acidity and prevent a “cooked” taste to the wine. While I can’t say whether or not the relocation is the cause, the first thing I noticed when trying Isole e Olena’s Vin Santo was a kinetic vibrancy. It tastes as if every particle in the 2006, its current release, is in acceleration and en route to collision. Flavors of orange blossom, dried apricot and freshly squeezed lemon crescendo through the finish. That bullet of citrus lingers longest, piercing through a more savory mid-palate of buttered popcorn and toffee. Despite the solid lift the acidity gives, the wine is full bodied, thanks to the two-thirds Malvasia.” -Bryce Wiatrak, Vinous Media

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2003 375ML ($59.95) $39 special, 22 half-bottles available
“High-toned nose, rich in dried fruit, marmalade and salted nut aromas. Utterly delicious; intense and crammed with flavour – raisins, figs, orange peel – but relatively light on its feet with cracking freshness.”–Decanter Magazine

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2004 375ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ half-bottles available
Ian d’Agata Vinous 94 points “Deep amber-yellow. Sexy, kaleidoscopic nose combines exotic tropical fruits, chestnut honey, raisin, dried fig, caramel and a musky iodine note. Then sharply delineated and penetrating on the palate in spite of its honeyed sweetness, with superb acidity giving spine to the dried fruit and ripe citrus flavors. This wonderfully vibrant yet thick and rich Vin Santo coats the mouth on the long, smooth finish. Great stuff.”
Antonio Galloni Vinous 92 points “The 2004 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico wafts from the glass with burnt sugar, caramel, roasted coffee beans, licorice and dried flowers. Even with 200 grams of residual sugar, the wine comes across as restrained and impeccable, even a touch ethereal on the finish. The Vin Santo is Malvasia and Trebbiano.”

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2006 375ML ($59.95) $49 special, 21 half-bottles available
Antonio Galloni Vinous 94 points “The 2006 Vin Santo is quite powerful and viscous in the glass, perhaps a bit more so than is the norm. An exotic mélange of dried fig, honey, sage, baking spices and sweet herbs are all thrust forward. This is one of the most intense Vin Santos I can remember tasting at Isole e Olena. The 220 grams of residual sugar are clearly felt in the wine’s heft, yet all the elements are in the right place.”

Fattoria Montellori

This small, family-owned estate dates back to 1895. Flying mostly under-the-radar, they offer an excellent introduction to the Vin Santo style at an incredible value. Imported directly to Portland.

Fattoria Montellori Vin Santo Bianco dell’Empolese, Tuscany 2010 500ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 21x 500ML bottles available
Winery note “Variety: 100% Trebbiano. Area of origin: Fucecchio. The best selected grapes start to dry naturally on rough mats until December. After this time grapes are pressed and fermentation starts in small barrels called “Caratelli” where the Vinsanto Montellori stays for a minimum time of 3 years. The wine continues to age in bottle. Tasting notes: Golden yellow colour. Perfumes of dried apricot and almond. Taste remembers sweet notes and honey. Very persistent and deep in aromas. A classic Vin Santo, … for a nice Cantuccino!”

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Staff Pick

In May, when I can stand outside and not be washed away by Portland’s liquid sunshine, I get the grill out and start thinking, “Fire, meat, wine…”, and not necessarily in that order. My favorite wines for early season grilling, when the weather might not yet be at peak-sunshine, are from the sunny Languedoc Roussillon. The trinity of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan pair with almost anything you can put on a grill; red and black fruit paired with snappy minerals, slick tannins, and enough backbone and alcohol to stand up to the ripeness. These have a spiciness and smokiness all of their own; who needs the grill?

Domain de l’Edre is the star of the show: ripe and round, full of pepper and licorice. There is also a pretty floral note and a whiff of smoke. The fruit is surprising and bright – ripe raspberry and fresh plum. This wine brings the most elegance to the table, and it has the highest percentage of Syrah at about 60%. This might make it a little safer for those that don’t know the area, but the most interesting part of the wine comes from the aromatics and the lift that the Carignan provides. I save this for better cuts of meat, where the fat, salt and pepper play with the bright, polished side of this wine.

My dark horse is Mas Cal Demoura L’infidele. It tends toward the wild side, only partially destemmed with a long maceration before being aged in large, mostly older demi muids. It goes to bottle unfiltered and continues to develop and age nicely. Aside from the Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, there are also almost equal parts of Cinsault and Mourvedre. It has a ton of flavor but doesn’t overwhelm the palate. As the lightest of the three selections, coming in at 14% alcohol, this wine is almost refreshing in the chewiness. This is one for ribs, roast chicken, smoked sausages. It will stand a little chill as well.

The Peuch-Haut Prestige is the juiciest of the three: fresh, lively and fruity, but deep. It also is the most Grenache heavy, with no Carignan. It’s a crowd pleaser. Put this alongside your pulled pork sandwiches. It’s going to play well with a wider variety of savory stuffs, including Kansas City BBQ and grilled veggies.

Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $39.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”

Mas Cal Demoura Terrasses du Larzac L’Infidele, Languedoc-Roussillon 2010 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate: “Meaning “One must remain” in Occitan, Mas Cal Demoura was created by Jean-Pierre Jullien in 1970. At the time, there was a mass exodus of vignerons away from their own estates, and the region in general, due to an inability to make a living producing wine. Jean-Pierre followed this trend, but in 1985, his son Olivier set off on his own, creating the now benchmark estate Mas Jullien (which is also reviewed in this report). Following his son’s example, Jean-Pierre left the coop in 1993, sold a number of his vineyards, but kept the best 5 hectares for his own estate. Jean-Pierre retired in 2004, selling the estate (after working with them for a year during the transition) to the current owners, Isabelle and Vincent Goumard, who both studied winemaking in Dijon. The estate now covers roughly 11 hectares located outside the village of Jonquieres, in the heart of the Terrasses du Larzac region. The wines are all noteworthy, with medium to full-bodied richness that’s always balanced by classy, elegant overall profiles that remain a joy to drink. They’re all highly recommended.” JD
Importer Notes: “The historic cuvée of Jean-Pierre Jullien, L’Infidèle is a blend of all the regional grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. The Goumards make choices in the vineyard and in the cellar that will emphasize finesse and freshness in this bottling, allowing for full expression of the fruit. The grapes are partially destemmed. Temperature is rigorously controlled. The cuvaison can extend for as long as six weeks with frequent remontage. Aging takes place mostly in older demi-muids and each grape variety undergoes the primary stages of the elevage separately.  Based upon a series of ongoing tastings, the Goumards determine the final blend and then the five varieties are assembled in cuve and aged for an additional six to eight months prior to bottling. The wine is bottled without filtration.”

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Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau Puech Haut lies just outside the village of Saint-Drezery and is owned and run by Gerard Bru, with consulting help from Philippe Cambie. They produce a number of cuvees, with their entry level efforts representing superb values, and their top cuvees being able to stand toe to toe with the greatest wines in the world.”


The Majesty of Pinot Gris

The Alsatian Apogee of the Grape

Pinot Gris is at once noble and completely ignored as a serious wine grape. It’s an odd paradox—talk to winemakers in the Willamette Valley about the grape and Alsace always comes up as a touchstone, but sometimes the wines are marketed and consumed quite differently. Often times domestic Pinot Gris is light and airy, with the attitude of a quaffer that doesn’t need a second thought.

Alsatian Pinot Gris, on the other hand, can be a flamboyant, dramatic wine. It carries ripe, peachy fruit on a bed of salty minerality and pulsating zestiness.  The wines work with a variety of foods, providing a rich contrast to light spring greens but also standing up to roasted chicken or braised pork.  In a lot of ways, they’re the perfect wines for spring—the fruitiness they provide feels as affirming as the vernal sunshine and their acidity lifts all of the bright fresh produce that’s at markets now.  We’re highlighting our favorite producers from France here, but as always, you can head to to see what we have in store from the rest of the world.

Highlight Alsatian Pinot Gris In Stock Now:

Agathe Bursin Pinot Gris Dirstelberg, Alsace 2015 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Ian D’agata–Vinous 90 points “Straw-yellow. Green apple, lemon juice, unripe pear and minerals on the complex nose. Then sweet and rather large in the typical Dirstelberg style, displaying a tactile mouthfeel and an almost chewy quality to the apple and pear flavors. Finishes off-dry and medium-long.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Brand, Alsace Grand Cru 2012 750ML ($89.95) $59 special, 8 bottles available
Jancis Robinson 16.5/20 “Rather closed nose but suitably full on the palate. Not overweight but certainly plump – as classic Alsace Pinot Gris is wont to be.” (RH) (16-Jun-2014)

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

Domaine Ostertag Pinot Gris Fronholz, Alsace 2012 750ML ($59.95) $44 special, 4 bottles available
Ian D’agata–Vinous 90 points “Pale straw-green. Captivating aromas and flavors fresh apple, pear compote and smoke. Juicy and rather sweet, but with lively acidity giving it a light touch. This long wine was aged for 15 months in new oak” ID

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Domaine Marcel Deiss Huebuhl, Alsace 2008 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 13 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “(pinot gris and muscat) Full orange-gold. Pungent, high-toned aromas of orange, spices and medicinal herbs; conveys a strong botrytis character. A very sweet, energetic fruit bomb in the mouth, with brisk acidity giving grip to the rather exotic flavors of tangerine, apricot, yellow peach, botanical herbs and spices. Big and broad but not heavy. Finishes long, tactile and slightly phenolic, showing its pinot gris side today.” ST

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Roche Calcaire 2012 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points “A lithe Pinot Gris, with juicy acidity and zesty accents of citrus peel and ground spice enlivening the well-knit flavors of slivered almond, apricot, sea salt and honeysuckle. Offers a lasting, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2024. 800 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rotenberg, Alsace 2012 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “A high-altitude vineyard has produced this delicious, crisp and cool wine. While it has weight and rich fruit, it’s the enticing acidity that sets this wine apart. There’s a poise to this wine that gives style while not losing any depth of apple, pear and spice flavors. Drink from 2017.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Crackling acidity defines this linear Pinot Gris, layered with stony minerality and offering a sleek mix of crunchy pear, honey, grapefruit zest, verbena and nut flavors. Finely balanced. Drink now through 2024. 260 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ok, ok, we can’t let Alsace have all the fun. From the family that introduced the USA to Pinot Grigio comes a refreshing & flavorful Grig’ from all-estate grown fruit:

Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2015 750ML ($24.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles available
The Tasting Panel 93 points “No doubt this prestigious region in northeast Italy shines when it comes to white wines; an envious position on the world wine stage. This pretty, crisp white certainly shows ripeness in its concentrated notes of pear, peach and grapefruit but its stoney frame is a nod to the iconic mineral rich sloped terraced vineyards responsible for its pizazz and charm. The finish is clean, punctuated with an apricot accent.”
James Suckling 90 points “A rich and lightly oily pinot grigio with sliced mango and light banana aromas and flavors. Dense and flavorful. It’s a white that offers plenty of flavor and interest for the buck. Delicious finish. Drink now.”

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


New to our May Sale

Arriving May 12th

Domaine Collotte Marsannay Les Champsalomon 2014 750ML ($34.95) $24 May Sale pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Collotte Marsannay Les Champsalomon 2014 750ML ($359.95) $249 May Sale pre-arrival special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is pure, with cherry, black currant and spice flavors fused to a firm, dense structure. A graphite element emerges as this cruises to a long, gripping, spice-infused finish. Best from 2020 through 2030. 150 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.96
The average price is $30

Domaine Collotte Marsannay Le Clos de Jeu 2014 750ML ($34.95) $24 May Sale pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Collotte Marsannay Le Clos de Jeu 2014 750ML ($359.95) $249 May Sale pre-arrival special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points “There’s fine purity here, with cherry, raspberry, violet and iron flavors. Succulent yet taut, with dense, refined tannins. Shows fine balance and length, featuring bright fruit from start to finish. Best from 2018 through 2027. 100 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.99
The average price is $30

Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2014 750ML ($44.95) $28 May Sale pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2014 750ML ($479.95) $299 May Sale pre-arrival special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 87-90 points “Similar to the classic cuvee, the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Girard is a custom blend for importer Peter Weygandt. Showing a touch darker fruit and possibly more concentration, it has building tannin and a solid finish. It has outstanding potential.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $38.99


May Sale Recap

June will be here soon and these deals won’t last forever!

May Sale 5-8


Thank you for reading!