August 19th Newsletter

August 19, 2013
Jump Start Sale 

Alfred Gratien Epernay Champagne Brut NV ($54.95) $36 super special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “A bright, balanced version, with a streak of minerality and a pleasant juiciness to flavors of black currant, poached apple, brioche, grilled plum and crystallized honey. Hints of candied lemon zest and grated coconut ride the fine texture on the finish. Drink now through 2020.”
This is the lowest FACTUALLY AVAILABLE listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $51 / bottle

New Week – New Arrivals

Two Messengers Pinot Noir WV 2011 ($29.95) $24.90 special

Two Messengers is a new project in the making led by Mark Tarlov (ex Evening Lands). The intent is to have an Estate Vineyard & winery. The consulting winemaker will be Burgundian Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, working with winemaker Mike D. Etzel, the son of Beaux Frères winemaker/senior partner Michael Etzel. This initial release under their label is a barrel selection from Patricia Green Cellars.

ROCO Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2011 ($31.95) $26 special
ROCO Pinot Noir Clawson Vineyard 2011 ($49.95) $40.90 special

The family wines by Rollin Sole (Argyle’s Mr. Everything) et femme.

Lazy River Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton 2009 ($37.95) $33 special
Winemaker: Eric Hamacher

K-Vintners Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard 2011 ($31.95) $27 special

Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Napa 2012 ($31.95) $26 special Vinopolpick
Simply beautiful, very citrus, very dry, very complex, very elegant

Amuse Bouche Proprietary Red Napa 2009 ($299.95) $149 super special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2009 Amuse Bouche is laced with freshly cut flowers, sweet spices and expressive red berries. Today, I find the 2009 beautifully expressive, with gorgeous aromatics, layers of fruit and lovely overall balance. This is a decidedly feminine, refined style, but it all works nicely. Layers of fruit continue to blossom through to the structured, powerful finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.”

Au Sommet Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa 2009 ($299.95) $149 super special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2009 Au Sommet is a bit lighter on its feet than the 2008. Sweet, silky tannins frame the fruit. Unlike the 2008, the 2009 is not particularly wild or exotic. Instead, it is a wine that stands out for its textural finesse and understated personality. This mid-weight, gracious Cabernet Sauvignon should be cellared for another year or two and enjoyed over the following decade. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024”

Heidi Barrett La Sirena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2008 ($179.95) $99 super special
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, from a vineyard on Pritchard Hill, is a gorgeous wine layered with black plums, cherries, smoke, camphor and licorice. The 2008 is a gracious, understated Cabernet that impresses for its balance, class and harmonious finish. The wine keeps getting better in the glass, as hints of tar, smoke and licorice flow through to the dense finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018”

Terlato- Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier 2009 ($17.95) $11.90 super special
Terlato-Chapoutier Shiraz Malakoff 2008 ($39.95) $31.90 super special
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Lean and lithe, tangy on balance, with roasted tomato overtones to the blackberry and pepper flavors, lingering on the polished finish. Tannins slide in on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2019”

Joseph Faiveley Chablis 2011 ($24.95) $19 special
Stephen Tanzer 89 points
 “Aromas of lemon, lime and medicinal herbs.  Richer than the 2010 version, with impressive mid-palate fat leavened by saline minerality.  A touch of honey contributes to the wine’s almost glyceral texture.  Finishes with very good length.”

Eric Texier St Julien en St Aubin Rouge 2010 ($34.95) $29 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“Inky ruby.  Heady aromas of dark berries, incense and olive, with a cracked pepper topnote.  Palate-staining blackcurrant and cherry-cola flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity, which adds back-end lift and cut.  This weighty but surprisingly lithe syrah finishes with excellent clarity and spicy persistence.”

Chateau de Sours Reserve de Sours Bordeaux Sparkling Rose ($17.95) $14 special Vinopolpick
Fun, fruit, and more fun. It is dry, and not heavy, but very packed with big red fruit.

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere Saint Emilion 2003 ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Lots of blackberry, vanilla and cherry on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Well-structured. Solid wine here. Best after 2010.”

Castel d’Agly Maury 2010 ($19.95) $16 special

Less sweet than most. You may want yours with cheeses, I’m having mine with cassoulet.

Andre Neveu Sancerre Les Grand Fricambaults Silex 2012 ($27.95) $21.90 special Vinopolpick
A conflux; great sancerre wine-maker, great vintage, great price

Domaine des Fines Cailottes Pouilly Fume 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
Could have been a Vinopolpick too- prototypical Pouilly Fume

Ciu Ciu Pecorino Merlettaie 2012 ($19.95) $16 special

Pecorino is a native grape of Italy’s Marche region. It is often an anonymous inclusion in the region’s white blends, which is a waste; because it is so compelling on its own, or, at least this one is.

Guido Porro Barbera d’Alba Santa Caterina 2010 ($21.95) $18 special Vinopolpick
Outstanding- Santa Caterina vineyard is a monopole Cru in Serralunga; very serious Barbera

Nino Negri  Sfursat 5 Stelle Sforzato di Valtellina 2007 ($79.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “The 2007 Sfursat 5 Stelle is a drop-dead, gorgeous wine laced with dark red fruit, licorice, new leather and French oak. All of the elements meld together with notable grace in this rich, expansive 5 Stelle. The fragrant, silky fruit flows through to an enveloping, generous finish. This is another superb effort from Nino Negri. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.”

Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia 2010 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 2008 ($149.95) $129 special
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 2008 1.5L ($399.95) $319 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points 
“The 2008 Barolo Cascina Francia possesses gorgeous inner perfume, layers of sublime fruit and fabulous overall balance. Plums, dark cherries and licorice are followed by darker notes of graphite and tar as the wine opens up in the glass. Today, the 2008 is much less expressive than it has been the many times I have tasted it from barrel. It will be interesting to see how the 2008 develops and whether it puts on weight or remains more of a mid-weight, gracious Barolo. Either way, it is fabulous.”

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 2005 ($499.95) $389 special
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 2005 1.5L ($1099.95) $899 special
James Suckling 98 points
 “Incredibly polished Monfortino. The tannins caress your palate. Aromas of marzipan and dark fruits with orange peel and cedar. Dried fruits. Extremely floral as well. Full-bodied, with super fine tannins and a great elegance. You can drink now but will age for ages…98”

Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione 2010 ($89.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “The 2010 Carbonaione (Sangiovese) is a stunner. Deep, rich and utterly impeccable, the 2010 boasts breathtaking richness, energy and power. The flavors remain incredibly primary in a wine that will require years to develop. Graphite, crushed rocks, blue/black fruit, plums and smoke emerge over time. As phenomenal as the 2010 is today, it really should be cellared for at least a few years. This is a drop dead gorgeous wine from Vittorio and Jurij Fiore.”

Over 2500 wines everyday:
Staff Picks

Graham’s Vintage Port Malvedos Vineyard 2009 ($59.95) $49 staff pick special

Birth Year/Anniversary Pick:  If you are looking for the perfect wine to lay down for the birth of a child or an anniversary, there might not be a better pick than a $49 bottle of Port.  Easily a 20-30 year aging wine, with only 1500 cases made.
          -Travis Fantz

Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Haut Lieu 2011 ($29.95) $21.90 staff pick special

“A white wine worthy of both immediate drinking or holding , depending on your desire. Slightly chilled it is amazingly clean and refreshing but once it warms you get the grassy and lemony hints on the nose. Vibrant citrus, honey and green apple notes with the bite of salinity and minerality that I love about wines from the Loire Valley. Based on this experience, I will definitely be turning to this wine, and Huet wines in general, again.”
  – Afton Boyd


Flash Sales


Taz Chardonnay Santa Barbera 2008 ($17.95) $7.70 flash sale special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points
  “With this 2008, Taz brings to the table a wonderful Chardonnay at a great price. It’s dry and crisply acidic, with bright, perky flavors of oranges, peaches, Meyer lemons and smoky vanilla. Really nice and clean, a lovely wine and a good restaurant by-the-glass selection.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $17 / bottle

Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2010 ($21.95) $14 flash sale special 91 points (Beverage Tasting Institute), Winery Notes
 “complex plum, black currant, and cocoa aromas echoed by rich persistent flavors of plush ripe fruit, dark chocolate and spice all supported by balancing rich velvety tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $19 / bottle

Laherte Freres Champagne Les Empreintes Brut Nature NV ($69.95) $45 flash sale special
John Gilman 92 points, Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “40% each of chardonnay and pinot noir, with 20% pinot meunier, all barrel-fermented):  Pale yellow-gold.  Musky pear skin, lemon curd and melon on the intensely perfumed nose.  Dry and linear on entry, then fleshier in the mid-palate, offering ripe orchard fruit, orange and fig flavors underscored by chalky minerals.  Impressively pure, precise Champagne with resonating citrus and mineral notes on the finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $62 / bottle

Coppo Barbera d’Asti l’Avvocatta 2007 ($17.95) $9.90 flash sale special
Antonio Galloni 89 points
 “The 2007 Barbera d’Asti L’Avvocata is just plain delicious. This cask-aged Barbera impresses for the clarity and fragrance of its ripe fruit as well as for its impeccable balance. It is a gem, especially at this price.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The next best listed price in the USA is $13.99

Faiveley Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2010 ($189.95) $139 flash sale special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points
 “(just 20 hectoliters per hectare produced):  Good deep red.  Very pure, complex nose melds black cherry, minerals, black pepper, wild herbs and an earthy nuance.  Large-scaled, sweet and rich, with a strong mineral underpinning to the flavors of black cherry and spices.  A very powerful and impressive Clos Vougeot with outstanding persistence.  The crop-limiting effect of the December frost has produced a wine with stunning concentration.”
Burghound 92-95 points “This is unusually elegant in 2010 with its refined nose of raspberry and earth though there are background notes of grilled meat and smoke. The supple, mouth coating and utterly delicious broad-shouldered flavors possess a silky texture yet there is plenty of power and punch to the very firmly structured finish. While there is a certain delicacy present, this will still need all of 15 years to realize its full potential.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $174 / bottle

Casanova di Nero Rosso di Casanova Sant’ Antimo 2010 ($24.95) $14 flash sale special
Antonio Gallon
i “I tasted the 2010 Rosso di Casanova di Neri from tank just a few days before it was scheduled to be bottled. Dark cherries, plums, flowers and spices literally jump out of the glass in this vinous, bright red. The 2010 Rosso is a great, budget-priced wine from Giacomo Neri. The blend is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino.” Wine Enthusiast “Cask-aged blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino grown in the Sant-Antimo appellation.  The Sangiovesse is aged in 48 and 72 hl casks while the Colorino is aged in smaller 6 hl barrels.  Expansive on the palate offering compelling notes of dark cherries, smoke and tar with outstanding depth and terrific overall balance.  A great introduction to the house style at a price that won’t break the bank”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $19 / bottle

Paitin Sori Barbaresco Serra Bella 2008 ($34.95) $21.90 flash sale special
Antonio Galloni 91 points 
“The 2008 Barbaresco Serra flows with sweet rose petals, cherries, spices and minerals. It shows lovely overall balance and harmony especially in the energetic finish. The Serra is already pretty inviting, but it will be better with a little more bottle age. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The other listed price in the USA is $ 34/ bottle

Red Glow on the Horizon
Hot hot pricing – Wines Arriving Thursday

Domaine du Colombier Hermitage Rouge 2009 ($89.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 94 points 
“There is not much of it, but the 2009 Hermitage is sensational. Abundant aromas of blackberry fruit, white chocolate, espresso roast and acacia flowers jump from the glass of this opulent, full-bodied, powerful Hermitage. With great intensity as well as silky tannins, this chewy, thick, well-endowed wine should evolve for 20-25+ years. Proprietor Viale is one of the best in the northern Rhone, but for some reason, this estate remains under most consumers’ radar.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $76 / bottle

Vietti Barolo Brunate 2009 ($159.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “From one of the region’s most celebrated vineyards, the 2009 Barolo Brunate lavishes on smoky, granite and mineral notes that make this wine absolutely irresistible. Even the drawing of a snail on the label seems to hammer home one obvious point: This wine is built for longer cellar aging. Its rich texture, velvety feel and firm structure are guarantees that it will become increasingly elegant and finessed with time. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030. If forced to inhabit a desert island that only served the wines of a single producer, I would want Luca Currado to be that supplier”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $151 / bottle

Vina Zorzal Garnacha Vina Vieja Navarra 2010 ($14.95) $8.80 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 88 points
 “Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Open-knit and juicy, with good clarity and lift.  Not the last word in complexity but extremely easy to like.  Finishes with good clarity and subtle spiciness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $14 / bottle

Alvaro Palacios Vi de Vila Gratallops Priorat 2010 ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “Dark ruby.  Aromas of cherry, cassis, cocoa, Asian spices and underbrush, lifted by a strong mineral quality.  Juicy, sappy and nicely concentrated, with very good density to its flavors of blackcurrant, bitter cherry and candied rose.  A lively, sexy wine that finishes with strong mineral bite and impressive length.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $50 / bottle
This shop never closes:

So soon – September – Prearrival

Pierre Peters Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons 2006 ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94+ points
 “Another brilliant wine, the 2006 Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons is shaping up to be a stunner. Today it seems to have the density and power of the 2002 but in a more linear style that brings to mind some of the energy of the 2004. Not bad, to say the least. Over time, hints of almonds and white flowers begin to emerge, but the 2006 remains a powerful Champagne built on explosive structure. Readers who can be patient will be rewarded with a stunning Champagne.”
Terry Thiese “Disgorged November 2012. An imposing fragrance leads to a foamy, fleshy palate; there’s nothing inscrutable here, this is an obvious masterpiece, less earthy and recherché than `05; tertiary blasts of chalk and mint; it’s finer-grained than the meaty `05, with less espresso-savor than `02 or `00. Ending notes of chartreuse.”

Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Extra-Brut Cuvee Heurtebise 2008 ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Terry Thiese
 “This is so stern and earthy it could almost be Chetillon; jasmine and lemon-zest, with green woodruffy elements, even flinty. He intended it for oysters—or to be an oyster—and it’s a bit sauvignon-ish.”

Hudelot-Noellat Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2007 1.5L ($999.95) $799 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Good medium red. Highly perfumed nose combines raspberry, strawberry, cocoa powder, white pepper, blood orange and a resiny headshop spiciness. Pungent, complex and weightless; a wonderfully lively, delicate wine with sneaky intensity and superb penetrating energy and lift. Finishes dry and understated. Suave rather than large. My recorked bottle lost some verve with 24 hours, suggesting that this wine is probably best for mid-term drinking-say, beginning in five years. But that brilliant nose can’t be duplicated anywhere outside the northern Cote de Nuits.”

Ca del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2010 ($39.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Of course, the Nebbiolos are nothing to sneeze at. The 2010 Barbaresco Valgrande, on the other hand, delivers a heightened sense of elegance and feminine restraint. The bouquet is redolent of cola, tar, blue flower, rosehip with faint hints of exotic spice. The tight grip of the tannins–firm without being astringent–gives this wine the attributes needed for longer cellar time. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026”

Monchiero Barolo Rocche di Falletto Castiglione Riserva 2006 ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Distinctive and alluring aromas and flavors of flowers, dried cherry, leather and licorice are matched to an elegant profile. There’s a firm, underlying structure, and this lingers with dried berry, leather and tobacco notes. Best from 2014 through 2028. 275 cases made.”


Perfect 3Liter
Arriving Feb-March 2014

Chateau Leoville-Poyferre Saint Julien 2009 3.0L ($1799.95) $1499 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “One of the more flamboyant and sumptuous wines of the vintage, this inky/purple-colored St.-Julien reveals thrilling levels of opulence, richness and aromatic pleasures. A soaring bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers is followed by a super-concentrated wine with silky tannins, stunning amounts of glycerin, a voluptuous, multilayered mouthfeel and nearly 14% natural alcohol. Displaying fabulous definition for such a big, plump, massive, concentrated effort, I suspect the tannin levels are high even though they are largely concealed by lavish amounts of fruit, glycerin and extract. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.’


Time To Say GoodBye 

Argiolas Rosato Serra Lori Sardinia 2011 ($17.95) $9.90 con te partiro special
Josh Raynolds 90 points
 “The 2011 Serra Lori Rosato is a standout among this year’s crop of rosés from Italy. Red berries, tobacco, mint, pomegranate and licorice are some of the many nuances that emerge from the glass in this texturally finessed, exotic wine. In 2011 the Serra Lori is beguiling and totally beautiful. The Serra Lori is Cannonau, Monica, Carignano, Bovale Sardo, all indigenous Sardinian varieties.”