December 16th Newsletter

December 16, 2013
Jump Start Sale
Castello di Bossi Corbaia Toscana 2008 ($69.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2008 Corbaia is striking in this vintage. A delicate, graceful bouquet gives the impression of femininity, until layers of fruit hit the palate with relentless energy and focus. The 2008 impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. The tannins are still huge at this stage, but I sense that as they melt away the wine’s true pedigree will begin to emerge. This is a great, great showing from Castello di Bossi. Corbaia is 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in new French oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $59 / bottle


New Week – New Arrivals
J Christopher Pinot Noir Sandra Adele Dundee Hills 2011 ($44.95) $37 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Sourced, as it was last year, from Charlie’s and Abbey Ridge vineyards on Worden Hill Road (and including Somers’ entire crop from the latter, as he did not essay an Abbey Ridge-dedicated 2011), the J. Christopher 2011 Pinot Noir Sandra Adele comprises 146 cases. A lovely, sachet-like herbal and floral melange in the nose – with rose petal and lavender prominent – is complemented by fragrant and juicy evocations of cherry and red currant. Silken and caressing but at the same time bright and juicy, this acquires salted caramel, veal stock, and faintly sweaty carnal-mineral notes in a long finish that preserves all of the captivating floral, herbal, and berry allure promised on the nose.”J Christopher Pinot Noir Olenik Vineyard Chehalem Mountains 2011 ($44.95) $37 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Blackberry, cassis, cherry, high-toned citrus oils, and peat pungently scent the J. Christopher 2011 Pinot Noir Olenik Vineyard, which comes to the palate with sap and grip, its tannins more noticeable than in other wines of this collection but still fine-grained. There is a glowing intensity of cherry pit piquancy here that furthers an impressively penetrating, lusciously fruity and invigoratingly zesty, energetic finish. I can’t imagine this running out of juice or electricity before 2022.”

J Christopher Pinot Noir Bella Vida Vineyard Dundee Hills 2011 ($44.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “From four-fifths Wadenswil vines on Steven and Allison Whiteside’s historic Worden Hill Rd., the J. Christopher 2011 Pinot Noir Bella Vida – of which there are 122 cases – displays aromatically penetrating as well as brightly juicy plum and cherry, tinged with sandalwood, sage, beef blood, and saliva-liberating salinity. Sappy and vibrant, it finishes with a tart chew of fruit skin, piquant herbal accents, as well as a mouthwateringly savory meaty and mineral melange. I expect this to perform beautifully through at least 2020.”

J Christopher Pinot Noir Lia’s Vineyard Chehalem Mountains 2011 ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“Suggestions of sassafras, ginger and root beer mingle with fresh plum and cherry in the J. Christopher 2011 Pinot Noir Lia’s Vineyard, whose richness of texture, subtle creaminess and expansiveness mark the riper character of this site, but are combined with a bit less refinement or high-toned complexity than harbored by many of this collection’s other Pinots. There is a vintage-typical bit of tartness in the finish, for now slightly detached. But this has length and depth already and is likely to gain in interest and harmony over at least the next half dozen years.”

Mark Ryan Long Haul 2011 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
 “A step up and comprised mostly of Merlot, but with 13% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot as well, the 2011 Long Haul is a big, rich effort that will need a handful of years to come together. Aged 21 months in 73% new French oak and showing notions of red plum, currants, cedar, spice and sweet oak on the nose, it has a medium to full-bodied, rich and layered mouthfeel. Give bottles 2-3 years and plan on drinking over the following decade. Drink 2016-2026. An estate that’s getting up into the creme de la creme of Washington State producers, Mark Ryan Winery was founded by Mark Ryan McNeilly in 1999. Mark now gets assistance in the winemaking from the talented Mike MacMorran (of Manu Propria and Force Majeure), and the wines have overall classical profiles, with bright acidity and tannin, that never lack for fruit or depth. If you haven’t tried these wines, now is a great time to check them out.”

Mark Ryan Dead Horse 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
 “More firm, concentrated and structured, the 2011 Dead Horse is Mark’s Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend and checks in as 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all from Red Mountain. Aged for 21 months in 72% new French oak, it’s slightly brooding and backwards with black fruits, smoked earth, coffee bean and spice box aromas and flavors as showing with some aggressive swirling. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, beautifully balanced and with big minerality on the finish, it’s a serious Washington blend that will reward 2-4 years in the cellar and have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity. Drink 2015-2031.

Joseph Swan Zinfandel  Mancini Ranch 2008 ($31.95) $28 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Inky ruby.  Pungent cherry and dark berries, pipe tobacco, flowers and underbrush on the nose.  Creamy cherry and cassis flavors are lifted by zesty minerality and show very good focus.  Becomes richer on the finish, which leaves cherry compote and spicecake notes behind.”

Joseph Swan Zinfandel Stelwagen 2007 ($31.95) $28 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“Bright purple.  Displays sexy dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, vanilla, violet and tobacco aromas and a hint of allspice.  Broad, fleshy and sweet, offering palate-coating black and blue fruit flavors and a strong floral quality.  Aeration brings up exotic Indian spice notes that carry through the sweet, gently tannic finish. Smooth, seductive and approachable now but will age effortlessly.”

Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 ($39.95) $29 special
Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 ($39.95) $29 special

Failla Chuy Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Layers of tropical fruit, white truffles, almonds and dried pears flow effortlessly from the 2011 Chardonnay Chuy Vineyard. This is an unusually dense, concentrated wine for the Sonoma Coast, particularly in this vintage. Elements of exoticism give the Chuy much of its beguiling, captivating personality. Chuy was planted in 1964. The head trained vines are dry farmed. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021.”

Failla Keefer Ranch Chardonnay 2011 ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “Lemon oil, grapefruit and crushed rocks all take shape as the 2011 Chardonnay Keefer Ranch shows off its focused, vibrant personality. This is one of the more pointed, intensely saline Chardonnays in the lineup. Transparent, vivid and totally alive in the glass, the 2011 impresses for its balance and crystalline purity. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.”

Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011 ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Easily my favorite of the 2011 whites, and comprised of 64% Roussanne, 26% Grenache Blanc and 10% Picpoul Blanc, the 2011 Esprit Blanc de Tablas offers up a beautifully clear, detailed and balanced profile with plenty of white peach, orange rind, buttered toast, cream and hints of hazelnut all emerging from the glass. Medium-bodied, silky and polished on the palate, with excellent acidity and freshness, this beauty can be consumed now, or cellared for a decade. Drink now-2026.”

Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2011 750ml ($59.95) $49 special
Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Rouge 2011 375ml ($31.95) $27 special
Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas 2011 Magnum ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“A blend of 40% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Counoise, the 2011 Esprit de Tablas has a core of sweet black raspberry and cassis that is cut by more savory, meaty nuances, pepper and spice. Medium to full-bodied, rich and beautifully textured, with ripe tannin, it’s a more streamlined, fresh version of the cuvee that relies more on elegance and complexity than sheer depth and richness. It will have 10-12 years of longevity.”

Pierre Gimonnet Fleuron Champagne Brut 1996 ($189.95) $169 special,  yes, 1996, only 6 bottles

Boizel Joyau de France Brut Grand Vintage 1996 ($119.95) $99 special
Guide Revel des Champagnes 19/20; Wine Advocate 93 points “60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay Roasted hazelnuts and biscuity aromas, quite a bit of earthy character, chalk, wet pebbles, a little bit of wild strawberries. Crisp, fine bubs, great intensity. Long minerally finish.”

Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 ($139.95) $109 special
Burghound 91-94 points 
“Subtle wood influence sets off notably ripe and dense aromas of violets, plum, earth and various floral nuances. There is excellent richness and power to the big-bodied, intense and well-delineated flavors that enjoy an impressive reserved of mouth coating dry extract, all wrapped in a very firm but impeccably well-balanced finish. This impressive effort should amply reward 12 to 15 years of cellar time.”

Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2011 ($219.95) $179 special
Burghound 92-95 points 
“Deep ruby. Here the wood is relatively generous and less well-integrated though the aromatic profile of the ever-so-slightly riper nose is otherwise quite similar. There is more size, weight, power and concentration to the imposingly constructed flavors that are both supported and shaped by the tightly wound and extremely firm tannins, all wrapped in a mouth coating and hugely persistent finish. This displays terrific potential but it is a wine to buy only if you have the wherewithal and patience to wait.”

Jadot Chateau de Jacques Moulin a Vent 2011 ($21.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Reflecting (as explained in my introductory notes) the inclusion of all of Chateau des Jacques’s fruit from Champs de Cour and Clos des Thorins as well as the usual selected lots from all of their other Clos holdings, a generic 2011 Moulin-a-Vent mingles ripe dark cherry, plum and cassis with marrow-rich savory suggestions of meat stock. Salt, stone, iodine, mocha and toasted nuts add intrigue to a sustained finish in this lovely, tenderly textured and relatively gentle offering that pales slightly only in comparison with the active impingement that characterizes this year’s Chenas and Fleurie tasted immediately before. Incidentally, this was brought-up in one-third each in new barriques, used barriques and tank, in contrast with the nearly 100% new barrels in which the estate’s single vineyard Moulin-a-Vents continue to be raised. An outstanding value, it should reward following at least through 2017 and quite possibly beyond.”

Domaine de Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee 2011 ($69.95) $49 special
Robert Parker 93 points 
“Beautiful in the vintage, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape is a forward, perfumed example of the cuvee that has classic Pegau black fruits, tobacco leaf, pepper and leathery notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Early-drinking by this estate’s standards, there’s nevertheless good mid-palate density and fine tannin. It should have 15 years or so of overall longevity.”

Luneau-Papin Muscadet Terre de Pierre 2010 ($27.95) $24 special
John Gilman 96 points
 “This cuvee was launched in the 2008 vintage as “Terre de Pierre”, but was renamed for the actual vineyard name of Butte de la Roche in 2010. This is a great site, with a unique geological composition and the 2010 version has done great justice to this superb terroir. The bouquet is deep, bright, complex and classy, wafting from the glass in a mix of lemon, ocean breeze, a touch of dried flowers, a very complex base of stony soil tones, just a whisper of lees and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with stunning complexity, great focus and poise, a lovey core, brisk, ripe acids and outstanding length and grip on the dancing finish. This is one of the best young bottles of Muscadet I have ever had the pleasure to taste! 2013-2030+.”

Janvier Coteaux du Loir Rouge 2011 ($19.95) $16 special
Pineau d’Aunis- for those of you who delight in wild strawberries

Paitin Barbaresco Serra 2010 ($37.95) $30.90 special
Case-12: Paitin Barbaresco Serra 2010 $336 super special (that’s $28 / bottle)
Antonio Galloni 93 points 
“Dark cherries, menthol, tobacco, licorice and tar all emerge from the glass in the 2010 Barbaresco Serra. This is a decidedly dark, powerful, brooding vintage for the Serra. Readers will find a powerful, structured Barbaresco that will require considerable cellaring. The broad-shouldered, brooding style typical of this part of the Barbaresco zone comes through in spades”

Domenico Clerico Barolo Aeroplanservaj 2008 ($109.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The 2008 Barolo Aeroplanservaj puts on a whole different act. Here, the emphasis is on elegance and finesse. The opulence and massiveness of the wine fits in with the Clerico philosophy, but unlike the Barolo Briccotto its strongest cards are played with a more subtle strategy. The aromas of black fruit and spice are wrapped a bit tighter, and the wine shows some nervous tension in the glass that needs to soften with age. I loved those delicate sprigs of mint and wild flower that somehow emerge from the inner depths of this rock-solid wine. Terrible mudslides in 2009 damaged the Badarina vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba and Clerico did not produce the Aeroplanservaj that year.”

Domenico Clerico Langhe Rosso Arte 2011 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“(90% nebbiolo and 10% barbera; aged for 18 months in new French oak):  Good medium red.  Perfumed aromas and flavors of plum, redcurrant, tobacco and spices.  Intense and vibrant, with lovely inner-mouth aromatic lift.  Very classy, delineated wine.”

Mazzei ‘Philip’ Cabernet Toscana 2008 ($49.95) $41.90 special
James Suckling 93 points 
“Beautiful aromas of blackberries and wet earth follow through to a full body with velvety tannins and a long finish. Velvety and slightly austere tannins. A Bordeaux blend in homage to Philip Mazzei, who helped the late US president Thomas Jefferson to establish his vineyard in the state of Virginia. It’s made from various vineyards of the Mazzei family in Tuscany. Four to five years of bottle age will put this just right. Enjoy.”

Occhipinti Cerasuolo di Vittoria Grotte Alte 2008 ($89.95) $79 special

60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato. A reserve selection from 40 year old vines aged for four years in large (25 hl) slavonian oak barrels. Aged an additional 6 months in bottle before release. Fermented using natural yeasts and bottled unfiltered. Smooth and polished with remarkable density and an incredibly long finish.  SPAIN- RIOJA

Bodegas Campillo Rioja Reserva Selecta 2001 ($37.95) $29 special
Campillo is a 125 acre estate in the Rioja Alta, back-dropped by the Sierra Cantabria. And a great new find here, we say. Still fresh and young, excepting that the Tempranillo tannins have been tamed. Pure, balanced and seductive.

Hernecia Altes Garnatxa Negra 2012 ($11.95) $9.90 special
Robert Parker 91 points
 “A joint venture between Eric Solomon and proprietor Nuria Altes, this is an unreal value made from 100% Grenache from vines planted nearly 100 years ago. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a flowery perfume revealing aromas of forest floor, underbrush, sweet black cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Medium-bodied, ethereal as well as sublime, this finesse-styled Grenache possesses a delicacy that is difficult to believe for such intensity. Consume it over the next 3-4 years.”


WA/ID Flat rate shipping- $20 any size single order,
Oregon Flat rate shipping- $17 any size single order,

Best of Jadot 2011

Jadot Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2011 ($279.95) $249 special
Stephen Tanzer  91-94 points
 “(racked in late September):  Good full red.  Highly nuanced nose combines blueberry, licorice, pepper, spices and wild herbs, along with an almost medicinal pungency characteristic of this grand cru.  Utterly primary on the palate, with uncompromising dryness to the flavors of black fruits and crushed rock.  Tannic and youthfully tough today, but this is still recovering from the racking.”

Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 ($219.95) $169 special
Burghound 92-94 points 
“This is also sufficiently reduced that it is hard to read the nose but it would appear that the underlying fruit is notably ripe. There is an elegant mouth feel to the mineral-driven and admirably pure medium-bodied flavors that possess outstanding depth and length and the very firmly structured finish. This is a beautiful effort but note that it would best be purchased only by the very patient. Note: from En Gémeaux; these are the oldest vines of the entire Jadot portfolio of owned vineyards”

Jadot Clos de Beze 2011 ($279.85) $249 special
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points 
“Good medium red.  Extravagantly complex nose combines raspberry, wild rose, crushed rock, clove, mocha and wild herbs.  Wonderfully subtle, spherical and nuanced, communicating an almost 3-D texture to the flavors of red berries, spices, licorice, herbs and flowers.  The wine’s firm spine of tannins is utterly covered by lush, fleshy fruit today.  The thick, slowly rising finish washes over the palate like a wave.”

Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 ($149.95) $119 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points 
”Good medium red.  Expressive aromas of black cherry, licorice and menthol; reduced today but very Clos Vougeot.  Dense and vibrant, with very good underlying spine to its black fruit flavors.  Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and excellent length.  A serious Clos Vougeot in the making.”

Jadot Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2011 ($289.95) $239 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
 “Good bright medium red.  Medicinal cherry liqueur, red licorice and spicy oak on the nose.  Then penetrating and intense but suave, with lovely sappiness to the flavors of raspberry, cranberry and flowers.”

Jadot Le Musigny Grand Cru 2011 ($599.95) $479 special
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points 
“Medium red.  Reticent but pristine aromas of cranberry, raspberry and clove oil, plus an exhilarating suggestion of candied fruit.  Superconcentrated, silky and utterly seamless; wonderfully spherical wine with great fruit intensity and complexity and a pungent crushed stone element.  Combines a texture of liquid velvet with an almost magically light touch.  Finishes with noble tannins and great length and grip.  Even sweeter on the finish than the Amoureuses.  Great wine in the making.”

Louis Jadot Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuees 2011 ($129.95) $99 special
Burghound 90-92 points
 “Moderate wood frames a very pretty nose of high-toned raspberry, cherry and subtle menthol nuances. There is plenty of the characteristic minerality to the refined and attractively vibrant medium weight flavors that possess a distinctly saline character on the clean and mildly austere finish. The tannins are firm but quite fine-grained and this should age well as the balance is impeccable.”

Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jacques 2011($169.95) $129 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points  
“Good medium red. Red berries, coffee and mocha on the nose, with a note of blood orange emerging with air. Began large-scaled and spicy but rather inexpressive, but aeration brought greater sweetness of fruit and elegance, with a whiff of blood orange providing lift. Ultimately more expansive than the Estournelles but this wine will need at least a few years in the cellar following its release.”

Louis Jadot Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Boudots Domaine Gagey 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points  
“Medium red. Deep aromas of redcurrant, plum, licorice and flowers. At once supple and lively on the palate, showing a delicate grain and lovely floral lift to its red fruit flavors. The persistent, lightly saline finish leaves a light impression. This energetic wine is already long on personality.”


     Special Somethings Special   

Figgins Estate Red Wine Walla Walla 2010 ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “On another level, the 2010 Estate Red Wine is something to behold! A blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon – yet with smaller portions of Merlot and Petit Verdot – aged in 75% new and 25% 1-year-old French oak barrels for 20 months, it has a decidedly dark fruit profile with Pauillac-like aromas of black raspberry, creme de cassis, coffee bean, graphite, mineral and toasted bread all emerging from the glass. Deep, rich and layered, with a full-bodied, concentrated and structured feel on the palate, it fleshes out beautifully with air and is up there with the creme de la creme of the vintage and region. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age (or more) and will have 20-25 years of evolution. Drink 2016-2035. Coming from an estate vineyard that’s located on the eastern edge of the Walla Walla Valley, off of Mill Creek Road and at an elevation of roughly 1,750 feet, these wines are made by Chris Figgins (of Leonetti) and show classic profiles. As the score suggests, this is one producer not to miss!”

Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine des Heritiers 2010 ($149.95) $129 special
Stephen Tanzer 96 points
 “Brilliant pale yellow.  Precise, penetrating aromas of green melon, ginger, quinine and dusty stone. Silky on entry, then sappy and deep in the middle, with a powerful crushed stone character and strong limey acidity combining to give the wine uncanny energy.  This is almost painful today.  This extremely dense, long wine may ultimately surpass Jadot’s Chevalier-Montrachet.”

Leroy Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2009 ($999.95) $799 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2009 Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts bursts from the glass with dazzling fruit that covers every inch of the palate. Sweet dark fruit, spices, tar and leather are some of the notes that flesh out on the stunning, multi-dimensional finish. This is a dazzling wine endowed with tons of class and sheer pedigree. It is not to be missed.”  6 bottles acquired directly from Leroy

Leroy Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 2007 ($1799.95) $1499 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “A marine aura surrounds Bize-Leroy’s 2007 Romanee-St.-Vivant as it had this year’s Corton Renardes and several other of her wines, although in the present instance, that is more to be expected. Dark berries and dark, mossy, humus-rich forest floor; saline, crustacean-reduction, and oyster flesh mineral-animal savor; sweetly ripe raspberry, all follow from the nose across a sumptuously rich palate, and into a prodigious, saliva-inducing finish. A trace of warmth (rare in the present collection) doesn’t detract noticeably from what is an extraordinary performance. Follow it over the next 20 years.” Stephen Tanzer 96 points “Good bright dark red. Knockout nose combines raspberry, mocha, minerals and underbrush. Silky-sweet and utterly spherical, conveying superb fruit intensity without any heaviness or hardness. Finishes with sweet tannins and terrific aromatic persistence. Wonderfully complex and soil-driven wine.”  3 bottles acquired directly from Leroy

Chateau Lafite Rothschild Paulliac 2008 ($1199.95) $899 special
Robert Parker 98 points 
“A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 should have been purchased before it began to soar in value because of the significance of the number 8 in the Chinese culture (denoting good luck). Representing 40% of the production, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc offers aromas of high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, earth, cedar and asphalt. Full, rich and stunningly concentrated, I doubt it is inferior to the 2010, just more classic as well as slightly more forward and a degree weaker in alcoholic potency (12.5% versus 13.5%). The 2008 should be relatively drinkable in 6-10 years as it is already showing remarkable complexity and breed, and will last for 30-35 years…at the minimum.”

Chateau Leoville-Barton Saint Julien 2009 ($199.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 95 points #6 TOP 100 2012 
“This is powerful Cabernet, with gutsy weight, but also polished feel to the fresh plum, warm blackberry sauce, bittersweet ganache and roasted apple wood notes. Long and tarry through the finish, but still invigorating despite its heft. Needs some time to round fully into form. Best from 2017 through 2035. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.”

Chateau Leoville-Poyferre Saint Julien 2010 ($249.95) $199 special
Robert Parker 98+ points
 “The wine out distances both Leoville Las Cases and Leoville Barton, but all three of them are compelling efforts. Full-bodied, dense purple in color, with floral notes intermixed with blackberries, cassis, graphite and spring flowers, this full-bodied, legendary effort is long and opulent, with wonderfully abundant yet sweet tannin, a skyscraper-like mid-palate and a thrilling, nearly one-minute finish. This spectacular effort from Poyferre that should drink well for 30+ years.”

Chateau Saint Pierre Saint Julien 2009 ($199.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 98 points 
“The all-time greatest wine I have ever tasted from Saint-Pierre, this estate, the smallest of the grand cru classes of St.-Julien, has an opaque purple color and a spectacular nose of subtle charcoal, creme de cassis, blackberry, and incense. Full-bodied, with striking intensity and flamboyantly rich, exuberant flavors bursting with extract, the St. Pierre has no hard edges, but rather massive, incredibly well-endowed blockbuster style, which should prove to be monumental. Give it 6-8 years to take on more definition and calm down, but this is a 30- to 40-year wine. Bravo!”

Donnhoff Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Beerenauslese 2007 375ml ($199.95) $179 special
Wine Advocate 99 points 
“The over-ripe pear and quince featured in other nobly sweet wines of this collection are very much present in Donnhoff’s 2007 Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Beerenauslese, along with aromas of distilled gentian, gardenia, lemon oil, freshly baked bread, and white truffle. The intensity of inner-mouth perfume here – orchard fruit, floral, and herbal distillates – is nearly beyond belief. Pear nectar, quince preserves, apple jelly, liquid gardenia, brown spices, and a certain saline and smoky suggestions of things mineral inform a finish of trance-inducing duration. This amazing elixir – harvested largely in the Turmchen section of the site – should be worthy of 40 years cellaring. When Donnhoff laughingly referred to this as the year of Felsenberg, he was not in fact kidding, nor was he referring just to the sheer number of bottlings!”

Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio 2007 ($319.95) $299 special
Antonio Galloni 98 points 
“Voerzio’s 2007 Barolo Cerequio is a wonderful counter to the virile, imposing Brunate. Sweet red fruit, flowers and menthol are woven into a nuanced, textured fabric of notable class and elegance. The Cerequio possesses dazzling inner perfume, silky tannins and phenomenal length. It is a stunning, beautifully articulated Barolo blessed with tons of intensity and compelling overall balance. A final burst of red berries informs the long, explosive, perfumed finish.”

Terre Nere  Etna Rosso Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino 2010 ($89.95) $77 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The highlight in this range of 2010s is the Etna Rosso Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino, easily the most refined of these offerings from Terre Nere. A gorgeous, vibrant core of fruit caresses the palate in this expressive and totally delicious wine. The 2010 isn’t as big or rich as some previous versions, instead it is a wine that impresses for its considerable length and pure finesse on the palate. Tobacco and spice notes add complexity to the finish in a Nerello Mascalese that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Volnays of the Cote de Beaune. D’Angerville comes to mind.”

Flash Sales

Foley Estate Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay 2011 ($29.95) $14 special
Winery Notes 
“The cooler growing conditions in 2011 resulted in a bright and juicy Chardonnay with aromas of honeydew melon, brioche, green apple and baking spices. Lively acidity tickles the tongue as flavors of banana, toasted oak, and honey coat the palate.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
Elsewhere: $19.99 – $29.49

Domaine Rene Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin 2008 ($49.95) $36 special only 11 bottles
 “A very fresh and rather woodsy nose of forest floor, floral and wild red berry aromas merges into relatively refined flavors that possess a detailed and earthy finish that is clean, linear and mildly austere. This is quite fine for a villages Gevrey. As has been the case since 2005, François reiterated that the domaine has eliminated all new wood though there is a proportion of one-year old oak. The ’08s were bottled unfined and unfiltered”

This is the lowest factually available listed price in the USA 

Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra 2003 ($89.95) $49 special only 8 bottles
Wine Advocate 94 points 
 “In multiple tastings over the last year the estate’s 2003 Barolo Sori Ginestra has consistently proven to be one of the vintage’s top Barolos. The wine’s hallmark qualities are all there; deep color, full-bodied, intense black cherries and plums, grilled herbs, spices and sweet toasted oak, even if they are not as well-articulated as in more typical vintages. Rich and expansive on the palate, this big, strapping Barolo needs another few years of bottle age to drink at its finest. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $82 /  bottle

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2008 ($59.95) $36.60 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points 
“The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino sweeps across the palate with superb richness and depth. Dark cherries, plums, spices, tobacco and menthol blossom as the wine opens up in the glass. A decidedly large-scaled, dramatic wine for the year, the 2008 impresses for its pure resonance and rich, enveloping finish. This is one of the most rewarding 2008s to drink upon release, but it should also age well for a number of years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $51 / bottle

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2010 375ml ($59.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points

“Rich golden yellow. Luscious aromas of candied pineapple, lemon oil and acacia honey on a bed of smoky botrytis. The succulent weight of papaya fruit is levitated by crisp minerality on the palate. A fine balance of creamy fruit and herbal spice on the seductive, very long finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
Elsewhere: $49.98 – $56

And these still Available:

Conterno Fantino Barolo Vigna del Gris 2004 ($99.95) $49 special 16 bottles left
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “Good full red. Wonderful floral precision to the aromas of wild red fruits, mocha and smoky oak. Sweet, pure and primary, with terrific definition to the fruit-driven flavors of cherry and raspberry. Enticing floral, truffle and mineral notes add complexity to this classy wine. Finishes with lush, fine-grained tannins and terrific building length.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The next best listed price in the USA is $59.99 / bottle
The average listed price in the USA is $89 /  bottle

Conterno Fantino Barolo Vigna del Gris 2005 ($99.95) $40.90 special 19 bottles left
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Displays rich, decadent aromas of ripe berry and meat, with hints of mushroom. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and cedar and berry character. A big, chewy wine. Best after 2013. 390 cases made”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA 

Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2010 ($59.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 95 points 
“The 2010 Barbaresco Asili is an exciting, top-notch achievement that shows extreme class and sophistication. Polished mineral tones are fleshed out by cassis, wild berry, chopped mint and freshly milled white pepper. The wine is long and smooth on the finish, with a finely detailed or etched quality to the tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. Giulio Grasso’s family entered the wine business “late,” as he tells it, because his male ancestors were soldiers in the various World Wars. Only after the turmoil in Europe settled, in the mid 1950s, did the family start to bottle wine. The estate’s most precious vineyard, the three hectares they own in the Asili cru, was a wedding dowry from Giulio’s grandmother (from Barbaresco) to his grandfather (from Treiso). Today, the family owns 25 hectares including the Valgrande and Marcarini crus in Treiso and the Asili and Pora crus in Barbaresco. Giulio’s father, Ernesto, farms the vineyards today at age 91.The Ca’ del Baio line-up is extremely impressive and delightful. These are some of the best wines from Barbaresco”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The next best listed price in the USA is $49.97 / bottle
The average listed price in the USA is $51 /  bottle
Ca del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2010 ($49.95) $29 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”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The next best listed price in the USA is $39.97 / bottle
The average listed price in the USA is $43 /  bottle
Vouette et Sorbee ‘Fidele’ Champagne Extra-Brut NV (2009) ($79.95) $49 super special
Antonio Galloni 93 points 
“The 2009 Extra Brut Fidele (Pinot Noir) is rich, exuberant and powerful. Dried pears, white orchard fruit, flowers and spices burst from the glass in this intense, head-spinning Champagne. Clean veins of minerality frame a huge, powerful finish imbued with the essence of Pinot. Weighty, rich and powerful, the 2009 impresses for its fabulous balance and inviting, utterly irresistible personality. This is a great showing for the Fidele. – Bertrand Gautherot crafts gorgeous, handmade wine loaded with personality. The Vouette et Sorbee Champagnes are rich, full-bodied wines built on meticulous vineyard work and a non-interventionalist, Burgundian-inspired approach in the cellar”
Bollinger Champagne Brut Special Cuvee ($69.95) $49 super special
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“A rich, smoky Champagne, with hints of marzipan and fennel seed accenting honeyed malt, bread dough, baked apple and gingersnap flavors. It’s all focused by intense acidity, which meshes beautifully into the layers of flavor and refined texture, with a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.”Ken Wright Cellars Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs 2012 ($59.95) $49 special
Take your pick: Abbott Claim- 9 bottles remaining; Bryce Vyd- 26 bottles remaining; Canary Hill- 9 bottles remaining; Carter Vyd- 25 bottles remaining; Freedom Hill- 13 bottles remaining; Guadalupe Vyd- 8 bottles remaining; Meridith Mitchell- 8 bottles remaining; McRone Vyd- 8 bottles remaining; Nysa Vyd- 10 bottles remaining; Savoya Vineyard- 12 bottles remaining; Shea Vineyard- 9 bottles remaining; Tanager Vyd- 12 bottles remaining.

Rochioli Estate Chardonnay Sonoma 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “The 2011 Chardonnay Estate is an excellent introduction to the Rochioli wines. In this vintage, the Chardonnay has gorgeous intensity and energy. White flowers, lemon and crushed rocks all come to life in a vibrant Chardonnay that should drink nicely for a handful of years. Bright saline notes add tension on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021.”

Faiveley Meursault 1er Cru Blagny 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points 
“Cool, perfumed aromas of orange oil and pineapple.  Smooth, pure and fresh, with slowly building saline minerality complicating the yellow fruit flavors.  Finishes quite long, with a smoky nuance.”

Henri Boillot Pommard 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
 “The 2010 Pommard is pure sensuality. Sweet roses, dark red fruit and spices wrap around the palate in this supple, refined wine. The Pommard impresses for its elegance and richness. It is a beautiful and highly representative 2010. Sweet floral notes linger on the finish. The Pommard is made from vines in Clos Blanc, a 1er Cru vineyard. – Henri Boillot turned out a superb set of 2010 reds. Best of all, readers won’t have to shell out a fortune to enjoy them, as a number of the more modestly priced wines far exceed the quality of their respective appellations”

Chateau Coutet Barsac 2003 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 95 points 
“Honey, apple tart and lemon rind. Full-bodied, medium-sweet and very spicy with intense flavors of mace, apple and honey. Long finish. Thick and powerful. Best after 2010.”

St. Theodoric Chateauneuf du Pape Guigasse 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94 points 
” Looking at the 2011s, both of which showed much better from bottle than barrel, the 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse (100% Grenache from sandy soils) has a Rayas-like perfume of sweet red cherries, currants, white pepper, spring flowers and underbrush. Fermented with 100% whole-cluster and aged all in neutral, larger barrels, this medium to full-bodied, dense and beautifully textured effort is superb now, yet should easily have 10-12 years of ultimate longevity. Drink now-2023..”

Leitz Rudesheimer Kaisersteinfel Riesling 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 8 bottles remaining
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Wild aromas of white peach, cinnamon and lemon oil.  Delicately sweet passion fruit flavor nicely supported by bracing saline minerality.  A note of bacony spice animates the tangy finish.  One of the finest off-dry rieslings of the vintage.”

Castello di Neive Barbaresco Santo Stefano 2007 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “The 2007 Barbaresco Albesani Santo Stefano shows the weight and richness that is typical of this south-facing site in Neive. A rich fabric of dark fruit, fresh roses, new leather and menthol completely cover the palate. The Santo Stefano is impeccable in its generous, enveloping fruit. The intensity and sheer depth of the fruit manages to virtually bury the tannins, but they are there. As delicious as this is today, it will be even better in a few years- time. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Albesani 2009 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“The picture of harmony, this red exudes cherry and floral aromas, with plenty of berry, tobacco and balsamic flavors. Balanced and firm, with a lingering aftertaste of spice and mineral. Accessible now, yet will improve. Best from 2014 through 2025”  Antonio Galloni 92 points “A rich, voluptuous wine, the 2009 Barbaresco Albesani comes across as surprisingly open for a young Barbaresco. Then again, Albesani is a south-facing site that caught all of the sun and heat of the August 2009 heat wave. Today the wine is stacked and packed, while the flavors are very much on the primary side of things. It will be interesting to see to what extent the 2009 develops more subtlety over the coming years. Right now it is a bit of a brute, although a beautiful brute!”

Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino 2007 ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 95 points
 “A very structured 2007 Brunello, with ripe and firm tannins and beautiful fresh fruit. Full body, chewy and intense, with a long finish. This is the best from here in years. Wonderful depth of fruit.”

Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino 2007 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Fossacolle is gorgeous in this vintage. Freshly cut flowers, plums, spices, licorice and mint are all woven together in this rich, generous wine. The 2007 impresses for its fabulous depth and power. Layers of dark red fruit saturate the palate on the intense finish. Everything is in the right place. The Brunello was aged one year in French oak barrels followed by a second year in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”

Felsina Berardenga Maestro Raro Toscana IGT 2008 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 2008 Maestro Raro is beautiful in this vintage, a year in which Cabernet Sauvignon varietal character reigns supreme. Plums, cassis, wild herbs, leather and licorice all come together gracefully in this gorgeous, expressive wine. The 2008 impresses for its length and striking, pure finish. This is a great showing. Maestro Raro is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Sangiovese, Trebbiano and Malvasia vines that were grafted over beginning in 1984. The 2008 is understated and classy, but its all there.”

Elisabetta Fordori Granato 2009 ($59.95) $49 special 7 bottles left
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “Once again, the 2009 Granato is flat-out dazzling. The marriage of flashy, opulent fruit and intense underlying minerality results in a wine of superb completeness. Readers will find a wine of immense and immediate pleasure in the 2009. The soft contours and radiant personality are so compelling. Granato fans should cellar the 2010 for a few years and drink the 2009 in the meantime. This is another absolutely glorious wine from Elisabetta Foradori. The 2009 was aged in equal parts cask and barrique.”

Bodegas Muga Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Eneo 2005 ($69.95) $49 super special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The 2005 Prado Enea Gran Reserva spends 36-months in oak, nine months in new oak after which it is racked into American oak that is ‘semi-new’ (i.e. a new barrel that is ‘broken in’ with a wine beforehand). It has an unashamedly opulent bouquet of primal, ripe, boysenberry, mulberry, dark chocolate and crushed violets that blossom with aeration. The palate is full-bodied with crisp acidity cutting through the pure blackberry and cassis fruit. It has wonderful focus and intensity, though the finish demonstrates convincing composure. This is an outstanding Gran Reserva whose silky texture will instantly win you over. Drink 2013-2030+” Josh Raynolds 94 points ‘(80% tempranillo, with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano; aged in large oak vats for 16 months, followed by another 36 months in small oak barrels and then another 3 years in bottle before release):  Deep ruby.  Heady, mineral-tinged red fruit and rose scents are complemented by star anise, vanilla and woodsmoke.  Supple, seamless and concentrated, offering intense raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors underscored by zesty minerality.  Shows uncommon finesse for its power and finishes sweet, focused and extremely long.  For the money, this is a crazy value.”

    About next week    Dec 23: regular hours 10AM-6PM
Dec 24: opening 9AM- Closing 5PM
Dec 25:  closed – Merry Christmas
Dec 26: Open 10AM- Closing 6PM
Dec 27: Open 10 AM- Closing 6PM
Dec 28: Open 10 AM- Closing 6PM
Dec 29: Open Noon- Closing 5PM

Shop around the clock:



Time To Say Goodbye 

Vietti  Barolo Castiglione 2009 ($49.95) $37 special
Wine Advocate  94 points
 “The 2009 Barolo Castiglione delivers a radiant but subdued quality with polished notes of dry mineral, black fruit, tar, licorice, leather and many more levels of complexity. This entry-level Barolo demonstrates that great results are achieved in 2009. – 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. He excels at everything he does from his castle perch at the heart of Castiglione Falletto. Despite the difficult 2009 season, his wines remain extraordinary. In fact, they are among the best I tasted from the vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $44 / bottle