Friday 9-9-2022

In This Newsletter:

Jump Start Offer:
Opus One

Beaujolais Super Sale
New Week – New Arrival

Isole e Olena

Collector’s Corner:
New Wine Spectator Reviews for Bond & Ulysses

Jump Start Offer:

Opus One

Arriving October 7th

Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2019 750ml $389 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2019 Opus One is a dense, beautifully layered wine, but it is also quite restrained. That should serve it well in time. Tasted next to the 2018, the 2019 possesses a bit more textural nuance and body, yet it has all the classicism that is such an Opus One signature. Bright floral accents linger on the sublime finish.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97-99 points ” Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Opus One leaps from the glass with notes of Black Forest cake, Morello cherries, mulberries and fresh blackcurrants plus hints of licorice, wilted roses, Sichuan pepper and iron ore. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with juicy black, blue and red fruits, framed by velvety tannins and background freshness, finishing on a compelling earthy/mineral note. Tasted as a barrel sample, this is a truly magnificent Opus One in the making!”
Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points “Similarly ruby/purple-hued, the 2019 Opus One is cut from the same cloth as the 2018 yet has a touch more baby fat and opulence, at least as this stage. Beautiful black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, lead pencil, and subtle oak all make an appearance, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a rounded, layered mouthfeel, impressive tannins, and a great finish. I don’t think it has the same precision as the 2018, but it brings another level of hedonism. It’s another beautiful wine from this team. The blend is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaujolais Super Sale

Now Thru Sunday

We’re offering a super price slash on one of your favorite Beaujolais. You loved it at $14/bottle, adored it at $11.90/bottle, now you can fall head over heels at $8.25/bottle by the case. Super case pricing ends Sunday night!

Stephane Aviron Beaujolais-Villages 2018 750ml Was $14, Now $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Stephane Aviron Beaujolais-Villages 2018 750ml $99 special (that’s only $8.25/bottle!)
Frederick Wildman note
“Terroir: The Stéphane Aviron Beaujolais Villages is sourced from two of the best terroirs of the appellation, both with old vines averaging at least 50 years in age. The vines in the commune of Quincié have sandy, granite soils and the commune of Lantignié has clay and limestone soils with favorable southwest exposure. Vinification: Whole clusters of grapes are fermented, and then macerated for six days to extract characters of fruit and finesse. The wine is aged in cement tanks to retain the purity of the fresh fruit. The wine shows great finesse, elegance and a very ‘easy drinking’ nature.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $19.99/btl
New Week – New Arrival


J.C. Somers Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Willamette Valley 2021 750ml $27 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“The Croft Vineyard located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is organically farmed and grown in ancient marine sediment soils. We have worked with this vineyard since 1999 and it consistently produces a classic style of Sauvignon Blanc with a purity of fruit, balanced acidity and a focused minerality. Truly one of the top white wine vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley. The Croft Vineyard is located southwest of the Eola Hills near the town of Monmouth. The organically farmed Croft Vineyard is in the foothills of the coast range and grown in ancient marine sediment soils. It is owned by Chancy and Toni Croft and farmed by Lee Croft and I have been working with the Sauvignon Blanc since 1999. The 2004 Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc I made won best white wine of the year in Sunset Magazine and has been a little bit of a cult wine ever since. It is the most distinctive white wine I produce and it is great to continue to work with this magical site. We work with 1 acre of the clone 1 Sauvignon Blanc.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $33.95

France – Champagne

Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut, Champagne 2004 1.5L $519 special, 5 magnums in stock now
Wine & Spirits 98 points
“Time has graced this wine, proving the value of Bollinger’s policy of long aging on the lees followed by prompt release after disgorgement. This RD (Recently Disgorged) 2004 is a joyous wine, staunch, cold and powerful at first, transforming to fresh fruit shadowed by darker tones of barrel fermentation. As it opens in the glass, revealing racy energy, a range of floral pear and apple flavors emerge, resonant with a sense of limestone capturing the sun and reflecting it back in pale power. Enjoy this over the course of an evening as its presence shifts, providing varied perspectives on a great Champagne.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2019. The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028. -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Bollinger’s 2004 R.D., tasted from magnum, is all class. Silky and understated, the R.D is super-expressive and inviting today. In 2004, the R.D. is decidedly light on its feet and more perfumed than tends to be the norm at Bollinger. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot, pastry and yellow fruits are all laced together in a Champagne that delivers the goods. The 2004 is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay picked between September 25 and October 8. Disgorged: November 21, 2017.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger’s 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing “recent disgorgement” (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018.”
Decanter 97 points “This is Bollinger’s 2004 interpretation of their famous barrel-aged, recently-disgorged Champagne. This time around it’s a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, having received a dosage of 3g/l before being cellared under cork, unlike the usual practice of using a crown cap for this phase. A bouquet of raisins and spice jumps out of the glass, propelled by a magnificent mint-toned freshness. Tight and crystalline on the palate, it’s dense and yet not all that vinous in mouthfeel. The finish is one of ethereal lightness and magnificent balance. Drink with well-aged cheese. Drinking Window 2018 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “The lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034. 301 cases imported. — AN”
[Disgorgement date may vary from reviews]

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for the magnum!

France – Bordeaux

Château Giscours, Margaux 2016 750ml $89 special, 13 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“This has attractive, glossy, ripe red-plum and licorice aromas with cedar, flowers and red berries, as well as a stony edge. A very fragrant, cabernet-driven nose. The palate has elegance and grace with sleek and charming, balanced style and a discreet tannin structure that holds the finish long and fresh. A blend of 81 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 19 per cent merlot. Try from 2023.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar SelectionThis nearly 200-acre estate lies in the south of the Margaux appellation. The wine is another great success in a series of superb years. It is rich but the structure and finely textured fruit give it style and longevity. Drink the wine from 2026.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 94 points “The 2016 Giscours has a very pure, refined bouquet featuring lifted blackberry, cassis and light violet aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-boned tannins, well-judged acidity and finely integrated oak toward the precise finish. This is what a finely crafted Margaux looks like, and I suspect it will get even better with bottle age. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drink: 2023-2050.”
Decanter 94 points “Concentrated autumnal fruit offers a hawthorny bramble of blackberry and bilberry. Big-framed, muscular tannins are joined by plenty of acidity – it’s very clearly built to last and confident in its ability to reward those with patience. Matured in 50% new oak. Axel Marchal and Valerie Lavigne consult. Drinking Window: 2026-2045.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94 points “The 2016 Giscours is complex, aromatically intense and beguiling, with myriad layers of flavors that unfold with time in the glass. Black cherry, sage, leather, smoke and menthol add plenty of intrigue, but above all else, it is the wine’s balance and sense of harmony that make the deepest impression. Under the leadership of Alexander Van Beek and his team, Giscours has been on a roll over the last few years. The 2016 is another fine vintage. Drink: 2022-2041.”

“the ultimate indulgence for the hedonists!”
Château Troplong Mondot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ml $169 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points
“A wine I was able to taste on multiple occasions, the 2015 Troplong Mondot is a tour de force that readers need to snatch up. This cuvee comes from the cool, clay and limestone soils on the upper plateau (it’s the highest point in the appellation) and is a blend of 92% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, harvest between September 30th and October 21st, that was brought up in 85% new French oak. Sporting a deep, inky color as well as a sensational bouquet of creme de cassis, blackberry, toasted spice, licorice and spring flowers, it’s another huge wine from this estate that has perfect balance between its fruit, oak and tannin, a stacked mid-palate, and an incredible finish. I wrote “crazy good” more than once in my notes. It has enough fruit and texture to drink nicely even today, yet needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will keep for two to three decades. It’s one of the great wines of the vintage.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “One of the stars of the vintage, the 2015 Troplong Mondot has come together beautifully over the last year and half. Rich and sumptuous to the core, it is a classic wine from this property, built on serious fruit density and textural richness. Dark red cherry, plum, chocolate, new leather and spice are some of the many notes that build as the 2015 shows off its irrepressible personality. A viscerally exciting, resonant wine, it just needs a few years to shed some of its baby fat. Tasted two times.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 96 points “Blended of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc aged in French oak, 85% new, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Troplong Mondot is redolent of warm plums, blackberry tart and blueberry pie with suggestions of underbrush, bay leaves, cedar chest and lavender plus a waft of baking spices. Full-bodied and full-throttle in the mouth, the palate is decadently packed with a solid core of black and blue fruit layers, supported with firm, grainy tannins and finishing with loads of spicy layers. This pedal-to-the-metal beauty is the ultimate indulgence for the hedonists!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. In keeping with the new style from this estate, this is a powerful, opulent wine. Its density, concentration and layers of dark fruits are all of a piece, held together by powerful tannins. Touches of black coffee and spice emphasize the richness of the fruit and the opulent aftertaste. Drink from 2025. -Roger Voss”

Château Malescot Saint Exupéry, Margaux 2018 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2018 Malescot Saint Exupéry is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel. Powerful and incisive, the 2018 is a driving, potent Margaux that dazzles from the first taste. Iron, smoke, new leather, licorice, pressed rose petal and cedar all open in the glass, conveying tremendous nuance and a ton of character.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 95 points “The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Malescot St. Exupery leaps from the glass with expressive scents of baked blackberries, Morello cherries and boysenberries with hints of blackcurrant cordial, dark chocolate, licorice and tilled soil. The medium to full-bodied palate has impressive intensity without heaviness, delivering mouth-coating black fruits and a firm, grainy texture, finishing with a refreshing earthy lift.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “I loved the 2018 Château Malescot Saint Exupéry from barrel two years ago, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint from bottle today. Based on 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this deeply hued beauty boasts smoking good notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, chocolate, and spice. Full-bodied and impressively concentrated, it has a stacked mid-palate, ripe, sweet yet certainly present tannins, a terrific sense of freshness, and a great finish. It’s going to fun comparing this and the 2016 over the coming two decades! While there’s some up-front accessibility and charm here, it really needs 4-6 years of bottle age and is going to have 20-25 years of overall longevity. This is gem of a wine that’s well worth seeking out.”

Château Montrose, Saint-Estèphe 2009 750ml $449 special, 2 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 100 points
“A brilliant wine that stands out as one of the high points of the vintage, the 2009 Montrose unwinds in the glass with a rich and incipiently complex bouquet of dark berries, cigar wrapper and loamy soil, framed by a deftly judged touch of new oak. Full-bodied, broad and enveloping, it’s a velvety, layered and impressively dynamic wine that’s deep and concentrated, exhibiting terrific balance and a long, resonant finish. While it is still five or six years away from showing all its cards, I have drunk this benchmark for contemporary Montrose with immense pleasure three times this year. In style, it’s hard to find an obvious comparison (and I have drunk Montrose back to 1895), but I would be inclined to invoke a fresher, more complete and more powerful version of the estate’s very successful 2003.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 98+ points “The 2009 Montrose has a taut, brilliantly defined bouquet with intense black fruit laced with crushed stone, forest floor, crushed rose petals and a touch of slate. Magnificent. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, good depth and grip, plenty of graphite locked in here with a bravura finish that indicates that this Saint-Estèphe is in for the long-haul. It may well deserve a higher score as it evolves in bottle. Everything you wish for in a Montrose. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A bit of a brute, with a very chewy bittersweet ganache, tobacco and roasted fig core splayed open right now by a dagger of roasted apple wood, allspice and cedar. Long and dense through the finish, with a strong singed iron edge. The stuffing is certainly there, but this will take a while to come together as it’s running unbridled right now. Proves you can still get classic old-school Bordeaux. Best from 2020 through 2040. 17,000 cases made. — JM”

Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux 2017 750ml $109 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Cellar Selection. This is a powerful, dense wine. Tannins come through strongly as does the dynamic black fruit. Likely to develop slowly, the wine’s concentration is impressive. Drink from 2024. -Roger Voss”
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ points “This estate continues to fashion a complex, elegant, seamless style of wine. The 2017 Chateau Rauzan-Segla offers a deep purple color as well as gorgeous notes of cassis, crushed violets, tobacco, and leafy herbs. Pure Margaux on the palate with its medium to full-bodied, ultra-fine, seamless texture, this flawlessly balanced 2017 will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years. The blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, all aged in 60% new French oak.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Inviting, with seductive damson plum, red currant, blackberry and black cherry puree flavors layered together, stitched with dried anise, sandalwood and black tea threads. Very fine acidity flows underneath, carrying this through a suave and lengthy finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2035. — JM”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2017 Rauzan-Ségla is coming together very nicely. Soft and silky, the 2017 is a wine of pure and total finesse. Sweet red cherry and plum fruit, tobacco, cedar and licorice add pretty top notes, but more than anything else, the 2017 impresses with its statuesque elegance and total balance; nothing in particular stands out. For that reason, Rauzan-Ségla is the sort of wine that is easy to overlook, and yet all the elements of a top notch Left-Bank wine are present. Tasted three times.”

Château du Tertre, Margaux 2015 750ml $69 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Cellar Selection. This sister property to Château Giscours is firing on all cylinders with this wine. Rich, full of black-currant fruit and dark tannins, it is dense while also supple. It has excellent aging potential and should not be drunk before 2024. -Roger Voss”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Gorgeous sandalwood, rooibos tea and warm raspberry aromas lead off, with silky and refined waves of cassis, blackberry preserves and black currant paste flowing through. The long, silky finish is laden with melted licorice, mesquite and iron notes. Best from 2022 through 2035. 13,333 cases made. — JM”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Château Giscours, Margaux 2018 750ml $89 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Always a significant wine, this latest release with powerful while also stylish black fruits fits into a well-regarded tradition. The density and broad fruitiness of the wine make fine foils for each other. It is firmly structured and set for aging. Drink this wine from 2027. -Roger Voss”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Very expressive, with violet and lilac notes followed by creamed plum and mulled blackberry and black currant fruit flavors. Subtle anise, juniper and sanguine notes thread the very long finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2036. — JM”

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien 2018 750ml $269 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 100 points
“#6 Top 100 Cellar Selections in 2021. Vintage 2018 was generous to the style of Ducru-Beaucaillou. The rich character of this wine is enhanced by the ripeness and concentration of the vintage, yet at the same time it keeps an amazing freshness. This will go down in the annals of this historic estate. It is not likely to approach drinkability before 2028. -Roger Voss”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “The Grand Vin 2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that was harvested at the end of September through October 10 and brought up all in new French oak. This is a gorgeous, incredibly complete, classic expression of this terroir, offering a heavenly nose of crème de cassis, cedarwood, unsmoked tobacco, new leather, spring flowers, chocolate, and a touch of chalky minerality. With full-bodied richness, a monster of a mid-palate, remarkable purity, and a great, great finish, it’s one of the most concentrated, impressive wines of the vintage, and might also be one of the longest lived. It actually reminds me of an improved version of the 1996 or a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016. For the tech geeks out there, the IPT checks in at a massive 95 and the pH is 3.7.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, aged 18 months in 100% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.7, 14.5% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 95. Deep purple-black colored, it has a powerful nose of baked black cherries, blackberry preserves and crème de cassis with nuances of menthol, pencil lead, cedar chest and Indian spices, plus fragrant wafts of violets and licorice emerging after a few minutes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with impactful black fruits and exotic spices layers, supported by firm, ripe grainy tannins and bags of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. There is a brightness to the wine—surprising freshness—and yet it remains very rich and hedonic, presenting an extraordinary vinous paradox that will blow away fans of this great estate.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 97 points “The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou, tasted just after my in-bottle tastings, is all mint and violet over the nose, precocious and generous, very pure and enticing. The palate is medium-bodied with a lot of new oak that will be subsumed with time. This is very pure, beautifully balanced, silky smooth with great precision on the finish. It is a superb 2018 that will need at least a decade in the cellar and with even more pixelation than the bottle earlier this year, it gets another precision point in my score. Tasted at the Ducru Beaucaillou vertical at the château.”

#7 James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of 2019 
Château Larcis Ducasse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 750ml $119 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 99 points
“The aromas here are so spellbinding with shitake mushrooms, wet earth and moss, as well as tree bark and, finally, dark fruit. The palate is incredible as it builds and grows with full body, but always tight and reserved. It shows so much depth and complexity. Please try not to touch this until 2025”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 97 points “The 2016 Larcis Ducasse is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, vibrant and alluring, with tremendous vibrancy, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive savory and blood orange notes add brightness to the red cherry and plum fruit, with beams of firm yet well-integrated tannins that give the wine its shape and energy. In 2016, Larcis brings together undeniable raciness and power in a complete package that is irresistibly beautiful. Give it a few years in bottle for the tannins to soften.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “From one of my favorite estates in Bordeaux, the deeply colored 2016 Château Larcis Ducasse is comprised of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc that was brought up in 50% new French oak. It offers a huge bouquet of black, black fruits, smoked herbs, forest floor, graphite, and underbrush that builds beautifully with time in the glass. Deep, rich, opulent and expansive on the palate, with building tannins, it’s a rich, layered Saint-Emilion as well as another incredible wine from this estate. Give it a few years if you can. It’s capable of keeping for three decades or more.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 96 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Larcis Ducasse sashays gracefully out of the glass with beautiful Black Forest cake, red cherry compote, raspberry preserves and blackberry pie scents plus hints of cigar box, Ceylon tea, dried lavender and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers gorgeous red and black fruit preserves flavors with a wonderfully plush texture and very long, perfumed finish.”

Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac 2018 750ml $66 special, 20 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“Pretty blackberries, blueberries and violets with some crushed-raspberry aromas follow through to a full body with wonderfully crafted and pure tannins that intertwine wonderfully with the blue fruit and blackberries. Long and endless. A triumph here. From biodynamically grown grapes. Try after 2026.”
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “The 2018 Haut-Bages Libéral is super-impressive right out of the gate. It shows all the depth and intensity I saw from barrel, with maybe a bit more tannic impact. Ripe red cherry, plum, orange peel, cedar and sweet spice all build in the glass. The 2018 is going to need a few years to come into its own, but it is a gorgeous Pauillac.”
VinopolNote: Haut-Bages-Liberal holds an amazing position on a gravel plateau overlooking the Gronde River inlet. Positioned between Chateau Latour to the south and Chateau Lunch-Bages to the north, this Chateau has been making great strides in quality over the past few years under new management, but still is selling for a fraction of the prices attained by its neighbors.

France – Alsace

Trimbach Riesling, Alsace 2020 750ml $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92 points
“Although this is packed with citrus, pear and white-peach aromas, it’s so pure and straight that the simple description “fruity” would be far too one-sided to adequately describe what makes this wine stand out. So energetic that it feels much lighter than it really is (13% alcohol). Fine tannins at the finish underline the dry style. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Trimbach Pinot Blanc, Alsace 2019 750ml $19 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 91 points
“Where is the salad and the charcuterie? Right from the fresh pear and apple nose, through to the clean and elegant finish, this refreshing, medium-bodied Alsace dry white is spot on! A blend of 70% auxerrois and 30% pinot blanc, a classic combination for the region. Drink now. Screw cap.”

Trimbach Riesling Selection de Vieilles Vignes, Alsace 2017 750ml $44.50 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“#2 WOTY 2020. Initial smoky notes of reduction make way for a pervasive, subtle but luminous lemon freshness on the nose of this wine. The palate shows exquisite concentration in lemon freshness. It’s bone dry, vivid and fresh. Drink until 2045. -Anne Krebiehl MW”
James Suckling 95 points “Solid white with density and searing dryness and minerality that is very impressive with sliced apples, lemons and white peaches. Super energy. Drink now or hold.”

Italy – Piedmont

Le Pianelle Bramaterra, Piedmont 2016 750ml $48 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Le Pianelle Bramaterra, Piedmont 2016 750ml $269 special (that’s only $44.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 94-97 points
“The 2016 Bramaterra is drop-dead gorgeous. Utterly captivating in its aromatics and inner sweetness, the 2016 is insanely beautiful. Sweet red cherry, candy, iron, graphite, rose petal and blood orange are some of the many notes that come alive with a bit of aeration. I tasted the 2016 from two core lots, separately, and then in a hypothetical blend. It is a hugely promising wine.”


Markus Molitor Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $26 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2019 Graacher Domprobst Kabinett (White Capsule) is deep, elegant and flinty on the perfectly ripe and typically Graach-fruity nose with its lush and ripe stone-fruit aromas. Water matters in a dry year such as 2019, and the Domprobst has lots of it. Dense, piquant and mouth-filling on the palate, the wine reveals an edgy slate structure that will soften with bottle age. I recommend cellaring the wine for at least another year. The finish is vibrantly fresh and salty yet still tannic. 10.5% alcohol. Tasted in May 2021.”

Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett (Gold Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $26 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points
“From the higher parts of the cru, the 2019 Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett (Golden Capsule) is clear, bright, intense and fruity on the elegant, slatey nose. The palate is lush, round and aromatic as well as refined, and the sweetness is balanced by the delicate, vivid, crystalline acidity. The finish is stimulatingly salty. A lovely wine that I would keep for some years, though the 2019 already drinks very well. Tasted in May 2021.”

Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Feinherb *** (Green Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $125 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 99 points
“The 2019 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (Green Capsule) opens enormously deep, intense and complex on the nose that immediately indicates the wine is in an exceptional class on its own. Only with lots of aeration does the wine become more and more pure and fresh and develop a flinty lemon note with the finest perfume. On the palate, this is a rich, round and complex, sweet, wide and mouth-filling, very generous, free and easy-flowing Himmelreich of exceptional finesse and beauty. The finish is so stimulating, salty, pure and crunchy in its slate character, whereas the crater dug by the piquancy is filled in by the perfectly ripe and healthy fruit with lush intensity. The 2019 Himmelreich Auslese *** is sensational and the finest I have ever tasted from Markus Molitor. Tasted from AP 1 20 in May 2021.”

Markus Molitor Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Auslese *** (Golden Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $119 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 98 points
“The golden-yellow colored 2019 Ockfener Bockstein Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is concentrated, fresh and piquant on the highly refined nose that shows very fine berry aromas intertwined with crushed slate and therefore with coolish and flinty, immediately attractive and stimulating notes. Lush and elegant on the immaculate and seamless palate, this is rather smooth but mouth-salivating and stimulating salty Auslese with great finesse and concentration. Tasted in May 2021.”

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $128 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The 2019 Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (White Capsule) is deep, pure, fresh, fine and substantial on the nose that reveals rich and perfectly ripe (tropical) fruit intertwined with exciting flint notes of crushed slate and lemons. Full-bodied, rich and intense, with great ripeness and concentration yet also purity, finesse and lingering, crystalline acidity, the three-starred ZSU reveals a beautifully balanced yet highly complex palate with lots of power and concentration and generous, fully ripe fruit paired with vibrant mineral freshness and tension. This 2019 Sonnenuhr is another three-starred Molitor Riesling that has to be aged for at least a decade. Without any doubt, this is another stellar wine of the vintage in the Mosel and all of Germany, and it hasn’t yet reached its destination. Compared to the finessed and energetic Wehlener, the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr is richer, more physical and powerful. Two different characters yet both fantastic Rieslings on their way to eternity. Tasted in May 2021.”

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Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** Trocken (White Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $54.50 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points
“Molitor’s lemon-golden colored 2019 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (White Capsule) opens with a spectacular dense and intense tropical fruit aroma that becomes finer and finer and more detailed and slatey with air. This is a fascinating beauty in the making. Lively and frisky on the palate despite its richness and with a lemon flavor and firm and sustainably salty mineral grip for structure, this full-bodied WSU is a highly refined and elegant dry Auslese with an extremely stimulating finish. Although the 2019 already tastes very well, I wouldn’t drink it before it’s 20 or even 30 years old, simply because the wine will become even more complex.”

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** (Gold Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2019 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (Golden Capsule) exhibits a white-golden color along with a clear, bright, flinty and lemon-scented bouquet of ripe and healthy citrus fruits intertwined with finely crushed slate aromas. Mouth-filling, fresh and highly delicate on the palate, this is a finessed and stimulating Auslese with hidden intensity and complexity and currently firm phenolic grip with crystalline acidity and lingering salinity. Tasted from AP 27 20 in May 2021.”

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Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese ** (Gold Capsule), Mosel 2019 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2019 Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese ** (Golden Capsule) is another absolutely brilliant Riesling that opens incredibly pure and coolish with a perfume of crushed slate and lemon verbena notes on the dense, stony and herbal nose. Succulent yet refined and elegant on the superbly balanced and seamless palate, this is a generous yet refined Auslese with subtle yet sustainable mineral finesse and energy. Stimulatingly salty and crystalline on the airy finish. Tasted from AP 89 20 in May 2021.”

Markus Molitor Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Beerenauslese (Gold Capsule), Mosel 2019 375ml $79 special, 12 half-bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The white-golden colored 2019 Kinheimer Hubertuslay Beerenauslese offers a deep, intense and concentrated bouquet with ripe and flinty-scented raisin and lemon aromas. Lush and round on the refined and elegant palate, this is a sensual, mouth-filling yet delicate BA with vivacious yet fine acidity and a long and stimulating, salty and highly seductive finish. 6.5% alcohol. Tasted in May 2021”

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Isole e Olena

No winery symbolizes the modern quality of Tuscany like Isole e Olena. Since the arrival of Paolo de Marchi in 1976, Isole e Olena has been a quality leader in the region. Stylistically, Isole e Olena occupies a place that is at once traditional and modern. Their flagship Cepparello is firmly rooted in the primacy of Sangiovese and the idea of Tuscan typicity. Elegance wedded to power, this shows the nuance and bright fruit you’d expect from a classic wine of the region combined with the density and complexity of top tier, noble wines.

Isole e Olena selections in stock now: 

Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana IGT 2015 750ml $66 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata opens to an enriched appearance with round fruit and loads of deep intensity. What is remarkable about this Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with very small parts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot) is that it shows none of the greenness or tightness often associated with the grape. This warm and sunny vintage has ironed out any wrinkles and contributes to the loose, rich fabric of the wine. This wine shows lushness and balanced integration. It’s a lovely expression whose berry and forest endnotes make it perfect for a rosemary and garlic roasted lamb. Only 6,000 bottles were made.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of elegance and finesse that shows the effects of rain during harvest in its decidedly mid-weight, lithe construction. Even so, the 2015 offers lovely aromatic presence and persistence. Grilled herbs, crème de cassis, licorice, violet, plum, spice and licorice all develop, but the 2015 remains decidedly delicate for this bottling. My impression is that it will age more on its freshness rather than on its concentration.”

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The average price is $81

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2017 750ml $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2017 1.5L $169 special, 13 magnums in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2017 3L $379 special, 3 jeroboams in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2017 Cepparello is another in a series of stunningly beautiful Cepparellos from Paolo de Marchi. Bright and beautifully focused in the glass, with tremendous depth, the 2017 is positively stellar from the very first taste. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, spice, menthol and coffee all open up with a bit of air. Here, too, Paolo De Marchi has done a tremendous job in preserving freshness in the wine. Readers who can muster the patience will be rewarded with a spectacular wine.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The Isole e Olena 2017 Cepparello is one of the great Sangiovese-based wines of the vintage. From a growing season that was challenging for almost everyone in Italy, this wine sails through, pushed by a profound sense of varietal purity. This dark, mid-weight red reveals lifted tones of cherry, wild rose, rosemary essence, toasted almond and potting soil. These components come together with seamless transitions and a polished finish. The tannins are elegant and integrated. The wine defies the expectations of the vintage. Production is 43,000 bottles, 1,800 magnums and more large formats (including six- and 12-liter bottles).”

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Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ml $199 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2013 1.5L $399 special, 4 magnums in stock now    
Antonio Galloni 98+ points
“The 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is breathtaking. Beautifully ripe, deep and expressive, the 2013 has it all: deep fruit, stunning aromatic presence and tremendous structure. Black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, mint and lavender all meld together in this super-expressive, resonant Chianti Classico. An absolutely killer wine, the Gran Selezione is a fabulous, contemporary expression of Chianti Classico at its very finest. Drops of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah round out the blend. Paolo De Marchi gave the 2013 a year in barrique and second year in cask.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Dark, saturated and rich, the 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione delivers savory tones of spice and smoke that are folded into dark fruit, prune and dried blackberry. Despite the darkness of the bouquet, this wine shows tartness and freshness in terms of its flavor profile. There is a lot of Sangiovese typicity here, thanks to the delineated character of those wild berry aromas and the crispness of the wine’s natural acidity. In fact, the wine is mostly composed of Sangiovese, although very small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are added to the blend. A mere 2,400 bottles were produced.”

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There’s an old axiom that you can’t trust a red-wine maker to make good white wines, but producers that are known for whites often make great reds.  That’s certainly true of Matrot, the venerable producer of Meursault.  Their whites are great and well known, but somehow the reds the family produces from the Cote de Beaune are sleepers—undervalued but delicious.

Stylistically, the wines are charmers, pure and up front with their joy.  They epitomize a drink-now style of the Cote de Beaune, with fresh fruit and beautiful aromatics.  The fruit is buttressed by an intriguing minerality that gives the wine tension and energy. They’ll develop with age, sure, but for a Burg you can drink with pleasure young, it’s tough to beat the wines from Matrot.  

Added to that youthful charm is perhaps the other best attribute of these wines—pricing.  At a time when even humble producers have been taking off in pricing, Matrot, with all of their accolades, have kept prices reasonable.  These are among the best values in the Cote d’Or—wines that we’d say you should buy in bulk, but unfortunately we don’t have any of them in bulk. It’s Burgundy, though, and quantities are small.

In Stock Now from Matrot:

Domaine Matrot La Piece Sous Le Bois, Blagny Premier Cru 2010 750ml $59 special, 7 bottles in stock now

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Domaine Matrot La Piece Sous Le Bois, Blagny Premier Cru 2011 750ml $49 special, 5 bottles in stock now

Domaine Matrot La Piece Sous Le Bois, Blagny Premier Cru 2012 750ml $49 special, 3 bottles in stock now

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Collector’s Corner:

New Wine Spectator Reviews for Napa’s Finest!

Bond Pluribus, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $819 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
“This is well-packed, with crushed plum, steeped black currant and warmed blackberry compote notes mixed together, laced with bramble, licorice snap and apple wood. The fruit takes a really nice encore through the finish, while a dark earth hint moves underneath. Best from 2023 through 2038.—J.M.”

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Bond Quella, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $819 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Boasts black currant, fig and loganberry fruit flavors that are tightly packed yet nicely expressive already, while the backdrop of signed alder, juniper, bay leaf and warm loam adds extra dimension and length through the finish. Not shy on power, but everything is in proportion. Best from 2024 through 2040.—J.M.”

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Bond Vecina, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $819 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Ripe and focused, with a solidly built core of black currant and fig paste lined with tar and loam. Ends with an encore of fruit swathed in bittersweet cocoa and tobacco, giving this a muscular feel, but there’s also a nicely buried iron note that adds cut. This begs for cellaring. Best from 2024 through 2040.—J.M.”

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Bond Melbury, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $819 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Packed with dark blackberry and black currant preserves, this has nicely coiled energy, with sassafras and apple wood accents mixed with flashes of sweet bay leaf and tobacco. Subtle sanguine and black tea hints curl around the finish. Best from 2023 through 2037.—J.M.”

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Ulysses Vineyard, Napa Valley 2018 750ml $169 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Ulysses Vineyard, Napa Valley 2018 375ml $79 special, 6 half-bottles in stock now
Ulysses Vineyard, Napa Valley 2018 1.5L $339 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Dark and reserved in style, with a core of black currant and blackberry reduction wrapped in singed alder and warm loam. Tightly wound for now, with the fruit held in check, but the underlying structure is polished and there’s mineral-laced drive on the finish. Requires patience. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M.”

Thank you from the small but mighty team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.