March 12 – Spring Cleaning Special

March 12, 2014
Spring Cleaning Special
Enjoy the great deals as we make room for even more amazing wine!All 85 of these specials below are the lowest listed price in the USA today


Rainer Wess Achleiten Riesling 2008 ($37.95) $19 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Exotic, spicy and rich-tasting, with flavors of peach cobbler that are backed up by crunchy acidity. The finish is plush and creamy.”

Hiedler Riesling Maximum 2005 ($49.95) $24 special 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-93 points 
“The 2006 Riesling Maximum allies sweet freesia and buddleia; citrus flower and oils (orange, kumquat); nuts and brown spices, and a litany (if they were nameable!) of mineral notes in a remarkable show of richness combined with vivacity. Unusually low-toned in finish for a Riesling, but with floral and mineral complexity throughout, this will demand a few years in the bottle and probably reward up to a decade.”

Gobelsburg Riesling Heiligenstein 2010 375ml ($39.95) $21.90 special 6 bottles available
Wine Avocate 92 points
 “Schloss Gobelsburg’s 2010 Riesling Heiligenstein presents a smokily aromatic as well as more incisive and phenolically gripping palate impression than that of the corresponding Gaisberg. At a place where intense spice; herbal pungency; and of what for want of words can only be called diverse “mineral” impingements all intersect, you have this wine’s vibratory, invigorating palate rub-down. A crunch of berry seeds and piquancy of apricot kernel add to the effect of this vinous sauna (minus the heat!) Hints of gooseberry point toward the coolness of the vintage, while lilac and elderflower perfume unmistakably point toward the face of this great site. Look for at least the better part of a decade of stimulation both mental and physical, and if at all possible have some Gaisberg on-hand for direct comparison.”

FX Pichler Gruner Klostersatz 2011 ($44.95) $29 special 2 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Loibenberg 2011 375ml ($49.95) $33 special 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Intense and pure, featuring an aroma of white pepper and a minerally cast to the flavors of red peach, accented by anise and dried basil. Quince and lemon peel hints enliven the crisp finish. Drink now through 2020.”

FX Pichler Gruner Durnsteiner Liebenberg 2011 ($79.95) $49 special 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “A peachy aroma leads to powerful flavors of pear, dried pineapple and apricot. White chocolate hints lend added richness and complexity, culminating in a voluptuous finish. Drink now through 2022. ”

Kracher Grande Cuvee NV Trockenbeerenauslese #6 2001 375ml ($89.95) $49 special 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Terrific flavors of apricot, hazelnut, butter and vanilla pick up a smoky element on the finish. It’s the seamless texture and lively structure that complete the overall impression. More elegant than some of the Kracher lineup, showing well now. Drink now through 2008.”

Schrock Sauvignon Blanc Burgenland 2010 ($34.95) $19 special 5 bottles available
Prieler Pinot Blanc Seeberg 2010 ($29.95) $24 special 1 bottle available


Piollot Cuvee de Reserve Extra Brut NV ($39.95) $24 special 18+bottles available
“Light yellow in color and with a cordon of delicate bubbles, this Champagne delivers a nose of great maturity, with floral notes of hawthorn and fruit notes of cherry plums blending harmoniously on a base of pleasantly evolving aromas. In the mouth the attack is straightforward, followed by the full richness of Pinot Noir. Full and well balanced, this wine provides a good length. Thanks to its freshness, this is a cuvée noted for a fine aromatic expression and an elegant nature.”–Winemaker Note

AYALA Brut Rose Majeur NV ($59.95) $33 special 18+bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“(made from 51% chardonnay, 39% pinot noir – about a quarter of which is still red wine – and 10% pinot meunier; disgorged September, 2011):  Pale orange.  Bright, mineral-accented aromas of orange peal, brioche and white flowers, with a spicy topnote.  Silky and open-knit, offering tangy citrus fruit and red berry flavors and a hint of toastiness.  Closes smooth, fruity and long, with good breadth and clarity.”

De Sousa Cuvee 3A Grand Cru Brut NV ($64.95) $39 special 18+bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
 “With grapes from the three villages of Aÿ, Avize and Ambonnay, this blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is a strict and firm wine, very aromatic, beautifully ripe with some roundness. Flavors of tropical fruits mix with concentrated minerality. For aging.”

De Sousa Cuvee Caudalies 2006 ($219.95) $119 special 11 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
 “A blend of 13 vintages, beautifully ripe and round, even with some maturity. Fresh citric fruit cuts through the richness and flavors of pineapple. There is a tang in the texture, an almost chewy structure. Age this wine for a year or two.”

De Sousa Brut Rose NV ($69.95) $39 special 18+bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Dark pink, with a hint of onion skin; the color of a red wine from Arbois, even darker than some. Deep and smoky on the nose, with a spicy, vinous raspberry and cherry tone verging on Burgundian in character. Quite spicy, the cherry and wild berry flavors tinged by notes of clove, mace, cracked pepper and cayenne. A singular wine that would go perfectly with pungent cheeses or cured meats.”

De Sousa Cuvee Caudalies NV ($79.95) $49 special 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points 
“A blend of 13 vintages, beautifully ripe and round, even with some maturity. Fresh citric fruit cuts through the richness and flavors of pineapple. There is a tang in the texture, an almost chewy structure. Age this wine for a year or two.”

Billiot Reserve Brut NV 750ML ($64.95) $39 special 7 bottles available
Billiot Reserve Brut NV 1.5 LITER ($149.95) $89 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“Richly spiced, with a skein of ground clove, ginger and cardamom winding through flavors of dried apricot and apple, currant candy, passion fruit and lemon zest. Beautiful texture and balance here, followed by a long and mouthwatering, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 300 cases imported.”

Mousse et Fils Blanc de Noirs Reserve NV ($49.95) $33 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 89 points
 “An easy-drinking bubbly, with citrusy acidity and notes of white cherry, orchard blossom, honey and blackberry. Fresh, revealing a hint of pastry on the finish. Drink now.”

Pierre Peters Chetillons 2005 ($119.95) $89 special 18+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “made from fruit grown in a single site in Le Mesnil sur Oger; aged for six years on its lees and disgorged in June of 2012):  Bright yellow-gold.  Heady aromas of fresh nectarine, lemon, honeysuckle and ginger are complemented by deeper notes of smoky lees and brioche.  Bright citrus zest and quince flavors give way to richer melon and pit fruits with air while maintaining impressive verve and cut.  Shows a chewy, dense character without coming off as heavy.  Really clings to the palate on the back end, finishing spicy and quite long.  I’d have no guilt about polishing off a bottle right now.”

Pierre Peters Chetillons 2006 ($149.95) $99 special 18+ bottles available
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.”

Philipponnat Clos de Goisses 2001 ($249.95) $149 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points 
“The 2001 Brut Clos des Goisses has begun to take on attractive early tertiary nuances. A big, broad-shouldered wine, the 2001 has gorgeous depth but not quite the finesse of the very best years. Even with all of the intense fruit and rich, palate-staining finish, some slightly rough edges remain. Dried apricots, spices, licorice, sweet herbs and tobacco add elements of exoticism on the finish. A spell of cold weather and rain during the harvest appears to have marked the 2001. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow, although I don’t think it will reach the heights of the 2002. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2041.”

Francois Bedel Entre Ciel et Terre NV ($84.95) $59 special 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“Mineral flavors and a silvery, citrus edge, with hints of iodine, are backed by a vibrant structure. Honey and nascent coffee notes play out on the long finish.”

Francois Bedel Dis Vin Secret NV ($74.95) $49 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Light, bright yellow.  Pungent, highly aromatic bouquet evokes peach nectar, poached pear, vanilla and honeysuckle.  Deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit flavors show very good intensity and lift, picking up spiciness with air.  Finishes on a suave floral note, with impressive focus and length.”

Paul Bara Comtess Marie de France 2000 ($129.95) $89 special  3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“Bright yellow-gold.  Sexy, pungent aromas of dried orchard fruits, melon, raspberry and potpourri, with a spicy quality that gains strength with air.  Lush, sappy and penetrating, with very good depth to its spice-accented pear and red berry flavors.  Shows a touch of orange marmalade on the finish, which lingers with impressive tenacity and length.  This complex Champagne has the vivacity to work with lighter foods but the heft to handle richly sauced dishes as well.”


Huet Vouvray Petillant 1998 ($44.95) $24 special 18+bottles available


Dugat-Py Charmes Chambertin 2003 ($699.95) $299 special 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 95 points “Boisterous aromas of spices and waxy black cherries galore burst from the glass of the 2003 Charmes-Chambertin. Its fabulously oily texture combined with its power, concentration, and length make this rich, expansive beauty a delight to taste. Myriad spices are intermingled with red and black fruits in its sensual, long character. Anticipated maturity now -2015.”

Hudelot-Noellat Romanee St Vivant 2007 1.5 Liter ($999.95) $599 special 6 bottles available
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 availablelost 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 C o te de Nuits. Van Canneyt told me he doesn’t consider 2007 to be a great year for this domain and that he prefers the 2008s for their depth of fruit and texture.”

Clos de Tart 2007 1.5 Liter ($899.95) $499 special 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 94 points, Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points, Burghound 91-94 points 
“Intense aromas of graphite and mineral make an immediate impact, with black cherry, black currant and spice flavors adding depth and dimension. This has concentration and a juicy texture, pushing the long, peppery aftertaste. Shows fine harmony and expression overall. Best from 2012 through 2024.”


Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape VV 2007 ($399.95) $279 special 12 bottles available
Robert Parker 100 points “The perfect 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (tasted on four separate occasions) is composed of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and the rest Mourvedre and other authorized varietals from 60- to 100+-year-old vines. The wine is aged in both tank (75%) and small oak barrels (25%). Its inky/purple color is followed by a phenomenal nose of spring flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, boysenberries, licorice, truffles, and spice. Displaying massive body, incredible freshness, laser-like focus from the excellent acids, and a finish that goes on well past a minute, this prodigious Chateauneuf du Pape is the most extraordinary wine yet made at this estate. While accessible (as most 2007s are), ideally it needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for three decades.”

Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Capo 2010 1.5 Liter ($999.95) $799 special 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 98-100 points
  “No Cuvee da Capo was made in 2009, but the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee da Capo is composed of 80-85% Grenache and the rest a field blend of the other permitted varietals (Syrah, Mourvedre, Muscardin, Terret Noir, Counoise, Vaccarese, etc.). It is fashionable to compare the newest Capo with a previous vintage, and for me, the 2010 resembles 2007 more than their 2003, 2000 or 1998. The stunningly rich 2010 has close to 16% natural alcohol, and will be bottled after spending 18 months in old wood foudres. Notions of ripe figs, kirsch liqueur, cedar, Christmas fruitcake, smoked meats, charcuterie and beef blood are present in this staggeringly complex, rich, full-throttle, massive, intense wine. Drink it over the next 20-30 years.”

JL Chave Hermitage Rouge 2008 1.5 LITER ($449.95) $289 special 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points
“This is suave, with a smoldering tobacco note running from start to finish, while truffle, cocoa, braised fig and warm black currant confiture notes fill in the remaining space. Dense, but very silky along the edges, with remarkable harmony for the vintage.”


Domaine Trevallon VDP de Bouches de Rhone 1995 3 LITER ($399.95) $279 special 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 91+ points “Saturated ruby-red. Nose combines black raspberry preserves, dark chocolate, black pepper and game. Dense, very concentrated and very primary, but already shows lovely inner-mouth perfume. Still, a bit less expressive than the ’94 was at the same stage. Dark berry flavor explodes on the tannic finish. This wine spine of acidity gives it great grip and aging potential. For the second consecutive year, this wine was bottled as VdP des Bouches du Rhone, rather than Les Baux de Provence.”


Trimbach Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 ($29.95) $14 special 18+ bottles available

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris St Urbain 2005 ($89.95) $49 special 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 93 points
“This delicious white is big, lush and warm, with apricot, grapefruit and spice flavors that are easy to cozy up to as it glides to a long, smoky finish. There’s plenty of power in reserve, with a dry sensation on the aftertaste. Drink now through 2020”

Zind Humbrecht Riesling Windsbuhl VT 2004 375ml ($59.95) $29 special 9 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Fresh, even racy, with grapefruit, lemon and honey aromas and flavors matched to an elegant profile. Still tightly wound, with a vivid structure. Needs time to open and gain complexity. Best from 2009 through 2020.”

Zind Humbrecht Riesling Brand GC VT 2004 375ml ($69.95) $39 special 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Broad and honeyed, yet with firm structure. Shows a hint of bitterness, like grapefruit peel, pulling it out of balance for now. It’s young, so give it time to develop. Long, smoky finish. Best from 2009-2020.”

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal VT 2004 375ml ($59.95) $33 special 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“Heady, with loads of honey, apricot and caramel corn notes. Moderately sweet, concentrated and a little raw today, so give it some about five years. The aroma is really singing, but the palate needs time to align itself. Best from 2008-2020”

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Jebsal SGN 2003 375ml ($149.95) $79 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 97 points
 “A seductive mouthful of smoke, apricot, orange marmalade and honey ride a bright structure and smooth texture in this seamless SGN. Concentrated, yet seemingly lighter than air, the finish goes on and on. Drink now through 2025. 85 cases made. ”


J Christoffel Jr Erden Pralat Auslese*** 2007 ($51.95) $33 special 18+ bottles available

Willi Schaefer Estate Riesling 2008 ($21.95) $11.90 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 89 points “This is plump and juicy, yet also displays well-defined peach, apple and mineral flavors. Balanced with moderate length.”

R. Weil Kiedricher Grafenberg Spatlese 2006 ($74.95) $33 special 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator & Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Delicate floral nose offers yellow plum, quince and a hint of vanilla. A honeyed richness develops on top of a nice mineral foundation to provide lift and complexity. A salt, crisp character keeps the palate fresh on the long, penetrating finish. Classic!”ST  “A juicy white, displaying peach and orange cream notes. It’s bright and remains lithe and well defined through the lingering finish. This will develop well in time. Drink now through 2022. 150 cases imported.”

R. Weil Kiedricher Grafenberg Auslese 2006 ($159.95) $49 special 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“A combination of purity and concentration. Apricot and orange peel flavors ride the silky texture and bright structure to a fresh, mouthwatering conclusion. Drink now through 2022. ”
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Pale golden yellow. Aromas of ripe peach, papaya and vanilla. Elegantly sweet and creamy on the palate, with tropical fruit flavors retaining a light touch. With its harmonious acidity and finishing spice, this avoids coming off as heavy. This possesses more depth but is not better than the two spatleses.”

Heyman Loewenstein Uhlen Roth Lay Beerenauslese 2009 375ml ($299.95) $149 special 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “Quince and white peach preserves seem to be mingled with fresh peach, lime, and raspberry, while scents of lemon blossom, wintergreen, white truffle, and musk lend intrigue. On a palate every bit as creamy and almost as buoyant as that of the corresponding long gold capsule Auslesen, this introduces a note of caramel to its layered profusion of confitured and fresh fruits. In fact, its seemingly endless finish still refreshes, although this wine’s enhanced sense of caramelization and sheer sweetness – not to mention of must weight – are, I image, what argued for calling it -Beerenauslese.- It in fact boasts slightly more alcohol – at 7% — than the corresponding Laubach long gold capsule Auslese. I imagine this will remain vital for 35-40 years.”

Heyman Loewenstein Rothlay Auslese GK 2006 375ml ($169.95) $79 special 3 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points 
“A beautiful auslese, filigreed and complex, featuring apricot, lime, honey, spice and slate aromas and flavors. This is backed by a vibrant structure, which keeps it fresh and well-defined on the long finish. Really juicy and accessible now. Drink now through 2030.”

Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Auslese Long Goldkapsel 2006 375ml ($49.95) $29 special 10 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “A rich white, but juicy, with good underlying acidity keeping it focused. The apple, pear and golden raisin notes are soft around the edges. Long finish though. Drink now through 2028.”

Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Auslese 2006 375ml ($119.95) $99 special 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2006 Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Auslese seems to be following a mission for this site to display in the most elegant, delicate, and seemingly effortless way the concentrated ripeness of the vintage, in the process proving Donnhoff’s hypothesis that – like the Hermannshohle – Dellchen “has talent at all levels of residual sugar.” This Auslese puts away the botrytis as the dry Spatlese dispatched its alcohol and the sweet Spatlese its residual sugar. A cherry-nectarine liqueur redolent of distilled essences and laced with lemon generates an inner-mouth explosion of floral perfume. Deep honey and chocolate richness well-up but do not pull this masterpiece down from its orbital state. I would not pull a cork for 15 years nor be in any hurry (were I a young man) to drink it up in less than 40 years.”

Dr Burkin- Wolf Ruppertsberg Beerenauslese 1997 375ml ($118.95) $49 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Superconcentrated and unctuous, this ’97 BA offers plenty of honey and apricot aromas and flavors, backed by refreshing acidity that keeps it lively.”

Georg Breuer Rudesheim Schlossberg Auslese 1996 375ml (108.95) $49 special 8 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 96 points 
“Full-bodied. Nectarine, pineapple, honey. Lush, tropical aromas convey a sense of richness that is delivered on the palate. Glycerous and intensely sweet, with a hint of petrol showing already. Lively acids. Delicious.”

Emrich Schonleber Riesling Lenz Nahe 2007 ($27.95) $19 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “The 2007 Riesling Lenz represents Schonleber’s legally halbtrocken generic Riesling as well as, once again, an outstanding value. It lives up to its name (meaning “springtime”) with a profusion of flowers and herbs in the nose, joined by ripe pear on a lilting and refreshing palate. (With 11.5% alcohol, it acts more as though it had 10.5%.) Salty, stony, smoky, and tart berry notes point to characteristic features of Riesling from Monzingen’s sites and add interest and invigoration to a lip-smacking finish.”

AJ Adam Dhron Hofberg Spatlese 2010 ($54.95) $33 special 1 bottle available
Steohen Tanzer 90 points 
“Sweet floral aromas with a hint of raspberry. The rich, juicy palate is marked by cling peach and a persistent honeyed quality. Finishes supple and restrained, with peach and mineral salts. Nice length.”

Vollenwider Wolfer Goldgrube Beerenauslese 2006 375ml ($149.95) $69 special 1 bottle available
Stepehn Tanzer 94 points
“Rich gold. Extravagant aromas of papaya, passion fruit and brown spice drown in the rich botrytis. The creamy, succulent glazed pineapple flavor is nicely juxtaposed by a salinity that keeps the palate fresh, while the wine’s juicy spiciness accentuates its long, pristine finish. An excellent beerenauslese for the vintage.”

Vollenwider Wolfer Godlgrube Auslese LGC 2007 375ml ($109.95) $49 special 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “Golden yellow. Subtle aromas of bosc pear, persimmon and nut oils lifted by brown spice botrytis. Lush and velvety in texture, with ripe apricot fruit nicely framed by flinty acidity. Rich and long, with a persistently spicy finish.”

Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Trockenbeerenauslese 2006 375ml ($119.95) $49 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “After a year spent fermenting – and only barely making it over the legal threshold to “wine” Justen’s 2006 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese was bottled at close to the same time as his 2007 Beerenauslese. Eszencia-like in its combination of apricot preserves shot through with lemon juice; its high-toned, almost spirit-like aromatics; and its near-gelatinous viscosity, this softly-, creamily-textured elixir finishes with honey, praline, and marzipan added to its pit fruit and citrus intensity. It should be a more than 30 year keeper.”


Voerzio Barolo Reserva Capalot Brunate 1999 1.5 Liter ($599.96) $379 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points “Full, deep ruby-red. Restrained but highly complex nose melds strawberry, raspberry, currant, mocha and dried flowers; less exuberant today than the Samassa. But the sweetest and lushest in the mouth of these ’99s: hugely rich, creamy and seamless but with terrific supporting vinosity giving it a lightness of touch.”

Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2006 1.5 LITER (149.95) $99 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The 2006 Barolo Castiglione is frighteningly outstanding, considering it is Vietti’s entry-level Barolo! There is incredible density and power in the glass as waves of fruit caress the palate with tons of richness. Sweet menthol, flowers and spices add complexity to the long, stupendous finish. In 2006 the Barolo Castiglione is a blend of fruit from Bricco Fiasco (except for the lower part of that plot), Ravera, Fossati and Bricco Ravera. All of the estate’s Barolo-designated vineyards that weren’t bottled separately were used for that vintage’s Perbacco, a selection process I wrote about extensively in my recent profile on Vietti on The Barolo Castiglione is usually approachable pretty much upon release, but in 2006 the wine has so much fatness it will probably benefit from a few years in bottle. Barolo is never inexpensive, but the Castiglione is as good a wine as readers will find for the money. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026.”

Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2007 1.5 LITER ($199.95) $99 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2007 Barolo Castiglione deftly balances the open, radiant personality of the vintage with considerable underlying structure. Warm, dense and full-bodied, the 2007 Barolo Castiglione flows effortlessly across the palate with generous fruit and fabulous overall balance. The wine was even better when I tasted it from bottle a few months later. It is another overachieving wine from Vietti and a bottle that is exceedingly fairly priced. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.”

Vietti Barolo Rocche 2006 3 LITER ($829.95) $499 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 97 points & Stephen Tanzer 96 points 
“Good deep red. Classic perfumed Barolo nose combines redcurrant, cherry, dried flowers and brown spices, with a brooding medicinal element adding complexity. Then deep, chewy and sweet, showing an utterly seamless, silky texture and captivating minerality. This has the suavity of texture of a grand cru, and even more flesh to buffer its round tannins than the 2005 bottling. The whiplash of a finish is like a second-stage booster rocket. This one really calls for, and will reward, extended cellaring. (Incidentally, my early look at the 2007 version suggests that this vintage will be in the same quality league as the 2006 and 2005, as this wine showed an ineffable orange peel note and terrific length and perfume. The 2007 Masseria and Lazzarito were also early standouts. “Two thousand one is my dream vintage,” says Currado, “but 2007 may be as good.”)”

Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2008 1.5 LITER ($419.95) $319 special 11 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “Warm and chewy, this red exhibits cedar, sandalwood, tobacco and leather accents enhancing the core of cherry and raspberry. As this plays out on the palate, the wine turns more supple and vibrant, building to the long, expansive finish. Best from 2016 through 2035.”

Sandrone Barolo le Vigne 2007 ($149.95) $99 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The 2007 Barolo Le Vigne presents a beguiling combination of explosive, ripe fruit and finessed silky tannins that make it a thrilling wine to taste, even at this stage in its development. Small red berries, minerals, crushed flowers, vanillin and sweet spices are woven together in a fabric of undescribable elegance. The French oak has never been better balanced, while the vibrant, crystalline finish leaves a lasting impression. The 2007 Le Vigne has all the potential to develop into a spectacular wine. Actually, it already is. This is a totally stunning bottle of Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Sandrone Barolo le Vigne 2008 ($149.95) $99 special 16 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points 
“Sandrone’s 2008 Barolo Le Vigne is a wine of breathtaking textural finesse and elegance. Nothing really stands out, so phenomenal is the wine’s balance and sense of harmony. This is the kind of wine that is easy to overlook because it doesn’t ask for attention and isn’t showy. Instead, everything is simply in the right place. The finest, most silky of tannins support a core of sweet red berries, flowers, mint and spices, all of which are woven together with total refinement. The eternal, nuanced finish bodes very well for the future. This is a dazzling effort from Luciano and Luca Sandrone. Le Vigne is made from parcels in Vignane, Ceretta, Conterni and Merli. In 2008 there is a little less Vignane as part of the vineyard was hit by hail. There is little question that the blending of fruit from several sites was a huge advantage in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028.”


Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello 2006 ($69.95) $39 special 18+ bottles available
James Suckling 95 points “Frescobaldi’s Brunello always delivers great quality in just about any vintage. Gorgeous nose of ripe berries and slice plums with an almost peach undertone. Full bodied, with a solid core of gorgeously clean and clear dark fruits. Dense and integrated tannins on the finish. So long and fascinating. Best after 2013”

Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino 2010 ($59.95) $39 special 18+ bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 points “
The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino is drop-dead gorgeous. Sweet dark cherries, spices, menthol and new leather are woven together beautifully in the glass. Savory herbs and licorice notes appear later as the wine opens up in the glass. There is a beautiful weight to the 2010, but no sense of heaviness whatsoever. The firm 2010 tannins are present yet unobtrusive. With time in the glass, the aromas and flavors brightness up in a wine that is pure class.”

Cerbainoa Brunello di Montalcino 2008 ($199.95) $139 special 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93+ points
 “Succulent red cherries, dried roses, violets, tar and spices are some of the many notes that are woven together in the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino. Intensely perfumed, the 2008 shows many of the classic Cerbaiona signatures, even if it is a touch less polished than some of the recent vintages. At the same time, the 2008 has come together nicely over the last few years, so it will be interesting to watch what happens with further time in bottle. Dried rose petals and spices add complexity to the subtle, layered flavors. This is one of the stronger wines of the year.”

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 ($89.95) $49 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“Pungent with balsamic and macchia underbrush aromas, this distinctive red also features cherry, leather and tobacco notes. The supple texture is offset by firm yet ripe and refined tannins. Excellent length.”

Ruffino Modus Toscana 2007 ($59.95) $39 special 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points 
“This is phenomenal on the nose, with blueberry, light toasty oak, coffee and sweet tobacco. The palate is full and utterly capivating, with its combination of fruit and very subtle, silky tannins. Goes on and on. Best after 2014.”


Dal Forno Vigna Sere 2004 375ml ($189.95) $139 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ points “The 2004 Vigna Sere is the perfect conclusion to a vintage that will go down as one of Dal Forno’s most magical. Sweet, silky tannins support layers of super-refined, elegant fruit in this magical sweet red. Mocha, espresso, new leather, raspberry jam and spices emerge with time in the glass, but this is really a wine that shows off textural finesse more than anything else. I have tasted this wine many times since it was in barrel and later in bottle. It has never been anything less than spellbinding. It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted. At eight years of age the 2004 remains a an infant. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”

Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2005 ($119.95) $79 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 ““Dal Forno should really change the name of his 2005 Valpolicella Superiore. It is really an Amarone for all practical intents and purposes, as it is made entirely from fruit that has been dried, albeit for less time than that legally required for Amarone. Firm, sturdy tannins frame blackberries, blueberries, violets and new leather in the 2005 Valpolicella. This is an especially structured, shut-down wine, even within the context of Dal Forno. The wine’s gorgeous inner perfume and sheer depth suggest that all that is required is patience. With time in the glass the tannins soften just enough to get a glimpse of what is in store for those who can wait a few years. Bittersweet chocolate, graphite and tar are layered into the authoritative finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”

Quintarelli Alzero 2004 (449.95) $379 special 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “”The stunning 2004 Cabernet Alzero is beautiful beyond words. What really stands out is the startling focus and definition of this elegant wine. Cabernet grapes are air-dried for added intensity and heft. This is unlike any other red wine made in Valpolicella. Its seamless elegance is infinite and so is its sheer might. It’s a wine that soothes the senses but that also awakens and challenges them. The 2004 vintage is a brilliant expression with evident pedigree that requires hours of contemplation and respect. It’s engineered to last. Drink 2015-2030.”

Radikon S Pinot Grigio 2009 ($59.95) $38 special 2 bottles available
Radikon S Slatnik 2009 ($59.95) $38 special 5 bottles available

Gravner Bainco Breg Amphora 2005 ($119.95) $79 special 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2005 Bianco Breg Anfora has developed beautifully since I first reviewed it last year. Silky tannins frame an expressive core of apricots, orange peel, flowers and sweet spices as the Breg opens up in the glass. The 2005 is a mid-weight Breg that doesn’t quite have the power of other recent vintages, but that may actually work in its favor when enjoyed at the table. The long, harmonious finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. This is one of the most elegant wines I have tasted from Gravner in a long time, perhaps ever. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2020.”

Gravner Ribolla Gialla Amphora 2005 ($119.95) $69 special 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2005 Ribolla Gialla Anfora is what Barolo might taste like if Nebbiolo were a white grape. A gorgeous, powerful core of fruit sits on a frame of gripping, yet beautifully integrated tannins. The Ribolla possesses more weight and richness than the Breg, if slightly less aromatic complexity. It is an ideal wine to pair with rich winter stews. I am amazed at how well this wine has come together over the last year. It is another gem from Gravner. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2020.”


Alion Ribera del Duero 2008 ($89.95) $66 special 18+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “Deep ruby. Expressive aromas of candied cherry and cassis, with complicating notes of cola, anise and violet. Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and slow-building oak spice and licorice nuances. Closes on a smoky note, with spiciness and very good persistence. Pretty impressive for the year.”

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2011 ($21.95) $14 special 18+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Bright purple.  Aromas and flavors of ripe red berries, cola and spicecake, with a deeper note of licorice emerging with air.  Lush and seamless, with very good finishing breadth and spicy persistence.  Shows plenty of upfront appeal but this wine has the concentration and balance to reward at least mid-term aging.”

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi Priorat 2008 ($74.95) $57 special 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Deep ruby. Rich, complex aromas of raspberry, Asian spices, smoky minerals and violet. Focused and precise but also lush and sappy, with a texture of liquid silk and strong minerality adding to its intense red and dark berry flavors. Finishes impressively long, with resonating minerality and very suave tannins.”

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi 2010 ($69.95) $57 special 14 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points 
“Suave, highly perfumed nose offers fresh raspberry, minerals, candied flowers and Asian spices.  Sappy and minerally, offering intense, spice-accented red fruit and floral pastille flavors with superb clarity.  Wonderfully supple in texture, with outstanding finishing persistence and only a hint of sweet tannins.”

Descendientes de J Palacios Bierzo Corullon 2010 ($49.95) $33 special 18+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“Bright violet color.  Pungent, youthful aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry-cola and candied violet, with a mineral topnote.   Offers an array of sappy red and dark fruit flavors, with spicecake and anise nuances building with air.  Silky tannins give shape and grip to a long, penetrating finish.”

Descendientes de J Palacios Bierzo Corullon 2011 ($49.95) $33 special 18+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“The 2011 Corullon nearly jumps from the glass in an explosion of violets, ripe peaches and acid strawberry, the fruit darker, a touch riper, with some organic notes of humus and peat, even mushroom. You can drink it now to enjoy the exuberant, exotic profile of the wine or let it rest for three years and enjoy later. It has superb precision and length. Corullon also benefits from blending different vineyards.”

Descendientes de J Palacios Bierzo Las Lamas 2011 ($119.95) $79 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2011 Las Lamas is a true expression of both the vintage and the vineyard, which is usually the most powerful of all the wines produced by the winery. Perhaps 2011 imprinted more character in the wine than 2010 did. The nose is full of blueberries, peach and gunpowder, wet slate, peat and smoke notes. It’s a powerful wine, this is the only vineyard where they have some clay mixed with the slate. Some fine-grained tannins hint at the need of a couple of years in bottle.”

Artadi Vinas Gain Rioja 2009 ($26.95) $19 special 18+ bottles available

Artadi Santa Cruz de Artazu Garnacha 2007 ($39.95) $24 special 18+ bottles available
Jamie Goode (Wine Anorak) 93 points “A single-vineyard wine made from 80 year old vines at an elevation of 750 metres. Bright red/purple colour. Lovely pure, sweet nose of bright raspberry and cherry fruit. The palate is fresh, elegant and pure with lovely sweet fruit. Sleek and refined, this is really polished but still has great definition and freshness. A really lovely wine, which carries the spicy oak so well. Give it a few years, I reckon”

Artadi Seque Alicante ($44.95) $29 special 18+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“(90% monastrell and 10% syrah):  Opaque violet color.  Enticing aromas of cherry-cola, black raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices.  Very ripe but fresh and energetic, with excellent clarity to its sweet dark berry and spice flavors.  Juicy, penetrating and long on the finish, with the spice and floral notes echoing.”

Atradi Pagos Viejos Rioja 2007 ($99.95) $79 special 13 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The 2007 Pagos Viejos is sourced from Artadi’s three best and most elevated vineyard sites, all planted to Tempranillo over 75 years of age. The wine was aged for 18 months in new French oak. It sports a superb aromatic array of toasty new oak, pencil lead, violets, incense, black cherry, and blueberry. Elegant, ripe, and velvety on the palate, it has superb depth and concentration, savory flavors, a firm structure, and a 45-second finish. Give it 6-8 years of additional bottle age and drink it from 2016 to 2032.”

Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2007 ($179.95) $99 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Ruby-red. Aromas of dried cherry, raspberry, vanilla, mocha and Cuban tobacco, with smoke and potpourri accents. Supple and expansive, offering sweet, spice-accented red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors that stain the palate. Dusty tannins add shape and grip to the very long, smooth, penetrating finish. I find this wine quite approachable now but it has the balance to age. Not the weightiest Valbuena but very impressive for the vintage.”

Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero 2003($399.95) $289 special 11 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“This red is generous and expressive, delivering dried cherry, tobacco, mineral and spice flavors in a rich, round texture, with a good balance of well-integrated tannins and racy acidity. More harmonious than assertive, but shows plenty of depth. Drink now through 2023.”

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial NV ($499.95) $379 special 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points 
“The 2011 Release is rich, spicy, and complex. It has impeccable balance and another 20 years of life. It simply does not get any better. When you consider that the Reserva Especial sells for less than half the price of a Bordeaux First Growth (and you don’t have to wait for 20 years for it to be approachable) it is one of the great bargains in world-class wine.”