Mid-Week Addition Edition 6-22-17

2007 Altesino – Arriving Tuesday; New David Schildknecht Reviews for 2015 Mosel Wines; Raul Perez: New Grapelive Review; Arriving Tomorrow: Avignonesi Vin Santo; Stellar Tuscan: Fattoria Le Pupille (96 Points!)


2007 Altesino

Cut Down in its Prime

Arriving Tuesday
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2007 750ML ($59.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2007 750ML ($359.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is beautiful in this vintage. Layers of dark red cherries, flowers, licorice and tobacco caress the palate in this generous, expressive Brunello. The 2007 presents an intriguing combination of classic Sangiovese aromas and flavors with the generosity and radiance of the vintage. The 2007 Brunello was made from vineyards in several sub-zones in Montalcino and was aged in cask.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sanguine, iron and loam aromas lead off, followed by cherry, balsamic and herb flavors. Rich and chewy in texture, with sweet fruit and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2023.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $71
Why pay more than double?


David Schildknecht

New Reviews

For 2015 Mosel Wines

David Schildknecht is the most important English-language critic of German and Austrian wines, so when he publishes a new article (now for Vinous media) we pay attention. His most recent piece is about the 2015 vintage in the Mosel and he’s as excited about the wines as you’d expect given the overall hype around the year.

As with most reviews from Schildknecht, a lot of the wines he’s talking about have sold out (swiftness has never been his strong suit), but we do have a good chunk of the fantastic 2015 vintage left from vintners like Selbach-Oster, Molitor and Heymann-Loewenstein. We also have options from Schaefer, Merkelbach and a few more. These are all incredible wines from a once in a decade+ vintage (2015 has drawn a lot of comparisons to 1990) and deserve a place in your cellar.

Here’s part one of the newly published reviews for wines we stock. Stay tuned for part two in our Saturday newsletter!

Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($219.95) $199 special, 6 magnums available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 94 points “The characteristic citricity of this site has here largely given way to heady, ripely scented, drippingly luscious Persian melon and white peach, allied with quince jelly and wreathed in honeysuckle. At once creamy and delicate, this youthfully harmonious elixir introduces subtle suggestions of candied lemon and grapefruit peels on a soothingly sustained finish that incorporates strongly saliva-inducing salinity reminiscent of the collection’s Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese. Around one-third of the fruit for this was botrytis-affected, reported Katharina Prüm. (There was also an auctioned Himmelreich Auslese Goldkapsel, but I have not had opportunity to taste it.)”

Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special, 4 magnums available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 94 points “This was the first – among very few – wines in the 2015 Prüm lineup to lead with a bit of yeasty fermentative “Mosel stink,” but that veil soon parted more than sufficiently to showcase an alliance of ripe honeydew melon with cassis, grapefruit, and hints of cress and lemon peel that subsequently lend incisive, piquant invigoration on a delicate, polished, infectiously juicy palate. Penetrating and sharply focused, but without its efficacious and enlivening acids turning at all aggressive, the tinglingly, refreshingly citric yet soothing and cooling finish serves up a shimmering array of stony, smoky, alkaline and crystalline nuances.”

Julian Haart Riesling Moselle, Mosel 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special, 5 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “This wine is prominently labeled “Mosel” or “Moselle” depending on the market, and is sourced from younger vines in the Goldtröpfchen plus a tiny parcel in the Falkenberg. This year’s cuvée boasts audaciously high acidity for an “intro-level” bottling, but that acidity is ideally sublimated and harnessed to the tasks of invigoration and refreshment. Lime, pink grapefruit and mango offer Goldtröpfchen-typically colorful and forward fruitiness. Sappy intensity, palpably high extract and faint oiliness of texture are allied with alcoholic levity (even at 11.5 percent) and generous juiciness. Citrus zest lends invigoration, and wet stone provides a sounding board for the fruit, on a persistent finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $23.99

Weingut Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese*, Mosel 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 20 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “This “one-star” Spätlese reflects Kerpen’s best parcels in the Sonnenuhr as well as a more stringent selection than in the corresponding “regular” bottling. The floral dimension here turns to heady honeysuckle and lily, and to the extent that the appley fruit remains cidery, it’s now the refined, pure Normandy sort. At the same time, there is a refreshing, tangy citrus dimension here, favoring lime and grapefruit, that’s riper, more colorful and more efficacious than in other wines of this collection. The feel is polished, if (for now at least) not quite creamy, and the lingering finish is transparent to a dynamic interchange of diverse fruits and mineral nuances.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Mosel 2015 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 18 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “Apple, honeydew, fresh lime and white currant combine for a lusciously ripe and subtly creamy yet lively and refreshing performance transparent in its energetically sustained finish to smoky and stony mineral nuances, as well as tinged with mouthwatering salinity. Markus Haag pointed out that in a year like 2015 with its scorching, dry summer, a critical terroir factor is the springs that keep the soil in this sector from completely drying out, with certain parcels in the Juffer permitting slightly higher yields and juice-to-skin ratios and thus a genuine Kabinett harvest. The thousand bottles of this delicious offering were already sold out at the winery by summer 2016.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese #10, Mosel 2015 750MML ($44.95) $37 special, 36 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Drippingly luscious apple, pear and Persian melon dominate an alluringly scented bottling that combines intensity with delicacy and brightness. Musky, peony-like floral notes add to the almost decadent sense of ripeness, while fruit-skin tartness enhances the impression of invigoration and refreshment conveyed on a penetrating and lingering finish underlain with wet stone. “This is the classic Domprobst Spätlese,” suggested Willi Schaefer.”

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese #4, Mosel 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 7 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 94 points “Apple blossom and honeysuckle feature on a surprisingly understated nose, which only hints at the lime and lemon that subsequently burst like a cymbal crash on the palate. The feel is firm and palpably extract-rich, yet displays delightful delicacy to complement the wine’s brightness, invigoration and penetration. A seedy, crunchy tang of cassis and blackberry reinforces the animating effect, leading into a vibrantly electro-charged, rapier and ultra-refreshing finish such as you won’t often encounter in an Auslese. The acid-concentrating effect of lightly desiccated, healthy berries is decidedly evident. This is going to be exciting to follow.”

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($41.95) $37 special, 24 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “This year, Himmelreich seems to have enjoyed a rare advantage vis-à-vis Domprobst in the Schaefer cellars, and not only qualitatively. There are 1,500 liters of this Spätlese, three times the amount of the corresponding Domprobst. Site-typical apple, lemon and grapefruit are laced with sweaty, mouthwatering salinity and underlain with wet stone. At first glance, this struck me as a yet more energetic and gripping variation on the themes announced by its Kabinett counterpart. But a slightly decadent fruit character and pungent spice signal an element of botrytis, which brings with it a slight diminution in finishing clarity and sheer juiciness.”

Weingut Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 5 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points ““This was the one place where we had early botrytis,” explained Willi Schaefer, “but that was simply because of the replanting and young vines that had so few clusters, with berries so tiny and thin-skinned that they were vulnerable to botrytis and needed early picking regardless.” Mango and passion fruit wreathed in heliotrope and lily make for a head-turningly heady nose, then pick up a welcome bit of fresh apple juiciness and tartness on the expansive, buoyant palate. The lingering, lusciously fruited finish is soothing and enveloping, yet not without refreshment. Given the amazing focus, clarity and energy that characterize so many wines in the Schaefers’ 2015 collection, one has to recalibrate to appreciate the manifest but very different virtues of this Wehlener – almost the alter-ego of the corresponding Himmelreich rendered from later-picked, wind-desiccated berries.”

Markus Molitor Alte Reben Saar Riesling Trocken White Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 17 bottles available
Markus Molitor Alte Reben Saar Riesling Trocken White Capsule, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $59 special, 4 magnums available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Sourced – as it has been since the 2012 vintage – from Ockfener Bockstein and Saarburger Rausch, this 2015 entirely surpasses its surprisingly restrained and slightly austere 2014 predecessor. Scents of mint and fresh apple anticipate the juicy, cooling impression on a silken palate, where hints of apple seed add stimulating counterpoint and an umami-rich sweet-saline savor of raw scallop grabs hold of the salivary glands. And despite harboring, at 11.5 percent, a full point higher alcohol than most of Molitor’s dry Kabinetts, this bottling also evinces a welcome sense of levity, coupled with transparency to stony and smoky nuances.”

Markus Molitor Alte Reben Riesling Trocken White Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 9 bottles available
Markus Molitor Alte Reben Riesling Trocken White Capsule, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $51.90 special, 5 magnums available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “This dry-tasting Middle Mosel counterpart to Molitor’s “Saar Alte Reben” bottling reflects the full stretch between Ürzig and Wehlen. A mingling of fresh and lightly cooked apple bittersweetly accented with vanilla and apple seeds inhabits a surprisingly lush and creamy yet still refreshingly juicy palate. There is a saliva-inducing mineral-animal savor here, though not as intriguing and striking as that of the corresponding Saar bottling, nor does one experience that wine’s levity or transparency to nuance.”

Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Gold Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 4 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “Pure fresh apple and pear are wreathed in honeysuckle, rowan blossom, and heliotrope on a head-turningly heady nose and creamy, expansive yet buoyant and juicy palate. Hints of nutmeg and vanilla complement the wine’s sense of creaminess on a long finish that nevertheless displays vibrant animation and transparency to stony and floral nuances. Nor does this beauty forget Riesling’s first duty to refresh. I wouldn’t be surprised if my prognosis of ageability were to prove too conservative.”

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Gold Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 18 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Pungent mint and sage on an intense nose put me in mind of Sauvignon Blanc or Scheurebe, though these are allied with site-typical, equally assertive scents of apple as well as heliotrope and lily perfume. Creamy and lusciously fruity, this finishes with superb and animating persistence if (surprisingly) not quite the nuanced complexity of the corresponding Wehlener or Kinheimer.”

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese** Gold Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 94 points “Molitor reported that this “two-star” bottling is the only one of his 2015 vintage gold-label Auslesen to have originated with entirely botrytis-free grapes. It’s as exotic and borderline overripe as the corresponding A.P. #22 Spätlese, but here banana shares billing with pear and mango, while the heady floral dimension that persists as billowing inner-mouth perfume suggests heliotrope and honeysuckle, a combination typical for this site. Almond and hazelnut – also site-typical – offer welcome counterpoint on an opulent and creamy but lusciously juicy palate. The level of sweetness seems ideally judged for supporting such a gaudily ripe performance, and a look at the wine’s analysis reveals that acidity and extract have managed to compensate for what might appear on paper to be a surfeit of residual sugar. The soothingly sustained finish impressively perpetuates this elixir’s generous juiciness, creaminess and enveloping richness.”

Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** Gold Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 17 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 95 points “Pear preserves and apple jelly are allied to bright fresh lemon and lime in this “three-star” performance. The palate presence is creamy in texture and almost custardy in its richness and underlying extract, yet at the same time buoyant and electrically charged with citricity. The flavors begin heading in a confitured and confectionary direction but are then restrained by high acidity. The alternation of creaminess and brightness, honeyed richness and citricity continues through a lusciously lingering finish in which a hint of caramel serves as a further, delightfully integrated botrytis marker. This is another of those embryonic Molitor 2015s that will need time to display their mettle, but it already conveys amazing concentration and persistence, not to mention a remarkable sense of energy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $110

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** Gold Capsule, Mosel 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 16 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 96 points “A haunting nose conveys ripe white peach, rowan, and almond extract as well as a decadent suggestion of lily perfume. This sets up an expectation of creaminess and enveloping richness that is not entirely confounded on the palate, but an intense alliance of brightly juicy fresh lime and piquant peach kernel provides a remarkable sense of cut and energy. Hints of caramel and sorghum add allure to a whirl of finishing flavors that manages not to turn sweet-sour or otherwise unruly, while mineral salts contribute mouthwatering savor of a sort rare in a botrytized Auslese and otherwise displayed in the present collection only by the astonishing “two-star” Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese.”

Don’t miss part two in our Saturday newsletter! You can shop all of the newly reviewed wines (or any of the 266 different German Riesling options we stock) on our web store.


Raul Perez:

New Grapelive Review

Wine Arrives Tomorrow

Raul Perez Ultreia Saint Jacques, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($21.95) $17.80 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 93 points “It was a great honor to meet and taste with Raul Perez, one of Spain’s most heroic and influential winemakers (also known as the godfather of Mencia). Perez has mentored many rising stars, including Pedro Rodriguez and Veronica Ortega, whose wines I recently discovered and who is still working with him. Raul Perez’s lineup was mind-blowing and lived up to my huge expectations in every way. I was wildly thrilled with each and every one of these offerings, especially this new Ultra Saint Jacques Bierzo Tinto that delivers wonderful depth and complexity at a price that makes it a bargain by any standards. [It is] made from mainly from Mencia, but with some inter planted Bastardo (thought to be Trousseau) and Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) coming off vines that average about 75 years old. This dark and ripe vintage shows an almost Northern Rhone-like character and has an earthy/savory/spicy edge like a lighter Cornas. This was fermented with native yeasts, about 80% whole cluster in large oak cask with long macerations lasting between 2 and 5 months and then aged in mixed vessels including some cement, as well as 225L and 500L oak. [It was bottled] unfined and unfiltered. It’s pretty in detail with violet/floral tones, peppercorn and a medium body that flows with sweet tannins. It shows vibrant but smooth acidity, and flinty mineral elements as well as a core of loganberry, plum, candied cherry and tart currant fruits as well as salted black licorice, lavender, pipe tobacco, shale stones, earthy charms and a hint of cinnamon. This 2015 is lovely stuff that drinks very well right now and should prove pleasing for 3 to 5 years. For this price you’ll want a case!”

Raul Perez Ultreia Mencia, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($31.95) $24.80 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote “This is the flagship wine of the Ultreia project and is something that any lover of cool-climate red wine should pay attention to. Mostly Mencia, with a few other grapes that accumulated in this part of the Camino de Santiago over the years discreetly blended in, this is a wine that speaks of Bierzo in urgent, though quiet, tones.”

Newly Arrived from Raul Perez

La Vizcaina

This is from Raul’s highest altitude vineyard, with a northeastern exposure and the most influence of the Atlantic ocean.  As a result the wines have long hang times and can be picked late (this is often picked last of the Vizcaina wines) with great freshness and character.  Stunning stuff that we can’t say enough about.

La Vizcaina El Rapolao, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29.80 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “(aged in used barriques and demi-muids) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented blackberry and blueberry scents on the deeply perfumed nose, complicated by violet, peppery spice and game notes. This reminds me a lot of a northern Rhône wine. Densely packed dark berry preserve flavors pick up candied licorice and cola qualities with aeration, along with hints of bitter chocolate and candied flowers. Coats the palate and puts on weight with air, finishing with smoky mineral cut, excellent tenacity and building tannins.”


Arriving Tomorrow

Avignonesi Vin Santo

Vin Santo is a special dessert wine made in Central Italy from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes. Rarer still is the Occhio di Pernice, or eye of the partridge, a rose style made from Sangiovese grapes. Grapes selected for Vin Santos are picked as whole clusters and traditionally left to dry on straw mats in the warm rafters of buildings. Very little has changed in production despite the pulsing waves of modernity running through Italian winemaking. Today we’re focusing on the very special bottlings from Avignonesi. The estate produces some of the most magical among the Vin Santos, and their Occhio di Pernice is transcendent. You don’t have to just take our word for it – read Bryce Wiatrak, Ian d’Agata and Monica Larner’s different takes on the profundity of the producer and their products:

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

Arriving Tomorrow:

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

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

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

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

In-Stock Now from Avignonesi

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

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $203

See the six additional Vin Santos in stock now from Badia a Coltibuono, Felsina, Isole e Olena and Montellori on our web store!


Arriving in September

Stellar Tuscan

Fattoria Le Pupille Elisabetta Geppetti ‘Saffredi’ Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points “Sexy blueberry, spice and black pepper. Mushroom. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Extremely long and just starting to come around now. Needs a little more time in bottle. Splendid finish. Try in 2019 but already amazing.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $81


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