Mid Week Bonus 5-25-17

Napa Perfection: Arriving Tomorrow; New Advance Review from Wine Spectator for Quilceda Creek 2014; New Reviews for Maximin Grunhauser & Peter Lauer; Rodney Strong Symmetry 2012; The Subtle Perfection of Serafin Pinot; Pian dell’Orino; Arriving Early June: Chateau Simone Blanc; Piedmont Picks Arriving Late June – Tradition & Value: De Forville & Brovia; Make My Muscadet: Hot New Releases Arriving Next Month; May Sale Recap


Napa Perfection

Arriving Tomorrow

Louis M. Martini Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($349.95) $289 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 100 points “A perfect wine, that seems to have gone from one strength to another since I first tasted it, the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 1 is absolutely amazing wine. It was aged 21 months in 87% new French oak, finished at 15.3% alcohol and was another abundant vintage, as this lot produced 850 cases, which is even more than 2012 and slightly less than 2003 and 2014. The wine has an inky purple color, a gorgeous nose of graphite, blueberry liqueur intermixed with cassis, blackberry, espresso roast, chocolate and graphite. Dense and incredibly intense with good acidity (slightly lower pH than the 2012, reflected in the character of the wine), fabulous purity and a finish that goes on for close to 50+ seconds. This could well turn out to be the greatest wine ever made at the Louis Martini Winery and that is saying something. It has at least 30-50+ years of aging potential and is clearly a compelling effort from this historic and iconic winery in Napa.”


New Advance Review from Wine Spectator

“this awesome estate is producing some of the top Cabernet Sauvignon blends in the state, and I would venture, the world” –Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2014 750ML ($219.95) $199 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points “Refined and structured, with expressive dark berry and toasted clove aromas and richly layered plum, stony mineral and thyme flavors that gain depth toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2026.”


New Reviews for 2015 Maximin Grunhauser & Peter Lauer

From David Schildknecht of Vinous Media

Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator recently weighed in on the 2015 vintage in German. Both publications raved at the quality and overall results of the warm yet high-in-acid vintage. Now it’s David Schildknecht’s turn at bat and he’s just as smitten.

Notes on the 2015 vintage: “Throughout Riesling Germany, the summer of 2015 was noteworthy for its sometimes record-breaking dearth of precipitation. What’s more, it rivaled 2003 for heat. The resulting wines came as a shock to many – and perhaps even most – growers, because it’s hard even for them to avoid fixating on whatever meteorological factors happen to be setting records. But a careful look at the growing season of 2015 explains why it generated Rieslings utterly unlike those of 2003, 1976, 1959 or indeed other prior vintages notorious for summer heat and drought. Those all resulted in early harvests, off-the-chart must weights and abnormally low acidity, whereas 2015 yielded high but not freakish must weights, high acidity, and – especially along the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer – a harvest that didn’t begin until early October and often stretched well into November. Paradoxically, considering the challenges presented in so many recent vintages by late summer or autumn, substantial September precipitation was precisely what made for incontrovertible excellence in 2015.” – David Schildknecht

New Reviews for Maximin Grunhauser

“I found the residually sweet portion of this year’s collection the finest such group at this address in more than two decades… Quality at this fabled estate has been on a gradual rebound throughout the new millennium.” – David Schildknecht

Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 18 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “The site-typical inaugural Grünhaus Abtsberg Grosses Gewächs delivers luscious white peach tinged with pit piquancy, alkalinity, and suggestions of crushed stone. Its combination of soothing textural richness with alcoholic levity and refreshment is winsome, and it finishes with satisfying persistence, but I miss the sense of transparency to nuance and mineral shimmer that I recall from the better dry Abtsberg Rieslings of the 1980s and early 1990s.”
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Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “White peach and lime are garlanded with honeysuckle on a haunting nose and piquantly laced with quinine, peach kernel and alkali on a silken-textured, luscious, expansive yet buoyant palate. A lusciously lingering finish perpetuates this lovely Riesling’s combination of richness with lift as well as its piquant and floral counterpoint, and an undertone of wet stone adds intrigue even as a lick of salt stimulates the salivary glands. This is like a slightly richer version of a great Grünhaus Spätlese (!) of the late 1980s or early 1990s.”

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Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 94 points “A gorgeous nose features ripe white peach and Persian melon garlanded in heliotrope and honeysuckle. Aromatic intimations of fresh lime point to the amazing degree of brightness and zest exhibited on a palate that is at the same time lush, creamy and expansive. Inner-mouth perfume billows toward an almost explosively fruity finish, in which hints of caramel offset peach kernel piquancy, and salinity prompts helpless salivation. Nor does the sheer richness of this Spätlese preclude a sense of transparency to stony underlying nuances. I no longer find myself pining for “the Grünhaus Riesling of old” when I taste the likes of this! (And back in the 1980s or early ‘90s, it would have been an Auslese, and priced accordingly.)”

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Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 20 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “White currant and quince jellies are tinged with cress and candied lime, both on the nose and on the lush and creamy but also bright and piquant palate of this Auslese. Evocations of peach and Persian melon add to its imposing fruitiness, and there is a persistent alliance of richness and vivacity rather than any sense of bifurcation. Salinity sets the salivary glands pumping on a penetrating finish transparent to stony nuances.”

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Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese 24, Mosel 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 30 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “This was picked near the end of October, “principally,” as von Schubert explained, “from shriveled [rosinierte] and to a lesser extent botrytis-affected berries. The dominance of desiccated berries made for high acidity as well as must weight. Right after this picking, we got another rain,” he added, “so it was good that we had finished up.” Persian melon and white peach inform a heady nose and a glossy, expansive, almost custard-rich palate. There is just enough primary juiciness to supply welcome refreshment, but for now at least, the elevated acidity isn’t evident. Hints of marzipan and licorice lend a confectionary cast to the lusciously lingering finish.”

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New Reviews for Peter Lauer

“Given that he conspicuously surmounted the trials of 2014’s growing season, it’s not surprising that Florian Lauer has turned in an impressive collection from 2015. Still, the latter vintage was not without its challenges. Lauer reported significant vine stress during the hot, dry summer, especially on the western side of the Ayler Kupp, farther from the Saar. That having been noted, the resultant wines show scarcely any ill effects. If anything, shutdown may have helped preserve acidity and prevented premature accumulation of grape sugar. (Lauer 2015s with comparable residual sugar boast significantly lower alcohol levels than their 2014 counterparts.)” – David Schildknecht

Peter Lauer Senior Fass 6 Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “Sourced from old vines at the western end of the Ayler Kupp, the “Senior” comes closer in 2015 than in other recent vintages to this bottling’s original inspiration, namely the sort of decidedly dry-tasting Riesling that appealed to the generation of Florian Lauer’s grandfather. Despite only narrowly breaching the 10-gram limit of legal Trockenheit, this bottling weighs in at a mere 11.5 percent alcohol, an alcoholic levity entirely compatible with textural richness and decidedly ripe fruit flavors. Brightly juicy, zesty lime and tangerine – pungently signaled on the nose – mingle with crunchy apple and succulent, piquantly pit-inflected cherry on a subtly oily palate, leading to a vibrantly sustained, consummately refreshing and stone-inflected finish.”

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Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Unterstenberg Fass 12 Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 24 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “This legally halbtrocken bottling, raised in fuder, features a winsome combination of glossy feel and ripe fruit with levity and animation. Succulent but strongly pit-inflected purple plum shadowed by its distilled counterpart puts me in mind of a Le Gallais Braune Kupp Riesling. Lime and apple lend zing and positive tartness, leading to an exuberant and refreshing but also resonant and layered finish abundant in nut oils, mineral salts and stone. (Incidentally, here is a terrific example of bright, focused Riesling that underwent malo and consequently has well more than a gram less total acidity than many of its stablemates. The missing acidity represents a loss of green apple as opposed to efficacious tartaric acid.)”

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Peter Lauer Neuenberg Fass 17 Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 33 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “Alluringly aromatic and succulent ripe white peach and cherry are accented by piquant fruit pit and crystalline stony inflections for a performance that’s luscious but also dynamic and full of intriguing counterpoint. As with the corresponding Unterstenberg, there is a high-toned distilled fruit aura; and as with this year’s “Senior,” oily richness of texture is entirely compatible with refreshment and transparency to mineral nuance.”

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Peter Lauer Stirn Ayler Kupp Fass 15 Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 3 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “At 9.5 percent alcohol, 35 grams of residual sugar, and more than 10 grams of acidity, this year’s bottling from the prow of the Kupp is analytically almost identical to its 2014 counterpart. Ripe white peach is laced with fresh lemon and suffused with chamomile in an aromatically head-turning and succulently flavorful performance. Glossy and expansive yet bright and buoyant, this finishes with rapier penetration, mouthwatering salinity and crystalline crushed stone counterpoint. (There is a bit more wind exposure but also compensatory moisture-retaining fine particulate matter to this parcel vis-à-vis the adjacent one that yields Lauer’s Kupp Grosses Gewächs. “The vines only reach modest height each year here,” he noted, “and then they just give up on growing.”)”

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Peter Lauer Ayler Lambertskirch Riesling Kabinett 2015 750ml ($41.95) $36 special, 23 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “From vines Florian Lauer planted at a dramatic spot overlooking the Saar that had returned to scrub decades ago, this second crop struck him as best-suited to relatively early picking as Kabinett. The results won’t make one forget last year’s superb Spätlese, but they certainly demonstrate that the quality of that wine was no fluke. (Apropos of the youthfulness of this site’s vines, which has obviously been no hindrance to high quality, it’s worth noting that these reflect massal selections from a range of old Saar and Mosel vineyards.) An aromatically penetrating, bright, zingy alliance of apple and lime is mingled with lusciously juicy honeydew melon, laced with cooling mint and incisive cress and enhanced by strong yet entirely supportive sweetness. The vibrant, refreshing, rapier finish is suitably underlain with wet stone. I suspect this will gain stature with time in bottle and that it wouldn’t hurt to wait before even auditioning it.”

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Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Fass 7 Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 4 bottles available
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Scents and flavors of vanilla and lemon cream mingle with bright, penetrating intimations of fresh lime, apple and white peach. The juxtaposition is intriguing but not awkwardly bifurcated, almost as though a tart but ripe fruit filling had been tucked into delicate butter pastry and slathered in creamy sauce. Subtle creaminess of texture enhances the allure of a performance that finishes with a similarly remarkable alliance of richness and vivacity. “My goal here,” said Lauer, “was to pick these grapes just a day ahead of their succumbing to any desiccation from botrytis.” Whether it was a day or several days, he seems to have picked at an opportune moment.”


Rodney Strong Symmetry 2012
Rodney Strong shows no signs of weakness. Cuvees like Symmetry prove their worth year after year with mouth-filling concentration, power, and finesse. The Wine Enthusiast agrees: they picked Rodney Strong as American Winery of the Year in 2013. Family-owned and proud of their roots, Rodney Strong consistently offers one of the country’s best Meritage (Bordeaux-style blend). Easy enough to afford, and even easier to drink…

Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage, Alexander Valley 2012 750ML ($59.95) $37 special, 29 bottles available
Wine Spectator 89 points “Dense and extracted, this serves up a complex range of flavors, from black cherry to wild berry to currant, all shaded with light oak and a touch of espresso. Shows a measure of finesse and refinement overall. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2026.”
Wine Advocate 89 points “The 2012 Proprietary Red Symmetry, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, exhibits chocolaty, blackberry and black cherry fruit intermixed with earth and spice characteristics, medium body and a supple, round, seductive mouthfeel. Elegant and mid-weight, it is best drunk over the next 7-8 years.”
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Also in-stock now from Rodney Strong

Rodney Strong Single Vineyard Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 12 bottles available
Robert Parker 94 points “A famous wine from the early days of The Wine Advocate, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander’s Crown Single Vineyard comes from a lower elevation of 250 to 360 feet. The wine displays broad, sweet crème de cassis, black cherry and blueberry fruit, some licorice, graphite, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and outstanding length and purity. This is a beauty, and makes me think back to the great 1974, which was the first one I remember tasting.”
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The average price is $72


The Subtle Perfection of Serafin Pinot

In an arena as competitive as Gevrey-Chambertin, where celebrity names like Rousseau and Dugat make some of the world’s finest wine, a small estate could easily be overlooked. Perhaps this provides the incentive that keeps Christian Serafin’s Pinots among the village’s best. Besides organic viticulture, low yields, and old vines, Serafin sticks to an idiosyncratic recipe in the cellar: total destemming, long cuvaisons, lots of new oak. The wines exude terroir. Their richness and concentration beg cellaring, and the magic of the Cote de Nuits rewards such patience. This is serious Burgundy. If you can only get one, choose the Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes, a prodigy chez Serafin.

We’ve got a wide range of Serafin bottlings from Gevrey, Chambolle, and Morey, regional to village to Premier Cru, even a bottle of Charmes, and in several different vintages. Think that’s a lot? Click here to check the depth and breadth of our Burgundy selection as a whole on our web store!

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Corbeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Corbeaux comes from 0.45-hectares of vines planted in 1968 by Christian’s father adjacent to Mazis-Chambertin. It has a precocious bouquet compared to the Vieilles Vignes, with scents of mulberry, dark plum and luscious black fruit that are tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly grainy entry. This is showing the oak a little more than the Vieilles Vignes at the moment, but there is sufficient concentration to absorb that with time. The linear finish, crisp and taut, bodes well for the future.” WA

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Serafin Pere & Fils Les Millandes, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($149.95) $99 special, 11 bottles available
Burghound  90-93 points –Outstanding — “Here too there is mild reduction which renders the nose difficult to assess in depth though again the underlying fruit appears to be ripe. There is excellent volume, power and a taut muscularity to the concentrated and mineral-tinged medium weight flavors that culminate in an austere, backward and highly persistent finish. This is very old school in style and will require ample patience for it to develop, yet will be well worth the wait.”BH

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Serafin Pere & Fils Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($199.95) $119 special, 15 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 92 points “Healthy dark red. Superripe black cherry, blueberry and menthol on the nose. Rich, creamy and sweet, in a rather powerful style for this cuvée, but with a medicinal minerality energizing the mid-plate. Finishes with substantial but suave tannins that will require patience.”ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2012 750ML ($139.95) $99 special, 28 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points “One of the real gems in this range, the Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth and dimension. Violets, cloves and menthol meld into a core of dark fruit. The vintage has given the Vieilles Vignes an extra bit of volume that is hugely appealing. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. This voluptuous Gevrey should offer a wide window of fabulous drinking.” AG

In-Stock Now From Serafin

sera so fine 5-25-17


Pian dell’Orino

Soldera. Biondi Santi.  The two giants of Brunello.  Pretty soon it looks like we might be able to add Pian dell’Orino to that list. Brunello insiders have known about the wines for several years now, but the secret seems to be getting out.  We don’t get a lot of these wines, but we have enough to offer them today and we’re really excited

Piano dell’Orino combines two things that make great wine estates: good land and obsessive ownership.  Caroline Pobitzer and Jan Hendrik Erbach, the owners and driving force behind these wines, have a take-no-prisoners approach to ensure that they make the finest wines in Brunello.  From careful, biodynamic farming to native yeast fermentions, the wines are traditional in style but made with the utmost care, so they have silky tannin and elegant structures.  The estate is also the next ridge over from Biondi-Santi, which helps.  The only thing we would change about the wines is the quantities we get!

Pian dell’Orino Bassolino di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007 1.5L ($349.95) $289 special, 5 magnums available
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The estate’s 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra 1500 emerges from the glass with endless layers of fruit. A pure, voluptuous 2007, the Bassolino di Sopra 1500 is rich, round and seamless. Deeply spiced notes develop in the glass as the wine shows off its striking personality. I am not a huge fan of extended time in oak for wines of such purity, but the 2007 handles its 48 months in barrel quite nicely, although it is naturally shaped by its aging regime, especially from a textural perspective. The 2007 is made exclusively from the estate’s holdings in Pian Bossolino, but that site has also been trademarked by another winery, hence the slight name variation here.”

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Pian dell’Orino ‘Vigneti del Versante’, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate’s annata Brunello. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante (with vines planted in 1997) shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese.”

Pian dell’Orino Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 14 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Pian dell’Orino takes Rosso di Montalcino to another level with their sublime 2013. Bright, focused and wonderfully articulated, the Rosso literally bristles with energy. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, rose petals and blood orange are all beautifully delineated in the glass. What a striking, gorgeous wine this is.”

Pian dell’Orino Piandorino Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points “This entry-level Sangiovese was first made in 1997. The 2013 Piandorino could be a Rosso di Montalcino but has remained an IGT expression out of choice. Grapes are sourced from vineyards with blue and gray-colored clay soils that sometimes lead to ripening problems in extreme temperatures. As a result, this simple red sees short maceration times (from seven to nine days). The results are fresh, clean and simple. There is a very nice and genuine quality here that is the wine’s most attractive quality.”
Antonio Galloni 89 points “The 2013 Piandorino, the estate’s entry-level Sangiovese, is fabulous. Bright, punchy and forward, with plenty of Pian dell’Orino’s signature finesse, the 2013 is absolutely delicious today. It should drink nicely for another few years at a minimum”

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Pian dell’Orino Piandorino Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 24 bottles available
Winery note “Since 2004 Piandorino is composed only of Sangiovese. The grapes are harvested in the most growy parts of our vineyards. The higher content of natural nitrogen normally gives grapes with a fruitier taste. The spontaneous fermentation and the short maceration of the must of 7 – 10 days contribute to maintain the fruity character of the grapes. During fermentation the temperature is limited 28 C. After fermentation the young wine is transferred to used oak barrels of 500 lt, where the malolactic fermentation takes place. Sensory evaluations decide how long the wine will be left in the barrels. After 12 to 18 month the different parts of the wine are blended and bottled. The wine is allowed to mature for an additional 4 months in the bottle before it is ready to be tasted.”


Late Breaking News

Arriving Early June

“In all seriousness, this domaine is responsible for some of the most profound experiences I’ve had with wine.  I recall Nicholas Suhor bringing over an old bottle of the Blanc many years back. I knew about the wines but had never had one before.  It was an absolute revelation drinking that wine.  I didn’t think it was possible for a white wine from the south to express that level of nuance and complexity.  That wine communicated things that only after several experiences I’ve come to know as the singular terroir of Chateau Simone.  Simply put, there is no other wine on Earth like this.

“As for the rouge, it may be one of the biggest secrets in the portfolio.  It’s not overstating it to say if it were from Bordeaux or the Rhone it would coast 2-3 times more money.  It’s always been one of my go-to wines for people that want power and elegance in a red. It’s like Bandol’s more sophisticated cousin.”  – Scott Frank, Winemaker -Bow & Arrow (also wholesaler of Simone)

Chateau Simone Palette Blanc, Provence 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
“The white from Simone is a truly unique creation based primarily on Clairette that is supplemented with Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc and a touch of Muscat Blanc. The white, brisk in its youth, animated by a bouquet of pine-resin, evolves slowly into a sensual masterpiece with its lingering finish built on a mass of minerality. This is a remarkably age-worthy wine with the potential to give ever-more pleasure over a span two decades or more.”–Importer note

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In Stock Now:

Chateau Simone Palette Rouge, Provence 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 6 bottles available
Importer note “Those of you who know Simone realize that the red, a tenacious but ultimately elegant wine, is an equal, rather than dominant, partner to the striking rosé and the sublime white. Like the rosé, it is a blend primarily of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault but there are pockets of old-growth vines of Syrah, Manosquin, Castet, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscat Noir that season the vineyards and add to the stunning complexity of these wines. The influence of Mont Sainte Victoire, its surface covered in rich pine forest, is apparent in the flavors and aromas of the red wine of Simone. Annually, there are 2400 bottles available for the US market.”

Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 24 bottles available
“The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe.”–Importer Notes

Chateau Simone Les Grands Carmes de Simone Rose, IGP Bouches-du-Rhone 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 22 bottles available
“We are pleased to be able to access a larger quantity of the “Grandes Carmes de Simone” Rosé this year, which is classified as a Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhone. From a small north-facing site just around the hill from the Chateau itself, the wine is 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Merlot and 5% Cinsault. It receives the same special care as the flagship Palette, with manual harvests and extended elevage in small foudre.”–Importer Notes


Piedmont Picks

Arriving Late June

De Forville

De Forville might be the most serious wine you can buy for the price.  These gems have been a staple of the Rosenthal portfolio for over 35 years, and for good reason—they’re fantastic, cellar-worthy wines at a fraction of the price they should go for.  The Anfosso family, who runs the estate, are staunch traditionalist, so all the wines are aged in old oak botti, there’s no barrique here.  We love the wines, up and down the line, though we sometimes see people make assumptions about their drinking windows based on the prices.  The Loreto cru wine will be every bit as long-lived as a Produttori Riservas (at almost half the price), so when you get some, lay it down for a while or give it a very extended decant.

De Forville Vigneto Loreto, Barbaresco DOCG 2013 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
“The exceptional Loreto “cru” of Barbaresco is the source for this most profound wine of the De Forville estate. As with the Barbaresco “Normale”, the juice is fermented in stainless steel and then racked into large oak “botti” for about two years of aging before being bottled. Vines are approximately 35 years of age (as of 2011). More full-bodied and dense than the “Normale”, the “Loreto” also has additional aging capacity.”–Importer note

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De Forville Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
“This vibrant, full-bodied red is a blend of grapes harvested in parcels spread amongst the three communes of Barbaresco, Neive and Alba. Included as the primary source are grapes harvested in the cru “Ga’Grosso” in Barbaresco. The grapes are crushed and are then fermented in stainless steel for almost two weeks after which the wine is racked into oak barrels and “botti” for one year prior to bottling. The average age of the vines is 30 years.”–Importer note

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De Forville Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
“This cuvée is a selection of Nebbiolo from the younger vines of the various “cru” in Barbaresco supplemented by grapes from the neighboring village of Neive. The average age of the vines is 30 years. The wine is fermented in stainless steel for 10 days to 2 weeks and then is refined in large oak barrels for an additional year before being bottled. An astonishing value … as are all of the fine wines from this remarkable estate.”–Importer note

De Forville Ca Del Buc Moscato d’Asti DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
“The Moscato is harvested from the vineyards in Castagnole Lanze and is vinified in stainless steel as a naturally sparkling wine with residual sugar. The vines are approximately 25 years of age (as of 2011). The fermentation is blocked when the wine achieves about 5% alcohol and the wine is bottled in late winter or the early spring of the following year.”–Importer note

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There’s not too much more to say about Brovia—they’re approaching that “collectible tier” in terms of the quality of the wines, but the prices haven’t yet caught up.  Classic, traditionally made and graceful, yet powerful, these are wines that display Barolo in its full glory.  They also put a lot of care into their lower tier wines, so don’t sleep on the Arneis or Dolcetto.

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($51.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 89 points “Brovia’s 2012 Barolo is classy, polished and absolutely delicious. With a little bit of air, the 2012 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough freshness and balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. I have seen Brovia’s straight Barolo age well, so I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case here as well. Floral and red stone fruit notes give the 2012 much of its freshness and mid-weight feel. This is an especially lifted, gracious Barolo for the vintage.”

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The average price is $51

Brovia Vignavillej Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
“Harvested from classic clay-limestone soils from plots in Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba, some planted in 1981 and the other portion in 1993. The grapes are crushed and fermented in stainless steel at 29 degrees Celsius for a period of a week to 10 days; then aged in stainless steel for seven to nine months before the bottling (unfiltered).”–Importer note

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Brovia Roero Arneis DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
“The sole white wine of the estate is produced in the Roero district from an 0.80 hectare plot in Vezza d’Alba. The soil is essentially sandy in composition and sits at 340 meters altitude on south-facing slopes. The vineyard was planted in 1980. Harvest (manual) normally occurs in mid-September. The grapes are briefly macerated and the fermentation occurs at controlled temperatures (around 15 degrees Celsius) for two to three weeks. The wine rests in stainless steel until the early spring months of the following year and is usually released to the market, after several months of bottle aging, in late summer/early fall.”–Importer note

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Make My Muscadet

We think we just might!

Arriving in June

(from the land of perfect shellfish pairings)

Hubert Rousseau Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Tire Sur Lie 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Hubert Rousseau Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Tire Sur Lie 2015 750ML ($219.95) $169 pre-arrival special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
“After harvest the grapes are pressed and the juice is placed in underground cuves in typical and ancient fashion in the Muscadet district. The alcoholic fermentation proceeds at low temperatures for three to five weeks. Afterwards the wine is racked off the gross lies and is left to age on the fine lies until bottling. During the period of elevage, the wines are in constant contact with the lies, with frequent batonage. The result is a fresh, mineral-driven wine that occasionally carries an almost imperceptible effervescence. Bottling normally occurs during the period of March through May of the year following harvest.”–Importer note

Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ‘Terre de Pierre’, Loire 2015 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91-92 points “Last tasted in late July 2016, this was due for late October bottling (after a shorter time in tank than its 2014 predecessor was given). Generously scented with apple and lemon as well as a greenhouse-like diversity of flowering and leafing things, it delectably marries a rich mouthfeel with ample primary juiciness and refreshment, and finishes with a shimmering interaction of citrus, mineral salts and stone. ”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie Le L d’Or Granite Vallet 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93 points “Lemon, grapefruit, white currant and white peach backed by tinglingly bright acidity and wreathed in floral perfume and greenery put me unexpectedly in mind of Riesling aromatics and flavors. A firm, dense but buoyant palate is saturated with maritime salts and alkali, as well as harboring a mouthwateringly and intriguingly sardine-like animal-mineral savor. The finish practically detonates, leaving your salivary glands milked and your mouth shaken but consummately refreshed and invigorated. This beauty combines the fruity generosity typical of 2015 with brightness and decisive mineral impressions more familiar from 2014, and is almost certain to stand as a high point for its vintage.”

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

Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2014 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Scents of flowers and foliage mingle with saline, alkaline intimations of sea breeze. A surprisingly rich, silken-textured midpalate offers pear and lemon liberally laced with saliva-liberating salinity and crushed stone, leading to a long finish loaded with intrigue as well as refreshment.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price is $29

Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ‘Les Gras Moutons’, Loire 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “Scents of lime, grapefruit and apple signal a generosity of fruit unusual for Muscadet and confirmed on the silken-textured, expansive, yet exuberantly juicy palate. Subtle but efficacious salinity and crystalline “mineral” tactile tingle conspire to create a mouthwatering, fascinating finish. (With the migration of some fruit from this site to the estate’s Monnières-Saint Fiacre, this bottling now reflects vines averaging around 40 years of age, which Branger characterizes as “relatively young.” Reprehensibly, I neglected to taste the 2014.)”


May Sale Recap

Only 6 days remain!may sale 5-25-17