Mid-Week VinopolPick: 3-1-17

Spring Cleaning Savings; Domaine de la Grand’Cour’s Exceptional 2015 Fleuries; Two 96 point Cabernets from Kamen; Rare Voerzio Magnums; New Reviews for 2015 Austrian Wines; Burlotto’s Staunchly Traditional Baroli; Calabretta’s Long-Lived Masterpieces; Domaine Spotlight: Huet; Vincent Paris, Heir to the Cornas throne; 97 point Passopisciaro


Spring Cleaning Deals!

Spring is often closeout season for our distributors and so we stock up and pass the savings along to you.  Here we have a few wines from incredibly respected wineries at even more incredible pricing.
Just Arrived:

Charles Smith ‘Sixto’ Roza Hills Chardonnay, Washington State 2013 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The richest, full-throttle and decadent in the lineup, the 2013 Chardonnay Roza Hills Vineyard offers lots of baked apple tart, white flowers and creaminess in a layered, balanced, classic style. Like the other wines here, it will drink well for at least 2-4 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $47.20

Charles Smith K Vintners Rock Garden Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “More Northern Rhone in style, with lots of red and black fruits, olive, peppered meats and sweet fruit, the 2013 Syrah Rock Garden is seamless, downright sexy and layered on the palate, with a voluptuous, yet classy and focused texture. Like all of the Rhone blends from this estate, it was fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged mostly in neutral barrels and puncheons. Give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following decade.”

CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Even better news is the Crossbarn 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. There are 10,500+ cases of this wine, and while $50.00 is hardly a bargain, this is a brilliant wine from Hobbs. There is a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the blend, but it reflects this great vintage, revealing blueberry, blackberry and cassis as well as some licorice, incense, and forest floor. The wine has full-bodied opulence, a sumptuous mouthfeel, and is just a terrific, savory, expansive Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink well for 15 or more years.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is a fantastic example of the super 2013 vintage in Napa. Full body, currants, graphite, spice, and light chocolate. The length and balance to this is superb. Don’t miss it. Drink or hold.”

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

Arriving Friday, March 3rd:

From the West Coast:

Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz, Columbia Valley 2013 750ML ($64.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $51.60!

Blackbird Vineyards Arise, Oak Knoll District 2013 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “This is a Merlot-dominant blend, with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc blended in. It offers cooler-climate elements of dried herb, cedar and currant, with the tannins sleek and polished. The finish flirts with a taste of coconut. Drink now through 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The Merlot-based 2013 Arise, Blackbird’s entry-level wine, is dark, voluptuous and juicy. Dark red and blue fruit , violets, lavender and spices round out the succulent, open-knit finish. Drink this delicious red over the next few years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Blackbird Vineyards Paramour, Oak Knoll District 2013 750ML ($129.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The Cabernet Franc-based 2013 Paramour has turned out beautifully. Espresso, mocha, soaring spice notes and black stone fruits are pushed forward. Aromatic, inviting and ample on the palate, the 2013 is full of Franc sensuality. Like all of the 2013s, the Paramour needs time in bottle to soften, but it is quite expressive today just the same.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $109.74!

From France:

Domaines Ott Cotes de Provence ‘By.Ott’ Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($24.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 89 points “Vivid peach skin color. Deeply pitched nectarine, orange and redcurrant aromas show good focus and pick up a floral element with air. Supple and dry, offering mineral-tinged citrus and pit fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter suggestion of quinine. Closes on a stony, dry note, with a honeysuckle nuance lingering.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel Cuvee Traditionelle Rose 2015 750ML ($21.95) $11.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Vivid orange. Potent cherry and red currant scents, along with hints of blood orange and pungent flowers. Sappy and focused, offering bitter cherry and berry skin flavors that unfold slowly with air. Shows very good energy and thrust on the chewy, persistent finish, which strongly echoes the cherry and orange notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Les Pallieres Au Petit Bonheur Les Pallieres Gigondas Rose 2015 750ML ($27.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Pale salmon skin. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red berries, tangerine, jasmine and iodine, and a smoky mineral nuance builds in the glass. Concentrated but impressively graceful, offering intense strawberry and orange pith flavors and an exotic suggestion of toasted grain. Lingers on the finish with real intensity and persistence, leaving floral and mineral notes behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Extremely pale pink. Aromas of tangerine, strawberry, melon and white flowers show very good clarity and a zesty mineral element. Juicy and sharply focused, offering vibrant red berry and pit fruit flavors that put on weight and pick up an orange pith nuance with air. Fleshy, silky and focused on the finish, which hangs on with strong, stony tenacity.”

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

Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rose, Loire 2015 750ML ($26.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Light, bright orange. Fresh blood orange, raspberry and jasmine on the intense, mineral-accented nose. Smooth, juicy and seamless in texture, offering intense red berry, nectarine and orange pith flavors that deepen on the back half. Shows excellent focus, thrust and mineral lift on the finish, which leaves behind hints of orange zest and chalky minerals. I really like the marriage of power and elegance here.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Veuve Fourny & Fils Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 375ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Toasted brioche and coffee notes accent lemon parfait and glazed apricot flavors in this creamy Champagne. Fresh, with a finely detailed bead and a spiced, minerally finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Francoise Bedel Cuvee Comme Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne NV ($119.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Winemaker’s note: Extra brut. This reserve is vinified completely in oak casks and bottled directly with a traditional cork in a square bottle ring, and left to age on its lees for at least 10 years. Visual impression : When served, this champagne produces a lovely, creamy mousse that is held up at the surface by tumultuous effervescence.  Nose : The first whiff is powerful and expressive, with a pleasing blend of freshness and maturity. The bouquet then evolves into dried fruits and sweet spices, finishing on mineral and lightly salty notes. Palate : Powerful and persistent. The duality of maturity and freshness scented in the bouquet is confirmed on the palate. The wine presents dried fruit aromas and a general sensation of vivacity. Biodynamic, hand-harvested. 40 % de Pinot Meunier, 40 % de Pinot noir, 20 % de Chardonnay.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Georges Duboeuf Domaine Mont Chavy Morgon, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($21.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Morgon Domaine Mont Chavy was cropped at 45 hectoliters per hectare this year. It has a precise red cherry and bergamot-scented nose that unfurls in the glass. The palate is juicy and quite dense – thick tannin shrouded in lightly spiced redcurrant and blackcurrant fruit that lead to a sharp, nicely focused finish that demonstrates fine backbone. This is probably the best from Georges Duboeuf this year. Very fine.” NM

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

From Spain:

Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’, Priorat DOCa 750ML ($59.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “I was thoroughly impressed by the 2012 Planetes de Nin, a bright ruby-colored, fragrant Garnacha-based red with some 30% Cariñena from the Planetes vineyard in Porrera. It has a beautiful floral nose of violets and lilies, with showy aromas of blood orange peel, wild berries and oriental spices in a Vosne-Romanée way, very Burgundian overall and truly captivating. The palate is ultra-sleek, silky with very refined tannins and a subtle minerality that adds to the freshness and makes the wine very focused and precise. This is so different from previous vintages, so much more elegant and focused, pure and elegant. This should age in bottle nicely, but it will be very difficult to resist. And it’s a very good value. 9,000 bottles.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Also Re-Arriving Friday and with a new review from James Suckling!

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
James Sucking 94 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Josh Raynolds Vinous 91 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Mt Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, which contains around 50% whole cluster fruit, has a lively, wild strawberry and candied orange peel scented bouquet, a touch of freshly sliced tangerine in the background. This is a vivacious bouquet with more intensity than the 2013. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh, lithe tannin. This is nicely balanced with good grip in the mouth, the 15% new oak nicely integrated with a subtle saline note towards the earthy finish. For thirty bucks, this is a great value.”

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


Just Arrived:

The Magical Fleurie of

Jean-Louis Dutraive’s Grand Coeur
Jean-Louis Dutraive makes some of the most special wines in Beaujolais and his 2015’s are really magic. We just got a small quantity in, but these wines are worth taking note of.  The wines are elegant and fresh with a depth that only comes from fanatical farming and excellent terroir.

Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie Cuvee Vieilles Vignes ‘Champagne’, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Importer note “Terroir: Outside of the “Clos de la Grand Coeur” and further down the hill about 300 meters you will find Jean-Louis’ “Champagne” vineyard. This pink granite soil is very shallow and gently sloped. The granite “roche mare” is only about 20-30 centimeters below. It is considered to be one of the finest terroirs in all of Fleurie.”

Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie ‘Chapelle des Bois’, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note “Terroir: Just on the north side of the domaine, this vineyard is on a gentle slope facing north. The soil is decomposed granite that is slightly deeper than most sections of the Clos de la Coeur; in fact, it is the deepest soil in his roster of vines. It is also the coolest site, thus rendering wines with greater acidity. This combination of higher natural acidity and a cooler terroir is the reason why he chooses this site to bottle a wine completely free of Sulfur.”

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

Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie ‘Clos de la Grand’Cour’, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note “Terroir: Clos de la Grand Coeur is a historic estate located on a true plateau in Fleurie. This acidic soil is nearly 100% decomposed granite. It is the largest bottling on the estate, making up more than 1/3 of the production. Even at over 40 years average age, Jean-Louis considers these his young vines and bottles them separately from some of the older vines on the estate which go into the cuvée, Le Clos Vieille Vignes. Most of these vines are on more shallow soils than the Vieilles Vigne bottling.”

Kamen Cabernet:

96 Point Consistency From Moon Mountain

Mark Herold is one of the most respected winemakers/consultants in Napa and Sonoma and Kamen estate is possibly the finest value example of what he can do.  The estate vineyard is on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas in the ‘Moon Mountain’ AVA, which is about as apt a name as we can think of for this steep, extremely rocky site.  The wines are big, dark and powerful and consistently well reviewed.  We’ve got two vintages coming this week, both 96 pointers from Parker.

Arriving Friday

Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 2012 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 96 points “Another outrageous effort is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon). Its opaque purple color is followed by aromas of pen ink, graphite, blackberry and blueberry liqueur, charcoal and flowers. Dense, full-bodied, multidimensional, long, silky and opulent, this stunning Cabernet can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years.”

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

Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 96 points “Kamen’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and his biggest cuvée of 1,800 cases. It’s a spectacular Cabernet, dense purple with notes of lead pencil shavings, blackberry, pen ink and cassis followed by a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuously textured wine with sweet tannins, stunning delineation, precision (a characteristic of 2013) and great length and richness. This is a stunner – a fabulous wine and, at this price point, very attractive. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”

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


Also Arriving Friday

Rare Voerzio, bottled only in Magnums…

Roberto Voerzio Riserva Vecchie Viti dei Capalot e Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2004 1.5L ($699.95) $538 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98 points “Voerzio no longer makes his Barolo Riserva Vecchie Viti dei Capalot e delle Brunate. The 2004 is a great reminder of just how fabulous this wine was. A huge, vertical wine, the 2004 boasts magnificent depth and overall intensity. The flavors are boldly sketched in a dramatic Barolo built on pure muscle. A host of black cherry, cloves, smoke, menthol, tar and blackberry jam flow through to the intense finish. Beguiling and powerful, the 2004 will provide fascinating drinking for the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer. Of all the 2004s here, this is the wine that has had the most positive evolution in bottle.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Our Current
Shipping Promos:

Welcome to the club, Colorado!

Along with Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California,
we now offer flat rate shipping to Colorado! Here’s the scoop:

Single orders of any quantity of wines qualify for the flat rate;
this does not apply to orders held in storage for any reason
or multiple orders consolidated into one shipment.
The flat reach for each state is, as follows:

-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California & Colorado for $25.

Take Advantage of the Flat Rate!


Austria 2015

New Reviews from David Schildknecht at Vinous
“Conditions were perfect in 2015: everything happened at the right time, leaving no wishes unfulfilled” – Willi Brundlmayer

We’ve been excited about the 2015 Austrian wines ever since hearing about the vintage post-harvest.  The wines we’ve tasted have lived up to that hype (and speaking of hype, we still have some 2013’s kicking around…) however, it’s always nice to have a second critical opinion around and so we were excited when we saw that David Schildknecht just published his assessment.  If you have a subscription, you should read the whole thing. If you want just the good bits, we’ve highlighted some wines we have in stock or arriving soon with new reviews:

In-Stock Now:

Weingut Leo Alzinger Hollerin Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 5 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “Mint, elderflower, ripe peach, honeydew melon and orange combine for a lovely nose and a voluminous, richly fruited palate full of inner-mouth perfume. Tangy fresh lime brightness lends animation while huckleberry and orange peel deliver invigorating counterpoint on a lingering finish.”

Weingut Leo Alzinger Loibner Steinertal Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 4 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Last tasted in June 2016 from tank (after it had spent some time in cask), this opens with a heady display of ripe white peach and muskmelon, but also suggestions of fresh lime that then return on the palate to convey an exhilarating sense of animation, tension and refreshment despite the wine’s textural richness and generous ripeness. Stony and ashen notes, along with piquant lime peel, lend intrigue and a slightly austere note to the strikingly gripping finish, while suggestions of salt-crusted toasted shrimp shell prompt uncontrollable salivation.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Gaisberg Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 6 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Where its Heiligenstein counterpart was luscious, soothing and florally perfumed, this Gaisberg is sharply focused and transparent to invigorating impingements of lime zest, white pepper, and stone. Its concentration of floral and green herbal elements takes a high-toned and palate-penetrating Chartreuse-like form. A fundament of white peach and lime guarantees lusciousness as well as refreshing primary juiciness. The finish is unusually sharp and vibrant for the vintage, and it will be fascinating to follow this wine’s fortunes in bottle.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($65.95) $51.90 special, 6 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Iris, peony, white peach, honeydew melon, struck flint and ocean spray combine for a heady, dazzlingly diverse aromatic display that anticipates the complexity delivered on a silken-textured, lusciously fruity palate. Mint and anise add cooling allure on the way to a finish of soothing, superbly multilayered persistence. (I last tasted this shortly ahead of its midsummer bottling.)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Gruner Veltliner Federspiel, Wachau 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 8 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “At barely over 12 percent alcohol, no wonder this is nearly as buoyant as its Hefeabzug counterpart, or as the 2014 Im Weingebirge (which was marginally higher in alcohol). Along with its lift, this displays clarity and infectious juiciness, offering both riper pear and apple fruit than the corresponding Hefeabzug plus similarly invigoratingly incisive cress, crunchy cucumber, mouthwatering salinity and crystalline stoniness. Varietally typical hints of wax bean and lentil on the nose persist through this bottling’s long and refreshing finish.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner “Zwickl,” Wachau 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 9 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “In addition to its nickname, the label of this unfiltered bottling prominently indicates Naturtrüb, meaning naturally cloudy, although as the Saahses like to point out, if you stand the bottle up for a while, you can enjoy one wine poured off the top and another by shaking up the remaining contents to thoroughly disperse the sediment. In its relatively clear state, this is infectiously juicy and buoyant, displaying a flatteringly glossy, silken feel and finishing with consummate refreshment. As usual, scents and flavors tend toward the herbal and mineral: meadow-like perfume, nippy cress, crunchy cucumber, saliva-inducing oyster liquor, crushed stone and hints of transparent apple and firm, tangy Bartlett pear skin. The cloudy, shaken performance is predictably plush, even doughy, but harbors nearly as much complexity and finishes with mouthwatering salinity. Having inaugurated this unfiltered version of their Hefeabzug “just for fun,” the Saahses are clearly having so much fun with this second installment that the practice is sure to continue. I really have no idea whether “Zwickl” can remain vital and fascinating in bottle for as long as a comparable Hefeabzug, so I’ve projected conservatively.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Arriving in March:

Weingut Leo Alzinger Muhlpoint Gruner Veltliner Federspiel, Wachau 2015 750ML (34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “Seemingly reflecting its loess-dominated soil, this bottling delivers classic roasted lentil and piquant green herbs, with dark undertones of peat and iodine. But the wine’s roasted and sinisterly intriguing aspects by no means preclude cut and refreshment, which it delivers in spades, along with juicy ripe honeydew melon typical for its vintage. The combination of richness and depth of flavor with relative alcoholic levity, conveyed with terrific persistence, render this, like its counterpart from the Frauenweingarten, a classic of its genre.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Leo Alzinger Muhlpoint Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “The nose here anticipates the dominant flavors on a rich, glossy, expansive but by no means weighty palate: roasted lentil and fresh, nutty-minerally spinach drizzled with fresh lime. This finishes with an almost bitter point of concentration, as well as an accentuation of the peat and iodine notes that lent its Federspiel counterpart intrigue. Surprisingly, one doesn’t encounter the generous, sweetly ripe primary fruit here that was found in that Federspiel bottling, but there is yet more impressive sheer persistence.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Smaragd, Wachau 2013 750ML ($74.95) $59 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Whereas its 2012 predecessor was bottled in April 2015, this 2013 was still several weeks out from bottling when I last tasted it in June 2016. The combination of richness with juiciness and levity, as well as a complex array of scents and flavors including alkali, wet stone, almond, hazelnut, apple, white peach, sage, ginger, gentian and narcissus, render this a worthy exemplar of its profoundly successful vintage. Subtly waxy in feel, but refreshingly juicy, it finishes with animation and fascinating diversity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


G.B. Burlotto – A Barolo Classic Regains Its Place with the Best

Burlotto is not the first name on many people’s lips when thinking of Barolo, and it’s a shame since G.B. Burlotto was consider among the absolute greatest winemakers in the world for the seventy plus years he was at the helm. After his passing in 1927, the winery and his hometown of Verduno slipped into obscurity. Now Fabio Alessandria, the great-great-grandson has taken over and Burlotto is regaining the place it deserves among the best small producers in the Piedmont.

Tradition is first and foremost for Fabio, going so far as to use gentle crushing by foot followed by a sixty day maceration period, once common but now virtually unheard of in Barolo. The technique is used for the home vineyard of Monvigliero and the soft touch develops a wine of remarkable character with notes of cedar, olives in herbs, and something rich – like truffles – the feel is structurally powerful, but so elegant as to be shimmery. Working through the line up, you see the same care taken with all of the different crus; even his normale stands out for its traditional structure.

All seems to going in the right direction for Burlotto, including a perfect 100 from Galloni on the upcoming release of 2013 Monvigliero. (No, we don’t have any released yet…) The accessibility and prices of the current stock of Burlotto reflect the winery on its upward trend. Pick them up now and talk about how you were ahead of the game on this one.

G. B. Burlotto Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 22 bottles available
Producer notes: “Deep purple with a full bouquet of cherry fruits on the nose. This wine has good strength and character and is filled with juicy black fruits.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2011 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 13 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Burlotto’s 2011 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level offering and a real overachiever in its category. Small red berries, sweet tobacco, mint, spices and orange rind are all laced together in a pretty, delicate Barolo that will offer considerable pleasure upon release. A weightless, super-refined finish rounds things out. There is so much to like here. Readers who want to dip their toes into the wines of Burlotto should start here. There is so much to like. The vineyard sources are Breri, which sits next to Monvigliero, Rocche dell’Olmo and Neirane.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2012 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level offering from Burlotto and a fabulous introduction to the house style. Lifted, precise and translucent, the 2012 is a pure joy to taste today. This mid-weight, refined Barolo is pure class. Sweet red berry, mint and spice nuances are laced into the super-expressive, inviting finish. Most of this fruit is sourced from Breri.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G. B. Burlotto Barolo Acclivi, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special, 10 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points “What a joy it is to taste Burlotto’s 2011 Barolo Acclivi. The Acclivi occupies a very attractive middle ground in the Burlotto range. It is made from a handful of parcels, but is more structured and overtly tannic than the straight Barolo, but obviously does not convey the signature of a specific piece of dirt, as the Cannubi and Monvigliero do. A wine of contrasts, Acclivi is dark yet translucent, tannic and weightless. In other words, it is a wine that captures the full spectrum of complexity Nebbiolo is capable of. The warmth of the vintage has given the Accilvi a little more ripeness and volume than is typically the case, but all the elements are deftly balanced.” AG

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

G. B. Burlotto Barolo Acclivi, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 24 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 94 points “This wine combines the elegance and spice of Verduno’s Monvigliero cru with the darker color and more structured tannins that derive from vines growing on Rocche dell’Olmo’s clay-rich east-facing slopes. Fabio Alessandria harvest fruit from the steepest sections of those two vineyards to make Acclivi (which means ‘steep’), and he likens its tannins to ‘a tight-fitting dress.’ They seem more like a bustier, lifting the flavors of pomegranate, tamarind and orange peel in an upward direction, gathering power as they move to a long and spicy finish. Its lovely violet scents echo in flavors of black licorice that lend a dark velvet plushness to the wine.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2012 Barolo Acclivi is another aromatically lifted, precise Barolo endowed with tons of pedigree. Stylistically, the Acclivi is the Burlotto Barolo that most resembles Monvigliero because it is made from a blend of declassified fruit from that site along with important contributions from Rocche dell’Olmo and Neirane. Deceptively medium in body, the Acclivi possesses striking mid-palate depth and substance, while maintaining its classic sense of poise. A host of bright red cherry, raspberry and floral notes punctuate the refreshing finish.”


Calabretta: Throwback Wines From Etna

“If you want to be the only one, you must be different”

Etna has become the newest hottest region in Sicily, and for good reason.  Jancis Robinson even called it “the Burgundy of the Meditteranean,” which is an apt description of most of the new wines coming off of the high altitude slopes of Sicily’s volcano.  There is another traditional style of wine made on Etna as well, though, one that tends to have a foot in Barolo rather than in Burgundy, and it’s best practitioner is Calabretta.

The winery was founded in 1900 and for the majority of the time since then only sold wine in barrel or in demijohns to private customers (who would bottle the wine themselves) or to local restaurants.  Since the beginning, the farming has been organic, without chemical pesticides or herbicides—dated for a majority of the life of the winery and suddenly in vogue now.  In 1997, the third and fourth generation of the family decided that the future lay in bottling estate wines and releasing them under a family label.

The one thing that didn’t change when Calabretta started bottling was a commitment to old-school vinification and aging.  Macerations of up to 60 days are common as is long aging in botti (often up to 6 years for the high end wine).  The wines are powerful and structured, but unlike wines from lower altitudes maintain a freshness and vibrancy to them.  The other unique thing that the Calabretta family does is bottle their entry level wines as Non-Vintage (really Multi-Vintage) wines.  Rather than making a simple wine and shipping it quickly, the basic wines age for years in barrel before being blended to ensure that the resulting wine has both a distinctive signature and the softness needed to drink now.

Calabretta Cala Cala Bianco, Sicily 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 9 bottles available
VinopolNote: “This wine has a lot of power and richness packed into this bottle.  Made from old vine Carracante and a few other grapes, this wine has plenty of body and stone fruits (think apricots and a little more tropical) but also a nuttiness and enough acidity to keep everything in check.”
Importer note “Hand harvested, many vines on original un-grafted rootstock. Average age of the vines 60-80 years old – some over 100 years old.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Calabretta Cala Cala Rosso, Sicily NV 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 26 bottles available
Importer notes “Slow Food’s current Slow Wine guide describes Calabretta’s style as “a thousand miles away” from other Italian wine, but the gap might be better measured in time, since the estate seems stuck somewhere in the 19th century.  Today, few adhere to Etna’s ancient practices. But one great estate, Calabretta, continues to make its majestic reds as in the past, releasing them only after a decade in their cellar. The wines are extraordinary—and the prices are extraordinarily low.”
“95% Nerello Mascalese & 5% Nerello Cappuccio from various parcels around Etna that Calabretta owns and aged partially in large botti and partially in stainless steel.  Sourced from a mix of young and old vines. Cala Cala means “Gulp, Gulp” says Massimiliano, meaning you should gulp this one down because it’s so tasty!”

Calabretta ‘Gaio Gaio’ Rosso, Sicily 2014 750ML  ($21.95) $18 special, 16 bottles available
Winery note “GaioGaio: red wine from young vineyards in contrada Calderara. Origin from a rigorous “massale” (ancient vinyards) selection of the vines with a significant number of ungrafted vines. Fruity & floral, light spicy. Dedicated to my father (Gaio)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Calabretta Sicilia Rosso Cappuccio 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 11 bottles available
Importer note “Since the winery’s founding in 1900, the Calabretta family has farmed and produced wines from Etna’s ancient indigenous varieties—including Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio—in the mountain’s unique noble vineyards. Historically, the family had sold its wine in sfuso or in barrel to restaurants and to private customers, many of whom travelled long distances to pick up their wine. But in 1997, third and fourth-generation father and son Massimo and Massimiliano Calabretta decided to bottle their best wine under their own label to ensure the winemaking traditions of their family and Etna would not be lost.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Domaine Huet

Whetting your appetite since 1928

Centuries of winemaking experience, ancestral holdings of pedigreed vineyards; sometimes it just doesn’t matter when the stars align for a family winery. Domain Huet was born out of the tumult following WWI. Victor Huet, a Parisian café owner, lungs shattered, relocated to Vouvray and purchased his first vineyard, le Haut-Lieu. Of course; location, location, location… but the early commitment to the fruit being of the highest quality spoke volumes as to the direction the winery would take over the rest of the century. Joined from the beginning by his son, Gaston, and then eventually by Gaston’s son-in-law, Noel Pinguet, the family added Le Mont and Clos du Bourg to the vineyard holdings. Soon, the domaine built a name as the epitome of what Chenin Blanc should be.

Each of the wines are simultaneously pure expressions of the Loire, and also separate and unique unto themselves; even when coming from the same vineyard. Tremendously long lived and powerful yet, exceptionally graceful and balanced in their aromatics, Huet wines are perhaps the longest lived white wines available. Le Haut-Lieu, year in and year out, provides some of the showiest wine in the portfolio. White blossoms and honeyed notes grow richer with age, but never seem to diminish. Le Mont, almost crunchy with minerals in its youth begs a patient hand, as the wine develops a finesse with age that is pure elegance. Clos du Bourg, is a blend of the two styles, and is often overlooked; a shame as it is a showstopper. Huet holds onto vast libraries of past vintages which are released from time to time, seemingly just to prove the age worthiness of Chenin.

The mystery comes in finding which of the wines is right for you. Take a look at some highlights below and be sure to go to www.vinopoliswineshop.com to see all 21 different wines we have for sale from Vouvray today!

In-Stock Now:

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The citrus-colored 2015 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec is pure, fresh and chalky on the nose where ripe and concentrated fruit aromas along with some subtle herbal aromas are displayed. Full-bodied, very mineral, salty and ripe, this is a concentrated, powerful, densely woven yet finesse-full and elegant Chenin with a very long and grippy, tension-filled finish. Great aging potential.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Solidly ripe, with a full-bodied core of ginger, pear and persimmon notes allied to a racy spine that lengthens the finish, letting ginger, quince and green almond accents play out. This should age well in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2027.”
John Gilman 91+ points “:The 2015 Le Haut Lieu Sec from Domaine Huët is a ripe and fairly wide open rendition of this superb bottling, offering up a very pretty and inviting bouquet of pear, sweet quince, a bit of lanolin, lovely soil tones, a whisper of lavender and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and fairly crisp, with a very good core of fruit, fine soil signature, good, solid acids and fine length and grip on the still quite primary finish. Then focus here is not quite what one expects from this bottling in most vintages, but Sec is certainly not the strength of the 2015 vintage in Vouvray. Structurally, this wine is fairly accessible right out of the blocks, but this has not yet begun to develop any of its secondary layers of complexity and really deserves at least a few years in the cellar to blossom. But, it will not require extended cellaring to start to drink very well. 2016-2035+. 91+.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut Lieu, Loire 2015 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 13 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers a big, broad feel, with layers of glazed pear, apple and peach falling over each other, backed by fresh ginger, honeysuckle and quince notes. Everything pulls together through the finish, with green tea accents and racy minerality providing the foil. Drink now through 2035.”
John Gilman 94 points “The 2015 Le Haut Lieu Moelleux from Domaine Huët is a superb wine in the making, with its glaze of botrytis beautifully managed and the wine showing excellent potential on both the nose and palate. The bouquet offers up a pure and complex mélange of sweet quince, orange, honey, just a whisper of lanolin, beautiful chalky soil tones, a whisper of the leather to come, citrus zest and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced, with bright acids, a lovely core and outstanding focus and grip on the very long, refined and nicely glazed finish. This will be all apricot, honey and tea leaves in the future, but it is so good to drink out of the blocks, that it is going to be hard not to open bottles in its more exotic youthful period. 2016-2085. 94.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2015 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Moelleux displays open and elegant ripe fruit (pineapples, oranges) with some dusty flavors of crushed rocks. Powerful but full of finesse and elegance, this is a piquant and stimulating sweet wine with grip and tension. However, I find it rather less complex than the Sec and the Demi-Sec.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Clos du Bourg Premiere Trie, Loire 2009 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is gorgeous, with notes of ginger, orange, clementine, white peach and green fig all bouncing off one another, but working harmoniously through the richly detailed finish. A lingering green tea note hangs on for added length as this puts on weight with air. Drink now through 2025. 760 cases made.”

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Arriving in May:

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Vouvray le Mont Sec is pure, precise and very flinty on the nose, which reveals a concentrated and elegant fruit with lemon and crushed stone flavors. Full-bodied, pure and piquant, with a tight and mineral structure, as well as a very persistent finish, this is a highly complex yet finesse-full Chenin with a great aging potential. I’d love to drink the 2015 today, although I know it will become much more complex over the years. The finish is enormously long and reveals fine tannins.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “A light echo of baked apple leads off, followed by quince, powdered ginger and verbena notes at the core. The long, minerally finish features rippling acidity. Still tight, so let this unwind in the cellar. Best from 2017 through 2027.”
John Gilman 93 points “Domaine Huët’s 2015 Le Mont Sec is deeper and more precise that the Le Haut Lieu Sec on the nose, offering up a complex and serious aromatic blend of quince, fresh pineapple, hints of honeycomb, a superb base of soil, lanolin and a touch of white flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and very long, with a rock solid core of fruit, excellent nascent complexity, fairly low acids for this bottling, but lovely focus and balance on the very long and classy backend. This has the lower acidity of the vintage, but also the superb structure of Le Mont and should age longer than most dry 2015 Vouvrays. 2016-2050. 93.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points “The 2015 Demi-Sec from the Clos du Bourg is the lowest level of sweetness from this vineyard in the Domaine Huët stable in 2015 and the wine has magical potential. The bouquet shows a bit more botrytis influence than is the case in the superb Le Mont Demi-Sec, soaring from the glass in a gently glazed constellation of pineapple, a hint of guava, candied quince, lanolin, a touch of honeycomb, beautiful underlying minerality and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and rock solid at the core, with a lovely sense of vinosity already in evidence, despite the wine’s still youthful profile. The acids are bright and beautifully buried in the fruit, with excellent soil signature, lovely focus and grip and a very long, beautifully balanced finish. This is more overtly exotic in personality than the Le Mont Demi-Sec in this vintage, but it is hard to say that it will ultimately be superior- perhaps just different. Another great wine. 2016-2075. 95.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Quite ripe, with tropical mango and papaya notes mixed with peach, apple and quince flavors. Pretty ginger and heather details fill in the background, while the finish shows a well-embedded mineral edge, imparting tension to match the opulence. Best from 2017 through 2030.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2015 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec has a creamy, intense and elegant bouquet of ripe and concentrated fruits, along with delicate earthy and lemony flavors. Full-bodied, intense and powerful, with a dense texture and firm tannins, this is a very complex and firmly structured Chenin for the next decade. The sweetness is perfectly integrated and the acidity rather mild in the first moment. The finish though is enormously vital and mineral.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Features a wide range of apple, green melon, ginger and green plum notes gliding throughout, with the off-dry edge imparting a flattering feel. Latent minerality lengthens the finish. Best from 2017 through 2030.”
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2015 Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec is outstanding from Domaine Huët, as the touch of botrytis here gives the wine impressive concentration and aromatic lift. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a nascently complex blend of pineapple, quince, a touch of tangerine, bee pollen, chalky soil tones, lanolin and orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, bright and beautifully balanced, with great concentration at the core, lovely focus and grip and a very long, still primary, but very promising finish. Again, the acids are not overly snappy here, but the concentrating effect of a bit of noble rot has elevated them a touch and they are more than adequate to carry this wine far, far into the future. This has great depth without undue weight. 2016-2065. 93+.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is deep, rich and flinty on the nose, with caramel and vegetable flavors indicating a great complexity. Full-bodied, dense and powerful, this is highly complex and persistent, yet refreshing and transparent Chenin with a juicy fruit and lots of grip, energy and tension. Rather demure at the moment, this enormously structured wine has a great aging potential and I recommend to store it for 6-10 years, at least.”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2015 Le Mont Demi-Sec from Domaine Huët is an outstanding young wine, with even more depth and potential than the superb Le Haut Lieu Demi. The bouquet is bottomless, delivering scents of pineapple, sweet quince, incipient notes of honey, chalky minerality, a touch of lanolin, floral tones redolent of buttercups and lovely, esthery citrus elements in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, beautifully balanced and displays stunning depth at the core, with lovely acidity (particularly for the vintage!), great focus and grip and a very, very long, primary and exceptional finish. This does not have the backend cut or grip of a vintage such as 2007 or 2008, but it is going to be a great example of Domaine Huët Demi-Sec. It is deceptively easy to drink today, but its true apogee is at least a decade or more out from the vintage! 2016-2075. 95.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Premiere Trie, Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie is super clear, ripe and aromatic on the nose, highly elegant and with lovely flinty flavors. Intense and concentrated, with great finesse and vitality, this is a highly elegant and perfectly balanced wine with a persistent grip and salinity. Great balance and harmony.”
John Gilman 97 points “The 2015 Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Moelleux Première Trie from Domaine Huët is utterly brilliant wine, which is at least fifteen years away from truly blossoming, but is so good right now that it is going to be next to impossible not to drink this wine in the blush of youth! The stunning nose shows a gorgeous glazing of botrytis in its constellation of pineapple, honeyed quince, sweet grapefruit, lovely minerality, orange blossoms, a hint of lavender, citrus oils, dried flowers and just a whisper of the new leather that will arrive with bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless in balance, with a great core, laser-like focus, superb nascent complexity and lovely grip on the endless, vibrant and dancing finish. Magical juice. 2025-2085. (Sep/Oct 2016)”


Domaine Vincent Paris

Heir to the Cornas Throne

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous. He makes several wines from Cornas that are arriving this summer and we’re pleased we get to offer the range.  The “Granit” series wines refer to the steepness of the slopes that they are produced from (30 and 60 [!] degrees respectively) and the Geynale is from a lieu-dit in Reynard with over 100 year old vines.

Arriving in July

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2015 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91-94 points “Starting with his younger vine cuvée, the 2015 Cornas Granit 30 (1,500 cases) comes from the Patou and Saint Pierre lieux-dits and will see roughly 15 months in barrel. It’s a deep, sexy, fruit-loaded beauty that has a saturated purple color, awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers and licorice, as well as full-bodied richness and sweet, yet present tannin. This puppy has tons of fruit and is relatively upfront and textured, but it has enough tannin to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today on the magnum!

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92-95 points “Possessing additional minerality, as well as tannin, the sensational 2015 Cornas Granit 60 offers a kaleidoscope of black raspberry, blueberries, liquid violets, licorice and crushed rocks. Mostly destemmed and coming from the steep parcels located at higher elevations (lieux-dits Patou, Mazards and Sauman), this rich, concentrated, full-bodied beauty will need 4-5 years (or more) of cellaring to shed its baby fat and integrate its tannin, but it’s a killer wine readers should buy by the case; there were just over 400 cases produced.”

These are the lowest listed prices in the USA today!

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The 2015 Cornas La Geynale comes from the oldest vines of the estate and the lieux-dits of Reynard and La Genale, all steep, granite terroirs. This cuvée, which is never destemmed, is aged in older barrels. It’s certainly the most classic in style, with more pepper, game, olives and earth, yet still possesses the same purity, fruit and wealth of material found in these cuvées. Full-bodied, deep, concentrated, structured and perfectly balanced, it’s an incredibly complete wine that will need to be forgotten for 4-5 years, and will keep for 10-15 years. Bravo!”

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


The Best Passopisciaro Yet:

The Magical 2014 Passorosso

The gamble of growing on Mt. Etna is that you can lose it all, in the span of an afternoon. When the gamble pays off, you win big. Andrea Franchetti’s entry level blend pulls from some of the best crus to create a seamless vision of the high altitude vineyards. Herbed olives, deep cherry, blasted rocks with a whiff of light vanilla. The vibrancy of the acidity is impossible to mask – the wine is alive in your glass. One not to be missed.

Arriving Fall 2017

Passopisciaro ‘Passorosso’ Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 97 points “Bright red-ruby. The captivating nose combines strawberry, raspberry, minerals, violet and flint aromas. Creamy-sweet but amazingly light on its feet, offering palate-staining, perfumed flavors of soft red berries, ripe red cherry, vanilla, aromatic herbs and crushed rock. Rich, ripe and suave, but displays a penetrating, saline and energetic quality that gives this beauty a three-dimensional mouthfeel and a light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with great length and wonderfully polished tannins. Absolute knockout wine: from a memorable vintage on Etna, this is most likely the best Passorosso ever (in earlier vintages, it used to be called simply Passopisciaro). Mainly Nerello Mascalese.”

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