Mid-Week VinopolPick 3-8-17

New Piedmont Sale; Quintessa at an Incredible Price; New Cayuse, No Girls and Horsepower; The Majesty of Wehlener Sonnenuhr; Two 90pt Spanish Values; Delas Freres—the value of the Northern Rhone; Trending Wines; Vintage Gloria and Sauternes; Celebrating Oregon Diversity in Pinot; Faiveley’s Generation of Growth


New March Sales!

A Piedmont Star on the Rise!

Poderi Colla is one of the most interesting wineries in the Piedmonte, with excellent holdings in both Barbaresco and Barolo—something that can’t be said of very many producers.  This is a result of a merger between two parts of the family, in 1994, one half in Barolo and the other half in Barbaresco.  The wines they make are classic and have long lives ahead of them, especially from the 2010 vintage.  With everything you could want in Barolo and Barbaresco, this is a perfect time to catch an estate on the rise—before the fame comes and, more importantly, while we have them on a deeper-than-usual sale price.

Poderi Colla Tenuta Roncaglia ‘Roncaglie’, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $49 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This single-vineyard Barbaresco opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of violet, rose, spice and berry. The palate shows bright cherry and white pepper flavors and notes of menthol and eucalyptus. This is still young and tightly wound, but should age wonderfully.” WE
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Poderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($99.95) Was $89, Now $69 special, 24 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92+ points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia Dardi/Le Rose from Poderi Colla emerges from the glass with dried rose petals, licorice, tobacco, mint, dried cherries, plums and coffee beans, all super-classic Nebbiolo scents. Beguiling and layered in the glass, the 2010 continues to open up beautifully over time, I can’t wait to see how it ages. At the same time, the 2010 is medium in body and surprisingly supple. Will it put on weight in bottle? Only time will tell. Today, the 2010 is young, young, young.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

2013 Quintessa

A Magical Wine at a Magical Price

The last Quintessa offer we put out sold through incredibly quickly, so we went back to the well to see if we could get more at an incredible price.  The result is a little more at the best price in the country (by over $10/bottle!).  We don’t know how long it will last this time, but if past is precedent, it won’t be here next week.

Arriving Tomorrow:

Quintessa Red, Rutherford 2013 750ML ($199.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Quintessa Red, Rutherford 2013 750ML ($1,199.95) $732 pre-arrival special (that’s only $122/bottle!)
James Suckling 98 points “This is really fantastic on the nose with blackberry, blueberry, lavender, and violets. Even sage. Full body plus extremely integrated tannins that are polished and refined. The balance and harmony is phenomenal. Goes on for minutes. Beautiful now but will satisfy for decades. (5/3/16)”
Robert Parker 96 points “The 2013 Proprietary Red Wine has always been good, but I think they have re-positioned themselves at a much higher pinnacle with the 2013. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend but has important component parts such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot from their gorgeous vineyards just off the Silverado Trail in Rutherford. The wine has a dense bluish/purple color and a beautiful nose of black raspberries, blueberries, lead pencil shavings, and touches of oak and spring flowers. The complexity of the fragrance is followed by a wine with terrific body, stunning purity, wonderful balance, and great depth and richness. This is certainly the most profound Quintessa made to date and should evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $139.95
The average price is $182

New Cayuse, No Girls and Horsepower

Just Arrived Wines From Washington’s Finest

We don’t have to say too much, other than we’ve got some the new Cayuse wines in at below market pricing (and we have a few bottles left of our last drop, that we’ll highlight in a minute).  We also just received the new release from Christophe Baron’s Horsepower and No Girls projects, which look to be spectacular. The wines always disappear fast, so if you like what you see, hop on over to www.vinopoliswineshop.com and make sure that you snag them now!

Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($319.95) $299 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points “While a lot of the 2012s came in near the bottom of the barrel score, that wasn’t the case with the 2012 Syrah Bionic Frog and this beauty flirts with perfection. Inky colored and purple to the rim, it offers extraordinary notes of black fruits, wild mushrooms, smoked earth and salty minerality. These all flow to a full-bodied, thrillingly concentrated, focused, structured and lengthy 2012 that needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and will knock your socks off over the following 15 years or more.” JD

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2009 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “The Cayuse 2009 Grenache Armada Vineyard God Only Knows (named for the otherwise unspecified roughly 10% share of this that he claims isn’t Grenache) was cropped at only a ton and a half per acre (ca. 20 hectoliters per hectare) because, as Baron puts it, “we are struggling every year just to get Grenache ripe. But we love it for the challenge,” he hastens to add. “Even a monkey can make a great Syrah, but Grenache , We’ve got 7 acres of this grape now,” compared with more or less 25 of Syrah, he reports, commenting: “You’ve got to be crazy!” Fresh strawberry and elderberry are tinged with birch bark extract, black tea, and basil, making for an aromatically intriguing and lip-smacking palate presence. An upwelling of beef marrow and a Syrah- (or Gewurztraminer-) like hint of smoked meat add to the wine’s saliva-inducing savor. Here is a really vivid illustration of how the best Washington wines offer nearly luxuriant richness and sweet berry intensity but at the same time exhilarating vibrancy and lift. And, true to Baron’s repeatedly stated intentions, there are – beyond salt, stone, and smoky aura of black tea – elements impinging on this wine’s superbly sustained finish that can only be called “mineral,” even if one can’t find further words for them. I suspect this will be worth following for at least a decade. Incidentally, the wine was vinified in concrete and then aged in demi-muids plus one concrete egg. Apropos controlling alcohol and enhancing ripe flavors (for more on which, see my winery introduction), this beauty clocked in at what – in comparison with other recent vintages – counts as a modest 14.3%, despite its warm growing season; yet as you can tell from my description, there’s nothing under-ripe about its performance!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2011 Grenache God Only Knows is shockingly good in the vintage. Sporting a big, masculine profile, with notions of lite gunpowder, ground pepper, herbs and wild strawberry and blackberry fruit, it flows onto the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a full, rich mid-palate and a healthy dose of tannin that will require short-term cellaring to integrate. This knockout Grenache will be at its finest from 2016-2026.”

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

Cayuse Vineyards ‘Widowmaker’ En Chamberlin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2009 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast-97 points Cellar Selection-“Using grapes sourced entirely from the En Chamberlin Vineyard, this pure Cabernet is deep, dark, focused and tight, with firm but velvety tannins and a perfect mix of cassis, coffee and earth. Even more than previous years, this vintage displays astonishing depth and power. Flavors of Serrano ham and other cured meats, plus a delicate saltiness and minerality keep the flavors developing onto the long, fascinating finish.”

Horsepower Vineyards ‘The Tribe Vineyard’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “Just ever so slightly richer and more textured than the Sur Echalas Vineyard, the 2013 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard is a blockbuster effort that is up there with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Concentrated, full-bodied, sexy and layered on the palate, it has to-die-for notes of black cherries, currants, olives, steak tartare and Hermitage-like scorched earth characteristics. Like the other 2013s here, it needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will have two decades of longevity.” – JD
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

No Girls La Placiencia Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points “Moving to the Syrah, the 2013 Syrah la Paciencia is another pretty, perfumed, medium to full-bodied effort that reminds me of a Cote Rotie from the southern, Cote Blonde end of the appellation. Crushed flowers, raspberries, violets, incense and dried herbs all emerge from this elegant, seamless Syrah that has fine tannin and a clean, focused finish. It will drink well for a decade.” –JD
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

No Girls La Placiencia Vineyard Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “While I thought this cuvee would show better from bottle, it’s still impressive and shines for its finesse and elegance. Lighter in color than I remember (which was true with all of the 2013 No Girls and Cayuse releases), the 2013 Tempranillo la Paciencia offers lots of black cherries, licorice, caramelized meats and a hint of violets to go with a medium to full-bodied, very precise, fresh profile that has bright acidity and fine tannin. Give bottles 1-2 years in the cellar and enjoy through 2025.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

And we have a few bottles left from our last offering, here’s a selection from what’s still available:

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “Structured and backward, the 2012 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers lots of framboise, black cherries, bouquet garni and spice to go with a full-bodied, seamless, elegant feel on the palate. It picks up more and more tannin with time in the glass, and needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but should keep for 15 years or more.” JD

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “Grenache seemed to handle the heat nicely in 2013 and the 2013 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers a gorgeous, rich, almost masculine style (especially when it’s tasted next to the No Girls Grenache) in its dark fruits, crushed herbs, mineral and leather scented profile. Even showing a touch of game with time in the glass, this beauty has fine tannin, plenty of fruit and a great finish, all suggesting it will drink nicely for another decade.”

Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2008 750ML ($169.95) $139 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “More fresh and elegant than the 2009, yet also without the back-end depth, the 2008 Syrah Armada Vineyard has pretty notes of blackberries, black raspberries, crushed flowers, savory herbs and distinct minerality on the nose. Full-bodied, pure, fresh and long, it’s already approachable, but will evolve gracefully on its purity, balance and freshness.”

Cayuse Vineyards Wallah Wallah Special Series #5 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 1.5L ($319.95) $279 special, 1 magnum available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93+ points “(bottled in magnum): Healthy, moderately saturated dark red. Musky aromas of dark berries, mocha and brown spices, plus a hint of creamy vanilla. Savory and youthfully tight; offering less early sex appeal than the 2012 version but this wine possesses an impressive thickness and finishes with big, broad tannins that suggest a slow evolution in bottle. Distinctly saline and backward–and perhaps less distinctive today than the single-vineyard Syrah bottlings from Cayuse. This wine represents Baron’s tribute to Jamet’s Côte-Rôtie, which is a blend of multiple sites.”


Vineyard Spotlight:

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Beyond Prum

There are three great “sundial” vineyards in the middle Mosel and of those the most famous is the Wehlener Sonnenuhr. The vineyard, whose name translates to “the Sundial of Wehlen” is defined by a giant sun-clock in the center of it. Placed there because it was perfectly exposed to receive sun all day, the sundial told vineyard worker when it was time for daily meals and prayers (and of course when the workday was over).

That perfect exposure not only allows for fairly accurate timekeeping, but more importantly for exceptional ripening of grapes. Over the years, Wehlener Sonnenuhr has come to be known as the best vineyard in its stretch (the same can be said for the other two sundials—the Urziger Wurtzgarten and the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr) and one of the top two or three sites in the whole Mosel Valley.

JJ Prum is obviously the producer most associated with the vineyard and one of the primary reasons for the modern renown of the wines, but we wanted to highlight other wineries that worked with the vineyard.  These wines are excellent in their own right and in a variety of different styles from the Prum wines (they also tend to be less expensive). One of the things we love best about the Mosel is how producers can put their own touch on hallowed terroirs—making it their own while keeping the essence of the vineyard.  So without further ado, here’s a selection of a few wines from one of our favorite vineyards in the Mosel.

Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2014 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling trocken GG Alte Reben offers a noble, very clear, elegant, intense and subtle slate bouquet. Highly elegant and expressive on the palate this is a beautiful dry Riesling with perfect sweetness and balance. This wine is full-bodied, piquant and mineral, very complex and persistent. A great Mosel Riesling that would benefit from further bottle aging.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese*, Mosel 2015 750ML ($91.95) $28 special, 20 bottles available
Bernkastler Ring Auction Wine 2016
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This special bottling of Spätlese * (there is also one offered via regular channels) offers a very elegant and flowery nose of white peach, herbs and spices. The wine is gorgeously fruity and loaded with herbs on the palate. It is lively, fresh and elegant and gradually gains in presence and richness. The finish is however light, airy and incredibly long. What a beautiful wine! 2025-2040”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Meulenhof Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2010 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 18 bottles available
Terry Theise writes: “In general Justen’s wines are more lush and peachy than, say, Merkelbach; not as stern as, say, Christoffel. They are comparatively straightforward and “easy” to understand because the fruit is overt and in-your-face. Even a cursory glance into that fruit, though, will reveal the proverbial Coat of Many Colors: interplays of flavor and texture that can be absorbing and rewarding. And the wines both keep and age.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2012 750ML ($49.95) $24 special, 18 bottles available
VinopolNote: “From an extremely old parcel of ungrafted vines, according to Johannes Selbach, which were ripped out in 2013 as part of Flurbereinigung (the state mandated vineyard reorganization). 2012 is a great Auslese vintage if you prefer wines without noble rot affectation. The best comparison seems to be 2015 without botrytis.  This is an incredible example of what Selbach does best—profound wines which manage to be useful at the table.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 5 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “This offers a beautiful nose of cassis, grapefruit, greengage, apricot tree flower, white flowers and herbs. A more yellow fruit driven side comes through on the palate with yellow peach playing with acidity to produce a mouth-watering cocktail of Mosel charm. A hint of sweetness in the finish is still in need of integration of this gorgeous Auslese in the making. 2025-2045.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 5 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points “This “maiden wine” comes from the “new” parcel in the central part of the vineyard which was replanted after the 2011 vintage. This shows a quite smoky nose at first and only gradually reveals a fruity side driven by apricot and orange as well as mint and yellow peach. The wine is creamy and smooth on the palate, with just the right amount of acidity to keep things interesting. The unctuous feel to the finish in the finish adds to the pleasure of enjoying this deep and direct expression of Sonnenuhr Auslese. 2025-2040”

Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 1995 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 3 bottles available
VinopolNote: “Cellared by the domaine and imported especially for Vinopolis, this brilliant wine is beginning to enter the prime of its drinking window (which should last another 20-30 years).  The Wehlener Sonnenhur is one of the prime vineyards in the middle Mosel and this wine shows why.  Brilliant acidity and freshness combine with tropical botrytis inflected fruit flavors to make this a wine that is as compelling to drink as it is to smell.”

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!


Two Spanish Values Arriving This Friday

Rioja is one of our top sources for wines that offer tremendous value at extremely low prices.  These two wines from Sierra Cantabria are both extremely good on both the quality and price fronts.  If you’ve been looking for a house red for spring, you may not want to look any further!

Sierra Cantabria Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($19.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Saturated ruby. Perfumed aromas of dark berries, cherry-cola, smoky oak and vanilla, lifted by a floral topnote. Smooth, appealingly sweet blackcurrant and cherry flavors show very good depth and energy, with a spicecake note coming up with aeration. The smoke and floral notes carry through on a long, broad finish that features fine-grained tannins and dark fruit character.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Sierra Cantabria Seleccion, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($14.95) $9.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “(fermented and aged for six months in stainless steel tanks and then aged for six more months in 60 percent French and 40 percent American oak barrels, all used) Dark ruby. Ripe dark berries, candied flowers and a suggestion of woodsmoke on the perfumed nose. Pliant and expansive in the mouth, offering bitter cherry, cassis and peppery spice flavors that become sweeter on the back half. Finishes on a juicy dark berry note, showing very good persistence, gentle tannins and lingering spice and floral notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Freres Delas, Dorme Vous?

Delas is one of the most notable landholders in the Northern Rhone, with holdings in some of the best vineyards in every major AOC, yet they still manage to be overlooked when people put together collections of wine from the region.  We’d like to remedy that, so permit us a few seconds to sing their praises.

Delas makes wines that are a) delicious and well made and b) more than reasonably priced.  This combination means that it’s possible to drink your way up and down the Northern Rhone, trying fantastic wines from fabled appellations and you can still afford your next car payment.  Sure, the wines aren’t collectible, but if you’re buying to drink, rather than to resell, give these a look.  We’re proud to present a broad assortment of their wines here for your future enjoyment:

Delas Freres Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron, Rhone 2010 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points “Packed with lots of dark ganache, tapenade, tobacco, blackberry compote and freshly sliced plum fruit flavors, this really courses along with noticeable energy, while bramble, singed bay leaf and charcoal stud the finish dramatically. Best from 2015 through 2027.” WS
Robert Parker 91 points “The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron has fleshed out since last year offering notes of black olives, garrigue, licorice, forest floor, bacon fat, raspberries and black currants. This medium-bodied Cote Rotie veers more toward a Burgundy-styled wine than its Syrah-based peers in the Northern Rhone. Two extraordinary wines are the offerings Jacques Grange has fashioned from the Delas Freres holdings in the Cote Brune, the 2011 and 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne.” RP

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos, Rhone 2004 750ML ($59.95) $39 special, 12 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 89 points “Medium red. Strong mineral notes accent fresh cherry and earthier tobacco and floral aromas. Solid and firmly structured, with a racy quality to the bright cherry and rhubarb flavors. This should age very well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos, Rhone 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points “Similar to the Domaine des Grands Chemins, yet with additional structure, the inky purple/ruby colored 2013 Crozes Hermitage le Clos has lots of minerality in its smoky, meaty, dark fruited profile. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, structured yet balanced, give it 2-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2004 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 29 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points “Ruby-red. Very pungent, deep aromas of tobacco- and underbrush-laced red and blackcurrant. Powerful and rich, showing impressive sweetness to its potent cassis and blackberry flavors. Really stains the palate, finishing with exceptional purity and mineral tones. Whatever tannins are here (and you know there are plenty) are completely absorbed by the sheer fruit mass.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 9 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 95 points “(aged in 70% new oak for 18 months): Inky ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, peppery spices and fresh flowers, backed by a hint of olive. Supple and appealingly sweet, offering intense, deeply concentrated blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a suggestion of star anise. Finishes pure, sweet and energetic on the penetrating finish, showing outstanding focus and slow-building tannins.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Closed, tight and backwards, the 2013 Hermitage les Bessards is a big, full-bodied, burly wine that offers first rate purity in its black raspberry, ozone, liquid rock, and creosote-like bouquet. It has plenty of material and density, but will need 7-8 years of bottle age to become approachable. As normal, it comes all from the “Bas de Coteau” portion of the Bessards lieu-dit, was completely destemmed and saw 18 months in 30% new French oak.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2013 750ML ($119.95) $69 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “One of the gems in the vintage is the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes, which comes from both the Bessards and Grandes Vignes lieux-dits on Hermitage Hill. Completely destemmed, then vinified in stainless steel and concrete tanks, the wine is aged 18 months in 30% new French oak; it offers terrific notes of dark fruits, graphite and ample minerality in a full-bodied, layered, ripe profile. It’s more approachable than the Les Bessards, yet will still have three decades of longevity.”

Arriving in March:

Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2013 750ML ($44.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Similar to the Saint Epine release quality-wise, the 2013 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon offers more richness, breadth and layer compared to the tighter, more focused, granite-influenced Saint Epine. Plum, black raspberry, licorice, cracked pepper and graphite flows to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that needs 3-4 years of cellaring; it will have two decades of longevity. Coming mostly from vineyards around Tournon and Mauves, it spent 12 months in 30% new French oak.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed, exotic scents of black raspberry and blueberry preserves, incense and smoky minerals carry a spicy topnote. At once ripe and lively on the palate, offering palate-staining red and dark berry and cherry cola flavors and subtle floral character. Finishes spicy and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and a lingering violet note.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Ripe and concentrated without sacrificing cut, this lets a pure beam of raspberry and blackberry coulis rush forth, backed by mouthwatering anise, black tea and iron notes. Latent grip allows the finish to linger. Best from 2016 through 2022.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Tyrus Evan Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Claret, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-6 Tyrus Evan Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Claret, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Winery note “Ken Wright, known for his highly-rated, single-vineyard Pinot Noir, introduced a new label in 2001, Tyrus Evan. The name on the vintage western label came from Ken’s two son’s middle names. The wine, all made in Carlton at Ken Wright Cellars, is from fruit sourced from Ciel du Cheval vineyard in Washington State’s Red Mountain AVA and Seven Hills vineyard which lies on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA. The vineyard Ciel du Cheval lies in the heart of the tiny Red Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) in southeast Washington. Initially planted to just three acres in 1975, the vineyard now encompasses 120 acres and provides outstanding fruit to 26 wineries in the northwest. As owner Jim Holmes puts it, ‘This is a hobby that has gone crazy.’ 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 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!

Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rose, Loire 2015 750ML ($26.95) $18 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!

Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “(11 g/l dosage): Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.” JR

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Schloss Gobelsburg Lamm Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2013 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 94 points “The Kamptal’s iconic Grüner Veltliner vineyard has seldom if ever had to rise to a challenge like that of the other Gobelsburg 2013s from this variety. It succeeds in part by offering scents and flavors such as make one wonder how this could come from grapes. Hyacinth and freesia in the nose are mingled with nuances of alkaline and wet stone that then, along with toasted grain and mouthwatering veal stock, dominate the palate proceedings. That’s not to suggest that this wine lacks fruit. Apple, quince and honeydew offer a luscious presence, with complete transparency to mossy forest floor and mineral intrigue. Bittersweet floral perfume adds to the wine’s creamy, glossy inner-mouth allure. Rather than the energy and dynamic so memorable in the comparable Renner, this delivers an enveloping, buoyant wave of finishing flavor.”
Terry Theise notes “It’s a high-water mark of GV perfection, and even after all these supernal vintages, this wine can still gob-smack you. It’s every possible thing to cherish about GV, brilliance and intensity, taut yet endlessly juicy, “sweet” yet steely, like taking a huge cable and stretching it to the moon.”


A Small Cache of Vintage Gloria and Sauternes

Without a doubt, finding reasonably priced Bordeaux that has a little age on it is one of the things which is most rewarding for us.  In terms of both sales and verbal feedback, there’s tons of demand for classic wines that you can drink tonight at prices that won’t break the bank.  We have a small set of wines that fit that description, both red and dessert, arriving at the end of the month and wanted to feature them here:

Arriving at the end of March

Chateau Gloria, Saint-Julien 2009 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 93 points “Gloria has long been one of the most popular wines in America, but I do not believe they have ever made better wines than they have over the last decade, and the 2009 is one of their finest. While this estate is not a classified growth, it certainly performs like one in 2009. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by an expressive, flamboyant bouquet of black fruits, Christmas spices, licorice and roasted Provencal herbs. Fuller-bodied, more concentrated and extracted than most vintages with soft tannins, its low acidity and a sumptuous, plump style remind me of a modern day version of the 1982 (which is fully mature but still in great shape). The 2009 Gloria is a very smart purchase for those looking to maximize their buying power. In fact, this may be the value of the vintage.”

Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes 2003 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Very, very intense aromas of dried apricot and lemon. Honey, syrup and Golden Delicious. Full-bodied, viscous and very sweet. Pour it on pancakes. Love it. And drink it. Who can wait? Best after 2010.”

Chateau d’Arche, Sauternes 2005 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Apple pie and lemon tart aromas follow through to a full body, with medium sweetness and a lively, bright finish of citrusy acidity and spiciness. Very young. Powerful. Best after 2012. ”

Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 1995 750ML ($349.95) $299 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 1995 Chateau d’Yquem is moving into its secondary aroma phase. A deep golden color, it has a dense and almost Barsac-like bouquet with tangerine, apricot, acacia and melted candle wax. It displays good intensity, unfolding beautifully in the glass. The palate has a strident opening, with a slight bitter edge that lends this Yquem great tension. One can discern layers of marmalade infused with honey fruit, with a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is drinking perfectly now, but will surely age with style over many years. Tasted March 2014.”

Oregon Pinot: Highlighting a Diversity in Style

One of the things we love about the Willamette Valley is that there’s room for diverse styles of Pinot Noir.  Elegance comes naturally to a lot of winemakers in these parts and cooler vintages like 2011 (and 2013, to some degree) only heighten that grace and delicacy. On the other hand, especially in vintages like 2014 and 2015, when warm summers and clear falls allowed winemakers to pick as ripe as they’d like, it was possible to make wines that had power and richness to spare.  We’ve put together a few selections of wines that we think represent the best of what both camps of Pinot producers have to offer, so no matter what style you’re looking for, there’s something here:

Wines that favor elegance over power:

These are wines that are beloved for their aromatics and delicious but delicate flavors.  If you’re a Burg-head or someone who is looking for intensity without weight, these are wines you should check out.

Matello ‘Souris’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011 750ML ($41.95) $28 special
Library Release
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “(from fruit grown in the Whistling Ridge and Durant vineyards; made with 55% whole clusters and raised in 40% new oak):  Vivid red.  Vibrant red berry and Asian spice aromas are given depth by notes of vanilla and licorice and pick up a minerally nuance with air.  Juicy raspberry and cherry-cola flavors tighten up in the mid-palate and show very good clarity.  Finishes spicy and long, with silky tannins adding structure.” ST

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Teutonic Wine Company Traubenwerkzeug Quarryview Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($44.95) $36.60 special
Winery note “Wahlstrom Vineyard is located in Wilsonville Oregon, about 30 miles south of Portland in the Willamette Valley. These vines were planted in 2006 on a decommissioned gravel quarry so the soil consists of mostly rocks, basalt and gravel. The minerality from this site expresses itself beautifully in our lighter-style, lower-alcohol Pinot Noir.”

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Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Winery note “Well, we couldn’t let Four Winds Chardonnay have ALL the fun! After receiving two exceptional vintages of the Chardonnay from this vineyard, we jumped at the opportunity to make wine from the Four Winds Pommard clone pinot noir in 2012, making this our first release! As it is for the Chardonnay, this 22-year-old high-elevation vineyard is ideal for fresh, acid-driven and austere Pinot Noir. Classic Pinot in nature, this wine displays a beautiful ruby color indicative of the high-elevation sedimentary soils, and delivers balanced fruit with texture and acidity. 15-20% whole cluster in the fermentation gives the wine additional aromatic layers and texture.”

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Wines that favor power over delicacy:

These wines are rich and luxurious with intense, mouthfilling flavors and expansive textures.  If you like California Pinot Noir or if you are just getting into the grape from Cabernet or richer wines, these fine wines are going to be right up your alley.

Torii Mor ‘Dundee Hills Select’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 90+ points “The 2014 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Select comes from four vineyards fermented separately and matured in 20% new oak. It has quite a lively bouquet with small red cherries, redcurrant and cranberry, although I would have liked more complexity to show through given the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin. This is well balanced though toward the finish it tends to clam up a little and feel somewhat “rigid.” Give this another 12-18 months to loosen its tie.”
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Torii Mor ‘Olson Estate Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($59.95) $38 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Brilliant violet. Dark berries, cola, musky herbs and a subtle floral nuance on the fragrant nose. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and spicecake flavors that tighten up steadily with air. Shows an appealing blend of power and vivacity and finishes very long and spicy, displaying repeating florality and smooth tannins.”

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WillaKenzie Estate ‘Emery’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 750ML ($51.99) $39 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sleek, open-textured and distinctive, with plum and red currant fruit. Shadings of orange peel and cardamom add to the complex, polished finish. Drink now through 2022. 800 cases made”

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Faiveley’s Generations of Growth

Faiveley have, in the span of seven generations, gone from negociants and merchants to one of the largest holders of vineyard land in all of Burgundy. A business that seemingly should be producing commodity wines is endeavoring to make some of the most age-worthy, elegant expressions of the Côte de Nuits and beyond. How, amongst the challenges of phylloxera, the Great Wars, and the great depression did they manage to thrive; commitment to joie de vivre, tradition and friendship, and dedication to the land under their feet.

When difficulty has struck Burgundy, Faiveley has been at the front of keeping the industry afloat. During the tragic phylloxera years, Francois Faiveley, who had trained as a doctor, tried valiantly to save his vines through research. It was a greater challenge than he could handle and it ended up dying relatively young, exhausted, at age 59. Georges Faiveley, his son, survived the Great War only to face the great depression, leaving cellars full of wine that no one could buy. The solution to the surplus: reimagining the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin as an excuse to drink the wines with friends and family. What might have seemed like a great excuse for a party became a great tool in keeping Burgundy wines in the glasses of those who would eventually buy them again. This sort of reinvention is called marketing nowadays, and the move was brilliant. Following the depression and the Second World War, the Domaine leveraged its place in the market to rapidly increase holdings and rebuild the brand.

Faiveley has grown piece by tiny piece to hold over 62 acres of Premier Cru and 25 acres of Grand Cru and over 300 acres total from Chablis to Côte Chalonnaise, yet for the most part only holding slivers of the many assorted crus. From those slivers, they’ve built a pretty substantial raft to float on. Their list of Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines produced could keep a collector happy for years. The current leaders at the winery, Francois and Erwan, both brought their youthful energy to the Domaine. Care in the vineyards and at the sorting table has improved the fruit being grown, the extended cold maceration to improve aromatics and color. Now, the bulk of the wines drink tremendously well in their youth but the Grand cru is definitely built for aging. The last time I had the ’11 Clos des Cortons, tasted in 2013, the fruit was lovely, lightly spicy, but still edgy and wound up like a coiled snake. There was palpable energy in the bottle, and I look forward to seeking this out again in a few years. This is why I return to the Faiveley wines; even in a difficult vintage, the results will be reliably delicious.

Here’s a selection of the current Faiveley wines available, to see the rest, go to www.vinopoliswineshop.com :

Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 12 bottles available
Burghound 92-94 points “Here too the wood treatment is quite deft which allows the cool Granny Smith apples, pear, wet stone and spice scents to shine. There is also a seductive mouth feel to the broad-shouldered, supple and round flavors that brim with dry extract before displaying plenty of power and punch on the seriously long finish. This is easily the most backward wine in the range at present yet the impression is unusually fine, both in the context of the appellation but also in the context of this wine in general as it’s usually more robust. Be all of that as it may, this is very, very promising.”BH

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Domaine Faiveley Aux Beaux Bruns, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 12 bottles available
Burghound 90-92 points “A completely different aromatic expression is present here with its spicy and perfumed nose of black raspberry, red cherry and plum. As one might reasonably expect there is a more refined mouth feel to the mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that display a hint of austerity on the balanced and lingering finish. Beaux Bruns is often a rather butch Chambolle and this example is consistent with that tendency.” BH

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Domaine Faiveley Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($179.95) $159 special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 93 points “Extremely perfumed and fresh with hints of roses and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, very delicate and refined. Really beautiful. Drink or hold. All in finesse and glory” JS
Burghound 90-93 points “This is also quite perfumed and more elegant with its panoply of various red berries, violet, lilac and sandalwood hints. There is a finer mouth feel to the delicious medium weight flavors primarily thanks to the finer grain of the supporting tannins that shape the caressing, lacy and beautifully well-balanced finale. This beauty should drink well young but also amply reward mid-term cellaring.” BH

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Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($349.95) $219 special, 12+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 (+?) points “Medium red.  Highly nuanced yet quite primary on the nose, offering scents of raspberry, underbrush, dried rose, ginger and smoky oak.  Juicy, saline and quite dry, with dark berry and strawberry flavors complicated by an earthy perfume.  Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and excellent length.  With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this beauty showed a silkier texture and chewy, deep flavors of raspberry and spices that saturate the palate without leaving any impression of weight.  A great effort for the vintage.” ST

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Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ Faiveley Monopole Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 12+ bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Faiveley’s 2011 Corton Clos des Corton is a fitting conclusion to this great night of wine and food. Intensely saline and pointed, the 2011 impresses for its pure energy and tension. The flavors are vibrant and impeccably delineated in a Burgundy that is all about finesse. This is a great showing from the Clos des Corton.” AG
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Medium red.  Ineffable nose and palate offer red fruits, minerals, spices and flowers, complicated by game, earth and leather.  Sweet, concentrated and very intense, boasting outstanding density and a fine-grained texture, with salty minerality giving the wine a weightless impression that’s remarkable considering its density.  A strong tannic spine and brisk acidity energize and draw out the finish of this sharply delineated, pristine grand cru.” ST

Domaine Faiveley La Combe aux Moines, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points “Bright medium red.  Lively aromas of redcurrant, red cherry and pepper, plus a whiff of game.  Shows strong graphite and pepper notes in the mouth, but the wine’s fruit is currently suppressed by sulfur.  Finishes saline, dense and chewy, with more obvious tannins than the Chambolle cuvees.  This needs the sweetening influence of a racking.” ST

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Domaine Faiveley Aux Chaignots, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Bright medium red.  Pungent, high-pitched scents of raspberry, blood orange and menthol, plus a touch of new oak.  Subtly intense red berry flavors are accented by pepper and herbs.  Round in the middle but tangy and precise too.  Finishes with good juicy cut and length.” ST

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Domaine Faiveley Les Porets-Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($119.95) $79 special, 17 bottles available
James Suckling 91 points “Pretty dark fruits such as blackberry and blueberry with hints of spice. Full body, tight center palate, and fine tannins. Better in a year or two, but very delicate, firm and delicious.” JS

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Domaine Faiveley Les Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($129.95) $99 special, 12+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer  92-94 points “Palish medium red. Medicinal red cherry, minerals, crushed stone, violet, rose petal and white pepper on the noble nose. Wonderfully silky and pure, with ineffable flavors of red fruits, spices, flowers and minerals. This is wonderfully delicate, and not a fleshy wine, yet saturates every square millimeter of the palate with flavor. The long, sweet, rising finish offers terrific cut and floral lift. Should make a worthy successor to the outstanding 2007, which also transcends its village. Hervet says that this will be bottled by hand, without filtration.”ST

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