Mid-Week VinopolPick – Wednesday May 6

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

4 Vintages of St. Henri (Cheap, Cheap); Pecino/Oreno/Pauitin
Mt. Etna Eruption; Perrier-Jouet Breaks Below $30
Penfolds – St. Henri- Super Sale

From the winery “St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of Shiraz, and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual among high quality Australian red wines as it does not rely on any new oak. It was created in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and gained a new lease of life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood. Proudly, a wine style that hasn’t succumbed to the dictates of fashion or commerce. St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. It is matured in old, 1460 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character. Although a small proportion of Cabernet is sometimes used to improve structure, the focal point for St Henri remains Shiraz.”

Penfolds St. Henri – Arriving Here Friday, May 8th

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2006 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Blended of 89% Shiraz and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 St Henri Shiraz is a blend of 5 different South Australia sub-regions spanning from Robe to Clare Valley. Never seeing new oak, this vintage was aged 15 months in seasoned 1460 liter vats. Very deep garnet-purple colored, it has a purely fruited nose giving notes of intense cassis, crushed blackberries, some kirsch, black pepper, baking spices and cloves. Full, rich and concentrated, it’s still a bit taut with very crisp acid and firm finely textured tannins, giving a long berry laced finish. Consider drinking it from 2013 to 2025+.” WA

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2007 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2007 St Henri Shiraz is a little closed at this stage, revealing subtle earthy notes over crushed blackberries, pencil lead, toast, game, smoky bacon and tree bark. Medium bodied, elegantly fruited and still very tight-knit, the palate offers beautiful purity structured with firm chewy tannins and very crisp acid that should see it through a long life. Consider drinking it 2013 to 2022+.” WA

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2008 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Like virtually all of Penfolds’ top-end reds, this is full bodied and densely concentrated. As it’s aged solely in large vats, there’s no oak influence and the wine needs a bit of bottle age to come around. For now, it’s a bit monolithic, showing hints of mint, black olive and ripe raspberries before ending long and fine. Drink 2017–2030, and perhaps beyond.” WE

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2009 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Supple, offering nubby tannins around a gorgeous core of currant and pomegranate, the flavors floating easily into the long, expressive finish, hinting at green tea and guava as the finish rolls on serenely. Shows intensity without density, coming together seamlessly. Drink now through 2025.” WS

These are all the lowest listed prices in the USA today!
Bodegas Hermanos de Peciña
He’s Bringin’ Tradition Back

One of the stalwarts of the traditional method of producing Traditional Rioja wines (long aging in mostly neutral American oak, open-air racking by hand [trasiego], and long bottle aging well beyond the minimum requirements) is the Bodegas Hermanos de Pecina. Though founded by Rioja’s calculation in recent years (1992), its owner and founder, Pedro Pecina, had over 20 years’ experience working as head agronomist for La Rioja Alta. His vineyards are on the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria Mountains with excellent exposure and a variety of soil types. Many of the vines are between 40-60 years old and some are on north-facing slopes that Pecina believes gives “good freshness and delineation.”

The wines are naturally fermented by parcel and are aged in used American oak. Racking occurs every six months and is done by hand. The Crianza sees 2 years in wood and over 1 year in bottle, the Reserva sees 3 years in wood and over 2 years in bottle, and the Gran Reserva sees 4 years in wood and between 3-8 years in bottle; all far exceed minimum requirements.

Here tomorrow:

Bodegas Hermanos Pecina Senorio de P. Pecina Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2007 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93 points “The 2007 Rioja ‘Reserva’ from Bodegas Pedro de Peciña comes in at an octane of 13.5 percent alcohol and is absolutely classic on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is a very fine constellation of red plums, sweet raspberries, toasted coconut, lovely soil tones, Rioja spices and hints of the nutskin to come. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with a velvety attack, a sappy core, outstanding focus and balance, moderate tannins, tangy acids and excellent length and grip on the beautifully balanced and complex finish. This is still a tad on the young side, but this is a simply beautiful bottle of old school Rioja. I had no difficulty drinking this wine today, but it will be even better with another four or five years of bottle age. 2015-2055.” JG
A River Runs Through It
Sette Ponti – Oreno
Here Now

The flagship wine of Sette Ponti, Oreno, is produced from vineyards planted between 1935 and 1997. The vineyard is composed of calcareous clay rich in galestro (loose marl and limestone). The area was officially recognized for its excellence as a wine-growing region as far back as the early 18th century. The wine is a blend of Merlot (for its fineness), Cabernet Sauvignon (for strength and body) and Petit Verdot (for spice and elegance). Esteemed by Robert Parker, James Suckling and the Wine Spectator, it is a richly structured, full-bodied and full-flavored blend offering superb ageability.

Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 24 bottles available
James Suckling 97 points “Fabulous aromas of blackberries, orange peel, raspberries and citrus. Violets too. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a light, dusty texture. It’s so fine and beautiful, racy and refined. Very structured indeed but also soulful and very, very inspiring. There’s a new refinement to this wine as the winemakers search for a truly beautiful expression of the terroir. Better in 2017 but a joy to taste now.” JS
Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:

We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment
-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25

These rates do not apply to orders held in storage here for any reason. Multiple orders consolidated into one shipment do not qualify for flat rate shipping.
A Family Affair
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia

Paitin estate history goes back to 1796, when Benedetto Elia (Paitin) purchased a vineyard of about 5 acres in the Neive region of Piedmonte. About 30 years later, Elia bought roughly 5 more acres of Nebbiolo and Barbera vineyards with a house and cellar, and the first Barbaresco wine was bottled in 1893. Following historic tradition, Paitin estate has remained within the family and since 1965 (7 generations later) Secondo Pasquero Elia has taken over the winery and now runs the estate with his sons, Silvano and Giovanni.

Paitin is now one of the highly acclaimed wineries in Piedmonte for Barbaresco. The family passionately works with the fruit, dependent upon the soil patterns of the slopes, the microclimates of each parcel and the differentiations between the multiple layers of schist soils throughout the vineyards. This is an incredible value for this Barbaresco, in which you rarely see price tags under the $40-$50 range for such high quality, and certainly nowhere near Barolo prices. Paitin’s Serra tends to have notes of both dark and tart bing cherry fruit, beautiful peppery spice, followed by soft, fine-grained tannins.

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Wines Arriving Friday, May 8

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Vigna Elisa Langhe Arneis 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Winery note: “Colour: straw yellow with green reflections. Fragance: ample, complex, fresh fruit, golden apple, white peach, acacia flowers.”

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’ Barbera d’Alba 2012 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “Paitin’s 2012 Barbera d’Alba Serra jumps from the glass with dark red cherries, plums, spices, rose petals and tobacco are some of the many notes that meld together in the 2012 Barbera d’Alba Serra. Sweet floral and spice notes flesh out in an ample wine that overdelivers big time. The Serra was aged exclusively in Slavonian oak.” AG

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Ca Veja Nebbiolo d’Alba 2011 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points “The 2011 Nebbiolo d’Alba Ca Veja shows how beautiful this vintage can be. Broad, rich and ample on the palate, the 2011 blossoms with brightly-hued red fruit, spices, mint and flowers. The aromas and flavors are those of Nebbiolo from Alba, but the estate’s approach to farming the site, coupled with the warmth of the vintage and aging in cask yield a wine of remarkable class and pure pedigree. The 2011 was done entirely in cask.” AG

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Campolive Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2011 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 89-91 points “The 2011 Barbera d’Alba Campolive jumps from the glass with an attractive mélange of dark black fruit, spices and balsamic-inflected nuances. The richness of the year comes through. At the same time, there is an attractive classicism to the 2011. The 2011 was aged in a new Slavonian oak cask.” AG

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Sori Paitin’, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The estate’s 2010 Barbaresco Sorì Paitin is stunningly beautiful. Layers of fruit blossom in a large-scaled, dramatic Barbaresco endowed with tremendous depth and pure structure. Balsamic-inflected plums, tobacco, leather, spices and licorice meld together in the glass. The 2010 Sorì Paitin is huge, powerful and drop-dead gorgeous. Sweet menthol, pine and wild flowers adds finesse on a finish that is all about power. The structure of the vintage comes through in spades. The 2010 spent 24 months in cask.” AG

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Sori Paitin’, Barbaresco DOCG 2007 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Good full red. Smoke and a suggestion of exotic fruits on the very ripe nose, complicated by leather, black olive and game nuances. Thick and surprisingly deep, with a high-pH mouth feel. Finishes with substantial tannins that currently cut off the wine’s fruit. The leathery quality gives this a slightly rustic quality.”

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Vecchie Vigne’ Sori Paitin 2004 750ML ($79.95) $71.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2004 Barbaresco Sori’ Paitin Vecchie Vigne is marvelous. Dark red berries, crushed flowers, smoke, ash and tar are just some of the notes that emege from this big yet beautifully articulated Vecchie Vigne. The 2004 shows superb class and fabulous overall balance. As always this is a fairly large-scaled Barbaresco, but all of the elements meld together beautifully. A long, sensual finish rounds things out in style. With air the 2004 is approachable today, but it clearly has the stuffing and freshness to drink well to age 25, perhaps beyond. The Vecchie Vigne captures the essence of this great Piedmontese vintage in spades.” AG

Paitin Wines Available Here Now

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 43 bottles available
Case-12 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 750ML ($399.95) $336 special, 1 case available (that’s only $28/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Dark cherries, menthol, tobacco, licorice and tar all emerge from the glass in the 2010 Barbaresco Serra. This is a decidedly dark, powerful, brooding vintage for the Serra. Readers will find a powerful, structured Barbaresco that will require considerable cellaring. The broad-shouldered, brooding style typical of this part of the Barbaresco zone comes through in spades. The Serra spent 18 months in cask.” AG

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2011 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 38 bottles available
Case-12 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2011 750ML ($419.95) $399 special, 4 cases available (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points “Rich and velvety, yet also vibrant and complex, this red boasts floral, berry, anise, leather and mineral flavors. Harmonious, this turns slightly chewy in texture on the lingering finish. Best from 2017 through 2027. 1,000 cases made.” WS
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, spices and mint race across the palate in the 2011 Barbaresco Serra. This is one of the most intense, tannic 2011 Barbarescos readers will come across. Far from an easygoing wine, the 2011 is going to need considerable patience. Hints of sweet tobacco, mint and anise add nuance on the layered, super-expressive finish. The 2011 Serra spent two years in 50-hectoliter casks.” AG
A Tour of Sicily’s Mount Etna with Tenuta delle Terre Nere

With their estate at the base of Mount Etna, Tenuta delle Terre Nere wines are all composed of Nerello Mascalesse and Nerello Cappuccio. Revered for its bright, fresh red wines produced from their high elevation, old vine vineyards, Tenuta delle Terre Nere produces classic Sicilian wines every vintage. Tenuta delle Terre Nere represents over 30 years of craftsmanship, with organically cultivated vineyards lying in the northern slopes of Etna ranging from 50-100 years old. 2012 was an extraordinary and extreme year, prompting winemaker Calogero Statella to coin it “a one in fifty year vintage,” producing powerful wines bursting with intense, exotic fruit character.

Calderara Sottana is the stoniest cru in the appellation, with many parts covered by ‘fist sized’ black volcanic pumice. Of all the crus, Calderara Sottana displays the widest spectrum of flavors and nuances ranging from floral delicacies to spice and leather. The highest in elevation are the vineyards of Guardiola, consisting of very poor soils of volcanic sand mixed with basaltic pebbles and traces of ash. Due to the steep slopes and tightly terraced vineyards, all labor is performed manually and the wines express a leaner, more focused approach with elegance. Although lying adjacent to Guardiola, the two vineyards in Santo Spirito have extremely different soils consisting of jet black, deep volcanic ash with a texture reminiscent of fine, talcum powder. The Etna Rosso Prephylloxera ‘La Vigna di Don Pepino’, named for the vigneron who meticulously cultivated this parcel with his delicate hands for over 70 years, is what the winery calls the “heart and soul of this volcanic terroir.” Without his tenacity and incomparable care for this vineyard, it may have not survived the tumultuous natural conditions occurring in this region and certainly would not display the vigor and health that it does today.

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Available Here Now

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco Le Vigne Niche 2012 ($39.95) $33 special, 19 bottles available
Winery notes “As opposed to my other Etna Bianco, which is a field blend of five varieties, Vigne Niche is 100% Carricante. Vigne Niche is barrel fermented and aged in large oak barrels. It is bottled roughly 12 months after harvest, then released after six more months of bottle age. A shy, late blooming wine of unusual complexity and great longevity, it will reward you for your patience with a rare, noble beauty. Have it with leek, pumpkin or onion soup, lobster bisque, risotto, oven baked fish, poultry, braised rabbit.”

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2013 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special, 35 bottles available
Winery notes “Made from very fine Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from low yielding vineyards (35 Hl. Per hectar), both young and old. The grapes are macerated until the end of fermentation. The wine then continues its life in wood until bottled roughly one year after harvest. Even young it is a distinguished wine. Fresh, fragrant, beautifully slender and with a fine grip, it has a natural polish, a stage presence, as it were. And, in aging, as its weave gathers into rich complexity, it is a wine for gentlemen. It is an aristocratically liberal wine: enjoy it with whatever food you wish, as long as its properly cooked.”
Importer note “At Terre Nere vinification is simple, classic, and Burgundian in technique. Alcoholic fermentation and maceration on the skins last from 10 to 15 days; malolactic fermentation and maturation are carried out in oak (25% new). After 18 months the wine is bottled without filtering.”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer & Wine Spectator 90 points “(14.5% alcohol): Bright red. Pungent red berry, flint and floral aromas on the perfumed nose. Then much sweeter and richer on the palate, with smooth red cherry and spice (cardamom, cinnamon, white pepper) flavors. Full and long, with a strong mineral quality.”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2012 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 20 bottles available
Importer note “The ‘Calderara Sottana,’ made from the indigenous Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, is unbelievably fresh and complex, with a wonderfully pronounced nose. Robert Parker calls it “a terrific, elegant, savory, fresh, perfumed wine offering notes of sweet smoked herbs intermingled with cherries, earth and a hint of truffles.” It is delightfully balanced and layered, and is without a doubt ready to drink.”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Fuedo Di Mezzo 2012 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 21 bottles available
Importer note “Feudo di Mezzo is the largest cru in the appellation, a homogenous character, but with clear qualitative variations – much like one could say of Clos Veugeot in Burgundy. From the best parcels – such as our “Quadro delle Rose” – it betrays a dusky character, autumnal tones in its cedary-spicy bouquet. Always the fist to be harvested, Feudo di Mezzo is also always the one readiest to open up and generously deliver itself. Of all crus it is supremely silky, its tannins suave, its bouquet darkly debonair. I love it as it ages effortlessly, its crepuscular nature picking up light as it ripens. Poultry, pork, game, lasagne, braised meats. 500 cases produced.”
Terre Nere Etna Guardiola 2012 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 18 bottles available
Importer’s note “At 800-900 meters above sea level on the north side of Mount Etna, the Guardiola vineyard is the highest red-wine producing vineyard in all of Europe. (Just to give you an idea of the relative altitude, the highest vineyard sites in Montalcino only reach 500 meters above sea level!) It gets bright hot sun during the day and gentle breezes off the Gulf of Catania cool things off at night, adding to the aromatic complexity of the wine and protecting the fruit from mold and mildew during the later stages of its ripening (since it is harvested at the end of October, the weather almost always breaks before the fruit is ripe).”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Santo Spirito 2012 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 23 bottles available
Importer note “Exposure: Vineyards located on the north slope of Mt. Etna. Ageing: Aged in Stainless Steel for 6 months, then aged in equal proportions in French barriques, tonneau and cask.”

Terre Nere Prephylloxera La Vigna di Don Peppino 2012 750ML ($109.95) $89 special, 8 bottles available
Importer note “In front and to the right of our cellar in Calderara Sottana there are two parcels, in the midst of a larger vineyard that have survived phylloxera. They, therefore, are over 130 years old and stand on their original rootstock. In 2006 I decided to vinify the grapes from those parcels separately. 2006 was a splendid vintage, rather on the monumental side. These parcels yielded a wine of such unearthly finesse that, although the wine from the neighboring old vines was a real beauty, the Prephylloxera, displaying a very similar character, seemed to feed from heavenly pastures: the quintessence of Calderara. It is a bit shier and will need more time than its younger sibling. I rarely advice decanting a wine, but in this case I do. Its elegance is measured, its authority understated, its sophistication effortless. A grand wine. I suggest many savoury fine courses in very moderate quantities. Allow the wine to grow as the dinner does.”
Ain’t It Grand
Perrier Jouet for Under $30

Arriving Friday, May 8th

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV 750ML ($49.95) $29.50 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV 750ML ($49.95) $319 pre-arrival special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Spring blossom and smoke notes mix in this lively Champagne, with a creamy bead carrying hints of lemon shortbread, peach and ground ginger. Drink now through 2017.” WS

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $47