The Fastest Rising Star in Burgundy
A New Remelluri Gran Reserva!
New Value Bottlings from Reynvaan
Arriving Friday: Guimaro’s Top Wines
Rosé of the Day
New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
Heart of Delas: A Journey Up the Rhone
The Fastest Rising Star in Burgundy
Clos de la Chapelle
That drive comes down to one person, their (American) owner, Mark O’Connell, who bought the domaine in 2011 and has poured money and time into elevating it from an historic (yet perhaps underperforming) producer with excellent holdings to one of the elite domaines in the Cote de Beaune. The winery now owns land in an array of the top vineyard sites in Volnay, Pommard and Corton and makes truly excellent renditions of each—with moderate whole cluster use, small amounts of new oak and brilliantly balanced ripeness.
This is a domaine that’s only been around in its current incarnation since 2011, and yet has already been a featured winery at La Paulee, with strong reviews from both Burghound and John Gilman. The original incarnation dates back to the middle of the 19th century, run by a member of the Boillot family up until the recent sale. The Clos de la Chapelle monopole was always considered to be one of the premier terroirs (it’s right next door to the Clos de la Bousse d’Or and there are records of Louis Pasteur buying 50 bottles of the 1858, so this is not a secret) but it’s mainly since the changeover that the wines have lived up to the promise of the land.
The domaine owns a total of 4 hectares of red and white vineyards, exclusively in Premier and Grand Cru sites and we’re excited to offer them for the first time today. Some of the wines, featured below, arrive early next month and still more arrive towards the end of the year. Although there are a number of different wines, quantities are limited on each one—and we’re selling them first come, first served.
Arriving ETA Early November:
Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton Rognet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available.
Burghound 92 points “A relatively high-toned nose displays no such reductive notes as the fresh and cool red berry fruit aromas are mixed with background hints of earth and the sauvage. There is a lovely sense of energy to the powerful and concentrated broad-shouldered flavors that also possess a velvety mouth feel, all wrapped in a mildly rustic and dusty but clearly riper finish. This beauty should amply repay medium to perhaps even longer-term cellaring.”
John Gilman 94 points “The Rognet in 2014 from Clos de la Chapelle was raised in onethird new wood and included fifty percent whole clusters this year. These vines lie just above those of JeanNicolas Méo on the slope. The wine really shows the elegant side of the vintage, wafting from the glass in a beautiful aromatic constellation of cherries, red currants, a superb base of minerality, a bit of gamebird, lovely Corton spice tones and a bit of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, fullbodied and nascently complex, with fine transparency, lovely focus and grip and a very long, ripely tannic and tangy finish. There is a touch of stems here today, but these will become cinnamonlike down the road and just add to the spicy appeal of this lovely Corton. 20252075+.”
Burghound 93 points “Sweet Spot. A touch of oak sets off the mildly reduced nose though a note of menthol is evident in the background. There is excellent volume and concentration to the broad-shouldered and muscular flavors that brim with mouth coating dry extract before concluding in an overtly robust and slightly austere finish of outstanding depth and length. This is a classic Rognet that is presently quite compact and it is immediately evident that this is going to need every bit of a decade to unwind the firm tannic spine and 15 years would not surprise me. In a word, impressive.”
John Gilman 92+ points “The domaine’s eighty-plus year-old vines in Chanlins have produced a stellar example of the 2011 vintage, as the wine offers up a superb bouquet of cherries, quince, woodsmoke, lovely minerality, cocoa, herb tones and just a touch of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bdoied, pure and very elegant (particularly for young Pommard), with a very good core of fruit, fine focus, ripe and suave tannins and great transparency on the long and youthful finish. Chanlins seems to often produce one of the most elegant examples of Pommard and this is certainly in evidence in the lovely 2011 from Domaine Clos de la Chapelle. 2020-2050.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. Here too there is a real sense of refinement though as pretty as this is it cannot match its two Volnay stable mates in this regard. There are plenty of earth and underbrush nuances to the mineral-inflected, cool and pure red currant, cherry and spice aromas. There is good power and intensity to the textured, broad-shouldered and mineral-driven flavors that possess a sophisticated mouth feel, all wrapped in a moderately austere but balanced and wonderfully persistent finish. This is definitely Pommard in basic character but refined Pommard.”
John Gilman 94 points “The eighty-five yearold vines here have produced a very pretty and red fruity example of the vintage in 2014. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a classy blend of cherries, quince, a touch of blood orange, pigeon, woodsmoke and a gentle framing of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied, complex and really very suave on the attack (particularly for a young Pommard!), with a fine core of fruit, fine grained tannins and a long, focused and tangy finish. This will be outstanding in the fullness of time! 20222060.”
Burghound 89-91 points “A much more deeply pitched nose is comprised by notes of violet, plum, black cherry and discreet floral hints. There is excellent volume to the suave and very rounded medium weight flavors that also exude a fine bead of minerality onto the dusty, persistent and mildly austere finish. This velvety effort should drink reasonably well after only 5 years and reward up to a decade of cellar time.”
Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Grands Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available.
John Gilman 92+ points “Another new addition in the cellar, there are only two casks this year of Grands Epenots due to the hail, but this is destined to be a reference point example of this fine vineyard in the years to come. The parcel is planted with forty to fifty year-old vines as well and offers up a superb and nicely reserved bouquet of red and black cherries, fine minerality, woodsmoke, gamebirds, herb tones, cedar and a touch of peonies in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and nicely structured, with a rock solid core, fine focus and grip and a long, tangy, ripely tannic finish. Fine, fine juice in the making. 2023-2060.”
John Gilman 94+ points “The 2016 Grands Epenots from Domaine de la Chapelle is also a stellar young wine. The aromatic constellation delivers scents of red and black cherries, pigeon, woodsmoke, a very complex base of soil, espresso and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and potentially very, very complex, with a rock solid core, fine-grained tannins, outstanding focus and balance and a long, youthful and elegant finish. This is every bit as refined in profile as the Chanlins old vine bottling, and will probably just edge it out by a nose over their long lives in bottle. Simply great Pommard in the making! 2028-2065.”
Burghound 93 points “Sweet Spot Outstanding. Here too there is enough wood to notice along with hints of menthol framing the overtly earthy and agreeably fresh aromas of black raspberry and cassis. The generously proportioned and fleshy big-bodied flavors possess excellent volume thanks to the abundant level of dry extract, all wrapped in a markedly structured, austere and backward finale. This is terrific but note well that it will not make for especially inviting early drinking.”
Domaine Clos de la Chapelle En Carelle, Volnay Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 8 bottles available.
Winery note “Deep ruby color with light garnet hues. Finesse and elegance on the nose, with aromas of small red ripe fruits, exotic spices and violets, with a touch of minerality. The palate is full and round, with a generous finish. Delicate and velvety tannins, with nice acidity and length on the finish. The Volnay appellation is found mid-slope in the Côte de Beaune, with Pommard to the north and Meursault to the south. Although there are no Grands Crus here, Volnay’s 30 Premiers Crus are unmatched. Always appreciated for their finesse and beautiful bouquet, Volnays are often regarded as being feminine. The vines for this cuvée are on average 45 years old. This square shaped, “carré = Carelle”, vineyard is located just below the beautiful 16th century chapel of Volnay.”
John Gilman 92+ points “The domaine’s vines in En Carelle are planted northsouth, which served to shelter the bunches a bit during the hail at the end of June and there was really quite moderate damage done here in 2014. The wine was raised in twenty percent new oak and these fiftyfive to sixty yearold vines have produced and excellent wine in this vintage4. The bouquet offers up scents of cherries, red plums, raw cocoa, gamebird, cedar and a lovely topnote of spices. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and intensely flavored, with a velvety attack, a good core and a long, suavelytannic finish. Just a lovely wine. 20212060.”
Domaine Clos de la Chapelle ‘Clos de la Chapelle’, Volnay Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available.
John Gilman 94 points “The Clos de la Chapelle lies right next door to the Clos de la Bousse d’Or in the center of Volnay. At one point it was part of the Clos de la Bousse d’Or, but sometime back in the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries, the wall that separates it from the Clos de la Bousse d’Or was built, and it was already a separate vineyard by the time Louis Boillot purchased it in 1865. The 2010 is an absolutely stunning young bottle of Volnay, offering up a deep and classy nose of cherries, red plums, a touch of raw cocoa, vine-smoke, fresh herbs, a beautiful base of soil, a lovely touch of fresh nutmeg and a deft framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with beautiful transparency, bright, tangy acids, a sappy core of fruit, superb focus and balance and a very long, soil-driven and utterly refined finish that closes with superb grip and outstanding complexity. This is a magical first vintage for the domaine’s flagship wine and this is obviously going to be one of the top premier crus in the commune in the coming years. Do not miss this wine if you have a chance to latch onto a few bottles. Stunning juice. 2020-2060.”
John Gilman 93 points “The new addition of Taillepieds in the Clos de la Chapelle cellars hails from a parcel of forty to fifty year-old vines that lie between the rows of Domaines de Montille and Marquis d’Angerville, so very well-placed indeed. With the hail damage, there were only three casks of this wine this year, with one barrel being new oak. The wine is excellent and sappy on both the nose and palate, offering up a deep and complex nose of red and black cherries, gamebird, a complex base of soil, woodsmoke, fresh herbs and a deft framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, elegant and nicely reserved out of the blocks, with a fien core of fruit, ripe tannins and a long, nascently complex and very classy finish. This was one of the 2013s where the malo was late to finish and the wine had only been bottled a month prior to my visit. A superb new source for top flight Taillepieds! 2022-2060.”
John Gilman 93 points “The Taillepieds bottling from Clos de la Chapelle was new in 2013. As readers may recall, this hails from a parcel of forty to fifty yearold vines that lie between the rows of Domaines de Montille and Marquis d’Angerville. The 2014 was another very short crop here, as they only produced three casks, whereas in a normal crop, they should have nine! The wine is superb in 2014, delivering a fine aromatic constellation of red berries, red plums, a beautifully complex base of soil tones, gamebirds, pretty spice notes and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is pure, fullbodied, complex and shows good stuffing at the core, with fine focus and grip and a moderately chewy finish. 20242060.”
John Gilman 94 points “The 2016 Clos de la Chapelle was completely destemmed (as is the custom here for that wine), but the Taillepieds included fifty percent whole clusters this year. One of the three casks used for the elevage of the wine was new in 2016 and the wine has turned out beautifully as well. The bouquet delivers a fine blend of cassis, dark berries, espresso, currant leaf, a fien base of dark soil tones, gamebird and a fine, smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with ripe, well-integrated tannins, tangy acids and excellent focus and grip on the very long, poised and well balanced finish. This too is stellar in 2016! 2028-2075.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. A cool, pure, ripe and airy nose combines notes of black cherry, raspberry, plum and a pretty array of floral elements. The exceptionally rich and generous middle weight plus flavors possess good power and punch before concluding in an intensely mineral-driven, youthfully austere and sneaky long finale. I would describe this as an unusually opulent Taillepieds but even so, it’s sufficiently backward as to make clear that at least moderate patience will be required.”
Other Wines, Arriving ETA December:
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Remelluri eschews American oak, finding it too overblown, and instead works with only the highest quality French cooperage. No expense is spared, up and down the line, and these wines are special as a result of that. We will receive our allocation in November of this fantastic 2012 Rioja Gran Reserva—a wine that somehow manages the magic trick of being impressive today and capable of aging for decades. This is one of the landmark wines of Spain and deserves a prominent place in any cellar.
Arriving ETA November:
Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($599.95) $499 pre-arrival special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points “The DNA of Remelluri is here. Wild mountain herb character, structured and firm, these tannins are succulent and deeply expressive. Powerful and assertive red plums, wild cherries and roasting herbs with the oak sitting well. Power and balance. Try from 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, the 2012 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva represents what they are aiming for with this wine, a classical expression of the place, the quintessence of the vineyards. The select their oldest vineyards and age the wine for a long time, coming back to those early years of a modern Rioja that has now turned into a classic. It has some dusty tannins, with good grip and length. It was bottled in 24,238 bottles after an élevage of 26 months. It has been in bottle since May 2015.”
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vignolo, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This wine will be released next September. The 2012 Barolo Riserva Vignolo shows a darkened and enriched side of the graceful Nebbiolo grape. This effort delivers a bit more weight and power with firm structure and balanced but also slightly dry tannins. The wine’s acidity plays an important role in giving this expression such a sharp and focused personality. This wine ages in large oak casks for five years, thus prompting deep complexity and aromatic layering. The Vignolo vines are a bit lower in altitude (from 250 to 310 meters above sea level) compared to San Giuseppe (at 310 to 340 meters above sea level). That lower positioning favors the immediate richness and succulence you taste here.”
Korrell “Von Den Grossen Lagen” Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling. com 94 points “What a beautiful nose of leaves and white flowers, dripping after rain. With aeration, peach, nectarine and mandarin-orange notes emerge. Concentrated, racy and very polished, this is a stunning dry riesling with a long, mineral finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This fruity yet dry Riesling is filled with flavors of currant and gooseberry, while juicy, orangelike acidity cuts through, carrying freshness and providing balance. The complex finish is long and inviting. This nicely sculpted white is ready to drink now, but will only get better with age. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases made.”
K Vintners The Cattle King Syrah, Snipes Mountain 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2016 Syrah Cattle King Upland Vineyard comes from Snipes Mountain and has a singular, pretty, fresh style with more obvious acidity as well as tannins, yet it still stays in the plush, sexy style of the estate. Blue and black fruits, blood orange, violets, and exotic spice notes all define the bouquet and it’s full-bodied, incredibly pure and seamless on the palate. It’s a beautiful wine that’s going to come together nicely for 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for over a decade.”
James Suckling 95 points “From a sloping plot of deep river rock, this has a fresh array of red and blue berries with a fine, stony edge. The palate has a very sleek, composed feel with such length and composure. The purity of blackberry and blueberry flavors is entrancing. Holds so fresh. Drink this now or hold for a decade or more.”
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs ‘Millesime de Collection Vieilles Vignes de Chardonnay’, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($349.95) $299 special
Decanter 97 points “The best-value sparkling wine of any kind that I have tasted in the past five years. In all its raw, youthful innocence, this is the epitome of introverted, tightly coiled restraint. A beguiling transparency of pure acid drive propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with breathtaking, scintillating, crystalline minerality. This is a cuvée of effortless poise and boundless energy. Drinking Window 2023 – 2038.” [Review is for the 750ml, which is bottled as the Special Club. This is the same wine, bottled in magnum.]
Agathe Bursin Riesling Dirstelberg, Alsace 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 91 points “Bright straw-yellow. Aromas of peach, orange oil and white pepper. Supple, dense and broad, showing attractive spicy lift to the ripe flavors of soft citrus fruits, apple and pear. Densely packed, displaying nicely persistent soft citrus high tones and a hint of creamy sweetness that is more obvious than the low 4 g/L r.s. implies. Made from 65-year-old vines that are a different massal selection of Riesling than that planted in the Bollenberg.”
Vinyes d’en Gabriel L’Heravi, Montsant 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 Vinyes d’en Gabriel L’Heravi, Montsant 2017 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Winery note “L’Heravi Joven is seductive, a rich cherry colour with hints of purple. It has a potent bouquet, with notes of red fruit, wild herbs and just a touch of sweet confectionery. In the mouth it is smooth and elegant, with intense flavours accompanied by freshness and nicely integrated tannins. It will continue to display its qualities over the next 3 years or so.”
Keller’s 2018 Gruner Silvaner Trocken is a great alternative to Chardonnay for your fall seafood and vegetable dishes. On the nose, it shows lovely notes of citrus, grapefruit and nectarine. The nectarine notes remain on the palate with a touch of flint/smoke, and while this crisp wine shows great minerality, the texture remains silky, with a long pleasant finish. It is pretty impossible not to finish the bottle in one sitting, so you may want to grab 2 😉
In Stock Now:
Weingut Keller Gruner Silvaner Trocken, Rheinhessen 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
John Gilman 91 points “The 2018 Grüner Silvaner Trocken from Weingut Keller had been bottled only two weeks before my visit, but was showing beautifully. This is 11.5 percent octane this year and offers up a lovely and quite serious nose of tart orange, grapefruit, chalky minerality and a lovely, smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and beautifully balanced, with bright acids and lovely length and grip. Germany’s most popular wine to pair with white asparagus is outstanding this year and a great bargain! 2019-2040.”
New Value Bottlings from Reynvaan
Family-owned and -run, Reynvaan is a hands-on operation that dedicated itself from the start to producing the finest wines from some of the region’s best vineyard sites. They own two vineyards: “In the Rocks” recalls the Rhone valley with its rocky ancient riverbed soil, while the “Foothills in the Sun” vineyard enjoys South-Southwest exposure on one of Washington’s highest-elevation sites, at 1600 feet: good ripening in the day, with acidities preserved at night. Once in the winery, the pursuit of terroir and Washington style becomes Reynvaan’s modus operandi.
The winery is careful to note that these are wines that receive the same treatment as their main wines—organically farmed and hand harvested, with native fermentation and choice cooperage (often Taransaud). In short, these are party Reynvaans—perfect for your holiday gatherings or just to have around as a house red. They arrive early next month in somewhat limited quantities (the winery understandably prefers to put most of its production in higher dollar bottlings) and you’d be wise to stock up now.
Arriving ETA Early November
Reynvaan Unnamed Series Cabernet, Walla Walla 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note “80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. Full body, pencil lead, graphite, cassis, licorice, acacia flower, ripe crushed berries, saddle leather on the nose and a palate full of integrated tannins, with a weighty and lush finish.”
Winery Note “Ripe blueberry, wet stone, dried cherry, Herbs de Provence, touch of leather, hint of licorice, cigar box, marionberry, dark chocolate with refreshing, smooth well integrated tannins, and a long finish of crushed rock.”
Winery Note “Black raspberry, saline, blueberry saltwater taffy, bloody and savory meat elements that combine fresh tannins with a long finish, beautiful balance, and flavors of cracked pepper and Herbs de Provence.”
Guimaro’s Top Wines
Ribeira Sacra, Rodriguez’ home, is a cool climate region through and through. The closest analogue to the vineyards might be the Mosel, in Germany, as both have extremely steep slate vineyards that make you wonder who would think it would be reasonable to farm them. The best wines from here are lean and taut, but with enough fruit to give the structure definition and detail. Guimaro is clearly at the top of the heap and it’s always a treat to be able to offer their top wines, even if in small quantities.
Guimaro A Ponte, Ribeira Sacra 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “A wine that has surprised many when I’ve showed it in a couple of tastings, the 2015 A Ponte is from the first harvest of incredibly young vines. It has less color and is rather light and ethereal, and in a way, it’s not the same style as most of the wines from Guímaro. It’s a project that has taken a long time, because it involved buying many small plots that have belonged to the family since 1898 (they have records) but were in different hands, so they had to find all the different owners. The land didn’t have vines anymore, so they had to replant it in 2010. It’s like an amphitheatre on a 52% to 72% steep slope on slate soils with lots of quartz, iron and mica. The idea was to plant the five red varieties—Mencía, Caíño, Merenzao, Brancellao and Souson—with 2,000 plants of each, initially with the idea to produce varietal wines. But in 2014, they had very few grapes and decided to use all of the varieties together. In 2015, all of the varieties fermented together with 100% full clusters in an oak vat, and the wine matured in used oak barrels for some 17 months. It’s a young and tender red that’s very elegant and subtle, soft and elegant. It’s quite unusual, and the style might change in the future. The vineyard was hit hard by a terrible hailstorm in 2016, so they couldn’t produce it that year; thus, the following wine is from 2017, and it’s a little more structured and powerful than this 2015, even if they are both from warm and dry years. The nose here is beautiful, and what’s surprising is the complexity and depth produced by the extremely young vines. Pedro Guímaro thinks this is a little light on the palate, but I find it superb. This vineyard has been organically farmed from day one. There are some 2,000 bottles of this first year.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “There is a new wine in 2016 from a project that had been in development for two or three years, with the aim to produce a wine between the young unoaked red and Finca Meixeman. Forced by the hail that decimated most of their older vines, they released the first 2016 Camiño Real. This first vintage might not be exactly from all the plots they had in mind, as some were lost that year, but the wine is basically a blend of grapes from plots over 50 years of age in the zone of Amandi in Ribeira Sacra. It might be around 80% Mencía and the rest comprised of all the other varieties found in the old vines. Camiño Real was a path from Doade to Castro Candelas only suitable for horses, not for carriages, that was said to have been used by the kings, hence the name, which means “royal path.” It fermented with 100% full clusters and aged in a combination of oak vats and barriques for around ten months. It’s a subtle and elegant Ribeira Sacra wine that is quite perfumed, with elegant aromas and a polished palate that’s nicely balanced and easy to drink but also has good depth and nuance. It feels very harmonious, and maybe I hit the sweet spot, because the day I tasted it, it was stunning, really elegant and complex. A great debut. 12,00 bottles. It was bottled in late 2017.”
Guimaro Finca Capelinos, Ribeira Sacra 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points “I also tasted the 2015 Finca Capeliños from a ripe and warm year that showed surprisingly fresh, not showing any heat at all. This is a southwest-facing vineyard at 350 meters altitude on schist soils, with nearly centenary vines with mixed varieties but dominated by Mencía. It fermented with 55% full clusters and very long fermentations and a very soft vinification, almost like an infusion to try to not extract too much. It certainly worked fine, and the wine showed great elegance. The palate is super balanced, with very fine tannins and great length. This is very subtle, and it grew in the glass. But it’s in the palate where it shows its greatness. Great showing! It matured in used 225-liter oak barrels for 13 months. This is quite accessible, but it should develop further nuances with some more time in bottle; it kept changing in the glass, developing more balsamic notes, with a hint of mint. 1,100 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2017.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “I tasted the 2015 Finca Meixeman, because the following vintage, 2017, will be bottled and released a little later. Like the rest of the single-vineyard bottlings, they were not able to produce this wine in 2016, as the grapes were hit by hail in August. It comes from vines planted in the 1940s, from the older part of a larger vineyard. The soil mixes slate and granite. They used 60% full clusters to ferment in oak vats with a long, 50-day maceration. The wine matured for five months in oak vats and then was put in used 225- and 500-liter oak barrels for some ten months. Despite the time it has already spent in bottle (almost two and a half years), the wine is still quite tannic and powerful. 2015 was a warm and dry year that delivered concentrated wines. It needs powerful food. 7,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in late 2016.”
Only three bottles available.
Guimaro Finca Pombeiras, Ribeira Sacra 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “Again, the 2015 Finca Pombeiras was also available for tasting, as it had been bottled for four months. In 2015 they harvested a little earlier, because it was a warmer and drier year. This is usually more exuberant and expressive than Capeliños, but the palate does not show the same finesse, even if it’s still one of the most elegant wines of the appellation. These old vineyards are always a field blend where Mencía dominates, but there are myriad other varieties—Caíño, Sousón, Brancellao, Merenzao, Negreda, Garnacha Tintorera and Mouratón. Unfortunately, only some 800 bottles were filled in February 2017.”
Decanter 92 points “Must-try red – Guímaro means ‘rebel’ in Galician and Pedro Rodriguez has taken on that mantle at this exciting estate, one of the first to join the new Ribeira Sacra DO in 1996. This is the most basic of the reds he makes, from high-altitude, old-vine Mencía blended with Caiño and Merenzão (Trousseau). It’s unashamedly pure and juicy, with crunchy, ripe, blue and purple fruit, floral perfume and a mineral tang from the slatey soil. A delicious discovery.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2017 Vino Tinto is a young, unoaked red produced mainly with Mencía grapes and is sold locally with great success. After the 2016 hail, they started to source grapes from zones other than Amandi, so they now have grapes both from the Sil and the Miño. And they feel the Miño adds something to the blend, which is always in search of freshness through blending different zones, altitudes and soils. It’s mostly Mencía, but there is some Garnacha Tintorera and perhaps 10% split between Mouraton, Negreda, Caíño, Sousón and Brancellao. It is a good introduction to the general character of the reds from Ribeira Sacra—it’s approachable, round and polished, with fine tannins and a gentle palate. It has an extroverted character, with wild berries, herbs and flowers. They play with the lees less, moving away from the slightly reductive character of some wines from yesteryear. Very good value too. They produced some 130,00 bottles of this.”
In Stock Now
Yves Cuilleron ‘Sybel’ Syrah Rose, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Importer note “This Rosé is sourced 100% from Syrah grown within the confines of the village of Chavanay. It is produced by the “saignée” method after a brief maceration of several hours. The fermentations are in stainless steel and the elevage continues for about six months before bottling in the spring following harvest.”
The next best price is $16.99
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides, Rhone 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points “Alluring, featuring a wave of crushed boysenberry, raspberry and black currant fruit that melds with tar, roasted tobacco, alder and dark earth notes as this moves along. A sleek sanguine accent and fine acidity skirt under-neath, giving this subtle lift and cut. One for the cellar. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Lush and inviting, with waves of cassis, melted red licorice, plum preserves and boysenberry reduction coursing through, carried by a velvety structure that lets this flow wonderfully. Flashes of apple wood and tar score the finish, which ends with authoritative cut. This is serious. Best from 2035 through 2055.”
Cockburn’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($99.95) $74 pre-arrival special, ETA February 2020
Wine Spectator 96 points “Packed with creamed blueberry, açaí berry and boysenberry fruit and carried by waves of velvety structure and warm fruitcake notes, this is showy in style, featuring an embedded graphite spine, alluring spice details and a flash of floral nuance through the finish, imparting superior range and length. Best from 2032 through 2050.”
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, ETA February 2020
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special, ETA February 2020, only 3 magnums available
Wine Spectator 96 points “A dense, thickly textured version, dripping with warm salted licorice, tar and açaí paste notes, while plum and blueberry pâte de fruit, chai spice and chocolate elements fill in behind. Lots of brambly grip flows underneath. Shows a very sappy feel on the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055.”
Delas makes some of the most powerful, intense wines in the Northern Rhone at prices that make them one of the superior values in the region. Density and richness are a hallmark of both the reds and the whites—there are no shrinking violets in the lineup. We turn to them for big, bold wines that often show very well young—a remarkable trait in their part of France.
For whatever reason, the market has yet to catch up to the quality coming out of Delas’ cellar. The Northern Rhone has turned into one of the hottest markets in the wine world, with many wineries getting expensive overnight. That hasn’t happened to Delas—yet. With the quality of recent vintages and the scores involved, we definitely see it happening soon, though, so if you love these wines now is the time to back up the truck.
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Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Pale green-hued yellow. Penetrating, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and pit fruits are complemented by chalky minerals, violet and fennel accents. Juicy, focused and concentrated, offering intense pear nectar, Meyer lemon and honeysuckle flavors that show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. The mineral and floral notes carry emphatically through a silky, appealingly sweet finish that hangs on with superb focus and tenacity.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “A step up, the bigger, richer 2016 Condrieu Clos Boucher is blockbuster stuff, offering serious notes of crushed rock, buttered citrus, orange blossom, and a smoky, meaty, mineral character that’s hard to describe. Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate concentration and a seamless texture, this beauty will be even better this time next year and keep for 4-6 years.”
The next best price is $94
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.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection! There’s a striking balance here calibrating bold, almost muscular ripeness against an invigorating granite edge. This wine is plump and full bodied, full of supple blackberry and plum flavors balanced by pert acidity and taut, penetrating tannins. It should be in peak from 2020–2035 but hold further.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Inky ruby. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, along with complicating suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers, olive and vanilla. Deep, chewy and expansive in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and salty olive flavors that are complicated by a hint of smoky minerality and a building floral pastille note. Distinctly rich and powerful but surprisingly graceful as well, showing noteworthy clarity and mineral-driven thrust on the strikingly long finish.”
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2013 750ML ($119.95) $59 special
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points “Very dark purple indeed. Altogether broader and less focused than the Côte Rôties on the nose. Peppery and subtle. Very glossy, layered, complex and magnificent. I would reproach this only very slightly on the finish but it’s a pretty magnificent wine.”
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.”
The next best price is $79.97
The average listed price is $89