Midweek Addition 12-4-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

The Iconic Wines of Corton-Charlemagne

Collector’s Corner
Bevan Cellars’ Near-Perfect Cabernet

Castello di Bolgheri and Tuscany’s Bordeaux Inspired Values

Trending Wines

Saint Cosme’s Stellar 2017’s

A Star of the 2015 Barolo Vintage Arrives Next Week


The Iconic Wines of Corton-Charlemagne

The hill of Corton is the most recognizable landmark in Burgundy and the whites that come off of it are as iconic as the sight of the site.  Cascadingly mineral, effusively aromatic and packed with depth and age-worthiness, the wines of Corton-Charlemagne are a jewel of Burgundy.

When they’re on, only the Grand Crus of Montrachet and its satellites rival top-tier Corton-Charlemagne.  In the hands of a producer like Coche, there’s not a more desirable wine in Burgundy and even more affordable examples offer intense white Burgundy experiences.  We’ve secured a number of top examples (in extremely limited quantities, unfortunately) in stock right now and arriving over the course of the winter.  All show the classic minerality and detail of the best wines from the hill.  Lovers of Burgundy would do well to lock these in now.

In Stock Now:

Only one bottle remaining
Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
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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Only eight bottles available
Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($279.95) $225 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
“(malo finished): Bright yellow. Candied lime, underripe pineapple and white peach on the nose, complicated by notes of bergamot and crushed stone. Plush and intense but youthfully reserved, conveying savory crushed-stone minerality; little oak showing despite the fact that nearly 50% was new. The almost painful rising back end features an element of medicinal herbs. A superb wine without any excess weight but still a bit disjointed. (The Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet were just starting their malolactic fermentations at the time of my visit.)”

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The average listed price is $281
Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“The 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru was a normal crop this year since the hillside was not affected by frost. It had quite a strict and laconic bouquet at first that demanded rigorous swirling, eventually revealing attractive cold wet limestone and apple blossom notes (I might have mistook it for a Bâtard-Montrachet if blind!). The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, plenty of sappiness here with a detailed, lightly spiced finish that lingers in the mouth. This is one of my favorite whites from Jadot in 2016.”
Decanter 93 points “This is quite ripe and expressive this year, offering up aromas of yellow orchard fruit, preserved citrus, crème pâtissière and toasted nuts. On the palate the wine is ample, full-bodied and powerful, with some chalky grip on the finish, a generous core of rich, succulent fruit, and good concentration. This seems set to drink well shortly after release. Drinking Window 2019 – 2028.”
Burghound 92-94 points “Like the Montrachet, this is strongly reduced today. The well-detailed and intensely stony medium weight plus flavors possess an excellent sense of underlying tension on the saline and green apple-infused, dry and well-balanced finish. Interestingly, the mouth feel is actually finer than that of the Montrachet though whether that will be the case when these wines are fully mature is another question.”

Only three bottles remaining
Domaine Michel Juillot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Juillot’s parcel in Corton-Charlemagne is adjacent to Coche-Dury. This is always a rich & generous Corton Charlie.

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Only three bottles remaining
Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 91-94 points
“Bright medium yellow. Mineral-driven aromas of crushed stone and petrol. Tightly wound and penetrating, conveying a strong impression of energy to its crushed rock, lemon and wild herb flavors. Offers a lovely combination of density and cut. This very citrussy, dry, slightly bitter grand cru appears to have superb structure for at least mid-term aging but is difficult to assess today.”
Burghound 91-93 points “Strong reduction dominates the fruit at present. Otherwise there is excellent richness to the succulent but punchy and powerful flavors that possess a sleek muscularity as well as ample minerality that really comes up on the long if slightly rustic finish which is unusual for this wine.”

Domaine Rollin Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 special
Burghound 92 points
“An airy and cool nose is composed by notes of admirably fresh Granny Smith apples, floral and soft citrus and spice wisps. There is excellent vibrancy to the notably intense middle weight plus flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the powerful, complex and persistent finish. Note that while this will certainly be capable of rewarding mid-term cellaring, it is less backward and tightly wound than usual.”

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Arriving ETA January:

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“A stoniness underscores the lemon, citronella and clove flavors in this racy white. The chalky texture and light tannins on the finish set this apart. This keeps building, ending with fine energy and a lingering aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2028. 68 cases made”
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2014 Corton­Charlemagne from Clos de la Chapelle is a very fine bottle in the making. The deep and serious nose offers up scents of apple, pear, a touch of iodine, lovely, chalky soil tones, a touch of citrus peel and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full­bodied, complex and rock solid at the core, with lovely mineral drive, crisp acids and excellent length and grip on the nascently complex finish. Fine juice in the making. 2020­2045+”

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Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93+ points
“Having vines on the Pernand side of the hill of Corton must have been an advantage in the hot summer of 2015, and the Clos de la Chapelle version in this vintage has turned out beautifully as a result. This is 13.5 percent alcohol in 2015 (all natural) and the wine is impeccably balanced and drinking with loads of personality out of the blocks. The superb bouquet wafts from the glass in a classic blend of pear, apple, a touch of iodine, stony soil tones, spring flowers, hazelnuts and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely broad-shouldered in style, with excellent concentration at the core, fine soil signature, bright acids and impressive length and grip on the nascently complex and perfectly balanced finish. This is very delicious in its wide open youth, but really could do with at least a couple of years in the cellar to allow its secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. 2024-2030+.”

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points
“Yields here were brutally low because of the frost damage, with Mark O’Connell reporting that they were only able to realize fifteen hectoliters per hectare in the vineyard in 2016. This amounted to two barrels, with one of them new this year. The wine is outstanding, coming in at around 12.5 percent alcohol and offering up a stunning young nose of apple, pear, fresh almond, a very refined signature of limestone minerality, orange zest and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and rock solid at the core, with great mineral drive, bright, snappy acids and outstanding length and grip on the focused, pure and still quite primary finish. Great Corton Charlie in the making. 2022-2050+”

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points
“The 2017 Corton-Charlemagne from Domaine Clos de la Chapelle is an excellent wine and a classic example of this great grand cru. The youthfully complex nose wafts from the glass in a refined blend of apple, pear, a touch of iodine, limestone minerality, white flowers, a hint of fresh almond and a lovely foundation of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with an excellent core of fruit, lovely backend mineral drive, bright, zesty acids and outstanding focus and balance on the long and utterly classic finish. This is not an overly muscular example of Corton-Charlemagne, but rather a wine of excellent depth and intensity of flavor that will deliver a very complex and elegant interpretation of this great terroir in the fullness of time. A quintessential example of Pernand-side Corton Charlie! 2022-2060”
Burghound 93 points “(from En Charlemagne in Pernand). Here the wood treatment is more subtle if by no means invisible as it frames the petrol, citrus, green apple and soft spice nuances. There is markedly more size, weight and mid-palate density to the succulent but powerful flavors that culminate in a tightly wound finish. Unlike the prior two wines that could reasonably be approached in their youth, this is clearly going to require at least a few years of patience.”

Vincent Girardin Quintessence de Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“From a single parcel in Aloxe that neighbors one of Domaine Coche-Dury’s, the 2017 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Quintessence de Corton-Charlemagne offers up a lovely bouquet of ripe citrus fruit, white flowers and honeycomb. It’s full-bodied, textural and massively concentrated, with a deep and layered mid-palate, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. This expresses the ampler, more powerful side of Corton-Charlemagne and it’s one of Girardin’s finest 2017s.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “(always from the same vines in Aloxe-Corton): Bright yellow. Musky lime and crushed stone on the nose. Rich and full but penetrating as well, offering a bracing combination of acidity and crushed-stone minerality. This tactile, densely packed, lemon-limey wine shows a light touch and finishes salty, dry and very long, with terrific energy and grip. This wine needs time and should enjoy a slow and graceful evolution in bottle, but its impeccable balance should also give it early appeal. In fact, it’s downright delicious right now!”

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Collector’s Corner

Bevan Cellars’ Near-Perfect Cabernet

Bevan Cellars has quickly emerged as one of the top handful of Napa Cabernet producers in a crowded marketplace.  Since their founding in 2005, they’ve earned multiple perfect scores for their bold, silky style.  These are intense expressions of Cabernet (and a few impressive Cabernet-based blends) that manage to be delicious and texturally impressive now.  They don’t see a lot of action in the retail world (most of their wine is sold to a fervent mailing list) but we’ve got our hands on some, in stock now.

In Stock Now

Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Advocate 97+ points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color with an earthy, meaty, broody nose with notes of mocha over baked plums and crème de cassis plus wafts of spice box and mincemeat. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated, rich and earthy with great vibrancy on the finish. 839 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “From a steep hillside in Oakville, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard offers a more savory, masculine, layered style as well as a huge nose of red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and earth. It hits the palate with a full-bodied, mouthfilling style that carries plenty of tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. I like it today, yet it’s going to continue drinking brilliantly for two decades.”

Bevan Cellars Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is scented of pure plums and ripe blueberries with redcurrants and touches of lavender, roses, bay leaves and dusty earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, fine-grained, vibrant and refreshing, finishing long and perfumed. 1,403 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2016 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, which is the smallest amount of Cabernet Franc to date. Brought up in new barrels, it has gorgeous blue fruits, violets, spring flowers, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and just about as seamless and silky as it gets, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 15 years or more.”

Bevan Cellars ‘Ontogeny’ Red, Oakville 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“While the 2016 Ontogeny Red Wine might be the least expensive wine in the lineup, it’s unquestionably at the same quality level as the top tier releases. Boasting a saturated purple color and sensational notes of plums, currants, chocolate, and graphite, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, incredible opulence and decadent, no hard edges and perfect overall balance. It’s the real deal, and readers should snatch up this beauty.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Blended of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, the deep purple-black colored 2016 Ontogeny Proprietary Red Wine gives pure blackberries, black cherries and blueberries with bay leaves and black pepper plus a touch of cedar. The palate is medium to full-bodied, fresh, grainy and harmonious, finishing long and juicy. 2,963 cases produced.”

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Castello di Bolgheri

And Tuscany’s Bordeaux Inspired Values

Top quality Bordeaux keeps going up in price.  It’s a sad, if inevitable truth in the wine world—which led us to wonder “who’s making the best values in truly top-class Bordeaux out there?”  Now, the initial question was directed within Bordeaux, but as we kept throwing out names of Chateaus, the obvious retort would come “well, so-and-so in Tuscany is making better wine, in the same style and it costs $N less.” —so we came to the (logical) conclusion that the best value in Bordeaux is Tuscany.

As Bordeaux estates have modernized their styles and the number of non-Sangiovese Super Tuscans have increased, the Italian wines seem to scratch the same itch for a lot less scratch.  A prime example? The Castello di Bolgheri, whose flagship wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, just like a top left-bank Bordeaux.

The Castello di Bolgheri dates back to the 1200’s, but the winery as we know it began in the late 1700’s, when cellars were added.  In the modern period, the estate has become known both for the quality of its wines as well as their integrated approach to agriculture.  Of the 130 hectares the estate owns (bordering the famed cypress road of Giosuè Carducci) only 50 are devoted to vines.  The rest is woods and olive groves that produce exquisite oil. From those vineyards comes wine that’s rich and sensuous, constantly critically acclaimed and a fantastic value compared to the Bordeaux in its class.

Arriving December 11th:

Wine Spectator Insider Hot Wine!
Castello di Bolgheri Bolgheri Superiore,Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Very tightly wound, with a dense bed of tannins providing support for the black currant, black cherry, wild herb, mineral and earth flavors. Ripe, yet lively, showing fine intensity on the fruit-, mineral- and tar-filled aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2040.”

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Looking for other wines in the same vein? Check out these other Bordeaux inspired Tuscan bottles, in stock now:

Classical, dusty and very St. Estephe inspired. Fantastic value considering the age.
Tua Rita Giusto di Notri Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2008 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“This fabulous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot delivers loads of plush softness and succulent richness. Aromas of chocolate, ripe fruit and spice are distinct and clear, and the wine shows compelling complexity and intensity overall.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2008 Giusto di Notri is wonderfully alive in the glass. Dark red berries, flowers, spices, grilled herbs, licorice and leather are some of the notes that flesh out in this dazzling, vibrant Giusto di Notri. Polished tannins provide the backdrop for the silky, expressive finish. A final blast of red fruit adds freshness and brightness on the close. Giusto di Notri is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.”

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The next best price is $69
#25 Wine of the Year – James Suckling Top 100 in 2018
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Case-6 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($599.95) $499 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 99 points
“Gorgeous floral and deep, dark berry aromas with hints of spices such as cinnamon and hazelnuts. Full body and ultra-fine and strong tannins that are powerful yet so sleek and beautiful. Fantastic length and texture. Deep, dark and profound. Takes you on a long journey and shows you its true character. Better in 2025. Give it time.”

This Cabernet/Merlot/Franc blend reminds us of a classed growth from Margaux, with its elegance and structure.
Podere Sapaio ‘Sapaio’ Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
James Suckling 96 points
“So much fresh pressed violet and blackberry character as well as iodine, quartz, slate and tile. Full body, grippy yet linear and polished tannins, fine acidity and a long, minerally finish. So refined. Drink in 2020.”

A pretty wine that drinks like a St. Emilion/Pessac hybrid—and a great deal.
Poggio al Tesoro ‘Il Seggio’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“($60) Fresh black currant and leafy flavors announce this juicy red. Wild herb, graphite and olive notes complete the picture as this unwinds on the lingering aftertaste. Very youthful, yet has all the components, including a dense structure. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2021 through 2033.”
James Suckling 93 points “A super refined and pretty red with sweet tobacco, currant and berry character. Red stone. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Drink now.”

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In the same class as Petrus, etc. 
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) $229 special
James Suckling 100 points
“This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush and polished, featuring a cashmere texture caressing vanilla, chocolate, black cherry and plum flavors. Well-balanced, with a persistent finish. The harmony hides a solid structure. Decant now. Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032.”

Gaja makes great wines wherever they go—especially in a year like ’10.
Gaja Ca’Marcanda ‘Camarcanda’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2010 Bolgheri Camarcanda is an exceptional wine with a level of aromatic intensity and integrity that is impossible to exaggerate. The blend is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, in that order of importance. The bouquet is impeccable and refined, with deep layers of Morello cherry, cassis, dried blackberry and spice that peel back in quick succession. The oak component is beautifully integrated, imparting notes of chocolate and tobacco that complete this beautiful portrait of Tuscan winemaking. Hold this bottle for a few more years.”

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Cabernet dominant with a healthy splash of Petit Verdot, this reminds us of new-wave Napa meets Pauillac.
Fattoria Le Pupille ‘Saffredi’ Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
James Suckling 96 points
“Sexy blueberry, spice and black pepper. Mushroom. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Extremely long and just starting to come around now. Needs a little more time in bottle. Splendid finish. Try in 2019 but already amazing.”

We have 133 different wines (either in stock or pre-arrival) from Tuscany available to purchase right now.  Head to our webstore for the full list!


Trending Wines

Big, bold, and, thanks to the ’17 vintage, surprisingly seductive young.
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2017 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the 2017 Gigondas les Souteyrades—from a clay-based, north-facing site—is rich and earthy, with cinnamon and cola notes accenting dark plums and black cherries. It’s full-bodied and velvety, adding hints of chocolate on the long finish.-JC”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Black cherries, garrigue, leather, and a kiss of spice emerge from the 2017 Gigondas Les Souteyrades, which is Grenache and Mourvèdre brought up in foudre. It’s medium to full-bodied, has light tannins, beautiful balance, and a charming, elegant style. As with the other releases here in 2017, it’s a seamless, layered, complex wine that relies more on elegance and complexity than overt power and richness.”

Old school California Cabernet with real structure and vivacity.
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note
“The six-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted on Old Hill Ranch in 1983 by our neighbor who leased the vineyard until 2004. The original vines were planted on AXR rootsock, meaning that they are infected with phyloxera and their roots are compromised.  The net effect is a very devigorated vine, producing low yields.  The wines from this block tend towards austere and lean, harking back to Cabernets of yesteryear…”

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The next best price is $41.99
We can’t keep it on the shelf.
Seghesio Family Vineyards Defiant, Alexander Valley 2015 750ML ($32.95) $16 special
Case-12 Seghesio Family Vineyards Defiant, Alexander Valley 2015 750ML ($379.95) $168 special (that’s only $14/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 91 points
“Savory black cherry aromas lead to well-framed flavors of sage and pepper. A new blend from this winery offers the zest of Zinfandel with the focus of Cabernet Sauvignon. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante, Barbera and Syrah. Drink now through 2027. 5,000 cases made.”

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The next best price is $29.94
Always on the shortlist for best value in the Champagne section.
R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
No reviews for this disgorgement. Review for May 2018 disgorgement:
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is especially bright and tense in this release, whereas it has previously been a bit more creamy. No matter, this Coutier’s 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Ambonnay remains one of the best wines in the range, as well as a hidden gem in Champagne. Lemon peel, mint and freshy cut white flowers add energy to a gorgeous Champagne loaded with both character and distinction. This release is 60% 2013 and 40% reserve wines. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. Disgorged: May 2018.”

The best rosé deal in the store right now? It’s hard to argue otherwise.
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($17.95) Was $14, Now $11.90 Black Friday Special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Light vivid orange. Deeply perfumed raspberry, tangerine and candied rose scents are accompanied by a slowly building hint of succulent herbs. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and red berry preserve flavors and a refreshingly spicy touch of white pepper. Finishes velvety and long, displaying resonating florality and an energizing jolt of dusty minerals.”
VinopolNote: Spicy and citrusy, like a squeeze of lemon and spicy rub on your grilled fish & chicken. 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 7% Mourvèdre, 3% Counoise from 25 year old vines. Biodynamic.

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The best under-the-radar prestige cuvee out there.
Deutz Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Decanter 97 points
“Amour was created by Deutz’s long-standing managing director, Fabrice Rosset. It’s a prestige blanc de blancs which is only made in the best years, so there was little surprise when Deutz produced an Amour from the highly acclaimed 2008 vintage. This really has it all: freshness, extract, power, balance and concentration. Already, the primary nose shows chamomile and iris, while the palate is crammed with white fruits, nougat, chamomile, candied fruit and minerals. Deutz’s signature spine-tingling acidity balances out the weight and creamy texture of this generous, well structured fizz. It’s fabulous as an aperitif now but it will also develop well into old age as a gastronomic wine with delicate seafood dishes. 40,000 bottles produced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The citrus-colored 2008 Amour de Deutz Brut Millésime is still yeasty on the nose, but very clear and elegant on the palate. This is a super pure and mineral, well-balanced Millésime with a long, intense and persistent finish. This is full of tension and finesse. A great wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “[Review is for 375ml] This wine is rich and surprisingly full-bodied. It comes from a great Champagne vintage, giving it both intensity and an acidity built for longterm aging. This half-bottle version is filling out, showing almond flavors yet retaining its citrus edge. Drink from 2019.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2008 Brut Millésimé Amour de Deutz is gorgeous. Bright and focused in the glass, the 2008 is full of nuance. A hint of reduction adds complexity without overpowering the wine. Crushed rocks, lemon confit and passion fruit flavors offer an appealing interplay of brightness and more overt flavors. The Amour is one of the more open, accessible 2008s readers will come across at this stage. Today, it is particularly expressive.”

Blockbuster Syrah that’s radically discounted.  A winner all ways ’round.
Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Syrah, Sonoma County 2014750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Syrah, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($599.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points
“This is a big and rich wine with lots of dried berry and chocolate character. Full body, layered and rich. Very long and flavorful. Drink now.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Syrah Benoist Ranch has notes of preserved plums, blueberry pie and black forest cake with hints of Indian spices, violets and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the structure on the mouth is seamless and fine, defining the berry preserves flavors and finishing long and perfumed.”

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Powerful and exotic dry Gewurtz from a favorite producer.
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
: The Zinnkoepflé vineyard has been recognized as a top site since the beginning of vine cultivation in Alsace.  Known especially for Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the vineyard sits in a protected area that allows for exceptional sun exposure while limiting risk of botrytis and other problems.  The shelly-limestone soils provide for great acidity, so wines from here are always both rich and racy—a rare and impressive combination.

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The highlight of the 2016 K Vintners lineup.
Charles Smith K Vintners The Hidden Syrah, Wahluke Slope 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points
“Flirting with perfection, the 2016 Syrah The Hidden is a classic example of the old saying “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” Beautiful notes of dark fruits, damp earth, iron, and crushed rocks as well as ground pepper all emerge from this full-bodied effort that has no hard edges, a terrific mid-palate, sweet tannins, and a finish that goes on for over a minute. It’s a brilliant, brilliant Syrah and one of the wines of the vintage.”
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of sweet earth, pepper, espresso, plums and blackberries follow to the palate. This delivers a big, bold hit of ripe, sweet and round fruit with a very encompassing feel, married with a class and breed that really sets it apart. Nothing pedestrian, but a lovingly familiar syrah. Drink from 2023.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points “Bright red-ruby. Musky dark raspberry, leather, black pepper and a whiff of shoe polish on the complex nose; yet more evidence of how different all these Syrah cuvées are. A seriously vibrant, fine-grained midweight in the mouth, offering terrific perfumed lift to its nuanced flavors of raspberry, spices, lavender and dried oregano. A hint of almost lemony acidity and a suggestion of orange peel contribute to the overall impression of vibrancy and lift. Smooth tannins saturate the front teeth on the very long, spicy aftertaste. (from broken volcanic soils with a bit of limestone)”
Saint Cosme’s Stellar 2017’s

“2017 will be another impressive vintage and should surpass 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015… Quantities are going to be limited as Grenache (and other varieties to a lesser extent) was hammered by a cold spell in April, causing massive and unprecedented grape shatter (or coulure in French).  As to the wines, they show sunny, Provençal characters with more red fruit-driven aromatics and forward, expressive profiles. Tannin quality can be erratic, yet the top wines exude charm and sweet fruit. Very few of the wines have the mid-palate density and sheer grandeur of the 2016s, but there are some beautiful wines in this vintage, most of which will be approachable in their youth. There just won’t be much to go around.” – Jeb Dunnuck, on 2017 in the Southern Rhone

Saint Cosme is one of the notable estates of the Southern Rhone. Louis Barroul is a talented winemaker and is the 14th generation of his family to make wines in the domaine that was founded in the 1500’s. The wines he makes are rich and powerful, with undeniable terroir signatures.  To highlight these varying terroirs, the estate bottles a handful of single vineyard Gigondas which are the most interesting and coveted wines in the portfolio.

The 2017’s are some of the best wines they’ve yet made.  The Valbelle cuvee is gone—blended in to the base level Gigondas.  The remaining single vineyards are stunning.  From the “best of everything” Hominis Fides to the more elegant Le Claux or the richer, more powerful Le Poste, these are a world-beating set of wine—at fantastic, best in country pricing.

In Stock Now:

Chateau St. Cosme – Southern Rhone 2017’s
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2017 750ML ($499.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 93 points
“($60)This offers a mix of dark cherry, currant and blackberry compote flavors, scored liberally with singed alder, dried sage and warm earth accents through the finish. A flash of chestnut at the very end keeps this in the old-school camp. Solid for the vintage. Best from 2022 through 2035.—J.M.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2017 Gigondas is another terrific vintage for this cuvée, and it’s a quintessential expression of Saint Cosme. Ground herbs, graphite, gunpowder, pepper, black raspberries, and cassis all emerge from this full-bodied, ripe, polished Gigondas. With solid concentration, building yet ripe tannins, and a great finish, you’ll be thrilled to have a case in the cellar.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Loaded with notes of black olives and black cherries, the full-bodied 2017 Gigondas is rich and velvety in the mouth. I’m not sure it’s quite as good as the 2018, but it’s certainly no slouch, with a long, silky finish that picks up a hint of cocoa.”
Decanter 92 points “Whole-cluster fruit from limestone, marl and Miocene sand soils is fermented in concrete with indigenous yeasts. It’s then aged 70% in barrel, 20% new, with the remaining 30% in concrete. It has a very oaky aromatic profile at this early stage, but it’s joined by a lovely herbal aspect from the stems. Medium to full-bodied, the fruit has a vibrant freshness and the acidity is pretty marked, while the tannins are massy but ripe and harmonious. Long finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides, Rhone 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“The 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides plays in the same realm. As with the Le Claux, it’s all Grenache, not destemmed, and was brought up in roughly 30% new Burgundy barrels. Blackberries, freshly ground pepper, light gunpowder, and crushed rock notes all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied, powerful and concentrated on the palate. Possessing incredible elegant and ultra-fine tannins, this beauty just glides over the palate with no hard edges. Nevertheless, it has loads of structure and will benefit from 2-4 years of cellaring.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Hot Wine! 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 Advocate 95 points “More peppery and floral than it was looking last year from barrel, the 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another gorgeous Gigondas from the talented Louis Barruol. Boasting vibrant cassis fruit and hints of dark chocolate, this full-bodied, velvety-textured wine is a real beauty, showing terrific harmony and elegance on the finish.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“Notes of camphor, dried soil, crushed rocks, and loads of red and black fruits define the 2017 Gigondas Le Claux, which is 100% Grenache from a site just down the road from the estate. I always find a certain Burgundian character in this cuvée and it’s certainly present in the 2017. With medium to full body, a beautiful elegance and purity, and fine tannins, give bottles a few years and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Gigondas le Claux features deep blue and black fruit on the nose. It’s full-bodied in the mouth, with a generous, silky mouthfeel and an expansive, voluptuous finish that folds in hints of dark chocolate and salted licorice. All Grenache, from vines planted in the 19th century, it’s a terrific Gigondas.”
Decanter 93 points “Fermented in concrete with no destemming and indigenous yeasts, then 100% matured in barriques, one-third new, one-third second use and one-third third use. The wood gives it strong clove notes, joined on the silky palate by raspberry, strawberry coulis and strawberry eau-de-vie. A fine patina of wet-clay tannins coat your lips, slightly drying the palate and leading to a long finish. The St Cosme single-vineyard wines are undoubtedly impressive and strongly oak-influenced, displaying masterful work in the cellar – but they will be too oaky for some tastes, especially in their youth.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $125
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste, Rhone 2017 750ML ($139.95) $109 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points
“More closed and backward than either the Hominis Fides or Le Claux, the 2017 Gigondas Le Poste is nevertheless just as impressive and offers its hallmark purity and elegance paired with stunning richness and depth. Black and blue fruits, crushed rocks, graphite, and a beautiful violet character all define the bouquet. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, it’s the purity of fruit and balance that set this beauty above just about every other Gigondas out there. Do your best to hide bottles for at least 4-5 years.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “More civilized than it was last year out of barrel, the 2017 Gigondas le Poste boasts lovely blueberry and cassis fruit. It’s full-bodied and intense yet silky and darn near elegant on the palate. Don’t underestimate the quantity of (ripe) tannins here, which provide a pleasant chewiness to the long, salted-licorice finish.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is packed with steeped fig, blackberry and boysenberry confiture notes, laced liberally with violet, anise, tobacco and lavender accents. Has enough grip through the finish to keep it honest, with tar and juniper notes adding spine and heft. A beauty. Best from 2020 through 2035. From France.—J.M.”
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Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Le Poste Blanc, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Importer Note
“Château de Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc Le Poste is from a 1-hectare terraced vineyard that sits near the chapel of Saint Cosme, a short uphill climb from the winery. The maximum elevation is 280 meters, 140 meters above the Gigondas valley floor, and is one of the coolest vineyards in Gigondas. The terraces and elevation make it necessary to plow the vineyard by horse. The vineyard was replanted in 1963 by Henri Barruol to a field blend based mainly on Grenache and one small parcel of Clairette from which Le Poste Blanc is produced. This 100% Clairette was vinified in used traditional demi-muids without malolactic fermentation and aged 10 months on lees. Clairette is an old variety that likely originated in southern France often used to produce simple and crisp dry white wines or as a component in a blend such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc. White wines from Clairette have a tradition at Saint Cosme, specifically at Le Poste, where Louis Barroul’s grandfather produced famously long-lived Le Poste Blanc. Limestone soils give Le Poste Blanc a flavor of gunflint and the ability to age for twenty years or more. “
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Saint Cosme – Northern Rhone ’17’s
Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“A bold style, with quince, lemon curd, creamed pear, apricot and white peach flavors lending range and weight. Verbena and warm brioche details infuse the lush finish. Very showy and pulls it off. Drink now through 2021. From France.—J.M”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $68.94
The average listed price is $75
Saint Cosme Cote Rotie, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2017 Côte Rôtie is another satisfying, character-filled wine. Complex notes of blackberries, ground herbs, new leather, and violets flow to a medium to full-bodied, layered, complete, balanced Côte Rotie that’s going to shine for 10-15 years. It has some feral, wild notes as well as plenty of old-school character.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93-94 points “Deep, bright-rimmed magenta. Expressive dark berry, cherry, olive, peony and smoky bacon aromas are sharpened by cracked pepper and smoky mineral flourishes. Juicy blackberry, cassis, cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors show very real energy and becomes sweeter with air. Rich, but energetic in style, showing solid finishing thrust and building tannins that add shape and youthful grip.”

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Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Grapelive 93 points
“The beautiful and sultry 2017 Crozes from Louis Barruol at Chateau de Saint Cosme is highly entertaining, complex and remarkably easy to quaff even now in its infancy with classic terroir influences and warmly ripe dark fruits, making for a seductive 100% Serine heirloom clone Syrah. Barruol, famous for his estate Gigondas southern Rhone wines, loves his northern Rhone negotiant bottlings, especially his Crozes-Hermitage notes that Syrah at Crozes-Hermitage shows (us) what the balance of a Syrah can and should be, suffused with freshness and pretty peony aromas, and a salty palate that gives depth, but unfurls with no heaviness. I wholeheartedly agree and this vintage has it all and more showing layers of pepper laced blackberry, blueberry, black currants and damson plum fruits along with crushed violets, graphite, loamy earth and black licorice to start with a nice burst of acidity, satiny tannin, a touch of cedar and sweet smoke, all with a vinous textured elegance. Saint Cosme really allows the place and vintage to speak in its most true and best voice in its wines, and this Crozes especially proves this point and is an example of authentic and classic varietal purity… making for outrageous value for the money. For the 2017 version, Barruol and team did 100% de-stemming and fermented in vats before aging the Crozes in 20% new oak casks, with the remaining wine in once and twice used barrels for 12 months. Saint Cosme sourced this wine from extraordinary hillside vines set in granite soils around the villages of Crozes, Larnage, Gervans and Ero^me where Barruol has contracts with old vine parcels… This is irresistible stuff showing gorgeous detail and is fabulous with an array of cuisines from Korean BBQ to Zuni Chicken, in particular it is joyous with lamb kabob and or wild mushroom dishes, drink now or hold for 3 to 5 years.”

Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph, Rhone 2017 750ML ($419.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“A step up, the 2017 Saint Joseph offers another level of class and purity. Beautiful blackberry, black raspberries, cured meats, and pepper notes give way to a medium to full-bodied Saint Joseph that has subtle oak, a seamless texture, and fine tannins. It’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Looking for more St. Cosme wines from other vintages?
Head to our webstore to see what ’13’s, ’14’s, ’15’s and 16’s odds and ends are in stock now!



A Star of the 2015 Barolo Vintage

Arrives Next Week

Mauro Molino is a producer whose flagship Barolo, the “Conca” bottling, we carry every vintage.  The 2015 is especially good—bold, rich, round and surprisingly accessible already.  We’re glad we have a track record with the wine, because given the price (under $60) and the score (94 points from the Wine Advocate) allocations tightened up this year.  We have a mere twenty-four bottles arriving next Friday and if you want some, buy it quickly.

Arriving Friday, December 13th:

Mauro Molino Vigna Conca, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The Mauro Molino 2015 Barolo Conca is the most impressive and firmly compact of the wines presented this year from this estate in the picturesque, hilltop village of La Morra. Indeed, this wine showcases the textbook La Morra characteristics of fine fruit, elegant tannins and an elongated, streamlined mouthfeel. This Barolo floats forward over the palate with the grace of a snowy egret. It shows a glossy and polished approach that merits pause and consideration. Fermentation is in stainless steel and aging takes place in barrique. A mere 3,068 bottles were released.”

Also available in limited quantities, the 2013 Conca, in stock now:

Mauro Molino Vigna Conca, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2013 Barolo Conca offers a powerful and savory approach. The nose is dark and luscious with generous fruit layering and balanced intensity. That fruit is tightly knit together with important acidity and a firm tannic structure that bodes well for the future cellar aging of this Barolo from La Morra.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A firmly structured red, whose cherry, strawberry, leather and underbrush flavors are shy now. Balanced and elegant, needing time for the fruit to shine. A sun-kissed hay accent graces the finish. Best from 2021 through 2035. 245 cases made.”

We have 94 different Barolos in stock and available for purchase pre-arrival.  You can view the entire list on our web store.

Thanks for reading!