Midweek Addition 4-9-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

Perfect Pinks for Patio-Sipping Pleasure

Subscriber Specials
Il Poggione at Insane Prices
+ The Washington Insider’s Pick: B. Leighton

Caiarossa – A Dual 94 Point Super Tuscan – Under $50

David Schildknecht Reviews A. J. Adam’s In der Sangerei


An Assortment of Serious New Wines

Arriving This Month: 2016 Le Pergole Torte

Collector’s Corner
New Releases from Domaine Clape



Perfect Pinks for Patio-Sipping Pleasure

Spring has sprung.  It’s officially the start of the rosé heavy time of the year. To kick things off right, here are some of our top picks for delicious pink wine drinking.

In Stock Now:

One of the most interesting and undervalued producers in Bandol.  They’re a historic estate with some of the most privileged vineyards in the region. The Moulin des Costes is a vineyard close to the ocean and you can almost feel that sea breeze in the wine.  It’s a fantastic rose and a total steal at half the price of Tempier. 

Domaine Bunan Moulin des Costes Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
“Hints of crushed stone and lime zest appear on the nose of the 2018 Bandol Rose Moulin des Costes, a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. Although only light to medium-bodied, it’s pleasantly silky in texture, with ample length on the refined, elegant finish.” -Wine Advocate

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $27

Andy: like the best early Hood Strawberries with a dash of citrus. It reminds you that somewhere, the sun is shining.
Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“A fruity and generous rosé, with strawberry and clay aromas, which perfectly matches with barbecues. Drink within the next two years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Sancerre is best known for white wines, but the rosés (made from Pinot Noir) deserve broader attention.  The wines are as crisp, bright and refreshing as the whites, but with the delicate red fruit component you’d expect.  If you’re looking for extremely dry, refreshing rosé then you should be drinking this.

Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $19.50 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Pale, shimmering pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red currant, strawberry and blood orange aromas are complemented by a suave floral nuance. Shows impressive energy and precision on the palate, which displays intense citrus fruit, red berry and floral pastille flavors supported a bracing spine of dusty minerality. The floral note comes back strong on the bright, focused finish, which leaves a building mineral note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $25

Every year, James Suckling conducts a wide-ranging rosé tasting in Thailand.  It’s always a fun report to read and there are always one or two wines that we get turned onto as a result.  A few years ago, Chateau Routas won and we discovered the wine as a result. We’ve bought it for the shop ever since and lo and behold it won again this year.  This is a classic Provençal rosé: crisp, pale and dry.  It’s been a customer favorite over the last few years and this vintage looks to be one of the best.  

Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special, re-arriving Friday, April 10th
Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 1.5L ($34.95) $28 special, 14 magnums in stock now

2019 Best in Show; 2019 Best Value – James Suckling
James Suckling 93 points “The nose here is immediately captivating with its freshness, focus and interest. It suggests sea salt, thyme, freshly squeezed nectarines and a touch of well-executed, lifted citrus. The palate shows some good density and the fruit/acid balance is played out nicely. Medium-bodied and sleek and refreshing. Makes you come back for more. Routas on the money as always. Drink now.”

The Saint-Ser rosé, from Provence, has been a Vinopolis favorite for several years.  It’s classically Provencal, with a bright, crisp disposition.  We love everything about it except the name—when customers come in and ask for it (which happens fairly often) it can be hard to know whether they’re looking for Saint-Ser or Sancerre.  Despite the confusion, it’s a wine we love to carry every year.  If you buy it online, you don’t have to worry about how to say it, either.

Domaine de Saint Ser Cotes de Provence Tradition Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
“A unique blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and a touch of Rolle grapes give this wine an unusually complex aroma. Each grape variety contributes its own note: a red-berry aroma from the Grenache, the finesse of the Cinsault, the intensity of the Syrah, and a hint of citrus from the Rolle.”–Winery Notes

Always a top pick among staff and subscribers, this lightly spritzy rose is an over-the-top performer here. It has a chalky acidity, low alcohol and a citrus vibe that just screams refreshment. The only challenge with this wine is how to keep it in stock. Enjoy now and whenever the sun is shining.

Re-arriving Friday, April 10th
Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2019 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2019 750ML ($319.95) $229 pre-arrival special
(that’s only $19.08/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Subscriber Special

Il Poggione at Insane Prices

Any lover of Brunello—no, any lover of Italian wine—should have a case of Il Poggione’s Brunello in their cellar if they can afford it.  The combination of classical proportions and attention grabbing power and complexity is extremely rare in a wine, especially at these sorts of prices.  They are truly Great Brunello, along with names like Biondi-Santi, Soldera, Saliciutti, etc. except at half (or less) the price of its peer group. Il Poggione made some of the wines of the vintage in both 2013 and 2012 (both excellent years) and we’re dropping the prices on both of them for you, our email subscribers.

In Stock and On Sale Now:

“precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) Was $61.90, Now $55 Subscriber Special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95 points “Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $77

“This is one of the year’s best Brunellos”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) Was $59, Now $55 Subscriber Special
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $80


Looking for our great deals and shipping specials to continue?
Tell a friend who’s not on our email list to take advantage of this great offer and keep us busy in these unusual times!


Subscriber Special

The Washington Insider’s Pick: B. Leighton

These are do-not-miss wines for anyone who loves the K wines and old school, Rhone inflected Washington State reds.  Full of generous fruit and beautiful earthy and floral tones, these are wines that are powerful and delicious on release, but have the track record and pedigree to age.

We’re dropping our already great pricing on two of these wines until Friday night—leaving Washington wine lovers no excuses about putting these in their collections.

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Friday, April 10th at 6PM

B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Gratitude, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) Was $41.90, Now $36 Subscriber Special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The Mourvèdre-dominated 2016 Gratitude Blend (there’s 25% Grenache and 5% Syrah) is a flat-out awesome wine as well as possibly the greatest expression of the variety to come out of Washington State. Beautiful notes of black and blue fruits, dried earth, peppery spice, and loads of floral and rose petal notes all flow to a full-bodied red that has an incredible sense of elegance and purity as well as richness and depth. It’s great today and will be great in a decade.”
Charles Smith / K Vintner’s Winery Note “Another year, another beauty to be thankful for. Very expressive and vibrant with currants, cherries, fresh tobacco and star anise. This wine twists and turns broadly, but with focus, continuing with cured meats to a warm gravel finish.70% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 5% Syrah / 100% co-fermented and whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 33 days on skins / 100% neutral French oak puncheons / 19 mo. barrel-aged on lees.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $42

B. Leighton Olsen Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) Was $45, Now $39 Subscriber Special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2016 Syrah comes from a site in the Yakima Valley that was planted by Leighton. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by classic Syrah notes of dark berry fruits, smoke tobacco, olive tapenade, and ground pepper. Medium to full-bodied, with both freshness and richness, it’s impeccably balanced, with beautiful fruit and a great finish. It’s another seriously good wine from Brennon that delivers the goods. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”
Charles Smith / K Vintner’s Winery Note “Deep, dark, and brooding. Dare I say seductive? Black plum, exotic owers, grilled meats, sage, and wet earth. Finishes bold and lovely with purity. This wine is dynamic!100% Syrah / 100% whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 39 days on skins / 20% new, 80% once-used French oak puncheons / 19 mo. barrel-aged on lees.”

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Friday, April 10th at 6PM



A Dual 94 Point Super Tuscan – Under $50

Looking for a high scoring Super Tuscan under $50 from the owner of Chateau Giscours?  We’ve got you covered.  (If you weren’t looking for one, perhaps you should be).  This stunner just arrived and is ready for your table (or cellar!) This coastal Tuscan estate was founded in 1998. A thoughtful exploration of the land’s terroir let the original owners to subdivide the vineyard into 12 parcels as defined by their soil type, carefully selecting the ideal varieties for each parcel’s planting. Even in the cellar is thought and respect given to the grapes: new oak is kept to a minimum to highlight rather than overwhelm terroir. The results are impressive, reminiscent of the early years of Tignanello in price, quality and potential. 

So get in before everyone else does and enjoy from one of the greatest Tuscan vintages of the decade:

In Stock Now:

Caiarossa Rosso di Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“($65) Vanilla, toast and coffee aromas wrap around the core of ripe black cherry and blueberry flavors. Hints of tar and iron, as well as dusty tannins, keep this red squarely in the Old World. Shows fine harmony and a lingering finish. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and others. Best from 2021 through 2033. 2,900 cases made, 400 cases imported. — BS”
Wine Advocate 94 points “This is a gorgeous blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and Alicante. The 2013 Caiarossa struts its stuff with a soft, velvety mouthfeel and beautiful aromatic intensity. This vintage is complete and generous on all fronts. The bouquet opens slowly and seductively with dark fruit and dried cherry. Those primary aromas segue to spice, smoked cedar and bitter chocolate. You don’t get a clear sense of any one variety, but this blend of seven grapes offers power, structure, intensity and textural richness nonetheless.-ML”



Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.

(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)





New David Schildknecht Review:

A. J. Adam’s In der Sangerei

“I think in Germany we see terroir as a unity of grape, climate, soil, and the mentality of the person who works the vineyard.  But the essence of that mentality is a knowledge that the geology of his terrain indeed creates the flavors in the grapes which grow there.” — Andreas Adam

In a virtually unknown side valley of the Mosel, just south of Piesport, are the steep, south-facing vineyard slopes of Dhron.  Few of the younger generation have taken over for the aging winemakers of this small region except for Andreas Adam.  He took the leap to produce wines full-time around the time he was ‘discovered’ by Terry Theise and his wines were becoming internationally recognized for their poise, energy and concentration. These are terroir-driven and supremely balanced wines.

We were very excited to check in on the 2017 vintage in the Mosel with David Schildknecht with his newly published report. 2017 was a challenging year for winemakers, and many wines demand cellaring to show their true potential. Late-release reviews and reports offer a look at how wines are doing after overcoming the stress of bottling. Let’s check in on the In der Sangerei:

Weingut A.J. Adam In der Sangerei Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 33 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points
“This is one portion of the Hofberg that was hit hard by the April frost, possibly in part, said Adam, due to their still being trained to single posts. But there was just enough must to ferment in a classic Mosel fuder. White peach, mirabelle and almond on the nose reprise with juicy generosity on a subtly creamy and (at 10% alcohol) delicate palate. An influx of lemon and nips of cress serve for invigoration, and wafting floral perfume and a shower of crystalline mineral matter lend allure and intrigue, on a lusciously lingering, mouthwatering finish.”
Stuart Pigott 96 points “Super peachy with great brilliance and refinement. This is a great Spätlese that’s dry enough for the finest lobster dish, but it is also powerful enough to cope with the spiciest curry. The very long finish keeps pumping out fruit and minerals. Drink or hold.”
Terry Theise “A cadaster parcel within the Hofberg, this has often been a beloved wine for me. This ’17 is quite serious, in the vintage way, not as suave as usual but with a different kind of grip and length. Half was lost to frost, so there’s just one Fuder, of an earnest, dark-toned mineral wine, with a pointed acidity that sucks up every one of the 25g/l RS.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

A refreshing Chardonnay from a region not always known for subtly in its whites. This is a throw-back to when all Napa vineyards were not irrigated and could let the true terroir show through.
Frog’s Leap Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($37.95) $21.90 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Carneros Chardonnay at its very best: pure, clean, fresh, restrained, drinkable. A unique combination of barrel fermentation followed by extended “sur lie” aging in concrete vats. Balance and restraint in a varietal not always associated with these traits.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $31

A special restaurant reserve bottling of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that is so popular, we can barely keep it in stock!
Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($129.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Authentic old-school Gigondas.
Clos du Joncuas Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Clos du Joncuas Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Vibrant ruby. Smoke-accented cherry and red berries on the highly perfumed nose, which takes on sexy incense and baking spice nuances with air. Smooth, concentrated and appealingly sweet, offering mineral- and spice-accented boysenberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy touch of cracked pepper. Finishes silky, sweet and impressively long, with harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Gigondas is a blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault. It’s full-bodied, plush in texture and maybe even a bit warm, but this big and balanced wine offers plenty of black cherry fruit and hints of cinnamon and allspice. Velvety and long on the finish, it should drink well for 6-7 years.”
Decanter 93 points “Pure stewed damsons on the nose, really enlivening, with some wild strawberry within. The palate is medium-bodied, with gentle, textural wet-clay tannins and vibrant damson acidity. Drinkable, svelte and very well put together and in good balance.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

One of the most magnificent Champagnes produced in history. A groundbreaking, extravagant and biodynamic release.
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special, arriving Friday, April 10th
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal.”
James Suckling 98 points “Such attractive, fresh, floral aromas here with fine bread, hints of white almonds and a lemon edge. White cherries and strong, chalky minerals, too. The palate has a very composed feel. Seamless and quite silky texture with effortless length and flow. Very fluid and composed. Very late, warming almond flavors. This is very long and smooth with a velvety finish. Super long pinot weight. Resolved and drinkable, but will age so well.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 97+ points “Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that’s built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself.”
Jancis Robinson 19/20 points “To be launched December 2019 or January 2020. Not affected by the oidium problems experienced elsewhere. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay (the same as 2008). ‘You have to adapt and stay on the blank page. If you try to tick too many boxes, you go in the wrong direction.’ It will be the average age for Cristal launch. It was 2008 that was late. This will be the first 100% biodynamic Cristal. Rich and ripe, like 2002. Pungent nose — straight up the nose. Gorgeous and seductive. Complex and embroidered. Already lovely. 19/20 points.”

On the subject of Great Champagne, don’t miss the 2008 Dom Perignon. Newly reviewed & in-stock now!

Dom Perignon Luminous Collection Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Dr. William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2008 Dom Pérignon continues to show very well, offering up a pretty bouquet of Anjou pear, fresh peach, citrus oil, fresh pastry, smoke and iodine. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, lively and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack and a creamy core of fruit that’s underpinned by a bright but nicely integrated spine of acidity. The finish is long, saline and well-defined. As I wrote earlier this year, this is the finest Dom Pérignon since 1996, Richard Geoffroy’s push for additional ripeness working well with the late-maturing, high-acid vintage. While it can be appreciated young, the 2008 will really start to blossom with five or six years of bottle age.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $281


An Assortment of Serious New Wines

Arriving Friday:

We have a serious lineup of new offers arriving tomorrow, so here’s a handful of hits for your perusal. Secure your stash now before we sell out!

CVNE (or Cune) is one of the Great Classical Rioja Estates. It was founded in 1879 by brothers Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asúa after Raimundo moved to the town of Haro (also of Lopez de Heredia fame) for his health. They set up the winery partially as a negociant, much like Bordeaux. Fast forward to today and the family (down the female line) is on its fifth generation of owning and operating the house—still making excellent, classical wines at more than fair prices. We offer several of their wines in stock, but don’t miss the 2011 Gran Reserva. It’s just entering its prime drinking window now, so buy a case and enjoy over the next decade (or two!)

CVNE ‘Cune’ Gran Reserva Tinto, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($39.95) $28 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points
“A very powerful CUNE with so much blackberry, fresh mushroom and floral character. Big and tannic yet so polished at the same time. Even structure. It shows wonderful potential for ageing. Better in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $32.99

Wine Spectator rated the 2016 vintage the best ever from here, even higher than the 2009 which was a Spectator Top 100!

Rocca di Frassinello ‘Le Sughere di Frassinello’ Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“SMART BUY. Wild rosemary, thyme and camphor aromas lead off, with concentrated flavors of blackberry and black currant. An iron edge sinks in as this unfolds to the long, staining finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032. 11,000 cases made, 5,500 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

An entry-level gem from the historic Montalcino estate.
Castello di Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 91 points
“There’s good blue fruit to this with violets, bilberries and spices. Medium body, undertones of fresh citrus and a medium-chewy finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”

Chardonnay vinified by Dupeuble. Frapes sourced from their grandmother’s unique & prized Prebende estate.
Domaine de la Prebende Beaujolais Blanc 2018 750ML ($21.95) $16 pre-arrival special
[No reviews for the 2018 vintage]
“This property is owned and the wine made by Domaine Dupeuble, a 100-plus-hectare estate (with 40 hectares under vine) that has been producing Beaujolais since 1512, with brief breaks for occasional family strife, wars and revolution. The lively, pure and decidedly old-school, classically wrought [wines] are, or at least should be, well-known to savvy, value-conscious fans of the region’s wines.” — Josh Raynolds

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21.99


Arriving This Month

2016 Le Pergole Torte

Our annual offer of Le Pergole Torte is one of the highlights of the year for lovers of classical Tuscan wine.  Perhaps no wine short of Soldera and Biondi-Santi’s Riserva manages to capture the aristocratic nature of the Sanviovese grape.  The 2016 is perhaps the finest vintage yet—a capstone on a year when everything went right in Tuscany.  A rising tide might lift all boats, but Montevertine seemed to float amongst the clouds.
If you’re unfamiliar with the wine, know that one of Chianti’s greatest wines isn’t labeled as a Chianti, despite being made in the heart of the Classico zone.  Montevertine originally left the appellation because at the time, white grapes were required to call a wine Chianti and Sergio Manetti wanted to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, a scandalous thing. Thus Le Pergole Torte was born. It’s a special wine, one that stops a conversation every time you get a chance to taste it.
It’s tempting to compare this wine to Grand Cru Burgundy, after all, most of Montevertine’s most ardent fans are Burg lovers first and foremost.  That’s doing it a disservice, though—this is a wine that is iconic in its own right.
Arriving ETA April
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special, 24+ bottles available
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 1.5L ($419.95) $369 pre-arrival special, 4 magnums available
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 3L ($999.95) $799 pre-arrival special, 2 double-magnums available
Antonio Galloni 99 points
“The 2016 Le Pergole Torte is magnificent, just as it was last year. Rich, dense and explosive, with stunning depth and texture, the 2016 possesses off the charts intensity while remaining light on its feet for such rich a powerful, lay+ered wine. There is almost no perception of tannin. Black cherry, plum, lavender, menthol, spice and new leather all meld together in a pliant, striking Pergole Torte endowed with tremendous pedigree and nuance. Put simply, the 2016 is off the charts great. The only reason the 2016 does not earn a perfect score is that cramped quarters in the cellar oblige Montevertine to bottle Pergole Torte in several lots.”

Collector’s Corner:

New Releases from Domaine Clap

Arriving in May

Domaine Clape is the bluest of blue chips in the Northern Rhone.  They are the biggest reason that anyone cares about Cornas these days, carrying the torch as the flagship producer long before anyone other than Kermit Lynch cared about the appellation.  The wines are better than ever these days—Clape is a top five producer in the Northern Rhone and their bottlings are harder and harder to source.  We just received our allocation of the impressively powerful new releases.  These won’t last long (they sell out faster and faster each year!) so if you’re a fan you don’t have much time.

“Pierre-Marie Clape and his son Olivier continue to make some of the most impressive (as well as singular) wines in the world from their tiny cellar in Cornas. This is a bastion of traditional winemaking and the wines are not destemmed, see long fermentations, and aging in ancient barrels and casks. While they didn’t release a Renaissance cuvée in 2017 due to tiny yields, their Cornas is stunning stuff not far off what was achieved in 2010 and 2015. I suspect the 2018 will match, or exceed, the 2017.” –Jeb Dunnuck

“Pierre-Marie and Olivier Clape have, unsurprisingly, made the most of the 2018 and 2017 vintages. They produced wines that show the ripeness that marks both years with plenty of freshness and good structure as well… The Clape wines are never short on power, and the 2017s and 2018s are no exception.” — Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Domaine Clape Wines Arriving in May:

Only three bottles available!
Domaine Auguste Clape Saint-Peray Blanc, Rhone 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“The white from this estate is underrated, and readers should snatch up bottles if given a chance. The 2018 Saint-Péray is about as textbook as they come, offering beautiful freshness and complexity paired with richness, minerality, and length. With lots of stone fruits, flowers, and saltiness, it’s ideal for the dinner table and will keep for at least 4-6 years.”
Decanter 93 points “Delightfully floral with flinty pear aromas. This is medium- to full-bodied, with good acidity and brightness of flavour into the finish. A vibrant and fresh style with no overt oak influence that is slightly stricter in style than an average year, and even better for it. A mix of old (60-year-old) vines and young (7-year-old) vines, all vinified in oak, no stainless steel.”

Only six bottles available!
Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points
“Bottled October 2019. Little touch of acetate on the nose, which isn’t unusual in recent vintages. Powerful and intense on the palate, a really driving, focused, full-throttle wine. Fulsome and generous in texture, though perhaps not the most elegant on the finish – the tannins are insistent and slightly fibrous. Long though, and packs a punch. They didn’t make a Renaissance this year as the yields were so low due to coulure.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “Lastly, the 2017 Cornas showed incredibly well. A great vintage for the Northern Rhône, it has textbook aromas and flavors. Due to yields, no Renaissance cuvée was produced, so readers need to grab bottles of this while they can. Revealing a deep purple color as well a sweet nose of dark fruits, currants, ground pepper, bloody meat, and iron, the 2017 hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a powerful, dense mid-palate, huge minerality, and enough tannins to warrant 7-8 years of bottle age.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-95 points “Saturated ruby color. Displays heady aromas of ripe blackberry, cherry liqueur, candied licorice and olive, plus a spicy nuance that builds as the wine opens up. At once weighty and energetic in style, offering densely packed black/blue fruit preserve flavors and hints of violet candy, allspice and smoky minerals. Finishes juicy and very long, with repeating spice, floral notes and steadily building tannins.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is top of the line Rhone. Clape is a lengendary producer. Love the blackberry and Cameroon blackpepper, with hints of fresh herbs. Meat too. Black olives. Full bodied, with soft and round tannins and plenty of fruit. Very long and intense on the finish. Drink now.”

Only three bottles available!
Domaine Auguste Clape Cotes du Rhone 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Decanter 91 points
“Smoked meats, orange peel and a touch of volatile acidity on the nose. Good energy, precision and an electric finish. Textured, with a massy mesh of tannins, tempered by a saline edge. Not complex, but authentic, and has the house style stamped firmly upon it.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “I always find a touch more density and concentration in the Côtes du Rhône compared to the Le Vin Des Amis, and the 2018 has a similar bouquet (smoked game, graphite, piercing minerality, and pepper) to go with a richer, medium to full-bodied style on the palate. Textbook Clape, I’d love to see it on my dinner table any time over the coming 7-8 years.”

Only six bottles available!
Domaine Auguste Clape Le Vin des Amis, Rhone 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 89 points
“Moving to the reds, the already bottled 2018 Le Vin Des Amis just screams “Clape!” with its crazy bouquet of liquid violets, macerated cherries, pepper, and wild game-driven nuances. It’s juicy and medium-bodied, with firm tannins and loads of character.”

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Domaine Auguste Clape Saint-Peray Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Pale yellow. Expressive aromas of fresh orchard fruits, melon and white flowers are sharpened by a subtle citrus zest nuance. Sappy and sharply focused on the palate, offering pear nectar and honeydew flavors and a touch of dusty minerality. Finishes with firm mineral cut and strong persistence, leaving a sexy floral note behind.”

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2008 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Decanter 93 points
“600mm of rain in the summer, ‘never-ending rain’ according to Pierre Clape, leading to mildew in June, rot and dilution at harvest. But like many of the best 2008s, it’s surprisingly enjoyable now mature. It’s ready to drink now, with cigar box, white pepper and raspberry fruit, then sage and thyme on the palate. It lacks weight compared to an average vintage, but has a good sense of freshness. Aromatically a little faint, but it has complexity on the palate and textural interest.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep ruby. A complex bouquet offers raspberry, cherry pit, violet and spice cake, with an intense mineral quality. Deeper, darker fruits on the palate, along with suggestions of allspice and licorice pastille. Shows fine-grained tannins and tangy mineral spine, with a suave blend of richness and vivacity. The very persistent finish is taut and focused, with lingering licorice and spice nuances.”

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Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2011 750ML ($189.95) $159 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Starting with his 2011 Cornas, it’s a rocking wine in the vintage that’s still showing every bit as well as it did on release. Massive minerality, violets, bloody meat and sweet blackcurrant and black raspberry-like fruit all emerge here, and it’s fabulously textured and silky on the palate. It will be interesting to see if this ever shuts down, but right now, it’s a great drink. If you have multiple bottles, give one a try.”

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas Renaissance, Rhone 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2015 Cornas Renaissance is sensational, and in the same league as the 2010, although it’s made in much more forward, sexy and seamless style. While from the younger vines of the estate, we’re still talking about 40- to 50-year-old vines, primarily in the Les Sabarotte and Geynale lieux-dits, made in the exact same way as the grand vin. Offering full-bodied richness, moderate acidity, and incredibly polished tannin, it’s as drinkable as it gets, yet has plenty of muscle and fat. Huge notes of black cherries, blueberries, scorched earth, pepper, and game literally soar from the glass of this opaque purple/ruby colored gem that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 20 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Bright purple. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of boysenberry, cherry cola, violet and olive paste; a smoky nuance expands in the glass. Palate-staining black and blue fruit flavors pick up notes of star anise and candied flowers as the wine stretches out. Powerful but surprisingly energetic, finishing with excellent clarity and sneaky tannins that emerge slowly.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This has a terrific core of raspberry, plum and boysenberry fruit that is vivid and pure, streaked with savory, rosemary, olive and bay leaf notes. A brisk iron accent pierces the finish, adding freshness and drive. Best from 2020 through 2035.”

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