Last Call on the January Sale
Peak Collectability (Selosse, Ornellaia, Arnoux & More!)
Top Piedmont Values of F. Rinaldi
Staff Pick: Weeknight Beaujolais
Trending Wines of the Weekend
New Vintages of the Original Brunello
Stellar, High Scoring and Undervalued?
January Sale Recap
Staff Pick Sale Wine: This Kabinett Riesling from Peter Lauer is loaded with hedonistic displays of lime zest and fresh green herbs alongside a light, elegant sweetness. While the Barrel X 2014 is all lean minerals, this Kabinett really shows off the opulent citrusy notes Riesling can offer with the same lightness in body on the palate.
Peter Lauer Fass 8 Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2014 750ML ($37.95) Was $31.90, Now $28 January Sale Special
John Gilman 91-92 points ‘The 2014 Ayler Kupp Kabinett from Florian Lauer is really a lovely and quite classic example of this Prädikat, with lovely acidity and minerality providing a fine filigree to the wine and a nice sense of reserve out of the blocks as well. The very classy nose wafts from the glass in a mix of green apple, tart orange, slate, lovely smokiness and a touch of dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, pure and focused, with a good core, bright acids, a nice touch of sweetness on the attack and lovely length and grip on the elegant and nascently complex finish. This is quite approachable now, but still a touch primary, and I would be inclined to give it at least a few years in the cellar to develop its secondary layers of complexity. 2019-2035+.”
The average price is $30
Matello Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $18 January Sale Special
Case-12 Matello Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($219.95) $189 January Sale Special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
VinopolNote: Lots of whole cluster to balance out the warmth and richness of the year. 2014 power and fruit marries with spice and structure to produce a beautifully integrated bottle of Pinot Noir.
The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $19 January Sale Special
Case-12 The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($319.95) $199 January Sale Special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Winery Note: Fruit for this vintage was sourced from several locations within Dutton Ranch’s Russian River Valley vineyards. Plots in the warmer end of the valley contributed ripe tropical elements, while those from cooler areas lent minerality and a structural backbone. Inviting notes of honeysuckle, white rose, lemon meringue and baked brioche on the nose. Balanced yet with crisp acidity on the palate with flavors of ripe Asian pear, melon and Meyer lemon with a lingering, elegant finish.
The next best price is $24.92
The average price is $28
Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 January Sale Special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett (AP 21 17) is deep, cool and flinty on the nose, pretty mineral though still a bit reductive. Round, intense and juicy, this is a densely woven Kabinett with ripe nectarine and plummy flavors as well as a tightly woven and refreshing mineral structure. The finish is pretty persistent and extremely stimulating. Compared to the Badstube, the Himmelreich is more aromatic and expressive. Tasted in March 2017.”
Stuart Pigott – JamesSuckling.com 93 points “Very youthful, but brimming with white fruits and minerals. This is easy to enjoy right now. However, in the background of this sleek beauty, there’s a note of wet stones that grows through the long and cool finish. Drink or hold.”
The average price is $32
Newton Vineyard Skyside Red Label Chardonnay, California 2017 750ML ($21.95) $14 January Sale Special
Case-12 Newton Vineyard Skyside Red Label Chardonnay, California 2017 750ML ($249.95) $149 January Sale Special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
The average price is $21
Averaen Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2016 750ML ($49.95) Was $36, Now $33 January Sale Special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(20% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Lurid red. Blackberry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola and candied violet, and a smoky mineral note lends nervy lift. Incisive dark berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly gain flesh and become sweeter in the midpalate. Impressively precise and energetic, delivering strong finishing thrust and dusty, building tannins that make a late appearance.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $46.99
The average price is $48
Serafin Pere & Fils Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($199.95) Was $119, Now $99 January Sale Special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 92 points “Healthy dark red. Superripe black cherry, blueberry and menthol on the nose. Rich, creamy and sweet, in a rather powerful style for this cuvée, but with a medicinal minerality energizing the mid-plate. Finishes with substantial but suave tannins that will require patience.”
The next best price is $114.94
Remoissenet Pere & Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 750ML ($279.95) Was $169, Now $159 January Sale Special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Clos de Vougeot is dense, compact and structured. Firm, chalky tannins support a core of bright red berries, mint, wild flowers and minerals. The 2011 possesses gorgeous clarity and focus, with more than enough underlying minerality to drink well for a number of years.” AG
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $254.97
Why pay almost $100 more?
Wines from Selosse, Ornellaia, Arnoux and More!
Jacques Selosse Initial Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Arnoux Pere & Fils Corton-Rognet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Dark and lush, this red verges on jammy, with black cherry and black currant fruit shaded by violet and spice accents. A line of tannins marks the long finish, which shows density and structure. Best from 2020 through 2038. 100 cases made.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This is the Arnoux family’s top wine coming from vines on the revered hill of Corton. It is a powerful wine, properly rich and structured from the vintage. Wood and spice come through although they will soon integrate with the dense black-plum fruits and mineral texture. Drink the wine from 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2015 Ornellaia is a dream wine with magnificent balance. All the elements are in the right place. In most vintages, Ornellaia needs time to fully come together, but the 2015 is just impeccable, even in the early going. The warm vintage notwithstanding, winemaker Axel Heinz crafted and Ornellaia is more about finesse and power. The potent, bruising tannins Ornellaia can show as a young wine are nowhere to be found. Bright raspberry jam, mint, white flowers and pomegranate are some of the many notes that punctuate the finish in a memorable Ornellaia that will go down among the great vintages produced at this reference-point estate.”
James Suckling 98 points “The blackberry and blueberry aromas with fresh sage and bay-leaf character are impressive. Stone, graphite and mineral undertones. Full-bodied and silky and refined tannins. Dusty. Elegance and polish. Shows greatness in strength and refinement. A dialed-in, dialed-back Ornellaia. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A big, brooding red, packed with blackberry, plum and earth flavors, all wrapped in spicy oak. Monolithic now, finishing with saline mineral elements, a leafy tobacco edge and dense, mouthcoating tannins. Terrific potential. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2038.”
Ferraton Pere & Fils Cornas Les Grands Muriers Rouge, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Ferraton Pere & Fils Cornas Les Grands Muriers Rouge, Rhone 2015 750ML ($399.95) $319 pre-arrival special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
Decanter 98 points “Ferraton Père & Fils was established in 1946 by Jean Orëns Ferraton. His son, Michel, continued his work and added further to the range of wines. Today, Ferraton Père & Fils produces a huge range of Rhône wines from Hermitage to St-Péray, with added help from long-time friend Michel Chapoutier who, in 1998, introduced new appellations to the business, as well as creating a plot-selection approach and biodynamic practices. These changes have put Ferraton Père & Fils and winemaker Damien Brisset in the spotlight. Les Grands Mûriers is one of three Cornas wines produced. The vines are grown mainly on decomposed granite soils with the rest on clay and limestone. Gearoid Devaney MS: A classic Cornas that is brimming with ripe fruit and delicious spices. There is a beguiling blood-red meat and iron element here, and great energy and tension from the tannins. It needs time, but the finish is long. Simon Field MW: A traditional wine that is rigorous and magnificently unapproachable at present. It is tannic, firm and long; I am so pleased that this style still persists and flourishes – bravo! Matt Walls: Dense, herbal and oaky aromatics unfold elegantly onto a full-bodied, powerful and lush palate. It is full of plush fruit and muscular, thunderous power in an old-school style. There is a lot to enjoy here all the way to a long finish lengthened by fine tannins and piercing acidity. Drinking Window 2022 – 2034.”
Bodegas Caro ‘Caro’, Mendoza, Argentina 2012 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut and dark berry. Floral too. Spectacular nose. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a racy and refined finish. Fresh and succulent. Made from old vines of mablec in Compuertas and cabernet sauvignon from Altamira. Such finesse. Half the normal production. The best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena winery. Drink or hold.”
The average price is $66
From Francesco Rinaldi
The estate of Francesco Rinaldi crafts wines from the Piedmonte that are everything we love—traditionally made and affordable. From white (to nearly rose) to red, all of the wines they produce have attractive balance, with good fruit and bright, fresh flavors. They’re best known for their cru Barolos, but we’ve got an assortment of their “other” wines arriving on Friday.
These are some of the best values in the world of Piedmont wine—traditionally made, delicious for drinking now and incredibly food friendly. Their Gavi remains one of the benchmarks for the appellation and the Barbera and Dolcetto are extremely true to the grape and perfect Tuesday night reds. Their Nebbiolo shows all the hallmarks of the Langhe—you could confuse it for Barolo if it weren’t for the softer tannins and easygoing nature of the wine. Finally, we have the Grignolino arriving—a true cult classic which sits in between red and rosé in the most perfect way possible.
These are do-not-miss values and we’ve already seen strong interest in them, so if anything strikes your fancy, act quickly. They arrive Friday, perfect for late winter, early spring, late spring, summer and fall drinking!
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Gavi DOCG, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
“Its colour is light straw-yellow. The scent is fresh and fruity. The taste is dry and delicate. It perfectly matches with hors d’oeuvres, fish and white meat.”–Winery note
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Grignolino d’Asti, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
“Its colour is light ruby red. The smell is subtle with scent of rose. Its taste is fresh, flowery and mild to the palate. It perfectly matches with hors d’oeuvres, soups, fish and white meat. Fermentation in steel at a controlled temperature for about 8 days. Ageing in steel goes on for some months before bottling in spring.”–Winery Notes
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Vinopolnote: A bright, savory and energetic example of Nebbiolo meant for early consumption. Great value!
In Stock Now:
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2013 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level bottling. Sweet tobacco, blood orange, anise, dried flowers and cedar give the wine its aromatic depth and delineation. Bright and exquisitely layered in the glass, with lovely persistence, the 2013 drinks well now, but also has enough pedigree and complexity to hold for another decade-plus. This is a superb showing from Rinaldi.”
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
“Its colour is ruby red with garnet reflections. Its smell is ethereal and persisting with scents of flowers and fresh fruit. Its taste is dry, intense, well-bodied. It is suitable to drink at any meal.”–Winery note
The hunt for great, value, Beaujolais seems to be never-ending these days. Gone are the days of finding Gang of Four bottles for under $25, much less $20, so I’m always looking for high quality producers that are still under the national radar (and are therefore underpriced). I didn’t expect to find a new favorite in the Rosenthal portfolio—mostly because Neal Rosenthal’s wines tend to have pretty strong national visibility. Yet here these bottles were, at $19, on the shelf with the back label promising quality. I figured it was worth a chance and took a bottle to a pretty large Gamay tasting. The wine stood out—one of the best bottles I tried all night, and it was emptied before I could make my way back to it (a sure sign I wasn’t the only person who felt that way). It seems like the hidden treasure I was looking for was right out in the open, in the pages of a prominent national importer’s catalog. I’ll be snagging more.
Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois Morgon ‘Les Rontay’, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
“Chantal and Eric Coudert-Appert, the proprietors of the Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, represent the seventh generation of this family line to work the vineyards of this estate in the heart of Fleurie. The domaine comprises 8.4 hectares of vineyards, all of which are hand-harvested. This energetic couple follows the precepts of “lutte raisonnée” when working the vineyards, which is to say they use an organic approach, treating the vines only when absolutely necessary to produce a healthy, ripe crop. At Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, the wines are vinified in a traditional manner using a “semi-carbonic” maceration. The cuvaison extends for 10 to 15 days depending on the specific cuvée. A grill placed on top of the cuve and then partially submerged is often utilized during the fermentation period to keep the solid matter in continuous contact with the fermenting juice; this process of extraction is supplemented by a twice-a-day “remontage” or pumping of the juice over the solids during the cuvaison.”-Importer note
“This cuvée of Fleurie is sourced from a single parcel planted to vines eighty years old. In contrast to the other wines of the domaine, this special selection is aged 12 months in large, older foudres to best express its formidable character. Surprisingly, this structured wine is supremely elegant and fine; and, it is surely capable of providing pleasure over an extended period of time.”–Importer note
Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages R.I. Rectificando Invenies 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “As always, the 100% Syrah 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde Rectificando Invenies (Ri) shows more minerality than the VIT release and offers blockbuster styled aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, toasted bread and chocolate. Made in a voluptuous, pedal-to-the-metal style, with huge fruit and texture, it has building tannin and an uber sexy, incredibly layered and decadent palate. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. This cuvee was completely destemmed and aged 18 months in demi-muids.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Case-6 Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($349.95) $299 special (that’s only $49.83/bottle!)
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points “Much less expressive on the nose than the Blanchots but still with noteworthy incipient complexity to the aromas of citrus peel, white flowers, wet stone, white pepper and clove. Boasts terrific grain and thrust, but this youthfully dry, uncompromising wine is downright brooding today in spite of its essential light touch. Incisive flavors of citrus fruits, white flowers and ginger are further lifted by subtle herbal accents. This is excellent.”
Burghound 92 points “In contrast to the Vaudésir this is much better with much more evident Chablis character on the green fruit and citrus-infused nose that displays an appealing hint of mineral-reduction. There is excellent punch and detail to the relatively rich and powerful flavors that possess reasonably good mid-palate concentration before culminating in a notably stony and lingering finish that is presently quite tightly wound. This is definitely going to require a few years to further flesh out and develop better depth but the balance and underlying material are present for that to occur.”
Ewald Moseler Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 Ewald Moseler Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
VinopolNote: A selection from the iron-rich slatey soils of the Erdener Treppchen Vineyard in the Mosel.
Cantalupo ‘Agamium’ Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Importer note “Sourced from the vineyards of Carella, Baraggiola and Valera. Soil is made up of moraine (glacial deposit) which is high in minerals, rocks, gravel and sand. Hand harvested. Grapes were destemmed and then delicately pressed. The skins were left to soak for a relatively short period. Once the malolactic fermentation was complete the wine was transferred to small 9 hl. casks until Autumn. Agamium is Latin for Ghemme, wine region already known during the Roman era and even before that, during the Celtic era.”
Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) Was $36, Now $33 January Sale Special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Blended, but still aging in barrel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape will likely be bottled in March 2019. Brandied cherries and dried spices mark the nose of this full-bodied, plush wine. It’s slightly warm, and certainly rich, but it remains fresh and long on the finish. It should be a beauty.”
Biondi Santi Arriving Friday
In the beginning there was Biondi-Santi. Yes, Biondi Santi is the genesis of modern Brunello. The combination of bottling 100% Sangiovese wine from Montalcino, propagating the Sangiovese Grosso clone, and finally (in 1966) helping draft the regulations for the Brunello DOC make that estate the alpha of the appellation, and for many collectors, the omega as well.
We have a new release arriving Friday and these wines are going to disappear quickly. 2012 was an exceptional year in Brunello and, as you’d expect, Biondi-Santi made fantastic wine. Quantities are limited so your opportunity to score this wine at this price is, as well.
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better in 2020.”
Also Available, In Stock Now:
Only 19 bottles remaining
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 750ML ($199.95) $139 special
Ian D’Agata 94+ points “(13% alcohol): Good full ruby-red with a garnet rim. Brooding nose opens slowly with aeration to offer delicate hints of lively red cherry, underbrush and flint. Rich, dense and suave, with outstandingly precise red berry and mineral flavors complicated by delicate notes of licorice, chestnut and underbrush. Finishes extremely long and pure, with a seamless quality to the classic sangiovese flavors. A knockout: this is Brunello 101 for anyone wishing to understand–or to make–a great sangiovese wine. Brunello doesn’t get much better than this in 2008. Another very fine addition to the legacy of Franco Biondi-Santi, who passed away this year.”
The Beauty of Palacios’ Bierzo
In Stock Now:
Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The entry level 2015 Pétalos del Bierzo, their regional wine, in the new official category that will start working in the appellation from the 2017 vintage, a blend of many different vineyards planted with field blends, where the breakdown might come to some 5% white varieties (Valenciana/Doña Blanca, Godello and Palomino/Jerez) and around 1% other reds (Pan y Carne, Negrada and Gran Negro), all from vines ranging between 40 and 90 years of age on slopes (half of the grapes around the village of Corullón and the remainder in the rest of Bierzo). It’s a showy, approachable, aromatic and open version of Pétalos, and as I tasted it later on in the season, it felt more polished and round, with a lush texture. It’s extremely aromatic, in a way similar to the 2012. This is always one of the best values not only of Bierzo but for the whole of Spain. 310,000 bottles and 2,000 magnums produced.”
Descendientes de J. Palacios Villa de Corullon, Bierzo 2015 750M ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “Ricardo Pérez Palacios told me his favorite overall vintages for Bierzo are 2001, 2012 and possibly 2015, because he sees them as very complete years, even if 2015 didn’t have as perfect conditions as 2001 and 2012; the 2015 Corullón is a perfect example of that, a really pretty wine, open, where I see the similarities with 2012. They use many of the vineyards year after year, all of them around the village of Corullón, all planted with a field blend of varieties, and they have been increasing the percentage of white grapes from those vines that they include in the cuvée. In 2015, it can be almost 9%, mostly Palomino, and they feel it polishes that slight bitterness in the finish of the Mencía, reminiscent of green almonds. Of course, there are also other red grapes, like Alicante Bouschet, Gran Negro, Pan y Carne and Negreda, that might contribute to some 2% of the volume. 19,572 bottles, 720 half bottles, 450 magnums, 45 double magnums and 30 Jeroboams were filled between May 11th and 17th of 2017.”