Trending Wines of the Weekend
Two Fantastic Values Arriving Friday
Collector’s Corner: Recently Released Big-Time Bordeaux
“One of the Most Exciting Domaines in all of the Côte de Beaune”
A Case of Vinsanity!
Our Kind of Six-Packs
24 Hours Left For A Few Blow Out Specials
The Perfect Wine Gift?
Trending Wines of the Weekend
Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2014 750ML ($69.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 750ML ($799.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
The next best price is $70
That’s over $50 more PER BOTTLE by the case
Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Syrah, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($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.”
The next best price is $50
That’s almost $30 more PER BOTTLE by the case!
Luca Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina 2016 750ML ($39.95) $24 special
#42 – Top Cellar Selections in 2018 – Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Cellar Selection. Pure berry and cassis aromas are concentrated and show no holes. This Uco Valley Malbec feels pure, direct and linear, albeit with slightly scratchy tannins that should dissipate in due time. Blackberry and dry spice flavors finish full and grabby, with muscularity. Drink through 2028.”
The average price nationally is $30
Weingut Keller Gruner Silvaner Trocken, Rheinhessen 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
John Gilman 91 points “The 2018 Grüner Silvaner Trocken from Weingut Keller had been bottled only two weeks before my visit, but was showing beautifully. This is 11.5 percent octane this year and offers up a lovely and quite serious nose of tart orange, grapefruit, chalky minerality and a lovely, smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and beautifully balanced, with bright acids and lovely length and grip. Germany’s most popular wine to pair with white asparagus is outstanding this year and a great bargain! 2019-2040.”
Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot, California 2014 750ML ($49.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot, California 2014 750ML ($449.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 91 points “Rich, ripe and full of powerful flavors of Christmas pudding, dark cherry and black currant that are backed by muscular acidity and tannins. Dried mint and slate details show on the dense finish. Drink now through 2021. 5,225 cases made.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Given additional structure from the addition of 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot, this well-made wine shows a wealth of plum and raspberry that’s succulent on the palate. Soft supple tannin provides support and a touch of heat, the finish is awash in cinnamon and vanilla.”
The next best price is $36.99
Tiberio Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT, Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points “Abruzzo’s Tiberio winery has quickly risen to the top of the hierarchy not just in Abruzzo’s but in all of Italy. What the talented Cristiana Tiberio has achieved in the very hot 2017 vintage with Pecorino (a variety that does not like heat) is a testament to her talent. The 2017 Tiberio Pecorino is by no means the best Pecorino she has ever made (and frankly, it would have been very strange if it was otherwise, given the year’s weather), but it offers lovely balance with pure sage and kiwi notes that mingle with ripe orchard fruit nuances complicated by a saline edge. Both these wines made for a wonderful start to my meal, but they would have paired very well with all the other dishes I chose to eat this evening.”
The average price is $23
Seghesio Family Vineyards Defiant, Sonoma 2015 750ML ($32.95) $16 special
Case-12 Seghesio Family Vineyards Defiant, Sonoma 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.”
The next best price is $29.94
The average listed price is $35
Two Fantastic Values Arriving Friday
Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($27.95) $20.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($299.95) $225 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sleek and luxurious, with expressive Asian pear, strawberry blossom and roasted hazelnut flavors that build richness on an opulent finish. Drink now through 2020. “
Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($299.95) $235 pre-arrival special (that’s only $19.58/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of if. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse.-LG”
Recently Released Big-Time Bordeaux
2014, by contrast, is a more classical vintage. The wines all drink like excellent examples of their respective estates, but in 30 years no one will argue that ’14 was the best vintage of Chateau X ever (like they will with ’15). What makes it special, though, is the pricing. With two fantastic years behind it (’15 and ’16), Chateaus and brokers have cut prices on the ’14 to the point that these wines are now undervalued. It’s a vintage we’re stocking up on as a result and you should, too. These wines are 25%-40% less expensive than their 2015 counterparts and not as far off in quality as the pricing suggests. It’s a drinker’s vintage, not a collector’s year.
We’re grabbing everything we can, including some big guns from both the right and left banks. Some are in stock now and some are arriving tomorrow, all with limited stock. Grab some now and your future self will thank you.
In Stock Now:
#7 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year 2017
Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the wines of the vintage, the 2014 Canon La Gaffelière is explosive, lifted and aristocratic in its breeding. Bright Cabernet Franc aromatics give the wine its signature lift and precision. Raspberry jam, rose petal, mint, blood orange, tobacco and pomegranate build slowly on the palate, leading to a super-expressive, finely knit finish. Powerful yet also impeccably refined, the 2014 has it all. The 2014 is 55 % Merlot, 37 % Cabernet Franc and 8 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Don’t miss it. Tasted two times.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,083 cases made.”
Big, bold and powerful—this is a blockbuster wine.
Le Dome, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 98+ points “Composed of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Le Dome has a drop dead gorgeous perfume of violets, black forest cake, rose hip and red jelly with touches of lavender, spice cake and earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied and super intense with super ripe, super fine-grained tannins, wonderful freshness and a very long perfumed, mineral-laced finish.”
Gaffeliere has been on a hot streak over the last few years and this is the best yet.
Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($159.95) $138 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2015 Canon La Gaffelière is deep, powerful and explosive. Seamless and captivating in the glass, it possesses magnificent richness, volume and intensity in every dimension. The Cabernet Franc, usually such a strong signature, is nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the Merlot fruit. Espresso, mocha, licorice and plum infuse the racy finish. The 2015 is going to need the better part of a decade to be expressive. Tasted two times.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Composed of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in French oak, 55% new, for 17 months, the 2015 Canon la Gaffeliere features a deep garnet-purple color and a cedar-laced nose to begin, giving way to fragrant underlying scents of roses and violets with a core of crushed black currants, blackberries and Bing cherries plus hints of fallen leaves and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, the seductively perfumed red and black fruit fills the mouth, framed with plush tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing very long and minerally.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There’s a lot here. Built for the cellar. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025 through 2040. 6,250 cases made.”
James Suckling 96 points “The aromas of violets and rose petals are prevalent here with blue fruits as well. Full body, integrated and firm tannins and a long finish. Structured yet fine and shows such finesse. Give it five or six years to come together.”
Mouton, it will always be.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac 2014 750ML ($799.95) $649 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “An exciting, beautifully layered wine, the 2014 Mouton Rothschild is one of the clear highlights of the vintage. A stunning interplay of crème de cassis, graphite, menthol, sage, mocha, dark chocolate and leather takes of all the senses. The 2014 is dark, voluptuous racy. Above all else, it speaks to a total sense of balance. The blend is 81 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 % Merlot and 3 % Cabernet Franc.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 94-96 points “The Château Mouton-Rothschild 2014 contains more tannin than the 2010 according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, although he stressed that this does not imply that they were finer tannin. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and it will of course, be matured in 100% new oak. The alcohol level just tops 13%, the first time since 2010. It has a classic Mouton nose, the slightly higher percentage of Merlot lending a little flamboyance and flair with scents of blackberry, warm gravel and cigar box scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, armed with powerful core of quite rich black fruit interlaced with tobacco and allspice. There is very good structure here, a fine edginess towards the white pepper infused finish. There is almost a nuttiness to this wine, to wit, a fascinating maze-like Mouton in the making and perhaps a more cerebral Mouton compared to recent vintages.”
James Suckling 96-97 points “This is incredibly minerally with a maritime character as well as red iodine, algae, currants and great intensity. Some saltiness. Almost like a pearl in an oyster shell. This is a true wine of the soil for Mouton. Full body, racy tannins and lingering. Excellent. Unique. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 4% cabernet franc.”
Triple 100-point scores—and they’re very well deserved.
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($399.95) $349 pre-arrival special
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
Antonio Galloni 100 points “From the very beginning, the 2015 Canon has made an eloquent case for itself as one of the wines of the vintage. Multiple tastings from bottle only confirm what several early tastings hinted at: the 2015 Canon is simply extraordinary in every way. Sumptuous and exotic, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 grabs hold of all the senses and never lets up. A rush of red fruit intermingled with floral notes, spice and smoke notes effortlessly runs up the wine’s vertical structure as the 2015 thrills with every twist and turn. The 2015 Canon is a rare wine that is both hedonistic and intellectual – well, maybe it is a bit more hedonistic-leaning. It doesn’t matter. Don’t miss it. This 2015 is masterpiece from General Manager Nicolas Auderbert and his team at Canon.”
Neal Martin 100 points “The 2015 Canon was a benchmark wine that seemed to revitalize this historic estate. I was crossing my fingers that it would not disappoint in bottle and I am glad to say that it delivers the goods. It has a very intense bouquet (just as it showed out of barrel) with laser-like precision offering wild strawberry, raspberry preserve, wet limestone and hints of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, clean and fresh with pure black and red fruit whose every atom appears infused with minerals. The mouth is tingling long after the wine has exited and your brain is thinking…when is the next sip coming? It is frankly heads and shoulders above almost every Saint Émilion this vintage, to reaffirm, a benchmark for this historic estate that will give pleasure to many over the coming years. Astonishing.”
James Suckling 100 points “Seductive. The nose draws you in deep: It’s like staring into a well of pristine dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries and mulberries. All the oak is perfectly subsumed. The palate’s flawless with immense depth and power and it’s so balanced as to appear to float. Immaculate fresh dark-berry and plum flavors. Silky and deep, ribbon-like finish. Perfect. Best from 2022.”
This is a prime example of how 2014 Bordeaux can be exceptional deals.
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($159.95) $135 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points “Intense aromas of minerals, chalk, bright cherries and stones. Full-bodied, tight and silky; very linear. Like a straight shot. Give it three to four years to soften. Vibrant is the word.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2014 Canon has an intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, briary and light tobacco scents, gradually gaining more precision with aeration yet remaining classic in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, harmonious and poised with a structured yet precise finish that is pure class. Perhaps you might argue that it lacks some charm at this early stage but at the same time, I am fascinated to see how it will age. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A fresh, pure style, with lots of floral and black tea notes out front, followed by a tightly focused beam of red currant, plum and raspberry coulis flavors. The finish sports a mouthwatering chalky spine and lovely perfume that should develop more with time. For fans of minerality. Best from 2022 through 2032. 6,665 cases made.”
Modern and in a drink-now style, this is one for the table, not the cellar.
Angelique de Monbousquet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “A plush, voluptuous wine, the 2015 Angélique de Monbousquet shows quite a bit better from bottle than it did from barrel. Espresso, mocha, plum, chocolate, licorice and dried herbs emerge from this racy, opulent Saint-Émilion. The 2015 is not especially complex, but it is flat-out delicious and also a terrific choice for drinking over the next handful of years.”
James Suckling 93 points “Spices and dark fruit with decadent earth and white-truffle aromas. Full body, round and velvety tannins and a fruity finish. So velvety and delicious. Second wine of Monbousquet. Drink in 2020.”
– John Gilman
The drive that is pushing them to greatness comes down to one person, their (American) owner, Mark O’Connell. He bought the domaine in 2011 and has poured money and time into elevating it from an historic (yet perhaps underperforming) producer with excellent holdings to one of the elite domaines in the Cote de Beaune. The winery now owns land in an array of the top vineyard sites in Volnay, Pommard and Corton and makes truly excellent renditions of each—with moderate whole cluster use, small amounts of new oak and brilliantly balanced ripeness.
This is a domaine that’s only been around in its current incarnation since 2011, and yet has already been a featured winery at La Paulee and has received strong reviews from both Burghound and John Gilman. The original incarnation dates back to the middle of the 19th century, run by a member of the Boillot family up until the recent sale. The Clos de la Chapelle monopole was always considered to be one of the premier terroirs (it’s right next door to the Clos de la Bousse d’Or and there are records of Louis Pasteur buying 50 bottles of the 1858, so this is not a secret) but it’s mainly since the changeover that the wines have lived up to the promise of the land.
The domaine owns a total of 4 hectares of red and white vineyards, exclusively in Premier and Grand Cru sites and we’re excited to offer them here. A number of these wines arrive on Friday and the rest are here next months. We’ve broken them into two spreadsheets, below, but you can see all the wines from Clos de la Chapelle in our webstore, as well.
Our Kind of Six-Packs
Plus, a Bonus New Case Offer:
Case-12 G. B. Burlotto Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($279.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
G. B. Burlotto Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750M ($24.95) $19 special
Julia Harding-Jancis Robinson “Mid cherry red. A little darker fruited than the Dolcetto, but equally fragrant. A little more peppery. Much more tension here, fresher and with more strict, finer tannins. So moreish and mouth-watering yet deep and persistent in its pure fruit. Drink: 2019 to 2025.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Expressive, exhibiting cherry, boysenberry, violet candy and earth flavors. Muscular, finishing with a layer of dense tannins. Drink now through 2024. 1,000 cases made.”
Importer Note “Fresh and savory, this opens with aromas of dark berry, ground cooking spice and whiff of chopped herb. The vibrant palate doles out juicy black cherry, clove, star anise and blood orange accompanied by racy acidity.”
Some of our favorite six-packs:
Case-6 Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($479.95) $319 special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
James Suckling 98 points “A huge dried apricot nose. In spite of the power this is super-elegant with a very long, radically mineral character that makes the wine swell in your mouth at the amazing finish. It may be too dry for some, but I find this spectacular. Drink or hold as long as you dare!”
David Schildknecht 96 points “Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. The beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it’s nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040.”
Case-6 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone VV 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily 2015 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points “Good full ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, cherry cola and flowers, along with a spicy nuance. Fresh and fruity on entry, then smooth but slightly tighter in the midpalate, offering bright strawberry and violet pastille flavors. Finishes very long with dusty tannins and lingering salinity. Even more delicate and fragrant than usual this year. A blend of 60 percent Nero d’Avola and 40 percent Frappato that sees no oak.”
James Suckling 92 points “A delicious Cerasuolo with all the cherry and orange peel character you could hope for. Medium body, round and light tannins and a tangy finish. A wine that really makes you want to drink it!”
Case-6 Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal 2013 750ML ($169.95) $136 special (that’s only $22.67/bottle!)
Ramos Pinto Late Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal 2013 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer Note “Ramos Pinto’s wood-aged ports are blended from several vintages and several quintas. Unlike the majority of port houses, Ramos Pinto owns almost all of its own vineyards and controls the grape quality from pruning to harvest. The Tawny is a three to five-year-old blend obtained by blending wines with different degrees of maturity brought about by the ageing process in barrels and hogshead casks. This is a tawny red with a topaz meniscus. The first aroma gives the impression of buoyancy and develops into a great smoothness acquired from having been matured in wood. In the mouth, it feels light, warm and very soft as a result of its ageing. This adolescent Port is mature and fruity, with a complex and delicate character. Its finish is perfectly balanced, giving it some delicateness.”
Only 24 Hours Left For A Few Blow Out Specials
In Stock Now:
A nearly perfect bottling from one of the best producers in Priorat.
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Tosses, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) Was $219, Now $169 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points “Already bottled in June 2016, slightly earlier as it usually spends two years in foudre to avoid excessive fatigue because of too much oxygen in the wine, the 2014 Les Tosses is pure Cariñena from an old vineyard on slate soils at some 650 meters altitude. There is none of the rusticity I often link to the grape, this is extremely floral and perfumed, with plenty of violets, a little earthy too. The palate is extremely balanced, and I don’t remember tannins as elegant as these in a Cariñena before. There is length, freshness and a very, very long finish. This might very well be the best vintage of Les Tosses so far. This wine feels very young and it’s a bit shy, but giving it time it is just amazing. It should be much better with a little more time in bottle. If you decide to pull the cork soon, make sure you give it some time to breathe. There are 1,946 bottles produced. The vineyard is almost two hectares, and Dominik Huber only used part of it for this bottling, and the rest goes to Torroja. But, his idea is to increase the volume so he’ll take longer to sell this vintage so he can keep the wine for one year longer in bottle before selling it. Smart thinking…”
The average price is $212
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) Was $219, Now $169 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2014 Les Manyes was bottled a little earlier, in June 2016. In many wineries in Priorat, 2013 is clearly better than 2014, but it’s not that clear in the case here, and you have to take it wine by wine. In the case of this Les Manyes, I think 2014 was the big surprise, with a combination of depth, perfume, subtleness and power difficult to achieve. The clay and chalky soils provide for an extraordinary texture of tannins, a lot less coarse than those from slate soils. It distills all the Mediterranean herbs and flowers, the essence of ripe red cherries and wild strawberries with some chalky minerality in a nose and palate that is close to perfection. This is a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat! There are 1,008 bottles produced.”
Wine & Spirits 97 points “Dominik Huber farms this wine in an unusual place by Priorat standards: It comes from a vineyard at 2,600 feet in altitude-one of the highest in the region-on red clay soil rather than the more celebrated slate. The result is a wine as taut as a high-tension cable, with an acidity so firm and strong that it seems to electrify the wine. Made entirely of garnacha, held in a single 1,200-liter barrel for two years before bottling, it’s rich in red fruit, spice and mineral notes, but above all it is rich in structure. A wine to drink in a decade.”
The Anakota wines have been some of the best kept secrets in California Cabernet.
Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $79 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 14 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 93+ points “The 2014s are 30-year wines, even in such a supple, easygoing and charming vintage. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has an opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of graphite, creosote, incense, blackberry and licorice, and maybe a touch of charcoal and earth. The tannins are soft, and there is enormous fruit as well as a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel and some coffee in the finish. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Anakota’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has turned out beautifully. Dark, sumptuous and beautifully resonant in the glass, the 2014 exudes richness. Red cherry jam, raspberry, mint and licorice abound. Flamboyant and opulent, with soft contours and good structure, the 2014 hits all the right notes.”
“…first-rate Fixin villages and highly recommended” –Allen Meadows, Burghound
Fougeray de Beauclair Fixin Clos Marion, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 33 bottles in stock now
Burghound 90-92 points “Once again firm reduction renders the nose impossible to fairly evaluate. Otherwise there is terrific intensity to the tightly coiled and stony medium-bodied flavors that possess plenty of punch on the saline, balanced and focused finish. This ever-so-mildly rustic effort is a first-rate Fixin villages and highly recommended.”
Now it’s even lower!
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese **, Mosel 2013 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 33 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points “Bright in color the two-starred 7.5% alcohol 2013 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** is an intensely (noble) sweet and creamy-textured selection, which was picked on November 1 and is made for future generations. Very sweet and dense on the palate it still has to become more wine-y but the wine has definitely talent.” WA
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten ‘Breumel in den Mauern’ Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $33 Three Day Blow Out Sale, 36+ half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Riesling Auslese Haardter Bürgergarten Im Breumel is very clear and concentrated on the nose, but also shows the brown seed aromas of ripe Riesling. Great class and precision here, with some minty flavors. The wine is very concentrated, lush and round on the palate; it reveals a super sweet raisin flavor, as well as great finesse and vitality. This is a gorgeous Auslese with salinity and grip.”
(And 1/3 the price of the only other vintage listing in the USA today!)
Long Shadow’s Collection Gift Box
As in past years, we’re offering a gift box with one bottle of each of six wines in the collection, each one distinctive and excellent. From the classic Cabernet made by Randy Dunn, to Phillipe Melka’s spin on the Columbia Valley to John Duvall’s brooding Syrah, these are all fantastic wines in an extremely attractive gift box. They arrive this month, in time for holiday gifting.
Arriving ETA December:
Case-6 Long Shadows Vintners Collection, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($449.95) $349 pre-arrival special
Contains one 750ML bottle each of Long Shadows’ six acclaimed red wines, packaged together in a beautifully etched wood box.
2016 Pirouette, 2016 Feather, 2016 Pedestal, 2016 Chester-Kidder, 2016 Sequel, 2016 Saggi
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Richly layered and complex, with a generous spectrum of aromas and flavors including black cherry, sweet spices and a hint of earth. The wine’s refined texture provides a seductive mouth feel and lengthy finish.
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2016 Pirouette is made by Philippe Melka and it’s a total blockbuster based on 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the palate Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec that was fermented in barrel and aged 22 months in 75% new oak. Crème de cassis, blackberries, toasted spices, cedar, and forest floor notes all emerge from this deep, rich, opulent red that has sweet tannins, a thrilling texture, no hard edges, and a monster finish. This is another best-to-date from this estate and it’s an awesome wine.”
Randy Dunn selects the Cabernet Sauvignon the Feather from a diversity of sites: the estate Benches Vineyards for dark fruit and earthiness, the Wahluke Slope for structure and ripe tannins, and two of Washington State’s oldest vineyards, Weinbau and Dionysus, for complexity. The wine is concentrated and beautifully balanced, offering an array of fresh berry aromas, complimented by spicy, dark cherry and dried current flavors that persist on the palate.
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Made by California’s Randy Dunn, the 2016 Feather is, as always, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and spent 22 months in 90% new. It has a classic, firm, focused style in its crème de cassis, spicy oak, and graphite bouquet. This carries to a concentrated, powerful Cabernet that has beautiful mid-palate depth, ample tannins, but more than enough fruit. It will keep for 20 years or more.”
Michel Rolland selects the Merlot from the Conner Lee, Dionysus and Benches Vineyards to produce an unusually complex Merlot. Tapteil Vineyards Cabernet gives it its strength and extra richness. The wine shows intense, fruit-forward notes, bursting with fresh blueberries, ripe plum, cedar and spice. Good concentration in the wine adds to its pleasing mouth feel; balanced acidity enhances its appeal. Supple tannins are well-integrated on the entry, across the mid-palate and throughout a long, layered finish.
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It’s one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years.”
John Duval, formerly of the iconic Penfolds Grange, uses grapes from the Benches Vineyard for its dark flavored fruit, the Red Mountain Vineyard adds structure, and Boushey Vineyards add elegance. A generous and concentrated wine of great character. Almond, dark chocolate and cherry notes fill the glass, complemented by hints of black licorice, blackberry, cocoa powder and a touch of smoke.
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “A blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Sequel is another ripe, sexy, yet pure and balanced vintage for this cuvée. Lovely blackberry, smoked earth, graphite, and ground pepper all flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant wine that packs less of a punch than normal, yet is balanced and layered, with a great finish. It will benefit from a year or two in bottle and keep for a decade.”
Saggi is a blend from father and son team Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese (from a 1993 planting) and Syrah. Dark cherry aromas and raspberry flavors combine with a hint of nutmeg and smoky earthiness. An elegant entry in the front of the mouth reveals refined tannins with focused concentration, enhanced by the wine’s rich and supple mouth feel.
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2016 Red Wine SAGGI is mostly Sangiovese but has 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Syrah. Medium ruby-colored, with notes of ripe cherries, spice box, and dried flowers, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, present yet ripe, polished tannins, terrific balance, and a clean, graceful finish. It’s certainly one of the best expressions of Sangiovese coming from Washington.”
The back bone of this wine is Cabernet from Walla Walla and nearby Candy Mountain. Its deepness and darkness is Syrah from the estate’s Benches Vineyards with a touch of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Aromas of dried figs and cocoa powder, along with hints of tamarind and toasty oak are followed by intense violent and blueberry jam flavors beautifully integrated around a spicy core.