In Today’s Newsletter:
First Offer: Rare Large Formats of ’13 Conterno Monfortino
Our Top Value Champagne Picks
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Rare Large Formats of 2013 Conterno Monfortino
Conterno’s Monfortino is a legendary wine—produced only in the very best years, it’s the absolute pinnacle of what Barolo can be. It’s the most collectible bottle produced in Italy and large formats are devilishly hard to find. Only 2,500 magnums and 400 three-liter bottles were produced, which (spread across intense worldwide demand) makes them rarer than hen’s teeth. We have two magnums and one three-liter available—for now. First come, first served.
Arriving ETA Early January:
Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($2,999.95) $2,399 pre-arrival special
Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2013 3L ($6,999.95) $5,999 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 99 points “The 2013 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is brilliant, precise, focused and nuanced, with the classic sense of austerity it has always shown from barrel. In the 2013, readers will find a biting, vibrant Monfortino built along super-classic lines that includes vintages like 1996 and 1999, but the 2013 has more finesse that is the result of a the slight refinements and evolution that have taken place here over the last decade. In 2013, Roberto Conterno bottled the entirety of his Barolo production from Francia as Monfortino.”
Wine Advocate 98 points “I have been tasting this wine from barrel for the past two years and now finally, abracadabra, the 2013 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is safely housed in bottle. The wine was bottled in June of last year and will hit the market this upcoming October. The Barolo Francia was not produced in 2013 because Roberto Conterno diverted all fruit from that vineyard to this wine. Monfortino was not produced in 2011 or 2012, meaning that this 2013 edition follows directly after the absolutely stunning 2010 vintage (which earned a perfect 100-point score). The two vintages (2010 and 2013) are very similar, strikingly so, but the 2013 vintage registers at a slightly lower structural threshold. The tannins are slightly looser, or softer in the case of this wine. With up to six years in botte, the 2010 vintage is still crunchy and super sharp, while this wine is slightly more succulent and earthy. Some 20,000 bottles, 2,500 magnums and 400 three-liter bottles were made.-ML”
James Suckling 99 points “Warm aromas of plums, rose petals and spices with hints of sandalwood. Some tar. Full body, dense center palate with glorious fruit and a fantastic finish. Very, very polished and fine tannins. Vertical and deep. A great Monfortino. Try in 2023.”
This is the lowest listed price for a 3L in the USA today!
Looking for Champagne to stock up on for New Year’s Eve? For parties large and small, we’ve got great value Champagne in stock, ready to roll for all your bubbly needs.
In Stock Now:
Classy, elegant and nuanced, it’s very, very serious Champagne for the price.
R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Coutier’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is bright, focused and nuanced, not to mention incredibly delicious. The energy of Chardonnay and structure of Ambonnay yield a Champagne that is singular, classy and bursting at the seams with character. This release is based on 2016, with 40% reserve wines. I would give it another 6-12 months in bottle, although, truthfully, it is pretty hard to resist now. Dosage: 6.5 gr/L. Disgorged: July, 2019.”
Our go-to Champagne for any occasion (or none at all). Delicious by itself or with food.
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “The latest release of André Clouet’s NV Brut Grand Réserve Grand Cru is showing well, exhibiting a nicely integrated bouquet of red apple, ripe citrus fruit, honeycomb and blanched almonds, followed by a medium to full-bodied, enveloping palate with a fine mousse, ripe but racy acids and an elegant, understated profile, concluding with a well-defined finish. This is a stylish, harmonious wine that makes for a fine introduction to the Clouet portfolio.” [Reviewed April 2019]
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
John Gilman 90 points “I believe that this bottle of André Clouet “Silver” Blanc de Noirs non-vintage Brut Nature is from the base year of 2013, as it has a small code printed on the back of the neck label that says “LS13”. In any case, the wine is quite good, showing that lovely structural rounding from a bit of additional aging in the cellars. The bouquet offers up scents of apple, nectarine, bread dough, a good base of soil and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and nicely balanced, with refined mousse, bright, nicely-integrated acids and a long, complex finish. This is a quite good bottle of Brut Nature. 2019-2030+.”
The average listed price is $47
Charles Heidsieck Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points “($69) Based on the 2010 vintage and disgorged in 2018 with 11 grams per liter dosage, the latest release of the NV Brut Réserve incorporates fully 40% of reserve wines that average ten years of age. It’s an excellent Champagne, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of brioche, waxy lemon rind, mandarin and dried white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich but precise, with a brisk mousse, a generous core of fruit and a precise, elegantly chalky finish. This cuvée just goes from strength to strength, and for now, it remains a great value, considering its depth and complexity.”
The average listed price is $59
Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $444 special (that’s only $37/bottle!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points ” The latest release of Clouet’s deeply colored NV Brut Rosé No 3 Grand Cru is showing well, opening in the glass with notes of blood orange, red berries, ripe apples and oatmeal. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with ripe acids, a frothy mousse and a moderately intense finish. This is an attractive, gastronomic rosé that hails exclusively from Bouzy.” [Reviewed April 2019]
The average listed price is $52
G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 90 points “Chalky on the nose, this clean-cut Champagne is creamy in texture and elegant, offering a subtle mesh of biscuit, green pear, ground ginger and lemon zest notes. A fine aperitif, with a racy finish. Drink now through 2020.”Bold, rich and broad, with that beautiful colorful label.
R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut Tradition, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru is positively stellar. Rich, ample and explosive, the Brut Tradition possesses fabulous energy and resonance from start to finish. The balance of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay works so well here. More than anything else, though, the Brut Tradition offers superb quality, value and personality in its price range, which, once again, makes it one of the most compelling wines budget-conscious readers will find in all of Champagne. Dosage: 6.5 gr/L. Disgorged: July, 2019.”
The average listed price is $44
Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-6 Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($349.95) $279 special (that’s only $46.50/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2009 Brut Dream Vintage is a very pretty, expressive Champagne. Hazelnut, dried flowers, spices, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are all wonderfully laced together. Medium in body, radiant and quite open, the 2009 will drink well upon release.”And our top pick for non-Champagne sparkling, the excellent Roederer Estate:
Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($27.95) $20.90 special
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. ”
In Stock Now:
“one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all” – Antonio Galloni
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($339.95) $249 special
Case-6 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML (1999.95) $1,439 special (that’s only $239.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 99 points “The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.””
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “Top Cellar Selection. This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.”
James Suckling 100 points “Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.”
Krug made one of the finest wines of ’04—the best vintage since the legendary ’96.
Krug Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $233 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.”-SR
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”
John Gilman 97 points “The new release of 2004 Krug is absolutely beautiful and is already quite elegant and open on both the nose and palate and is drinking with great finesse. I had expected this wine to be a bit more steely in structure out of the blocks, but the refinement of the blend this year has produced a wine that is already a joy to drink at age thirteen, though it will continue age gracefully for many, many decades to come. The cépages in 2004 is thirty-nine percent Chardonnay, thirty-seven percent Pinot Noir and twenty-four percent Pinot Meunier, with the wine having been disgorged in the winter of 2016. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined mix of apple, a touch of walnut, warm bread, lavender, a superb base of soil tones and a topnote of smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with vibrant acids, great focus and grip, a lovely core, refined mousse and a very long, complex, racy and energetic finish. There is marvelous precision here on both the nose and palate, not to mention a sense of harmony and grace that is fairly rare in the 2004 vintage. Chapeau! 2017-2060.”
James Suckling 97 points “This is an extremely fresh edition and remains in a restrained mode with an intense serve of Chardonnay’s lemon citrus dominating the nose alongside lime zest, bright florals, grassy elements, fresh dough, white stones and very subtle background spice. The palate has a svelte and elegant shape. Smoother than the 2002, it shares the same quality of precision but not the raging power of that vintage. The poise is unquestionable, the wine very reserved, with plenty of lemon-infused citrus flavors, hints of fresh cashew and a lot of potential. Acidity holds superbly, the dosage is exactly where it should be. This is a classic release. It’s all about Chardonnay. Best from 2022 and will mature gracefully in linear style in bottle for several decades.”
The first ever Piper Heidsieck Rare Rose, this ’07 is legend in the making.
Piper-Heidsieck Rare Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne 2007 750ML ($499.95) $379 special
Case-3 Piper-Heidsieck Rare Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne 2007 750ML ($1499.95) $1,099 special (that’s only $366.33/bottle!)
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points “The salmon colored 2007 Rosé Millesimé Rare has a clear, fresh, slightly oaky-nougat and pretty vinous bouquet. It is a rich and slightly sweetish yet pure, refined, elegant and well-structured Rosé Champagne with good grip and tension as well as a long, intensely aromatic and powerful finish. This is great and enormously complex Champagne with an extraordinary, complex finish. The 2007 is based on 56% Chardonnay and 44% Pinot Noir. Tasted in November 2017.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ points “Another sensational Champagne, as well as the first vintage for the cuvee, the 2007 Rare Rosé (56% Chardonnay and 44% Pinot Noir) offers that beautiful complexity and nuance you only get from top rosé Champagnes. Orange blossom, strawberries, spice, dried flowers, toasted bread, and orange peel notes all emerge from this richly concentrated, medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured 2007. With a fine, yet layered mousse, incredible complexity, and a great finish, this blockbuster effort will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and shine for 10-15 years or more.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Toasted brioche and ripe blackberry notes leap from the glass in this lovely rosé Champagne. Glides like raw silk on the palate, with a deftly woven mix of dried white cherry, spun honey, exotic spice and blood orange zest flavors. Long and persistent on the vibrant finish, showing more fruit and a rich pastry character. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases made.”
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs ‘Millesime de Collection Vieilles Vignes de Chardonnay’, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($349.95) $299 special
Decanter 97 points “The best-value sparkling wine of any kind that I have tasted in the past five years. In all its raw, youthful innocence, this is the epitome of introverted, tightly coiled restraint. A beguiling transparency of pure acid drive propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with breathtaking, scintillating, crystalline minerality. This is a cuvée of effortless poise and boundless energy. Drinking Window 2023 – 2038.” [Review is for the 750ml, which is bottled as the Special Club. This is the same wine, bottled in magnum.]
Deutz Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Decanter 97 points “Amour was created by Deutz’s long-standing managing director, Fabrice Rosset. It’s a prestige blanc de blancs which is only made in the best years, so there was little surprise when Deutz produced an Amour from the highly acclaimed 2008 vintage. This really has it all: freshness, extract, power, balance and concentration. Already, the primary nose shows chamomile and iris, while the palate is crammed with white fruits, nougat, chamomile, candied fruit and minerals. Deutz’s signature spine-tingling acidity balances out the weight and creamy texture of this generous, well structured fizz. It’s fabulous as an aperitif now but it will also develop well into old age as a gastronomic wine with delicate seafood dishes. 40,000 bottles produced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The citrus-colored 2008 Amour de Deutz Brut Millésime is still yeasty on the nose, but very clear and elegant on the palate. This is a super pure and mineral, well-balanced Millésime with a long, intense and persistent finish. This is full of tension and finesse. A great wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “[Review is for 375ml] This wine is rich and surprisingly full-bodied. It comes from a great Champagne vintage, giving it both intensity and an acidity built for longterm aging. This half-bottle version is filling out, showing almond flavors yet retaining its citrus edge. Drink from 2019.”A stunning rosé sparkler—this is chiseled and elegant but powerful.
Deutz Amour de Deutz Rose Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2008 Brut Rosé Millésimé Amour de Deutz is gorgeous and crystalline in the glass, as Champagnes from this vintage tend to be. Light on its feet yet also quite intense, the 2008 exudes energy in its finely sculpted red berry, floral and mineral-infused notes. The 2008 could use a bit more time in bottle to soften, but it is undeniably beautiful, even at this early stage.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “Deutz’ Millésime 2008 Amour de Deutz Rosé Brut shows a pale but brilliant salmon color and a clear, delicate bouquet of discreet red fruits as well as very fine spicy and floral notes. The palate is highly delicate and fresh, firmly structured and nicely dry, with good, dense, aromatic and well-structured length. However, the wine is still young and not yet perfectly round.” [Review is for lot LA112D32216]
Andre Clouet ‘Le Clos’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($379.95) $319 special
Decanter 96 points “The flamboyant Jean- François Clouet extracts delicious cuvées from the depths of his historic family vineyards in Bouzy. His clos on the lower edge of town was awaiting a season with the energy of 2008 to capture captivating tension and introverted reticence. Its grand cru complexity has burst out, rising to the rhythm of an exceptional vintage, coaxing out a pronounced chalk mineral texture of glittering definition.”
VinopolNote: Only 250 cases of this rare bottling were produced, all from one of the four walled Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne. 100% Pinot Noir, aged 8 years sur latte, from a great vintage.Grande Dame is always the pinnacle of Veuve’s production—and in ’08 is better than usual.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($179.95) $139 special
Decanter 97 points “A classic, slow-maturing year picked into October. It’s a pale, pristine hue – a beautifully assembled mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, combining saline-wrapped orchard fruits with great Pinot Noir subtlety yet strength. THE aperitif Champagne, but also try with sea trout. Drinking Window 2020 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “An elegant Champagne, powered by a sculpted frame of acidity and minerality, this wears the refined, lacy mousse and well-meshed flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toast and marzipan like finely tailored clothing. Fresh and lasting, with hints of spice and smoke on the finish. Disgorged August 2016. Drink now through 2033.”
Thanks for reading!