Midweek VinopolPick 12-3-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

A Perfect Pinot Present
Presenting: Sequitur Vertical Gift Packs

New Releases from Cayuse

Hot Pricing on a California Sparkling Favorite

New Washington Reviews from Stephen Tanzer at Vinous

Top Tier in Everything But Price:
Brovia’s Elite, Traditional Barolo

Trending Wines

Our California Pinot & Syrah Offer of the Year

The Aristocratic Whites of Muller-Catoir

The Long Shadows Collection Box


A Perfect Pinot Present

Presenting: Sequitur Vertical Gift Packs

Look no further for a gift for a lover of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  We’ve got three-pack, mini-verticals of Mike Etzel’s standout Sequitur Pinot Noir arriving on Friday and these little boxes are a perfect present (to someone else or yourself).

If you’re unfamiliar with the estate, allow us a quick introduction: Mike Etzel (Beaux Freres) planted, farmed and vinified this site just up the hill from the Beaux Freres estate vineyard.  Like the BF wines, it’s big and rich, with lots of Ribbon Ridge character. There are three different vintages in each box (15/16/17) and all are worth drinking, with their own personalities and stages of maturity.  If it inspires you to put a few six packs of your favorites away? All the better.

Arriving Friday:

Case-3 Sequitur Vertical Gift Pack (’15/’16/’17) 750ML ($299.95) $225 pre-arrival special
A Case of Three Bottles: One Bottle Each 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sequitur Pinot Noir

Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points
“Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2015 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a very provocative nose of Bing cherries and cranberries over a core of red roses, game, yeast extract and underbrush. Medium-bodied, with wonderful energy and freshness, it has a lively backbone and long finish paved with very fine, ripe tannins.”

Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points
“Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”

Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-95 points
“Lurid red. Spice-tinged blackberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola, incense and smoky minerals. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry and spicecake flavors and suggestions of rose pastille and mocha that build with air. Concentrated but also vibrant and precise in style, delivering superb finishing cut, well-knit tannins and impressive, fruit-driven persistence. (30% new French oak).”
Nick Stock-jamessuckling .com 96 points “Beautifully deep, blueberries and plums on offer with notes of fresh violets and moist, fresh-tilled earth. This is full of life and very pure. The palate has focused and fresh tannins that sit in very vibrant style with a deep push of concentrated blue fruit, holding the finish in superb style. So fresh and long, this will age well. Drink across the next decade or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $250

New Releases from Cayuse

Cayuse is one of the most in-demand wineries in North America, producing wines from both Rhone and Bordeaux varieties that are among the finest in the world.  We’re always on the hunt for more of these hyper-rare bottlings—and this set of new releases is a prime example of why the wines are so exciting.  Arriving Friday, it features the newest vintages of their single vineyards Syrahs, plus the Chateauneuf-destroying “God Only Knows.”  As usual with Cayuse, quantities are extremely limited (a three-pack of each wine) so snap these up quickly if you want them in your cellar.

Arriving Friday:

Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($179.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2016 God Only Knows saw a fair amount of stems (60-80%) and was brought up in neutral demi-muids and foudre. It’s incredibly complex, offering blackberry, smoked earth, Iberico ham, white pepper, spring flowers, and violets. It’s seamless, ultra-pure, medium-bodied, and just glides across the palate and has a Burgundian weight and richness. 535 cases.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points “Bright medium red. Knockout nose combines red cherry, pomegranate, mocha, white pepper and a sexy high-toned floral element. At once salty and juicy on the palate, savory but not particularly meaty, with a dominant flavor of crushed red cherry complicated by notes of garrigue and truffle. Finishes very long and subtly palate-staining, with terrific floral complexity. This wine struck me as a little darker in character than the No Girls Grenache made by Elizabeth Bourcier at Cayuse. And it’s still tightly wound. (13.6% alcohol; vinified with 75% whole clusters; from a crop level of just 1.5 tons per acre)”

Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points
“A wine that’s held back three months in barrel and then held a year in bottle (as is the GOK), the 2016 Syrah Armada Vineyard saw 70-80% stems and 15% new oak (both demi-muids and foudre). Slightly deeper ruby in color, it has a mix of both red and blue fruits, salt, violets, damp earth, and smoked earth. Deep, tight, backward, but just loaded with potential, it needs 3-5 years of bottle age and will be very long lived.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 95 points “Healthy medium red, with moderate saturation. Musky black raspberry, red cherry, game and red licorice on the nose, lifted by a floral topnote; more red fruit in character than the Bionic Frog. Intensely flavored and energetic, displaying a penetrating spicy quality to its flavors of red cherry, raspberry and wild herbs. For all its verve, this ripe but classically dry Syrah is also wonderfully silky. Large-scaled but still tightly wound, finishing with fine-grained tannins, terrific rising floral length and late notes of wet soil and bacon. The Armada vineyard is located next to La Paciencia. (from vines planted in 2001 at 6 by 4 spacing; 10% new oak)”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Cayuse Vineyards En Cerise Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Cayuse Vineyards En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Hot Pricing on a California Sparkling Favorite

Roederer is a longtime favorite producer of bubbly, both in France and with their Anderson Valley project, Roederer Estate.  The workhorse bottling of that latter winery has been one of the go-to sparklers around $20 for quite some time and the new edition, arriving at the end of next week, is fantastic.  For less than $19/blt by the case, it’s hard to find a better bottle of bubbly anywhere in the world, so we stocked up to present you with this great deal.

Arriving December 13th:

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. “



New Washington Reviews

From Stephen Tanzer at Vinous

Stephen Tanzer just published an exciting set of new reviews for wines from Washington.  Tanzer is one of the most respected palates in the game—a tough grader who has been reviewing wines professionally since 1985.  He’s enthusiastic about both 2016 (which constitutes the bulk of what’s available) and ’17, saying that “the bottom line is that both vintages yielded terrific wines.”

He goes on to praise 2016’s early drinkability, noting “Thanks to the balance of the wines and their ripeness, relatively few 2016s are overly austere in the early going. The Cabernets have plenty of tannins but they are normally fine and round, and the wines would appear to be quite ageworthy. The 2016s are often opulent and elegant at the same time, and more than one winemaker noted that the larger-than-normal cluster and berry size made it easy to extract harmonious wines.”

In Stock Now:

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($219.95) $199 special
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2016 1.5L ($479.95) $449 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 97 points
“Moderately saturated dark red with ruby tones. Classic, complex Cabernet scents of black fruits, cocoa powder and sexy herbs lifted by a strong mineral component; the high-quality Taransaud and Darnajou barrels come through clearly but not loudly. Wonderfully smooth, tight-grained wine with gloriously ripe but not roasted flavors of wild blackberry, cassis, bitter chocolate and minerals. Harmonious ripe acidity gives this wine outstanding finesse and lifts the fruit. I find this wine more relaxed than the superb 2015 version, perhaps because there was little in the way of vine stress in ’16. Perhaps most impressive in the early going on the extremely long, slowly building back end, which features noble tannins, great suavity and outstanding lift. (3.97 pH; made from Palengat, Champoux and Wallula vineyards, all in Horse Heaven Hills, but the label for this wine has said Columbia Valley for a long time; in an earlier era the label used the even more generic Washington State appellation)”

K Vintners The Hidden Syrah, Wahluke Slope 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points
“Bright red-ruby. Musky dark raspberry, leather, black pepper and a whiff of shoe polish on the complex nose; yet more evidence of how different all these Syrah cuvées are. A seriously vibrant, fine-grained midweight in the mouth, offering terrific perfumed lift to its nuanced flavors of raspberry, spices, lavender and dried oregano. A hint of almost lemony acidity and a suggestion of orange peel contribute to the overall impression of vibrancy and lift. Smooth tannins saturate the front teeth on the very long, spicy aftertaste. (from broken volcanic soils with a bit of limestone)”

K Vintners The Cattle King Syrah, Snipes Mountain 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points
“Lively scents of redcurrant, raspberry and dried herbs, plus a whiff of tea leaf. Bright on entry, the pliant but firm in the middle palate, with its dense flavors of red berries and rocky minerality enlivened by penetrating acidity (the pH is actually 3.85). This savory, subtle midweight finishes surprisingly reticent but very long. I never would have guessed the alcohol but it should help this wine age well. Leighton noted that this vineyard was created when “the mountain rose up and pulled the river up the side of the hill”–hence the cobblestones at this altitude. (15% alcohol; from mineral-rich cobblestone soil”

K Vintners The Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 93+ points
“Bright, dark ruby-red. Scents of black cherry, tar, African violet and licorice on the dark, aromatic nose. Quite primary and concentrated but already plush, ripe and savory, with a piquant note of pink peppercorn providing definition and lift. With its palate-dusting length, this penetrating, peppery wine should offer serious aging potential. (from a gravelly site with volcanic sand; vinified entirely in concrete)”

K Vintners The Beautiful Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 93 points
“Wild, northern Rhône-like aromas of raspberry, game and roasted notes lifted by a note of jasmine that must come from the small Viognier component. Then surprisingly firm on the palate, with juicy but very suave flavors of black raspberry, grilled meat, spices and musky minerality complemented by nuances of flowers, tar and earth. Finishes with substantial dusty, broad tannins and a peppery accent. “A great Rocks vineyard with structure,” is the way winemaker Brennon Leighton describes Powerline. These vines are planted to the 470 Syrah clone from Tablas Creek, which Leighton says is usually more floral and focused than meaty and earthy. (14% alcohol)”

K Vintners Powerline Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 93 points
“Bright, dark red. Slightly liqueur-like aromas of raspberry and exotic spices. Bright and penetrating, offering sharply delineated flavors of boysenberry, pomegranate and game. This high-pitched midweight delivers serious energy and a late note of pungent citrus peel adds grip to the finish. This wine and The Beautiful have similar pHs around 3.95, according to Leighton. (from the Phelps clone; fermented in large stainless steel seed bins)”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
K Vintners Charlotte, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 92 points
“Bright medium red with a palish rim. Highly perfumed scents of red cherry, strawberry, rose petal and violet, along with a wild gamey nuance and an almost liqueur-like brambly quality. Fine-grained red berry and spice flavors display lovely subtle intensity and stony mineral grip. This broad, nuanced blend finishes with excellent breadth and a fine dusting of tannins. This wine is made from river cobblestone but at an altitude 500 feet higher than The Rocks, says Brennon Leighton, noting that the vineyard benefits from cooling breezes from the Blue Mountains. (14.5% alcohol; from Powerline and River Rock vineyards; fermented in concrete, then aged for 26 months in neutral demi-muids; 3.85 pH)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Brovia’s Elite, Traditional Barolo

(Top Tier in Everything But Price)

Despite being in the top echelons of Barolo, prices for Brovia’s wines have yet to seriously escalate. They stand with any producer’s collection of Baroli and yet are priced below many ‘name’ producers that are making wines of less character and interest.  For traditionally made Barolo, these are some of the best wines you can buy (at any price, really, but especially for the price).

If you’re new to Brovia, here’s the scoop:  Wonderful, expressive wines made and farmed in traditional methods.   They hit all the right notes in terms of thoughtful vineyard management (organic without certification, careful pruning, and hand harvesting) and are unapologetically classic in their winemaking (long and slow fermentation and long aging in large barrels and, subsequently, in bottle).

Brovia has an assortment of excellent vineyard holdings that are mostly in Serralunga.  Rocche and Villero are obviously top vineyards that are well known, but the other gem in the portfolio is the Brea “Ca’Mia” which is a wine that stands out in any lineup for its combination of Serralunga power and elegance.

We try and carry as many of their wines as we can and the 2015 Barolos are notable successes.  Brovia’s normal style is lean and coiled, so the extra warmth of the vintage pushed the wines to be a little grander than usual.  These are all wines that are shaping up to be epics and are also wines that you’ll look back on and wish you had bought more of (especially the way Brovia’s star/pricing is rising).

In Stock Now:

Brovia Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Brovia Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2015 1.5L ($269.95) $219 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points
“The Brovia 2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione (the last wine I tasted in this series of cru expressions) opens to the darkest color of this series, with a firm core of black fruit. This wine is silky and satiny in terms of texture—one of the trademarks of this sandy-soil cru in Castiglione Falletto—but don’t underestimate that structural firmness that holds it tightly together. It would take nicely to veal involtini with asparagus.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Brovia’s flagship 2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione is a decidedly full-bodied wine. The richness of this warm vintage comes through loud and clear in an ample, resonant Barolo endowed with serious textural depth. Lifted floral and spice notes add an attractive upper register as the 2015 starts to open up in the glass. Even so, the Rocche stands out for its volume and sheer size, both of which are unusual for this Castiglione Falletto site, where the wines tend to be more lithe. The Rocche appears to be the Barolo most shaped by the growing season in this range.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $103
Brovia Brea ‘Vigna Ca’ Mia’, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($99.95) $88 special
Brovia Brea ‘Vigna Ca’ Mia’, Barolo DOCG 2015 1.5L ($249.95) $199 special
Antonio Galloni 94+ points
“The 2015 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia captures all the best the vintage has to offer. Black cherry, plum, espresso, sage, menthol, licorice and leather are all kicked up a few notches in a decidedly dark, strapping Barolo that screams with Serralunga character. Exotic, dark and totally alluring, the 2015 has a very bright future, but readers should be prepared to be patient, as the tannins clearly need time to soften.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points “The Brovia 2015 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia offers good balance and an authentic representation of the vintage. You can sense some of the heat of the growing season here, thanks to the wine’s open and accessible persona; it enters the palate with softness and elegance. This was the first of the single-vineyard wines from Brovia released this year that I tasted in a flight meant to increase in intensity.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price is $103
Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2015 1.5L ($219.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2015 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is dense and powerful in the glass. A rush of black cherry, plum, lavender, iron and sage literally burst from the glass. Ample, full-bodied and intense, the Garblèt Sue’ is another stellar wine in this range. The typically incisive Garblèt Sue’ tannins are nearly buried by the sheer richness of the fruit. Today, the Garblèt Sue’ is distinguished by its wild, feral profile and huge core of fruit. In this vintage, the Garblèt is the overachiever in the range relative to how it shows in most vintages.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points “Showing some immediate softness, the 2015 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is beautifully approachable and generously accommodating, even at this early stage in the wine’s drinking window. Bring it out with a selection of goat cheeses. It’s interesting to note that, at 40 years old, the vines of this cru in Castiglione Falletto actually rank as some of the youngest held by the Brovia estate, founded in 1863, before the unification of Italy.”

Brovia Villero, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($99.95) $88 special
Brovia Villero, Barolo DOCG 2015 1.5L ($249.95) $199 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2015 Barolo Villero offers richness and darkness with fruit from Castiglione Falletto, and it’s one of the more intense wines I tasted within this selection. The Villero is a balanced and polished Barolo that opens to nicely integrated fruit and spice tones, expertly interwoven and united. The wine has a beautiful entry to the palate. Indeed, this pretty wine presented a united front, with seamless and graceful integration.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2015 Barolo Villero is a very pretty, mid-weight wine. Silky tannins and beautifully expressive aromatics give the Villero considerable finesse. On the palate, though, the 2015 is far less expressive. That is not entirely surprising, as the Villero often needs a few years to truly blossom. Sweet floral and spice notes start to open with time in the glass, but the Villero is not an especially forthcoming 2015 Barolo.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for the magnum!
Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Importer Note
“Always a stunning value and a perfect encapsulation of the Brovia house style, their Barolo “normale” is comprised 60% of a portion of their holdings in Brea (the oldest and best-exposed vines are bottled separately as “Ca’Mia”—see below) and 40% of the younger vines of their three crus in Castiglione Falletto. One feels both the spicy, boisterous generosity of Serralunga d’Alba and the mineral thrust of Castiglione Falletto in this wine, and the 2015 is a particularly layered, dynamic version, offering excellent concentration but relative accessibility at this early stage.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $57

Trending Wines

A perfect middleground Chardonnay—a touch of oak, but with good freshness.
Cameron Winery Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special
Winery Note
“This delicious chardonnay from the Dundee Hills AVA is barrel-fermented and aged on the lees for one year.  A nose of lemon curd, apricot, white peach and browned butter and a creamy palate with flavors of lemon peel, graham cracker, and baked pears.  This year’s release is produced entirely from grapes from Abbey Ridge Vineyard, some of the oldest vines in Oregon.  It’s a fabulous chance to experience a wine of this quality at this price.”

#44 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019 –and a classic leafy Chinon!
Bernard Baudry Chinon Cuvee Domaine, Loire 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A gorgeous red, with tobacco, bay leaf and black pepper notes underscoring the dark cherry and cola flavors. Beautifully integrated tannins join the fresh acidity and create a solid structure that gives this harmony and promises a long life ahead. Delicious now, but should be even better in a few years. Best from 2021 through 2030. 600 cases imported”
Importer Note ” Baudry’s style exemplifies rich, precise fruit picked at perfect ripeness levels and vinified cleanly using state-of-the-art equipment. The Cuvée Domaine is a blend of parcels of older vines (30-35 years old) planted in alluvial gravel bed and hillside clay. It has bigger structure and can use a short aging period in bottle before drinking. The wine has deep, dark ruby color and is beautifully extracted.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
A go-to dry white that’s good with everything (and fantastic).
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.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
An absolute classic bottling of Fleurie, it’s what we love about Vissoux in a bottle.
Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie Poncie, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2017 Fleurie Poncié hails from a southeast-facing, higher-altitude site that’s typically quite cool, and that’s reflected in its bright, perfumed bouquet of raspberries, rose petals and Griotte cherries, with suggestions of darker fruits emerging with air. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, pure and nicely concentrated, with fine tannins, a bright line of acidity and good length on the finish.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Bright magenta. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red/dark berries, lavender, candied licorice and smoky minerals. Sappy black raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors display a suave blend of concentration and energy and pick up a spicecake nuance with air. Finishes juicy, sweet and long, displaying lingering fruit and floral pastille qualities and discreet tannins.”

It’s cool to drink Merlot again, at least at these prices, it seems.
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $36.99

Our California Pinot & Syrah Offer of the Year

Chateau St. Jean Benoist Ranch Wines for a Fraction of Other Listings
50% & 75% Off the Next Best Prices!

Chateau St. Jean is well known for their budget-friendly varietal wines, but their single vineyard collection features the terroir of Benoist Ranch—a property best known as Etude’s estate vineyard.  It’s a coveted property in the Sonoma Coast where the cool maritime climate produces wines of richness, intensity and balance. It makes for fantastic juice, particularly in the 2014 vintage, which was a true winner for Pinot Noir and other reds from Sonoma.

Etude’s and Ch. St. Jean’s wines from this vineyard usually sell for $65-$85 dollars, but we’re making their elite cuvee budget friendly for you. We’re offering the Syrah at over half off the next best price and the Pinot for almost 75% off the next best price!

In Stock Now:

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!)

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $50
That’s almost $30 more PER BOTTLE by the case!

The Aristocratic Whites of Muller-Catoir

Every wine region in the world has one or two estates that immediately come to mind when you hear the name of the region: Chateau Margaux in Margaux, Romanee-Conti in Vosne-Romanee, and Donnhoff in the Nahe. Muller-Catoir occupies that space in the Pfalz region of Germany.

The Pfalz as a region focused on powerful, dry wines long before it was fashionable.  The wines we’re highlighting today are some of the best values in the world for breathtakingly mineral wines.  Muller-Catoir owns some of the greatest vineyards in the region and has a special touch with them.

From grand, aristocratic Riesling to wild and exciting Scheurebe to the best Pinot Blanc (Weisburgunder) in the world, Muller-Catoir’s wines are top of the class in every category—and excellent value as well.  2017 was an exceptional vintage, even by recent German standards, and the wines are powerful, focused and intense—the perfect sort of year for the Pfalz.

In Stock Now:

Dry Wines
Muller-Catoir Haardter ‘Im Breumel’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Case-6 Muller-Catoir Haardter ‘Im Breumel’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($399.95) $333 special (that’s only $55.50/bottle!)
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 98 points
“Stand back for the arrival of a giant! Super-fresh nectarine, vanilla and Thai-basil aromas that don’t leave you in any doubt that this is a very remarkable dry riesling. Then the tidal wave of minerality comes through at the finish and sweeps everything away. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Extremely elegant and precisely crafted, with notes of star anise and lavender framing the core of crunchy pear and blood orange flavors. The acidity is appreciable, fueling the flavors and spice accents. Savory mineral details linger on the finish. Best from 2021 through 2031.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2017 ($49.95) $36 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 94 points
” Effusive aromas of apricots and lemon zest with hints of summer flowers. At once succulent, graceful and finely nuanced on the palate, then very long and filigree at the finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Grapelive 93 points “The Burgergarten in the Haardt vineyard as used by the famed Mueller-Catoir, or hill garden, is a Premier Cru site that is composed of weathered yellow sandstone interspersed with layer of loess and clay giving the perfect conditions to make a lush, but crisply dry Riesling of refined elegance and with a concentrated underlying power, which in 2017 is incredible and joyously perfumed. ….The 2017 Burgergarten Trocken [has] exotic tropical fruit and floral aromas with plumeria, jasmine, dried pineapple, gingery/peppery notes and grilled citrus leading the way on the racy palate, this Riesling feels a bit like Trimbach’s Cuvee Frederic Emile, adding layers of wild peach, while cherry, tangy apricot and zesty lime notes along with loads of tannin like structure, zippy acidity, chalky stones and a Chablis like steely edge! Air brings more body out and clears the touch of reduction that easily blows and this Riesling becomes in fact more white Burgundy like in some ways, while also gaining hints of spearmint, chamomile and verbena, which clearly are Riesling influences and it is strikingly impressive for keeping its tension , clarity and severity, like a firm GG should…This area can produce monumental dry Riesling, as witnessed here with this Erste Lage Trocken from Mueller-Catoir….Terry Theise, Mueller-Catoir’s famous importer, says the estate produces wines of outstanding transparency and density, and remains emblematic of Riesling at its most sophisticated, and I totally agree, these are amazingly pure wines that are both wildly entertaining in expression and wines of remarkable class and finesse…. This Burgergarten grows on you with every sip and should get even more intriguing with 3 to 5 years more are on it, patience I think will be well rewarded, and I hope I get to revisit it a few more times.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Muller-Catoir Gimmeldingen Riesling, Pfalz 2017 ($29.95) $24 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 93 points
“Ripe white and yellow peaches and just enough acidity to lift the medium-full body and give the long finish some real drive. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

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Muller-Catoir Haardter Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 94 points
“A stunning, bone-dry riesling for this moderate price level! Fine nose of sliced pears and honeysuckle. Stunning freshness and purity on the medium-full palate. The finish is subtlety reminiscent of Mosel. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Grapelive 92 points “The 2017 Müller-Catoir Haardt Trocken is exotic and highly aromatic with lovely fruit and mineral intensity, it is a wonderful and crisply dry Riesling that reflects the vintage and its remarkable Pfalz terroir.… the talented Martin Franzen [is] running the cellar here. Franzen, who in the past ran the operations at Schlossgut Diel, employs a strict program with a move to organic practices and severe selections in the vineyards, where everything is worked and picked by hand now and focuses on ultra transparency in the wines with a reductive approach, with every wine getting a hand crafted attention to detail. The Haardt, a village bottling is a pure example with expressive bright flavors and a heavenly floral perfume, while being brisk, tangy and dusty dry on the light framed palate. Müller-Catoir does a gentle crush and gives the juice plenty of time on the skins before a slow and soft pressing before an stainless steel fermentation and aging, all to preserve vibrancy and purity, the wines are always stylish and evocative.…The Haardt Riesling Trocken is all from organic grapes that were grown on standstone soils, which gives this wine its pretty nose and steely form, and this 2017 is absolutely seducing with a complex array of sensations that ranges from tropical essences to flinty wet stones, it is clear and with a tiny hint of sunshine in the glass. In the mouth this calcareous influenced Riesling shows jasmine, oyster shell, peach, tart apricot, green apple and saline notes, adding guava/papaya, rosewater and hint of zesty lime.…this one itself is fabulous and a true value offering from this great estate. I am glad I got a few bottles of Müller-Catoir from 2017, they are looking like classics. This is a great Summer refresher, but serious enough to hang out with haute cuisine, it gets more intriguing with matching food, it can go with a wide variety of foods from fresh shellfish, spicy prawns, sushi as well as cured meats, picnic fare, street tacos and Moroccan lemon chicken even. This vivid and zippy young Riesling is a quality white that makes for a nice alternative for Chablis, Kiwi Sauv Blanc and or Albarino, drink it over the next 3 to 5 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $30
Muller-Catoir Haardt Weissburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 93 points
“Very creamy and silky, but without a hint of fat, this is a very polished pinot blanc with underplayed power. Delicate white-peach and pear aromas. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

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Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Weissburgunder, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 95 points
“All the heads turned when this beauty walked into the room. Ripe and fresh, deep yet very clean and delicate, this is a superb pinot blanc. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Muller-Catoir Haardter Muskateller Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($29.95) $27 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 92 points
“Wonderful pink-grapefruit and muscat nose that bowls you over. So joyful and really rather subtle for a seriously aromatic grape variety. Very bright finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $40.50

Muller-Catoir Haardt Scheurebe, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($49.95) $24 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 93 points
“The whiff of smoke gives the cassis nose of this wine an extra dimension. Concentrated and racy with a dangerous amount of energy. So juicy and vibrant with a long and very clean finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.99

Muller-Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Trocken, Pfalz 2017 ($59.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 95 points
“Why drink a dry white called scheurebe? Here’s the answer. An enormously complex nose of grapefruit, cassis and pineapple, then breathtaking purity and elegance on the palate and a totally uplifting and super-long finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Terry Theise note “Over 50-year vines now, and this is outsized Scheu, dense and grand, spiciness to the intersection of space and time; salty and regal, and in its delightfully gnarly way gorgeous, erecting a megalith on your palate. Forget spitting; you can’t get rid of it.”

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Off Dry to Sweet Wines
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Spatlese, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 95 points
“Stunning nectarine, peach and papaya character, together with lovely succulence and enormous vitality, make this a breathtaking sweet Spätlese with a finish that’s straight as a laser beam and super-clean. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten ‘Im Breumel’ Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375 ($49.95) $39 special
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.”

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Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2015 Riesling Auslese Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten is super pure and fine on the nobly concentrated, stony nose with its honey and bright fruit aromas. Rich, sweet, lush and piquant on the palate, this is an excellent Auslese with great finesse and a lingering piquancy. Despite its sweetness, this is a very stimulating and pure Auslese with great ageing potential.”
We also have the full lineup of 2018 wines from Muller-Catoir arriving soon (at excellent pricing).
Want to shop them all? Just head to the full list on our webstore right now!

The Perfect Wine Gift?

Long Shadow’s Collection Gift Box

Long Shadows was created to highlight the best that Columbia Valley wines could be.  Allen Shoup, the founder of Chateau St Michelle, wanted to create a winery solely for the purpose of showing off the best qualities of Washington wine.  Rather than create one winery, though, he created a set of them—with the best winemakers in the world each having an equity stake in a brand that was tailored to their vision and what they did best.  The collection of talent and vineyard material were both impeccable and the results are obvious—these are spectacular efforts.

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.

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Thanks for reading!