Midweek VinopolPick 12-4-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

A (98 Point) Modern Masterpiece of Rioja

March of the Grande Marques 

New Wine Advocate Reviews for Top Tier Champagnes

Best in Country Pricing on Top QPR Oregon Pinots

The Wine Advocate Weighs in on Oregon Classics

Recent Grapelive Reviews

Trending Party Wines – A Case of Vinsanity

A (98 Point) Modern Masterpiece of RiojaAt the best price in the country!

Tempranillo remains a grape unmastered by anyone outside of Spain. The Ribera del Duero has become famous for its version of Iberia’s noblest grape, but the world’s finest Tempranillo still comes from La Rioja. Perfect growing conditions aside, La Rioja possesses a centuries-old tradition of Tempranillo winemaking, which usually blends in some Graciano, Mazuelo, and/or Grenache. Today, styles vary in La Rioja, and amongst the more modern wineries Bodegas Roda stands out. Absolute quality drives Roda’s vinous pursuits. Old vines abound in Roda’s estate vineyards, and the ultra-modern winery keeps the site’s 19th-century cellars at different temperatures depending on the stage of vinification. Each of the 17 vineyards ferments and ages separately in French oak until the wines are blended to create Roda’s signature wines.

Arriving Friday

Bodegas Roda ‘Roda I’ Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “There is beauty here and the transparency is inspiring with dark berry, floral and mineral character. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. A glorious wine. A wine that will age for decades and beautiful now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.95

March of the Grand MarquesChampagne Madness Continues!

The holiday season marches on and with it, more great Champagne is about to cross our threshold.  We’ve got some of the best wines from the most venerable houses in Champagne arriving Friday, with pricing that’s sure to put a smile on any lover of bubbles.

Arriving Friday:

More stock arriving Friday!
Dom Perignon Rose, Champagne 2005 750ML ($379.95) $259 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 99 points “A mind-blowing wine. This is super subtle and intense with aromas of peaches, light strawberry and cream. Also shows rose petal and cooked peaches. Medium to full body, with ultra-fine tannins that feel like fine silk. The finish goes on for mintutes. It floats across the palate. The winemaker says the closet vintage to this is the 1990, but I think this is better.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2005 Dom Pérignon Rosé is intriguing, complex and multi-faceted. Brisk and refreshing, with a slightly herbal (but not unpleasant character), the 2005 is superb today. Over time, the wine has acquired a bit more depth and body than it showed at the outset. Even with all of its depth, though, I would not suggest cellaring the 2005 too long given the challenges of the year. Hints of blood orange, mint, sage and dried flowers add the closing shades of nuance.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This rosé Champagne is rich and vinous, offering smoky minerality up front, expanding to show dried raspberry, mandarin orange zest, brioche and espresso crème flavors that ride the fine, lacy mousse. Spice and mineral details persist on the racy finish. Drink now through 2027.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This Champagne is beautifully mature, its ripe fruit and soft texture magnified by toast and yeast. Rich and full bodied, its fine acidity keeps it in great condition. With a crisp aftertaste that gives it a delicious lift, it’s ready to drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Moet & Chandon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “A sleek, creamy Champagne, with an expressive range of toast, apricot, candied Meyer lemon zest, cassis and pastry cream set in a tightly knit and racy frame. This offers personality now, but the focus and concentration recommends it to the cellar as well. Disgorged February 2017. Drink now through 2030.”Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Millesime Brut, Champagne 2006 750ML ($219.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2006 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut is simply fabulous. In most vintages, Dom Ruinart is a big, ample Champagne that shows the structure of the Montagne de Reims Chardonnay in the blend. The 2006 has plenty of textural resonance and richness, and yet I am also struck by its tension. Both bottles I tasted point to a Dom Ruinart that is quite a bit more polished and sophisticated than it often is at this stage.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A statuesque Champagne, firm and finely knit, with a beautiful array of baked white peach, almond biscotti, pastry cream and crystallized honey flavors riding the silky mousse. A rich and smoky note of toasted brioche echoes on the chiseled finish. Drink now through 2031.”

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($89.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points “It is quite something to be invited to the launch of Champagne Veuve Clicquot 2008 at Clos des Lambrays, one of the finest grands crus of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits and acquired by LVMH in April 2014. It was rumoured to have paid close to €100m. The Veuve Clicquot 2008 is VC Chef de Caves Dominique Demarville’s first solo vintage. What fascinated him at Lambrays was winemaker Thierry Brouin’s consummate talent in capturing from the red iron-rich soil a wonderfully bright character in the wine- so fresh, rich yet elegant, density and delicacy in magical harmony. The same can be said for my two coups de coeur in Clicquot 2008. — Veuve Clicquot 2008 (Magnum) — Shimmering green-gold. Easily up several notches from the bottle. Perfect balance of freshness, ripe acidity and complex vinosity to come. Near perfect wine, patina of seasoned spice of subtle oak. — Elegant and complex Champagne with plenty of fine mousse and flavours of toast, smoke and roasted fruit notes to balance the fresh acidity. A refined and refreshing fullbodied wine in a gastronomic style with the potential to drink well for many years.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Very elegant, this is chiseled by racy acidity that’s swathed in the refined, creamy mousse and flavors of crème de cassis, preserved lemon, biscuit and dried apricot. Long and lacy on the smoke-tinged, minerally finish.”
Gilbert & Gaillard 93 points “Light yellow. Refined nose showing subtle notes of stone fruits and brioche. Lovely refined texture and bubbles, ethereal freshness and a tense profile on the palate. Precise yet streamlined. A beautiful rendition of minimalist elegance.”

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rose, Champagne 2008 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Gilbert & Gaillard 97 points “Coppery orange-pink. The nose is shy on first pour then delivers delicate red fruit, dried fruit and mild spice notes after swirling. Fleshy attack, fine bubbles and superb freshness. A tense, elegant rose. Hugely successful, almost a foregone conclusion.”



New Wine Advocate Reviews

For Top Tier Champagne

“This has been a nice start to the winter season! I have tasted some truly great champagnes over the past few weeks, spanning different occasions between New York and Hamburg. The bottles are still bubbly and the reviews still warm. There are some quite exciting cuvées on the market just now—some of them are among the finest I’ve tasted in the past few years. I’ve included all the highlights in this report. Happy hunting and festivities!” – Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

In Stock Now:

Krug Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $248 special
Krug Brut, Champagne Gift Box Packaged 2004 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
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

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “($83.99) Sourced from the grand crus Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger and Cramant and aged for four to five years on the lees, the Delamotte NV Blanc de Blanc offers a beautifully intense and chalky bouquet of ripe and fresh white fruits intertwined with brioche and blossom notes. The palate is tight and straight, revealing great finesse and elegance as well as Burgundian fruit flavors, followed by a long, firmly structured finish. Still young and somewhat austere, this energetic Blanc de Blancs will improve over the next two or more years. Tasted from lot L93DO100181, November 2018.”-SR

Arriving this Month:

Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2007 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “There are pure chalk and lemon juice notes intertwined with perfectly ripe, sunny white and yellow-fleshed fruit expressions (even hints of pineapples) on the bright, fresh, subtle but most of all highly elegant and nobly expressive nose. Altogether, that makes the 2007 Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut an outstanding Salon that already shows its class without any reservation but also without any compromises to its refined and terroir-driven style. Compared to the powerful and structured 2006 that, from my memories, showed wet chalk flavors but almost no fruit in its youth, the weightless and delicate 2007 is a coolish, elegant and smoky gentleman dressed in a white tie and silk hat—Max Raabe singing Berlin chansons from the 1920s! The performance on the palate is pure yet concentrated, fresh and linear, very elegant and perfectly balanced, but most of all, it is extremely fine and stimulating! There is a chalky-dusty texture in the aftertaste that makes this a great Salon with sublime finesse and elegance. Lovely lemon flavors are displayed on the pure, fresh and concentrated finish. The radiant 2007 Salon is one of the greatest champagnes I have had from this vintage. 57,000 bottles produced. Tasted from lot L93 SQ 28218 U in November 2018.”-SR


Averaen at VinopolisSome of the Best Values in Oregon Pinot

At the Best Prices in the Country

Averaen is the relatively new (2nd vintage) Oregon project from the producers behind Banshee wines.  Like their Cali-counterparts, the Averaen wines deliver exceptional value—a hard thing to do in Pinot Noir.  Nevertheless, they deliver, and we’re excited to get this collection of high scoring, high value Willamette Pinot Noir in on Friday.  These are exceptionally made, well reviewed single vineyard wines (and one Willamette blend) that are a steal for the prices we’re offering them at.  Prices, we might add, that are the best in the country.

Arriving Friday:

Averaen Croft Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(50% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Brilliant red. Powerful smoke- and spice-accented red berry liqueur, mocha and floral pastille scents show excellent clarity and pick up notes of licorice and cola with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry cola, lavender and spicecake flavors that become livelier on the back half. This weighty yet lithe Pinot finishes smooth and very long, featuring slow-building tannins and resonating florality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Averaen ‘Eola Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(50% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Vivid red. Spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry scents are complicated by hints of cola, pungent flowers and smoky minerals. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering energetic red and dark berry and vanilla flavors along with suggestions of rose pastille and blood orange that add complexity. Concentrated but vibrant and precise in character, delivering strong finishing thrust, interwoven tannins and excellent, floral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $42.75
The average price is $48

Averaen Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(20% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Lurid red. Blackberry and boysenberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola and candied violet, and a smoky mineral note lends nervy lift. Incisive dark berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly gain flesh and become sweeter in the midpalate. Impressively precise and energetic, delivering strong finishing thrust and dusty, building tannins that make a late appearance.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $46.99
The average price is $47

Averaen Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(30% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Deep vivid red. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes red fruit liqueur, mocha and Asian spices, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily with air. Conveys a suave blend of richness and finesse and finishes with supple, harmonious tannins and outstanding clarity and floral-tinged persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $46.98
The average price is $48

Averaen Flood Line Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($39.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “(40% new French oak) Bright red. Aromas of ripe red berries and cherry, along with subtle cola and licorice nuances. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering bitter cherry and raspberry flavors that flesh out on the back half. A smoky note emerges on the clinging finish, which features fine-grained tannins and suave red fruit preserve and mocha qualities.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $32.98
The average price is $34


The Wine Advocate Raves

About Oregon Pinot Classics

Brick House
Brick House Vineyards ‘Cascadia’ Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Chardonnay Cascadia is scented of tangy lemon and red apple skin with nuances of struck match, toasted almonds, dried hay and warm earth. Medium-bodied, it offers lots of energy in the mouth with flavors of warm red apple, hazelnut, toast and acacia blossom. It has a slightly creamy texture and great tangy acidity, finishing long and packed with flavor. 360 cases produced.”-EBBrick House Vineyards Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2015 Chardonnay Ribbon Ridge has a lovely nose of acacia blossom, fresh hay and wet stone over a core of red and yellow apples and lemon pith with touches of sliced almonds. Medium-bodied and lively in the mouth, it offers good layers of orchard and citrus fruit with mineral and earth notes plus toasty/nutty suggestions in the background. It’s slightly creamy in the mouth with a strong frame of acidity, finishing on a honey-nut note. 350 cases produced.”-EB

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Brick House Vineyards Select Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2016 Pinot Noir Select is medium ruby in color with a nose of cranberry, red cherries/berries and red licorice with alluring notes of wood smoke, cola, forest floor and spice plus a touch of saltiness. It’s medium-bodied and silky with oodles of ripe black and red fruits accented by earth and spice with a bit of that saltiness coming through. It’s got a firm frame of very fine, grainy tannins and gobs of mouthwatering acidity, finishing long. 640 cases produced.”-EB
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 Chardonnay Four Winds is scented of Golden Delicious apples and yellow pears with nuances of citrus pith, acacia honey and almonds with a creamy undercurrent. It’s medium to full-bodied with fresh orchard fruits in the mouth, good uplifting acidity and a long finish with nutty accents.”-EB
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 1.5L ($129.95) $109 special
Wine Advocate 91+ points “The 2016 Pinot Noir Four Winds is pale to medium ruby-purple in the glass with an open, gregarious nose of cranberry tart, pomegranate, tart red cherries, cola and smoke with whiffs of fallen leaves and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, it offers good concentration of fruits and earthy layers in the mouth, framed by grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and nuanced. Yum!”-EB
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 1.5L ($129.95) $109 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 Pinot Noir la Colina Vineyard is pale to medium ruby-purple with just a touch of tarry reduction on the nose giving way to blackberries, kirsch, turned soil and underbrush. It’s medium-bodied with pretty black and red fruits in the mouth and lots of earthy accents, framed by firm, grainy tannins and finishing long and earthy.”-EB

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Cristom ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Pale to medium ruby with a hint of purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Eileen Vineyard has a bright, lively nose of red cherry and licorice with accents of charcuterie, dried leaves, fir, cola and dusty soil. Light to medium-bodied, it offers layers of black and red cherry and berry flavors in the mouth with a soft frame of baking spice and earthy notes. It’s held together with firm, slightly fuzzy tannins and great juicy acidity, finishing long with sweet, ripe red fruits.”-EB
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cristom ‘Jessie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Medium ruby colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard is a touch reticent on the nose, opening to broody scents of black cherries and licorice with notes of herbs, Bergamot and grated baking spice with earthy touches of soil and wet leaves. Medium to full-bodied and wonderfully silky in the mouth, it’s packed with layers of ripe fruit, spice and earth. It gives fine, firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and very layered. This is wonderfully complex with loads of layers—give it some time in bottle to show its best.”-EB
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Pale to medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard opens with classic aromas of black and red cherries, cola, dried earth and autumn leaves over a peppery, spicy background. It’s medium-bodied and silky in the mouth with lovely red and black fruit layers accented by licorice, earth and black tea. It’s framed with firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and lively.”-EB
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “Medium ruby in color with a hint of purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Marjorie Vineyard is scented of raspberry jam, cinnamon stick, black cherries and cardamom with notes of autumn leaves and porcini mushroom. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with dark fruits and spicy/earthy accents, held together with fine, firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and spicy.”-EB
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Cristom ‘Mt. Jefferson Cuvee’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir is pale to medium ruby with a hint of purple. It has a lovely spicy nose of Bing cherries, red licorice, cranberries and black cherries over a core of cardamom, wet leaves, Bergamot and cinnamon stick. Medium-bodied and silky textured, it has wonderful concentration of dark fruits in the mouth with great layers of earth and spice—wet leaves, mushroom, clove—with firm tannins to hold up all those layers and delightfully juicy acidity to carry the long, spicy finish.”-EB
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Recent Grapelive Reviews 

In Stock Now:

Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Grapelive 93 points “One of the new world’s true Gamay Noir’s pioneers and champions, Doug Tunnell of Brick House Vineyards uses classic Burgundy techniques to make his version with all grapes being 100% true Gamay Noir from his estate in Ribbon Ridge, he is fully biodynamic certified by Demeter and part of the Deep Roots Coalition which shows his commitment to sustainable and organic farming. Made with traditional fermentation using native yeasts and extended elevage in French oak barrique, in other words he treats his Gamay with the same care and respect as his more famous Pinot Noir(s) allowing the grape to express a more subtle form and flavors. The 2017 seems a bit more pure in fruit and more expressive than the bigger framed 2016 and earthier version and takes on a wonderfully spicy nature with air, also gaining a mineral sense and sassy personality with racy red fruits leading the way. that air really brings extra joy and a textured smooth mouth feel in this more delicately natured Gamay, plus a racy spiciness comes through as well adding too layers of black cherry, candied plum, tart strawberry and raspberry fruits along with hints of the mentioned mineral, light florals, savory essences like pepper, herbs and light cedar. This is a wine that gets more and more engaging as it opens up, its lively acidity keeps it fresh, especially after significant time, hours even, showing there is great craft here being employed to make a wine of class, length and one that will age well, Tunnell deserves a lot of credit for championing Gamay and making such a beautiful version, which is one of the new world’s best examples”

Bow & Arrow Rhinestone Red, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special
Grapelive 92 points “The fruity and spicy Pinot Noir and Gamey blend from Bow & Arrow is a lovely wine of unique quality and personality with layers of blackberry, cherry and plum fruits along with tangy elements, floral notes, exotic spices and delicate herbal notes. Scott Frank’s Bow & Arrow Rhinestones 2016 was one of my favorite wines of the last year, so I was hyper-excited for the new release of this natural, all biodynamic blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Gamay Noir for the 2017 vintage. This new version is more structured and refined in texture with just a hint of earthy charm. It took a while to seduce the palate hiding some of its depth while it gets through its youthful shyness. It’s different than 2016: last year’s whole cluster intensity just blew me away. This is one of Oregon’s best kept secrets and greatest values, and both vintages are outstanding. Maybe over time the 2017 will eclipse the prior year! Frank, an expert on all things Gamay, actually looks to the Loire Valley for his inspiration instead of Burgundy or Beaujolais where the natural and organic wine movement has really taken off, starting with classics like Joly and more modern heroes like Fred Niger at Domaine de L’Ecu and Domaine Philippe Tessier in Cheverny. Pinot Noir and Gamay blends are not new by any means. Even in Burgundy they thrive today in wines labeled Bourgogne Passetoutgrains with some top domaines in the region making them. It is more common in the Loire in and around Touraine and especially in Cheverny. According to Scott, his Rhinestones is aged in a mixture of concrete and old barriques, and he notes this wine is the flagship of the Bow & Arrow operation and communicates what “we’re” about as much as anything they make. You can see why with every sip… While the 2016 was more obvious, with it’s exciting stems showing through with an expressive thrill, this 2017 is a little backward, more pretty in nature, a shade lighter/smoother or subtle in style at this point, though the longer it was open the more it came into line with the expectations (I had). It should get even more interesting with a bit more bottle age. There’s a lot to admire and even more to come. Drink from 2019 to 2025.”

Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Loire 2012 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Grapelive 92 points “Wonderfully old school and elegant, the Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses is a pure and age worthy Cabernet Franc that pays tribute to the late Olga Raffault, who past a few years back, and who’s Domaine Olga Raffault is now and currently run by her granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric de la Vigerie who have faithfully carried on her tradition and style. These wines seem to last forever, I’ve been luck to try wines from Raffault dating back into the 70’s and 80’s and they remain vibrant and fresh with incredible structure and show lovely dimension and detail with classic red fruits, light bell pepper and mineral. The Les Picasses, from 50 old vines grown on limestone and alluvial clay soils from a single ancient riverbank plot is fermented and aged in large 30HL wood vats, about 800 gallon oak casks, where the Cabernet Franc is usually raised for between 12 and 18 months, though in some vintage the elevage can last 2 to 3 years, after being moved to chestnut casks and in more recent years they have experimented with more stainless in the wines, though this cuvee is all in the wood. The Les Picasses gets a bit of bottling aging before release, at least a year, and sometimes more, it averages about 48 months after harvest to allow things to be more softened when sold.Their importer, Louis/Dressner adds, Raffault’s Les Picasses’ often has a light garnet color belying the depth of fruit flavor and complexity. Its style is rustic, quite earthy, with hints of orange zest and deep, dark cherry flavor. The tannins are soft, but present, and the mineral complexity in the finish is superb, to which I certainly agree, I adored the 2007, 2008 and 2010 vintages, so I was excited to get my hands on this 2012, and it does not disappoint with a surprising and welcome fresh array of flavors with a sweet violet and saddle leather earthy nose leading to a fine palate of blackberry, currant, black cherry and plum fruits along with a hint of bell pepper, wild ceps, minty anise, stony elements and light cedar. This is so easy to love and a classic Loire Cabernet Franc, but with a bright intensity and freshness that makes it seem lighter than it is, especially with food where it deepens and adds even more complex detail, drink with robust cuisine over the next decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Re-Arriving ETA Late December:Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 94 points “The Clos du Bourg Sec (dry) is a thrilling Chenin with a precise form and crisp detail, while still being gloriously generous with pretty white peach, fresh citrus, wet stones, a touch of saline and steely mineral intensity, making this Vouvray a great wine and highlights the class of its terroir. One of the most iconic wines of the Loire Valley, the Huet Vouvray is one of the most sought after and admired wines of the region, and this amazing dry version from the outstanding 2017 is a thrill in the glass. Since its founding in 1928, Vouvray’s Domaine Huet has been the standard-bearer for great, age-worthy Chenin Blanc, especially those of the late Gaston Huet, though the wines made now are sublime and wonderfully elegant, especially this Clos du Bourg Sec. Clos du Bourg, farmed since 1953, and purchased by the domaine in 1963, is one of the top sites, along with Le Mont and Huet’s original estate parcel Le Haut-Lieu, which started the legend back in 1928, these three vineyards are considered the Grand Crus of Vouvray and have a long history of producing great Sec, Demi-Sec, or Moelleux wines as well as a tiny amount of gorgeous late harvest sweet wine, the legendary Cuvée Constance, a magical botrytized dessert wine that rivals the world’s best and Huet does a fine sparkler. The famed Gaston Huet believed Clos du Bourg to be the greatest of all Vouvray vineyards, and certainly his favorite with the Première Côte’s shallowest and stoniest soils it produces wine of dramatic energy, mineral complexity and remarkable generous texture. American Anthony Hwang, from New York, purchased a majority stake in Huet back in 2002, and today his children reside at and direct the estate, while long time winemaker Jean-Bernard Bertholmé continues to craft the wines, as he’s done since 1979. The Clos du Bourg 2017 Sec coming from old vines set on calcareous soils is a riveting Chenin Blanc with mineral intensity, bright details and exceptional length, this is everything you’d want from a dry version of this grape with peach and citrus fruit, chalky stones and a delicate floral sense plus a waxy almost honeyed mouth feel. This is one of best young Vouvrays I’ve ever had and it should just get better and better with some age, drink this beauty over the next 3 to 5 years, and don’t miss out on these 2017 Huets!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Case of Vinsanity – Trending Party Wines

‘Tis the season for stocking up.  Whether you’re buying for a party, for gifts, or because having a “house wine” or two is an especially appealing thing this time of year, you’re going to want to grab a case or two of the same wine.*  We’ve taken a selection of wines we think would make excellent holiday-season bottles and are adding/reducing some case prices for the month of December.  These are all wines that deserve to be bought in bulk this month, at prices that will make you jump.
*One fun holiday wine tip: buy a case of a wine that you like and keep it by the door.  You’re going to get invited to a ton of parties, dinners, etc and every time you need a host/ess present, you just grab a bottle on the way out the door.  Problem solved.Want to shop all our Case Specials? Just click here.

Case-6 Chateau Petit Faurie-Quet, Saint-Emilion 2012 750ML ($159.95) $136 special (that’s only $22.67/bottle!)
Chateau Petit Faurie-Quet, Saint-Emilion 2012 750ML ($29.95)
$24 special
Winery note “From 35 acres in limestone clay soils. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Aged in 80% new oak barrels and 20% stainless steel vats.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Case-6 Domaine Chandon Brut, California NV 1.5L ($219.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Domaine Chandon Brut, California NV 1.5L ($39.95)
$21.90 special

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

Case-12 Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato 2015 750ML ($319.95) $266 special (that’s only $22.17/bottle!)
Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato 2015 750ML ($29.95)
$24 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “The one blend in the Eggo range is the 2015 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, which mixes Malbec with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 2,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats where the wine matured for almost one year. This feels quite complete and balanced, with good ripeness while keeping the balance and poise. The palate is juicy and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a bittersweet finish akin to sour cherries. Very tasty and long. Super. Incredible for the price. 16,000 bottles were filled in January 2016.”Other bottlings from this vineyard are $75+.  This one’s better, too.
Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($219.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($419.95)
$349 special (that’s only $29.08/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 91 points
“Vivid red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red berries, cherry, candied flowers and musky earth, backed by a touch of smokiness. Lively black raspberry and floral pastille flavors pick up hints of bitter chocolate and licorice with aeration. The clinging, focused finish features fine-grained, slow-mounting tannins and repeating floral character. Give this one a little air time.”
Grapelive 91 points “Delicately layered and spicy, the 2014 Bishop Creek is a pretty effort, especially for a richer vintage in Oregon. Made by Marcus Goodfellow, the ex-Evesham Wood and Westrey man, [he] is coming into his own as a talent, inspired by Doerner of Cristom and John Paul of Cameron. You can see the style showing through here. Bishop Creek, planted to Pommard and Wadenswil (old Swiss clone), [is] now owned by Nicolas Meo of the famed Burgundy Domaine Meo-Camuzet. [The vineyard] ([which is] not far from Shea Vineyards) formed this wine with its distinct strawberry and racy red cherry core along with the mixed spice, mineral tones and light wood influence. Its southern exposure and Willakenzie soils (dark rocky marine sediment) give warmth and grace. Planted in 1988, the vines ripen without flamboyant extraction, allowing more finesse to show through. At 13.9% this medium weight wine offers fine detail, opulence and restrained, almost earthy, soulfulness. Hints of bitter herb, cedar and candied citrus rind add a tangy note to the whole and the finish echoes the red fruits in subtle fashion with a touch of wilted roses lingering on. It shines right now, though best to enjoy it with cuisine to match as it is a tad shier than other 2014 Oregon Pinots (I’ve tried) and needs time and coaxing to reach its beautiful peak. Best from 2018 to 2022.”

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Case-6 Mousse Fils L’Extra Or d’Eugene Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $39.83/bottle!)
Mousse Fils L’Extra Or d’Eugene Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95)
$44 special
Terry Theise note “80-20 Meunier-PN, disg. 3/2017, a “superior” NV with longer tirage from older material (solera 2003/2012), I am offering this extremely dry Champagne both for those pathologically averse to RS and also to show Cédric’s “serious” side. It has a certain depth and is certainly aligned with the Zeitgeist.”
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One of the legendary wines of Germany.
Case-6 Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($359.99) Was $294,
Now $259 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $43.17/bottle!)
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($59.95)
$49 special
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling.com 96 points “Another 2016 Spätlese from Dönnhoff that’s still a bit shy on the nose, but on the palate it’s like a huge glittering diamond with more facets flashing many colors. An extremely long super-mineral finish that is impeccably clean in spite of the generous grape sweetness in this masterpiece of elegance. Better from 2018 with decades of ageing potential. Made from organic grapes and Fair’n Green certified.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “A fascinatingly multifaceted nose incorporates wet stone, leather and almond extract with more familiar white peach, quince and lime. A seductive aura of lily-like perfume hangs over this entire performance. The palate is palpably dense despite alcoholic levity, and subtly creamy while retaining animating primary juiciness. In common with its Brücke sibling, this leans more toward quince as it launches into a finish of honeyed richness – a function of nearly overripe but also nearly botrytis-free berries – yet retaining freshness as well as transparency to crystalline stony mineral nuances. “Under the right conditions,” observed Dönnhoff, “Hermannshöhle delivers something extra in the realm of sweetness, and for that you need cool nights that preserve slightly harder acidity” – which 2016 delivered in spades. Look for significantly more from this bottling after it’s had a decade or so in bottle.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese is bright, fresh and coolish-piquant on the nose, with flinty and slightly reductive aromas. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a generous, mouth-filling Spätlese with a long, piquant and spicy-mineral finish. The Hermannshöhle is more dense and rich on the palate, the Brücke more light, delicate and finessed.”
Terry Theise note “For many people this is a ne plus ultra of Riesling, and they’ll be happy to hear that ’16 is a firm and herbal version of a classic for which the typical descriptors apply. But what you can’t describe is the moment – and there’s always a moment—when the love overcomes your resistance, your doubt or your fear, and you let yourself fall; finally someone sees you, your cells are urging toward her, and hoo boy, this could be bliss; watch out… here goes.”
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Bright, fresh and savory—for fans of red Burgundy.
Case-12 Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon 2013 750ML ($249.95) Was $216, Now $189 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon 2013 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
: 40%+ whole cluster, bright and fresh.  This has Marcus Goodfellow’s signature touch from a cooler, more elegant vintage. If this said “Bourgogne” on the label it’d be twice as expensive.
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Perpetually one of the best values in Brunello, more so by the case!
Case-12 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($649.95) Was $540, Now $489 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $40.75/bottle!)
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”
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From the owner of Cheval Blanc, this is fantastic right now.
Case-12 Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($699.95) Was $588, Now $519 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $43.25/bottle!)
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95)
$49 special
James Suckling 93 points “A soft and fruity wine, with orange peel and berries and plums. Full body, with super fine tannins and a fruity finish. Refined and very pretty. Structured in the end. Fresh. Succulent. A style away from the over extracted one a few years ago. Try after 2018.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.” WA
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
Delicious, full bodied Rhone white from an up and coming producer.
Case-12 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($319.95) Was $288, Now $259 December Case Sale Price (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“This team has made a terrific 2016 Saint-Péray, (50/50 Marsanne and Roussanne aged in 15% new oak) from an appellation that continues to produce more and more outstanding wines. Honeysuckle, white flowers, caramelized peach and white currant notes give way to a pure, elegant, layered white that has terrific purity and length. It’s going to drink beautifully for 3-4 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Pale yellow-gold. Fresh and incisive on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit scents complemented by hints of honeysuckle and chalky minerals. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe, offering juicy Meyer lemon and bitter pear skin flavors that pick up a spicy ginger note on the back half. Closes very long and precise, delivering a firm snap of minerality and lingering floral character.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
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