Midweek VinopolPick 2-12-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

More Than Cornas: New Releases from Vincent Paris

More 2015 Opus Available!

The Next Lafarge?

Staff Pick: The Last, Best Old School Bandol

February Sale Highlights

New Releases from Anne-Sophie Dubois

94 Point Cabernet, Under $24?

The Only Reason to Buy Celebrity Wine

The Hardest to Find Prestige Blanc de Blancs?

February Sale Recap

King of (More Than) Cornas

New Releases from Vincent Paris

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous.  Stylistically, there’s definitely some of that old-school Michel rusticity, but overall, his wines are far more polished and in line with what we think of as good modern Cornas. Don’t look for new oak here, though there is an elegance about them that has always impressed us.

He makes several wines from Cornas and we’re pleased we get to offer the range, but today’s offerings are based around some other, slightly more obscure bottlings from the master.  First off, the domaine St. Joseph bottling, which comes in as a slightly more delicate counterpoint to the powerful Cornas that he produces.  We also have Paris’ negociant Crozes-Hermitage arriving, a delightful Syrah at an even better price, made with all the care and love you’d expect.

The 2017 versions of both of these wines remind us of 2015 or 2011—bigger, bolder versions with great fruit intensity.  ’17 is shaping up to be yet another fantastic year, especially at the lower end of the scale.  Appellations like Crozes and St. Joseph are bigger and more powerful—more reminiscent of Cornas or Cote Rotie than usual.  Vincent Paris’ versions of both drink well above their price point (again) and show off why he’s considered to be such a superstar in the Northern Rhone (and at much lower prices than his Cornas).

Arriving Friday:

Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special

Domaine Vincent Paris Crozes-Hermitage Selection, Rhone 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
“This negociant bottling represents incredible value in the world of Northern Rhone Syrah.  Purple-fruited with nice spice and a touch of bacon, the wine shows the balance and weight you’d expect from a producer like Paris.  Although it’s delicious now, giving it a year or five would do the wine a lot of good—which isn’t something we can always say about a wine at this price.”

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

Looking for slightly lighter, more perfumed versions of those wines? You’re in luck—the 2016’s are in stock and are from a bright, classically styled vintage.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Vincent Paris Crozes-Hermitage Selection, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points
“Lurid violet. Spicy black and blue fruits, succulent flowers and smoky minerals on the perfumed nose. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, offering concentrated blueberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. The dark berry note lingers on the spicy, persistent finish, which is shaped by smooth tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Bottled in August 2017, the medium-bodied 2016 Saint Joseph Les Cotes is made for early drinking. There’s an elegant interplay of cherries, spring flowers and fresh herbs on the nose followed by supple notes of cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a long, silky finish. Drink this charming wine over the next several years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90-92 points “(no new oak) Bright violet. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying spice-accented blue fruit, olive and floral scents and a hint of earthiness. Juicy boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good depth and clarity and betray no excess fat. A smoky mineral note builds steadily on the long, floral-tinged finish, which is framed by smooth tannins. This wine should be quite approachable soon after release, as will many examples from the vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
We also have 8 other Vincent Paris bottlings available—from Cornas alone! You can see all of the Vincent Paris wines on our website by clicking here, or check out a few of the highlights below:

We’ve heard this perfectly described as “bistro Cornas.” 
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points
“(no new oak) Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-accented dark berry scents are complicated by floral oil and peppery spice nuances. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors that become livelier with air. Sappy and open-knit, closing with solid thrust, silky, even tannins and strong persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “Looking at the Cornas releases, the 2016 Cornas Granite 30 comes from the Patou and Saint Pierre lieux-dits and was completely destemmed before aging in a mix of barrels. It’s a ripe, vibrant beauty that’s overflowing with fruit. Blackberries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers and hints of minerality all give way to a full-bodied, unctuous effort that has good acidity and sweet tannin. It’s another no-brainer wine from this estate.”

A step up in seriousness and a beautiful, extremely aromatic Syrah
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “(no new oak) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and olive on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the lush, creamy dark fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 points “The 2016 Cornas Granite 60 offers a deeper, richer, more profound profile. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, leather and bouquet garni notes all flow to a full-bodied, powerful 2016 that has terrific mid-palate depth and plenty of tannins. Nevertheless, the fruit and texture that’s the hallmark of this estate shine, and it’s going to drink nicely in its youth as well. This cuvée comes from the Patou, Les Mazards, and Sauman lieux-dit and slightly steeper slopes. It was 70% destemmed, aged in a mix of barrels, and there are just over 400 cases made.”

The only 100% whole cluster wine Paris makes, this is an homage to Robert Michel.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points
“(vines over 100 years old vines and no new oak) Brilliant purple. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, Asian spices, incense, smoky minerals and olive paste. Deeply concentrated yet lively boysenberry, cherry pie, spicecake and bitter chocolate flavors are underscored by a building mineral quality. Shows a compelling blend of depth and litheness and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, displaying remarkable clarity and insistent mineral character. I don’t think I have ever tasted as profound a wine as this one from Vincent Paris, who seems to be one of the most underrated and under-the-radar producers in the northern Rhône.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “There are only about 3,000 bottles of the stunning 2016 Cornas la Geynale. Tasted from tank prior to bottling, it looks every bit the equal of the 2015—oozing with concentrated purple fruit and crushed stone but without that vintage’s massive tannins. The 100-year-old vines Paris works with at this site face south and achieved terrific ripeness, making the wine approachable relatively young.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


More 2015 Opus Available!

The first two tranches of Opus sold out in a flash, but we have more secured and arriving on Friday.  As usual, it’s a landmark wine for Napa and a collectible treasure that will age for decades and be a cornerstone of any cellar.

Arriving Friday:

Opus One, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($349.95) $319 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“Purity and brilliance on the nose with so much currant and flower character. Roses, currant bush and fresh leaves, too. Brightness is the word that comes to mind. Full-bodied and broad-shouldered. Juicy and so gorgeous now. Balance is so wonderful here. All about harmonious fruit and tannin balance. I like it slightly better than the excellent 2014. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot, 7% cabernet franc, 6% merlot and 2% malbec. Drink or hold.    (7/2018)”
Wine Advocate 97+ points “Composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 2% Malbec, Opus One’s 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove, delivering a powerhouse of flavors and structure with a seductively plush texture. It opens with a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully spicy notes of cinnamon stick, cloves and fenugreek with a core of cherry preserves, redcurrant jelly, blackberry pie and warm plums plus hints of camphor, lavender and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and bold in the mouth, it fills the palate with exotic spice-laced black and red fruits, framed by firm, beautifully ripe, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing with epic persistence. Although it is already approachable, allow it another 3-5 years in bottle for its myriad of subtle accents to fully blossom and then drink it over the next 30+ years.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2015 Opus One is a terrific example of the year. Super-ripe and flamboyant in style, with tons of fruit pushed forward, the 2015 has a lot to offer. Today, the primary intensity of the fruit and some of the new oak need time to subside, but there is a lot to look forward to. A rush of super-ripe red cherry, plum, mocha, espresso and wild flowers build into the huge, creamy finish.”


The Next Lafarge?

Glantenay’s Stunning 2015 Volnays

“The disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay is emerging as one of the Côte de Beaune’s most exciting producers of red wine. From his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs, Glantenay is producing a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards that are increasingly consistent and stylistically assured….In the cellar, no matter which barrel you choose, the wines taste reliably wonderful: indeed, after my first tasting with Glantenay, some years ago, I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Top producer Burgundy is a game we’re always excited to play—as long as the pricing is right, which is generally the problem.  For Thierry Glantenay, though, we couldn’t be happier to be in the game.  His wines, from old vines in Pommard and Volnay, have a purity and class that immediately mark them as absolutely top tier—and recent Wine Advocate scores have only confirmed that these wines are no longer a secret.

These are stunning wines for which the clock is ticking—there’s no way they’ll be priced this affordably for long.  Once a producer gets made the wines are going to skyrocket in pricing and so let’s take a moment to appreciate that you can currently buy Glantenay’s Bourgogne for nearly half the price of d’Angerville, or his Santenots for a third of Arnaud Ente’s (a third!!).

The Bourgogne, especially, is an absolute stunner right now and we’ve been recommending it right and left.  Red Burgs that are inexpensive and drinkable now are always a hot commodity. The 2015 vintage has produced a number of killer bottles for drinking now—none morso than Glantenay’s entry level.

His premier cru Volnays are even better—still under $100 and from some of the top terroirs in the village (and from extremely old vines as well).  This is d’Angerville/Lafarge/Lafon level stuff for $50+ less per bottle from the same vineyards.  The 2015 Santenots is one to buy and stash for 20+ years, if you can keep your hands off it now.  The clock is ticking though and it’s only a matter of time.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
“Thierry Glantenay’s 2015 Bourgogne Rouge is lovely, wafting from the glass with notes of smoky red cherry, cocoa and raspberries. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and delicious, with a succulent core of fruit, light structuring tannins and juicy acids. This will deliver great pleasure for the best part of a decade.” –Wine Advocate
Importer note: 30 year old vines grown in deep clay soil. Thierry Glantenay has taken over at his family domaine and is now producing exquisite, ethereal Volnay and full, powerful Pommard from many of the best terroirs. They farm their own vines and make their own wines ensuring the best available quality. Across the board these wines are precise, focused and reflective of their underlying terroir, with great sappiness and depth in the mid-palates, coupled with brilliant structural integrity that makes them, to me, amongst the finest wines made in the southern half of Burgundy.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Les Santenots, Volnay Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“The 2015 Volnay 1er Cru Santenots was completely de-stemmed and apparently some of the berries showed some fig-like characteristics just before harvest, therefore Thierry wanted to avoid any sur-maturité. It has a perfumed and floral bouquet with a light marine/seaweed scent lending complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-measured acidity and a gentle but insistent grip in the mouth. There is good depth here, a Santenots with substance, though it needs a tad more complexity and nuance to develop on the velvety, rich and generous finish. One to watch.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Les Santenots, Volnay Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Winery note
“[Translated] From 55-65 year old vines on clay-limestone and loamy soils. Appreciated for its finesse, the Volnay Santenots is considered the most feminine wine of the Côte de Beaune. Bright ruby, its aromas are delicate and complex: violet, currant, cherry, spices, game, and prune. The freshness, the texture and the tannins are harmoniously balanced to give a charming, suave and fleshy wine, endowed with a beautiful energy.”

Staff Pick

The Last, Best Old School Bandol

Bandol is perhaps the most perfect winter red. Brooding, grippy, primally feral, it’s the wine equivalent of a lamb or game stew—at least in theory, anyway.  Many Bandol that I taste these days seem to be doing their best to be California wines—extremely dark and purple in color with the intense fruit to match the hue.  While I get the appeal, I turn to Bandol for something wilder and untamed.  The solution, as it has been for generations, is Chateau Pradeaux.

Imported by Neal Rosenthal, Pradeaux has been a top producer of Bandol since its inception and is now one of the last great traditionalists in the region.  The wines are made from a very high percentage of Mourvèdre (the signature grape of Bandol) and have the grippy tannin that I seek out with these wines—perfect for pairing with a variety of hearty winter fare.  The 2013 is remarkably delicious now, though it will continue to age for as long as you have patience—Bandol is legendary for its ability to grow old gracefully.  If you enjoy rustic, old school wine, the tariff on the Pradeaux renders it an absolute bargain—one that you’d do well to stock up on.

In Stock Now:

Chateau Pradeaux Bandol, Provence 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Grapelive 94 points
“Etienne Portalis, the fourteenth generation, winemaker at Pradeaux has made a brilliant and deep Bandol in the 2013 vintage. It is my pick for #Mourvedre Day. It is a traditional and old school wine that is made with the blessing of the warm Mediterranean sun and his family’s old vines. The Chateau Pradeaux, founded back in 1752, is a Provence legend and the house style is natural and powerful with Etienne only using whole cluster with stems. These are wines that have firm structures from the raw/authentic skin tannins and wines that can age many decades. That said, this 2013 shows a beautiful freshness of detail and refinement after its extended time in large used cask. The 2013 is deep in color with a dark garnet hue around a blackish core with an earthy profile that opens to a full bodied and complex wine. [It is] almost 100% Mourvedre with a tiny amount of other black grapes. It reveals layers of dusty blackberry, kirsch, plum and boysenberry fruits, peppery briar spice, leather, chalky stones, anise, bitter coco and a touch of floral lift with a mix of violet and lavender as well as a cedar/tobacco element. This 2013 is drinking with an impressive palate impact with plenty of dry grip and force, but turns generous with air with a ripe opulence allowing lots of pleasure and textural charm. It’s a serious example that will gain further with short to mid-term cellaring. Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Chateau Pradeaux is without question, along with Domaine Tempier, is a standard bearer of the region. This 2013 is a beauty that will be perfect with rustic and simple country cuisine. It’s a big, bold and robust Bandol with a natural sex appeal and inner energy. Drink over the next 10 to 15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Highlights of the February Sale

February is going strong and a week in we have a number of really excellent wines on the February Sale.  We’ve got a full list at the bottom of the newsletter (or on our webstore, here), but we’ve pulled together a few highlights to pique your interest.

2015 was an excellent year across Burgundy.
Domaine Faiveley Les Porets-Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $79 February Sale Special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Dark tones of black currant, blackberry and violet mark this broad, muscular red, which is burly on the compact finish, with an earthy aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2037.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “One of the highlights of the range this year, the 2015 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Porêts-Saint-Georges offers up a brooding bouquet of crushed currants, currant leaf, rich soil and grilled game bird. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and chewy with bright, crunchy fruit but a formidable chassis of fine-grained tannins which will demand a good decade in the cellar. For those with patience, this should be a fine proposition.”
Burghound 90-93 points “A pretty if restrained nose speaks of various wild red berries, earth and once again sauvage nuances. The supple yet concentrated medium weight flavors possess both fine volume and detail on the punchy and lightly mineral-inflected finale that is less rustic than usual. What is entirely typical though is the expected aging curve as this is almost certainly to be extremely long-lived.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Il Poggione makes some of the most memorable Brunello out there.
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) Was $59, Now $49 February Sale Special
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93+ points “Good full red. Medicinal red cherry, raspberry, sweet spices and mint on the fresh, precise nose. Bright and sweet, with a penetrating, austere quality to its flavors of red fruits, minerals and medicinal herbs. Harmonious acidity nicely frames the pure, long, youthfully tight finish. Lovely young Brunello that will repay cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Romanee St. Vivant is one of the most cherished vineyards in Burgundy.
Louis Latour Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru Les Quatre Journaux, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($599.95) Was $499, Now $399 February Sale Special
James Suckling 98 points
“So perfumed and aromatic with fabulous character of flowers, dark berries and chalk. Full-bodied and voluptuous. Ripe and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A wine with great potential and depth. Flamboyant. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Romanee St Vivant les Quatre Journaux Grand Cru is a lovely wine, and one which is likely to surprise in blind tastings in a few years’ time. A pretty nose of rose petal, ripe red cherry, dark chocolate, anise and incipient smoked duck introduces a full-bodied, supple wine with a lavish, expansive attack, good depth, and an ample chassis of fine-grained tannins. The finish is deceptively long. This wine seems likely to be one of the more approachable 2015 grand crus and should give pleasure throughout a broad window.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Big, bold, powerful and dripping with fruit.
Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $71.90 February Sale Special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“This delivers a lush, enticing blast of cassis and raspberry and boysenberry preserve flavors, carried by a silky structure that lets the fruit play out at length, giving adequate time for black tea, singed apple wood, dried anise and fruitcake notes to fill in throughout. Dreamy. Grenache. Best from 2020 through 2040.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $86
The more accessible of the Cristia wines. Delicious now.
Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Renaissance, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $55 February Sale Special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“This has an intense core of crushed plum, raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, draped with melted licorice notes and backed by a wave of warm fruitcake. Hedonistic for sure, but accents of anise, violet and singed apple wood dart around, adding extra facets of intrigue to hold your attention. Grenache and Mourvèdre. Best from 2020 through 2040.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $67

Were it Pomerol at this quality, it’d be $800.
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) Was $228, Now $219 February Sale Special
James Suckling 100 points
“This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush and polished, featuring a cashmere texture caressing vanilla, chocolate, black cherry and plum flavors. Well-balanced, with a persistent finish. The harmony hides a solid structure. Decant now. Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $259
New Releases from Anne-Sophie Dubois

Arriving Friday

So Anne-Sophie Dubois is, in some circles, already a name-brand, rockstar producer.  Generally speaking, though, she’s not well known enough.  With training in Volnay and the great Henri Jayer as her inspiration, Dubois makes wines with traditional Burgundian macerations—no carbonic here.  She also expertly farms several hectares of prime vineyards in Fleurie—all organically.

The wines she makes are clearly from Beaujolais, but seem to have the soul of Burgundy.  Her winemaking style is definitely influenced by natural wine (there are no tricks in the cellar and no new oak) but she uses sulfur and the wines are clean and elegant.  There are two different cuvee’s arriving next week, both of which deserve a lot of attention.  The Alchemiste is her flagship and very drinkable now, while the Labourons should be aged for a few years or decanted well before serving.

Arriving Friday:

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
: This is Dubois flagship wine, from a southwest-facing section of Fleurie on mostly granite soils.  The wine is clearly a product of a Burgundy-style vinification (as opposed to carbonic maceration) but seems to channel the soul of Fleurie with dark and red fruits, foral notes and pretty spice flavors. Delicious.

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Labourons, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 pre-arrival special
Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Labourons, Beaujolais 2017 1.5L ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Les Labourons is the climat that all of the estate’s wines hail from.  This new top cuvee represents one of the best wines that the Beaujolais rising star has made.

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

94 Point Cabernet, Under $24?

Only in Argentina

Casarena makes wine from the Lujan de Cuyo section of Mendoza—a section relatively unexplored in the modern wine industry, but possessing a wealth of old vines and interesting vineyards.  The wine we’re highlighting today, from Owen’s Vineyard, is made from a block of 80+ year old, pergola trained Cabernet.  That vineyard, combined with rigorous sorting and extended maceration, creates a Cab of high quality and obscene value.  This is one to stock up on, and with the case special bringing it under $24 a bottle, you can afford to.

Arriving February 21st:

Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo, 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 pre-arrival special (that’s only $23.25/bottle—the lowest listed price in the country!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”

The Only Reason to Buy Celebrity Wine
Generally speaking, we’re not big fans of celebrity wineries.  They tend to be overpriced vanity projects that, while often quite good, are overpriced relative to their peers.  When we have the chance to offer those wines at very significant discounts, though, we change our tune.Case in point: Jim Nantz’s California project, called “the Calling” (he’s a sports announcer, get it it?).  Made by Dan Goldfield, Wayne Donaldson and James MacPhail (a veritable who’s who of high scoring California winemakers), these are excellent renditions of California Chardonnay, Pinot and Cabernet.  At their $30-$40 asking prices, there are surely better options out there.  For less than $20 per bottle, though? Sign us up.

At these prices, these are stellar values—representations of classic California styles, made in a decidedly premium fashion (but without the premium price tags).  The Chardonnay and Pinot are sourced from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley and the Cabernet from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma—clearly some time and effort went into the production of these wines.  These prices are one-offs, though—once these sell out the Calling wines go back to their normal $35+ pricetags and we’re out of the game again.

In Stock Now:

The Calling Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($27.95) $18 special
Case-12 The Calling Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($299.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Winery Note
: This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon presents blackberry and plum aromatics typical of the Alexander Valley. On the palate, the rich fruit is complemented by accents of sweet tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, and mocha. The elegant tannins, oak structure and balanced acidity will age this wine for 10-12 years.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.90
The average price is $31
The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $19 special
Case-12 The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($319.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Winery Note:
Fruit for this vintage was sourced from several locations within Dutton Ranch’s Russian River Valley vineyards. Plots in the warmer end of the valley contributed ripe tropical elements, while those from cooler areas lent minerality and a structural backbone.  Inviting notes of honeysuckle, white rose, lemon meringue and baked brioche on the nose. Balanced yet with crisp acidity on the palate with flavors of ripe Asian pear, melon and Meyer lemon with a lingering, elegant finish.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.92
The average price is $28
The Calling Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $19 special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“A generously fruity, just-ripe and refined wine, this offers classic notions of the appellation in a warm, welcoming vintage, from rhubarb, cranberry and cherry to cola spice and clove. Still young, it shows an intensity that should meld and mellow in the bottle in short order.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $35

The Hardest to Find Prestige Blanc de Blancs?
Imagine there was a Champagne, produced by a top tier, historic house.  Imagine that Champagne was a blanc de blancs, from some of the top Grand Cru villages and aged for an extended time on the lees before release.  Further still, this mythical Champagne has only been released five times in the last forty years—truly, only the best vintages made the cut.  You’d think this wine would be outlandishly expensive and impossible to acquire.  You’d be wrong, though, because we’re offering Charles Heisieck’s Blanc de Millenaires for about the same price as a bottle of NV Krug. If you want great Champagne to taste like Grand Cru White Burgundy with fine bubbles, this is something you need to jump on.

Charles Heidsieck is one of the great, historic houses of Champagne, but because of their small size, they tend to be overlooked in conversations about elite wines in the region.  That’s unfair on so many levels, from their excellent and inexpensive NV to this wine, the top-of-the-line Blanc des Millenaires, produced only in the (truly) best years. Millenaires is a white whale of the Champagne world.  Even most “picky” houses declare 5-6 vintages a decade, but Heidsieck will only release this wine under the most perfect of circumstances (the last vintage released was the epic 1995).  The resulting wine is powerful, intense but beyond elegant, as only Chardonnay given extended lees aging can provide.  We’ve secured a small parcel arriving this summer and are excited to offer it at exceptional pricing.  The winery has been mum on how long it will be until the next release, so this may be your best chance at this wine for some time.

Arriving ETA June:

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, Champagne 2004 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Decanter 97 points
“It says much that Charles Heidsieck went for the 2004, not the richer 2002, as the long-awaited successor to the epic 1995 Millenaires – the ’04 has an admirable beauty and finesse in the classic mould that fits the style of this wine so well. It’s an intriguing blend of great Chardonnays from Oger, Mesnil, Avize and Cramant, but also from Vertus, a premier cru punching above its weight. Vanilla and butter flatter this wine famously, but there’s no oak. It has controlled richness, with precision and purity ruling over the green and tropical fruits. A magnificent champagne with impressively elegant acidity, a triumph now and for years to come. Disgorged in 2016. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A seamless Champagne, showing a texture of raw silk, this weaves vibrant acidity with an expressive range of glazed apple and poached white cherry fruit flavors, with pickled ginger and saffron spice details and rich notes of pastry cream, toast and coffee liqueur. More about finesse than power, this is long and creamy on the mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2028. [Reviewed Dec 2018]”


February Sale Recap
We’ve slashed prices on Tuscan icons, Chateauneuf, great red Burgundy and classic Cote Rotie (and a whole lot more).  It’s an amazing way to begin the month (provided you like excellent deals on outstanding wines) and we’re excited to bring you more in the days/weeks ahead. As with all of our Sale Wines—these prices are limited to stock on hand, so once we sell out, the sale pricing is gone forever.  View the complete list below, and shop our web store by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!