In Today’s Newsletter:
An Evening Land Mystery
Tuscan Treasures Flash Sale
The Hottest Winemaker in Spain?
New Grapelive Reviews
Classical St. Emilion from Chateau Grandchamp
Top Wines from Spain’s Lost Great Region
An Evening Land Mystery
What does that mean? It means two wines that were produced and priced to be exceptional glass pours are now available to you at prices that are hard to believe, given their origins. While the winery (and restaurant) are keeping mum about where exactly the fruit for these was sourced, they live up to the expectations we have for an Evening Land wine, especially for the price. They’re made in a more forward, drink-now style than ELV’s other more cellar-oriented releases, so perfect for quarantine-related stocking up. These arrive at the end of the month and we expect them to be big hits, so now’s your chance to secure what you’re after.
Arriving ETA April 30th:
Evening Land “Brasserie 19” Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($39.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Evening Land “Brasserie 19” Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($419.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Evening Land “Brasserie 19” Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Evening Land “Brasserie 19” Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($419.95) $249 pre-arrival special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Tuscan Treasures Flash Sale
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo flaunts its importance. It boasts confidence and an outward-looking personality that comes as a refreshing surprise. Like all Gran Selezione wines, it is released 30 months after January 1st following the harvest. That means it still has a few more months to go before it hits the market. This expression of Sangiovese shows depth and power with ripe fruit tones of cherry and forest berry. Like many of the other high profile wines I preview-tasted from the difficult 2014 vintage, I am delighted and surprised by the elegant and soft nature of the mature tannins. The wine’s finish offers bright freshness with layers of dark fruit, wet earth and forest floor.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Aromas of exotic spice, pipe tobacco, woodland berry and a whiff of French oak take center stage on this fragrant, elegant red. The racy, ethereal palate delivers tart red cherry, tart pomegranate, cinnamon and vanilla framed in taut fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2019–2026.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is extremely tangy with plenty of chocolate and lemon character and hints of cedar, too. Medium body, bright acidity and chocolatey aftertaste. Very refined and well-crafted for a 2014. Drink now.”
The average price nationally is $46
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Siepi’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $81.90 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points “Beautiful aromas of violets, berries and currants. Dried flowers, too. Full body, such intense fruit and acidity. Vivid and complex. Wild raspberry. Tight and dense. A triumph for Siepi. Half sangivoese and merlot. Better in 2022 but hard to not drink now.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has depth and complexity, featuring black cherry, plum, leather, spice and mineral flavors. The dense texture exudes refined tannins as this stays fresh through the long, saturated finish. Fruit, spice and tobacco elements linger. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
The average price is $111
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($199.95) Was $169, Now $159 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better in 2020.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $198
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The Hottest Winemaker in Spain?
Impending New Arrivals from a Vinous Treasure
Since then, a number of new wineries have popped up, but most of them are in the Palacios mold—made from around the warm, Mediterranean-climate village of Corullon. Perez, on the other hand, has walked a different path and focuses on wines made from Atlantic-influence climates in villages like Villadecanes or Cacabelos. As a result, the wines tend to be impressive, but in an introspective, earthy way.
Winemaking plays a part in that, as well. Perez prefers indigenous yeasts, neutral vessels and a lot of whole-cluster fermentation in his wine. Citing the (unlikely) influence of Bartolo Mascarello, he performs a long post-fermentation maceration on his wines as well, which give the wines powerful, yet elegant, structures that complement food exceptionally well. When you roll all of this together, you understand why Perez is making waves—these are unique and exceptional wines that show off terroirs previously unexplored by serious winemakers.
We offer a large selection of the wines Perez makes under his own name as well as those off of the La Vizcaina property (which are all single vineyards from a single estate). Some are in stock now and we just secured a bundle of his top wines that are arriving Friday (including a bunch more St. Jacques at an even better price). Browse the highlights below and shop the entire collection on our web store!
Raul Perez Ultreia La Claudina Godello, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “$70. The 2016 Ultreia La Claudina is a white that had a very slow fermentation. It has strong citrus aromatics, notes of lemon and lime, complicated by petrol-like aromas. It’s more fruit driven and less spicy, and it was not a good year for flor (which occurs when the barrels are not topped up and the wine develops a thin veil of yeasts). With time in the glass it developed notes of chamomile and pollen, gaining in complexity but without reaching the subtleness of the 2017. It was a low-yielding vintage, and there are around 1,400 bottles.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Limpid yellow-gold. Fresh nectarine, Meyer lemon and pear on the highly perfumed, mineral-tinged nose. Shows very good depth and sharp delineation to its intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors and picks up floral and iodine nuances as the wine opens up. The strikingly long, smoke- and mineral-accented finish features a sexy floral quality and a spicy touch of candied ginger. (Raised in neutral French oak foudres.)”
Raul Perez Ultreia Godello, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “There is a new white from Godello, as demand is growing, and they sourced the grapes from a vineyard that produced the first 2016 Ultreia Godello. It’s a north-facing plot that is very cold, and the grapes, picked at the end of the harvest, were only 12% alcohol. It fermented in 300-liter barrels and one 2,500-liter oak vat. It feels super young and undeveloped, with an austere nose and a very tasty palate with superb acidity. 7,000 bottles.”
Decanter 91 points “This is made from a blend of plots on clay and sand, with vines aged between 20 and 43 years. It’s fermented in barrel, and 30% is aged for one year in barrels acquired from Didier Belondrade in Rueda. Aromas of grapefruit lead into a rich body with notes of tropical fruits, enlivened by brisk acidity. Fresh and very long. Drinking Window 2019 – 2022.”
Raul Perez Ultreia de Paluezas, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points “One of the few vineyards in Bierzo where the soils have a significant content of limestone is San Juan de Paluezas, in a different valley looking into Las Médulas goldmines. They produce three barrels of the 2016 Ultreia de Paluezas from this vineyard. This year it had a shorter élevage, only around 12 months, as they saw it was ready and was racked out of the wood. Limestone soils always deliver dry, chalk-like tannins and a special tastiness that often translates in an almost salty feeling. It has more bones than flesh; it’s austere and should develop slowly in bottle. In fact, they are now releasing the 2015, as they feel it benefits from some more time in bottle. I like the austerity here. 850 bottles produced from a small plot with very low yields.”
Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96+ points “There are only 1,000 bottles of the 2016 Ultreia Valtuille (the new name, as all labels have been simplified and cleaned up, and some of the names have even been shortened). The crop was greatly reduced because of mildew, and the grapes are a lot more concentrated, with more tannin and structure, and they had to do a much longer élevage, up to 24 months in barrique. Despite its concentration and power, it has great freshness and perfume. You don’t find excess tannin, and it seems like the time in barrel has really polished the edges. It’s really outstanding.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The clean, floral and 2017 Ultreia Saint Jacques comes mostly from old vineyards from different soils in Valtuille and Villadecanes fermented in stainless steel and oak vats with part of full clusters and matured in used barriques for one year. It’s produced in a fresh and very drinkable way. This is one of the best values from Bierzo and Spain, and a great introduction to Bierzo. It’s a more serious wine than what the wine was when it was first produced, fresh and elegant. It’s very reliable and a great value. There are some 100,000 bottles that were filled in two production runs.”
Can’t wait? These Raul Perez wines are in stock now:
Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($79.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Vivid ruby. An expansive, seductively perfumed bouquet of ripe red/blue fruits, pot-pourri, exotic spices and cola, along with an intense mineral overtone. Concentrated yet vibrant in character, showing superb definition and mineral lift to the sweet raspberry, boysenberry, cola, spicecake and violet pastille flavors. Shows alluring sweetness and powerful thrust on the youthfully tannic finish, which hangs on with outstanding clarity and mineral-driven persistence. (All whole clusters and neutral French oak.) “
Raul Perez Ultreia Rapolao, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95+ points “There is a new Ultreia bottling, the 2014 Ultreia El Rapolao, from a vineyard that now sees five or six different bottlings, sourced from their old vineyards that used to go to the Vizcaína bottling. This is really pretty, with intense floral aromas, spices, a touch of earth and something herbal. The palate is medium-bodied with refined tannins, great balance and a tasty, long, sapid, almost salty finish. There were some 600 bottles produced. it was bottled in January 2017. Outstanding.”
And looking for more wines from the Galician master? Check out his “La Vizcaina” estate wines. The 2016’s arrive later this month and are stellar.
Highlights arriving later this month:
La Vizcaina ‘El Rapolao’ Lomas de Valtuille, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The cool and elegant character of the El Rapolao plot seems to have been amplified by the weather conditions in the 2016 La Vizcaína El Rapolao. Pérez does not own all the vineyards, so sourcing can sometimes vary within the same vineyard, and since 2016 it comes from two old plots where the Mencía is mixed with other varieties; the wine seems to have gained in depth and complexity as a result. In 2016 he did a slightly shorter maceration and matured the wine in 500-liter oak barrels for a little over 12 months. The vineyard yields well, and the wine is always expressive, balanced and elegant. It seems like slightly higher yields suit it better, and the wines have good tension and an herbal twist that adds to the complexity and freshness. 5,000 bottles produced.”
La Vizcaina ‘La Vitoriana’ Lomas de Valtuille, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The vines at La Vitoriana are from a north-facing part of the vineyard and are extremely old, and the grapes show their best between 13% and 13.5% alcohol. The maceration of the 2016 La Vizcaína La Vitoriana is the longest of all wines from La Vizcaína wines, and it always has very strong balsamic notes. It’s subtle and elegant with a velvety texture, with lots of energy and inner strength. Pérez selects about half of the vineyard, and he feels 2016 is the year that best represents the character of the place. I’d add it’s probably the best vintage so far. 3,000 bottles produced.”
New Grapelive Reviews
Grapelive 94 points “The Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30 comes from granite soils and the from vineyard parcels that are at a steep 30% slope, hence the name and it’s maybe one of the best Syrah wines for the money in the world, and especially this 2017 vintage, which is absolutely engaging and delicious with magnificent purity and terroir accented character. The 2017s are showing amazing, they seem fuller, rounder and more harmonious in style than the last few vintages…there’s no denying the depth and complexity and sensual pleasure of the 2017s make them standout, and this wine does, it is a wine of beauty and checks all the boxes you’d ever desire from a northern Rhone Syrah. This dark purple, magenta and bright garnet edged Cornas by the talented vigneron, Vincent Paris, who’s proven to be in the same league as the iconic producers in this region, like the Chave’s, Robert’s and Allemand’s as well as his own uncle the famous Robert Michael, is layers with blackberry, blueberry, damson plum, candied cherry and earthy mulberry fruits along with smoky embers, loamy crushed stones, anise, distilled violets, mountain shrub, a touch of game and lingering creme de cassis. There is almost no noticeable oak on display, and none is needed as this 100% Syrah is absolutely complete here and speaks to your palate and soul in a strong, but understated voice that makes you listen in seduced rapture and as the wine opens fully in the glass it never waivers or dulls, it never stops exciting the senses. The Granit 30, according to the winery, comes from biodynamic vines on the lowest part of the slope of decomposed granite, in particular vines that are located in the lieu-dits of St. Pierre and Patou and Paris uses about 15 to 20% whole cluster on this Syrah with minimal stem inclusion, but enough to add pop to the wine, as they do here perfectly, adding texture, heightened floral aromatics and umami notes….If you’ve not had Vincent’s wines, you really should fix that, and these 2017s are a great way to start.”
Grapelive 93 points “The beautifully expressive Kruger-Rumpf Scheurebe comes completely from Dautenpflänzer, a Grand Cru – VDP Grosse Lage, with most vines here being old parcels planted in the 1950s and set on very favorable quarzite soils. Georg Rumpf is one of Germany’s Scheurebe maestros and this 2018 shows this talent to near perfection, capturing the very best in this varietal’s natural character and the vineyard’s terroir quality, this is a vintage…which was slightly more exotic, that delivers gorgeous tropical and concentration with fairly high residual sugars, but with a very balanced presence, this white is wildly easy to drink and is refreshing and with classic Scheurebe (phenolic) tanginess cutting into the sweetness. Fermented and lees aged in only stainless steel to keep exacting purity and transparency, allowing this grape to show itself in its truest style, its rich and dense on the palate, but still delightful and lifted with just 8.5% natural alcohol making it fabulous as a expressive sipper and fantastic with an array of cuisine options, it is great with either briny and or spicy dishes, again it is fruity though not overtly sweet…The 2018 echos that with layers of peach and grapefruit adding to that tropical fruit with a sunny and lush medium bodied palate along with a bite of spearmint, green tea spices, mineral notes and a saline infused wet stone element, all the while giving delicate jasmine and orange blossom floral bouquet and the lingering sweetness feeling well managed to not be too honeyed or cloying.… All vineyards in the Rumpf holdings are hand harvested to ensure that only optimally ripe grapes and healthy clusters are selected. Fermentations at Kruger-Rumpf almost always occur spontaneously with ambient yeasts for the dry and off dry wines, the wines stay on their gross lees well into spring…All the wines at this estate are generous and sensual offering stellar pleasure in each level, they are awesome values too, be sure to check these 2018s out, especially their Abtei Erste Gewachs Trocken and this sexy, lightly golden Scheurebe”
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese 5, Mosel 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points “This 2018 Domprobst #5 Spatlese is dense, more than out right sweet on the palate with plenty of brooding complexity and balanced detailing, it shows tightness at first, but unfolds with beautiful and brilliant fruit with crisp green apple, lime, apricot and a mix of subtle tropical fruit along with smoky shale, wet stones, spearmint and chamomile tea and delicious lingering tangerine sorbet, peach flesh and rosewater, that comes from the must weight and residual sugar. This wine will get much more interesting as its baby fat and its deep inner spice comes through, as there is only a hint of crystalized ginger and tangy notes, but the youthful acidity keeps it from feeling heavy adding a sense of lightness to this serious Spatlese, this is going to reward those lucky enough to have it for decades to come. This chiseled and crystalline Riesling has clarity and it delights the palate with a tease of rich fruitiness and a cooler sense of being and restraint keeping a nice impression of tension, this all the reason these wines are so sought after and coveted, not only by Riesling junkies, but by Schaefer’s peers and friendly rivals, such is the respect and quality here….The Schaefer Graacher Domprobst lot #5 is a special small batch that was picked and fermented separate from the main bottlings and is a fabulous unique edition that was hand harvested on a later pass through the vines and where only perfect clusters were chosen prior to the Auslese pick and without any botrytis, from what I understand, making for a more concentrated expression that still shines with brilliant freshness and mineral tones. While the 2017s were ultra luxurious and dense, these 2018s are slightly more lacy and show a finer delicacy without being less sensual or impactful, and clearly as per normal Schaefer has made a fantastic set of wines, with this one really standing out. Terry Theise, Riesling guru and the importer of Schafer’s wines, says without hesitation or without any doubt that Willi Schaefer is one of the greatest estates in Germany, and I am and most critics will never question that, this address is the gold standard for quality with two main parcels in Domprobst and Himmelreich all on pure Devonian slate….This #5 is a collector gem and while imported, it will take some searching to get, though worth it! If you get some, cherish them and if you can’t wait to open it, do so with high end Asian, like Thai cuisine, slightly hot/spicy that has fresh ingredients that highlights simplicity ($70 Est.)”
Classical St. Emilion
From Chateau Grandchamp
Vinification is in stainless steel and most of the elevage is in concrete (25-33% of the wine sees aging in older barrels), so these wines have a purity and vitality that’s uncommon in Bordeaux these days. Chateau Grandchamp is made from an estate vineyard, farmed organically and worked/harvested by hand—a true rarity in the “satellite” regions of Bordeaux. The Clos du Pavillon wines we’re offering are negociant, but Maurice only works with growers who own unique terroirs and farm in accordance with his philosophies. These are delightful wines with plenty of old-school personality.
We flew through our last stock, so we convinced our importer to secure us another round. They arrived last week and are already selling briskly. All three of these wines are exceptional values, with the two higher end bottlings offering a great balance between drink now comfort and the ability to age effortlessly for a decade. These are excellent wines and we’d urge you to stock up across the board.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Drinkable, delicious Bordeaux for under $20.
Chateau de Grandchamp, Montagne-Saint-Emilion 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Le Guide Hachette Des Vins 2/3 stars (Vin Remarquable) “A mountain that exalts the qualities of the 2015 vintage and participated in the final of the favorites. From a blend of hand-harvested Merlot (90%) and Cabernet Franc, Château Grandchamp’s team has extracted a wine that combines power and elegance. The color of the dress is purple with violet, the nose is centered on dark fruits with spicy aromas, the palate is frisky, smooth, fruity, with fine, firm tannins and a long finish. [translated]”
Importer notes “Château de Grandchamp is the only domaine on the hillside overlooking the ancient commune of Parsac, located in the Montagne-Saint-Emilion appellation on the right bank of the Dordogne. Vigneron Gonzague Maurice manually farms Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in densely planted vineyards rooted in clay-limestone soils with small traces of iron. The vineyard has been in organic conversion since 2010, however grass is sown regularly between vine rows and ploughing is done in alternating rows. Gonzague’s sole objective in the vineyard is to obtain perfectly ripe and clean fruit. Triage is done in both the vineyard and the cellar to ensure the highest quality grapes. In the cellar, grapes are vinified in small, temperature controlled tanks and then aged in a combination of tank and one to two year old barrels. Above all, he seeks to preserve the fruit throughout the fermentation and ageing processes. The resulting wine is aromatically vibrant and beautiful balanced with soft tannins.”
Le Pavillon Dragon St George, St George – Saint-Emilion 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Le Pavillion “La Grange des Bardes” Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Top Wines from Spain’s Lost Great Region
Ladeiras do Xil makes the defining wines of the appellation, focusing on restoring these historic vineyards on impossibly steep, often terraced, sites. Founded by two giants of Spanish wine, Pablo Eguzkiza and Telmo Rodríguez, the winery is now helmed by the young, driven Jorge Saa, who has been working to restore the vineyards to prestige and condition of their ancient roots. The work is very hard and the production levels tiny (less than 250 cases are made of each red we’re offering today) but the results speak for themselves—this is an estate producing wines that are unique and compelling.
“Ladeiras do Xil takes its name from the hillsides of the Sil River, which is the lifeblood of the region. The pioneering duo of Pablo Eguzkiza (who gained his winemaking chops at Château Pétrus) and his partner Telmo Rodríguez (of Remelluri fame, among many others) started working here in 2002. Recognizing the potential to make world-class wines in this incredibly important valley, they began a project that would take decades to come to fruition. The philosophy of their company has always been vineyard first, winery second. The most crucial piece of the puzzle is the vineyard, and we are now just beginning to see the unfolding of the grandeur of their vision. They have been quietly doing heroic work in the face of incredible obstacles, as the climate in Galicia is unforgiving.” – De Maison Selections
In Stock Now:
Ladeiras Do Xil “Branco De Santa Cruz”, Valdeorras 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Branco de Santa Cruz was produced with the grapes from the white vines in the different vineyards in Valdeorras, with mixed varieties like Godello, Treixadura, Doña Branca, Palomino… It fermented and matured in oak foudre and 600-liter oak barrels. 2016 was a fresh year, with quite a lot of mildew, so harvesting the grapes from the individual plants was quite a lot of work, and they produced less of this wine. It’s open and expressive, with white flowers and a touch of honeycomb. The palate revealed marked flavors, a little medicinal, with very good intensity, clean and pure. 4,644 bottles were filled in May 2017.”
Importer note “The wines of Ladeiras do Xil are strictly produced by natural principles. Viticulture is EU organic, and indigenous yeasts begin a spontaneous fermentation once the grapes are hand-harvested. Minimal intervention in the winery is evident in the haunting elegance of the wines. Branco de Santa Cruz is fermented and matured in large oak foudres and 600-liter oak barrels. The wine is open and expressive, with white flowers and a touch of honeycomb. It exhibits exceptional intensity and purity. Production of this authentic white wine is very limited, with less than 5,000 bottles produced.”
The next best price is $47.99
Ladeiras Do Xil “As Caborcas”, Valdeorras 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2.5 hectares of north- and west-facing terraces planted with old vines produced the 2016 As Caborcas, a wine of unusual intensity, elegance and balance in 2016. The cooler year seems to have worked wonders for the reds here, and the wine is expressive and open, floral and aromatic, developing nuances of moss and fern, with a textured palate where the tannins have the granite mark of stony austerity that is then coated by the glycerin and the fruit, making a wine that is both elegant and powerful, with a very Galician feeling to it. 2,619 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2017.”
Importer note “As Caborcas is a unique vineyard, full of different varieties, of different ages, from different strains, growing at different altitudes and exposures. Among the native grapes planted are mencía, merenzao, sousón, godello, and brancellao. Indigenous yeasts cause spontaneous fermentation in small wooden barrels of various sizes, with light foudre aging for 12 months to preserve the “Atlantic” delicacy of this wine of inland Galicia. True to the origins, As Caborcas could be made nowhere else. As Caborcas is extremely limited, with less than 3,000 bottles produced in a good year.”
Ladeiras Do Xil “Falcoeira a Capilla”, Valdeorras 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “Falcoeira was the first of their Valdeorras vineyards to be harvested in 2016, starting on September 16th. The 2.75 hectares of this young south-facing vineyard produced 2,635 bottles of the 2016 Falcoeira A Capilla, always a richer wine compared with its siblings. It’s a historical vineyard that was abandoned, but its almost 100 ancient terraces were replanted with a field blend of Mencía, Merenzao, Sousón, Godello, Garnacha…and other grapes that would have been there in the past. Winemaking is simple, the grapes fermented in small wooden and stainless steel tanks, and the wine aged in French oak foudres. 2016 seems like a great vintage for the reds here, and Falcoeira kept the freshness and poise within its riper character. The palate is delineated and with a marked stony feeling to it. With time in the glass, the wine became finer and more elegant, and that extra touch of ripeness seemed to disappear. A great year for this wine.”
Importer note “The soils here are coarsely-textured, decomposed granites. It is an intense and profound wine, like the place it comes from. Indigenous yeasts begin a spontaneous fermentation in small wooden barrels of various sizes, the wine is then aged in foudres for 12 months. Falcoeira keeps freshness and poise within its riper character; with a delineated palate and a wild, stony feeling echoing the granitic slopes. With time in the glass, Falcoeira unfolds and displays the power, finesse, and elegance, which makes it one of the most exciting wines in the world. Falcoeira is extremely limited, with less than 3,000 bottles produced in a good year.”
The next best price is $74.95
The average listed price is $77
Black Slate Porrera, Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Black Slate Porrera, Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2016 Black Slate Porrera comes from a project of importer Eric Solomon focusing on the specific villages in the Priorat. The 2016 is 60% Grenache and 40% Carignan that was mostly destemmed and spent a full year in used barrels. Thrilling blue fruits, tar, rose petals, and a smoky, marine, iodine-like character all emerge from this full-bodied effort that opens up nicely with time in the glass. Tasting like it cost three times the price, it picks up more minerality with time in the glass, has beautiful balance, and great purity of fruit. It would be hard to find a better value. Drink bottles over the coming 3-5 years.”
“the star of this range” according to Antonio Galloni, which means a lot at Marietta.
Marietta Cellars Gibson Block Syrah, McDowell Valley 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Syrah Estate Gibson Block is the star of this range from Marietta. From a dry-farmed site planted in the 1880s, the Gibson Block is powerful, sumptuous and racy to the core. A whole range of complementary varieties give the Gibson Block striking inner perfume and lift to play off the intense dark fruit, while silky tannins add to the wine’s racy, inviting personality.”
Drinking Auslese outside in the sun on a cool but comfortable day is one of life’s great pleasures.
Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is bright, pure, very fine, floral and flinty on the nose. It is provided with perfectly ripe and concentrated, slate-flavored fruit aromas intermixed with lemon and grapefruit notes. This is a lush, piquant and elegant, filigreed and finessed Auslese. It has great finesse and provided with a lot of Spiel and salt. The finish is pure, piquant and salty, but also lush and generous. This is a very precise, straight and stimulating, highly digestible Auslese with a lot of energy, tension and aging potential. It is very clear and there is no hint of botrytis here.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “This offers a beautiful nose of cassis, grapefruit, greengage, apricot tree flower, white flowers and herbs. A more yellow fruit driven side comes through on the palate with yellow peach playing with acidity to produce a mouth-watering cocktail of Mosel charm. A hint of sweetness in the finish is still in need of integration of this gorgeous Auslese in the making. 2025-2045.”
Conte Loredan Gasparini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto NV 750ML ($17.95) $13.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 90 points “Delicious combination of pear and biscuit on the palate with medium body, bright acidity and a fresh finish. Fresh and satisfying. A different style of Prosecco that you should check out.”
La Fortuna Fortunello Rosso Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
VinopolNote: A fantastic value, showing pretty varietal notes of red cherries and spice. Moderately rich, savory and expressive.
Winery Note “A wine that first expresses itself through its colour; intense ruby red. Extraordinary via its intensity and absolute pleasure on the palate, vigor, length, freshness and fruity finish. A wine that will improve with age with its scents of raspberry and red berries.”
A great price on one of the iconic wines of the Kermit Lynch portfolio.
Domaine Comte Abbatucci Ajaccio Faustine Blanc, Corsica 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “Summing up Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s contagious energy in just a few lines is virtually impossible. The best way to experience it is to stand in his vineyards in central Corsica and feel it radiate through your body from the ground up. Luckily, that energy finds its way into every bottle he makes, and this gentle, breezy white from old-vine Vermentinu delivers it without compromise—each sip is like a gust of warm Mediterranean air flooding your senses with a perfume of flowers and wild maquis.”
The average listed price is $40
Light red? Dark rosé? Who cares. This is an absolutely perfect spring wine.
Cameron Rouge de Gris, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Winery Note “This wine is dedicated to the late Stanko Radikon and his son, Saša of Radikon Oslavia, who made us realize the potential locked up in the Pinot gris grape. Its nose is respendent with juicy strawberries, bing cherries, violets and a touch of straw. The crisp palate with flavors of umami and ripe and supple fruit tannins make this a truly quaffable red wine. The label honors the Italian plums that were planted on the site by early Oregon settlers prior to its current status as a Pinot gris vineyard at Abbey Ridge. We wish that David Lett were here to see what is possible with Pinot gris!”