Midweek VinopolPick 4-2-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

de Montille: A Top Name in White Burgundy, Too

Ulysse Collin’s Singular Champagne

Land of 1,000 Rosés – the Dark Side of Rosé

Trending Wines

The Most Exciting Winemaker in Spain?

Ambition, Rewarded: Marcus Molitor’s Stellar Riesling

Rare Burgundy from Olivier Bernstein


de Montille

A Top Name in White Burgundy, Too

de Montille is one of the most storied names in Burgundy, producing notably long-lived wines from prime holdings in Volnay and Pommard.  In recent years, though, they’ve expanded their white program and are now one of the preeminent producers of white Burgundy.  Most of this stems from Etienne de Montille’s appointment as the head of the Chateau du Puligny-Montrachet in 2002, where he oversaw a revitalization of the estate and paved the way for his family domaine’s acquisition of it a decade later.

Those prime holdings, combined with Etienne’s passion for white wines and winemaker Brian Sieve’s touch with the grape, have catapulted de Montille into the conversation as one of the best producers of Chardonnay in the Cote d’Or.  We have a small allocation of their 2016’s (a top tier white Burg vintage) arriving at the end of the week and would urge any lover of white Burgundy to put these in their cellar en masse.

Arriving Friday:

Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Blanc 2016 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special

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

Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($189.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 1.5L ($419.95) $379 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91-93 points
“Strong reduction dominates the fruit at present. Otherwise there is excellent richness to the succulent but punchy and powerful flavors that possess a sleek muscularity as well as ample minerality that really comes up on the long if slightly rustic finish which is unusual for this wine.”

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine de Montille Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $129 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Bright yellow. Musky pineapple and lemon aromas offer a bit less lift today than the Cailleret but plenty of allure. Less sweet and pristine in the middle palate than the Cailleret, but a bit thicker in texture, with the stony underpinning and spine of lemony acidity to give it a seriously penetrating quality. A sexy element of reduction adds to this young wine’s considerable appeal. Conveys a strong, tactile impression of dry extract without any rough edges and finishes salty and long. A year ago, the Cailleret seemed creamier and more harmonious than this wine but this has put on weight without any loss of tension.”

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Domaine de Montille Les Poruzots, Meursault Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 90-92 points
“Moderate reduction and sulfur undertones make the nose tough to assess. Otherwise there is fine volume and density to the tautly muscular flavors that evidence good power and punch on the drier, more complex and longer finish.”

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Ulysse Collin’s Singular Champagne

Perhaps no vigneron exemplifies the New Champagne like Ulysse Collin.  Born to a family of grape-growers, he worked tirelessly to free the family land from contracts selling fruit to negociants and now vinifies all of his wines as single-vineyard/vintage bottlings.  His wines are profoundly introspective and challenge preconceived notions about what Champagne should be. At the forefront of the new wave of ultra-terroir-driven Champagnes, Olivier produces deeply vinous, mineral and hyper-concentrated wines. True to their terroir, these are reflections of the individual parcels.  These wines are exceptionally rare and we’ve just received our allocation for the year, arriving next week.

“Winemaking as a rule here is as natural and non-interventionist as possible. All fermentation is carried out with indigenous yeasts, which can take a remarkably long time to complete: six to eight months is not at all unusual for Collin, and even when tasting vins clairs in June or July, they are typically still in the middle of their alcoholic fermentations. Both the fermentation and malolactic are carried out in three- to six-year old barriques, and the wine is neither fined nor filtered before bottling, which takes place in the fall after the harvest.” – Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

Arriving April 12th:

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Enfers’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2013) 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Roises’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Rose de Saignee Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special

Land of 1,000 Rosés

The Dark Side of Rosé

Let’s pour one out for darker rosé.  Not five years ago, Tavel was the toast of the town—a serious pink wine for those who wanted arosé with guts.  Oh how times change.  Now, anything darker than a very pale salmon seems to draw a critical eye.  Of those rosés not blessed with a pale complexion, the skepticism ranges from “is that sweet?” (as if color, from the skins of grapes, and sweetness, from fermentation, are related) to a desire to only drink rosé that goes down like water.

This is a shame—there’s a lot of delicious rosé out there that ranges from medium-pink to nearly red.  At the table, the stuff is incredibly useful.  It can fill the role of a red with foods off of the grill like burgers, chicken and lamb as well as well as being a slightly fruitier aperitif.  The boldness of the wines better matches the garlicy, spicy flavors of southern Italian and Provencal cooking than its paler siblings, but somehow, still, it’s ignored.

We want to change that and so here are a few of our favorite rosés (and a few Italian rosatos) that are a bit gutsier than the current pale and light fashion.  These are wines that are delicious at the table (and by themselves) but seem to be overlooked based on their color. Try a few!

In Stock Now:

A classic pairing with lamb, it’s great with burgers, too.
Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”

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

Tastes like a Chianti, but more refreshing.
Castell’in Villa La Gazzara Rosato Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
100% Sangiovese

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The ne plus ultra of richer, darker rosé.
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2016 750ML ($64.95) $51.90 special
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2016 1.5L ($139.95) $119 special

“The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe.”–Importer Notes

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Hot shot grower making mineral, racy rosé with power.
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points
“Light bright pink. Racy and focused on the nose, displaying mineral-accented red berry, orange zest and floral scents and a subtle herbal undertone. Dry and nervy in style, offering juicy red currant and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Clings with impressive authority on the finish, leaving candied rose and chalky mineral notes behind.”
Importer note “100% Cabernet Franc from 37 year old vines grown in shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and sand. Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged 4-6 months stainless steel.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

This wine is both/neither red nor rosé but it’s perfect with dinner.
Bisson Ciliegiolo Rose Golfo del Tigullio, Liguria 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Neal Rosenthal
“Ciliegiolo, Golfo del Tigullio: is a traditional red grape variety that is rarely seen. Piero Lugano vinifies it to showcase its light and fruity character. When presenting it, we group this wine with our classic series of Rosés as it is released in the spring following the prior year’s harvest. Lugano proudly maintains this variety in both the Trigoso and Campegli vineyards situated in the hills above Sestri Levante and Chiavari, respectively. It is vinified dry, tastes of red cherry and wild berries and its brilliant cherry color is a particular joy to behold.”
Importer note “When is a rosé not a rosé? We have struggled with whether to officially classify the Ciliegiolo varietal in this category or whether to present it as a light-colored red wine with lots and lots of character (much as we do, for example, the Poulsard from the Jura). No matter what moniker we use, the fact is that this wine is a joyous presence at the table with its bountiful berry flavor, brilliant rose-ruby color and energetic freshness. From the Italian riviera via the talented Piero Lugano.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A rosé with a strong sense of itself and surprising brightness.
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points
“Limpid orange. Incisive orange pith and red currant aromas are complemented by building herb and floral accents. Silky and round on the palate, offering intense red berry and blood orange flavors firmed by a jolt of bitter cherry pit. Finishes with strong authority, echoing the orange and floral notes.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “Mainly Cinsault (70%) from 80-year-old vines (the balance is split between Grenache and Mourvèdre), the 2017 Gigondas Rose is a medium-bodied wine that captures much of that variety’s elusive fruit and spice character. Hints of melon and redcurrant pick up notes of dried, savory spice on the finish.”

Trending Wines

Top Chianti value, perfect for pizza or steak night.
Pagliarese Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Pagliarese Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The 2016 Chianti Classico is a powerful wine. Unlike most Chianti Classicos, the 2016 Pagliarese is going to need at least a few years to be at its best. Today, 2016 exudes a classic sense of austerity that needs time to resolve. A range of earthy and savory notes give the 2016 its distinct personality.”
James Suckling 92 points “A rich and juicy Chianti Classico with lots of dark-fruit and walnut-skin character, as well as hints of hazelnuts. Medium to full body, round and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink or hold.”

Is there a better value in the Northern Rhone? Profound and <$40.
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“($48) Loads of chalky grip keeps this wrapped up tight, but the core of steeped plum, fig and blackberry fruit is brimming with energy, while bay leaf, licorice root and charcoal notes chomp at the bit on the finish. Cellaring will rein this in. Best from 2021 through 2035. 700 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Produced from 30-year-old vines and aged in 20% new oak, the 2015 Cornas Empreintes features classic Cornas notes of crushed stone, bloody meat and red plums. It’s full-bodied, rich and packed with fruit and tannin but supple at the same time. It’s mouth-filling and round, then finishes long, dry and mouthwatering.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93+ points “The 2015 Cornas Empreintes is unique in the lineup as it comes 30% from more limestone soils. It’s 75% destemmed and aged in 20% new French oak. It’s more elegant and focused than the opulent Premices and gives up lots of blackberry and cassis fruits, leather, crushed rock and pepper aromatics. Deep, rich, beautifully concentrated and pure, it needs short-term cellaring but is a brilliant wine that’s going to impress for 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $44.94
Classic, high quality Pinot Grigio at top pricing.
Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2016 750ML ($21.95) $14 special
Case-12 Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2016 750ML ($249.95) $149 special
Jeb Dunnuck 90 points
“The 2016 Pinot Grigio from Friuli is a value priced effort well worth your time and money. Citrus blossom, a touch of tropical fruits, and lots of honeyed citrus all flow to medium-bodied, nicely balanced, clean, and straight up delicious white that has plenty of texture and length yet stays fresh and lively. Drink up.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Heady aromas of pear, beeswax and white spring flower take center stage in this lovely white. The medium-bodied palate doles out white peach, citrus and almond flavors, with fresh acidity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The Alto Piemonte continues to a be a hot area for collectors.
Antoniolo San Francesco, Gattinara DOCG 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
“This is a special wine with its own cult following. The 2012 Gattinara San Francesco stands apart for its apparent fruit intensity and the extra density and richness that it so generously offers to the palate. Dark cherry and blackberry drive a long and exuberant finish.”

Buy it by the case, drink it by the case.  Repeat.
Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special
Grapelive 92 points
“Saint Cosme’s Cotes-du-Rhone, grown on a mix of soils, including red clay, pebbles and limestone sands all hillside vines is partial whole cluster and all tank raised. Always a wine of value and purity it gives a ton of character, personality and never disappoints in any vintage, and this one is an exceptional year. In 2017, low yields produced wines with lots of intensity and depth with hedonistic density, but with vibrant fresh detail, with what Barruol notes, adds crunchiness and salinity to this beautiful red wine. This 2017, which is an amazing follow up to the great 2015 and 2016 versions that I loved, delivers boysenberry, sweet blueberry and plum fruit as well as savory spices, a touch of meat, black licorice and a inner perfume of violets and lavender. Rounded tannins give structure, making this wine perform at a higher level than one would expect and this vintage in particular will age well, maybe a decade or more, impressive for the price!”
James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 100% Syrah 2017 Cotes du Rhone is a bargain superstar, offering hints of smoke, cracked pepper, blueberries and black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a long, supple finish. For the $20 (or less) I’ve seen it selling for, you’re not going to find a better Syrah.”

Gewurtz may be the most perfect white for spring. 
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Dirstelberg, Alsace 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
“Light gold. Aromas of grapefruit, rose petal, mint, and spices, plus a light tropical fruit note. Then delicate and easygoing, displaying moderately complex floral flavors and a silky texture. Closes off-dry and accessible, with decent length, but it is not an especially opulent or showy Gewürz (18 g/L r.s. and 4.3 g/L total acidity).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous
VinopolNote: The Disrstelberg vineyard is mostly composed of pink sandstone and is known as a high quality vineyard for a variety of grapes.  The wines from the site tend to be linear and crisp, with good varietal character.  Unlike many Alsatian producers, Bursin errs on the side of delicacy and raciness rather than pick too late and allow the wines to become rich and flabby for the sake of “power.”

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The Most Exciting Winemaker in Spain?
Raul Perez has emerged as one of the most exciting Spanish winemakers of the last few years.  He’s done it in an interesting way: not by making over-the-top big fruit and oak bombs, but rather by honing in on the terroirs in Galicia, a relatively unromantic vinicultural region.  Until the late 1990’s, when his mentor Alvaro Palacios started the Petalos/Descendientes project, most of the wines in the region were sold locally, often to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.

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.

In Stock Now:

Raul Perez Ultreia Rapolao, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
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.”

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Raul Perez Ultreia de Valtuille, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2014 Ultreia de Valtuille was very open and expressive, impressive too, with notes of freshness, blood orange, red cherries and also flowers (violets, lilies) and an earthy touch. It’s elegant and complex, with very fine tannins and a velvety sensation. As with all the reds, the oak is unnoticeable, perfectly integrated and folded into the wine.”

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Raul Perez Prieto Picudo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Grapelive 96 points
“The rare Prieto Picudo is an odd varietal with high acid, high tannin and slightly oval shaped with a pointy tip, it’s native and almost only found here in Tierra de Leon, the name means beaked, hence the name, Raul Perez’s is from a high elevation old vine site on sandy clay soils with river rocks, making for a unique wine that has an almost Nebbiolo or Ramisco like flavor profile. This extraordinary red, from vines planted in 1900 in the village of Pajares de los Oteros at about 900 feet above sea level, was fermented whole cluster in chestnut wood vats with a cool 60 day maceration and then raised for about 60 months in French barriques, this long elevage adding to the wine’s refinement and mature character. The 2011 Prieto Picudo, from 111 year old vines when harvested, is a brilliant ruby/dark red color with herb and floral notes on the nose with mineral tones as well as a slight earthy/spice and kirsch note before opening to a medium full palate of racy red fruits including brambly forest berry, cherry, plum and mulberry plus dried flowers, peppercorns, grilled fennel and light cedar. The texture is fantastic and mouth filling with satiny feel, this is mind-blowing stuff with great depth and layers of pleasure, but with firm tannins and glowing vibrancy making this wine really pop, lingering distilled strawberry, salty stones, sweet tobacco leaf and baking spice. This is one of the coolest wines I’ve tried this year, again it reminds me somewhat of Lessona DOC, Nebbiolo based reds that spend 4 to 5 years in cask, of the upper Piedmonte area. The fruit is ripe and polished, this is very much a classic Perez wine, it was great to taste it with the winemaker himself, you could see just how thrilled he was with this Prieto Picudo and his passion was thick in the air, and I think this wine has potential to age another decade, I hope to get a chance to see how it evolves. Wow.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $56
Ambition, Rewarded

Marcus Molitor’s Stellar Riesling

There may be no more ambitious winemaker in the world than Marcus Molitor.  His determination and drive to make the best possible wines has made him a towering figure in the Mosel, with an impressive, modern winery and holdings in almost every important vineyard in the region.  This drive also means there are a lot of different bottlings—Molitor believes that every single sub-parcel and selective pick should be vinified to its utmost potential.

This is the essence of the brilliance of Marcus Molitor.  Most winemakers would pick once or twice (or three times) in a vineyard and vinify many lots together—it’s easier and the wines are good.  Molitor, though, asks what each parcel and pick would be like on its own—treated as if it were a wine of distinction rather than a blending component.  This is a lot of extra work and requires time and space that most winemakers would rather not spend, but the result is a dizzying number of bottlings that all strive toward perfection.

The critical praise backs this up—Marcus Molitor’s wines are some of the most lauded in the world. Whether white capsule (dry), green capsule (off-dry), or gold capsule (fruity to nobly sweet), he manages to produce wines that captivate and astound.  2016 is among the best vintages he’s produced, possibly better across the board than the lauded 15’s.  We’ve brought in as many of these excellent wines as we can—far too many to list here (49 different wines, from a few vintages).  You can view them all on our website by clicking here or check out some of the highlights below.

In Stock Now:

Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese** Feinherb (Green Kap) Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2016 Riesling Bernkasteler Badstube Auslese ** (Green Capsule) offers a pretty clear and delicate, fresh and flinty bouquet with bright fruit aromas and clayey wet slate notes. On the palate, this is a tensioned, fresh, mineral and tightly woven Auslese in the medium sweet style. It’s truly piquant and fresh, and the ripe, concentrated fruit is well balanced by vibrating minerals and phenolic grip. The finish is very long and fine, with a lot of salinity and slatey freshness. This is an impressive wine, but you should be patient with it. Tasted March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott- jamessuckling.com 94 points “A ton of spices and minerality here. There is also a lot of juiciness and some perceptible sweetness on the middle-palate. A very clean vibrant finish follows and pulls you back for more. Drink or hold.”

Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese*** Feinherb (Green Kap), Mosel 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (Green Capsule) is deep and complex on the nose, though discreet in its fruit expression straight from the bottle. However, the fruit is beautifully flinty, fresh and really fine. Lush and round on the palate, this is a full-bodied, ripe and intense yet well-balanced and elegant Himmelreich whose sweetness of roughly 30 grams per liter is still prominent at this young age. However, the wine is intense, long, firmly structured, very mineral and provided with serious tannins and a lot of stones. I am tasting it far too early (and straight after the three-starred Rosenberg Auslese), but it’s a highly promising Riesling from a great vintage for the Mosel. Bottled in September 2017; tasted March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 96 points “A remarkable 2016 Mosel riesling that’s just off-dry. Stunning apricots and fresh herbs in the nose. Dense, succulent and yet elegant. The finish is a cascade of herbal notes, ripe fruit and floral honey. A very long and clean finish with a lot of power. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Markus Molitor Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese Gold Kap, Mosel 2016 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 93 points
“Plenty of white- and yellow-peach aromas with a hint of herbal freshness. Very cool and fresh with a super-crisp finish. Oh yes, there is also some sweetness but it’s really not that obvious. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Molitor’s 2016 Riesling Kinheimer Rosenberg Spätlese (Golden Capsule) is intense and clear on the nose, a bit warmer and richer but less refined compared to the corresponding Schlossberg. The wine has mouth-filling sweet fruit and, in the finish, a very elegant slatey flavor that lends it stunning finesse and purity. The finish is firm and still a tiny bit astringent. Tasted March 2018.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Markus Molitor Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spatlese Trocken (White Kap), Mosel 2016 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2016 Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) is clear, fresh and precise on the nose where a ripe, concentrated and spicy white fruit aroma is displayed and intermixed with crystalline and crunchy slate flavors. On the palate, the Bockstein reveals lush, concentrated, very elegant and mineral structured fruit that is terribly precise and piquant. The finish is pure, clean, intense and persistently salty, again showing crunchy slate flavors. The wine was bottled in September 2017. Tasted in March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 93 points “Full of blossoms and citrusy freshness. This Saar wine is so juicy and refreshing that you might think it is too charming, but it has a firm and mineral core that builds up at the long finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Markus Molitor Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Auslese*** Feinherb (Green Kap), Mosel 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2016 Riesling Kinheimer Rosenberg Auslese *** (Green Capsule) offers a super fine raisin and refreshing slatey/flinty bouquet that indicates great purity, finesse and crunchy/slatey freshness. The fermentation stopped at 34 grams of residual sugar per liter (11% alcohol), and the resulting wine is highly delicate, pure, lush and piquant on the palate. It is quite sweet and shows celery flavors as well as great tension that is neither rustic nor challenging but really fine, giving vibrancy, grip and energy to the lush and generous but always precise and elegant Riesling fruit. This is an exciting wine, and Markus filled it as a three-starred Auslese for the first time because he was convinced the wine deserves it. Tasted March 2018.”

Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Trocken (White Kap), Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2016 Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese (White Capsule) offers a deep and complex yet delicate and discreetly flinty nose with a very fine, fresh and bright citrus and stony aroma. Full-bodied, intense and lush on the palate, this is a silky textured, highly elegant and superbly balanced Würzgarten with an intense and powerful, very mineral and salty finish. The wine reveals great complexity along with serious grip and tensioned length but keeps its great finesse. Fermented and aged in large oak barrels until the bottling in September 2017. Tasted March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 94 points “A big ripe wine with intense smoky and spicy notes. Although it only has 11% of alcoholic content, this is almost too much of a good thing. The power surging right through the dramatic finish. Drink or hold.”

Markus Molitor Alte Reben Riesling Trocken (White Kap), Mosel 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The 2016 Riesling Alte Reben is clear, deep, fresh and flinty on the bright and elegant nose. Filigreed and piquant on the palate, this is a crystalline, clear and elegant Riesling from old vines. Its finish is very salty and reflects the pure slate soils of the steep vineyards in the Mosel Valley. The wine tastes bone dry and weighs in at 11.5% alcohol. Bottled in September 2017; tasted two times in March 2018.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 92 points “If you find dry Mosel wines too light, you need to try this. Ripe and mouth-filling with quite a bit of power. In spite of this generosity, the wine plows straight ahead. A bold finish. Drink or hold.”

Want to see all 49 Marcus Molitor bottlings available now in our web store? Just click here to view them and shop now!

Rare, Sought-After Red Burgundy

From Olivier Bernstein

Rarity and quality drive the Burgundy market.  There’s no other way around it—high quality, scarce wines appreciate and become scarcer and more expensive.  A prime example: Olivier Bernstein’s high flying Grand and Premier Crus.  Olivier Bernstein founded his micro-negociant in 2007, choosing to buy grapes from only the best vineyards he could find.  As a result, they’ve become incredibly hot items, reference points, really, in the Burgundy world, due both to that magic touch and the tiny, tiny amounts they’re produced and imported in. (Less than 30 six-packs of many of these wines make it to the US.)These are wines for serious collectors looking for the pinnacle of Burgundy (or for excellent arbitrage opportunities).  The 2016’s are stunning wines, as are a few remaining 2015’s we have on hand.  We were able to negotiate a large allocation of these wines, though quantities for each individual bottling does not exceed 6 bottles.  Many shops might not let these hit the open market, but we’d like to think that anyone interested should have a shot.  Act quickly, though, it’s first come, first served.

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Only four bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($869.95) $779 special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“($865) Expressive, even flamboyant, this red features red and black cherry, sandalwood, stony mineral, earth and spice flavors. Larger than life, with a boisterous personality, yet there’s no denying the intensity and complexity. Shows superb structure and length. Best from 2023 through 2046. From France.”-B.S.
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93-96 points “(Bernstein works with two strips of vines that extend from the bottom to the top of the cru on the Chambolle side, thus giving him both red and white soil influences): Healthy dark red with ruby suggestions. Reticent, pure aromas of musky raspberry, spices and rocky minerality, lifted by a floral topnote. Boasts terrific precision and inner-mouth mineral grip but this is youthfully imploded today and less accessible than the Clos de la Roche, with a touch of peppery stems contributing to the impression of tension. The very long, building finish stimulates the salivary glands, leaving behind notes of black and white pepper in the empty glass. This wine, too, should be long-lived. Bernstein vinified in 2016 with an average of 50% whole clusters but this one was more like two-thirds.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Only two bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($419.95) $369 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“The cherry and raspberry flavors take on a slight confectionary quality in this lean, taut red. Though in lock-down today, there is concentrated fruit at the core and a long, vibrant finish. Spicy aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2035. 43 cases imported.”
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Moderately saturated bright red. Subtler on the nose than the Champeaux, showing a penetrating perfume to the aromas of raspberry liqueur and flowers. Plush, sweet and stuffed with red berries, spices and dried flowers, offering outstanding volume while maintaining its shape and avoiding any impression of heaviness. Quite spherical in the middle palate, then suave on the back end, finishing with late-arriving fine-grained tannins and resounding length. (This is a blend of Charmes and Mazoyères, from two different owners.)”

Only two bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($729.95) $649 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“($725) Boysenberry, plum, black cherry, earth and underbrush flavors are allied to an opulent texture and muscular structure in this beefy red. Impressive, but will need time for all the components to fall into place. Offers big tannic grip on the finish. Best from 2023 through 2047. From France.”-B.S.
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93-95 points “(the fruit Bernstein buys comes from lower down in this grand cru, where vine yields are always around 30 hectoliters per hectare, and thus he didn’t notice “a clear reduction in production” in 2016): Bright, dark red. Musky raspberry, spicy underbrush and flowers on the expressive, terroir-driven nose. At once thick and sappy, conveying outstanding subtle intensity to its flavors of bitter cherry, spices and minerals. Finishes with very fine-grained tannins. This elegant young Clos de la Roche really dances on the palate. It should evolve positively in bottle for a long time.”

Only six bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($349.95) $299 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Pure aromas and flavors of currant, cherry and violet are shaded by the sweet smoke of burning vine cuttings and graphite in this intense red. Shows tension and a solid structure that remains long, while earth, tobacco and mineral elements linger. Best from 2023 through 2042.”

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Only three bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Les Champeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Smoky oak is well-integrated into bright black cherry, black currant and mineral flavors, backed by firm, resonant tannins. Fresh and linear, with a long, fruit- and spice-tinged aftertaste. Should reward patience. Best from 2023 through 2038. 28 cases imported.”Only six bottles available

Olivier Bernstein Les Champeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2016 ($319.95) $299 special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 92-94 points
“(the crop level here was 35 hectoliters per hectare): Medium red. Complex, alluring scents of raspberry, animal fur and pepper. A step up in finesse of texture from the village Gevrey, but still with terrific nuance and inner-mouth lift to its youthfully tight flavors of raspberry, crushed rock and flowers. The energetic yet edge-free finish is juicy, palate-cleansing and very subtle.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Only two bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($599.95) $519 special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A brilliant red, bursting with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors, backed by a firm structure, with an overall sense of elegance, restraint and understated power. This will need a few years to reveal all its charms, yet remains long and focused. Best from 2023 through 2040. 28 cases imported.”
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points “Medium red. Deeper, musky, rather backward nose offers soil-inflected aromas of black cherry, coffee, mocha and minerals but a bit less energy and peppery lift than the Bonnes-Mares. Then wonderfully silky and thick in the mouth, and surprisingly lively and expressive considering the nose. Conveys terrific energy and peppery pungency to its flavors of dark raspberry, black cherry, licorice and crushed rock. There’s a positive and very sexy wildness here that may become more pronounced with time in the cellar. Finishes with outstanding length.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Looking for more Olivier Bernstein? Check out a list on our webstore, home of 14 different bottlings, by clicking here.
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