Midweek VinopolPick 4-30-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Kicking of the May Sale with Chateauneuf

Champagne Appreciation: New Reviews from the Wine Advocate

Durand Sale Ends Tonight!

The Brilliant 2015 Vietti Crus

Pure Magic: One of the Rarest Great Sherries

Theirry Germain’s Brilliant Saumur

Muga’s Follow Up to Our Best Selling Rioja of 2018

Trending Wines

Rose of the Day: Rosado Edition

94 Point Napa Chard, Under $25

New Reviews for Two Classic-Region Bottlings

The Most Underrated Great Domaine in Burgundy?

Scott Paul Closeout Recapped


Kicking of the May Sale

With Two Classic Chateauneufs

Vieux Telegraphe is a name that instantly connotes greatness and profundity in wine. One of the benchmark names in Chateauneuf du Pape, the estate’s wines are legendary for their complexity and longevity.  Yet, despite the fame of Telegraphe, the other projects from the Brunier family (owners, winemakers, etc. of VT) tend not to readily come to mind. Which is a shame.

The Bruniers own and make wine from the venerable Chateau la Roquete, which the family purchased in 1986.  The estate sits on the Piedlong plateau and is the source for the new “Piedlong” bottling from the family.  Where Telegraphe sits in the La Crau subzone of Chateauneuf du Pape and is known for stern, powerful wines, Piedlong is best characterized by the elegance its sandy soils provide the wines.  Rayas’ Pignan bottling is probably the best known example, and the Brunier wine shares a lot of the same traits with its much more expensive neighbor, including exceptional early drinkability and gorgeous aromatics.

For our May Sale, we’re dropping the prices on both Vieux Telegraphe and Piedlong—both are now the lowest in the country.  These are stellar deals from fantastic producers, though the sale prices are limited to the stock on hand.  Once the wine in the shop is gone, these prices are too.

In Stock Now:

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 May Sale Special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has a lovely, perfumy mix of savory, mint, tobacco, blood orange, cherry and bergamot notes, with finely beaded acidity and silky but ample structure. Long, mineral- and shiso leaf-infused finish. Best from 2020 through 2035.”JM
Wine Advocate 94 points “The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $81
Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $41.90 May Sale Special
James Suckling 95 points
“10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $53

Late Breaking News!

New Reviews from William Kelley of the Wine Advocat

Only 27 bottles remain!
Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($179.95) $115 special, 27 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points
“Disgorged in May 2016, Vilmart’s 2009 Coeur de Cuvée is predictably superb, wafting from the glass with a lovely bouquet of lemon oil, verbena, dried white flowers, walnut oil and wet stones. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and fleshy but precise, with a voluminous mousse, incisive acids, superb concentration and more energy and tension than many examples of this vintage—no doubt amplified by Vilmart’s use of only the best press fraction for this bottling—concluding with a long, elegantly chalky finish. The blend is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. This is a wine that merits ardent pursuit.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $151
Doyard Oeil de Perdrix Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, ETA May 10th
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“Doyard’s 2013 Grand Cru Extra Brut Millésime Œil de Perdrix is showing superbly, bursting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of honeyed red apples, brown sugar, confit citrus fruits and warm, exotic spices that speak of mature grapes. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with tangy acids, a deep core of ripe, concentrated fruit, a frothy mousse and a long, sapid finish.”


Durand Sale Ends Tonight!Save Big on Already Great Value Northern Rhones

Sale Ends Midnight April 30th

The Durand brothers are making it look easy.  It’s hard to find Northern Rhone wines that combine soul and polish—it seems as if most of the new wines we taste are either hyper glossy or very rustic.  To hit that sweet spot, where your wines speak very loudly of place but are elegant, drinkable and age-worthy—that’s special indeed.  To make those sorts of wines at the prices that the Durands charge seems almost unthinkable.

“Consistently brilliant wines emerge from Domaine Durand, which is run with incredible talent and passion by Eric and Joël Durand. Located in the tiny village of Châteaubourg, they pull from roughly 22 hectares of vines, 8.5 hectares in Saint Joseph, 9.5 hectares in Cornas and tiny amounts in Saint-Péray and Vin de Pays. The brothers took over the estate in 1991, and while the winemaking is relatively modern, these are classic, pure, beautifully made wines that speak clearly to their region and terroir.” –Jeb Dunnuck

In Stock, On Sale Now:

Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Premices, Rhone 2014 750ML ($37.95) Was $29, Now $26 Sale Special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Offers a ripe, dark profile, with a core of steeped blackberry and plum fruit that picks up bay, white pepper and iron accents through the finish. Shows solid depth and fruit for the vintage, displaying excellent energy. Best from 2018 through 2029. 1,500 cases made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 Sale Special
Case-12 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($479.95) Was $468, Now $399 Sale Special (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
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.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $44.94
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 Sale Special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Bright violet. Vibrant and focused on the nose, displaying intense blue fruit, olive and cracked pepper scents and a hint of cola. Appealingly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy boysenberry and cola flavors and a touch of allspice. Supple tannins build steadily on the clinging finish, which features rounded tannins and a hint of candied flowers. ”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Saint Joseph Les Coteaux looks as good from bottle as it did from tank last year. Richly concentrated and velvety, this medium to full-bodied beauty features savory notes of black olive, allspice and clove, backed by supple tannins and a long finish.”-JC
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today for any vintage!
Now it’s even lower!
We have fifteen different Durand wines and case specials in stock right now! Want to see them all? Just click here to view the full list on the web store.


The Brilliant 2015 Vietti Crus

“…the 2015s here [at Vietti] are brilliant. I won’t be surprised if they show even better with a few more years in bottle, as they are among the most reticent 2015s I tasted.”

“I generally advise Vinous readers to focus on producer above all else. Two thousand fifteen is a perfect vintage to see why that approach makes sense.” – Antonio Galloni

Vietti is a classic producer working in a neo-classic style, in our minds. The wines aren’t ultra-traditional, but they do combine what Luca Currado values most about traditional wines of the Piedmont with modern cellar practices.  The result is a set of wines that show tons of Nebbiolo character and distinct terroir signatures, but with an elegance that’s all Vietti.  The 2015’s are a prime example, combining the warmth and power of the vintage with a level of detail that few other producers were able to harness in their cru bottlings.  The result is a set of wines that (like 2009) are positive outliers for a vintage that has some very high highs.  We’re receiving a limited allocation of the 2015 cru wines next month and smart buyers should lock these in now.

Arriving ETA Mid-June:

Vietti Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “This has a rather reserved nose with dried-herb, rosehip, potpourri and light cedary aromas, ahead of fragrant dried cherries. The palate has quite dense and smoothly rendered, ripe tannins that deliver a long, composed and approachable Barolo. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2015 Barolo Brunate is powerful and dense in the glass, with plenty of Brunate tannin that enshrouds the palate. Iron, smoke, grilled herb, menthol and spice notes add complexity to the dark, sepia-toned fruit. The 2015 is a baby. It will benefit from several years in bottle and then drink well to age 25-30, perhaps beyond. This is the first vintage made from Vietti’s expanded holdings following the acquisition of a parcel that formerly went to Andrea Oberto.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Vietti Lazzarito, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“This is a very youthful Barolo that has attractive, fragrant perfume with freshly picked roasting herbs and a strong, central thread of ripe cherries and red plums. The pure and concentrated palate frames intense plum and cherry flavors in long, unwavering tannins that deliver rich, strong and seamless into the finish. Exceptional quality and built for aging. Try from 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Barolo Lazzarito is one of the highlights in this range from Vietti. The power and gravitas of Serralunga come through loud and clear in a deep, beautifully resonant Barolo loaded with character. Iron, smoke, sage, menthol, licorice and rose petal give the Lazzarito its beguiling aromatic complexity. The massive tannins need time to soften, but there is a lot to look forward to once that happens.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Vietti Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2015 Barolo Ravera is once again the head of the class at Vietti. Bright, sculpted and wonderfully nuanced, the Ravera is very pretty. Floral aromatics and the pointed, brilliant fruit that is such a Ravera signature are very much in evidence. Hints of blood orange, mint, crushed rocks and flowers add shades of complexity as the 2015 gradually opens up in the glass. This is one of the finer wines of the year. Don’t miss it!”
James Suckling 95 points “The beautifully fragrant roses are impossible to resist. This oozes charm. Also, there are red cherries, cocoa powder and an array of wild herbs in the mix. The palate has toned yet muscular tannins that build nicely to deliver a concentrated core of ripe red-cherry flavor that holds long, fresh and youthful. Great Barolo. Try from 2022.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Vietti Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“A hauntingly complex and finely detailed nose that touches so many different characters. Roses, dried wood, cedar, fine brown spices, light earthy notes, warm stones, mountain herbs and leaves. All here – very complex. The density and weight is exceptional, as is the fine, firm weave of tannins. The length is staggering and the tautness and balance are captivating. One of the stars of the vintage! Try from 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione is incredibly inviting from the very first taste. Silky and aromatic, the Rocche shows plenty of the classiness that is such a signature of this Castiglione Falletto site. As with all of these 2015s, readers will have to be patient. The 2015 gains striking volume and resonance with time in the glass, but a few years in bottle are an absolute must for the wine to show at its very best.”

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



Pure Magic: One of the Rarest Great SherriesThe Valdespino Palo Cortado Anada 2000

Single vintage Sherries (Anada bottlings) are rare.  Single vineyard Sherries are basically unheard of.  What happens when a top producer (Valdespino) makes a single vintage, single vineyard Palo Cortado from a single, excellent cask and a great year?  Pure Magic

Valdespino owns some of the best vineyard land in Jerez and the Macharnudo Alto vineyard might be their crown jewel.  It’s the highest vineyard in the region and has especially chalky soils.  Wines from the site seem to have a vitality and energy that’s irreplaceable in other terroirs.

The wine we’re offering today, the Anada 2000 Palo Cortado, hails from this vineyard and indeed from a single barrel—only 500 half-bottles were made.  If you love sherry, though, you should do whatever you can to get one, though—these have everything you’d want out of a special release from Valdespino.  Our pricing is especially sharp, as well—the next best price in the country is over $30 more expensive.

Arriving May 10th:

Valdespino Macharnudo Alto Single Cask Palo Cortado Vintage Sherry, Jerez 2000 375ML ($159.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Sherrynotes.com 4.5 Stars “A complex and aromatic nose, which presents itself in a very elegant, smooth way. There’s a Fino side to it (hay, minerals, bread crust) as well as Amontillado (soft beeswax, orange oil, apricots and other fruity echoes) and Palo Cortado (a little tobacco, hazelnuts, caramel)…Mouth: a gentle entry. I’m struck by the delicate glyceric / buttery touch, making it seem a little sweet (toffee, apricots again). However it becomes sharper and deeper over time, with a gentle saline tang and balanced acidity. Soft herbal notes. Some lemon and olive brine. Roasted almonds and walnuts. Hints of old polished wood. Very long finish with the toffee and praline notes lasting forever.An exciting hybrid wine again. It could be described as a particularly buttery Fino with subtle traces of Oloroso, but it’s more complex than that. Absolutely lovely: a rare gem – let’s hope there are more casks like this in the bodega.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $129.07
The average listed price is $289
Theirry Germain’s Brilliant Saumur

The reds of Saumur are some of the most interesting, compelling wines in the Loire (and therefore, in France).  They offer depth and complexity with a food-friendliness and savor that is a hard to beat, dollar for dollar.  A wine like Thierry Germain’s entry level wine is a prime example—100% Cabernet Franc from biodynamically farmed vines on limestone and clay soils, it possesses  both power and elegance.  In the world where the Napafication of Bordeaux is common, it’s nice to find something that delivers an authentic experience like this, no matter the price.  That the price is as good as it is only makes it easier to stock up on—and stock up we are.  These arrive next Friday.

Arriving Friday, May 10th:

Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny (Cuvee Domaine), Loire 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny (Cuvee Domaine), Loire 2016 750ML ($319.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Kermit Lynch Note: “100% Cabernet Franc from 4 to 70 year old vines grown on sand, clay, and Tuffeau limestone.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.87

Muga Reserva 2014

The Follow Up to Our Best Selling Rioja of 2018

Muga’s 2013 Rioja Reserva was our best selling Rioja last year.  It was a delicious wine and the appetite for it was tremendous.  It’s long since sold out, but the good news is that the next vintage (2014) arrives next week—and that it’s even better than the 2013.  2014 was an easier vintage for most in Rioja and the wine shows it, with rich fruit, integrated earthiness and a vivacity that marks it as a wine to drink with nearly anything grilled.  We expect this should prove equally popular—it arrives next Friday and we’ll surely see it flying out the door.

Arriving ETA Friday May 10th:

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($319.95) $259 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(aged for two years in a combination of new and used French and American oak barrels) Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of ripe red fruits and candied flowers, along with allspice, vanilla and pipe tobacco topnotes. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors and a spicy nuance that emerges as the wine opens up. Finishes sappy, penetrating and quite long, with smooth, slow-building tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s sappy fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2014 Muga Reserva checks in as a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the balance Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and Graciano. This deep ruby/purple-colored effort gives up textbook currants, smoked earth, leather, espresso, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous and sexy on the palate, with sweet tannin, it’s a charming, forward vintage of this cuvée that dishes out loads of pleasure.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The Muga family thinks the rains of 2014 benefited many of their vineyards, which are in cooler places at higher altitudes and take longer to ripen. So, they are really happy with their 2014 Reserva, the flagship bottling which delivers the Muga style and the typicity of the Rioja Alta at a very attractive price and with good availability because they produced one million bottles of it! They select the gentler sites from within the cooler parts of Rioja where their vineyards are located, as this is their more approachable red. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts, matured in barriques for two winters and was bottled in its third year. It has the telltale aromas of spices and berry fruit, with the Muga signature and a medium-bodied palate with some dusty tannins that would welcome food. 950,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2016.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Trending Wines
An exceptional value in top-quality white Burgundy.
Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur le Sentier du Clou Blanc, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Burghound 91 points
“There is a whiff of the exotic present on the mandarin orange, white peach and hint of lychee-suffused aromas. There is a bit more volume, particularly on the mid-palate, to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a highly seductive texture on the markedly more complex and persistent finish. Good stuff.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “Always a standout in Prudhon’s cellar, “Sur le Sentier du Clou” produces both white and red wine of great character. The Prudhons own a 0.4-hectare parcel of 35-year-old Chardonnay in this vineyard, which lies in the heart of the western flank of Saint-Aubin, completely surrounded by other premier crus.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
This is an exceptional value for a fantastic Barbaresco.
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serraboella’, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Currant, strawberry, cherry, floral and leafy flavors are the highlights of this racy, elegant red. Balanced on the firm side, with excellent length. Best from 2020 through 2032. 800 cases made.”Big, rich, brooding and powerful. 
Domaine Le Clos des Fees Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015 750ML ($79.95) $54.50 special
Case-6 Domaine Le Clos des Fees Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015 750ML ($399.95) $299 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Eighteen months in new French oak barrels has given the 2015 Côtes du Roussillon Villages le Clos des Fées a certain tightness and discipline lacking in the Vieilles Vignes bottling. There’s still massive fruit and buried complexity, full body and rich tannins, but there’s also firmness of structure that shows the serious, age-worthy side of Bizeul’s winemaking. Vanilla and baking spices accent deep, dark cherries and plums, ending in a long, velvety finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A steal in Barolo for the cellar.
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Cavallotto is on a roll with some very impressive new releases. The 2013 Barolo Bricco Boschis is a tremendous effort that has an edge on the excellent 2010 vintage in my view. The wine shows a beautifully exuberant but elegant bouquet with the ethereal and undertone fruit and spice aromas you get with Nebbiolo. Although the wine is never overdone, it does show silky persistence and a long finish that comes from the noble nature of the tannins and the wine’s textural finesse. Yet, it is playfully deceiving in a way because behind that polished grace, it delivers impressive depth and power.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is packed with sweet cherry, currant, floral and spice flavors. The vivid acidity drives the intensity, while dense tannins lend support. This will take some time to harmonize, but should be well worth the wait. Best from 2022 through 2040.”A unique take on Malbec, this is a cult classic.
Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The one blend in the Eggo range is the 2015 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, which mixes Malbec with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 2,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats where the wine matured for almost one year. This feels quite complete and balanced, with good ripeness while keeping the balance and poise. The palate is juicy and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a bittersweet finish akin to sour cherries. Very tasty and long. Super. Incredible for the price. 16,000 bottles were filled in January 2016.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The back vintage bottlings from Scott Paul are prime drinking.
Scott Paul The Long Run Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2011 750ML ($59.95) $33 special
Nysa Vineyard
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(12.9% alcohol; 20% new oak): Light, bright red. Sexy, high-pitched red berry and floral scents, with notes of star anise, underbrush and sassafras adding complexity. Offers intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, along with notes of rhubarb, candied flowers and orange zest. This lithe, focused, pure pinot finishes linear and very long, with echoing floral and spice notes. Pinot purists should definitely check this one out.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Previously labeled as Les Gourmandises, this is now The Long Run in honor of Scott Wright’s completing his first full-length marathon in 2011. It’s all Nysa vineyard fruit, graceful and delicate, scented with rose water and satin smooth. Cranberry and wild strawberry fruit accents lead into a mouthful of cherry soda, delicate but lingering.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Rose of the DayRosado Edition

Rioja is best known for big, powerful red wines, but the rosé (Rosado) market has grown with exponential speed.  Muga makes one of our favorites—a crisp, pale, dry version that seems to capture the spiciness of Tempranillo with the brightness of the best rosés on the market.  This is perfect for spring drinking and a wine that we’re always happy to pour.

In Stock Now:

#93 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Bodegas Muga Rosado, Rioja DOCa 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Pale orange. A highly aromatic bouquet displays fresh red berry and citrus zest scents, along with suave mineral and floral flourishes. Dry and focused on the palate, offering bitter pomegranate, redcurrant and blood orange flavors that take a deeper and sweeter turn with air. Finishes with intense mineral cut and excellent clarity, leaving persistent red berry and floral notes behind.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Bright, peppy aromas of tangerine and nectarine are clean and attractive. A healthy palate braced by proper acidity offers flavors of cantaloupe and peach, while this is steady and fresh on the finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Want to see all 75+ roses in stock and arriving soon? Just click here to view the full list in our web store.

94 Point Napa Chard, Under $25Freemark Abbey Arrives Friday

94 point Chardonnay is a hard thing to do for a reasonable price—especially from Napa.  The 2017 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Chardonnay is twice as impressive, then, when you taste it and think about the price you paid—less than $22 by the case!  Freemark has been on a roll recently, producing high scoring Napa wines at incredibly fair prices.  They’ve become one of our go-to sources for top quality that won’t break the bank.
Freemark Abbey’s modern era dates back to 1967, when the winery was purchased quickly transformed into one of the most recognized and prestigious wineries in the 70’s and 80’s.  Unfortunately, over time, quality slipped and the reputation of the once legendary winery fell into a bit of obscurity.After a few ownership changes, the winery was sold in 2005 to Jackson Family, who have poured money and attention into it in a way that hasn’t been seen since the original heyday of the winery in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Winemaker Ted Edwards was brought in and the winery has been on a steady path upwards ever since.The 2017 Freemark Abbey Napa Chardonnay is a prime example of the new era—94+ points from the Wine Advocate and a surprisingly inexpensive tariff.  It’s full-bodied, rich and textural—a hedonist’s Chardonnay. As you might expect, this combination of style, quality and score has led to shorter supply than previous vintage.  It arrives at the beginning of next month, but you’d do well to secure yours now.Arriving Friday:

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($329.95) $259 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2017 Chardonnay (no malolactic fermentation) offers notes of fresh pineapple, honeydew melon and lemon tart with touches of allspice, shaved almonds and lanolin. Medium to full-bodied, the fruit hits the palate with amazing freshness and vivacity, sporting loads of citrus and spice notions and finishing long.”


New ReviewsFor Two Classic-Region Bottlings

In Stock Now:

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi, Priorat DOCa750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Opaque, bright-rimmed ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented red and dark berry, cherry liqueur and licorice aromas are complicated by suggestions of incense and exotic spices. Deeply concentrated but lively as well, offering palate-staining black raspberry, bitter cherry, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors that show outstanding clarity and mineral thrust. Finishes extremely long and precise, with resonating floral, spice and mineral qualities and youthfully gripping tannins. By all means give this still-young wine some cellar time.”

Georg Breuer Rudesheim Estate Riesling, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Grapelive 92 points
” The 2015 Estate Trocken, sourced from a combination of sites, is a slate driven and soulful bone dry Riesling with brisk energy and earthy tones showing a steely core of liquid mineral, wet stone/flirt, gala apple, mint, fresh picked apricot, lime and grapefruit, adding a touch of raw ginger, cheese, verbena, petrol and melon rind. This is saline rich and really peaks up the saliva glands and even in a ripe vineyard is filled with zesty acidity, leaving a sharp and detailed in not austere sensation….fermentations are natural or started with pied de cuve (vineyard started yeasts) with most fermentation and elevage in large used barrels for the top wines and a mix of barrel and steel for the Estate wines such as this one….Tasting Breuer’s wines is also a pleasure and the 2015 Estate Trocken, one of the entry level bottlings, is a well crafted example and shows the regions terroir influence it’s a great value too. That said, you’ll be even more thrilled by Theresa’s single Cru wines, especially her Schlossberg and Roseneck, as well as her Monopole site, Nonnenberg in Rauenthal, which is set on much different soils and can be more exotic in nature than the more stoic Rüdesheimer wines. Breuer is on a hot streak of vintages since 2012 and their 2015, 2016 and the much acclaimed 2017’s are all seriously delicious.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Most Underrated Great Domaine in Burgundy?Lambrays Delivers the Goods

Domaine des Lambrays is perhaps the most underrated great domaine in Burgundy—and it shows in the pricing.  Look at their top wine, the Clos des Lambrays compared to the major competition.  Clos de la Roche, Clos St.-Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays—this quartet represents the heralded set of Grand Crus in Morey-St. Denis.   The main difference between the first three and the Clos des Lambrays? Price.  All of the other major Grand Crus in Morey are easily $150-200 per bottle more expensive for new releases and, if you’ve got the money, well worth it. Lambrays, on the other hand, is every bit the wine of the more heralded names, especially over the last decade or so, and costs less than half of some of its neighbors (2016 Clos de Tart is spectacular, but well over $500, for reference).These are wines that show all of the glory and power of Morey St. Denis—the vineyard sits in between the Clos St. Denis and Clos de Tart—with elegant textures and rapturous aromatics. Domaine des Lambrays, as you might expect, is the best producer and majority holder of the vineyard, and their wines are spectacular.  Furthermore, they make a number of top tier white Burgundies from excellent vineyards in Puligny that are typically $40+ per bottle less than the market pricing for comparable wines.  These are wines you should be buying for your cellar. The market is going to catch up eventually.

In Stock Now:

Domaine des Lambrays Les Folatieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Burghound 91 points “As is often the case immediately after wines have been bottled there is a trace of reduction so I would suggest decanting this if the wine is less than 2 years of age. By contrast there is lovely freshness and vibrancy present on the very rich and round medium weight flavors that culminate in a clean, saline and well-balanced finish. This should be accessible young but reward 5 to 7 years or so of aging.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($319.95) $269 special, 23 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 96 points
“The grand cru here was raised in fifty percent new oak this year and is one of the stars of the 2016 vintage. The stunning bouquet delivers a complex combination of red and black cherries, black plums, pigeon, dark soil tones, raw cocoa, woodsmoke and a touch of nutty oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and shows off beautiful depth at the core, with plenty of sappiness in reserve, a great soil signature, ripe, suave tannins and a very, very long, nascently complex and vibrant finish. I love this wine’s potential!”
Wine Spectator 96 points “A racy style, defined by bracing acidity propelling the black currant, blackberry, iron, earth and spice flavors to a lingering conclusion. Balanced and full of energy, this needs time to really settle in and reveal all its facets in a harmonious way.”
Decanter 94 points “Vinified with 85% whole cluster fruit, the 2016 Clos des Lambrays wafts from the glass with a brooding bouquet of blueberry, wild berries, smoked duck, spice and rosehip. The wine is sappy, with lovely depth and concentration, a fine but firm structural chassis, succulent acids, and a long, penetrating finish. An elegant rendition of this wine in its largest harvest since 1999.”Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($199.95) $179 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
“Bright, deep red. Showy nose melds cherry, raspberry, white pepper, coffee, spices and smoky underbrush. Utterly suave, silky and fine-grained, but with firm tannins giving the fairly full mid-palate plenty of support for two decades or more of positive development in bottle. Most impressive today on the very long, subtle, rising finish, which leaves the mouth feeling refreshed.”
Burghound 93 points “This offers a further step up in aromatic complexity with its ripe and expressive nose of red berry fruit liqueur, cassis, plum and violets. There is a very suave and seductive texture to the medium weight plus flavors that possess an abundance of mouth coating extract, all wrapped in a long, balanced and delicious finish where a touch of wood is in evidence. This is certainly very good but somewhat curiously it does not seem to separate itself as much as usual from the Les Loups though it is clearly more structured.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “The aromas are dominated by floral, vegetal and spice notes, followed by a beam of pure cherry. Turns deeper and more complex as the finish unleashes fruit, sandalwood and mineral flavors. Excellent length. Best from 2016 through 2030. 125 cases imported.”Arriving ETA May:Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($319.95) $269 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92-95 points “The 2017 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru unfurls in the glass with complex aromas of plums, cassis, dark chocolate, warm spices, licorice and rich soil tones, delicately framed by new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and satiny, with a fleshy core of fruit, succulent acids and powdery tannins. My intuition is that this will turn out to be both a little more concentrated and a little more structurally giving than the 2016 rendition.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 92-94 points “The 2017 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru was picked September 3–11 and includes 90% whole bunches in this vintage, matured in 50% new oak. Two tanks were chaptalized and the alcohol is around 13.5°. This has a classic Clos des Lambrays bouquet, quite understated at first, precise but tightly coiled. There is fine purity here. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy black fruit laced with tobacco and graphite and a fine line of acidity. Not the most persistent Clos des Lambrays that has ever been made, but perhaps one of the most elegant and poised.”

Scott Paul Closeout Recapped

All good things must come to an end.  Unfortunately in this case we mean both the end of the Scott Paul winery and also the deals that have been coming as they liquidate their remaining inventory.  They’ve officially closed up shop, so we’ve stocked up with as much of their wines as we could—these deals require quantity purchases (both for you and us).  We’ve received all of our deliveries from the ex-winery, so if there’s anything you can’t live with out—stock up.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.Some Highlights:

Scott Paul ‘Azana’ Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2013 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Scott Paul ‘Azana’ Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2013 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Brilliant red. Fresh red berries, cherry compote and a hint of blood orange on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth. Juicy and lithe in character, with no rough edges; a suave floral pastille nuance emerges on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and spicy cut on the finish, which hangs on with strong, floral tenacity.”

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Scott Paul D122 Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($39.95) $24 special
Case-12 Scott Paul D122 Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Winery note
“$60. Intensely violet in color. The brooding nose is balanced between notes of strawberry jam, cranberries and dried herbs. The salinity on the palate gives way to a big, lush, long silkiness on the palate. Harvest 2014 was an Oregon winemaker’s dream vintage: almost too magical and perfect to be true. The warmer-than-normal start to the growing season persisted through the fall and ultimately led to an early harvest throughout the Willamette Valley. We began picking on September 18th at Nysa Vineyard and wrapped up on September 26th at Maresh vineyard. Thanks to the warm and dry fall, we had the luxury of picking our fruit at a leisurely pace. The first fruit arrived ripe and delicious, full of freshness, and with just the right amount of acidity. Each successive day brought us more of the same.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Scott Paul Quatre Journaux Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2012 750ML ($79.95) $49 special
Case-6 Scott Paul Quatre Journaux Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2012 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $41.50/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 93 points
“Vivid ruby-red. Drop-dead gorgeous, highly perfumed aromas of red berry preserves, Asian spices, sassafras and smoky minerals, with an intense floral nuance. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering nervy red fruit and rose pastille flavors complemented by deeper notes of mocha and licorice. Shows outstanding balance and clarity, with smooth tannins building slowly through a long spice- and mineral-inflected finish.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Want to see all 21 different Scott Paul bottlings and case specials? Just click here to view the entire list in our web store or check out the full spreadsheet below:

Thanks for reading!