MidWeek VinopolPick 5-30-17

New Oregon Arrivals; Pacenti’s Masterful Brunello; Study in Minerality: Knoll; Rose! Of! The! Day!; Summer of Rioja; Giacomo Conterno; Staff Picks; 2015 Beaujolais—Greatness Awaits; Fougeray de Beauclair; Pride of the Jura; Clape Your Hands, Say Yeah!


Mid-Week New Arrivals

New Oregon Arrivals

Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: Declassified barrels of Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique. This is the budget-friendly wine to pour to show the world what Oregon can do. Year in, year out, it’s one of the best values from the Dundee Hills. There’s red & black fruits, loamy soil and spice. Drink it now, save a case for later. Just do yourself a favor and stock up before it’s gone. Because Cameron wines never last on the shelf for long.

Cameron Winery “Spritz” Rosé 2016 355ML ($9.95) $7.90 special
Winery note “After the bountiful 2016 harvest, collaborated with Heater Allen Brewing to make a small batch of Spritz Rosé, a blend of pinot noir and pinot blanc enlivened with a hint of carbonation. It is conveniently packaged in a beer bottle with a crown cap closure and contains a bit less than 10% alcohol. This light, crisp pink bubbly is the perfect refreshment on a warm summer day while you are relaxing on the patio or floating down the river on an innertube. Thank you for your attention.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Beaux Freres Les Cousins Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
“The 2015 ‘Les Cousins’ represents an eclectic selection of barrels from our cellar.”–Winery note

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New Arrival!

A Master of Modern Brunello

“Giancarlo Pacenti is by far the leading exponent of the modern school of Brunello di Montalcino.  No other producer has succeeded in crafting wines of this much textural beauty and refinement.” – Antonio Galloni

“Giancarlo Pacenti is the best winemaker in the appellation of Brunello di Montalcino. Everything is done in the best possible way and at the right time in his well-kept vineyards and the pristine small winery under his house. His Brunellos are usually a blend of different vineyards from both the south and north sides of the Montalcino hill, giving them great richness and structure as well as freshness. They are aged in French oak barrels yet show very little wood character, and their crystal clear style is one that ages extremely well.” – James Suckling (Wine Spectator)

If you like modern-leaning Brunello (Altesino, Casanova di Neri, Caparzo, etc) we have the next wine for you to freak out over.  The 2012 Siro Pacenti Pelagrilli has arrived and it looks to be a stunner.  This is a Brunello that has power and richness but a deft hand with oak, so the elegance of the Sangiovese grape still comes through.  We also have the best price in the country, so we should probably just cut to the chase:

Siro Pacenti PS Pelagrilli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) $38 special
Ian D’Agata–Vinous 92 points “Deep red with ruby tinges. Delicately flinty and herbal notes complicate sour red cherry, redcurrant and underbrush aromas. Fresh and juicy but with an almost austere quality to the crisp red berry and minty plum flavors. Finishes long and clean with a mineral nuance. The herbal note disappears with aeration, so it’s of paramount importance to give this wine plenty of air. Pacenti makes 20,000 bottles a year of this Brunello from 25 to 35 year old vines with roughly 75-80% of the grapes grown in the northern Pellagrilli estate vineyards and the rest from the Piancornello vineyards in the southern reaches Montalcino.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $45


A Study in Minerality

New Arrivals from Emmerich Knoll

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a small, sit down tasting with Abe Schoener, winemaker and founder of the Scholium Project, in California.  We tasted through a few of his wines interspersed with wines that inspired him.  One of those wines was an Emmerich Knoll Smaragd, which he held up as a wine that aspired to make—the epitome of minerality in white wine.

That Knoll inspires like that should be no surprise if you’ve tried the wines.  If you haven’t, know that unlike fellow masters such as FX Pichler, the Knoll wines are built not on fruit, but on visceral minerality on the palate.  These are wines that seem to bypass taste and go directly to feeling.  They’re some of our favorite wines in the world and his high end wines are some of the best values—far better than any white Burgundy at the price.

The 2015’s are bigger, broader wines than might be typical for Knoll, but they’re incredibly enjoyable now, which isn’t something you can say every year about these wines.  They should age really well, but more importantly, they’re something you can be astounded by in the short term while you keep your hands of the age-needing 2013 vintage.

Weingut Emmerich Knoll Loibner Riesling Federspiel, Wachau 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
David Schildknecht 89 points “Fresh lime and white currant on the pungent nose and firm, bright, tangy palate call to mind a Ruwer Riesling, and certainly don’t leave one thinking “2015.” In a refreshingly sustained if almost strident finish, the piquancy of lime seed and the crunch of currant seeds strikingly invigorate while a lick of salt serves for saliva inducement.”

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Weingut Emmerich Knoll Loibner Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
David Schildknecht 90-91 points “Fresh pear, white peach and lime greet the nose – garlanded in muskily perfumed narcissus – then inform a brightly juicy but expansive, subtly oily, and pithily chewy palate. This clings with smoky, stony and iodine-like notes as well as pronounced fruit seed piquancy accenting persistently generous fruit. (Last tasted, assembled, from cask.)”

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Weingut Emmerich Knoll Ried Schutt Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
David Schildknecht 92-93 points “The most multidimensional of its vintage’s Knoll Rieslings, this combines the focus, brightness, extract-richness and animation of the corresponding Pfaffenberg Selektion with extra measures of textural silkiness and depth of fruit. Succulent white peach is complemented by juiciness of fresh lime and piquancy of hazelnut and peach kernel, along with a fascinating range of marine mineral nuances. The finish is forceful and saliva-inducing, full of intrigue, yet never abandons vintage-typical fruitiness or forgets Riesling’s obligation to refresh.”

Weingut Emmerich Knoll Loibner Schutt Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
David Schildknecht 92-93 points “In a surprising reversal of typical behavior, this wine was harvested at a marginally higher must weight than its Loibenberg counterpart, which Knoll senior attributes to especially low yields. Lime, papaya, winter squash and parsnip combine for a penetratingly pungent nose and forceful, bittersweet palate impression. There is a far greater measure of primary juiciness here than in the corresponding Loibenberg. A vibrant finish introduces intrigue and counterpoint by way of smoky, peppery and iodine-like accents, with the cyanic piquancy of fruit pit expressed as penetrating, persistently glowing intensity.”


Rose! Of! The! Day!

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Rose, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “This Gamay offers bright aromatics along with ripe tangerine, strawberry, candied rose and succulent herb flavors. Fleshy and dry on the palate, the 2016 finishes long, smooth and broad, with a bracing jolt of juicy acidity extending the finish.”


Summer of Rioja

The Perfect Grilling Red

When we think of grilling reds, we think of Rioja.  Spanish food seems to always have a smoky outdoorsy edge to it and no wine works better than Tempranillo from Spain’s most hallowed wine region.  They have the body and intensity to stand up to grilled, hearty foods but are perfectly at home with a slight chill to beat the heat.

We’ve highlighted a few favorites in stock now, as well as a brand new arrival from perineal favorite Lopez de Heredia.  All of these should be fantastic at your next cookout or just while looking out at the sunset on a nice evening.

Bodegas Roda Sela, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 18+ bottles available
Case-12 Bodegas Roda Sela, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($399.95) $269 special, 2 cases available (that’s only $22.42/bottle!)
90 points Wine Advocate “The 2012 Sela will be released in March 2015, and it’s a great example of Sela. It opens to bright red fruit, more shiny than 2011, and is still pretty young showing faint lactic notes and more traces of the barrel that should be absorbed with time. 2012 could be fresher and more accessible. It’s an elegant and balanced wine, with some fine-grained tannins that will be polished with bottle age. The palate is very tasty and has almost salty flavors that are quite gentle and velvety. In 2012 Sela was a blend of Tempranillo with 3% Graciano and 1% Garnacha.”

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Bodega Akutain Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 31 bottles available
John Gilman 90 points “Bodegas Akutain is a new producer to me. The family farms just over six hectares of vineyards in the Rioja Alta region, with their cellars based just outside of Haro. The estate is old school in the best sense, picking by hand, fermenting everything with wild yeasts and raising the wine exclusively in old, American oak casks and bottled unfiltered in the great traditions of the region. Their 2012 Crianza is outstanding, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of red and black cherries, toasted coconut, woodsmoke, a touch of sweet nuttiness and a topnote Rioja spice tones. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and wide open, with a velvety attack, a sappy core, lovely soil signature and a long, refined and meltingly tannic finish. Utterly classic and flat out delicious. 2016-2030+.”

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Remelluri Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 15 bottles available
James Suckling 95 points “A wine with beautiful finesse and depth. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, hazelnut and floral character. Polished and refined. Full body. Long and beautiful. Tasty finish. The first recent vintage 100% made by Telmo Rodriguez. Drink or hold.”
Peñín Guide To Spanish Wine 96 points– Podium Award – Exceptional Wine “(tempranillo, garnacha, graciano). Colour: cherry, garnet rim.  Nose: ripe fruit, spicy, creamy oak, complex, expressive.  Palate: flavourful, toasty, round tannins, balanced, elegant.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The wine that represents the house style and also the biggest volume here with around 350,000 bottles produced is the 2010 Reserva which was cropped from an almost perfect growing season. A blend of the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and the whites Viura and Malvasía Riojana, it fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and oak vats then matured in French oak barrels for 17 months. The nose has earthy aromas and notes of ripe orange peel giving old-style character to the wine marked by very well-integrated oak and an obvious Rioja character. There are cherries, plums and spices with licorice and ink aromas. The day after, it has more strawberries with very good freshness, so the evolution in bottle should be good. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and good acidity that ends with sweet fruit flavors and something earthy, very pleasant and easy to drink. It grows on you.”

Bodegas Roda Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special , 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2011 Roda, a classic blend of Tempranillo with 8% Graciano and a pinch of Garnacha, comes from older vineyards where they search for red fruit character–which might have been more difficult to get in a ripe and warm year like 2011. The profile is closer to the ripeness often displayed by Roda, with more black fruit than other years, coupled with some Mediterranean hints of aromatic herbs. The wine fermented in French oak vats and matured in barrique for 14 months. This is one of the warmest years for Roda, a ripe and heady, hedonistic vintage. What I like about the wine is that it does not display any signs of overripeness, perhaps because of some cooler days in July that slowed things down. The nose is serious and without excess, with the oak also perfectly integrated into the fruit, which is in the foreground. The palate is also terribly balanced, with very fine tannins. This is very pleasant and tasty. This wine has a profile to be a great commercial success.”

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Just Arrived:

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia ‘Vina Cubillo’ Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2008 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines–a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidity. This is so easy to drink that it can be dangerous. This was the Rioja clarete fino–the everyday red. It’s both elegant and powerful. Very good value, too.”

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Giacomo Conterno

Barolo’s Best

The wines of Giacomo Conterno are (and have been) prized for their quality, ageworthiness and exceptional reflection of the terroir of different soils of the Barolo region.  Unlike the B. Mascarello wines that we featured, Conterno makes a few different Baroli from individual vineyards (or parcels within vineyards).  These wines are more overtly powerful and will cellar for near an eternity.  The prices have started to climb in recent years, but compared to their counterparts in the world of wine (DRC, Roumier, Rousseau, First Growth Bordeaux) they remain an absolute steal.

The wines that remain incredible deals in high end wine are the Barberas, which is a possibly controversial statement given that they’re priced higher than almost any Barbera on the market.  Think of them, then, not as “Barbera” but as “Conterno”—wines made with the same care and attention that made his Barolo famous (and also know that unlike many Barbera, they’re from top vineyard sites).  Give them appropriate time in the cellar and in 5-20 years, open them and be astounded.

In Stock Now:

Giacomo Conterno Cerretta Barbera d’Alba 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2014 Barbera d’Alba Cerretta is a magnificent expression and an unexpected surprise. The Barbera d’Alba Cerretta has often taken a back seat to the more prominent Barbera d’Alba Francia. Among the two, I found that this wine offers even more depth of expression and nuance. The vineyard site in Serralunga d’Alba has clay soils that have contributed to the sheer sense of elegance and structure offered here. The results are grand and opulent. The wine ends with a playful touch of brimstone or dark mineral that frames its fruity core.”

Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 30 bottles available
Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba 2014 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 5 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 Barbera d’Alba Francia opens to beautiful fullness and sheer depth that represents the darker, softer and more generous side of this grape. I tasted the wine from barrel approximately one month before bottling. Roberto Conterno says that 2014 was a good year for both Barbera, but especially Nebbiolo that experienced a natural selection process in the vineyard due to low yields. This wine offers ripe fruit tones with bold lines and beautifully balanced concentration.”

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

Giacomo Conterno ‘Cerretta’, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($249.95) $189 special, 11 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94-97 points “Conterno’s 2012 Barolo Cerretta boasts superb aromatic presence, precision and overall silkiness, with seemingly endless layers of fruit that come from all directions. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red cherry/plum fruit, hard candy, spice and new leather lead to the pliant, silky finish. The 2012 might very well be the most precise, nuanced Cerretta yet.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “To be released in October 2016, the 2012 Barolo Cerretta opens to a profound and buoyant bouquet that is particularly driven by menthol freshness, as well as pretty nuances of balsam herb and forest fruit with licorice, tilled earth and truffle. The wine is balanced and ethereal. It’s so difficult to achieve this level of aromatic definition (especially in a warm year like 2012), but Roberto Conterno has done so with a deft hand. This is a complete expression of Barolo with aromatic intensity that is matched by an enduring sense of structure and medium-weight appeal.”

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Giacomo Conterno Francia Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($219.95) $175 special, 17 bottles
Antonio Galloni 94-97 points “The 2012 Barolo Francia is dark, virile and intense, with a huge center of fruit to match its distinctly brooding personality. Today, the 2012 also comes across as quite closed in on itself, but there is a level of pure depth here that is absolutely compelling. Conterno has decided not to bottle a Monfortino, so there is good reason to think the bottled Francia has the potential to be stellar.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Since the 2010 vintage, this wine is named Francia (not Cascina Francia) to keep with the new Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (or official cru naming) in Barolo and Barbaresco. The 2012 Barolo Francia is a seductive and silky expression that flows gracefully over the palate with power and determination. The nose is expressive, and decidedly more articulate than many of the more muted wines made by neighboring estates in this warm vintage. The quality of the mouthfeel is of special interest. This beautiful Barolo already shows stunning texture, richness and integrity, despite this very early preview tasting. I tasted this wine in barrel shortly before bottling.”

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Giacomo Conterno Francia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2003 750ML ($149.95) $128 special, 19 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2003 Barolo Cascina Francia is soft, silky and very nicely balanced, especially in its tannins, where the wine really stands out next to so many peers. Readers should open the 2003 at least an hour in advance to allow the aromatics to open up. This is a very sexy and open young Barolo from Conterno with very little signs of the challenging growing season.”

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Staff Picks

In 2014, the Serpentieres benefitted from a south-facing exposure that brought warmth to a vintage that is showing more restraint. Strawberry and raspberry fruits dominate the nose now, with light brown spice, foresty notes  and vanilla rounding it out. It’s bright on my palate, with lots of mouthwatering acidity and fruit. Coming back to it after a couple of hours of air only lifted it higher. This is drinking great currently, but should progress nicely over the next decade.  – Andy

Dom. Pierre Guillemot Savigny aux Seprentieres 1er Cru 2014 750ML ($49.95) $44 special, 12 bottles available
Winery note “Vineyards on a south-facing slope near the town of Savigny-lès-Beaune. The soil is composed of marl and brown earth. Fifteen months in 1- to 3-year-old barrels, with 10% new oak. Aromas of berries; strawberry; cherry; bing cherry; licorice root; peony.”

After having a couple (okay, several) bottles of the Bow & Arrow Rhinestones, I thought I would take a trip back to the homeland and compare with a Passetoutgrain that I’ve not had in a while. Passetoutgrain literally translates to “All grapes allowed”, but the style has taken on a reflection a celebration of the full freshness and depth of Burgundy. The Gerard Mugneret is split50/50 Pinot and Gamay, and the immediate aromatic explosion is incredible. The color is a purple robe, and the fruits are both darker, yet more lively. There’s a touch more fuzzy tannin, but it sits well with the overall brightness. I was glad to revisit this, and can strongly recommend this as a summer red with a light chill. – Fredric

Domain Gerard Mugneret Bourgogne Passetoutgrain 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 27 bottles available
“The 2012 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain is due to be bottled just before Christmas. It has a simple nose of raspberry and sloes. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins, tart cherry fruit and decent weight on the finish. Fine.”–Wine Advocate


2015 Beaujolais

Greatness Awaits

Interest in Beaujolais goes gangbusters once every 7-10 vintages, when the region is blessed by exceptional weather and timing.  2015 seems to be the epitome of this sort of vintage—the wines are spectacular, with rich, full textures and soaring aromatics.  If you’ve been on the fence about the Gamay grape, these are the wines to try.

All of them display the trademark power of the 2015 vintage, so if you want bigger, richer wines from the region, no worries here.  Our highlights here range from new and relatively undiscovered producers (Anne-Sophie Dubois and the new Kermit Import, Quentin Harel) to classics like Domaine de Vissoux and Daniel Bouland.  Know that you can’t go wrong here, though, all of these wines are stunning.

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 35+ bottles available
Case-12 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 special, 1 case available (that’s only $21.58/bottle! –the lowest listed price in the USA!)
John Gilman 93+ points “As I have mentioned in the past, the Brouilly “Pierreux” bottling from Pierre-Marie Chermette hails from the southern part of Brouilly appellation, just to the east of the village of Odenas, and often this wine has more in common with bottlings of Côte de Brouilly as a result. The 2015 Pierreux is fairly low octane for the vintage, coming in at 13.5 percent, but offering plenty of depth and structure, which are the hallmarks of this year. The complex bouquet is a bit more black fruity out of the blocks than the 2014 was at a similar age, offering up scents of black cherries, pomegranate, a striking base of soil tones, woodsmoke, fresh rosemary, chicory and a nice touch of meatiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, tangy and laser-like in its focus, with a rock solid core, some firm, well-integrated tannins and superb soil drive on the very long and youthful finish. This is going to be a stunning bottle of Brouilly, but, like many of the very best 2015s, it is going to want some time in the cellar. 2019-2045+. 93+.”
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Bright violet. Ripe cherry and dark berries on the powerful, spice-accented nose. Supple and open-knit, offering fleshy cherry and cassis flavors lifted by a jolt of juicy acidity. Shows very good energy and breadth on the gently tannic, dark-fruit-dominated finish, which leaves a sappy blue fruit note behind.”

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Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Moulin-a-Vent Les Trois Roches, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 15 bottles available
John Gilman 96 points “The 2015 Moulin-à-Vent “Les Trois Roches” from Domaine du Vissoux is another absolutely stellar example of the vintage from Pierre-Marie Chermette, coming in at 13.5 percent octane and offering up all of the depth and intensity of the vintage, without sacrificing any of the customary Vissoux precision and purity. The stunning nose is youthful, but oh, so promising, as it delivers scents of sweet cassis, black cherries, espresso, violets, dark soil tones, a touch of licorice, gamebird, woodsmoke and lead pencil. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and seamlessly balanced, with ripe tannins, laser-like focus, a superb core and a very, very long, soildriven and still quite youthful finish. If one wanted a prime example of a 2015 that might replicate the longevity of the finest 1947s, this would be it, as it has stunning concentration, tied to impeccable balance and plenty of structural integrity. 2022-2075. 96.”

Chateau Thivin Brouilly ‘Reverdon’, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 34 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Brouilly Reverdon, which had been bottled about one month prior to my visit, has a powerful but primal bouquet, clearly laden with plenty of fruit. The definition is here though. The palate is fleshy and supple on the entry but then those tannins cloak the mouth, without overwhelming, finishing in quite a sensual style. This has much more to give but it should be given 3-4 years to allow the terroir to really be expressed. What are you waiting for? This is a knockout Brouilly.”
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Bright violet. Powerful, mineral-tinged dark berries, violet and licorice on the perfumed nose. Densely packed bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors are enlivened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Fleshes out on the youthfully tannic finish, which hangs on with strong, floral-driven persistence.”

Quentin Harel Morgon “Les Charmes,” Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 33 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points”Vivid purple. High-pitched red and blue fruit, violet and peppery spice scents show very good clarity and pick up a minerally nuance with air. Juicy, focused and light on its feet, offering zesty raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Blends richness and vivacity with a deft hand and finishes very long and smooth, with subtle tannins framing lingering blue fruit and floral pastille notes.”

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Daniel Bouland Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Melanie, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 31 bottles available
John Gilman 92 points “Daniel Bouland’s 2015 Côte de Brouilly “Cuvée Mélanie” is a bit riper than his beautiful Chiroubles, coming in at 14.5 percent alcohol on the label this year. However, the wine shows no signs of sur maturité on the nose, jumping from the glass in a sappy mélange of black cherries, pomegranate, a touch of grilled meats, woodsmoke, dark chocolate, a dollop of fresh herbs, a good base of soil, just a hint of the autumn leaves to come and a bit of cedar in the upper register (this is barrel-fermented). On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and flamboyantly sappy at the core, with firm, ripe tannins, tangy acids and outstanding length and grip on the moderately heady finish. This seems higher than 14.5 percent to my palate, as there is a bit of overt heat poking out on the backend right now, but at the same time, the acids are bright and the wine is impressively pure for its octane level and really does not seem overripe. This has the chassis to age for decades and decades, and if it can carry its octane over the long haul, then it will be a magical wine. I have no experience with aging Cru Beaujolais at this level of alcohol for the very long haul, but I am inclined to be that this wine will age like a ’47! 2016-2040+. 92.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Vivid magenta. Ripe cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suave floral and Asian spice flourishes. Plush and seamless in texture, offering sappy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Closes smooth, very long and emphatically fruity, leaving notes of red and dark berry liqueur behind.”

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Daniel Bouland Morgon Delys, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Morgon De Lys Vieilles Vignes, which includes a hectare planted in 1926 and is aged in stainless steel rather than foudres, has a very complex bouquet with cola-tinged blackberry and briary fruit, broody in style with subtle slate-like aromas that it has in common with the Côte de Brouilly this year. The palate is very concentrated with almost honeyed like notes infusing the red berry fruit. This is plush and generous, though it avoids being overbearing thanks to that tightly wound acidity. If you are seeking a more opulent take on Morgon whilst retaining typicité then this will fit the bill. This is a killer Beaujolais from Daniel Bouland.”
John Gilman 90-94 points “These great old vines are getting very close to their ninetieth vintage, as they were planted in 1926. This wine is also listed at 14.5 octane, but seems like it might be just a touch higher to my palate. The bouquet is deep, black fruity and ripe, delivering a fine blend of black cherries, sweet dark berries, woodsmoke, roasted gamebird, a touch of garrigue, dark soil tones and a hint of cedar. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, sappy and rock solid at the core, with firm, slightly coarse tannins, fine focus and grip and a very long, nascently complex and very promising finish. This has almost bottomless depth and stunning length on the backend, and it may well be a legend in the making that will need a decade of bottle age to blossom completely. It is more hunkered down out of the blocks than the Bellevue, and though it is hard to get a precise read on out of the blocks, I would be willing to bet it will ultimately be a great bottle of Morgon. 2023-2050+. 90-94?”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep brilliant red. Ripe cherry, blueberry and candied flowers on the expansive, deeply perfumed nose. Palate-coating dark berry and floral pastille flavors show a suave blend of power and vivacity, and a smoky mineral underpinning gains strength as the wine opens up. Finishes very long, sweet and seamless; gentle tannins frame the plush fruit.”

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Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 34 bottles available
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $66 special, 5 magnums available

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Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 24 bottles available
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 4 magnums available

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Fougeray de Beauclair

Parceled vineyard ownership can make Burgundy’s Côte d’Or seem chaotic. But this allows small, family growers like Fougeray de Beauclair to produce twenty-one wines from the Côte de Nuits and de Beaune. Founded in 1978, Fougeray de Beauclair grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across 45 acres, from straight-forward villages like Marsannay and Fixin, to prestigious Bonnes Mares, to richly structured Puligny-Montrachet. Patrice Olliver has been growing and making wine at Fougeray de Beauclair, created by his parents-in-law, for over two decades. Synthetic fertilizers were abandoned, and the sorting of grapes takes place in the vineyard and at the winery. Quality becomes a matter of pride at a domaine of this size. The wines get oak in the proportion they deserve: 15 months in 30% new for the Gevrey-Chambertin, 18 months in 100% new for the Bonnes Mares, 6 to 8 months in 50% new oak for the Puligny-Montrachet. Barrels come from the Bertrange forest, and are made by master tonnelier François Frères.

Fougeray de Beauclair makes around 7,500 cases a year. Forty percent of their wine sells in France, but after meeting with Patrice and tasting his wines, we’ve managed to stock a few that we’re pleased to offer. For casual dinners, for late-afternoon sippers, or for special occasions, Fougeray de Beauclair has a wine, and they’re ready for drinking today.

Fougeray de Beauclair Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock
Winery note “Color: Red, intense color with soft purple when the wine is young, then, with a few years in the bottles, the color of the wine is ruby and orange red. Nose: Red fruits aromas (raspberry and cherry) with cinnamon and leather. Taste: soft and delicate with fine tannins reinforced by red fruit flavors.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Fougeray de Beauclair Puligny-Montrachet Les Meix, Cote de Beaune 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 28 bottles in stock
Winery note “From 40 year old vines grown in clay limestone soils. The wine was aged in 50% new barrels for 6 to 8 months. The nose is fresh and minerally. The taste is of smoky minerals, with an intense note of flint. Excellent potential.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Fougeray de Beauclair Fixin Clos Marion, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 21 bottles available
Winery note “Nose: A sumptuous bouquet, dense and complex, revealing aromas of ripe fruit (black cherry). Taste: Ripe fruits and liquorice, long-lasting taste. 10% in new oak vats, the remaining wine in barrels of 1 to 3 wines.”

Fougeray de Beauclair Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 6 bottles available
Winery note “Nose: smells of red fruits (black currant, blackberry) and violet sustained by woody notes. Taste: Softly spiced, fruity taste, powerful and long finish. Cold maceration for 3 days, then alcoholic fermentation under temperature control of 31°C maximum, in tanks for 2 and 3 weeks. 100% in new oak vats in the cooperage François Forêt de Bertrange for 18 months. Vineyard Age: 25 to 75 years.”


Pride of the Jura:

Two Masterpieces from Stephane Tissot

Vin Jaune is the most prized style of wine from the (suddenly fashionable) Jura region, in Alpine France.  Aged for a minimum of six years and three months without topping up, it develops a nutty, slightly sherried character that it is famous for, though it has a lot more weight and texture than any dry sherry.  It’s a natural and classic pairing with Comte cheese and with Chicken with Morels (and Vin Jaune) sauce and other hearty cheese and cream based winter fare.

So without further ado, two wines from Stephane Tissot, a master of the style.  One is from the fabled Chateau-Chalon appellation and the other bears the slightly more humble “Vin Jaune” designation, but is his prestige cuvee.  Both are incredible wines that will age effortlessly for the next 30+ years or be spectacular now with a few hours in a decanter and a plate of rich, hearty food.

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Arbois Vin Jaune ‘La Vasee’, Jura 2008 620ML ($89.95) $79 special, 19 bottles available
96 points Wine Advocate “The 2008 Arbois Vin Jaune La Vasée was closed and austere — a fresh style of vin jaune. It is salty, so this would be ideal with oysters. This is both powerful and concentrated with lots of iodine; it is a very salty, marine, characterful wine, and is sharp.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Chateau-Chalon, Jura 2008 620ML ($99.95) $79 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “When tasted next to the other vin jaunes from the same vintage, the 2008 Château Chalon felt very different, and you noticed the extra freshness of Chalon compared to Arbois. It has more green hazelnut, citrus and morel aromas, and is already showing some notes of curry. It is fine, straight and elegant. This is simply superb.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price for this wine is $98!


Clape Your Hands, Say Yeah!

A Small Vertical of Legendary Cornas

The burden of success is scrutiny – everyone’s watching a bit closer, chalking each vintage against the last. Within the northern Rhone Valley, few producers are under closer watch than Auguste Clape, nestled within eight hectares in Cornas.

Though the Clape family made wine across many generations within the Languedoc, growers’ strikes in the early 1900’s sent the family up to the northern Rhone Valley. Once there, they started anew, carving out their land from the steep western slopes of the Rhone River. Auguste, the former mayor of Cornas, was the first in the area to bottle estate fruit. The family operation now includes Auguste’s son, Pierre-Marie, and grandson Olivier.

The family’s eight hectares under vine sit stacked precariously on terraced parcels, a difficult topography which renders machines useless. Thus, vineyard work is done by hand. Winemaking overall has changed little, if at all, since the beginning. Harvest occurs at full ripeness, stems remain on the fruit, and primary fermentation occurs in concrete tanks for roughly one week followed by a prolonged skin maceration. There is never new oak – after all, “the Syrah must breathe,” Clape once proclaimed.

We’re excited to present a small selection of vintages of one of the finest wines in France, at fantastic pricing.

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 31 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “Starting with his 2011 Cornas, it’s a rocking wine in the vintage that’s still showing every bit as well as it did on release. Massive minerality, violets, bloody meat and sweet blackcurrant and black raspberry-like fruit all emerge here, and it’s fabulously textured and silky on the palate. It will be interesting to see if this ever shuts down, but right now, it’s a great drink. If you have multiple bottles, give one a try.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2012 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 points “The Cornas of the vintage is Clape’s 2012 Cornas. An incredible effort, its inky purple/black color is followed by spectacular aromas and flavors of black raspberry, graphite, beef blood, iron, cedar and white pepper (among other things). This is Cornas at its finest, with insane aromatics, full-bodied richness and massive concentration, yet at the same time staying elegant, seamless and gorgeously pure. It’s more approachable than the 2010, but should still need 3-4 years of cellaring and have two decades of longevity.”

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas, Rhone 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 17 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points “Solidly packed, with a bramble-edged core of dark plum, bitter cherry and black currant fruit, inlaid with bay leaf and savory notes. The serious chalky grip through the finish will need some time to stretch out. Shows terrific interplay between the grip and fruit.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93-95 points “Brilliant purple. Powerful, mineral-tinged cherry and blackberry scents, along with notes of bacon fat, licorice, potpourri and pungent flowers. Pure, concentrated and energetic on the palate, offering deeply concentrated black and blue fruit flavors that gain weight and become sweeter with air. Closes extremely long, sappy and sweet, juicy acidity adding lift and cut to the blue-fruit-dominated, youthfully tannic finish.”

Thanks for reading!