Midweek VinopolPick 6-11-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

First Offer: 2017 Vintage Ports

Two Top Morey-St. Denis Grand Crus

Rose of the Day : A Sicilian Treat

Trending Wines

The Produttori of Burgundy

A New Grapelive Review for a Rosé Favorite

The Wine Advocate Raves about ’17 Huet

June Sale Highlights


An Im-Port-Tant Announcement

First Offer: 2017 Vintage Ports

2017 is looking to be an astoundingly good year for vintage Port.  With the major Port houses deciding in 2016 to issue a General Declaration (as a group, rather than individual houses declaring on their own), the idea that ’17 would be declared as well would only happen if it was a legendary, beyond-top-class vintage—and now there’s a General Declaration for 2017.  The last time there were back to back General Declarations in Port was in the 1870’s, which gives you an idea of how spectacular the upcoming wines look to be.  We’re excited to be able to offer these to you for the first time, especially considering Neal Martin’s enthusiastic praise in Vinous, which is excerpted below.  These are wine to buy in quantity—one of the finest vintage port years in a generation (and perhaps not coincidentally ending in “7”).  The wines will arrive in February.

“General Declarations do not come in pairs. They are supposed to be drip-fed, three or maybe four each decade, keeping Port aficionados on their toes. The chances of consecutive General Declarations must be incredibly low, considering not just the meteorological odds of a textbook growing season but also the willingness of all Port houses to declare….Last year, as Taylor Fladgate, Symingtons and Quinta do Noval et al, declared the 2016s to palpable relief, since the last was back in 2011, there were already murmurings echoing down the Douro valley that 2017 had knocked the ball out of the park and that it would be sacrilegious to forgo another Declaration. And so it has come to pass. “I consider these wines to be among the best that I have known during my time at Quinta do Noval,” enthused Christian Seely, who oversees Quinta do Noval, part of AXA Millésime’s portfolio. “The decision to declare them was a very easy one.” Charles Symington joined the chorus of approval, writing: “In my 25 years as a winemaker in our family vineyards, I have never seen a year like this.” Adrian Bridge at Taylor Fladgate told me that both vintages reached the “absolute quality” to make a declaration, especially because they produced different styles of Port….

“The consecutive declaration inevitably means that the 2017s will be compared to 2016s. Quite rightly, those that splashed out on 2016 will want to know why they should open their wallets again. Well, the answer is clear when you taste them: whereas the leitmotifs of 2016 are elegance and finesse, 2017 is more about structure and intensity. The 2017s are more hedonistic than their 2016 counterparts and yet the startling aspect of these Ports is their freshness. Theoretically the heat of summer ought to have sapped the wines of their brightness and acidity, yet it is clearly locked in and there is plenty of tension. The result is a number of very intense though not exotic Ports, in that they avoid hedonism and there is no loss in typicity. At times they verge on overwhelming the senses, though of course I am sinfully approaching them decades before their prime. Conjecturing what the 2017s will become, the mind boggles. The quality of the vintage is such that all Port houses saw fit to release special labels, and there is good reason for this.” – Neal Martin, Vinous

2017 Vintage Ports Arriving ETA February 2020:

Cockburn’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($99.95) $74 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“Insane aromas of crushed berry, flowers and lifted ester like a fermenting lager. Full body, tannic yet so finely grained in texture. Extremely long and beautiful. It goes on for minutes. 2,500 cases. Try in 2026.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2017 Cockburn’s Vintage Port, picked from August 28, comes mainly from Quinta dos Canais (74% of the blend.) It sports an iridescent purple hue. It has an irresistible nose with black plum, raisin, vanilla and blackcurrant, super-concentrated but managing to maintain superb delineation. The palate is medium-bodied and full of tension. I must admit to being shocked how tense and agile this Cockburn’s is showing. It is a live-wire young Port, brimming over with energy and bridle and with an almost citrus-fresh finish that leaves the mouth tingling. The name might be synonymous with the more commercial end of Port, however, recent vintages testify a fortified wine that should be taken very seriously. Superb. Total production is 2,500 cases.”

Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special (only 6 magnums available!)
Neal Martin-Vinous 98 points
“The 2017 Dow’s Vintage Port showed a slight reduction and required more time to really open in the glass. Typical of Dow’s it has a more backward and introspective bouquet compared to its peers, scents of blackberry, clove, wild mint, cassis and vanilla, gradually gaining more intensity with aeration. The palate is simply glorious. It is built around a compelling tannic frame that seems finer than any Dow’s I have encountered apart from the ethereal 2011. There is so much energy coiled up in this Port, a sense of symmetry that is enthralling and yet you just know that it needs to be cellared for 15-20 years for it to reveal its full potential. For serious Port-lovers. One of the vintages most cerebral offerings. Total production is 5,250 cases.”
James Suckling 98 points “Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
W & J Graham’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points
“Wow! Amazing aromas of crushed blackberry and blueberry, stems and rose petal. Entrancing. Full-bodied, very tight and powerful with ultra-fine tannins. Intense richness of crushed berries, chocolate, hazelnut and coffee. 5,250 cases. Try after 2026.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2017 Graham’s Vintage Port was picked from August 28 at Malvedos, though production is one-third less than the previous year. Here the Touriga Franca was particularly early ripening. It has an expressive nose, a mélange of red and black fruit, fig jam, dates and touches of clove, aromatics that are very seductive if perhaps just missing the intellectual capacity of the Dow’s. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannins, a gorgeous Graham’s with hints of espresso and cloves that tincture the multi-layered fruit that veers towards black rather than red towards the finish that fans out without a care in the world. This is perhaps one of the more flamboyant Vintage Ports that is likely to drink earlier than the Dow’s, yet that takes nothing away from what is a beautifully crafted Graham’s. Total production is 5,250 cases.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Vinous 97 points
“The 2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port was picked from August 21 to September 28 under perfect conditions. It has a tightly wound bouquet that requires a lot of aeration. Eventually it reveals fabulous, detailed aromas of cassis, bilberry jam, crushed stone and pressed violets, later hints of orange blossom and quince. The palate is pure class. Saturated tannins, wonderful structure but the headline is the intensity of fruit. I cannot remember a Noval with this penetration, almost overwhelming the senses as layers of effervescent black plum and cassis fruit segue into a spicy finish that fans out like there is no tomorrow. Is this the best Quinta do Noval ever?”
James Suckling 97 points “Big grip in this wine with dark blackberries, blueberries and floral notes. Fine tannins. Ripe but sweet and pretty. Shows a lovely finish. Try after 2027.”

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 375ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special (only 6 magnums available!)
Neal Martin-Vinous 98 points
“The 2017 Taylor’s Vintage Port comes from their three quintas: Vargellas, de Terra Feita and do Junco, picking commencing at Vargellas on September 1, the earliest since 1945. Now this boasts a bold and more flamboyant bouquet vis-à-vis the Croft with layers of blackcurrant, blueberries, violet and allspice. Wonderful definition here and as it ratchets up through the gears with aeration manages to maintain impressive delineation. The palate is medium, rather full-bodied. The first impression is one of freshness, completely disguising that summer’s dryness and warmth, a disarming finesse built around the frame of tannins that would have been impossible years ago. It is a silky-smooth Taylor’s, one of the most polished 2017 Vintage Ports with energy and tension flooding through the finish. Aristocratic as ever, totally Taylor’s, yet still translating the growing season with aplomb. Total production is 11,500 cases.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Two Top Morey-St. Denis Grand Crus

Clos des Lambrays

“One of the stars of the 2016 vintage”

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 (with the major exception of Jouan’s CSD, below). 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, crafting highly praised wines, particularly in the 2016 vintage.

In Stock Now:

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($319.95) $269 special, 6 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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $304

Jouan Clos-St.-Denis
Philippe Jouan has vaulted himself into the top tier of Burgundy producers since taking over the family domaine (Henri Jouan).  Based in Morey-Saint-Denis, he’s producing Burgundy both ethereal and intense, the top of which is his Clos-St.-Denis.  The Clos was historically the most famous vineyard in the town (hence the appendage of Saint-Denis to Morey), though in recent years that honor has probably moved to its next door neighbor, Clos de la Roche.  Jouan makes some of the finest Clos-St.-Denis out there, in the style of his spiritual cousin, Jacky Truchot.  This is a wine we work hard all year to secure and are excited to present at the lowest listed price in the country.  As with most top Burgundy, quantities are limited and this is first come,-first served.

In Stock Now:

Philippe Jouan Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($259.95) $219 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru wafts from the glass with a glorious bouquet of dark berries, rose petals, candied peel, rich soil and dark chocolate. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and layered, with excellent concentration, satiny tannins and a fleshy core of succulent and pure fruit, concluding with a long, precise finish. It’s a bit sappier than the richer, more gourmand 2015 rendition but the two wines are similar in ultimate quality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Rose of the Day: A Sicilian Treat

Planeta makes a wide array of wines, but our favorite is often their beautiful rosé.  It’s made from a mixture of Nero d’Avola and Syrah and the crispness and delicacy of the wine belies the hot climate that created it.  This is a perfect wine for a day where the temps creep up and the only thing you want is something pink, cold and refreshing to go with a salad or some fish.

A treat from Sicily! Perfectly fresh and elegant—and at a price to stock up with.
Planeta Rose Siclia, Sicily 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-6 Planeta Rose Siclia, Sicily 2018 750ML ($89.95) $71.90 special (that’s only $11.98/bottle!)
Winery note
“50% Nero d’Avola 50% Syrah. Our Rosé, fresh and fruity, represents all the feelings of a Sicilian summer. Its colour is that of a summer sunset. The fresh aromas of strawberry make it a marvellously friendly wine, and easy to drink. Enjoy Planeta’s Rosé in good company, as an aperitif with tapas, raw fish, fresh salads or alone with seasonal fruit.”

Want to see all 94 roses available right now in our web store? You can see them all here.

Trending Wines

Dense, dark and full of minerality – a Barolo-killer
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“This is full-bodied, displaying cherry, licorice, wild herb, iron and tobacco notes. The dense tannins take over and dominate the finish now, despite this remaining fresh and long. Full-bodied and minerally. Best from 2025 through 2040.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 pointsEditor’s Choice “New leather, camphor, forest berry, dried rose and culinary spice are some of the aromas you’ll find on this exceptional red. The firmly structured, poised palate doles out juicy cranberry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise framed in tightly-knit, refined tannins while bright acidity provides energy and balance. Drink 2020–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “A dark, brooding wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano comes across as quite virile today, with huge tannins and equally imposing dark fruit. Smoke, leather, licorice and game add to an impression of raw, almost unrestrained, power. There is not a whole lot of finesse here at least not now. The Montestefano is a wine painted in broad brush strokes that emphasize power over elegance. Then again, that is Montestefano. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2013.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The final wine in this portfolio of amazing single-vineyard expressions is the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano. This is the densest and darkest of them all, and I would therefore suggest that the longest drinking window be reserved for this expression. Montestefano is shaped as an amphitheater of vines that locks in the summer heat and sees less wind compared to Montefico. This is a solid and firm wine with deep, dark intensity and solid tannins that form an unyielding backbone. You should hold onto this bottle for at least 5 more years before popping the cork.”

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

Always one of the best values in Tete de Cuvee Champagnes!
Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($179.95) $108 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($959.95) $599 pre-arrival special (that’s only $99.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Always a light, ethereal style of wine, this is also very fresh and still young. It will age with its taut minerality from the Chardonnay in the blend. A softer background will become toasty over the next few years. The vintage date on this bottle is 200 years after the foundation of this producer. Drink from 2021.”

Cameron’s classic.  Always great, but the ’16 is next level.
Cameron Winery ‘Abbey Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Abbey Ridge is one of the most hallowed sites in the Willamette Valley.  Planted in 1975, the Pinot Noir here is own rooted and at one of the highest elevations in the Dundee Hills.  The elevation and classic Jory soils give the wine an intense personality—high toned, elegant and tensile, with good power and a strong voice.  This bottling has been one of the defining Oregon Pinots since John Paul started making it.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A stellar white blend that reminds us of the best wines of Friuli.
Massican Gemina White Blend, California 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Editor’s Choice. Wow, this is a beautiful wine. A blend of 77% Pinot Grigio from the Napa Valley’s Chiles Valley and 23% Greco from Russian River Valley, winemaker Dan Petroski melds them both together into a floral and fresh explosion of vivid flavor. Tart apricot and peach meet freshly squeezed lemon as balanced acidity lingers masterfully on the finish.”
Winery note “Grapes: pinot grigio – 77%, greco – 23%. With our hearts and minds attached to the wildfires that ravaged our community during the early part of October we often forget that the vintage was defined by another incredible weather event – the record breaking heat wave that lasted from June through Deptember. It was a relentless heat wave but we are fortunate for GEMINA to be made from two grape varieties, one of those varieties is greco which is accustom to savage climate of southern Italy and can face the intensity of one hundred degree days.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Potent, rich and textural—and a steal for the price.
Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“A wine that almost always over-delivers, the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is, I suspect, the finest vintage for this cuvée to date (it’s in the same league as the off-the-charts 2015). A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache from Lesquerde and Saint Martin de Fenouillet (both in the northern part of the Roussillon), aged all in older barrels and concrete tanks, it boasts rockstar notes of ripe blackberry fruits, spice, dried garrigue, and hints of chocolate. Possessing a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and sensational purity, it’s another one of those values that almost seems too good to be true. Drink it any time over the coming 3-4 years.”

Arriving Friday, selling fast!
Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special
#5 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.”
John Gilman 98 points “The 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon is an absolute classic in the making and this is destined to be one of the great recent years for this iconic cuvée. It is far more classically structured out of the blocks than the relatively generous 2009 version, offering up a deep, complex and very youthful bouquet of menthol, green apple, a touch of tangerine, a very complex base of minerality and notes of dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with precise mousse, brisk acids and stunning length and grip on the primary and laser-like finish. This will demand some cellaring to start to really stir and should prove to be an extremely long-lived vintage of DP. Stellar juice.”
James Suckling 98 points “The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold.”
Decanter 96 points “Departing chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster.””
Wine Spectator 96 points “There’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2033.”



The Produttori of Burgundy

La Chablisienne is the classic co-op in the heart of Chablis. Much like the Produttori del Barbaresco, they deliver classic renditions of their appellation at an affordable price point. Fermented in stainless and from a crisp, cool vintage (we can’t get enough 2014), these have all of the stony, green apple qualities we look for in wines from the AOC.—even better, the pricing is throwback.  These are premier cru wines of high quality for the price of many decent growers’ regional bottlings.  The combination is pretty spectacular!

In Stock Now from La Chablisienne:

The Cote de Lechet is from the coolest 1er cru site in Chablis, so the wine is full of dazzling minerality and bright, racy flavors. It’s a wine even cooler on our case price!
La Chablisienne Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($189.95) $144 special (that’s only $24/bottle!)
Decanter 95 points
“Flowers with a bit of lemon curd on the nose, giving way to a lively palate with white flowers, herbs and a fine-grained mineral seam running through to the racy, spicy finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This wine comes from one of the coolest Premier Cru vineyards, giving it an initial austerity that then fills out as the wine breathes. It’s crisp and bright with white fruit and intense, lemony acidity. Age it for a few more months and drink from 2018.”
Burghound 91 points “Outstanding. A spicy and super-fresh array of citrus, pear and tidal pool serves as an elegant introduction to the impressively intense and precise middle weight flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the lingering and complex finale where a hint of austerity surfaces. Lovely.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Our surprise hit from Chablis with a crunchy vein of minerality
La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Decanter 95 points
“An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavors that drip with minerality on the refined but powerful finale where a discreet touch of wood arises. This offers ample development potential and should be lovely with time. Drink: 2021+”

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

“a classic Les Lys of finesse”-BH
La Chablisienne Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 arrival special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Burghound 92 points
“Outstanding! A subtle touch of wood sets off airy and elegant aromas of cool wet stone, tidal pool, algae and green apple. There is an equally cool and restrained mouth feel to the delicate, intense and delineated middle weight flavors that deliver excellent length on the lacy and chiseled finale. This is a classic Les Lys of finesse.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Grapes from this lesser known Premier Cru are often blended with those from Vaillons, yet La Chablisienne has bottled it as a separate wine. The coolness of the site translates beautifully into a crisp fruit expression that’s tight with acidity and minerality, ready to age. Drink from 2019.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
New Grapelive Review

For a Rosé Favorite

In Stock Now:

Clos Cibonne, Tibouren, Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2017 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Grapelive 94 points
“The heart and soul of Clos Cibonne is Tibouren, the ancient local grape that seems impossibly pale as a red grape but makes for maybe the greatest Rosé in the world. For Clos Cibonne’s Côtes de Provence Rosé [Cuvée Speciale des Vignettes], which is completely unique wine, the Tibouren, after harvest is fermented in stainless steel and then aged Sur Lie under fleurette (a thin veil of yeast like is found in Sherry) in 100-year-old, 500L foudres, which adds a touch of oxidation and stabilizes the wine allow it to age way beyond what a normal Rosé. [This] is an amazing wine that transcends any traditional preconceptions on what Rosé should be, it is wonderfully expressive, lively and rich in texture with true vinous hedonism. Grown on schist soils from 60 plus year old vines at 50 meters above sea level the Clos Cibonne Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes comes from a single parcel known as Le Pradet and farmed all organic. The orange/pinkish Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes was aged in cask on the lees for a full year, making it feel more like a normal wine on the palate, but still it has a sense of mineral charm and good acidity on the medium bodied palate. The flavors are an array of complex fruit and earth along with a touch of pecan oil and saline showing tangy cherry, grilled citrus with Moro orange, reduced strawberry, peach flesh and distilled currant along with a hint of leather, lavender, lemon rind, stone fruit pit and wet rocks. This iconic pink wine is lees dense, chewy and crunchy with enough pithy bite to refresh the taste buds, it is so good, no bottle of Clos Cibonne Tibouren lasts long enough, magnums would be a way better way to enjoy this stuff! Drink over the next 3 to 5 years, I had the 2015 vintage last month and it was spot on and still incredible and this 2017 is a bit more vibrant at its core, enjoy it with classic Mediterranean cuisine or anything you have in the fridge”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The Wine Advocate Raves about ’17 Huet
“Domaine Huet has just bottled its newest vintage, 2018. After the impressively pure, precise and elegant 2017s (an early vintage that was finished the same day the 2016 harvest began), the highly refined 2018s reflect the generously sunny, perfectly healthy and early vintage with a series of beautifully balanced Vouvrays—only one of which is dry (sec); the three première trie selections built the top of another great Huet vintage. Readers will buy age-worthy classics that do not just represent the quintessence of world-class Vouvray but rank among the very finest in 90 years of history.

“With the spectacularly concentrated 2017 Vouvrays (of which only Le Mont brought the full range of selections from sec to première trie), I have also tasted wines from Huet’s sister domaine, Királyudvar, in Tokaj, Hungary, which have never been rated for The Wine Advocate before. The Hwang family bought the domaine in 1997 and, during the following 20 years, re-introduced it as one of the finest wine producers in Hungary. Huet’s and Királyudvar’s German importer, Vinaturel, was so generous to send me not just the youngest releases but also some of the finest noble sweet wines I have tasted from Tokaj. Saying this, don’t forget to try the dry Furmints, a wine category I am starting to adore not just because of some Austrian wines from Burgenland and Styria. I hope to be able to give deeper insights on the region and its best producers once I have been to Tokaj, which to me is still part of the historic Austrian-Hungarian Empire but in a cultural aspect rather than political. Wine culture does not care about political borders, and tasting Ruster Ausbruch wines from Austria doesn’t make sense without tasting wines from the sister appellation in Tokaj. Stay tuned, there will be more to read about some of Europe’s most spectacular unknown wines.” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

In Stock Now:

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec displays an intense golden-yellow color and a ripe, at the moment slightly diffuse bouquet of very ripe fruits, caramel, butterscotch and low sulfur, with very fine earthy notes in the background. Lush and very elegant on the palate, this is a powerful, intense and exuberant Chenin with firm, initially slightly astringent tannins and persistently juicy fruit. The wine is not as seamless at the beginning as the finest 2017s, but it gets much more balanced and juicy-piquant after aeration. At the end of the day, this is a pretty sexy Vouvray with Burgundian finesse. Tasted on March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2017 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec displays an intense yellow color and offers a fascinatingly pure and chalky/smoky bouquet of crushed stones intertwined with sur-lie notes, oat milk and ripe, well-concentrated fruit aromas. After lots of aeration, you get some lactic notes here as well. Round, lush and intense on the palate, this is a full-bodied, juicy, very refined and elegant Vouvray with delicate tannins, good structure and sensual, slightly sweet fruit. The finish reveals great power but also grip, salt, finesse and enormous length. This is a pretty great wine, and it can age for decades, although it already drinks very well. Tasted in March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“From limestone-clay soils, the golden-yellow colored 2017 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec displays a deep and refined nose with fine chalky notes intermixed with juicy and well-concentrated lemon aromas. The attack on the palate is smooth, ripe and elegant. In fact, this is a very juicy, round, refined and persistently structured Vouvray with intensity, power and concentration but also fine acidity. It displays a long, vital, beautifully tensioned finish with grip and candied lemon, grapefruit and orange zest flavors. With dine yet tight tannins, this is an excellent, very elegant and textured Haut-Lieu that already drinks very well but will improve over time. Tasted in March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec displays a beautifully pure, precise, flinty and crunchy bouquet of perfectly ripe and healthy fruits. Round, lush and precise on the crystalline palate, this is a highly refined, elegant, enormously lush and sexy Vouvray with great finesse but also tension and lingering salinity. Tightly structured and full of terroir expression, this is the 2017 you shouldn’t miss. A great wine! Tasted in March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Moelleux, Loire 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The golden-apricot colored 2017 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux is perfectly ripe and elegant on the intense but refined nose, with stone fruit and very fine raisin aromas intertwined with yeasty notes. On the palate, this is a generous, highly elegant, finessed and juicy Vouvray with fine tannin grip, salty-piquant acidity and good concentration of dried and stewed stone fruits. The wine is compact and tight but vital and full of energy and aging potential. Very tight, firm and salty, with good tension and expression but far too young to be enjoyed within the next five years. Tasted in March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Vouvray Le Mont Sec displays an intense golden-yellow color and a discreet, refreshingly pure, slightly flinty and reductive nose with chalk and ripe lemon notes. Lush, precise and piquant on the palate, with ripe, concentrated fruit and crystalline structure, this is a dense, smooth, beautifully balanced, very long, refined and rather linear Vouvray with fine, dusty/chalky tannins, concentrated lemon juice and lingering, highly stimulating acidity. This is a long-distance runner with great expression and finesse. Tasted in March 2019.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Cuvee Constance’ Moelleux, Loire 2015 500ML ($249.95) $199 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 98 points
“The orange colored 2015 Vouvray Cuvée Constance displays a clear, fresh, pure and concentrated bouquet of dried apricots, quince, pumpernickel, honey, green fig chutney, orange tea, black chocolate with bitter orange and red pepper berries. On the palate, this is a vital, fresh, straight, pure, tightly woven and salty noble sweet wine with great, almost electric tension, finesse and vitality. The fruit is lush and dense, but the mineral grip and acidity are mind-blowing. This is many years away from being at its peak, but it’s another fascinating Cuvée de Constance. Tasted in March 2019.”


June Sale Highlights

The June Sale is just over a week old and we’ve already added a bunch of great wines to it.  We’ve got some highlights below, but you can also see the full list on our webstore, here, or by reading to the end of the newsletter.

In Stock Now:

Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 June Sale Special, 32 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points
“The 2016 Sestina checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 21 months in 48% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage beautifully and offers classic Cabernet notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, crushed rocks, and tobacco leaf. With beautiful balance and that more elegant, finesse-driven style of the estate, it packs plenty of fruit and is a seamless wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years.”
Josh Raynolds 93+ points “(includes a good percentage of vines from the 1970s; aged in about 45% new oak): Bright dark red. Alluring violet and rose petal lift to the aromas of dark berries, licorice and black olive. Penetrating, savory wine with terrific saline minerality and lift to its wild berry and licorice flavors. This very concentrated, backward wine finishes with serious tannins but no rough edges. A bit more sharply focused than its 2015 sibling but this wine will need longer for its tannic spine to unclench. Even the Merlot yields were moderate in 2016, noted winemaker Chris Peterson. Following a bit of acidification, this wine finished with a pH of 3.8.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today
Now it’s even lower!
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serraboella’, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($41.95) Was $33, Now $29 June Sale 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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $38

Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Sori Paitin’, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $45 June Sale Special
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Sori Paitin’, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Sweet cherry and strawberry fruit is framed by earth, eucalyptus, tobacco and tar notes in this rich yet firm red. The assertive tannins suggest a glacial evolution but the lasting impression of fruit shows this wine’s potential. Best from 2022 through 2040. 815 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Mellen Meyer Brut Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($34.95) Was $29, Now $26 June Sale Special
KWG8 – Tasting Pour
“From a small Willamette Valley producer specializing only in sparkling wine try this traditional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend for a dry, crisp elegant sparkling at a good price.  Smells of green apples with a salty tart palate.”
Winery note “Grapes sourced from Johan Vineyard, Van Duzer Corridor and Dundee Hills. 35% Chardonnay, 65% Pinot Noir fermented in neutral French and Oregon oak. 25 months in tirage, 8 grams/ liter dosage. 350 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $66 June Sale Special
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($179.95) Was $149, Now $138 June Sale Special
James Suckling 96 points
“Shows lots of black cherries, cranberry tea, caramelized orange peel, roasted herbs and citrus peel. Full-bodied with ripe and quite round tannins that frame layers of cherries. Bright and fresh, yet rich and long at the same time. The sangiovese character really springs out of the glass. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price for the 750ml is $79
The next best price for the magnum is $179

Thanks for reading!